How to Avoid the Most Common Mistakes Men Make with Online Dating

Three Methods:Creating a Good ProfileMessaging ThoughtfullyMeeting the New Date

If you're not having much success with online dating and you're a man, you're probably making the same mistakes over and over again. Nowadays, women are bombarded by men every day on dating sites, and have learned how to filter out the creeps, weirdos, and plain boring guys. Avoid the same mistakes and better your chances of finding a partner online!

Method 1
Creating a Good Profile

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    Remember that when creating your profile, less is more. You want to stand out and be memorable without revealing too much. Keep your essays short, punchy, playful, and positive. Reveal enough personal detail to create a quick connection but not so much that you remove the mystery.
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    Upload 2 to 5 flattering, but accurate pictures. Resist the temptation to include out-of-date photos when you had 30 percent more hair and 20 percent fewer pounds. You should be smiling in at least one of your photos; unless you never smile in real life, 2-5 unsmiling photos will make you look uncharacteristically moody and sinister. Even if you've got a great 6-pack, don't go shirtless in any of your photos. Another bad idea, don't have an open shirt, plus unbuttoned pants to demo your "attitude", six-pack or designer underpants. Even if you look great in that photo with your ex, don't post a cutout of yourself with a phantom manicured hand on your shoulder. It is very worthwhile to have a good photographer friend or a professional take some nice shots of you.
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    Keep it real. Some readers will check your profile for accuracy at an online dating review site. And every other member will just avoid a second date if you are not the man your profile presented you to be.

Method 2
Messaging Thoughtfully

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    When messaging a potential date, say something friendly and thoughtful about her profile. Women on dating sites get dozens of messages a week from men saying nothing more than "Hi, how are you, want to meet me?" This creates the impression that many men are lazily sending the same message to as many women as possible, hoping to get a response from at least one of them, and trying to sound cool and nonchalant. This strategy backfires. You want to sound specifically interested in her, not desperate for a date with just anyone.
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    Check your spelling and grammar. It doesn't take long, and most people say that poor writing is an instant turn-off.
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    If she responds with questions about you, take the time to answer them. Be friendly.

Method 3
Meeting the New Date

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    After an introduction, suggest meeting for coffee and a chat to see if you like each other. Forget about emailing for months and getting all worked up over email. The longer you leave it before you meet, the less likely it is to happen. Ask for a coffee date in the first two weeks of emails. This will save you a lot of time and energy and disappointments. If the other person doesn’t agree to meet, move on and don’t worry about it. There are plenty more.
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    Choose the time and place if you're making the invite. People tend to respect decisive partners. So decide/suggest the cafe, time and date. If the person can’t make it when you suggest, reschedule within reason. The person will get the impression that you are not timid and are comfortable making decisions. This is good, although being pushy, demanding, or adamant is not the image you want to convey, either; find that comfortable median. If she suggests a time or location that is more convenient to her, be as accommodating as possible.
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    Set your expectations low before the first date. By keeping your cool, you will stay on your game during the date, not complicate things with "high" expectations, and thereby avoid disappointment. The goal is to have fun and see if there's potential chemistry, not to get serious and find out ASAP if you've found your ultimate soul mate.
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    Ask enough questions to keep the conversation flowing, but don't ask a long series of unrelated personal questions as if you are conducting an interview. Talk about yourself enough to let her get to know you, but don't brag about all your accomplishments or unload all your troubles.
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    Be relaxed during your date together. Don’t mention past partners or that you haven’t been dating for a long time. Just have some fun and enjoy.


  • When writing your profile, avoid the most common cliches: "I'm looking for my soul mate." (What does that mean?) "I'm looking for my best friend." (Don't you have friends now?) "If you want to know more about me, message me." (Well, of course.) "I'm not into playing games." (If they are, they sure aren't going to admit it!)
  • Treat online dating in a similar manner as you would online shopping for anything. Often there is more than one product available. Don't be afraid to shop around. Many of them have a stable full of men with whom they are chatting.
  • When describing your interests, remember that hockey, darts, pool, monster truck rallies, and hunting are chiefly male interests. It's okay to list them, but reconsider fantasizing that there are lots of women out there who'd like to do these things with you on a date. List some interests that are likely to appeal to women as well.
  • Be realistic about who you contact and expect that you will receive a small percentage of replies. Remember, for every woman on the site, there are 5 males.
  • If you are talking to several people at the same time, keep file folders for each person. Be sure to record details, for instance take notes of any favorite foods, or favorite colors to incorporate them later.
  • Avoiding common mistakes will save you a lot of time, money, energy and focus with online dating. This will prevent you from quitting before you get the results you desire and deserve.
  • Online dating works for some and just doesn't work for others. There are other methods available for finding a mate.
  • Make the first date during a weeknight. This will suggest you have a life and are busy on the weekend.


  • Women aren't the only ones who need to be careful when dating online. Men should keep their eyes out for dangerous people as well.
  • It is also easy to hide a shy, introverted personality online. Those who come off as glib, colorful, and witty in print may have a problem with spontaneous, unrehearsed conversation where if they were to talk the way they write, they would sound stilted and artificial. Many very intelligent people, nonetheless do naturally talk in a way that seems stilted, and rehearsed. They have a tendency to talk slower, choosing their words carefully. Online, one has all the time in the world to come up with flamboyant prose and quirky repartee'. Not so in realtime conversation where the talk has to flow naturally and not seem scripted.
  • Pay careful consideration to the complications of browsing in interstate and overseas profiles. It’s tempting to go get in touch with someone who lives far away, but it might also be a complete waste of your time, energy and focus. If you are not ready or willing to start a long-distance relationship (which, if successful, may eventually require one of you to relocate), then only focus on and contact people in your immediate area. Most con artists will be from out of your area (if only so, they never have to actually show up and meet you) and will eventually start asking for money (typically, for an airplane ticket, but also for family emergencies, etc.)
  • Don't get so caught up in "shopping" for a mate that you lose sight of the fact that these are real people with real feelings, hopes, dreams, thoughts, insights and perspectives. At the very least, you'll enjoy having coffee with some interesting people you otherwise would never have met. If you reach the point where you don't enjoy meeting new people - if you feel that talking to members of the opposite sex is nothing but a waste of time unless there's "chemistry," - if you find yourself complaining bitterly that there aren't enough "quality" people out there - it might be wise to consider taking a break from dating.
  • Don't compromise any of your other "must-haves," either. If your goal is to get married and you feel you can only marry someone who is Catholic, don't date an attractive confirmed Protestant "for now" until a suitable Catholic woman comes along. No one wants to be "good enough for now."
  • There's a fine line between being decisive and pushy. Don't pressure anyone to do anything the person doesn't feel comfortable doing. There's no better way to ruin your chances.
  • If the dating site has a message board, don't go on and the board and complain about your lack of results. Do not start an argument about how women don't appreciate nice guys like you. It's been done a hundred times, and it will make you look like a jerk.
    • Don't tie your emotional well-being to a keyboard and monitor. Be busy. One thing that makes a man desirable is what he does with his time. Are you a couch potato that spends hours at the keyboard, or do you lead a stimulating, interesting, active and healthy life?
  • Remember that it's easy to hide "crazy" online.The illiterate thug or the infantile troll is obvious and easy to avoid online. You just delete them. It's not the stupid ones you have to be cautious about. It is the ones who are smart enough to lure one in with everything you want to hear in the way that you want to hear it and go out of their way to seem like The Worlds Most Interesting Man/Woman". Remember that Ted Bundy came across as being highly educated and an excellent conversationalist. And that was in person with realtime conversation. So don't be lured in by SAT words and references classic literature. Especially not online where one has the convenience of a thesaurus and instant access to Wiki-everything.

Things You'll Need

  • A computer, or access to one.
  • At least two clear, recent photos of yourself (and only yourself), wearing a shirt and pants and a pleasant expression.
  • A unique, concise description of yourself.
  • A spell-checker.
  • Cash for coffee.
  • A list of your interests and goals.
  • A realistic list of your "must haves" in a partner.
  • A healthy attitude about yourself and the opposite sex.
  • Patience!

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