Given our busy modern lifestyles, online dating is picking up in popularity as a way for people to connect, hook up, and perhaps even fall in love.
Boy meets girl (online), boy courts girl.
This is basically how a lot of online dating happens – most women are used to being pursued rather than being the pursuer.
Unfortunately, many men make mistakes which lower their success rates.
So we asked Malaysian women what worked for them for online dating, and how men can avoid being an off-putting sleaze-ball.
“No pictures of penises! Of course, men have different views on this, they’re more visual after all. It’s just funny that they try to enforce their preferences on us by thinking we will appreciate the dick pic.” – Chrislynn, 28
The biggest offence men commit in online dating is sending an unsolicited image of their own “equipment”.
This is an instant deal-breaker. Never, ever, EVER do this unless it is explicitly requested.
A picture of your phallus is not a good Unique Selling Proposition. It’s easy to see why men (goal-targeted, visually-oriented), might think it is a good idea.
However, women (more receptive to emotional cues, also conditioned to be wary against sexual predators) will almost never appreciate an image of the male anatomy. More so one that they didn’t ask for.
Guys: sending her a dick pix basically screams “I WILL INFLICT MY PENIS ON YOU WHETHER YOU CONSENT TO IT OR NOT”. You’re basically giving out threatening, rape-y vibes.
Also, dick pics might work out to being a liability in more ways than one.
There was one guy who sent someone I know a picture of something that resembled a floppy peanut. That image was promptly circulated among her girlfriends. He, on the hand, never managed to secure a date.
You don’t want to be that person.
Gentlemen, keep that sword sheathed, and you might still have a shot at convincing the girl that you are actually a Good Guy Worth Dating.
So, if not a glorious teaser of your magnificent tumescence, what ARE women looking for on a dating profile?
“The picture is, of course, the first thing lah! But you have to be specific though, like what aspect of your character does it show?” – Kah Ling, 28
Remember what I said about first impressions?
Good pictures on a profile significantly ups your success rates. For the main profile image, use a recent photograph that shows your face clearly, not a faceless image of your body, or even unrelated objects such as a car.
Don’t be coy here, we want to see how our potential partners actually look like. Appearances matter to us too!
Pro-tip: put some serious thought into putting up images that convey your personality. Candids of yourself doing something relating to your hobbies and interests are good – they clue us in on what you’re like as a person.
If you have a (cute) pet, LEVERAGE THAT. An image of you hanging out with your furry friend is appealing to most women.
It’s a signal of your softer side; that you are gentle and nurturing enough to care for a fluffy, defenceless little creature.
However, exotic pets such as tarantulas and snakes probably won’t quite have the same appeal.
That said, if you are not an animal lover, and don’t have a pet, it’s never a good idea to lie about owning one. Don’t attempt to pass off some random animal on your profile as yours for the sake of increasing your appeal.
Women are pretty good at picking up on dishonesty, and you might just ruin your chances with a potential date by doing so.
“If their description is something witty or intriguing, contains things that are a good conversation starter, it makes up for not being cute!” – Kah Ling, 28
Pictures are often not quite enough to impress your would-be lady friend. Don’t forget to put some real effort into crafting your self-summary on your dating profile.
Don’t have ripped abs, or a chiselled jawline? There’s still hope – a creative, well-written and interesting self-summary is appealing for women too!
Your words can convey wit, a sense of confidence, and clues to how thoughtful you are as a person. Those are desirable traits that could intrigue a girl enough for her to swipe right, even if you’re not quite GQ material.
Remember, there are many variables that contribute to attraction, so don’t neglect this aspect of online dating!
Keep your descriptions short. Anywhere between 3 to 5 paragraphs is ideal. Tedious, pedantic essays in your self-description can convey that you’re either a) a narcissist who likes rambling on about himself, or b) an overly verbose, and potentially boring date.
“The fact you have abs, well yes, that’s a nice bonus, but we’re not going to emotionally invest in that. I would be more interested if you showed me a picture of your bantal busuk!” – Chrislynn, 28
On the topic of physical attractiveness – if you have a six-pack, don’t overdo it at flaunting them! We’ve all seen *those* profiles that consist of a bunch of gym selfies. Women prioritise many qualities over a good physique, as visually-appealing as washboard abs are.
Also, if your photos only show pictures of your ripped physique and nothing much else, well, we know what that means…
“Those guys with the ab-fies are usually insecure, or vain, or both! They’re probably going to be more in love with their reflection than with you!” – Lee Ling, 32
Nope. Not the sort of vibe you want to be giving.
OK, now you’ve uploaded some pictures that show you at your quirky finest, rewritten your self-summary, and generally upped your profile game. And surprise, surprise, someone’s matched with you!
You now move on to the next step of online dating – chatting!
Engage potential dates by being sincere and real in your conversation – don’t try too hard to be something different from what you are and do NOT use pick-up lines. Most of all, avoid pick-up artist (PUA) strategies like the plague!
Pick-up artists often advocate putting a girl down to assert dominance over her and get her attention. This often backfires badly, and you just come across as being a douchebag.
Women will talk – that’s a fact – and will alert their friends of potential dangers. If you are unfortunate enough to be dating within a small community, your dating credentials will suffer.
Compliment her sincerely instead. Bonus points for noticing qualities that are not necessarily physical. If you make a girl feel good about herself, she might just reciprocate!
“Sometimes the nice guy who never gets around to taking action loses out because we have limited attention spans, or think you’re not keen enough to make the move. Sometimes you have to just take the plunge and ask lah.” – Lee Ling, 32
If you’re already texting her frequently, it’s time to make it clear that you’re interested – just ask her out!
Keep the invitation friendly by asking if she would like to join you for coffee or dinner. If she’s the sort who enjoys activities, you could even invite her along for a hike or something sporty!
Doing an activity together helps with getting over the initial awkwardness. I went climbing with one of my Tinder matches, and whilst we didn’t end up being romantically involved, we did end up as good friends, and he started dating a friend of mine.
Which brings me to the final, most important point:
Manage your expectations and be nice even if things don’t work out. You’ll never know where it will lead, whether it’s a friendship or other meaningful connections.
Just go out, have fun, and hopefully learn something new from that interaction. Perhaps you’ll gain a new friend, maybe more, but if it doesn’t work out – you’ve at least gained a little bit more experience on how to approach online dating better.
Many men get off the wrong foot when attempting to do online dating, but it doesn’t have to be so! Women have more complex needs and desires, but it’s not impossible to improve your chances with the ladies. A good place to start is to avoid common pitfalls and learn to be better at anticipating what the fairer sex might want.
Good luck, guys! Happy swiping!
For more advice on dating, read 5 Ways to Better Use Tinder (From an Ex-Tinderer Herself), and I’m a Guy on Tinder Looking for Hookups. Here’s 4 Ways to Avoid Me.