If you like shopping for hours on end, online dating may be perfect for you. You can spend days and weeks perusing profiles, exchanging emails, and dreaming of meeting Mr. Virtual Big. But if you’re a woman who takes a more wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am approach to shopping for a man, you may require a few tips that will help you expedite the cyber dating process. After all, the point is to sign up, meet someone, and get off (the site, that is). After the jump, some advice to help you find your perfect match.1. Match.com is a meat market. Just say no. Most dudes on there are pervs. If you want to wade through 100 emails and winks a day from pervs to get one non-perv, by all means, be our guest. Just remember you’re paying for that luxury. Find another site that’s more relationship-oriented, if that’s what you’re looking for.
2. Approach date shopping like book editors pick books. Book editors are deluged by manuscripts from agents who are trying to get their authors published. The way editors deal with this onslaught is by looking for a reason to reject each manuscript. That way, they only take the best. Harsh? Yes. Kind? No. Time waster it is not.
3. Most guys will reveal their real selves within three to five emails. Honestly, most guys aren’t a match for you, and your job is to figure out which ones are and which ones aren’t as efficiently as possible. After you’ve avoided, blocked, and ignored the obvious nos, see if the chosen crop of prospective candidates can get through three to five email exchanges with you without killing you with boredom, offering to have sex with you, or telling you about their recent term at the insane asylum.
4. Don’t go out with dudes you’re not that into. There’s a group of women out there who make it hard for the rest, because they go out with guys they’re not that interested in, they string those guys along, and they make guys feel like all women are playing games. Would you want to go out on a date with a guy who’s not that into you because he was bored or didn’t want to hurt your feelings? We think not.
5. Remember what matters. Don’t go out with a living Mr. Potato Head, and if tow truck drivers don’t float your boat, by all means, pass, but remember what is important here. Heck, make a list. If looks, income, and body type are at the top of your list, well, bully for you, but you might want to reassess your priorities. What matters in the long run, or, better yet, reality? Intelligence, kindness, and emotional generosity. Find those, and you’ve picked a winner.
6. Don’t engage in a marathon courtship. If he’s survived the emails test and lives within 100 miles, go out with the guy within a week. Email, dating profiles, and, God forbid, chat are nothing compared to what you’ll learn IRL. It’s better to know for sure one way or another than build up a set of unrealistic expectations that neither of you can fulfill.
7. Be careful. There are some real weirdos out there. And liars. And scammers. Find out what his full name is and Google the heck out of him. Meet him in a public place, let someone know who you’re going out with and check in with your point person mid-date, and do not get wasted. Stranger danger happens! You don’t want to wish you’d looked out for yourself better in hindsight, when it’s too late.
8. Get happy. Nobody wants to hear about how you hate your new haircut, you can’t stand your job, and you’re totally lonely. These things may be true, but try and save them for a later date. I mean, would you want to go out with a guy who was negative about his life, who he is, and the world in general? Dating is supposed to be fun. If your life is a Hollywood movie, wouldn’t you want it to have a happy ending?
9. Know what you’re really after. If you just got out of a relationship, and you’re all hurt and wounded, so you tell yourself, “I don’t really want to be with anyone right now,” even though you really do, you need to get your facts straight with yourself. If you tell your friends, “I don’t care, I just want to have a one-night stand!” but you feel crappy after you do, you’re kidding yourself. Meditate on what you really want, and it may manifest right in front of you.
10. There’s nothing wrong with being picky. Girlfriends telling you that your standards are too high? Your mother advising you that you should just settle? Your boss wants to set you up with the guy who operates the elevator? Ignore them. When you see what you want, you’ll know it. Lowering the bar, going on pointless dates, and doubting yourself will only prolong the time it takes for you to meet The One. Then, you can get the hell off that dating site.