Living your own life is hard enough

Everyone has an opinion as to how someone else should live their lives

Me: And what do you want?
Him: It doesn’t matter what I want. My father wants me to marry a Korean girl.
Me: If he wants a Korean girl so much, he should marry one.

So an interesting subset of my post from last week on writing a dating profile was communication from about four different women noting that on the profile, I was 39 years old, looking for women that were 25-30.

What none of them seemed to realize was: in order for me to get that screengrab of my profile, I had to log into my old profile, which I did last week – at 39 years of age.

I’d not touched that profile since September 2008 – when I was 35. The site merely updated my age to 39 when I logged in in August 2012.

But here’s the thing: Even if I was 39, looking for women that are 25-30, isn’t that my business?

In other words, suppose I told someone I was attracted to black women. How revolting would it be if someone said, Logan! You’re a Chinese-American man. You should be ashamed of yourself, trying to date a black woman.

An actual message from someone except the person said I was a “39-year-old man” and instead of “black woman,” she said, “25 year old.”

Let’s take it a step further.

Suppose I said, I was looking for a black man. Sudden people get incensed one way or another.

The thing is my wife and I would probably have had issues 30 years ago with us being a mixed-race couple.

Why does everyone have an opinion as to what one adult finds attractive in another adult?

More mind-boggling, why do people think their opinions matter to anyone but themselves?

And when did they learn that their opinions are better than someone else’s opinions?

I know Asians that think I’ve “sold-out” by marrying out of my race. In fact, I was one of those people in my teens.

But I was a stupid kid – as evidenced by my admittedly poor clothing and hair choices. These are adults writing this.

Perhaps the most powerful thing I’ve ever learned in my life isn’t a fencing or a wrestling move, but rather this: What other people think of me is none of my business.

The moment you believe that statement – not just know it intellectually but truly believe it – you are separate from everyone else in the world.

You gain a membership into a cadre of thinkers and dreamers that live their lives in the world but unaffected by the world.

And it cuts both way: What you think of someone else is none of their business.

Then again, if someone isn’t living their own life, perhaps you should say something.

Me: Living one’s own life is hard enough. Doesn’t your father get tired of living your life too?
Him: (laughing) He means well.
Me: I’m sure he does. But – and this is admittedly none of my business – long after he’s gone, you’ll be stuck with the choices he makes for you. Your father lives his life. Your mother lives hers. You should live yours, yeah?

Location: in front of a cuppa joe and Mamma Lo’s carrot cake
Mood: you guessed it, crazy busy
Music: picture the scene, filming and screening, dreaming of me
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10 Tips on how to write a good Match, OK Cupid, or POF dating profile: Part 1- Men

How to Write an Effective Dating Profile

Read below for the updated and expanded A Great Online Dating Profile.

———

I’ve written or helped write roughly 20 dating profile pages on Match, Plenty of Fish, OK Cupid, and eHarmony. Most have done pretty well including some engagements and a few long-term relationships.

As I’ve said many times in the past, if you’re single, online dating should be part of your dating curriculum.

But, if you’re like most men, you receive something like one response out of every 30 emails you send. And no one contacts you out of the blue.

My response rate was roughly 1 out of 8, which is really good considering all my various faults.

Here are ten tips to help you up your response rate:

1. Search for men first, before you do anything

If you are a 35 year-old 5’8″, dorky Asian male, search for 25-35 year old 5’6″-5’10”, dorky Asian males. Why? Because this is your competition. If you are older, switch to a senior singles dating site, really.

Click on their profiles.

  • What do you like? Do more of that.
  • What sounds lame? Do less of that.

Spend two days on this before you even start to post anything. This is the single most important thing to do and I’ve honestly never met anyone besides me who did that. Do the things no one else does and you’re ahead of the game already.

And yes, people will say this isn’t a competition but they will also tell you that supply-side economics works. It does not and online dating is a competition. Winner gets a date.

2. Write your profile as a response to a response.

Most men write their profile as if a woman will search through profiles, find them, and then try and contact them. That *rarely* happens. Most women put up a profile and then have to wade through an avalanche of emails or as my friend Kay put it: “OMG, Logan – why didn’t you warn me about all the emails I’d get!?”

So, write your profile as if someone liked what you sent her enough to check out your profile. Because 99.89% of your interactions will be:

email from you->read your profile->email to you
and NOT:
search-> read your profile->email to you

In other words, the profile supports the email, not the other way around. If you stop here, you already know more than the vast majority of your competition.

Want more? OK, moving on.

3. Tell a story

Because you listened to me, you went through roughly 100-200 profiles of your competition. And you saw that the almost everyone lists his/her attributes like a resume.

As I said, be different.

We live our lives through stories. What are movies, TV shows, even songs but stories? A resume is not a story. A story has characters, plot, cliffhangers, etc.

Write a story, not a resume. Why should she contact you? What will you two do? Make her laugh and want to find out how the story ends with her playing the part of the female lead.

4. Be fun and friendly

Sarcasm is difficult to pull off so avoid that. Similarly, do NOT be deep, because you will come off creepy. Think about meeting a girl at a party and her talking about famine in Africa. There’s a time and place for everything. This is not that time nor that place.

Instead, be witty, smart, and funny. If you are not witty, smart, and funny, take an improv class and learn how to be. This is crucially important for reasons far beyond putting up a dating profile.

Ask yourself, If I were a woman – that has the qualities that I’m looking for – would I be interested in the guy in this profile. If the answer is no, get to editing.

Look at this as a chance to be better than you were yesterday.

5. LOL and =) are persona non grata

Again, you’ve listened to me and went through your competition’s profiles, what was the most common thing you saw? Let me guess – a plethora of smiley faces and LOLs.

Two kinds of people use smiley faces and LOLs:

  • 14 year old girls
  • Men that cannot use the English language

If you are neither, do not use them. Because what you’re really saying is:

=) I hope and pray that you don’t take what I’m saying too seriously because *I* don’t take what I say too seriously for I am not a serious man. LOL Please take pity on me and see that I’m a genuinely good soul that wants you to pick me even though I am clearly not worth your time. =-) Please? LOL, just kidding (kinda).  🙂

Please write me. =) I’m tired of living at home with my mom. HA – kidding! No really, I’m desparate. Help me.  🙂

6. Spell Check / Grammar check / Format check

“Desparate” is spelled “Desperate.” Pick up a Strunk and White while you’re at it. A grammatically-correct, explicative-free profile will – on that alone – stand out. Also, skip spaces between thoughts, also known as: make paragraphs. Otherwise your profile will look like one block of words that people will not want to have to wade through as if it were a collegiate textbook. Just as this paragraph looks like with three separate thoughts but no carriage returns.

7. Write one line as to what you are NOT looking for

Again, go through your competition. Tick off how many of them write what they do not want.

On my profile I wrote, “If you’ve cheated on someone before, no need to contact me.” Because it’s true. If someone has cheated on a boyfriend before, I have major issues with that. If nothing else, this shows you have some standards.

And if you see everyone else’s profile, they want to hear from everyone. You do not.

As an interesting note, one brown-eyed woman actually wrote me to say that she did cheat but that was when she was young. We ended up going on a few dates.

7a. On that note: Don’t just write about you, write about them

This is a high-risk / high-return move that women do all the time but men rarely do in their profiles. Describe your ideal girl somewhere in your profile. Is she tall? Blond? Busty? Nerdy? Working? etc.

Women have no problem stating what they prefer and do not. Nor should you.

I would say do this after you’ve gone on a few dates though, as it does lower your responses but does raise the quality – at least in terms of what you actually want.

8. Make good use of pictures in your profile

If you don’t put up a picture, you should expect zero responses. After all, admit it, the women you like put up pics. So you must as well.

A friend of mine that does well on the boards and I disagree on the number of pics to put up; he puts up one good pic. I put up a dozen pics.

If you put up one, make sure that it’s really, really good – preferably of you in a suit. Because on your first date, you will not be wearing a suit so let her know you clean up nice.

If you put up a dozen, try to include the following:

  • One with you doing something you love.
  • One with you at a party – you can have fun. Do not over do this. Women like men, not boys.
  • One artsy shot – you can be artsy.
  • One showing off a good physical feature – tread carefully and see #9 below.
  • One with you and your mom or dad – come on, we love seeing people with their folks.

For all of them, I always like to write: “You should know, these pics are recent – just like yours, yes?”

Again, be fun.

9. Have a female friend check your profile

Have a female friend look over your profile and give you her honest thoughts BUT make it more than one if possible. Because not all women are the same; what one female friend likes, another may hate. So listen, consider all the facts, and then either take their advice or don’t.

Note that if you don’t have female friends to look over your profile, you’ve made some errors in judgement in your life. Just like with the Improv class, take this as a chance to be better.

A buddy of mine hits on every girl he meets regardless of how wrong they are for him. That leads to thinking of women as “other.” They are not “other.”

When Harry Met Sally was a movie written by Hollywood writers; it has the air of truth to it but no real truth to it. Men and women can and should be friends.

10. Give them a reason to write you

Do you love the 1960s funk music? Then say it. If you go though all the other profiles, you’ll sense something and you won’t be able to put your finger on what that is. It took me a while to figure it out but here’s what it is:

A palpable aura of BS masked by false bravado.

I’ve found on dating boards, just like in life, the truth is a powerful, powerful thing. People crave it. If you love making and eating chili to the point that it’s a major part of your life, say so.

I met a woman that made a killer white bean chicken chili that way. Truth is powerful. Don’t mask it. You may meet a person that says “Me too” and what is love, if not finding someone that says, “Me too!”

Good luck and let me know how it goes!

Thanks to my wife who lets me write things like this and was also kind enough to add:

11. Never use the lines: I work hard and I play hard, and I always have my passport handy.

…no you don’t. Don’t lie and don’t be say what everyone else says.

If you liked this entry, I just wrote a quick little book in April 2014 on how to write A Great Online Dating Profile with 30 tips to get noticed and get more responses – it’s just $0.99 at Amazon, BN.com, and the Apple Store, as well as most other online retailers:

A Great Online Dating ProfileI also wrote a book about first dates with information I just haven’t seen in other books that I learned from three solid years of dating in NYC.

A Great First Date, early 2014It’s just $2.99 at at Amazon, BN.com, and the Apple Store.

  • You can also read the first 25% of it online now by clicking here!
  • Click on the Dating tag to see how my dating life went – the earlier stories are the more entertaining ones, IMHO. You can also click here to find out what finally happened to me.
  • Check out the comments to reach other people’s thoughts on these sites (and maybe leave a thought of your own).
  • Check out my previous post: Online dating: eHarmony vs. Match vs. Plenty of Fish vs. OK Cupid.
  • Also check out 15 Things Every Man Should Know.
  • Check out the comments to read other people’s thoughts on these sites (and maybe leave a thought of your own).
  • Finally, click here to subscribe to this blog OR follow me on Twitter: @logan607

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We make our own luck in this world

Drinks in Times Square, NYC

Me: Y’know, in a decade, we loook pretty close to what we looked like back then. You look great!
Her: Oh thanks, you too.
Me: Well, I always look good.
Her: That’s…hey!

Met up with Hazel for some drinks the other night. She’s come around to my way of thinking that meeting your person deserves as much thought as getting a good job or going back to school for your career.

Me: Imagine if I said, “I’ve decided that I’m just going to leave getting a job to chance. It’ll happen when it happens. Until then, I’m going to sit at home every day and night and I believe that a high-paying, awesome job will call me and want just the way I am.” What would you say about my career plans?
Her: That that’s not a good idea.
Me: Right. But I can’t tell you how many times I have people say to me, “I’m just going to meet the right person. It’ll happen when it happens.” The right person’s a big deal – too big to leave up to chance. Y’make your own luck in this world.

———-

This recent study has a new take on why exercise is so good for us. Apparently, it makes our very healthy cells eat the weaker cells in our bodies as a kinda natural recycling.

Goes to show two things: (1) why exercise really is the fountain of youth and (2) that I can find a way to eat regardless of where I am and what I’m doing:

Me: We vacation well together – we can hang out or get our own alone time.
Wife: Yes, like I go to the spa, you go eat, I go to the beach, you go eat, I go to the cafe, you go eat, I go to…
Me: I would say something but that’s pretty accurate.

Location: getting dressed to meet a client
Mood: contented
Music: on the other side I’ve got friends and they’ve got my back
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Digital to do / Insult me, beat me, make me write bad checks

Canal Street Subway

Mom: (leaning in, whispering) Act normal. I put two suitcases with your dad’s stuff into your trunk. Get rid of them.
Me: What? How?
Her: Shhh! I don’t know, don’t care. Just get rid of them. (turning to everyone, smiling) Who wants dessert?

I’ve somehow become a digital packrat in my life. My father, god love him, saves everything. Drives my mom mad. On more than one occasion, I’ll go home and find that she’s filled my trunk with random junk that my dad’s accumulated.

Suspect that if she were in the mafia, we’d have similar conversations.

Like me, she accumulates mosta her stuff in digitally. But I take after my dad in that I save everything.

Think it all started when I decided to get rid of all of my CDs years ago. Then I digitized all of my class notes from my school days. Just snowballed from there. The whole thing’d be fine it not for the fact that I didn’t organize it properly from the get-go. So now, as it gets bigger so does that sinking feeling that I gotta go back and re-edit a buncha stuff. So, to avoid procrastination, every time I get a few minutes, go back and start curating.

Amazed at how much stuff I’ve actually got.

On the topic of editing digital stuff, been reading a buncha my friends’ dating profiles for them. They’re terrible. The majority’re just bland and boring with lotsa guys putting up smiley faces every two sentences as if to say, I‘m just kidding, see how fun I am?

The worst are the ones that say, I’m just looking for someone nice. As if everyone else is saying, Insult me, beat me, make me write bad checks.

Figure there’s gotta be a cottage industry to help people not come off as weird or desperate online. Think I’ll have to write a post about writing a good profile onea these days soon.

And there’s another thing to add to my digital to do list.

Location: getting dressed in the front room
Mood: thoughtful
Music: Complacency, a vacancy, checks into your heart
YASYCTAI: Edit another folder of stuff. It’s never ending (a long time/1 pts)
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Everything is obvious once you accept the answer

A bar in Midtown NYC

This lawyer from Spain came by with her fella the other day for a three week holiday in the States. Man, those Europeans know how to take a vacation. Brought them over to onea my fave hidden spots in the UWS, which is a bistro that’s hidden on the second floor of a supermarket. They loved it.

We were gonna meet up earlier in the week but HG got sick. Not doing that hot myself cause my old injuries’re flaring up again. Something about the humidity amps up the pain.

Went to wrestle the other day despite the pain. This new girl was there and I was tasked to roll with her. The coach told her before we wrestled, Don’t touch his knee, he’s got a really bad knee. And I reminded her of this. Three minutes inna rolling, where I’m treating her with kid gloves, of course she goes straight for that knee.

She’s not a bad kid, it’s just that she wants “win,” whatever that means. It’s a signa youth, to wanna win at all costs. She didn’t learn a thing and “won” but left me sitting in a bucket of ice for the weekend. It’s just stupid.

Speakinga learning things, that buddy of mine learned the exact same lesson as another buddy of ours, which is that when a relationship’s damaged, it just needs time to heal. And the only way someone can get that time is by erasing one’s map.

Both times with both friends, the stories played out exactly as I said they would, not cause I’m particularly bright, but cause I’d seen this movie before. Many, many times. And it always ends the same way cause no one wants that which clings.

There’s this book on my reading list called Everything Is Obvious: Once You Know the Answer; think that’s kinda true but in relationships it’s more “Everything is obvious once you accept the answer.”

D’you remember that cop from the OJ Simpson trial, Mark Fuhrman? He’s that cop that apparently said “N_____r” a buncha times and was a general tool.

He wrote this book called Murder in Greenwich where he figured out this decades old murder. Took a while for people to pay attention to him but the fact that he’s a racist tool has nuthin to do with the fact that he was also a good detective.

Think that’s the problem when I give friends advice, they look at me and just think, Oh that’s just Logan, what does he know?

But I’m not giving advice advice on baseball, derivatives, or Iranian politics – issues I know nuthin about – I’m giving advice on relationships.

On that topic, I know a few things. Moreover, got an unfair advantage cause I already know the ending.

People wanna win, no matter what, but what’s really winning? That girl I rolled with won, but not with any skill and I’m injured now. My buddies got a few extra (miserable) weeks with women the loved but those relationships’re in tatters.

What’s winning?

I’d rather be better.

———-

Never told you that Rain and I had a falling out a few years back. Stupid stuff as these things go. Plus few can be as vicious with the mouth as me cause I’m the skillest with my sharp objects, The killest with my blunt instruments.

I’ll add that to my list of ten thousand regrets.

Be seeing him this Tuesday. If I end up floating in the East River, you’ll know who to blame.

Location: sitting with an ice pack
Mood: in pain
Music: kept my distance so you would be free
YASYCTAI: RICE: Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate (5 days/1 pt)
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Watching the movie you paid for

View east from Penn Station

Yeah. The funny thing is – on the outside, I was an honest man, straight as an arrow. I had to come to prison to be a crook.
– Shawshank Redemption

Wild salmon costs significantly more than farmed salmon but few can taste the difference between the two.

There’s been a number of legal cases lately where lots of fishermen and restaurants are swapping one fish for another – not just with salmon but with all kinds of stuff.

At issue is really one of expectations; if you paid for wild salmon, you should get wild salmon. Whether or not y’can actually tell the difference between the two is irrelevant.

Let’s switch gears to dating.

I dated this girl once that I was certain was cheating on me. Yelled at her all the time for it until one day she actually did. Then when I caught her in the act, she said to me, I was already being punished for it, so I figured that I might as well do it.

In other words, she already got the punishment, why not do the crime itself? Rephrasing it yet again, got what I paid for.

Learned something profound at that moment, which’s that life’s as you see it in your head.

So I met up with my buddy and another friend for drinks Monday night; he’s back with his girl. The reason why I’m guessing it’ll end badly, just as it did for our other friend that kept clinging, is that she paid for a drama not a romantic comedy.

And whether he realizes it or not, he’s going to give her a drama, regardless of the script he has planned.

Him: What makes you so sure?
Me: I could be wrong. In fact, i hope I am. I’d like nuthin more than for you guys to come back and say, “See, I told you it’d fine.” Cause you’re my friend and that’s what I hope for you. And there’s a chance it’ll work out, but only if something’s different this time.

Location: my room, looking for a lightweight suit
Mood: dreading the heat
Music: It’s not so easy to believe in someone else, Till you do
YASYCTAI: Realize that people want what they paid for, irrespective of whether or not they can tell the difference. (1 min/1 pt)
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Just because it doesn’t matter to you, doesn’t mean it doesn’t matter.

Madison Park in Summer, NYC

Me: Suppose you’re hiding $1,000 in your shoe. You know it’s there, no one else knows it’s there. Now, how would you – knowing this information – treat that shoe? Now how would I? Just cause it doesn’t matter to you, doesn’t mean it doesn’t matter.
Him: Ah, that makes sense now.

So my presentation went pretty well; they asked me to come on again, which is always a good sign. Been thinking about doing more public speaking at some point soon – just need to find more topics to talk about. You’ll be kept in the loop, as always.

In other news, finally caught up on sleep. It’s been good lately in the sense that when I do have my bouts of insomnia, they’re relatively short – 2-3 days versus 3-8 days. Still, it’s unfun. Would prefer that portion of my life to be gone with entirely.

My newly single buddy dropped by for a spell last night. He’s been out and about as he’s dealing with his awful things. He’s meeting people just randomly and some of them have significant others, who are decidedly not happy about it all.

On this point, he’s not interested in these women and doesn’t understand why these guys’re getting so upset. Told him that the way he saw the world’s really only just his opinion of the world.

———-

Been getting into a lot of arguments with people lately. Find it interesting that there are some people that will continually hammer at the issue at hand; that’s fine – feel I’ve learned a lot from these exchanges and I value knowledge above all else.

There’re others that immediately launch into explicative-filled, ad hominem attacks (“you @#$@$ @#$@#$!”), which only closes me off to their arguments.

Worse, long after they’ve forgotten it, I remember it. That’ll never lead to a good thing.

Speaking of arguments, there’s an accountant for a business I work with that argues with me constantly over everything. She called me and asked me for help. Found this odd cause we’re always yelling at each other. She’s taking the bar exam this summer – she had gone to law school years ago and this was the year. She thought she couldn’t pass it so here I am with this woman that’s caused me nuthin but misery for the past two years. For a second, wanted to tell her that she’d never pass and to go to hell. But that whole grace and mercy thing popped into my head and I took a seat.

Me: (taking a deep breath) OK, here’s what I did to take the bar…

Location: desk, trying to clear the cobwebs
Mood: tired
Music: My peace and quiet was stolen from me When I was looking with calm affection
YASYCTAI: Try arguing the issues rather than attacking the person. (10 mins/1 pt)
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Why would you want someone that doesn’t want you?

Diego the plant

Her: What name should I give it?
Me: I like Harold.
Her: No…I think Diego.
Me: Diego…OK. I like it. Diego and Harold.

We’ve bought furniture and a plant together. Suppose there’s no returning to single-hood. Harold, has to get over his jealously; a bit concerned he may start smoking again.

Speakinga singlehood, a buddy of mine’s newly single. Gave him my usual spiel, which boils down to, No matter how hard it is, why would you want someone that doesn’t want you?

He got his walking papers in  fairly harsh way: she kicked him out. And for no other reason than talking with a female friend he’s known for 13 years. Told him to take the high road.

Him: And what’s that?
Me: Leave. And don’t build her up like she was a saint or rip her down like she was a monster. Just leave. If a woman tells you to leave, you get up, pack your bags, and walk out the door. Cut it deep, cut it clean, but cut it.
Him: I’m super busy today, I can’t just pack up and leave.
Me: Cut it quick, cut it deep, cut it clean, but cut it. And don’t try to read her mind like some rapist and say, “Well she really meant…” You can’t assume anything is true but the words that come out of her mouth, which was, “Move out.”
Him: Damn, I guess I’ll have to look for a place.

He moved out that night.

He’s erasing his map – in stark contrast to our other buddy who floated back and forth with his girl for a year. That girl actually ended up marrying the guy she cheated on him for a year and that friend just caused a solid year of pain for himself. This friend, however, sees the writing on wall.

Speakinga seeing the writing on the wall, recently had two clients hand me checks in very different ways.

One paid me a bonus for a job well done; the other paid me 50% of what was agreed upon. Not to get all schoolyard but a deal’s a deal. If I’ve ever learned anything from working for myself for 18 years, when a client hands you a check, you smile, take it, and make a mental note.

It’s all related, y’know? Why stay where you’re not wanted? Anyone that tells you, Move out, doesn’t want you.

Any client that pays you 50% of what you agreed upon doesn’t want or respect you.

Any client that pays you more than you asked does.

Even if you don’t like what you hear, people are telling you stuff all of time.

 

Location: Sitting in my living room, wide awake at 4AM
Mood: hungry!
Music: you open up the dirty windows, let the sun illuminate
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Having a date night with the wife

Logan Lo

HG and I have a habit of going to local NYC hotels for a quick night or two away from the house. It’s amazing what the word “deluxe” means inside city limits and what it means everywhere else in the world.

Which is not to say we had a bad time. We had dinner at a new restaurant called Tenpenny, where we had great service and some pretty impressive food as well. It’s nice having a date night with the wife. Afterward, we walked back to our hotel and sat at this very old school bar. I actually had an Old Fashioned instead of rum, just to shake things up a bit.

Made it back in time to wrestle for a bit and practice some fencing. My old injuries are bugging me like mad. Have to schedule another appointment with the doc. Growing old sucks but, to paraphrase Maurice Chevalier, it beats the alternative.

 

Logan Lo

Sunday was church where I spoke to this young lady; she’s dipping her toe back into the dating world.

Her: It’s hard finding the time to date.
Me: Well, you go to work five days a week right? That’s to keep a roof over your head and food on your plate. Finding someone to spend the resta your life deserves at least as much consideration as that, dontcha think?

Speakinga work, client just killed a project I was working on but it’s just as well, this is a busy month.

Trying to stay on topa things’s a lot like playing Whack-A-Mole, yeah?

 

Location: home, listening to the rain outside
Mood: injured
Music: til the day I die I run more game
YASYCTAI: Have some fish today. (15 mins/0.5 pts)
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Online dating: eHarmony vs. Match vs. Plenty of Fish vs. OK Cupid

Which Dating Site is Right for you?

Cocktail party in NYC

 

When I was in college, the high point of the day was coming home to a blinking answering machine, meaning someone called and left a message. Before caller ID, email, voicemail, text messaging, IM, wall postings, and poking there was…a blinking light.

I heard people wondering about online dating and they ask, as if it’s a binary question: Should I do it – yes or no?

However, that’s the wrong approach. The better question is one of degrees: how much online dating should I do?

An online dating site should be on any singleton’s menu of meeting places, which is no longer limited to the local bar or random parties. As with most things, it’s the extremes that come across as weird, such as someone that only does online dating or someone that does no online dating at all.

The way I look at it, it’s like having a relative named, for example, Aunt eMatch that says, “I’ve got a girl I think you might like.” In fact, it’s better; it’s like Aunt eMatch saying, “I’ve got a girl I think you might like – and here’s her resume, a buncha pics, and a writing sample.”

So, which dating site is best for you? Well, I’ve personally used Match, eHarmony, Plenty of Fish and OK Cupid. They all have some similarities as well as some major differences:

eHarmony
Major Difference
eHarmony is front-loaded, meaning that you have to fill out a ton of questions and essays ahead of time before you even start meeting anyone. This can take hours.

Best Aspect
After you’ve completed that first major step of filling out all of those questions and essays, you can essentially sit back as eHarmony sends you profiles of people that it thinks are right for you. I have friends that love this because it takes some of the trepidation out of meeting people; there’s always the sense that “Hey, eHarmony thinks we’d get along.”

Worst Aspect
You have to wait for eHarmony to get around to sending you profiles and you may not be a fan of whom it thinks you’d like. Moreover, if you’re interested in a same-sex pairing, you can forget about that here; heterosexuals only, please. Plus, it’s expensive.

Match
Major Difference
Match is the most similar to newspaper personals – it doesn’t try to be much more or less than that. This means that you’re pretty much on your own; Match lets you put up a personal page about yourself and then look around for others that you might like.

Best Aspect
You can have your profile up in 10 minutes, browse anyone else’s profile, and message whomever you’d like. Plus, there’s no restriction on who you can contact (opposite sex, same sex, anyone at all).

Worst Aspect
Anyone can have a profile up in 10 minutes, browse your profile, and message you. Also, each time you contact someone, you’re essentially starting with a cold introduction and have to write a tailored email/essay to each person. Unlike eHarmony, this means pretty much constant maintenance. Plus, Match never seems to delete profiles – mine is still up after three years of disuse. Consider that before you randomly message someone. Also, like eHarmony, it’s anything but cheap.

Plenty of Fish
Major Difference
Because it’s free, it boasts the single largest database of people. Like Match, it’s a fairly straightforward “personals” oriented website.

Best Aspect
I personally know of one marriage and a handful of relationships from Plenty of Fish because the barrier to entry is essentially zero. As a result of this, there are a jaw-dropping number of profiles to browse (this can also be put in the “worst aspect” category too).

Worst Aspect
Essentially the same as Match.com except that there’s very limited oversight (they only have three customer service staff members as of this writing) and there is a very wild west feel to it. It also looks as if they only have three customer service staff members there.

OK Cupid
Major Difference
Like Plenty of Fish, it’s free, but to get any real use out of the site, you have to go through online activities like answering polls and other questions. By doing this, you create a more data driven – versus opinion driven – profile of yourself. As such, OK Cupid is a bit like a combination of Match and eHarmony.

Best Aspect
Because it’s data driven, you are able to paint a more accurate picture of who you really are rather than who you perceive yourself to be. Moreover, there’s a “fun” quality that pervades the site. If you like fun and games, chances are good you’ll meet someone else who likes fun and games. Did I mention it’s free?

Worst Aspect
You have to answer a number of polls and questions so, like Match and Plenty of Fish, it’s pretty much continual maintenance only a bit more involved.

What’s the right site for you? Well, it depends on your personality.

  • If you like to do a lot of work upfront and then relax, eHarmony is the clear winner.
  • If you find that you play online games like Candy Crush Saga and are used to filling out online polls, OK Cupid is the one for you.
  • Match and Plenty of Fish are good if you just want a traditional personals-like forum to meet other people. If you want a more polished site with some “adult supervision,” Match is probably better for you; however, if cost is key, Plenty of Fish wins over Match.

Final thoughts
If you must choose one, consider OK Cupid as the price is right and you can test the waters before you write a check. A special note for women: for sites like Match and Plenty of Fish, your responses can be pretty overwhelming; it’s simply the nature of the site and men in general. This may be a good or bad thing depending on your tolerance for random email.

Men, since we get comparatively less contact than women on these sites, a good strategy might be to choose one paying site coupled with a complimentary free site: eHarmony plus Plenty of Fish or Match plus OK Cupid.

Regardless, with a good mix of online and offline interactions, you’ll have no excuse for being home on a Friday night.

If you liked this entry, I just wrote a quick little book in April 2014 on how to write A Great Online Dating Profile with 30 tips to get noticed and get more responses – it’s just $0.99 at Amazon, BN.com, and the Apple Store, as well as most other online retailers:

A Great Online Dating ProfileI also wrote a book about first dates with information I just haven’t seen in other books that I learned from three solid years of dating in NYC.

A Great First Date, early 2014

It’s just $2.99 at at Amazon, BN.com, and the Apple Store.

  • You can also read the first 25% of it online now by clicking here!
  • If you’re in the UK, you can visit our friends at: DatingPriceGuide.co.uk for their own take on eHarmony vs. Match.com.
  • Click on the Dating tag to see how my dating life went – the earlier stories are the more entertaining ones, IMHO. You can also click here to find out what finally happened to me.
  • Check out the comments to reach other people’s thoughts on these sites (and maybe leave a thought of your own).
  • Finally, click here to subscribe to this blog OR follow me on Twitter: @logan607

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