I’m so frustrated with many of the men who are writing to me. From their first sentence (“hello, gorgeous”), it’s obvious they haven’t bothered to read my profile. If they had, they could see that I’ve very clearly stated a couple of deal breakers (politics/religion). But guys whom I have NOTHING in common with, my polar opposites on the things that are most important to me, write me all the time! They simply comment on my appearance and state how much they’d “like to get to know me.” Yeah, right. If they truly want to get to know me, then why don’t they flipping READ what I took the time to write?! Many men just send out “canned” messages or “lines.” The worst one so far was, “You must be a baked potato because you’re HOT.” OMG!!
Kathleen, can you please set them straight?
Veronica T., Austin, Texas
We’ve all heard that when it comes to dating, men are visually motivated, but to be fair, everyone, male and female, looks at the photos first. But there are some people who don’t take it further than that, and unfortunately, most of them are men.
For the guys who DO read profiles (we love you! We really do!), this column does not apply to you. You’re the guys who take the time to write something personal, who are actually trying to make a connection. I applaud you, and place the laurel wreath of honor on your head. So forgive me while I go on to insult your lazy brethren.
Guys, if you read nothing else, read this: if you don’t take the time to personalize your messages to the gals you’re interested in, they’re not going to write you back.
Casting a wide net doesn’t work
I’ve heard from several men who believe finding the right gal is simply a numbers game… send out that canned email to as many gals as you possibly can. The more women you contact, the more ladies will respond, right? WRONG.
There is no greater turn-off than not being heard. When you sit down in front of your computer and send the same generic email (“Hello, gorgeous”) to every face that pops up in your search, guess what? We can tell. You’re actually shrinking your potential pool of matches when you do this, by effectively telling every woman you contact that she’s nothing special, and not worth your effort. You’re also telling her that you’re lazy. Sorry if that offends. There are a few women who are guilty of the same thing, but statistically, this really is a male problem.
Do you really want anchovies?
Look at it this way. You don’t order everything on the menu hoping the server will bring you something you like, do you? What if they put anchovies on your pizza? What if you get strawberry cake when you really wanted chocolate? If you put a little effort into it, you might just find someone who fits with your life as opposed to anybody that happens to respond.
First, start local. What’s the point of attempting a long distance relationship when neither of you are going to want the complications of relocating your kids, or moving away from the grandkids?
Next, look at those who match your likes and dislikes, and then, read her profile. Pay attention to deal-breakers. Don’t email a non-smoker if you smoke (sure you plant to quit, but do it for YOU first). Pay particular attention to religion, politics, and “wants kids.” Don’t say you want kids if you don’t, and vice versa. And don’t send her biblical quotes if her profile says she’s not religious!
Guaranteed action plan
If you really want to find a good match, set aside a half hour every night to read a couple of profiles. When you find someone whose profile you actually respond to, take the time to write a nice note to her; at least 15 minutes. I mean it! Use her name. Check your spelling (I’m serious…Wired magazine says that men who use good grammar get 31% more responses). Say something cute, but not obnoxious (no baked potatoes). If you must compliment her beauty, keep it short; you don’t want to appear shallow. Use words like “lovely” or “beautiful” instead of “hot” or “sexy.” Use your manners. You’re supposed to be seeking a dating relationship, not a hook-up. Don’t just say, “Hey, I like your profile, here’s mine.” If you both like hiking, mention your favorite place. If she likes wine, ask if she’s been to a certain winery. If she likes the wrong football team, talk a little smack (in a playful way… don’t cuss her out in your first email!).
I know this seems like work. There are guys (and girls) who would rather dig ditches in the snow than write. But guess what? Effort shows. Consider it an investment in time. You’ll stand out in the crowd of generic “Hey, beautiful” messages she gets every day, and I guarantee you’ll see better results. Women will actually start writing you back! And isn’t that why you’re here?