Ladies, some advice on online dating: the old real estate adage of location, location, location applies.
"If you're a woman, you probably want to start on Match.com because it's a bit like Target," said Andrea McGinty, matchmaker and owner of 33,000Dates.com. "It has everything from an upscale, upscale group of professionals to anything you can think of."
Online dating makes your profile an important first impression to a sea of suitors. So you want to instill a sense of confidence and a positive attitude, Ms. McGinty said. Put in some work and let your personality come through. And don't lie about your age or weight. (To learn more about online dating, read In Online Dating Sea, Lots Of Lures, Few Nibbles.)
Olivia M., 31, is always improving her profile.
"I've made a decent effort," said Olivia M. "It's always evolving, and most people do."
Avoid generic vanilla statements (remember, no hand holding walks on the beach) and really who doesn't want a nice guy traveling with you and who makes you laugh. Believe it or not, ladies, guys notice these things.
Jon H., 32, saw “I like to travel” on so many profiles that it has become the standard. "It's always in there," he said. Maron F., 65, said he avoided women who had a large dose of travel in their profile "because I'll just be a huge disappointment."
Mrs. McGinty agrees with the boys. Women use "travel," she said, as a kind of shortcut to be worldly and subtle. But travel is nice in that it is generic. If you want to include travel on your profile, please specify it.
"It doesn't mean anything until you know more about what you're talking about," she said.
Same goes for humor. Tell your prospective applicants which films make you laugh or if you giggle from British humor or something silly.
Men are visual, so photos are important. Ms. McGinty suggested five to eight tasteful full body photos of you being active alone or with friends. For example, if you're doing yoga, a tree pose is a good photo. Downward facing dog, not so much.
"You want good photos that you show and show some of your interests, not just posing," Ms. McGinty said. “Selfies are a no-no. They're kind of boring. The same goes for sunglasses. People want to see people's eyes and know what they look like. You want to represent yourself as you really are now and how you look now. "
No photos from a decade ago and, Ms. McGinty said, "Beware of headshots." Guys won't swipe right when all you have to do is headshots.
"Women with at least two full-body shots are much better than women with only headshots," she said.
And a tip for guys, if you're not water-skiing, wear your shirt in the photos.
Now for the first contact. Yes, that sounds like you are meeting earthly beings – and in a certain way you are too. After exchanging texts, have a five to ten minute phone call or video chat – just enough time to decide whether you want to meet in person. Long conversations can become uncomfortable or go so well that expectations rise. Video also gives you the opportunity to visually assess each other before deciding on the next step.
"Men say they look at the smile, the eyes, the hair, and the teeth," said Ms. McGinty. “Just as important on a FaceTime call, however, is what your expressions look like. Do you look pretty happy, a positive person? Or do you look grumpy? "
Be proactive online. Set the filters according to geographic range, age, religion, education or occupation, if these are important to you. Ms. McGinty suggested that the first meeting be held like lunch during the day as it has a normal ending. And remember – the first date with a guy is all about whether you want a second date with him. That's it, nothing more.
If Match.com is the destination for women, it is excess inventory for men.
"If you're a man, Match.com is more men than women, so it probably isn't the place for you to start," she said.
People who live in a bigger city or in a bigger market can expect more competition. So find out what you want and need in a match before settling on a dating site or app, she advised. Boys also have to work a little and improve their profile.
"Guys try a lot less," said Olivia M ..
What traveling, nice things and laughing mean for women profiles, competitiveness and spontaneity for men profiles. And they tend to lie about their size.
“I would say all the guys say they are overly competitive in everything. (It's) amazing, "said Olivia M ..
As for spontaneity, quitting a job and moving to a new city is pretty lame.
Men also tend to be less sensitive to the tone of their profile. What seems like a simple comment to them may feel more abrupt to a woman reading it.
With all the hurdles online data is faced with, people still manage to find each other. Jon H. wanted to see his grandparents one day. When a woman passed a town, she hit the "Like" button on his profile.
"It's funny how it works," said the 32-year-old investment banker. "If I hadn't driven that day, I wouldn't have met my four year old friend who (now) lives with me and whom I love."
Olivia M. recently met someone through friends – the old-fashioned way.