My Brain on Line

question mark

Wouldn’t you love to know what a guy is thinking when he views you on a dating site or app — particularly after you’ve sent him a message and he doesn’t respond but keeps coming back to take a look?

What is going on? Does he not like the carefully thought out question or comment you may have sent? Or are you just not his type? Then, why the view? To tease or boost your ego?

You can’t make sense out of a lot of what happens online.  And there’s usually no point in trying to figure it out.

I may not be able to read the minds of my matches and translate them for you …but I can share what I think when I swipe or read someone’s profile.

Join me in some sweet corn polenta with roasted tomatoes and avocado while I convey my thought process during recent reviews of dating profiles.

In some cases, I’m deciding whether to begin or continue corresponding with a man who has contacted or viewed me or to be proactive and reach out to a promising match. To protect the usually guilty, screen names have not been revealed. And despite my best effort, I sometimes can’t help but wonder what a guy is thinking.

Match #1:

Hmmmm, way out of my league. Kind of cute in a grandfatherly way but I’m just not into history or politics to the degree that he seems to want. Why does his profile read like half of a resume…but the other half is nice?

Continuing with the negative, he comes across as arrogant since he mentions how smart he is in an indirect/direct way. I don’t like braggarts or egomaniacs.

Sounds like he enjoys a nice lifestyle but that’s not enough. I guess some women would go for him but I can’t force myself to like someone for his great house or wealth. Plus, he seems to be perfect in everything! Give me a little humility please.  I’ll just have to pass.

Match #2:

He sent such a lovely note…oh, no, he’s 80. That must be a decades old profile photo. Sorry…no.  Kind of cool that he’s still trying at 80. Just saying.

Match #3:

Cute even if balding., tall enough, nice profile for Bumble…similar interests…Yes, I will swipe right.  Sad that he’s swiping from the airport-wonder if he lives here or is just passing through.

Match #4:

Another Bumbler. He looks active from his photos but there’s no written profile. Without a profile, I swipe left unless a guy knocks my socks—and various other things – off.

Match #5:

Another airport swiper on Bumble.  What gives? Are flights cancelled on this beautiful day?  One pix and his face is not visible. No profile.  Swiping left.

Match #6:

Damn- 6’5” on OurTime and a nice, profile with heart. Some of the same interests…a little younger.  All good. I’m writing to this one and suggesting we meet for a glass of wine.  Update: he responds, we exchange messages, and talk on the phone.  Not the best pre-meeting phone call I’ve ever had but willing to meet him to see if there’s chemistry.  However, haven’t heard from him in 2 days. This one bites the dust.  And it bites.

Matches #7 and #8:

Both Mr. A and Mr. B on Zoosk have one extreme close up head shot each and no other pictures. Mr. B also has travel and nature photos, which I find annoying unless the man in question appears in the photos.

I ask both for more photos. I explain to Mr. A that I have been “burned” before by guys with limited pictures who are deliberately hiding their true appearance (makes no sense to me as the gig is up if we meet).

Mr. A understands, explains that he is not photogenic and writes that he will try to look for more pictures.  Mr. B says he realizes he has loaded lots of travel photos and not enough of him. He adds that he’s in a work crunch but promises to load more.

Neither A nor B adds any pictures but both keep viewing me.  Have they misrepresented themselves? Lazy? Perhaps both are just “not into me” enough to put in the effort?

Match #9:

Nice looking and tall: check.  Intelligent: check. Well written profile that gives a sense of the man: check.  Retired and active, a volunteer, athletic, shared interests: check.  Looks good!  Oh, no, where is Mechanicsburg?  Pennsylvania? Sigh. Too far away.

Lightning round:

Conservative. No. No. No.

Ten years older than his pictures.  No.

Separated.  No.

A foot shorter than me.  No.

He’s my age and has two children under 10. No. No. No.

He is recently widowed.  No.

Profiles and pictures do not a person make…but sometimes, that’s all we have as the first decision point in the marathon of romance.

Until next week, happy dating or not dating.

XXXOOO

Nadia

 

 

Put your Best Face Forward: Get a Professional Photo

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Abraham Lincoln had a point when he said, “There are no bad pictures, that’s just how your face looks sometimes.” But do we really want to show a prospective match that face? That potential mate won’t be as forgiving as a friend or relative who knows you look better in person and — even if you don’t — loves you anyway.

From the day I created my first online dating profile, I realized the importance of posting a good photo. When I signed up on a couple of dating sites, I carefully selected what I thought were flattering photos taken by relatives.

I even used a photo taken by a guy I dated. He ghosted me inexplicably after 3 months. Only after I emailed him to ask why I hadn’t heard from him in a week, did he tell me he wanted to break up. As revenge, the very next day after he dumped me, I loaded a photo he had taken of me onto a new dating site. I was angry more than upset and my approach was: new dating site, new profile, and new photo.

Over time, I changed my main photo and after a few months both added and deleted pictures. The idea was to keep things fresh and as current as possible.

But recently I started thinking about having a professional take some photos I could use for dating profiles. After interviewing dating coach Erika Ettin, who advocates the use of professional photographs when possible, I decided to bite the financial bullet and go for it. I took the advice offered in her book Love at First Site: Tips and Tales for Online Dating Success from a Modern-Day Matchmaker and opted for an outdoor shoot.

Before I tell you more, let’s break for a lovely celebration of the summer season by enjoying Bon Appetit’s grilled shrimp salad with corn and avocado.

The photographer I chose, Joe LeBlanc with Ars Nova Images, also suggested shooting outdoors and we went to a nearby park. I have to admit that when you are over 29 as I am :), natural lighting can take 10 years off of your appearance. When I compared the test shots taken in Joe’s studio with the outdoor test shot, it was easy to go with the outdoor location.

Joe took about 300 photos (so quickly I couldn’t even tell it was that many) and he posed me in several settings in the park. I ended up with some dynamite natural-looking portraits. Sorry I can’t share them with you as Nadia continues to travel incognito on this blog, but I can share the results.

After loading the best photo onto my sites (Match, Plenty of Fish, OkCupid, How About We*, and Bumble*), I sat back and waited for what I hoped would be an uptick in views and messages.

It took a few hours and then shazam, incoming! It wasn’t a torrential downpour, but a reasonable summer rain of men. It’s been two weeks since the new photo was posted and I’ve had two dates and more e-mails, views, “likes,” “favorites,” etc. than before.

I haven’t met “the one” yet, but I’m certain I have improved my chances.

Until next week, happy dating or not dating.

XXXOOO

Nadia

*More on my experiences with these two dating venues in a future post.

View from the Trenches: Advice from a Dating Coach

(c) www.PhotographyByAlexander.com
(c) http://www.PhotographyByAlexander.com

When I heard about dating coach extraordinaire Erika Ettin, founder of A Little Nudge, I thought she would be a great resource for Dating, Sex, and Life in your 60s.

Erika helps her clients with the world of online dating: writing a unique profile, composing emails that get answered, choosing the best photos, and planning dates. She also offers date coaching to clients.

Erika has a background in business and economics. She applied her professional and people skills to achieve great personal success with online dating. Since starting A Little Nudge, she has worked with hundreds of clients who have gone on to date confidently, marry, get engaged, or enter a relationship.

Let’s relax and learn from an expert while enjoying grilled halibut with mango/avocado salsa.

What is the best way for a 60-something woman to meet a man? Is it online?

As I tell all of my clients, there isn’t a best way to meet someone. There are many options—online dating, singles’ events, classes, groups. The important part is to put yourself out there in some capacity, online or otherwise.

Do you have any recommendations for meeting men in the wild?

Be approachable. Oftentimes, a man wants to approach a woman, but her nose is in her phone, or she has a scowl on her face. The best way to attract someone is to smile and show that you’re open to meeting new people. Men get scared, too!

What is the single biggest complaint you have about online dating from women? From men?

Bad pictures!! I recommend 3 to 5 photos—at least a clear headshot, a nice full-body shot, and a photo of you doing something interesting. In addition, make sure you’re alone in your photos because the last thing you want is for someone to compare you to your friend or family in your own profile. And NO MORE SELFIES!

Is there anything you would do differently now if you were dating (based on what you have learned from your business)?

Have a list of about five non-negotiables and beyond that, give people a chance.

Do you ever “match” your clients?

I do! I have what I call “matchmaking mixers” to get my clients together. It’s always a well-attended, fun time! I’ll be holding another one in DC in June!

What do you think about matchmaking services?

Some are great, and some are not so great. Try to get recommendations from others who have used the matchmaker to see if they were satisfied.

Do you have any tips for writing a great profile?

http://www.alittlenudge.com/2013/02/he-likes-me-for-me/

http://www.alittlenudge.com/2013/03/the-curse-of-the-empty-adjective/

What are your tips for the first date? What if the first date is not spectacular? Should you see him again?

Start with just drinks or coffee (no dinner!) to see where it goes and if you have some rapport. Also, it’s important to go into a first date with no expectations. Simply having a good conversation should be considered a success.

I tell my clients if they’re on the fence about someone to give it one more date. More here:

http://www.gatherthejews.com/2013/11/whats-the-whole-point-of-dating-gtj-dating-series-with-erika-e-no-78/

http://www.alittlenudge.com/2011/03/the-rule-of-two/

How should one handle corresponding with 2 or 3 guys at once? How long can a woman date more than one guy?

This is a personal preference and everyone feels differently, but generally, the point of dating more than one person is to find the one who you like best. Once you do that, there’s no need to keep seeing the others. Don’t just see them as a fallback plan, because that means you’re already assuming the outcome of the one you want to pursue… and it may become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

How can one keep from losing hope?

I do recommend taking a break if you’re feeling jaded… just as long as you get back on the horse. And, as hard as it seems sometimes, remember that it only takes one. 

Is a man who has been married 2 or 3 times someone to be wary of? What about a never married man? Should a woman stay away? 

Everyone has a story, and nothing is black and white, so rather than making generalizations about people based on their prior marital status, I would hear the story and then use your judgment. 

Do you have clients in their 50s and 60s? Do you have any particular advice for women in this age group/stage of life?

Sure do!

http://www.jdate.com/jmag/2014/06/the-five-things-to-keep-in-mind-when-dating-over-50/

Can you share any photo advice? Should one invest in a professional photo?

Check out: http://www.alittlenudge.com/2012/03/a-pictures-worth-a-thousand-words/

If you proactively reach out to a guy, is it a good idea to comment on what you have in common or does that look desperate? Should a woman reach out first? Don’t men like to pursue?

See: http://www.alittlenudge.com/2013/05/online-dating-email-etiquette/

Desperate? Not at all! What man wouldn’t be flattered when a pretty lady reaches out to him? J

What if you find out before you meet that a man lied about his age in his dating profile? Should you address it before you meet or during the first meeting?

I generally do not recommend too much “research” before you meet your date, however, I know as well as the next person that, if given enough information, people are going to do their due diligence.  If you do, in fact, find that your date has lied, first decide if you’d still like to meet this person.  Ask yourself if the lie was too egregious, if you think he’s lying about other things, if he had a good motive, etc.  (For the record, I never recommend lying about one’s age.)

Now, if you do decide to go on the date, it’s up to you whether you want to address it or see if it comes out organically.  If you think it’ll eat at you the entire time, preventing you from enjoying yourself, then bring it up.  He’ll have no more right to be upset with you for bringing it up than you have to be upset with him for doing it in the first place.  But ask with some tact.  Rather than, “Why did you lie about your age?” which will put him on the defensive, instead perhaps say, “Since I had your info, when I looked you up, I noticed that your age differed a bit from what you posted online.  It made me feel a bit uneasy, so I just wanted to address it.”

Are there any games worth playing? Is it important for a woman to play it cool, not be too available?

The long and short of it: No games! We’re all adults, and the mature ones will appreciate that you’re straightforward with your feelings.

Are the “rules” for sex any different for 60 year olds? Do you think baby boomers are having sex any earlier in a relationship?

Just as with a 20-something, 60-somethings all go at their own pace. Go at a pace that’s comfortable for you, and that will differ for every two people. But, it is extremely important to build a foundation with someone before you go too far in the bedroom because once you start having sex, it’s harder to go back to learn about this person’s ins and outs.

Should women lie about their age to compensate for the age bias that exists?

Nope. A lie about your age (even a small one) starts out a relationship on the wrong foot. And it makes your date think, “What else is she lying about?”

Thanks to Erika for providing this guidance! Until next week, happy dating or not dating.

XXXOOO

Nadia