In my last post I talked about an experiment that got one woman over 3000 messages into her online dating inbox and what women can learn from it in regards to their own dating profiles. But that’s only one half of what we can learn from this. Our test subject spent days reading through all the messages she got and even went on a few dates with men who contacted her. If you want to know how to attract and keep the attention of a woman who’s getting a lot of action on her online dating profile, you’ll find the following information useful.
1. You absolutely must have good photos
This woman has thousands of men contacting her. Why should she pay attention to you? The first thing anyone does when they get a message from someone is pull up the pic. What stood out to our online dating explorer was that most men have really crappy profile pics. Unlike women, hardly any guys go to professional photographers to get a decent set made. While I agree that having professional photos taken for a dating profile can appear over the top in some circles, studio head shots are at the extreme end of the spectrum. On the other end are all those crappy afterthought photos or strange things I’ve already written about here. In between are things like, you know, putting some actual thought into how you present yourself online, or getting a good photographer to shoot you in a natural setting. If you want an attractive woman to click through to your message or profile, show her it’s worth her while.
2. Your first message is important
I usually say a good picture is more important than a good first message and that you can get away with something generic if your picture is really good. While that is true on many dating sites and most apps, the user interface does factor into this. On the site we tried, the inbox looks kinda like Gmail. You get a small thumbnail of the guy’s profile pic, next to the first part of the message. Some thumbnails are not big enough to get a proper impression of the guy, so if the message appears short, boring or weird, you’re not going to bother clicking on it. There are so many others, after all!
So know your playing field. A great picture may be enough to get you noticed somewhere like OKCupid, Tinder, etc., but it might not be enough on a site that shrinks it down. You might need to couple it with a killer first message if you want to get through. The first sentence is especially important.
Here are some things we didn’t like
- Short, generic “hi, how are you?”s – work on Tinder, but not somewhere like this, where the text is as much of a selling point as the picture.
- Overly long messages get boring very quickly when you have 3000 other messages to read.
- Creepy erotica involving the subject, considering the guy’s never spoken to her before (yes, that really happens).
- Messages asking for a date straight away, without providing any info about the guy, or leading to a boring profile and uninspiring photos.
Things we did like
- Messages of around 50 words, showing the guy’s read the profile and is showing interest in what was said in it.
- Strong first sentences – anything from a direct quote from the profile (as a way of starting a conversation) to something totally quirky and out there to grab the woman’s attention (but not creepy sexual stuff, as we’ve not established mutual interest yet, thanks!)
- Messages that explain why the guy thinks he’s compatible, when that actually appears to be the case.
3. What have you got to offer?
One thing that stood out to our test subject was that so many men take a shot at someone extraordinary, while “appearing extremely ordinary themselves”. OK, so our lady has high standards and is quite selective (and she said this herself in her profile), but I’m sure many of the guys she rejected are actually a lot more interesting than their profiles would imply. These guys just don’t know what to write, or have not spent any time thinking about it. You might not think your profile text is important, but you can be sure that any discerning woman will use it to decide whether or not she wants to answer your message. So if you’re aiming for a woman who has a choice of guys, it’s not enough to try your luck. You need to put your best possible self in your profile to have a chance of standing out from the crowd. Make your profile more detailed, sing your own praises, think about what makes you you. Otherwise, you’re likely to be ignored.
4. Don’t lie about stuff that’s easily found out
“There are absolutely no short guys on that site, if you believe the profiles,” said our rather tall test subject. Unfortunately, once she went on actual dates with some of those tall guys, she discovered what us online dating professionals already know: men constantly lie about their height online. Don’t. Women who care about height will walk away if you’re too short for them. If you tell the truth, you’ll get women who are either perfectly happy with your height or are willing to compromise because your other qualities make up for it. Tricking women into dating you and hoping they’ll fall for you regardless of you being the wrong height for them is risky for you and annoying for women. So just don’t. And yes, in case you’re wondering, the same applies to lying about the size of your penis.
5. Know the score and don’t let rejection reflect badly on you
In our experiment, the woman outright said she’s very selective and looking for just one guy who meets her high standards, so guys ought to know what they’re getting into. Still, lots of guys like the concept of the challenge, but go in without much to show for themselves, only to get badly disappointed when things don’t work out.
It’s good to aim high, and I’ll go as far as saying that while aiming high, you shouldn’t talk yourself down by trying to be “realistic”. You should believe in yourself, believe it’s possible for you to get with the woman of your dreams and work at it from a place of hope and determination. So yes, put up the best photos, send out the best messages you can think of, make your profile shine and pimp yourself up to go on that first date. But if the woman is not interested in you, it’s time to bring out those realistic expectations and understand that you might just not be what she wants, and she can afford to aim high herself, as she’s got plenty of other options to look at. So basically, try for it like you can’t fail, and move on from it as if you never had a chance of winning.