1) Everyone needs a good headshot.
I wish I could go back in time and hold the camera for whoever took the first selfie.
A profile full of selfies can convey one of two messages: a) I don’t have any friends, or b) I don’t know how to use a tripod. Both are deal breakers. You know that friend that got a DSLR camera for Christmas last year and never uses it? Ask them to take a picture of you. If it doesn’t get you a date, at least it will get some likes on Facebook.
2) Proper grammar isn’t dead.
Screw chivalry, I want a guy that capitalizes his “I’s”.
Friends don’t let other friends post a profile without a proofread. If I am being judged on 500 words, I am going to make sure each one is spelled correctly and used properly in a sentence.
3) “Hanging out with friends” is not a hobby.
Well shoot, I am looking for a guy that hates spending time with his friends.
My name is Leah and I like hanging out with my friends. Great. So does everyone else. That doesn’t make me memorable or give any insight to who I am as a person. People bond over the smallest things. Your favorite movie is The Science of Sleep. Mine too! You eat your pizza crust first. Me too! Now we have something to talk about. Things not to mention in your profile: prescription medications, your therapist, how bad your last breakup was, how weird online dating is.
4) One coffee is worth 1,000 messages.
Your punch lines were funnier when they were delivered through gmail.
I can email and text until my fingers ache, but it’s not going to tell me as much about a person as 30 minutes of face-to-face conversation. I can edit my texts and emails 100 times before I hit send. I don’t have the same luxury with words flying out of my mouth.
5) Even people who don’t like to talk enjoy talking about themselves.
This Awkward Silence is making my carbonara taste bad.
Everyone I’ve gone out with has been good at holding conversation. But there are always those dates where conversation feels like work. In those moments, I have a handful of go-to questions to keep the conversation flowing. “If you had a free Saturday to do anything you wanted, where money was no object, what would you do?” “If you could road trip cross-country with one person, who would it be and why?”
6) If you don’t have any interesting stories to tell, go do something.
Walter Mitty soundtrack starts playing in the background…
If I don’t think I’m interesting, my date isn’t going to think so either. My goal is to do one thing each week that is worth calling home about like trying a new running trail, recipe, or restaurant. If I don’t have any fun experiences that are worth talking about, then I need to take a vacation, get offline, and make some. Match.com will be waiting for me when I get back.
7) Just say ‘Yes’.
But he doesn’t look like Bradley Cooper or play the guitar.
People surprise me all the time, so I am trying to create more space for them to do so by not judging strictly on appearances. I’m looking at you lifted pick-up truck guys. Go on one date. You can DVR The Bachelorette and watch it when you get home. I recently went out with a shaved-headed guy from Jersey (polar opposite of my ‘type’). When the evening was over, he had completely shattered all the stereotypes I had put on him. That doesn’t mean there will be a second date, it just means that I don’t know someone unless I actually get to know them.
8) Keep your eyes open.
There is this one guy I pass by every morning on my way to work.
Before you go through all the work of setting up a profile and paying for a subscription, take advantage of what’s already been set in front of you! The girl at the gym? The guy standing in line at Starbucks? Strike up a conversation, it’s way easier than answering 25 emails.
9) There is no formula.
Number of First Dates + Amount of Interest / World Population = Probability of Success
I used to think the that number of dates I went on increased the probability of meeting my husband, but it doesn’t work like that. It only takes one person, and that person might not be online dating. Just because I’m on 3 different dating sites doesn’t necessarily increase my odds. It just means my inbox is going to be full.
10) Be cool and let things happen.
What if I wear my favorite yellow dress and he doesn’t like yellow.
I over analyze everything. And it will probably be the ruin of me. I can’t control people or their feelings, so I need to stop trying. Over analyzing every exchange is simply exhausting and stirs up insecurities. I am not going to miss out, so I need to chill out and enjoy this whole dating thing.
If you liked this post, check out Dating Lingo for Dummies
About Coffee Meets Bagel (CMB): CMB is a free dating service that helps members make meaningful connections. It’s designed for busy singles who want to find something real with little or no effort.