The Only OKcupid/Tinder Advice You Need Is Right Here

NOTE: This is an older post that I’ve updated with new info.OnlineDatingSS-Post

So you’re using the interwebs to troll look for dates. Or “dates.” Here’s what you need to do to beat the fatigue and get offline.

Stop Emailing So Many People – The one sure fire way to get fed up is to send out a bunch of emails, one after the other in rapid succession. Emailing people who haven’t initiated some kind of interest or effort is fairly pointless. “But, Moxie. That’s how I met my current boyfriend/girlfriend!” you’ll say. Awesome. How many emails and bad dates and faders did you have to go through before you met them? Yeah. Thought so. Save these messages for people that you really think you just have to take a shot at because you and they seem to have so much in common. But those randos you see in searches that look cute but don’t really jump out at you? Don’t bother. Save your emails for people who initiate interest in some way first. Winks, profile views, messages, favorites, etc are all ways of demonstrating possible interest. Those are the focus you cold call message.

Consider The Tinder Effect  – Tinder is quickly blowing the doors off of traditional dating sites. EHarmony seriously needs to pack it up and go home at this point, in my opinion. As should any site that requires that you complete a series of steps before you can trade contact info. Things move way too fast for that now. Thanks to Tinder, we’re being conditioned to accept the most basic of criteria before we decide if we’re interested in someone. Don’t be surprised if profiles become more and more bare bones. That’s where we are headed.

Download Dating Apps  – You should always utilize all the options and avenues afforded to you in order to meet new people. That includes Tinder. You should be using at least one or two traditional dating sites – one paid and one free (I suggest Match and OkCupid)-  but you also need to use the apps, since people are leaving their laptops behind for their smart phones and tablets. While I don’t think Tinder is worthwhile for people over 60, I do think it’s a viable options for people well over 40.

Update Your Profile Regularly - The problem with OK Cupid (or any other dating site) is that, in order to stay at the top of the searches, you need to update your profile CONSTANTLY. As in literally a few times a day. If you don’t do that your profile gets pushed down in the search ranking very quickly. It’s incredibly annoying and kind of a hassle.   If you ever pay attention to the activity section on your OKC home page, you’ll always see pretty much the same people in that box. That’s because those people are constantly updating their profile or answering a new question. That’s a big reason why people answer so many questions – because that shows up in that activity box on the home page and gets people more views. If you use OKC, delete one of your photos and immediately re-add it. That will get you a spike in traffic as your profile will then be included under the Activity Column on the OKC homepage.

Make Your Preferred Age Range Reasonable – We’re all a  pack of Judgey McJudgersons. Guys, if we see that you’re mid-thirties or above and you included anything under 25 in your preferred age range you’ll be deemed a creep. Same goes for the women in their mid-thirties and older  looking to meet men in their twenties. You’re going to be branded something negative. If you want to pull someone considerably younger, then email them. But adjust your public age setting to make you look less…delusional.

Search in Age Range Increments of 3 Years - Instead of doing a search for people ages 30-40, do 3 or 4 separate searches with windows of about 3 years each. You’ll get to see more  profiles because you won’t get burnt out from seeing all the same ones over and over. Use all the different sort criteria – distance, match percentage, age, who is new, who is online, etc – when doing searches.

Lie About Your Age - I know. Omigod! A lie! At this point, lying about your age is common place. Just add a disclaimer in the beginning of your profile that states your real age. The goal isn’t to deceive. It’s to be included in more searches. Just don’t go crazy, all you “I’m 40 but look 30″ folks. You’ll give people The Sads.

Avoid Certain Body Type Descriptors – I’m lookin’ at you all you “curvy” ladies and ‘jacked” guys. The common search criteria for body types are – Thin, Slender, Petite, Fit, Athletic, Average. If you’re overweight, then select “average’ and be sure to post a full body shot. Remember , the goal is to get in front of as many eyeballs as possible and not deceive anybody or waste their time. Let your pictures speak for themselves.

Don’t Skip Any of The Basic Details - You know how, for some of the answers, you’ll see a ” – ” instead of an actual selection? Yeah. Number one? You’re not fooling anybody. I did a profile review for a guy who was 5’6″. He chose to skip that question. I told him that that was an obvious sign that he was below “typical” height for a guy. I also pointed out that it kept him out of searches since most if not all women will select a specific height range. Fill those spaces in. If you don’t want to list an income state “Prefer not to say.” (Don’t assume that means unemployed. It usually means someone is being discrete.) If you’re a smoker, that “-” screams “I smoke like a fiend!!” OkCupid recently added Relationship Type to their basic details section. You can choose Strictly Non-Monogamous/Monogamous or Mostly  Non-Monogamous/Monogamous. Pick one.

Use Sex As a Lure - This one is more for women. Checking off the casual sex box on OKCupid will absolutely skyrocket your page views. Of course, you’ll have to employ more filters and develop a thick skin so you can stomach all the douchey messages from guys in Joey Buttafuoco pants and muscle shirts. This tip is dicey, I know.  The reality is that men and women are both suspicious of folks who select casual sex. Guys will wonder why a woman has to select casual sex since it’s believed women can get laid fairly easily. Men who do it, if they’re not atypically good looking, will be perceived as desperate.

Accept That Everybody Lies & That That’s Okay - Learn It. Live It. Love It. It’s about getting the date. So, yeah, someone might add two inches or subtract five years. That doesn’t make them a sociopath. Stop watching so much TV.

The thing to realize is that by applying all these filters, your options will become smaller. So be it. If you define online dating success with how many dates you get or how many year long relationships you have, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Nowadays, the success is in not wanting to chew your arm off, quitting or giving up. Those ads telling you about all those marriages? It’s a selling point. It’s not reality. The majority of people who use these sites end up dating dozens and dozens of people for a long time until they meet someone that turns out to be long term. Nobody..and I mean nobody…should be on those sites looking for a relationship.

Those sites are for getting you dates. YOU’RE the one who gets you the relationship. And that takes time and effort and experience. The goal as far as I’m concerned is to avoid getting burnt out, duped or disheartened.




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16 Responses to “The Only OKcupid/Tinder Advice You Need Is Right Here”

  1. LostSailor Says:

    1. Yes, stop blast emailing. I’ve had much better response and success online by focusing rather than being indiscriminate.

    2. I haven’t used Tinder, but I’ve looked into it. As many have said, it seems more like a hook-up app rather than a more serious dating platform. EHarmony isn’t challenged by this. I will probably give Tinder a shot, though I may be out of their age profile, so it might be an unrealistic test. But like the recent letter about the drunken hook-up via Tinder shows, things moving too fast often have bad outcomes. Surprise! I don’t agree that this is where “digital dating” is heading. If I’m wrong, it would be the death of digital dating.

    3. Yes. Use apps from online dating sites. As I just said, I’m not convinced that Tinder will last, but that’s not the apps I’m talking about. I’ve used the OKC app with to aid good results.

    4. Yes, update a profile, even if it’s a feint, regularly. I switch out a couple of short items on OKC, cycling through 3 or so, in the section that has historically gotten the best response. Deleting and re-adding a photo would work, too. There is definitely an up-tick on traffic and incoming messages.

    5. Can’t speak to this. I don’t use the search very often.

    6. Avoid the outliers of “body type” if within the realm of possibility. If you can’t with reasonable honesty select Average, Fit, etc. then do the work to fit those descriptions. “A little extra” or “curvy” aren’t going to cut it.

    7. Indeed, fill in all the details. The only one I don’t is “income.”

    8. Men should never select “casual sex.” Period. Nor really should women. Yeah, we all like sex. If you have to advertise, you won’t make the sale.

    9. Yeah, everybody lies online (well, most do). But make sure your lies are small. The bigger the lie, the more to overcome on that first date. Don’t let your reach overcome your grasp.

    There’s really no substitute for going out and meeting people offline, but online is not a wasteland. I find, after many years of doing online dating, that I can usually get someone to meet offline fairly quickly. about 60% of these don’t go anywhere, but usually are at least a nice conversation over a glass of wine. But some have been surprising. It’s all about calibrating your online interactions, getting offline as soon as possible, and moderating your expectations.

    • DrivingMeNutes Says:

      Tinder is not the wave of the future. It can’t be. Not because it’s not brilliant – it is. But, like a virus that is so deadly that it kills its victims before they can spread it, the seed of Tinder’s own destruction is built into its structure. Decisions on Tinder are permanent. Once you reject a candidate, you never see them again. So, there will be a point that you will run out of new people to connect with. Sure, every year there will be a new crop of people who turn 29 that will suddenly fall within your age range (of course, you’ll be older too and fall outside their age range) But, for the most part, once EVERYONE signs on to Tinder, the party’s over. Doomed.

      • D. Says:

        Interesting points re: Tinder. I think shortly after it first launched, OKCupid added a similar function to its app, while retaining its traditional website and its mobile version of that on the app. I used it and found it vaguely interesting, but never met anyone that way.

        I think Tinder and Eharmony cater to vastly different markets. Pretty much anyone I know who ever tried Eharmony did it more out of exhaustion/frustration with the traditional/free sites. I can’t imagine Eharmony and Tinder are competing against each other in that sense, since Tinder seems more likely to be used by people who just want a quick hookup rather than “compatibility based on 18 gajillion questions! And look! We advertise married couples!”

        That said, I can see some bleed-over from Tinder into sites like OKC and Match. I don’t think it’ll necessarily dominate those sites and cause everyone to just write “stuff” or “Just look at the pics” in each section of their profile or whatever, but I can see some people using those sites for their tinder-like aspects and not really bothering with the main account.

  2. HammersAndNails Says:

    Is this satire?

    Sure there is just enough Truth and wisdom to make it seem plausible but it’s all choking to death on bitterness and cynicism.

    …. and yet again, point one is absolutely absurd advice to give to men.

  3. D. Says:

    One thing I’d add here is that if you choose to do things differently, go ahead. Just do so with the understanding that you narrow your chances by doing so.

    Wanna write a Russian novel of a profile? Wanna never answer the questions? Fine and dandy. Just understand that this means fewer results. Maybe you think you’ll get better results, so you’re happy with fewer. That’s fine too. But in your search for “fewer, but better,” recognize that you may spend a LONG time in the desert. If you can accept that, then you may find something more rewarding, but (A) there’s no guarantee, and (B) even if you do it may take a LONG time for that to happen.

  4. Howard Says:

    Images, Images, Images. That’s the big deciding factor right now and the continued wave of the future of online dating. Get different types of pics, not just rehashes of the same thing or theme. I am not sure what the optimum number should be, but at least five. The optimum number may even be in the ten range.

    If you have others in the pics, be careful. A dance performance or race may be fine, but one with your kids, is just a no-no. I am ambivalent about best friends in pics. A woman having her best friend that is a man, in the pic, just doesn’t work for me. If you have one with a good friend of the same gender, she better look good, but not too good to outclass you. Guys with other guys in the pic doesn’t work. Guys having one girl in the pic doesn’t work. A guy hanging out with a group of hot girls in a pic may work, but some women may see you as too much of a player. The way to get around it, is if it’s some type of activity.

    Any types of activity pics work and say a lot about you. Even posing pics should try to avoid too much of the posed look.

    I believe video bits that are not cheesy, will be the next big thing, at online sites. Videos with you doing something fun, maybe even with other people, can a means of establishing social proof and showing how real you are. They will also be a means of others developing affinity with you. I believe videos have not taken off as yet, because people put up videos than are too cheesy, and the image quality is too poor. Some people use facebook as an online dating mechanism. I know dancers who do this and their posted videos with them dancing, works magically for them.

    In terms of scripts, I believe tightly wound up novelettes are dead on arrival. People don’t have time to read that crap. Scripts should have a real positive feel to them. If you feel the need to qualify before meeting people, (I don’t know why) focus on what you like, rather than what you don’t like.

    And stop giving people a reason to not contact you. Wading through messages is a necessary part of online dating if you are a woman. Don’t worry about it, the messages get less anyway, as the weeks go along. This brings us to the need to change sites when you become stale.

    In terms of gender specifics, guys, you have to show that you are a man of energy, balanced with a compassionate side. Ladies, you have to show you are sexy, with a good heart.

    • msM. Says:

      Howard you sound like you are so much older that it’s as if you were of a completely different generation (you sound like you are 58-63 to me:), you gender expectations are so different from that of my generation.

      I think we get it: men like pictures. As clear as possible. I think videos are too weird, sorry, pictures should exist so that people can meet quickly. Meeting as soon as possible is the best policy so that you are not second-guessing people. Meeting people should actually NOT be a big deal, and romance should NOT be “expected”, online dating just puts more people in front of you initially. I like that a lot about online dating, meeting people I would not have otherwise met even if we’re not a romantic match. I met so many fascinating people…writers, creative directors, academics, tech people…yes not much that was romantic came out of it, but there were other benefits, like meeting people I could never meet on my usual circle of friends.

      I do love that about it, I really do. i love hearing people’s stories and hearing about their lives, even though there will be no second date. (you can tell that pretty quickly). As a shy person in real life who is not into drinking, I have found online dating to be a blessing. I only wish it were around about 8 years ago!

      And I completely disagree about your advice re: men’s profiles: what I want to see from men’s profiles is concrete information and NO *BS*, “romance” type of clichés. There is a terrible type of male profile which likes to present itself as “compassionate”: the “protector”/passive-aggressive beta man, the one who says “I am a caring individual, etc…beware of the liars out there – I am not one of them. I am looking for a real connection”. “Compassionate/caring” is not something you need to discuss it should be implicit. To me that just means “I wanna get laid asap will cliché-talk my way through it”.

      Men should have **concrete information** on their profiles (career, a bit of background info, mention kids if they have any) and list current interests in music, art, literature, food, etc…and what they do outside of work. (since I have an academic/creative background culture is a big deal, I need to gauge how intellectual/analytical someone is. If someone lives for the gym and sports and/or loves Broadway musicals I can tell we will not be a match, etc…).

      If I have to sort of figure that out by having to ask too many questions, I am not replying to that person. I sometimes reply and say “sorry you’re profile is too vague I have no way of assessing whether we have any potential compatibility”.

      There is no reason to hide information or to act coy on a website. it’s actually a lot simpler – just explain what you do outside of work, and your activities/interests overall and the woman will see if you are a match to her interests. It’s not that complicated.

      • Howard Says:

        I agree with you about the male profile that likes to present itself as the protector. I believe that is the wrong angle. There was nowhere that I advocated that. You took one end of what I said, and ran with that. I said men have to portray energy. Showing the compassionate side was the additional piece to not come off too gung-ho.

        In writing a profile, the weakest thing anyone can do, is to directly mention “I have great energy” or “I am a very caring person”. That is just not the best way to portray these things. The funny thing though about female profiles, is that women with great pictures can actually get away with doing that. Unfortunately men don’t get those privileges.

        For example mentioning charities, one is involved with, in some area where one answers a question, works better than saying “I am very caring” in one’s “about me” section. It’s like any job interview, where someone is directly telling me, that they are this or that. It always works better to demonstrate by letting me know what was done, and even better what was accomplished, especially if it was innovative or required leadership, or overcoming great odds.

        If people treated their profiles like the job hunting process, with the added personal touch, there might be better outcomes.

        I never said videos are in vogue. Why do people like to take things and run to the extreme? I actually don’t like posting videos. Like you, I think they are weird, but as you said, I’m an older guy; not that old, you do have my age all wrong.

        However the younger generation in their teens and early twenties seem to like doing it. And that’s the future, not us people over thirty or worse yet over forty. The video thing was mentioned in the context of where I think online dating is going in the future, after all, Tinder was being discussed. The next generation is even more visual than us. They don’t read as much as we do. To grasp this, all one has to do, is look at a magazine geared to the younger generation and compare the number of images to words.

        Regarding how visual men are, women say they get it. I am not here to question how much women get it, just to remind them that it’s really big, irregardless of how much it grates on them to hear this. For a lot of guys, those images may be as much as 75% and the rest 25%. Many guys will also probably deny, because they don’t want to appear shallow, but it is, what it is.

        Older guys like me, do read profiles and look for certain things. I like women who have a good heart, so I need to get a sense of that without her directly saying that. That brings us to the important point of the energy to a profile being the clincher, rather than the exact words.

      • Howard Says:

        “I met so many fascinating people…writers, creative directors, academics, tech people…yes not much that was romantic came out of it,”

        your words, regurgitate that and think about it in terms of what you have been qualifying. Obviously that has not led to the right chemistry and magic. Very interesting men are fine, but it’s obviously not working. Maybe, just maybe, you are screening out the guy that will move you. Maybe, he initially appears as too much of a sexual threat. But of course, you shouldn’t throw caution to the wind either and go too much in that direction.

        It still comes back to balance. Right now you are too far to one side.

    • Bree Says:

      No, guys in pics with a bunch of women DOES NOT work. Makes him seem like he’s trying to look like a player/ladies man/whatever. Douchey.

  5. msM. Says:

    Howard: you don’t know me at all.

    You sound like a fuddy-duddy paternalizing type of man that I have nothing in common with. I picture you as a Danny de Vito-meets-Dr Phil type who wears Hawaiian shirts and birkenstocks during the summer. Sorry:(

    I am not dating in NYC now because I am in RIO DE JANEIRO as we speak. That’s why it’s “not working”.
    I am coming back the summer.

    I’m into D/s/Female Led Relationships. “Sexual threat”???? How do *you* know it’s not working?

    I have tons of interest from tons of interesting people. Vanilla and kinky. I’d rather meet people that meet my basic criteria than have some endless screening email back and forth. Like **I** said I love meeting people and I have have had *positive* experiences with online dating. Online dating IS NOT all about “dating” and “romance”. It is also about meeting people plain and simple.

    Your sexual politics are out of date, you always sound like you see women as angry/unhappy/negative who now have to bend over backwards to please men. I am not like that at all, sorry:). Because I have flexible age preferences, I care less about looks AND because i am D/s dominant, the ratio really is on my side. It’s about finding your “niche” or your “audience” and working within these parameters to find those who are realistically interested in you; communicating clearly what you are after and what you offer on your profile, and yes, having attractive pictures. I have only ever sent out a couple of messages, I just have a profiles that I reply to messages through. And I am happy with what i have, thank you!

    • Howard Says:

      You do love to jump off on your tangents now. I am just using what you said regarding not finding something romantic from online. I quote you your words again.

      “I met so many fascinating people…writers, creative directors, academics, tech people…yes not much that was romantic came out of it,”

      I will not respond in kind to your judgemental ad hominen attacks.

      • Howard Says:

        And just to add, I have had the very best success from online dating. I am off the market, and have no need to get online these days. It took me a while to figure it out but towards the end, my success rate at getting responses and dates were over the top good. My beloved that I have been with the last year and a half, is wonderful in every way. In the very few ways, we don’t always see the world the same way, we have both learned the lessons of life enough to respect and prize those differences.

        She is definitely better looking than me and guys who are not my friends always look at me puzzled to figure how I pulled that off. My friends are not surprised because I have a history of dating women a lot better looking than me. Now I am no slouch. It’s more like I’m a 7.5 and I end up going out with women who are probably a 9 to a 10 in looks and personality.

        What was the point of that bit about you having nothing in common with me? And what the heck that has to do with the discussion at hand is beyond me. By the way, most of the guys on this board are not looking to be dominated by any woman, so most of us wouldn’t be your cup of tea. So using that as an argument to refute what I said is illogical.

        When someone represents a niche category as yourself, female dominant into your own kinks, would wish to generalize to the entire female population, that makes no sense. When you in your own words say you have limited success finding romance from online dating, and I suggest there is reason, you take umbrage and attack me personally.

        The bit that really got me though were your words:

        “Online dating IS NOT all about “dating” and “romance”. It is also about meeting people plain and simple.”

        That is absolute rubbish. The word, dating, does exist in the phrase “online dating”. People go online to find someone romantically. If you aren’t, stop wasting other people’s time!

        • msM. Says:

          Howard you are constantly lecturing people, mostly “women” on here. Just look at the number of negative votes your comments get lately. That tells you something. I said something POSITIVE about online dating. You can meet great people. Some you date and others you don’t date. There is no contract that tells me I must sleep with someone I am not attracted to in person. That is all. You turn it into a condescending lecture about what I am doing “wrong”. Geez.

          • Howard Says:

            Who said you had to sleep with anybody? You really need to stop suggesting that I said something that I never said or inferred. Dating and sleeping are not synonyms. Online dating does not means online sleeping with. And stop this nonsense about me lecturing you, as some argument to refute what I say. That is not a logical argument. That is just noise that typically comes, when nothing of real substance is forthcoming.

            I don’t give a rat’s ass what people vote on my comments. That is also not a logical argument. Go right ahead and vote this one thumbs down too.

  6. Yvonne Says:

    Yes, people date online in order to meet a romantic partner, but most of the time, it doesn’t work out that way. If you happen to click with someone as a friend, and you’re both okay with it, why not establish a friendship? Expanding your circle of friends can’t hurt in the relationship arena either. It’s possible that your new friend knows someone who would be a great partner for you.

    I’d also like to add my own personal pet peeve here: photos. They should be recent, no more than a year or 2 old. And at least one of those photos should have been taken in the last 3-6 months, especially if you choose to lie about your age, and lying by more than a handful of years is shooting yourself in the foot anyway. There are people who say they’d never lie about their age who seem to think nothing of posting 10-year old pics.

    A couple of close-up photos and one full body shot is great as long as they are clear and representative of how you look today. No blurry photos, underexposed images, extreme long shots where you could be almost anybody, shots of your car, your bare chest (anybody who thinks that’s sexy is clueless), photos of you as a little kid, photos with other people in them (oftentimes the other people in the photo look better than the poster), or 10 vacation photos (boring). Nix the lazy bathroom, toilet in the background selfies, too.

    Hire a quality pro if you need help, but avoid the high school graduation-style, gray curtain background shots – natural settings are best. I was recently contacted online by someone with a suspiciously gorgeous, head shot style photo. I did a Google image search, and sure enough, it was some actor’s head shot. It’s that easy to check.

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