Up your dating game – local singles

 

What I feel about dating is, that looks really aren’t everything. I’m not saying they dont matter, just that you would rather date someone interesting and who understands you, than a really good looking asshole. I’ve had girlfriends in my life but never even had a match online. I wonder why.

You are right on all accounts. It’s because of a few things all working together in the perfect storm to cause an epic fail.

When I built Completely Free Dating Tool it was only after I was immersed in dating sites for a year or so, I pretty much tried them all. I then went and compared all the sites to real life, to see how they all performed.

Real Life won every single time, in every comparison, except for one thing: a web site’s theoretical ability to organize the proper group of people all together in one place.

All dating sites are backwards. They shove two people together, anonymously in a way that causes them to be pretty rude to each other. You’re not going to walk up to a woman without your shirt on, or worse, or show her a picture of your snowmobile or a dead animal instead of your smile – but that’s exactly how the dating sites work. And you’re not going to just walk up to someone you haven’t even said hi to and go into a big long tirade about how interesting she is and talk about the things you have in common, or how cute she looked on New Years in that picture and oh you’re an atheist too and love 10,000 Emerald Pools by B0RNS, but that’s exactly how the dating sites work.

Well, except mine.

In real life you say hi, check body language, make some nice clever charming small talk and then go from there.

But a head shot, in a gallery of 1,000s of head shorts, on a platform that gives women a false sense of choice is not going to get you anywhere. And all your charm, and personality, and depth and wit are lost.

So, three choices –

  1. Play the game. Make your pics stand out, highlight something good about yourself. Attraction is about status, and this game minimizes your ability to leverage the statuses besides looks (power, wealth, attractiveness to others, kindness, intelligence, height, etc – I wrote about all this in detail in another post)
  2. Screw all the sites and only use real life. Your connections are limited then, as thats the only thing Real Life isn’t as good at as dating sites are. But at least you can show off all the other wonderful stuff about you.
  3. Try Completely Free Dating Tool (onlyaglance.com).

There’s nothing stopping you from choosing all three above. Just don’t be daunted by the current state of dating sites and understand that it’s not you.

The Fermi Paradox and Why You Don’t Have a Boyfriend (or Girlfriend)

I’m going to draw a huge parallel between the search for intelligent life and you finding a girlfriend or boyfriend.

Interested?

A little background.  There’s this equation that describes the possibility and odds that there is intelligent life out there.  In short, there should be –  lots of it.  We’ve found over 3,500 planets so far orbiting other stars.  Pretty amazing, eh?   That’s 3,500 planets, period.  We don’t know if any actually contain alien life, or how many exactly could support what we think of when we think of ‘life.’   However, it is believed that in our  galaxy alone there are 11 billion planets that could and very well may harbor life as we know it – earth like planets orbiting at just the right distance around a star very much like ours. Liquid water, trees, germs, mosquitos, people.  11 billion.  In just our galaxy.  Don’t even expand that to other galaxies.  That’s astounding enough to hurt your brain.

So, because of this, many people have said, “So where are the aliens?”  “Why don’t they visit us?  Why haven’t we met any of them yet?”

Enter The Fermi Paradox.

The Fermi Paradox, created by Enrico Fermi, addresses that.  And with that I’m going to address your current dilemma.

The Fermi Paradox has a number of arguments and solutions to why we haven’t seen them.  It considers distance, the age of the civilizations, whether any of them pass “the great filter” and even if we are in our own bubble.  To me, some of the most compelling of those arguments boils down to what I think of as synchronization.

It’s the same for relationships.

The Ideal Mate

All thoughts of the perfect mate aside, let’s consider what an ideal mate for you is.  You think it’s pretty simply, right?  “I just want to meet someone nice.  I just want a guy that makes me laugh,” etc.  Well, you don’t.  Regardless of what your primary interest is in a mate, you need to add “and is attractive” to the end of it.   So if you want someone who “is really funny” then you actually want someone who is “really funny and is attractive.”  Why?  Because you’re shallow?  No, because you’re human and that’s how it works – that indescribable spark that tells you right away this is someone important that you should get to know.  The foundation of onlyaglance.com, by the way.

Then add to that requirement that they are age appropriate, are a good person (obviously, right?), live close enough to you so that you can nurture the relationship.

If you have already been married you may want someone also who has been married so you’re in the same place, experience wise.  If you have kids, you may want that as well so you have parenting in common.  Tweak that further because you have teens, you don’t want to date someone with toddlers.  Or, vice versa.  Or maybe you don’t want someone with kids at all because that’s not your style, or you want to start a family with someone at the same point.

You begin to see the complexity unfold, and why these multiple dates you’ve gone on turned up nothing.

Distance

There’s this awesome race of aliens.  They’ve solved a lot of medical issues.  They even have pop music that almost everyone likes.  Also somehow every flavor of jellybean is really good.  If they met us we’d be instant pals, and our lives would be so much richer.  We’d live longer and eat a lot more jellybeans.

Except that they’d all be dead by the time we reached them.

They are many many galaxies away from us.  Our best technology wouldn’t even get us out of our own galaxy before their entire civilization would die out.  Or us, even discounting nuclear wars, overpopulation, etc.

Consider that there are 7 billion people on this planet.  The chances that your soulmate lives a mile and a half away are pretty slim.  The farther you travel, the better your chances of meeting your ideal mate, or at least one that is gives you that spark and compatible enough.  Consider where I live – next to a giant lake. If you draw a circle around my location, half of that circle is water.  So, unless I want a mermaid, I’m dealing with half of choices land locked people are. No offense to Merpeople, I’m sure they are lovely.

However, traveling far also creates a number of hurdles.  When you have a long distance relationship, you have to deal with a whole set of challenges:

  • You can’t just ‘pop over’ after work
  • Spontaneity, like everything else, has to also be planned
  • The added pressure of travel can add stress to the relationship
  • You have to force things into high gear, because you’re not going to drive an hour and a half unless you are both pretty serious about this
  • And, the best part: A Local 5 beats a far Away 7.  Meaning, if they meet someone who you’d normally exceed in status, but they are right down the street, odds are they will opt for them.  Not always, but it’s the cause of the end of most long distance relationships – people just get tired of the added layer of effort and opt for easier, but not better.

Timing

So there’s this really cool race of aliens.   They even look like us, but no one wears hats.  They are anti hat, but all have really nice heads. It’s a cute quirk.  They really enjoy the food we make, and in exchange have a way to generate electricity just by smiling a lot.  If we met them we’d be awesome pals, get along great, have fun sharing our music and exploring their vast gardens populated by exotic animals that are easily trainable, and would never poop in the house.

Except they’re all dead.  They died off 600,000 years ago.  All their stuff is dust.   Including the pretty lizards that you could teach to bring you a beer with their tail.

If only you had met them a long time ago.

Remember Age Appropriate?  There’s some flexibility there.  Without setting off the Creepometer, a few years in either direction is typical.  There are people out there that would be a great fit, if only they were 20 years younger, or older.  Also, unlike the aliens, they may be the appropriate age, but they are involved in a relationship.  You may even meet someone who is in the process of a divorce, but process of is not the same as divorced a couple years ago.  Trust me.  And you don’t want to be the reason for a relationship ending.

Maturity

So, there’s this great alien civilization.  They show great promise.  They are for the most part, good people.   They look enough like us that we’d be compatible, and we’re sure they’d laugh at our jokes.  They are really good looking people.

Except that they regularly go to war, think nothing of cannibalism and haven’t yet discovered electricity.

If only they were more mature.  Meeting them would be a drag, with us doing all the work, sharing all the technology, and dude don’t eat that!

You may meet someone that seems nice, but they haven’t been through what you’ve been.  Or, she never got around to getting married and having kids.  However, you have a 12 yr old.  Abrupt scheduling changes, a sick kid and a schedule that revolves around their sports schedule is completely foreign to them.  Your lack of freedom and constant planning is just not going to work.  Everything else is great though; this guy is seven feet tall, has a mouth full of giant white teeth that could bite through a crowbar, is well off and is funny (and exceedingly attractive).  He’s also a bit selfish and self centered, having never had to cancel everything because his daughter is sick, or stay up all night worrying because she has a mystery illness.  All his finances have gone into him, not his kids.  He’s been around the would nine times.

Communication

So, there’s this awesome alien civilization.  They aren’t that far away.  Actually they are only a couple stars over and they’ve mastered the kind of travel that would get them here in a day.  Really friendly, they would be fun to meet and instead of weekends they just make sure everyone goes on vacation for half the year.  Also all sunscreen is edible.

Except they don’t know we exist, and may never.

See, we monitor radio signals in the sky.  Not all radio signals, just some of them.  And, we only do it in a small section of the sky.  And radio only travels at the speed of light, and gets weaker and weaker.   Not of that matters anyway because they don’t use radio to communicate.  They discovered an entirely different way to communicate, and our technology is completely unaware of it.  We can listen all we want to a slice of a slice of the sky and we will never know they existed.

And neither will they.

If you, like clockwork, go to work, come home, do your thing and go to bed you’re operating in a similar band.  There may be a perfectly acceptable mate waiting for you at the cafe just up the street, if only you would change your schedule and go there at three pm when you’re normally listening to a boring finance meeting.

We have societal standards that sometime prevent a perfectly normal person from approaching another perfectly normal person and saying “hi.”  It’s OK to break those sometimes – within reason.  Try a different form of communication, go outside your comfort zone.

 

It’s not you, it’s the aliens

When you wonder why you haven’t met the right person, just consider that you have a lot more requirements than you think – whether they are requirements you impose actively (you want a tall guy), or requirements that are just part of your current situation (you have kids and want the same).

When you go out to find someone, realize that it’s a big world/galaxy out there, and don’t feel so bad that you haven’t met them yet.  Do consider schedule changes.  Do consider operating outside of your bubble and considering different forms of communication.

If you’d like more thoughts on dating sites, dating and weren’t totally shocked that I drew parallels between The Drake Equation and The Fermi Paradox, follow my onlyaglance.com account of twitter.  You can also take a peek at Alchemy For Life Coaching. Dating is sometimes a part of coaching someone on balance. I write often for AFL, but also created onlyaglance.com and thought this post was more appropriate for the dating site, considering the approach of Valentines Day.

Also, pass the jelly beans.  No, no that one, blech.

How can I ask my boyfriend to be more communicative in a LDR?

You already have. You’ve stated plainly enough to us, so I’m assuming you’ve stated it even more plainly, and often, to him.

You haven’t mentioned that he’s irritated, or annoyed. You haven’t mentioned that you’ve raised your voice, or done it in a complaining manner.

If this is all true, then you’ve done all you can, and unfortunately it’s time to move on. Contrary to what we see in fiction and in dramas sometimes, and to the perpetual myth – communication is NOT an option. It’s not a bonus, it’s not a special thing that only some people are able to do. A solid foundation of communication is for everyone, and a must in a relationship. Every person who wants to be in a relationship and enjoy the benefits of a partner must communicate with said partner.

There are no excuses. There’s no “I wasn’t brought up that way” or “I’m a guy, what do you expect” or “Well his heart is in the right place.”

People are intelligent, sentient, expressive feeling beings. All of them, regardless of gender.

If someone has an issue, emotionally, then it is up to them to explore and address that independently, privately so that they can be whole for their partner.

I’m not talking about an issue that develops in the middle of a marriage and both partners seek counseling to address it. I’m talking about someone who comes to the the table, to the relationship, and brings with them this limitation.

The boyfriend/girlfriend stage is not the fixing stage. The engagement stage is not the fixing stage either. Adjusting? Perhaps. But not fixing. Count yourself lucky that you have become aware of this at the boyfriend stage and can (relatively) easily move on.

Good luck.

Profile Pictures – dos and don’ts

Follow these simple tips about on line dating profile pictures and you can not only enhance your profile but avoid some frustration for potential great matches.

In the olden days of on line dating, people actually read through profiles and met up with people that they did not see a profile picture of, according to my friend who met his wife on line.

But we are visual creatures.  In fact, the one thing that all sites have in common is that they shove a small image of your potential date in front of you and ask you to read a bit further.  In the age of  The Facebook, Pintrest, Google plus, instagram and twitter, we are bombarded with easy access images, in almost unlimited quantity, and usually in a very timely fashion, about lots of wonderful things we couldn’t care less about.

So why do most people’s images suck?  I’ll tell ya what to do and what not to do.

 

Make it simple

When someone is looking for a potential match, they are looking for a person, and in fact most likely due to evolution, a person’s face.  They are not looking for a group of people, a dog, a boat, a motorcycle, or a painting.  When adding profile images ideally you should have a clear image of just you.  Make sure you have at least one clear image of your headshot, preferably in your going-on-a-date kind of attire (or greater).

By the way...Only A Glance allows only one headshot as your main photo, this is used for the glance or avert your eyes method of selection. 

 

What are you doing?

If you are adding images of yourself, do not add fifteen images of you sitting in a dark room, illuminated only by the glare of a monitor, taking head shot after headshot with your web cam.  If you do this you will look:

  • Much less attractive – you really think the dim blue monitor light is enhancing your natural skin tones?
  • Really boring – all you have are self portraits?  Don’t you ever leave?
  • Poor – you don’t own a camera or a nifty iPhone to take clear hi res pics with?
  • Deceptive – are you just a tiny head on a giant body?
  • Lonely – You have no one who could possibly take a pic of you?  What about your kids?  Even the very young would be happy to take a pic of you, a friend, a coworker, some guy you pay a dollar to, that japanese tourist.

Regardless of what you write in your profile, people are going to get an impression of you from your picture – much faster, with more of an emotional hook.

It is very hilarious, ironic and ultimately annoying to read the profile of a self-proclaimed world traveler with hundreds of friends, activities and hobbies who only features the above-mentioned web cam darkened cave shots.  Really?  Skiing in Aspen?  Riding elephants?  Baseball games?  Click.

 

By the way...Only A Glance allows one headshot as your main pic and a private gallery of images later.

 

 

Limit group pictures

As I said people are looking for you.  They are not going to take your group of ten friends to the movies, that would get expensive and we all know that Debbie is the big killjoy who orders way too much food anyway.

Group photos are the favorite images of the social people, especially women.

If you add group photos follow these rules to limit frustration on the viewer:

  • Make sure your caption tells the viewer which one you are, every time.  Don’t assume they get who you are – to them you are one of three blondes, they don’t see that you are the one with the better shoes, or the (duh!) coach bag or more hair than the other guys.
  • Don’t feature too many pictures of you and your gang out for a night of beers – perception is everything so even if these pictures occurred over the course of a year between all your church visits and helping the children and rescuing kittens, they are just going to see a party dude/dudette.
  • Make sure you are featured prominently in at least one of them.  If you’re always the sad head in the background it will look like someone else’s photo and you are just the wall flower.

 

No one is going to date a motorcycle

It is a common mistake of men to feature images of a motorcycle, a car, a dead animal or some other possession that they think is cool. Though there are those out there that are looking for the sports guy/gal, the harley guy/gal, it is a bad idea to do this.  You can mention that you enjoy going for rides, that fishing is a fun hobby and that you do hunt from time to time, but your profile is about you.  If you are not in the image, there should be a really good reason why you are not.  The profile is not the time to play show-and-tell, that is to be saved for the actual relationship.  You went to Cairo?  Great!  Your cat is ever so cute?  Fantastic!  Your kids are funny and got paint all over them?  Awww!

Just don’t put that in your gallery.

You may find it boring, self centered and selfish, but that’s really why the visitor is there – to see you, doing stuff, from different angles.  If you feel like you are on display, you are.  You are on display when you leave your house, it’s just not as obvious as when you make a profile.

 

Children should be seen not heard briefly mentioned.

At a certain age, it becomes very common to be dating and have children.  You love your kids.  You think they are the cutest things in the world, they are a part of you and in fact most of your pics probably feature them standing next to you.

There’s one problem – you shouldn’t show them on line.

If you have to show a pic that has your kids in it, crop them out if possible.  If you can’t crop them then please blur their faces.  It is not fair to them to have their images all over the internet.  Dating sites, with the exception of one, all allow not only members but unregistered visitors (read – search engines!) to view all of the images of someone’s profile.  That’s not good.  Privacy is very important.

Your profile may mention that you have kids – that’s enough.

By the way...Only A Glance guards your privacy by only showing your gallery to those you have already started chatting with.

 

Don’t get creative

With the exception of Google Glass, everyone is walking around seeing things as is – they are not walking around looking at things with a coral border, or in sepia tones or with random flowers sprinkled all over them.

Do not, do not, and I repeat for clarity, do not alter your images in any way.  Some dating sites allow you to “purchase” alterations on your images with the assumption that this makes you more eye catching.  It may, at first, but if you are unattractive to someone without alterations, then you are going to be unattractive AND annoying if they clicked on a thumbnail only to see that it is a tacky alteration.

If you alter your images it will look like:

  • You have an awful lot of time to putz with your profile pictures
  • You think you’re really attractive (thinking you are really attractive only works for the .2% of people who are really really attractive)
  • You are a really tacky person with no style
  • You spend too much time/money on a dating site.

The only exception: a black and white photo or two.

By the way...You can’t alter your images on Only A Glance, no special backgrounds.  There are no things to ‘purchase’ since the entire site is free.

 

 

I sing the body electric

This is a subject that is a complete no brainer for some, and for others it is a huge problem – full body profile pictures.  There are those that, in the course of selecting images, automatically include some or all full body images.  It just seems natural, standing in front of a big gate, at a party, etc.  Then there are the almost macabre images – the Disembodied Heads!  Muh hahahaha!  Picture after picture is just a head, no points of reference, you can barely figure out the setting. People do this for two reasons, neither of which is good:

  1. They just don’t know any better.  They figure you just want a picture of their face, so they take a quick pic with their web cam (see bad web cam photos no-no above) or their phone.  That’s an easy fix.  
  2. They are less than confident about their appearance.  In the case of women, where it is most common, they do not feel comfortable with their weight.  In the less common case with men, they don’t like being the shortest guy in the pic, so they crop everything out.

Trying to sell people your head when it’s just gonna bring that schlumpy body along simply does not work.  People will eventually have to see the rest of you.  In the case of real life encounters, people will see all of you at the same time.

So how do you address point #2?  Well, it is a question of liking yourself.  If you don’t like your weight, perhaps more time focused on yourself and less time on dating sites makes sense?  Or perhaps it is only a matter of confidence.  Try it.  Try some full body profile images and see what happens.  You may be pleasantly surprised!

Granted, on some dating sites you may risk the occasional less than kind off the cuff message, but the alternative simply doesn’t work.

 

By the way...Only A Glance does not allow anyone to write to you unless both parties agree to communication.  You can never receive an initial rude or inappropriate message.

 

 

Cropping, Rings, Shrek Arms and overly friendly friends

Finally, try to limit the images with a big giant hairy Shrek-like arm from your previous boyfriend/husband, or any body parts from your old flames.  Make sure your photos are not so old they still have you wearing a wedding ring (you’re not STILL married, are you??).  If you have a pal of the opposite sex and they are in 50% of your pics with their face up against yours looking a little too happy and or drunk, it will send the following message : I have issues with my friend, I really want to be with them, or, I have actually been with them and will continue to do so, so there.

That’s probably (hopefully) not true, so just avoid the perception.

 

I understand that some of this seems like a lot of work.  Its not really, it’s just fairly intelligent and upfront choice of images, while still maintaining your anonymity.  Good luck!

Chatting with potential dates – tips for better chatting

Once you’ve both decided it is a good idea to chat, you can start chatting on onlyaglance.com.

Like everything on onlyaglance.com, chatting is a means to an end, that end being meeting a potential mate and seeing if there is chemistry there.

Remember these simple tips…

Be polite
When chatting on line, always treat the potential date with respect, and kindness.  That’s another human being on the other end, with feelings and emotions.  The golden rule applies here.

Be clear
Text sucks for conveying emotion.  Simple, harmless fun in text or chat can come across as snarkiness and cruelty.  Your humor may be awesome as far as you are concerned, but it just may not translate well across text, especially to someone who has yet to ‘get’ you.

Don’t just go for it
Expect some back and forth first.  Some people want to see how good you are at bantering.  Once they are comfortable you can then ask to meet for coffee, etc.

Don’t use AOLspeak
Meaning, don’t use texting slang when communicating.  Don’t use “U” instead of “you.”  It may not bother some people, but it’s best not to risk it.  Better to at least give the impression you are not a knuckle dragger, in chat, at least.

Remember the escape hatch
On onlyaglance you can always choose to lose interest in a person, even after you’ve been chatting.  This can be useful for someone who has suddenly become vulgar, or just wasn’t who you thought they were.  Or, the original reason for this, they’re just not being responsive.

Messaging is not real time
As with any form of communication other than in person and a phone call, messaging is not real time.  Texts may seem like real time, and some chats may seem like that as well, but they are not.  So, don’t fall into the trap of worrying about a delay that you perceive.   Treat each chat on onlyaglance.com as an email – make it worthwhile to read.