I seriously doubt anyone would look here for dating tips. I know a thing or two about the subject since I dated until I was 41. And it wasn’t like, boo-hoo, I can’t find anyone to settle down with. I had no interest in a permanent relationship, so serial monogamy was the thing for me. Of course, then I met K, and realized that I would never like anyone better than him, so I “settled down”.

I do still dispense my dating advice to anyone who asks, and recently someone asked me to email my tips to them, so I thought I’d reprint them here. This methodology took years to perfect, and saved me a lot of time and heartache. I hope someone somewhere can benefit from it.

The main points are: Be assertive, confident, and clear-headed.

Without further ado:

1. First, and most importantly, trust your intuition. If someone seems like they aren’t suitable for you, they aren’t. Don’t “give them a chance”. You are very probably wasting your time. Remember, these people are going to be on their best behavior, so what you are getting is the tip of the iceberg. If it looks like they have a little problem on the surface, there is usually a big problem under the surface. If something seems odd, move on.

Don’t feel sorry for them. It’s incredibly condescending. If you’re only paying attention to someone out of pity, stop and get out of the way so they can find someone who honestly likes them.

2. Be clear about your priorities. It’s next to impossible to find someone who has everything, so think of what’s most important to you. Good values? Good sense of humor? Good income? Good looking? Good in bed? Yeah, I know, we all want all those things but be clear about what is most important to you.

3. When you first make contact, limit your email exchanges to one or two. It’s easy to get involved in a long, romantic correspondence that is very exciting but has nothing to do with reality. Once you have a photo of them and a basic idea of who they are, if you are interested in them, you should talk to them on the phone as soon as possible. Lots of information gets revealed on the phone that would never come out in email.

4. If you’ve had a one or two of phone conversation and you like the person, arrange to meet them for coffee. Phone conversations, like email, can get very romantic but they are not reality. If you are interested, you should meet in person fairly soon, in a public place, for a short amount of time. Even if things go incredibly well, you should stick to just meeting them briefly and then going home to think about it. This may take a bit of self-control, but it’s definitely worth taking your time rather than rushing into things.

5. If you’ve gotten this far, and you still like the person, you can move on to a real date. If they are not what you are looking for, you’ve only invested a short amount of time and energy and you can move on to someone else.

6. Always let people go in a humane and considerate way. If you have met them in person, even briefly, the kind and brave thing to do is to call them, thank them for meeting you, but tell them firmly that you will not be seeing them again. I’ve met people I thought were really nice, but they just weren’t for me. These are the hardest to let go because I felt guilty.

However, it’s best to keep it short and to the point. You do not have to offer reasons. I prefered to just repeat, “Thank you, but I won’t be seeing you again.” until they got the message. This is because they are often hurt and angry at the rejection, so the more you say, the more upset they get. If they are rude, you can just say, “That’s all I have to say,” say goodbye, and hang up.

If you only got to the phone stage and didn’t meet them, you can just send them a short email saying the same thing.

If you only emailed them, you can just stop emailing or send a brief email. Sometimes they will send back a hostile message. If they do, do not respond, just block them so they can’t email again.

Dating if fun but can get tiring. If you’re not having fun, take a break. Because if it’s not fun, why bother!


3 Responses to “Online Dating Tips”

  1. E on January 4th, 2011 6:25 am

    Amazing tips really. You should have a column. Maybe you can send it to the weeklies to print.

  2. K on January 4th, 2011 11:21 am

    I left my email address. Let’s start a long, torrid e-ffair.

  3. the nerger on January 4th, 2011 11:35 am

    E — The problem is that no one follows my goddamn advice.

    K — As long as it’s torrid, baby.

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