Online dating has its own set of rules! If you’re looking to take your online love offline, don’t make these three critical mistakes:

1. Get Offline Quick!

Don’t chat or email online for too long; instead take your new romance offline quickly. The progression of your communication should go something like this: an initial online contact, a phone conversation, an offline date.

If you start spending too much time chatting online or exchanging emails, one of two things tends to happen: you either establish an artificial level of comfort way too quickly and end up going out as “friends,” or you just don’t end up going out at all. Why would you? You’re already giving up a ton of information about yourself in a setting where a connection can’t be made. And, often, your charming sarcasm or witty banter won’t translate over the Internet.

Finally, to debunk a huge myth, if a woman is into you or attracted to your profile, she will give you her number if you ask! There’s this interesting “phenomenon” I keep hearing about where guys think they need to build comfort with a woman first, before she will give out her number. This only applies if she’s not really into you. Trust me.

*Exceptions to the rule: chatting online for extended periods of time is fine if you’re talking to someone outside of your local area. Just make sure you keep it light, interesting, and plan on meeting sometime soon.

2. Pictures: Quality and Quantity Count!

Don’t put too many or too few photos on your profile. Too many pictures screams, “I spent way too long making this profile and needed to share absolutely every single type of moment in my life!” Sharing too few photos though makes it seem like you just don’t care. You want to walk the fine line between accurately representing yourself in the best way possible, and coming off as too vain. You need at least three pictures and definitely no more than five or six. Most importantly, make sure they’re recent!

*Exceptions to the rule: you’re Heidi Klum.

3. Don’t be Lazy.

Respond to your messages! I love getting online messages and I respond to every single one, even if it’s a polite way to let the nice man on the other end of that computer screen know I’m just not interested.

However, what I’m actually referring to is not responding to messages from people you’re actually into! Do so in a timely fashion (two-three days at the most) and if you mess up and forget to reply, explain why! Even if it’s an honest reply along the lines of, “I had met someone else and chose not to date for a while.” The new object of your affection will appreciate the honest and hopefully reply within a few days. This is how you make new sparks fly, people!

Melissa E. Malka is a dating coach and matchmaker in Chicago, IL. She’s been described as “a cross between Darwin and the Millionaire Matchmaker” and would love to hear from you here.
  1. I hate to admit this but I am guilty of this. Unfortunately when you chat in the beginning of the week and talk daily, by the end of the week, you know a lot so conversation on a date can be kind of sparse.

  2. Overall I like this post. But I would like to add that I think it’s a good idea to use video chat to talk before setting up a date. You can make sure that the pictures truly represent the person. Without giving too many details, I speak from experience. 🙂

  3. The picture comment is very true. What is with all the landscape pictures of your last vacation? A picture of the dog or cat with you is nice, 5 pictures of all your animals is scary. What’s with the picture of you in a big group of your friends? Be careful, sometimes I want to contact you and ask who your friend is standing next to you. Be honest with yourself, don’t put up a picture of yourself with a woman who is much prettier. You might be attractive but in the shadow next to your stunning friend.

  4. Thank you all for your responses!

    Michael – my advice is to have one or two brief conversations and maybe a quick text or email to check in for your upcoming date. You’re right that covering all the typical conversation topics before hand can lead to a silent evening!

    Terry – I recommend video chat for people who may not be in the same city, but typically, if you live in the same town than a quick cup of coffee isn’t a huge deal!

    Brian – I totally agree! Your profile should be your spotlight!

  5. My Name is Mitchel. I have tried a couple of Online Dating Sites. I have tried PlentyOfFish and Okcupid. Here is the Honest thing I need to say, I have never dated before, nor have I ever has a relationship with a girl before either. As much as I want to, I really don’t think I am ready. I am 33 years of age and I really don’t think I am the dating type or the relationship type either. I have tried everything. I have responded to some emails in the past but I never progressed on it. In conclusion, and I hate to say it, I really don’t care anymore because let’s face it, I will never have success with women when it comes to relationships, etc.

    Thank You for your time.

  6. Great online dating advice. Laziness is a big deal, how else are you going to actually get these dates if you don’t bother to respond to or make emails! Thanks for these

  7. With a number of online dating mushrooming, you get more and more opportunity to find the right partner online. However, while treading this path, make sure you do not commit the above said mistakes then only you could prosper in your dates and relationship.

  8. In the world of online dating, white lies take on many forms, including: posting a photo more than nine months old; lying about your age; lying about your income; lying about your job. The simple fact is that you are likely looking for your soul mate, so at some point in the dating relationship, those lies will come back to haunt you. Always be honest and truthful in everything you say and post. By always telling the truth, you’ll never have to remember what you said!

  9. When it comes to posting pictures on the online dating sites….
    …post only pictures of YOURSELF.
    Unless someone is interested in photography….nobody cares about pictures of your family, pets, scenery, flowers, or anything else. These pictures may be interesting to YOU, but not anyone else.

  10. Women are as clueless about online dating as well.

    Trust me, men message almost everyone on the site who lives in a 15 mile radius. They will message 90% of the women who live near to them. Whether they like them or not. They don’t want or plan to go out with them all!

    Women think lots of messages equals popularity, when it’s just guys playing the numbers game.

    Guys message everyone – see who responds, then decide who they want to pursue…….

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *