Online Dating Tips for Women

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(Doctor’s note: a lack of free wifi and getting back into the country LATE last night meant that Monday’s article didn’t get uploaded until… well right now. Sorry guys.)

I’ll be the first to admit: I write most of my articles with a male audience in mind. To start with… well, I’m a guy, and a lot of my advice is naturally going to be coming from a male perspective and male experiences.

However, most of my audience are guys. As a general rule, women are more socialized towards being willing to ask for help when trying to improve their chances with guys. Men, on the other hand, are told that they exist in binary states; either they’re good with women or they aren’t. There are fewer outlets for dating advice for guys than there are for women.

That being said, I do welcome questions from women… like this one:


I just joined OkCupid on your recommendation, and I have to say you were very right about it being a buyer’s market for ladies. I was just wondering if you have any online dating profiles tips for girls. Should I message some of the guys that seems interesting? Or just weed through the messages that may come in. Do your tips for guys still apply? I feel overwhelmed!


This is an interesting question, OKNewbie1 because it comes down to a number of differences in male and female psychology and sexuality.

Women are From Venus, Men Are From Clichés

At it’s ultimate base, dating is the evolved equivalent of a mating dance as men and women are trying to determine whether or not they would want to reproduce with each other. When we go through the motions of dating, we’re evaluating one another on a number of levels – physical attractiveness and facial symmetry as indicators of health and desirable traits, the ability to provide for young and to protect the young from predators and raise them to sexual maturity.

In theory, it should be fairly simple; dude with the brightest plumage, women with the best child-bearing hips, 10 minutes of squishy noises and then a whole lot of controversy as to whether primates pairbond monogamously or polygamously.

But because we had to go and evolve and develop complex brains and societies, we had to go and make it all complicated and shit; what used to be instinctual has become confusing, and we end up overanalyzing it…if a woman is interested in a guy, shouldn’t she be willing to make the first move – after all, it is the 21st century. On the other hand, being too forward would make a guy think you’re easy, and no girl wants to be thought of as a slut… guys have it so easy, they’re supposed to be the aggressors…

And when it comes to guys, is it purely physical at first, or can there be an emotional connection as well?

One would think that when everybody is working at a step or two removed from the immediacy – via online dating – those questions can still crop up and make people want to throw their hands up and scream in frustration.


It's times like these that you wish you *could* threaten an inanimate object...

Ultimately it’s not that complicated. You just have to understand how guys think and how to make that work for you.


He May Love You For Your Mind…

I’ve mentioned before that online dating, for women, is basically dating with the cheat codes on. You can put in the minimum amount of effort and still reel in emails from men. You literally can just show up with one photo and a screen name and be rolling in instant messages, winks and emails within minutes.

The problem is… you’re probably not going to want to actually respond to most of those; 99%2 is going to be the Internet equivalent of dudes in a car yelling at every girl they see in hopes that someone will be so overwhelmed with instant lust that they’ll throw caution (and panties) to the wind and bang a stranger.

Since you’re reading this, I’m assuming that you’re not necessarily looking for Mister “‘sup gurl, u fine. Wuts yur name?got pix??” who’s busily cluttering your inbox. You’re more discerning. A woman of quality and taste. And that means you want quality guys.

Well, if you want quality guys, you’re going to put the effort into the profile. Your online dating profile is your verbal equivalent of a peacock’s lustrous plumage3; the better the profile, the better the results.

In short, you’re trying to seduce him with your brain.


In fairness, your brain is kinda hot...

When you’re writing your profile, think about the sort of guy you’re looking for; while guys in general are wider ranging in the types they’re willing to date (or bang), there will be plenty who have a narrower focus. If you want a particular kind of guy, you’re going to have to know what he’s looking for.

Y’know. Besides sex.

As I’ve advised guys before, if you want a type, you have to be able to show yourself as someone who that type would be attracted to; think if it as proving that you know how to speak their language. If you like nerd-boys, mention your own geeky interests. If you’re looking for hipsters or socially aware, politically active vegetarians, you want to play up your own music snobbery or your volunteer work for X candidate’s election campaign. Just be sure to use specific examples; it will help elevate you from the mass of poseurs who may be trying for the same guys you’re looking for.

In general, the rules that I’ve outlined before for guys and online dating still apply for women; write with proper grammar and spelling, know which parts of your dating profile are critical (about yourself, what you’re looking for) and which you can blow off (cheesy “I Couldn’t Live Without…” lists and the like).

That being said…

  1. names have been changed in order to protect the innocent… and because if I’m gonna rip off emulate Dan Savage, I’m gonna do it right. []
  2. a conservative estimate at best []
  3. Yes, I know that it’s the males with the gaudy tails and the hens are kinda drab. I’m rolling here, just go with it []

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  • room temp

    "And when it comes to guys, is it purely physical at first, or does is there more to it?"

    The hell?

    • Dr. NerdLove

      (**facepalm**) This is what happens when you try to write an article at 4 in the morning on an international flight out of Turkey.

    • JodeneSparks


  • T

    As a guy, I always look for women who have pictures of themselves having FUN. I'm not talking just like "clubbing" photos but the ones where they're on a trip or doing some recreational activity. Who wants to date a stick in the mud? Also, I personally like it when I can tell a person's personality from what they wrote in their profile.

  • Red

    Love this–such good and honest advice!

  • Great article. However I could not disagree more about the "sense of entitlement" remark about men. It is totally opposite! You take any woman on any site over a B+ in the looks department with a good job, intellect, morals etc., and she suddenly acts as if a church-going Brad Pitt with big muscles and a fat bank account should show up and sweep her off her feet!! I am a good looking, successful, fun, morally sound guy who finds himself having to BEG for attention from girls two levels below on sites like Match. Boohoo for you poor B+ and above ladies for having to weed through jerks, garbage emails and a few bad dates. I'd gladly trade places with you in a minute! You wonder why guys act desperate and out of character online? It's due to your unrealistic standards!

    • eselle28

      B+ above in the looks department with a good job, intellect, morals, etc.? You know, that's a pretty small group of women. The others, who don't meet those requirements? They use online dating as well. Their experience may be very different from what you imagine.

      People can certainly get a little shallow online, but it's ridiculous to complain about women having high expectations for appearance and financial success while holding quite rigid ones yourself.

    • There are plenty of guys who think they're god's gift to women on the sites too, of course you won't see it because they're not looking for you. They usually post topless photos while making some kind of gang sign, and start harassing anyone they like who doesn't respond or demurs. Just run a search as W4M and it'll open your eyes.

    • "You wonder why guys act desperate and out of character online? It's due to your unrealistic standards!"

      Hate to break it to you, but no-one else is responsible for your behaviour. If you act desperate, that's down to you, not what someone else did. If you act out of character, that's also your responsibility. Quit whining! I once wrote a lovely girl on OKCupid and got no reply. So, I wrote again, asking for her advise and critique as to why I wasn't getting many replies. She checked over my profile, and gave me honest feedback, and in the end, told me she would have loved to have met me, but wasn't able to at that time.

      So, maybe, just try engaging with people more, you know?
      And don't blame other people for your behaviour. Not attractive.

    • J

      Perhaps you’re overestimating your own appeal. If you find that the hottest women on the site aren’t replying, perhaps you should consider contacting more women who are supposedly beneath you. You might be pleasantly surprised.

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  • Sex a Dane

    Nice tips… I do agree with Simeon. Very true!

  • Thanks for those tips.