“5 ways to crack online dating” is giving advice about – yes, you guessed it, online dating. They were giving the wrong kind of advice in my opinion.
“1. Avoid filling out your dating profile like a CV”
We have written about this a million times and you will find 100s of articles about how to write a profile. In my books, if you can just fill out the form and write at least one coherent phrase you are good to go. A well written profile will not guarantee you a date with a decent person, nor does the person with an awww-inspiring profile will be the right match.
“2. Use Facebook and WhatsApp to your advantage” the article claims.
How is using your Facebook and WhatsApp to your advantage? For WhatsApp as far as I know, you need to give your phone number to add someone. So unless you do not have any data on your plan, which nowadays is so cheap it is highly unlikely, why use WhatsApp? Why not use your phone number? I use WhatsApp for my friends who are overseas.
Facebook. Why would you add a total stranger to your Facebook account? Why let a stranger go through all your pictures which probably included pictures of your kids, family and friends? What advantage is that? The article reads:
“you get to see more photos and read about their background and find out about the kind of circles they prefer to hangout in. By doing this, you also get to discover your mutual friends (if any), which will give you more to talk about.”
Pictures do not tell about who you are and your background history is none of the business of a stranger. Having mutual friends is not going to make a date more likely or improve your relationship. Okay, if you do have mutual friends, you can ask questions BUT at the end of the day if you want to know someone, meet them face to face. You can be posting only happy pictures on your Facebook and in reality you are a totally depressed or deranged person and those pictures would represent the 1% of the time you are actually happy. Pictures do not say it all! So, NO, do not add a person you have never met onto your Facebook account.
“3. Don’t ignore the red flags your instincts keep flashing”
That is probably the only advise that is correct on this article. But to be honest I am guilty of ignoring the red flags most of the time and finding out the hard way.
“4. Wait for at least a week before meeting”
Why wait? What exactly are you going to gain by waiting?
“It is always a better and, not to mention, a safer idea to do chat with the person for at least a week or two on WhatsApp and figure out how genuine the opposite person is and if both of you are on the same page or not in terms of what you expect from him/her.”
And so I waited. Three weeks, not by choice. The guy was apparently away in the mines for work (something quite common over here). What did I gain? Let’s see:
A few months ago, I decided to use my OKCupid account. What I hate about OKCupid is that I always receive a lot of messages from the 18-24 years old range. I am not interested in dating younger guys anymore as I am after a long term relationship.
Anyway, I go through my messages and decided to check this guy’s profile before responding. He had 3 pictures but none of them showed his face. One was of his top body part with a shirt on so you can see he has an athletic body. On the next one, he is wearing sunglasses and a hat so I cannot tell at all what he looked like. The third picture is of a sunset. The rest of his profile is brief. One sentence in each category such as “I work hard I enjoy my week off I live in Brisbane” not bothering about punctuation or capital letters where needed. But I decided to reply.
In response to his message, I decided to ask him about updating his profile with a proper face picture. He replied that he could send me one on KIK. As I was reading his reply, the alarm bell went: Another one of those guys who want to send nude pictures I thought. So I told him no. If he wanted to show me pictures he could just add them to his profile. It is not that hard really! He refused but carried on sending me messages.
I think all dating sites should offer the option to have private images, it could be a premium feature but there is no reason whatsoever to be on a dating and not showing your face. What have you got to hide? I don’t mind giving my phone number, because worst case scenario I will block the person if problems arise.
Anyway, he carried on messaging me. His messages were short, just a few words most of the time which annoyed me. Though we did have a few things in common and he was never rude or out of line. But the conversations were mostly close ended. Until one day he gave me his number and asked me to ring him.
I called. We talked for about an hour. He may not like to write but he loves to talk and the conversation was flowing. There were never any awkward silences between us. But he was away for work for three weeks. His work schedule is three weeks on, one week off. Here, it is quite common for guys to work in the mines as it is good money so I could not hold this against him. He also sent me a picture of himself. A bit far away, but he looked okay. And it is just so much nicer to be able to put a face on a name.
I did locate his Facebook account and he knew that as he was looking at my account too. His account had the same pictures as his profiles and was not revealing anything else on top of what he had already told me.
He offered to drive to meet me on the weekend. The drive is 500km. It was a nice gesture but I refused because I still had doubts about him. And if he had driven I would have felt obliged or terribly sorry if we did not get along for whatever reason. “Oh poor guy, he drove 500km to see me, surely I can make an effort…” So I chose to wait three weeks, I called every few days and we sent a few text messages almost daily. He was just not into the “sending messages” part and much prefer to talk and that was fine by me.
He was coming home on a Wednesday night. We had planned dinner up here the following night. I did not hear from him on Wednesday when I knew his plane had landed. I sent him a text asking about his flight. He replied it was fine and that he was tucking his kids in. It was quite late for me so I just ended it with goodnight.
The next day I sent him a text asking him what was the plan for tonight.
“Was coming to see u but I have car issues can we re-schedule please?”
I replied okay, but did not believe a word in that message. I blocked him and deactivated my OKCupid account after that.
Also, about that guy – I noticed his profile on my visitors’ page on Badoo. He is using a different first name.
So: 4. Wait for at least a week before meeting from the article is BS.
Do you really think you can figure out if someone is genuine by chatting for a week or two? For all you know, his/her best friend might be writing the messages and tell you a load of BS. Waiting and chatting will only give you high hopes. So get it over and done with already. Meet up within 48 hours so you can remove doubts, insecurities and building yourself up for something that might not be true.
And if you can or if you are concerned about being catfished, organise a video call before you meet up. If the person comes up with an excuse for not wanting to be on a camera, RUN!
5. Don’t rush into physical intimacy
“[…] if you’re looking to get something more meaningful out of your online dating experience, don’t hesitate to express your desire to form a deeper emotional connection with your date before engaging in coitus, like Sheldon Cooper would say.”
So waiting to have sex is going to give you a more meaningful relationship? What if you really like each other but then sexually you find out you are not compatible? What if you discover that he is hardcore into BDSM and you are absolutely not into it? I mean there are so many scenarios that could go wrong. I say go with what feels right to you. There are no rules written about when you should have sex.
Good luck, have fun and please be careful no matter what.