Wooden Heart

We all have that coworker, sister-in-law or neighbor that found her fairy tale ending on an online date-to-love site like Match.com or eHarmony. We use social media for everything else, so it’s no surprise that nearly 20% of us have now tried online dating. Now that it’s an acceptable and “normal” option, how do we play the online dating game and win?

The truth is, most of the anxieties and pitfalls of dating are the same on and offline. And landing that first date with your online sweetheart might take a little more social media savvy than you think. Consider these tips to grabbing the attention of the right guys or gals online.

Selling Yourself is the Same On and Offline

Think of your online dating profile as a first impression that you actually get to plan out ahead of time. Advertise yourself. Brag gracefully. Why are you a catch? If you’ve got a biting sense of humor, show it off. And if you’re an accomplished chainsaw sculptor, post photos of your work.

If you’re having a hard time putting your romantic c.v. together, consider asking your friends what they love about spending time with you. (If you’re still at a loss, at least mark “modesty” as one of your chief virtues.)

Just don’t get carried away. Getting hyperbolic about your achievements may attract a few more interested parties, but it’s a bad idea to misrepresent yourself. Don’t use an 8 year old photo from your college trip to Cabo just because you look hot. First dates are uncomfortable enough. You don’t want to make it worse by having to explain that what you really meant by “outdoor survival expert” was that your Bear Grylls tribute video made it to the top of Reddit when Man vs. Wild was cancelled. That’s cool, but it’s not the same.

And while you’re being honest, remember to be clear on your “non-negotiables”. If faith is very important to you or you can only see yourself with someone who shares your obsession with film noirs and whiskey-based cocktails, say so.

Read on for more →

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Required Reading: The Authoritative Guide to Safer Sex

by Online Dating on September 18, 2012

Conventional wisdom tells us to practice safer sex. But what does safer sex really mean? Asking your peers and consulting the Internet can lead to information overload, and you may not be getting the truth. Professionals say that many people are grossly misinformed about safer sex and so they suffer the consequences.

Check out our  six-part guide to safer sex.  All of the information presented has been carefully examined for accuracy and credibility – this is a guide you can count on.  Start here, or jump to a section of your choosing:

Protect yourself, protect others: read the whole guide and stay informed!

Rainbow Flag

First launched in 2009 by founder and CEO Joel Simkhai, Grindr is arguably the best “geosocial networking” and location-based mobile app for gay men. It is currently used in over 192 countries and includes millions of members; at any given time, 71,000 users are logged onto Grindr and close to a million users log into the mobile app daily.

Grindr has been described by users as a “revolutionary dating tool,” as well as the “scariest gay bar on earth.”  Either way, Grindr has made an indelible mark on the dating scene for gay men, winning awards like the “Best Dating Application” in 2012 by About.com Readers’ Choice Awards and the Best Mobile Dating App and Best New Technology by the Dating Industry and Internet Dating Conference in 2012.

For men who want to forgo long and invasive questionnaires given out by overly complex online dating services, Grindr offers an uncomplicated dating service. You simply download and open the application onto your mobile device. After the program is downloaded, you choose a profile name, upload a photo of yourself and answer a couple of questions. When you are ready, sign into the application. As a GPS location-based service app, Grindr will locate other users in your area, as your next date may be standing only a few feet away from you.

Grindr versus Other Dating Applications

Unlike popular online dating services such as Match or eHarmony, one of the benefits of Grindr is convenience and speed: you do not have to email the person you are interested in for over a week and wait for days to set up a date. Users prefer Grindr over other mobile dating applications such as Skout or Tingle, as it claims the most users and offers the biggest dating “pool.” In the 2012 About.com Readers Choice Awards, 74 percent of readers preferred Grindr over these other mobile dating apps. Originally made for the iPhone, Grindr can now be downloaded and used on the iPad, Android and the Blackberry. Additionally, there are plans to have Grindr released as an application for Windows-based mobile phones in the upcoming year.

Read on for more →

Carnival of Online Dating Welcome to the May 30, 2012 edition of the Carnival of Online Dating! This is the twenty-ninth — and final — edition of the blog carnival, and we really appreciate those who have submitted their links for inclusion. Rediscover our previous editions by visiting our Carnival of Online Dating archives page!

Dating Tips & Advice

Date Ideas

Sex and Seduction

Personal Anecdotes

Thank you for tuning in for our final carnival!

That concludes this edition. Past posts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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4 Of The Biggest Online Dating Lies

by Online Dating on May 29, 2012

One of the unintended consequences of the Internet in general — and online dating specifically — has been anonymity. When you get online, you can claim to be just about anyone you want to. There are entire television shows devoted to uncovering folks who are lying about who they say they are for nefarious purposes, for example. But even if your purposes are noble, it can be tempting to fib when you’re involved in online dating. The best advice anyone can give you in that regard is to just don’t do it.

Here are some of the biggest lies that people tell in the online dating realm to make themselves seem more awesome or attractive than what they really are:

  • I’m ten feet tall. OK, maybe no one is claiming to be quite that tall. However, most folks do lie about their height. This is one of the more amusing facts about online dating, actually. If you study the data as to how tall people claim to be and then plot it on a graph, it looks just like actual height statistics. That is, it looks just like it except the entire graph shifts to the right about two inches. This is more common for men than women. It’s also more common for men who are between 5’8” and 5’11” to round up to 6’ than it is for folks of other heights.
  • I’m a bajillionaire. Most folks also bump up their income when they fill out an online dating profile. On average, people overestimate their yearly income on their online dating profile by about 20 percent. The same phenomenon that results in so many more six footers also results in four times as many people claiming to make $100,000 per hear as actually make that amount.
  • I looked good very recently. The better looking a profile picture is, the more likely it is to be more than a couple of years old. People find the best picture they can of themselves for online dating, even if that means stretching back four or five years. Be sure to keep your online dating profile updated!
  • I’m bisexual. Many people who claim to be bisexual are, but many more actually greatly prefer one sex to the other. We’ll leave this to you to figure out what it really means.
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