Dear Men: How To Not Suck At Online Dating

January 4, 2013

Guys, I’m sorry to admit this, but (most of) you really, really suck at online dating.  How about we start this new year succeeding instead of sucking?  The ladies want you to succeed, otherwise you’d just be looking at a bunch of men! 😉


Common online dating fails:

  • Pictures of you with more than one person, how am I supposed to know which one you are and which of your better looking mates you might be?
  • Pictures of you with a bunch of ladies, it doesn’t make you look like you are popular with the ladies.  No, it doesn’t.
  • Pictures obscuring your face, or you off in the distance.  Does it work for you when the ladies have pictures like this?
  • One picture.  Of your hairy belly button.  Yes, this is a real thing and it needs to stop.
  • Sending a copy and pasted message to all the girls thinking we can’t see what you did there.
  • Your message being so bland and impersonal that you could have sent it to anyone.
  • Your message just being a serious of sentences beginning with “I…”.  I can read, unlike some of you, I don’t need you to tell me about yourself, that’s what your profile is for.
  • Terrible 1st grade spelling and zero punctuation.  I read books, lots of them, I’m a writer, unless you’re seriously smokin’ hot and I want to bone you (which is rare), your lack of simple grammar and spelling is as big a turn off as yellow and missing teeth.
  • Your message making it obvious you just looked at my pictures and didn’t bother to read my profile.  Zero interest in me means I have 100% interest in hitting delete.
  • Small talk.  Stop it.
  • And if you don’t know what classes as small talk it goes like this: “hi howru hav agud weeknd?”.
  • The only men that get away with not saying much are those that are aesthetically pussy magnets.  The one’s that are basically too hot to be on a dating website so you know they’re a scam haha! In other words, no win.
  • Don’t be like any of these guys.  Ever.

O_p_P_o_S_i_T_e_S_by_Savvii_chanHow to win at online dating:

Be original, be interested, make an effort, have good clear pictures of your face and you doing something you enjoy (preferably not getting shit-faced at the bar, because really, why then are you on a dating website?).

Numero Uno, Most Importante: Take the time to take some good pictures.  Nowadays every one and their gran has a camera phone, take a pic of your face and maybe get a friend to take a pic of you doing something you love (not jerking off please), that way we can get a sense about you.  Obscured faces reads ‘shady’ and gets no attention.

Actually read the girl’s profile, she may be hot, but is she vapid or psycho?  You should be able to tell from what she puts in it.

When you message her, say hello and talk about HER, mention something you liked about her profile or pictures or something you both have in common, ask a question that she may be interested in answering.

Show some effing respect.  I find a huge problem with men is they think we women think the same way they do.  Take dick pics for example.  Just because you would love it if women put pussy pics as their avatars online, does not mean that women want the same thing, 99% of the time we do NOT want to see your junk.  Keep it in your pants until given permission to use it.  I am 100% sure that if a chick just wants sex from online dating she will be clear about it, don’t assume the rest of us are too shy to say so and that it’s your job to persuade us.


If she’s beautiful and intelligent, it does not mean something is wrong with her for her to be online dating.  She may have a job that means she doesn’t get to socialise much, or she may be in a new town or country.  Give the girl a break, suck it up and message her.  You guys jump to conclusions way too quickly.

Keep your profile short and simple, which is actually very easy for most of you, but not so short and simple that it really says nothing about you.  Try and be self aware and definitely be honest.


Mention your marmite.  By this I mean, three key things that define you.  Like your favourite movie and music and hobby.  Personally, I don’t go for guys into bad music, brainless movies and who like to get wrecked with their bro’s every weekend.  Make it easier for me by listing some things that really define you and that you could not change, that way I know if we are compatible.

If you’re really at a loss as to what to say about yourself (and most of you are), mention what you are passionate about.  Unless that is “fucking bitches”, then we have a problem and maybe you should be on one of the casual sex dating sites, yes?

Don’t ever mention your dick.  Nobody cares about it as much as you do.

And for the love of god, if you don’t get a reply NEVER SEND MULTIPLE MESSAGES BADGERING HER FOR A REPLY.  Hello crazy stalker!!

I really want to know what you all think of my list, have I left anything out?  What other ways can we be successful at online dating?  And guys, where do the ladies fail in online dating?  Also, tell us your funny/awesome online dating stories in the comments below!

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  • The Queer Nomad January 4, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    Hum. As a lesbian reading this, I have to say women suck equally at online dating… it’s not a male only thing, and I guess it’s because many people a) are not born writers b) have issues clearly defining themselves c) don’t take online dating seriously at all (especially in London it seems). Both sexes suck equally.

    • The Dame January 4, 2013 at 12:33 pm

      Thanks for your input Stephanie, I am always interested in what it’s like for guys but of course I can only write from my own perspective and that’s why I asked the guys to comment with where us girls go wrong. 🙂

  • Lauren January 4, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    Good article! I agree with all of your points. I would just add to “not be sour if the lady declines your advances”. I was talking to a guy on OK Cupid and it was going well enough as friends, but I wasn’t really interested in a relationship with him. After only a couple days of talking, he asked to meet and wanted me to meet his mom. I put the breaks on and said I wasn’t interested. He kept wanting to know why. Note: We don’t owe you anything – if we’re not interested, that should be enough. A few months later I was still single and got a message from him saying, “Oh, I see you’re still single?” Not the best way to get me interested again – insulting my singularity.

    Eventually I found my OK Cupid match and we’re still bonkers in love one and a half years later and planning to move in together after my lease is up.

    • The Dame January 4, 2013 at 12:33 pm

      I’m so glad you’ve found your match Lauren, I know another person who married her match and is still happily in love. Perhaps I should go back to using OKC? 🙂

  • Annie January 5, 2013 at 9:09 am

    Definitely the spelling and grammar – if you can’t take the time to sell yourself properly, not interested. Text speak – NOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Plus it makes me cringe. It’s in making the effort and taking time that I find sexy. Bad shots – hairy belly definitely. I’ve seen several great shots of a bloke who appeared to be all nostrils and not much else. Then there was the one who was all crazy stalker to look at.

    I think the one who took the biscuit though, stipulated that he wasn’t interested in women over a size sixteen, because that meant you didn’t look after yourself! He wasn’t exactly an Adonis himself, though yes, he’d pasted pictures of himself surrounded by women. I found myself wondering how much he’d paid them…And I speak as a more curvaceous woman – I’m a size 22 and 5ft 11in.

    And another one reckoned that tattoos made a woman a slag. That lets me out then – I’ve got five and plan a little more when finances permit.

    Beauty does come in all shapes and sizes – I love those little imperfections, But I think a really ugly character is the worst of all.

    • The Dame January 5, 2013 at 2:10 pm

      Thanks for your input Annie, I try to remember, every no brings us closer to a yes and the guys who are openly ugly (in personality) save us a lot of time.

  • JenMadz January 12, 2013 at 11:53 pm

    I’m always sort of relieved to hear other women’s horror stories of online dating. I know that sounds terrible, but its sort of comforting to know that its not just me and that I’m not doing something wrong without realizing it. I’ve gotten so many dick pictures and messages that made it blatantly obvious that the guy didn’t even bother to read my profile that I just gave up. I’ve been single for over 2 years now and completely celibate for over a year and its still preferable to online dating. Occasionally I will knuckle under to my own desire to find love and give online dating another shot but it never lasts longer than a few days before I just give up again.

    • The Dame January 13, 2013 at 5:36 pm

      Don’t lose heart, I’ve been single for a year and have had two very drunkan one night stands in that time which I hardly remember! I also hardly ever get messaged on the dating site I’m on, perhaps they think I’m too good to be true? Or they realise they have no chance haha! (Most of them anyway). Honestly, I think the best way to meet someone is doing something you love or serendipitously. Big love xo

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  • Elise February 28, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    Good points, especially the spelling and grammar one, drives me nuts! I’d like to add ‘actually ask a girl out on a date then go on the date’ – I’m not very interested in talking to someone I’ve never met online for extended periods of time, but a lot of guys seem reluctant to actually meet up, whats that about?! 🙂

  • This Week On The Web - The Dame | The Dame March 24, 2013 at 11:00 am

    […] GQ’s guide to online dating for guys is great! Here’s mine too. […]

  • African American Women August 24, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    One of the most common complaints I hear from men is that women frequently misrepresent themselves in their photos by using old photos sometimes decades old or by cropping them in too tightly so you don’t realize they are of a certain body type. Obviously men do this as well; I’ve just heard this complaint more frequently from men than from women.

  • ChristinaDunigan October 31, 2015 at 8:32 am

    Never mind reading the woman’s profile — look at the picture! I once had an online dating profile pic of me holding a magnificent golden eagle. I got a message saying that I had such a sincere look in my eyes. Yes, I was sincere in my hope that the eagle would not peck my eyes out. Either the guy didn’t notice there was a gigantic bird of prey on my arm or he forgot what his generic message said. Either way, he went into the loser pile.

    Right now I have a profile up that includes a science experiment picture from one of my classes. Not ONE man has asked about the picture that shows me apparently setting one of my students on fire.

    Guys, it’s not rocket science: ASK ABOUT THE FLAMING CHILD.