We know! Only weirdos and desperate people are online, which is weird because you’re online right now reading this sentence, but if you are adamantly against online dating and its many pitfalls, more power to you. Leave now. These tips are for everyone else.

Use recent photos.

Assume you’ll eventually meet your suitor and he found you attractive. Save the “he should like me for me” lines for the judge and jury. Just make sure you remotely resemble the pictures on your profile. When you finally meet, a man doesn’t want to hear a story about why you don’t look like yourself. It’s safe to assume you don’t want an explanation why he had hair and muscle in his pictures when he stands before you at Applebee’s bald and overweight. Please afford him the same courtesy.

Don’t bother checking your Inbox.

If you’re remotely attractive, your inbox is going to be filled with hundreds of messages. 9.9 out of 10 messages in your inbox will be from lames and creepers. The odds of the man of your dreams writing you are slim to none. Besides, it’s unlikely you would be able to differentiate him from the hundreds of lames and creepers in your inbox. Don’t waste time looking there. Your best bet is to view your recent visitors and decide who has potential first, then see if they’ve written you and respond accordingly. If they haven’t, please refer to tip #3.

Get over your fear of rejection.

Online dating isn’t like real life. The same rules don’t apply. If you see a guy you like, WRITE HIM. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Frankly, since you have the benefit of being a woman on your side, it doesn’t even have to be an entire sentence: “Write back,” “Hi/Hello,” or “:-)” are all perfectly acceptable to men. He’ll go to your profile if he’s interested. Don’t get me wrong, he probably won’t read it but at minimum, he’ll check out your pictures and spend 15 seconds scanning over the words you spent 15 hours slaving over. Note: This advice is not contradictory to tip #2, because even attractive men don’t get as many messages as attractive women. Similar to women, men get messages from female creepers and lames, too. Thus, if you are remotely normal looking he will check you out and you will become a priority.

Leave your ego at the log-in screen. 

Accept that not every man you want is going to write/reply. This is an unpleasant fact of life, but here’s a bonus tip: Get over yourself. Men have been dealing with this reality their entire lives. You think you’re the only attractive person that receives messages in their inbox? Doubtful. You think you’re the only one attracted to this man you deemed attractive? Unlikely. Is this stranger who quite possibly lied up and down his profile to get you to write him in the first place worth any type of emotional response if he doesn’t respond? NO!

Additional bonus tip: DO NOT WRITE MORE THAN ONCE. Following up 3 minutes later with, “I noticed you read my message but didn’t write back. I still think you’re hot! LOL :-)” is not cute, clever, or original. It’s desperate, borderline stalker-ish, and the quickest way to Deletedmessagesville. If he doesn’t write you back the first time, HIS LOSS! Snap your fingers two times in a circle, work your neck back and forth, eat some Häagen-Dazs, and move on.

Act Like Someone With Common Sense, Think Like A Man.

I don’t care what the commercials say, most men online are trolling for more women not a relationship. Keep this fact in mind and proceed with caution. Just because the red hand on the cross street disappears doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look both directions to make sure a speeding car doesn’t mow you down. Online dating is the same principle. Your standards should go up online never down. Use the tools at your disposal: his profile, pictures, demonstrated level of consistent interest, women’s intuition, palm readings, Magic 8 Ball, horoscope, or whatever else you deem necessary. There is no rush what-so-ever. Look both ways before crossing from online to off-line; don’t get mowed down by the first decent guy that comes along, makes above minimum wage, and flashes a cute smile.

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