For marriage-minded singles, dating is a means to an end.
Wannabe brides get plenty of dating advice. But what about online dating tips for guys who want to get married?
For those who have not yet had success with online dating, you may have a negative view of the possibilities that online dating brings.
It’s easy to make assumptions about the kinds of people you’d meet online. You may feel that there are plenty of scams and reasons to be cautious when searching for romance on the web.
Yes, there are plenty of participants whose goals are… not of the highest intentions. Also, there are probably more reasons to swipe left than to swipe right.
However, I’d like to propose that there are plenty of people who genuinely want to find an awesome partner for a long-term, committed relationship — even marriage.
Men and women date differently online.
It’s no secret that male and female brains are different. Very different! And, while those differences are great material for stand-up routines and eye-rolls between besties, they actually have their basis in anatomy and physiology.
Now, let’s translate those differences to a format like online dating. The setup is structured — checkboxes, click on your interests, fill in the blanks, download photos, and write a short essay on who you are and who’d you like to meet.
This exercise is great for the task-focused male brain.
And the profile setup asks for a unique expression of self. Talk about yourself. Make yourself attractive to the opposite sex. This skill is great for the multi-tasking, high-networking female brain that connects all the dots and considers multiple perspectives.
So, how can these very different styles come together to help marriage-minded singles optimize their experience of online dating?
Advice for guys might best come, in part, from the pool of women they seek to attract.
Here are 9 online dating tips for guys looking for marriage.
1. First impressions matter.
And by “first” I mean how your profile appears to others. People don’t linger beyond a favorable first impression, and that means you may have a fraction of a second to land that click.
You don’t want to be one of those guys who takes a selfie in the bathroom mirror and posts it. But you do want to be the guy who asks, “If I were the kind of woman I would like to have in my life, what would I like to see?”
And grammar is important, as well, so take care of your profile.
2. Photos matter even more.
Again, remember who you’re trying to find. Would you be attracted to a scowling face or eyes obscured by sunglasses? Are you wearing baggy clothes that hide your physique?
Remember, women are looking at everything, and they’re placing themselves into the scenario you visually create. Instead of doing the least amount necessary to get your profile up, think proactively about the message you’re sending.
It’s important to have a good, recent photo, especially for your primary photo. And make sure your eyes are visible!
Women don’t need to see your ex-girlfriend blotched out of your black-tie photos. Also, be mindful of how you’re dressed. I recommend you wear a crisp shirt in a flattering color and classic tailored pants.
Do include a picture of yourself involved in an activity you enjoy, but save those pics of slimy fish snags and sweaty running of a race for your personal photo collection. This would not be your most attractive look!
Remember: Always be the only person in your primary photo. Why take chances that a woman may wonder if your best friend is available, too?
3. Write from the heart.
An important piece of online dating advice for guys has to do with reaching into their hearts and revealing their ability to share their emotions.
Your “basics” section of an online dating site will tell the essentials about education, employment, and your first date. If allowed by a generous word count, you will have plenty of time to expand on those details.
However, you’re not on a job interview. You’re presenting your heart, your hopes, and dreams to a potential life partner.
Share in such a way that the kind of woman you want in your life will connect with what you share and want to know more. Be genuine, not overzealous, or sappy. And remember, those first impressions also matters.
4. Personalize your message.
When you first contact a woman, say more than “hi” or a wink. Why would a woman be inspired to respond to a one-word message that shows no effort on your part? It’s important to make your message unique to her.
Trust me, women can tell when a man has written a “script” and sent it out to countless women in hopes one will take the bait and respond.
You want a woman to know you have read her profile and seen something special about her that sparked your interest. She wants to know you’re capable of noticing the little things.
Remember, you’re setting a precedent for a potential future relationship. I recommend you pull something unique from her profile that stood out to you and respond to it with a compliment or curiosity.
Make it obvious you’ve noticed her. And don’t make your opening message about her appearance.
You don’t want to play into the stereotype of men being superficial. A woman who is physically beautiful will be attracted to a man who cares about what she has to say, not just how she looks.
5. Don’t become pen pals.
Exchange a couple emails or messages to determine interest in meeting… then meet!
Continuing with written messages gives the impression that you aren’t really interested in meeting, or aren’t actually available, but just enjoy flirting. So try to plan a phone meeting, so you can talk and have a real conversation!
6. Keep the first date focused on the present and not the past.
One rule on your first date: No talking about exes, breakups, who did what to cause the divorce, or downer stories.
You’re on a date with her, not on a threesome or foursome with her ex and yours. Besides, breakups are deeply personal and involve accountability and pain on both sides. Do you really want to put someone on the spot like that?
So, I recommend you get curious about learning about who she is at this time of her life and what she desires for her future.
7. Don’t do all the talking.
Be brief and concise when talking about yourself, and ask curious questions of your date.
Most importantly, listen and make it obvious that you’re interested in what she has to say and that you want to learn more about her. And during the conversation, there needs to be a flow back and forth.
It’s recommended that you strive for the woman talking 60 percent of the time, and you the balance of 40 percent of the time. This way, you’re showing you’re invested in learning about her.
8. Offer to pay.
When you offer to pay, it makes you look like a gentleman. Generosity goes a long way.
Although the rules for a first date from online dating is that it’s customary to split the check. However, if you do offer to pay, then she will look upon you more favorably.
9. Follow up sooner than later.
Skip the games. If you had a great time, let her know. If it’s obvious you both had a great time, then I recommend that you tell her you would like to see her again.
Regardless, if you’re interested in her, don’t wait more than a couple days to reach out again. Sending a quick text to say you’ll follow up soon and that you’ve had a good time is always a good touch.
10. Build a strong friendship first.
If you’re truly marriage-minded, then you need to first build a strong foundation for your future.
Be clear about your goals for your life and your relationship values, and develop a strong connection. That makes for a lasting friendship that can lead to a loving, lasting marriage, if that’s your goal.
Dating can be both exciting and frustrating, especially when dating for the purpose of marriage.
And when the starting point is online dating, advice for guys is the same as advice for gals: Know what you want, choose wisely, and make sure your actions are an honest reflection of your goals.
Amy Schoen is a nationally recognized expert in dating and relationship coaching who is passionate about helping marriage-minded singles find their true love and create fulfilling, life-long relationships. Check out her free Online Dating Checklist and visit her website for more information.
This article was originally published at Motivated to Marry. Reprinted with permission from the author.