NiceCentral Home Articles Resources Forums Legal Mumbo Jumbo Contact Us

Online Dating:
Yahoo! You have the Nerve to try!

So, you've decided to take a shot at the whole "online dating" thing. Congratulations. It's a good way to put yourself out there. And, before you wonder, no it's not just for scary freaky people anymore — there are plenty of normal, decent people who have found their spouses online (and not just from "".

There are however a few things you should know...

Start At The Very Beginning

Pick a good username

Find something that isn't completely generic. "NiceGuy23" or "Princess79" doesn't say much about you. "LiteraryLatteFiend" does. This is all about marketing yourself. You need to think about your target audience. Personally, I avoid women who have "princess" in their usernames — probably too much work.

Oh, and "Lonely_Chick" — BAD choice for username. (Yes, that's a real username.)


It's shallow and sad, but people who post pictures get a lot more (from 4 to 10 times more) hits than people who don't. If you're too ashamed to post your picture, you have bigger problems than dating. See the comments on exercise. Of course, it shouldn't need to be said, but, having been to a number of sites, it does need to be said — post a good picture. I want to be able to see your face, and possibly your figure. Don't post a "Glamour Shot," but do post a decent picture that shows you in a good light (not just well-lit). As a friend, Nicole, wrote:

Here's a tip: These should probably make you look good.

I'm not sure why it takes a rocket scientist to figure that out but apparently it does. Some people even wrote lines in their profile about how their picture is a bad one and they're actually really good looking in real life. WTF??? Why in god's name would you put a picture up that makes you look worse than you really do???

It's not that hard to get at least a decent pic. If you do not have a digital camera, chances are a friend does. And it doesn't really cost them anything to use it on you. They can delete every pic once you find a good one and save it to your computer.

So I'm sorry, but bad pics go in the trash pile for me. That is all.

I'm not saying the person has to be fantastic looking, just be smiling and in a normal bodily position and not all red faced and wearing the god awful Christmas sweater your mom gave you that makes you look like a dumbass.

Is that really too much to ask???

Also, under the idea of "common sense," post a picture of just you. If I have to figure out who you are, you're making me work too hard.

I Hate Long Walks On The Beach


Think about your headline. And your target audience. For most people this is your "first impression" that determines if they'll bother to look at your profile. Here are some real examples from women on one dating site:

  • Fun girl looking for fun guy!
  • Looking for a nice guy!
  • Looking to meet new people - maybe Mr. Right?
  • Looking to have fun
  • Just looking for a good man
  • Seeking Mr. Wonderful
  • Will you sweep me off my feet?
  • Cinderella seeks Prince Charming
  • Good girl seeks good guy
  • Are you mister right?
  • are you the one?
  • Are all the good men taken?
  • Looking For Some Passion
  • Looking for someone to hang out with. . .
  • Your Search Is Over
  • Hey
  • hello...

Let's see, the men these women are looking for are: fun, nice, good, and either Mr. Right, Prince Charming, or the one. On the other hand the women are fun or good and seeking some passion but want to hang out.

We won't even talk about "hey" and "hello..."

Compare that to "Why yes, Captain Obvious, I do love to laugh." Which one stands out?

I have to admit, my favorite is probably "seeking tattooed white-collar professional." I sent her an email with a link to ""

(Oh, and some of the men's headlines are just as bad.)


As for writing your profile, try to show some basic grasp of the language — and if English isn't your native tongue, say so. Spellcheck and grammar check. Someone who didn't learn the differences among "they're," "their" and "there" in fourth grade is obviously not going to keep up with me — no matter how "hawt they mite bee."

Beyond that, you need to show something of who you are. Don't be generic. And write enough to give people a reason to want to get to know you. Unless you're obviously absurdly hot, people are not going to be "writing you to learn more" unless you give them something to work with.

On the other hand, unless you're an Xtreme-sport triathelete, nuero-surgeon, don't try to make yourself out to be an Xtreme-sport triathelete, nuero-surgeon. Most of us who work don't spend every night and weekend doing a laundry list of cool things...most of us are most likely to be working on laundry.

Try telling a personal story or anything that helps to show them who you truly are.

Also, be clear in what you're looking for. And state it. But use common sense. There's a difference between saying "I'm looking for someone who can keep up with me outdoors" and "no fatties."

Check out Miss Emmysue's Online Dating Profile Pet Peeves.

3-2-1 Contact

When you find someone online who you think might be worth getting to know, email them. But use your head. First off, don't use the "wink" feature — that just shows that you're either too cheap or too much of a wuss to send a real email.

If they list very specific requirements, and you don't meet them, think twice before sending them an email. It's rude to waste their time. Example: I received an email from a woman who was 4 years older than me, with two kids, and a high-school education when my profile said "looking for someone my age or younger, no kids, and college education."

Guess what my reaction was.

In the email make it clear what interested you and tell them why you think you two have something in common. Don't just say, "check out my profile." Make a little effort. Specifically refer to something in their profile. Just so they know that you read it if nothing else.

If someone sends you a message and you're not interested, politely respond and say that you're not interested. On the other hand, if you send someone a message and don't get a response, you can send one message in case the first didn't go through. If you don't get a response, assume they're not interested and get on with your life.

Also, once you start messaging back-and-forth, pay close attention to their responses. Email doesn't have facial expressions, so your "humor" may come across as much less funny than you think and you may not realize it.

Coffee, Tea, or...Dinner

For a first date, use common sense rules: meet in a public location. Safety first.

Good Luck!!!

- "Mr. Nice Guy"