First Five: First Contact

** As I began formulating these, I wondered from which angle I should approach them; speaking to men, women or both; online, in person or both. So I guess I’ll try to tackle it from both perspectives as best I can. Considering most of my readers are female and my experiences are generally online, that will probably be the focus most of the time. If you have any questions or suggestions, please let me know. **

First Contact is that initial communication you use to reach out and elicit a response from someone you are interested in meeting.

It used to be that opening line (a.k.a. pick-up line) you would use to try to strike up a conversation with someone at a bar, dance club, laundromat, grocery store or wherever you met potential partners.

You’d see someone who physically got your attention, fueling that desire to want to meet them. Experienced pick-up artists would always have a good opening line that would spark a woman’s interest, while so many others would use some cheesy pick-up line, comment on her eyes or smile, only just say “Hi” hoping she would just open up to him, or heaven forbid some would even be crude or just mean (thinking any type of conversation would lead to an opportunity to build rapport with her.

Not much has changed in the online world.

So many of the same mistakes are being made by guys on Match, eHarmony, PlentyofFish, Tinder, Zoosk, FarmersOnly, you name it. I have lots of women (whether exes, past dates, or just friends) sharing their experiences with me, and guys don’t seem to have changed much. Some think that a simple “Hi” will open the gates to Heaven, while others fall back to the standard comments about eyes or smiles, some still try cheesy lines like “Did it hurt falling from Heaven?”, or worse yet, are perverted, crash or vulgar.

And I have to compete with these idiots on a daily basis! No wonder it is so hard to break through with a woman when she’s bombarded with these kinds of guys every time she opens up her dating site.

Look, let’s be honest here, there are a lot more men online looking for women than the other way around. Dating sites all “report” the ratio is anywhere from 60/40 to 50/50. But once you remove the fake, spam, and illegitimate profiles, the true statistics report that women are outnumbered anywhere from 10-1 to 100-1 depending on the site and metrics (age range, population size, etc).

And yes, dating sites intentionally publish fake female sites in order to even out the numbers to keep the men around. Otherwise the men would see how truly imbalanced it is and just not even bother wasting their money. Hence the fake and spam profiles which pollute the dating pool. It’s something women really don’t have to deal with.

OK, let’s get back on track.

Here are a few DO’s and DON’T’s when reaching out to the potential Mrs. Joe Singleguy.

DON’T:

  • Just say “Hi” or “Hey”. The ladies don’t like that and won’t respond to it. Trust me.
  • Comment on her smile or eyes in the first message. And please, I beg you, don’t use a line like “I like big butts and I cannot lie,” or even worse “Wow! I would love to motorboat those.” These are all verified comments made to women I know. So …
  • Use a cheesy pick-up line like “Someone had better call the cops because you just stole my heart.”
  • Try to infer her real name from her profile name. Even if you think you know it, don’t try. Women find that annoying. Let her tell you on her terms.
  • Comment on her kids if they are in her pictures. Do you want to advertise that you have a Blue Dot over your house? Now, she shouldn’t really have pictures of her kids on there anyway, but stay away from commenting on them just yet.

Now for a few things to actually DO:

  • Actually read her profile! I can’t stress how important this is. You’d be surprised how many guys just peruse the pictures and have no idea what’s in her profile. It’s a dating site not Playboy.
  • Pick something from her profile that really intrigued you and comment or ask her about that.
  • Take it a step further and pick something from near the end of her profile to comment or ask about to show you actually read her profile completely.
  • Be witty (if you can, I understand some guys think they’re funny but really aren’t). Try to work something about her profile into a witty comment that will make her chuckle. Believe it or else, women really do want a guy to make them laugh. That is the biggest hook for most women, and thank goodness I’m funny.
  • Keep it short! Don’t write a book the first time. Pick out one or two things (max) to comment on. You’re just trying to open the door here to get your foot in the door with her, not fit your moving truck with all your baggage in it. Maybe you’ll get that far if you’re lucky. But not this time.
  • Try to avoid saying “If you like my profile maybe we can talk sometime.” Grow some balls, show some confidence and say “I look forward to hearing from you soon.” What do you have to lose? Nothing. This is ground Zero. If you think you’re embarrassing yourself with her, who cares. Better than showing her you’re a sniveling weakling begging for her attention. Act like you deserve her attention.

Following these steps won’t guarantee she’ll respond but it definitely will increase your chances and set you apart from all of the “other guys” out there.

And if all goes well and she does respond, then start peeling back the onion of your life. Take it easy and follow her lead.  Don’t ask too many deeply personal questions right away. Don’t ask for her kids’ names and stuff like that. She’ll share that stuff when she’s ready.

And whatever you do, don’t – and I repeat DO NOT – send her inappropriate pictures of your “junk”, and definitely DO NOT ask her to send you inappropriate pictures of her. Don’t be a classless douche.

There is so much more to cover between here and getting to the First Date. But we can’t cover that all here. But if you have questions, feel free to ask. I’m more than happy to help.

In the next installment, I’ll talk about the First Date. I’ll briefly discuss getting the First Date, but mainly focus on the DO’s and DON’Ts of what to do on the first date (if you really are interested in a relationship).

So please check back for more, or you can click the “Follow” button on the right to subscribe to the blog, or follow me on Twitter to get all of the latest updates and more.

And as always, Thank You for reading!

 

The “First Five” of Dating

I’ll be the first to admit I’m not dating expert. I’m still single three years post-divorce and in my 40s. But one thing I do have is experience. And that experience seems to help others a lot more than it helps me.

Over the next few weeks, I’m going to be talking about what I call the “First Five of Dating.” These are the First Five milestones of any dating relationship. We’ll cover each one individually and in depth, but we’ll go over each one here real quick.

The First Five of Dating are the:

  1. First Contact
  2. First Date
  3. First Kiss
  4. First Sex
  5. First Time Saying “I Love You

First Contact is the first time you reach out to your prospective date, whether in person or online. It sets the tone for everything else to come.

First Date is, obviously, when to set the first date, how to prepare and what to do and what not to do.

First Kiss, again, is obvious, but it’s still something we need to discuss.

First Sex is a bit more tricky than the previous three. We’ll talk about how long is appropriate to wait, how to read the signs, how to test the waters, and more. No tricks!

First Time Saying “I Love You is a much more delicate and patient step. It could take weeks, maybe months, but we’ll discuss when it’s appropriate and also how to read the signs so you don’t scare your date off.

While putting this together, I had debated – and even had it recommended – that I also include the “First Fight” in this list. But I want to keep this positive. Developing a strong relationship should be based on positives. Yes, there are going to be disagreements, there always are. But that doesn’t belong here. Maybe I’ll address the “First Fight” on it’s own another time.

So please stop back and follow the discussion. You can sign up for email updates by clicking the “Follow” box in the right column, or follow me on Twitter. Please send any questions you have about each discussion ahead of time and I will try to answer or address each one, if I can. And please make sure you join each discussion.

As always, thanks for reading, and I will see you all again soon.