Guest Post: Alex Templeman

Some online dating tips from HDR in the UK

Honest Dating Review

Today we have a guest post with three quick dating tips from Alex Templeman at Honest Dating Review.

1. Being open, doesn’t mean being vulnerable
It is a tricky concept. On the one hand, we’re being told not to share all of our personal details online, then you hit the questionnaire of a dating site like eHarmony and they ask for details that are more personal than something like your bank account number.

But it’s important to remember that this information isn’t broadcast for the world to see so much as it will be interpreted and key aspects of your answers will be used to match you with like-minded singles. This is why people need to be honest and open in the questionnaires that most popular sites utilize because otherwise; you’ll just be matched with the wrong people if you are pretending to be someone you are not.

2. Too much is never enough
When it comes to the bio for your profile, how in depth can/should you be? The honest answer is; as much as you want. Or more importantly, as much as you’re willing to give.

At the end of the day, you’re on the site because you’re serious about finding a partner and getting that relationship – the more informed you both are the better.

Suppose you like video games and you think ‘nah, that is too geeky for a dating profile’ and then you might be paired with someone who hates them, then there is already a point of contention.

Now, in the reverse scenario ‘I love video games and love a relaxing night in with the PlayStation after work’ then when you get a reply from a potential match saying ‘me too! What games do you play?’ then all of a sudden you have a rapport with someone who has a genuine interest in the same thing, and a conversation has just begun and you already know that you can get that person computer glasses or a new fancy game controller, whatever the point is you have some idea and are not clueless.

3. Use Headlines and Pictures to Showcase Your Personality
Headlines have been used for centuries to catch people’s attention and make them read what is underneath, and an online profile is no different. No one is going to have much luck if they open their page with ‘Yeah, I would say I’m ok’. This is a time to be creative, have some fun and let your personality shine, because then you can be sure that the people that continue reading after that line are genuinely interested.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words and as no one is likely to trawl through a two thousand word bio, so why not throw up a few pictures? At the end of the day, there needs to be an attraction there and profile pictures play a huge part of whether someone will look at your profile or not. And your picture should support your headline.

Note that the choice between a ‘funny’ picture and a serious picture is a hard line to walk; you don’t want to look like an immature joker, but you also don’t want to look like a suit who is married to his job.

So there you have it, if one line and a picture is all you have to sell yourself then make sure you make the most of it!

Use the above tips along with Logan’s tips to maximize your online dating, but most of all enjoy online dating – it’s an exciting, dynamic and ever evolving world that guarantees a great experience to people who use it, and genuinely throw themselves into the fun!

———-

Alex is the owner of Honest Dating Reviews and has worked on dating websites throughout his online career and partnered with many big sites such as Match.com and eHarmony.

If you liked this entry, get some more tips for just $0.99 with A Great Online Dating Profile at AmazonBN.com, and the Apple Store, as well as most other online retailers:

A Great Online Dating Profile

10 Tips on how to write a good Match, OK Cupid, or POF dating profile: Part 2 – Women

What makes a good online dating profile for women?

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

———

When I walk into a McDonalds, there is a baseline understanding: I expect there to be a cashier to take my order and the cashier expects that I want some form of food or food-like product.

Try going into a McDonalds one day and asking for a bag of hammers.

Without this baseline, (“I will order a food-like product, you will take my order for a food-like product”) there’s no meaningful result.

I have three beliefs I need you to accept before I give you any advice.

The first is that I’m actually qualified to give you advice. Click here for details.

The second is that: Communication isn’t what the speaker says, it’s what the listener hears.

As for the third baseline belief, well that also happens to be Tip 1:

1. Understand your audience OR Men like pictures

Studies have shown that men respond to visual information while women respond to verbal information. This means that your profile should be picture heavy. If it is, you’ll have a much easier time than if it’s not.

Now you can put your own value judgment onto this (“That’s so unfair,” “That’s not right,” etc) or you can accept it the way you accept death and taxes. It is what it is.

This tip is number one because it’s the most important thing and everything else in this post will flow from that. If you don’t accept it, there’s no need to read further.

If you do, we’re in business. The next three tips are variations of Tip 1 but each deserves it’s own space.

2. A picture is worth a thousand words

“Wait, that’s a cliche, not a tip!”

It’s actually both.

The most common complaint I hear against online dating is that women feel men use it to casually date or get a one-night stand. But pictures communicate a lot. A half dozen pics of you in clubs and bars communicates a different message than a half dozen pics of you making cakes.

It’s not what you intend, I understand, but again, communication is not what you say, it’s what the other side hears.

That picture above is an actual type of pic I saw online once. It was only up for a week and then gone. I can only assume it was up and down so fast because her email inbox exploded with interest.

Everyone writes: I’m fun, I love to laugh, I’m the creative type.

But look at that pic above. It says all of that without a single word. It’s actually four pics in one.

And the four pics say what I’m trying to say better than 4,000 words would say.

3. Pick up some basic (basic) photography skills OR The flash is not your friend

With the amount of free Youtube videos and webpages out there, there really is no excuse for not knowing simple things like the rule of thirds and depth of field.

If nothing else, don’t:

  • take a picture with a flash because flash makes everyone look bad – try taking daytime shots or pictures without a flash
  • take a self-portrait picture by either taking a picture in the mirror or with an outstretched hand.

On that second note, let’s talk about what’s actually being communicated – again, not what you mean to convey, but what information the viewer actually receives:

  • I don’t have a friend I trust to take a picture of me.
  • I don’t know how to use the timer function on my camera.
  • I take pictures of me because others don’t take pictures of me.

A dating profileLook at the size of my head! I tell people because it’s fulla brain but really, whoa! Keep in mind, this is what you’ll look like too if you do a self-portrait this way. BTW, I took this picture the last, last time I was in the hospital.

4. Your friends are your friends

So ask them why you should be someone’s girl. They may tell you things that you never would have thought of.

5. Write less, say more

Do you remember that Friends episode where Ross cheats on Rachel and then Rachel writes a long letter to him? Even though Ross was in the wrong, and he loved her, and he was heartbroken, he *still* could not get through the whole letter.

Why? See Tip 1.

So write less but say more. Note that this is different than “say less.” You can convey volumes in just a few words.

Consider:

  • Hemingway’s six word story, “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”
  • Alan Moore’s six word story, “machine. Unexpectedly, I’d invented a time”

Or the famous <55 word Bedtime Story by Jeffrey Whitmore

“Careful, honey, it’s loaded,” he said, reentering the bedroom.
Her back rested against the headboard. “This for your wife?”
“No. Too chancy. I’m hiring a professional.”
“How about me?”
He smirked. “Cute. But who’d be dumb enough to hire a lady hit man?”
She wet her lips, sighting along the barrel.“Your wife.”

Say more. Write less.

6. When you do say something, let it be real OR The “Well, who doesn’t?” test

If you can answer something you write with the words, “Well who doesn’t?” don’t put it in.

  • I like relaxing.
  • I like hanging out with my friends.

Try something like, “You’ll have to put up with my best friend Sandy who likes to randomly show up with bottles of rum and a sad story. After all, I do.”

The above fails the WWD test, so it can stay in a profile. Added bonus: What else does the statement communicate? You have cool friends. You can pound rum. You listen. etc.

7. Don’t state the obvious

If you look at the first part of this series: 10 Tips on how to write a good Match, OK Cupid, or POF dating profile: Part 1- Men you’ll see that I tell people to search for their own sex first (Tip 1) and then write a line as to what they are not looking for (Tip 7).

Regarding the former, don’t write, “I can’t believe I’m on a dating site!” or “I never thought I’d be doing this but here goes.” – go through some women’s profiles and tick off how many times you see that.

As a related topic, don’t repeat yourself. Say what you mean to say, have it be real and non-obvious, and move on.

Now, regarding the latter…

8. Don’t complain

Most women’s profiles put up dozens of lines of what they think they don’t want. Here’s the thing:

Women People have no idea what they actually want.

That’s why Steve Jobs famously never used marketing surveys.

It’s hard for [people] to tell you what they want when they’ve never seen anything remotely like it. Take desktop video editing. I never got one request from someone who wanted to edit movies on his computer. Yet now that people see it, they say, ‘Oh my God, that’s great!’

Can’t tell you how many times I’ve been out and about where some girl says to me, I never dated a Chinese guy before. And my response was always, “That’s too bad, we’re lovely.” But in my head I thought, “You never met a guy like me.”

On the reverse, spent the entirety of my teens and 20s thinking I wanted a nice Asian girl and ended up marrying an Irish-Italian. Don’t cut out the guy you think you don’t want unless you are absolutely sure based on actual experience.

9. Music is not a hobby

Nor is watching television. These are not hobbies. These are passive activities; a hobby requires active mental and physical engagement.

A hobby is like mixed-martial arts, pottery-making, improv, etc.

If you don’t have any, get some. You’ll find that if you do interesting things, you’ll be more interesting. And people like “interesting.”

10. Put in an Easter Egg
If you actually follow these tips, you may end up like my friend Casey who put up her profile and then had to immediately take it down because of the deluge of emails.

If that’s the case, ignore 7 and slip in an Easter Egg, which is something that shows the guy took the time to read what you did write – especially since, after reading this amazing list of tips, what your wrote is devoid of fluff.

Things I like are:

  • If you think this is all interesting, please include your favourite coffeehouse in Manhattan in the subject line.
  • Please respond with your favourite Tupac line as the subject.
  • Please respond with your preference: butter or cream frosting.

Something simple and fun. Because dating should be simple and fun, yeah?

Far Side cartoon - obviously not my copyrightIf 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

Subscribe!
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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

Subscribe!
Like this post? Tell someone about it by clicking a button below.