Our aptly named expert, Matthew Valentines, is the executive director at Personal Dating Assistants. He and his team manage the online dating profiles of their cash-rich, time-poor customers. In other words, he’s the king of internet dating. Behold his wisdom…
A good format for your opening message is a sincere interest, a compliment and then a question. Identify what the woman’s leading with on her profile. If she’s got a picture with a cat, then you can tease her for being a crazy cat lady. Then you give her a compliment – “I think you have a great sense of style” – and then you ask her a question: “Do you travel much?”
Compliments on appearance are the best openers – just don’t leave it at that. Say, “Wow, you have some nice curves” but then add, “Looks like you read a lot, what’s your favourite book?”
When it comes to Tinder, research shows that women judge guys almost exclusively on their pictures. What you say in your profile gives a little insight into your personality, but statistically, guys doing something interesting in their pictures get more matches. Women like to see some context – what you do and what you’re into. If you’re playing the guitar, or playing some kind of sport, those go over very well.
Everyone’s looking for an edge. Most men embellish their height by one or two inches, or their income by £10,000 to £20,000. Women, on the other hand, tend to bring their age down, by as much as five to 10 years. There isn’t any malicious intent behind it. The truth is, if there’s chemistry and fireworks in person, all those numbers go out the window.
Men and women use dating sites completely differently. Men create a lot of content and send a lot of messages. Women don’t typically read profiles in great depth; they just screen them. There are three main archetypes women screen for: lover, provider and friend. Decide what your angle is. And there are certain key words that we know women tend to respond to. “Gentleman” is one that resonates very strongly.
Another strategy is called “the wedding toast”, where we want someone to laugh, and then we want them to say “aww”. So it’s a combination of saying something funny followed by something sincere. That comes across really well on dating sites. And don’t give too much away. If you’re getting on well, you can even say something like, “I would tell you more, but I want to leave a little mystery.” Building intrigue is a huge thing that really spikes attraction.
Online dating is, in my opinion, better than meeting women in real life. Let’s say you go out to a bar or a club – how many women are you realistically going to see who you’re really interested in? Whereas if you’re on a dating site, you have hundreds and hundreds of prospects. Those who shun online dating are going to be lonely, or keep playing the game of going out to clubs and buying drinks. That’s a very outdated model.
Guys who get the most frustrated with online dating are the ones who take a lot of time constructing a really heartfelt message to a woman they’re interested in, and then never hear back. It’s very disheartening when that happens to you a few times. At first, just gauge interest to see if she’s going to respond to you. If she does, then sure, it’s worth putting more effort into it. But to do that upfront makes absolutely no sense.
If you're not feeling the simple swipe-right mechanism of Tinder, you'll probably find yourself on a dating website. A lot of online dating sites use so-called matching algorithms, but the jury’s still out as to how effective these actually are. Christian Rudder, the founder of OkCupid, said recently that this matching is more of a psychosomatic thing. People think that they’re higher matched so they end up communicating. They have this idea that they should be well matched because they see this percentage score, and that’s enough for them to start chatting.
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