First, let me answer the obvious question: “AMD, why are YOU writing about OK Cupid (OKC) and iDating? You don’t know jack on the topic!”
I’m writing because I’ve worked with clients who think they are doing the right thing at internet dating, but are failing drastically. Some of these folks are readers, so I want to help them find their way in the ocean of poon out there in the iDating scene. Now I myself have never had to use this methodology, but have consulted with a few who have absolutely crushed it after their divorce in this market – totally outhitting their coverage. With that as a backdrop, like everything, I fell down the rabbit hole, and those who are looking for insight into this topic can now benefit. with that, let me begin.
A good profile on OKC (or whatever mainstream site you use) will be 75% of the way there. Closing the deal and convincing them you’re not going to make a lampshade out of them is up to you.
- Main Photo. First, for any photos you need to use some decent quality ones. Your main photo should be from the knees up, maybe slightly closer. You want to have it have a clear view of your face, as you are looking slightly off-camera as your seeing something interesting. Use some camera tricks here (you know you have a friend who owns and sort-of knows how to use his fancy camera). Make your face/body in focus and the background a slight bit blurry. Use soft and muted colors, not fully saturated. Something like below (focus on the technical aspects of the photo). Why do this? Basic psychological tricks – a narrow depth of field creates an illusion of intimacy. Looking slightly off camera — what is he looking at? It makes her curious. It’s stupid, but it works. If you use a busy background – what’s going on there? What’s the story? When you crop your face for the icon, keep it big enough so that it is visible in the search results, but make it slightly off center and a little further away than “typical” to stand out a little. I’ve included some examples below
- Don’t be afraid to show your flaws. No reason to make you look like you’re something that you’re not. You wouldn’t want a woman to misrepresent herself with camera tricks, only to show up ugly and fat, so return the favor. If you have a big nose, don’t be afraid to show it. Adrian Brody has a big, goofy schnoz and still has a hot girlfriend. If you’re as short as Costanza, make it apparent. If you’re going bald, don’t use fancy camera angles to hide it – and if that’s the case, embrace the look (some of the bald dudes I know bring a lot to the table, are cool with their baldness, and have hot girlfriends/wives). Don’t surprise her, and don’t waste your time or hers if she doesn’t like your physical appearance. That may mean you have to send out more messages, but the replies you get back will be ok with your looks and ok in person when you meet.
- Add more strategic photos. These can be a little cliche, but they are necessary. Have one photo of you with a hot chick. So if you did a mud run with your friend and his hot wife, get a shot of the two (your hot friend and you) of you together in a shot, hopefully doing something goofy or having fun and laughing. It is sort of diguise in plain sight with the action part being a key component. The hot chick plays on the woman’s hypergamy instincts (if hot women are willing to spend time with you, you must have something going for you). Next, some other action shots – you playing volleyball, running a 5k (check the photos off the photography firm’s website), doing rock climbing at the gym, rolling BJJ. Whatever interesting hobbies that are action oriented, get a shot of you doing it showing you have an interesting life. If you don’t have an interesting life, and just eat ramen noodles and watch reruns of the Big Bang Theory you have bigger problems.
- Write a Good Profile. While looks will get them in the door, the actual profile will decide whether you get clicked or not for actual contact. First off, be funny. No one likes a stiff. I was listening to a podcast with Tucker Max and he was talking about his website back in the day (15 years ago, before he was a published author and just told his stories – like a blog). He had a “dating application form” where he had a section like: Describe your perfect date with me (check one): 1) go to a gentlemen’s club and try to pick up a stripper 2) Go to a gun range 3) Get absolutely shit house, retarded drunk 4) Get absolutely shit house, retarded drunk, pick up a stripper at a gentlemen’s club and then go to a gun range. (the content of the dating application form above is still live on Tucker’s page, it has some good ideas you might borrow – I’m a huge fan of not recreating the wheel and stealing/borrowing as much as you can). But make sure you also write “real” stuff. Every day for a few weeks, write a little bit each day, stream of consciousness stuff about random entertaining things that happened. Then edit and throw most of it away. When you’re ready, just start dropping it into the prompted sections, ignore the heading and do whatever you want. For example, in the “most private thing you’re willing to admit” section, just write a story about something interesting that happened. You show you’re not bound by rules and are more interesting than the average dude on there. I’m personally not a fan of self-depreciating humor since it comes off as beta, but it can work. You’re better off just telling interesting stories. Instead of answering the questions truthfully, make them jokey answers. They don’t care if you like classic rock or country, but if you say “I’ve been rolling in my 5.0 with my ragtop down so my hair can blow [an obvious reference to Vanilla Ice for those in our age range] since back in th day…[expand out if you want]” it may or may not hit the right punchline, but it will standout from “I love the Beatles” end of sentence responses from the mouth-breathers you are up against. Make every sentence be there for a reason, or be funny. Does it make you look interesting? Funny? If not, delete it or rephrase it. And keep in mind that they use Keyword searches, so if you have hot button things you want in a partner, or a partner about yourself, make sure they are included appropriately.
- Questions. You don’t have to answer even of a small portion of all the fucking questions they give you. Answer enough to provide enough info for the robots to help with the matches. Fill out the mandatory ones, fill out ones that you have good responses. I’m not sure the algorithm punishes you too much, but having answers to establish some connection percent is a good idea. How many is that? 50? A 100? Not sure, but more than that is probably overkill. And you may look like a total desperate dude if you answer 500, 1000. Dude.
- Messages. If done correctly, you’ll continue to cast into waters with the best chances for a bite. Most women’s profiles are mostly the same. Skim them, and pull out a few nuggets to draft a message, and if done right, they’ll respond with “You’re the only guy who actually read my profile!” Again, setting yourself apart from the pack. Example: “I see you’re a Walking Dead fan too, what do you think of the new Fear of the Walking Dead?” or something else you may have in common. If you have a website or blog that you don’t mind putting out there that reflects well on you, don’t be afraid of sharing. Some dudes I know have absolutely slayed by being into photography and having a Fickr account they’ve passed on. It’s a happy, easy convo topic and shows you’ve got depth. Not saying that has to be you, but find a hook. You can save your messages and use them over and over. Country music message. Zombie message. Orange is the New Black message. Crossfit message. You get the idea. Make it interesting and funny if you can. And short, no more than 5-8 sentences top. Spell check. Your and You’re are two different words and like nails on a chalkboard will turn people. Show you’re literate and well spoken.
- Have Patience. Even if you’re not especially good looking, if you’re fishing in these waters, send out a lot of bait and be patient. Look to send out 3-5 messages a day, get in and get out and then do something interesting. Or use dead time during your day at lunch. Maybe you get one reply a week, but if you do the above, it should be a quality opportunity. Most women probably get 50-100 messages a day. If they woke up on the wrong side of the bed, had a bad day at work, or just aren’t in the mood many will just bulk delete. If they are talking to a potential dude, bulk delete. Don’t take it personally, as the odds are stacked against you. You have to find her on the right day, be her “type” of guy, and be in the mood. She likes bearded hipsters and you’re a short business guys with tattoos? No response. Make your profile as good as you can, talk about your dog or hiking or your home smoker and desire to open a BBQ joint or whatever you’re into. But if she’s allergic to dogs, hates the outdoors, or is a vegan you’re not getting a response. So don’t get upset if you’re not a subset of whatever she’s looking for. Be yourself in the profile, but a funnier one, and you’ll improve your chances.
- Other Tricks. The following may help you depending on the algorithms OKC or other places use. 1) Edit your profile every day. That use that 20 minutes you’re responding your message to tweak something very small. Change “I have” to “I’ve”. Switch some language around. Add a different story. Whatever. Answer a few new questions, or change your question’s answers. This will help keep you r profile int he “recent activity” section on women’s pages. 2) OKC has a color-rating system, if you reply often enough you are green. If you reply sometimes you are yellow, if rarely – red. Almost every guy is going to respond to every incoming message and therefore be green. If you instead actually respond selectively, and have it change to yellow you may start fishing in better waters. Ignore some messages you know you don’t want to engage in. No need to be nice, they don’t know you. If they see every profile as a green, indiscriminate dude being a picky one is going to stand out. Not sure if this works, but to help with this, I’ve heard of guys making fake women’s OKC accounts, sending emails/messages to their primary account and deleting them to appear more selective. Not sure it works, but could be worth trying.
Once you set up an actual date, you’re on your own. Whether you’re looking to sleep around for awhile with lots of different women (probably recommended) or are a one person type of guy who wants to savor personal relationships, it’s your game after that. Getting to that point may take awhile, but once you’re there have fun. And use this free time without a girlfriend or wife to continue to improve yourself. Lift weights, start a side business, read lots of books, spend some time volunteering in the local food pantry. Make yourself a better person and all of a sudden you’ll see opportunities, like women, start throwing themselves at you. Good luck!