Welcome back for part 2 of A Man’s Guide to Online Dating. If you’re here, it means you either have thick skin and aren’t easily offended, or you stumbled across this post and haven’t actually read part 1 yet. If you haven’t, you might want to go back and give it a read, just so you know what you’re getting into. To make it easier, I’ll even provide you with a LINK.
So let’s get back to it.
Follow Up Messages
Remember in part 1 when I was talking about that first message? Do you remember what the first tip was?
Keep doing that, for a start. Be considerate. Ask questions…real questions. Above all else, always be aware that somewhere, on the other end of a bunch of wires and electricity, there is a person. One you think you may be interested in. Just because you’re staring at a computer screen or the screen on your cell phone doesn’t actually mean this whole online dating thing is anonymous and consequence-free. Quite the contrary.
So instead of being rude or crude, be interesting. Reveal bits about yourself (no, not those bits) and your potential lifemate will likely reveal some interesting tidbits about themselves. One of the ways I tell if someone might be interested is if they actually engage in conversation (according to Merriam-Webster.com: an oral–or in this case written–exchange of sentiments, observations, opinions, or ideas). The way conversations often occur is one person makes a statement then asks a question, quite often related to the statement (“I like Bruce’s blog, do you?”). If the other person responds the same way–answer or statement, then a question–you are now engaged in conversation. On the other hand, if the response is simply an answer to your question and nothing more, it’s time to evaluate your next strategic step. A couple more questions to see what kind of response you get might be the way to go, but you need to remember that some women will answer simply to be polite. If they only answer and they don’t engage, it’s probably time to move on and read the next section: Dealing With Rejection.
The important thing is to follow the lead she provides. Act like you are sitting in a coffee shop talking to her. In other words, don’t start hitting on her unless she opens the door. No one wants be hit over the head with your penis, or talk about your penis, or how your penis performs, or what your penis does. Somewhere down the road that might be a thing, but not until she let’s you know. Think of it this way, gentlemen…how would you feel if you were having a normal online exchange with a woman, perhaps about your careers, and without warning, she brings up menstruation? Wouldn’t be impressed, would you? To a woman, your dick is a bloody pad. Your unwanted sexual advances are a used tampon floating in the toilet. Fucking stop it.
(Addendum: ladies, there is nothing wrong with menstruation. It is perfectly natural. The above example is meant to play off of most men’s aversion to your monthly flow and in no way reflects the author’s opinion on the matter nor is it meant to pass any judgement).
How do you know when it’s time to move to flirtation? That sounds like another full blog post, doesn’t it? Mark it on your calendar…we’ll get back to it.
If messages carry on…congratulations, it sounds like you may be on your way to the first
major goal: a date. Perhaps better called a meeting in this day and age because, let’s face it, that first get together often feels more like a job interview than a first date. The conversation does not, however, entitle you to said meeting or anything else from this woman, so don’t suddenly turn into a prick if things go south.
Dealing With Rejection
Let’s face it, guys, when it comes to online dating, the one thing that is going to happen more than anything else is rejection. Whether that manifests in a message that’s read and deleted, a polite “I like your profile but we’re just not a match,” a date that goes nowhere, or a conversation that ends abruptly with no apparent reason, it happens. And it happens a lot. So what are you going to do?
The answer to that is far more simple than you might think: move along.
Don’t whine and beg. If someone portrays that they aren’t interested, assume that means they aren’t interested. Do you really want to try and talk them into a date? Isn’t the site called Plenty of Fish for a reason?
More importantly, don’t get angry. Or, at least, don’t share your anger with the world at large, and certainly not with the woman who rejected you. She doesn’t owe you anything because you typed a few words on a screen…not even a reason. I get it, you are hurt…you’re charming, easy on the eyes, have successfully survived your life so far without felony charges, and even Leo DiCaprio sports a dad bod, so how can anyone turn you down? The reason doesn’t matter, it just is. Your anger and name calling doesn’t change anything. It only confirms what she obviously suspected and, truthfully, does it really do anything to make you feel better knowing that you acted like a complete asshole? Is that who you want to be in the world? If that’s how you’re going to treat people, then who the fuck is going to want to date you, anyway?
Welcome to the Haunted House
It’s a 21st century phenomena. (According to Urban Dictionary: The act of suddenly ceasing all communication with someone… This is done in hopes the ghostee will just “get the hint” and leave the subject alone, as opposed to the subject telling them he/she is no longer interested. Ghosting is not specific to a certain gender and is closely related to the subject’s maturity and communication skills. Many attempt to justify ghosting as a way to cease dating the ghostee without hurting their feelings, but it in fact proves the subject is thinking more of themselves, as ghosting often creates more confusion for the ghostee than if the subject kindly stated how he/she feels.)
It sucks. Not quite as bad as actually being stood up on a date, but it still sucks. And I pretty much guarantee we’ve all done it, because it’s easy. No confrontation, no explanation, no stress…at least for the ghoster. As someone who has been ghosted enough times I’ve considered changing my name to “Hill House,” I can tell you it simply bites. As a man, though, I ask myself why this is a thing that women sometimes do. Women are generally more concerned about the feelings of others than men, so maybe they think it’s an easier let down than having to say “I’m just not that into you.”
The reality, in my opinion? Too many women have encountered the wrath of men who don’t know how to handle rejection and do what they think they need to in order to avoid it. If many times you offered a polite “thanks, but no thanks,” and were subsequently called names and treated to a diatribe of how sorry you’d be for passing on such a great opportunity (because great opportunities would definitely react in this manner, right?), I bet you’d rethink your response, too.
So, to try to put a tidy little bow on the first two parts of my dating guide, I think I’d sum things up with two points:
- Treat all your online interactions as though you’re sitting in the middle of a coffee shop having a conversation. You wouldn’t be rude, start, yelling, or calling people names, and you definitely wouldn’t suddenly pull out your dick.
- Behave like a polite human being who cares about other people.
I know it sounds pretty basic but, from what I hear, there are some kind of Black Mirror-esque gamma waves emitted by computers and cell phones when they are tuned to dating sites that make some men’s minds turn to mush.
Don’t let it happen to you.
Until next time, make sure you have a read of some of my previous posts:
And about what got me back to blogging here.