Now, I recognize that my wisdom is limited in that I've been dating a long time and still haven't found my best friend and lover... but the years have taught when to invest my time and energy and when to just cut bait.
Most of today's advice centers on what to avoid in online dating pursuits. Perhaps I'll share my own 'He's just not into you' rules for traditional dating, another time.
So here goes. Single Solitary Advice for online 'dating'. ( if there are any men peeking in - there's a thing or two to learn here for you too!)
Let's start with the profiles.
Just like the advice for poison ivy- leaves of three, let it be... if these three things are present, don't even engage him!
1. His photos obscure his face, either in shadows, by distance or with something sporty like ski goggles, motorcycle helmets etc. ~ this is a sure sign that he's not available. He's cheating on someone and is hoping not to be identified.
2. His only photo is a shot of his well-carved chest and abdominal muscles. Yes, they're nice - rock hard - and we do appreciate them. ~He's telling you this is all he has to offer - or - all he's willing to offer. He's just looking for someone who thinks he's hot and will get on her back in short order.
3. All of his pictures are self-portraits, taken in either the bathroom mirror or a mirror of some sort. This indicates two things. A) he's not really taking online dating seriously enough to make an effort. He's not going to put forth effort with you either. B) He may not have any friends... he hasn't been to a wedding or any social event in more than 2 years?! How else do you explain having NO photos of yourself taken by someone else? He can't even ask a neighbor kid to take his picture in the yard? If he has his shirt off in these self-portraits... run -don't walk- away.
Now, some may argue that these are all circumstantial. And that could be true. Use your own judgment on one or two of these red flags. But trust me, if all three are present - you don't want to go there.
Next up, red flag behaviors.
You've gotten to know one another on the dating site and now it's time to meet. You exchange phone numbers and it's time to make a plan...
1. If he only texts and never actually calls you. AND you get a yuck feeling from his choice of words and abbreviations. For example, one guy in his texts addressed me as QT. An abbreviation for cutie to be sure... but ... um ...NO! I am not 15 years old. That's just icky. Plus, my profile indicates that I'm a journalist... know your audience!!These tips are not all inclusive. But based on experience - you can't go wrong by following this advice. You may think it's unfair to knock someone out of the running on one or two of these behaviors... but if you overlook them ... do a favor and let me know how it turns out.
2. He's asking you to come to his area of town for a first meeting/date... rather than coming to you. Say... NO! You are worth the trip and if he's serious about dating he needs to make this effort. At the very least, he should agree to meet at a mid-point. The red flag is ... if he's asking you to come to him... he's trying to get you home. If you decide to go anyway, make sure you never lose sight of your drink. Befriend the bartender.
3. If after numerous texts and/ or phone calls, he still hasn't established WHERE to meet at least 12 hours in advance of the date... you NO go. Again, if he's serious about dating, and he's a gentleman - he's not going to let this happen. You are a prize. You are a busy woman. You deserve firm, well-thought out plans even if you have to make them yourself. If he's still up in the air with less than 12 hours on the clock - he's not worth it.
My gut is well-educated. And here for your service.
Men, if you dispute my findings - I can respect that - but this is a learning experience. If you do any of these things... these are the conclusions women will draw. These are points on which you can easily accommodate us, rather than the other way around.