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.

Five secrets dating sites don’t want you to know

The Five Secrets Dating Sites don't want you to know
The Five Secrets Dating Sites don’t want you to know

Five secrets dating sites don’t want you to know, read on.
When I created Only A Glance it was with altruistic intentions of making something that actually worked.

When you log in you’ll see, there aren’t any secret gotchas, no special levels, no tricks of trying to get you to upgrade your membership.  There’s just one – the free one.

 

This radical way of approaching things is not by accident, it’s because of the ways the other sites do it.  And when you look closely you’ll see their secrets – secrets they don’t want you to know.  Below are the secrets, and the full disclosure on how OnlyAGlance.com handles them.

Here are the top five secrets dating sites don’t want you to know.

Secret #1: Free Communication is useless.

Sites like eHarmony offer “free communication weekends.” You’re supposed to log in, spend all that time making a profile, and then interact with people without seeing them.  Yep, no pictures at all, just like the olden days.  This simply does not work.  You will not make a connection with someone that you consider attractive, and you will spend a huge amount of time connecting with people and having many back and forth messages.  You will gain many pen pals and generate a lost of frustration for yourself.  Why do they do this?  Because it increases their numbers.  You will become discouraged, or you will end up upgrading to the paid membership.  Its win-win for them because either they get your money, or they get another Zombie Account that inflates their numbers and keeps the false choice feeling there for you.  See the Warm Bodies area below.

Full disclosure: Technically OnlyAGlance offers “free communication” but its a complete full blown membership with pictures.  Just being clear.

Secret #2: You’re Just a Warm Body.

Dating sites need you.  It’s a thing called critical mass.  It’s the same reason so many people use Facebook but secretly hate Facebook – everyone is on Facebook because everyone is on Facebook.  So the main goal of dating sites is to gain as many people as possible, get them to create accounts, and then use that to get more accounts.  Wash.  Rinse.  Repeat.  Profit.  The secret is that so many of the accounts are fake, or scraped, or abandoned.  It’s why so many sites have the create-a-profile form right on their front door, and also put the search right in your face.  It’s all about numbers to them, not you meeting someone.  In fact meeting someone is the last thing they want to happen.  See #5 below.

Full disclosure:  OnlyAGlance puts the sign-up form on the front door too, but we don’t hint at or show matches to you to get you to create an account.  Account information and pictures are more private here, and we don’t stick those pics on the front of the web site.

Secret #3: Fake Profiles Abound.

Some dating sites have been caught scouring other dating sites (and Facebook) to gather information to create fake profiles.  As I said before, numbers are important and the more people the better.  If you aren’t getting people to sign up fast enough, why not just create the profiles for them?  Because of this horrible practice some people have started placing a warning text in their profiles.  All sites have the problem of fake profiles from scammers.  Obviously both are a problem as at the least they slow down your search and at worst can pose identity and security risks.  Both of these fake kinds of profiles help the dating sites inflate their numbers, which is very important for reaching critical mass.  In addition there are many many inactive accounts from members.  People normally don’t take the time to log back in and say, “Yay I found someone, delete my account!”

Dating sites as a rule make it hard to remove your account completely.  Try removing your account on POF – you’ll be presented with more than one opportunity to not really leave and reconsider, like a door man who follows and keeps begging you, “Please don’t leave… Maybe it’s you?  Maybe you’re using it wrong.” When you finally do reach that page, you’ll be presented with the option to simply hide your profile.  They know most people will choose that and then just re-enable it later.  You will come back again, defeated with a glimmer of unfounded hope.

Full disclosure: OnlyAGlance, with the help of members, does it’s best to remove fake profiles.  We are not perfect, but as of this writing we have less than 1% unverifiable profiles.  We have a link to remove your profile right on the FAQ, and when we remove it, it’s gone, and you can’t make another one with the same email address.  There’s no ‘hide/disable’ function.  Also, the highest level of interaction on OnlyAGlance is the opportunity to mark a connection as “we have met.”  Because that’s what we’re here for, to help you meet, and stop using the site.

Secret #4: Matching doesn’t work.

All the dimensions, all the questions, all the % matching isn’t going to help you.  Almost all dating sites use some sort of matching.  Some of them make a great big deal out of it (eHarmony) while others actually suggest that they are connected to a deity (Christian Mingle – Find God’s match for you) while others have you answer a LOT of questions (OKCupid), still others have you take “tests” that really reveal some inner workings of your psyche that may be dangerous to publicly post to strangers (POF).

There is a lot of merit to things like The Five Love Languages, and research that suggests that perhaps Builders like other Builders, Explorers like to be with other Explorers, but that’s not enough.  And those kind of matches are diminished by our own massive filtering ability to find someone ‘attractive’ to us.

And that’s the key: attractive first, then sort out the rest.  They got it backwards.

The problem is that we are much more than our likes and dislikes, and someone you match with on many levels may not be someone you’re attracted to, and vice versa.  Nature has built into us the ability to select those we find visually attractive, first and foremost, and quickly.  Then we go from there.  Though you certainly can find someone the other way, it is extremely rare that it works and you end up clicking.  I’m sure you can go to a large group of people and find someone that has hobbies and interests that match yours, but then you have to find someone you’re attracted to out of that group.  Its much easier and natural to do it the other way – find the attractive person, see what you have in common.

As someone who is not into sports (I like being active, I just don’t watch any major sports stuff), I used to wonder about a certain group of women’s inability to find the right guy: sports chicks.  You’ve seen them – women who are really into sports, go to lots of football games, have all the Local Sports Team jerseys, have their hair pulled back and wear the Local Sports Team Caps.  They seem to have it made.  I wondered why they couldn’t just go to a football game instead of going to a dating site?  And some of them even reached out to me, when my profile said I didn’t like sports.

Because a  football game is filled with married men, boys, women, girls, even babies, so you have to filter that down to single age appropriate men, then find one you are attracted to.  That’s a lot of filters and sub filters, especially when you’re trying to watch the damn game.  And 2) Most of the single men there are there because the value of a sporting event is greater than the value of finding a mate at that moment.  And, 3) Just because someone likes the same thing doesn’t mean you’re going to be attracted to them, quite the contrary – if you are a sports chick you may not want a big sports guy – which accounts for why they sometimes reach out to a non sports guy like me.  Maybe they find me attractive?  There’s no accounting for taste.

There is truth to the old adage “opposites attract.”  What does your Advanced Matching Algorithm say about that?

Full disclosure: OnlyAGlance creates your glance page based on three things, 1) your zip code, 2) an age range of plus or minus 10 years and 3) the gender you are currently looking for.  So, in a very minimal way you could say we are matching you.  But we aren’t, we are just filtering.  And we’re filtering in the right order.

Secret #5: Dating sites don’t want you to find anyone.

Yes, that’s right: they don’t want you to find that special person.   If you did that, you’d stop using the site.  And if you stopped using the site they’d no longer receive your hard earned money as a membership fee, their numbers would drop, and they wouldn’t generate any ad revenue.  They are in business to make money you know.  By keeping you as active and interactive as possible, they are creating 1) a lot of false choices for you (especially for women), 2) a lot of page views that generate ad revenue and 3) a larger group of people to choose from.    Instead they want you to keep coming back, again and again.  They want you to be interested, enticed, intrigued, or just bored enough to keep writing messages, keep interacting with other people.

If you write a message on a dating site, they immediately present you with other candidates that are similar to the lovely woman or handsome man you just wrote to.  If I just tried to make a connection, why can’t I see where that goes first?  In real life if you sat next to a potential date, struck up a conversation, and then when done immediately got up and talked to someone else that wouldn’t bode well for you.  There’d be a lot of slapping, and not the fun Las Vegas kind either.

Why?  Because they have to keep you interacting, keep your kid-in-a-candy-store euphoria going.  This creates an environment of hundreds of men forced to bombard women, and women perceiving a false sense of choice, then becoming jaded, and overwhelmed.

Your frustration level and the way you treat other people is completely irrelevant.  All that matters is that you keep coming back.  It’s like they run a grocery store with little or no food in it, as long as you keep going in and out the door they make money.

Full disclosure: The business model of  OnlyAGlance is to generate some income from ads that are part of the pages.  You will notice that there aren’t many ads – we don’t max them out like other sites do.  Just a few ads here and there to hopefully do a little more than offset the costs of maintaining the site along with paying web development costs to keep the site a smart dating tool.  Our philosophy is the opposite of the other sites – we don’t want you spending all your time on the site – get in, glance, or avert your eyes and try to make a connection or two. In fact we help you by making it clear what connections you have going, and we prevent the bombarding with our clever methods.    That’s why it’s a tool and not a dating site.  Everything about Only A Glance was structured to allow you to make a connection as quickly and naturally as possible, with the assumption that you’re not trying to amass a harem.

These secrets may be very bad news, but also explains why so many people are frustrated doing something that should be so simple.  “Why is online dating so hard?!”  “This should be easy!” “No games!” and “No players” and “No serial daters!” are very common tag lines and headlines and profile shouts.
It’s because the Dirty Secrets of Online Dating are in play.

Who am I?  I’m the new guy, the guy with the altruistic goal of creating a safe, fast tool to connect with someone with the presumable desire to have a relationship with them.  I’m the guy that doesn’t make a lot of money, but provides a tool far better than the other dating sites.  The guy that hasn’t given in to the game.  And I still won’t take your money, so stop offering.  But do make a profile if you want to try it.

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!