some may be looking for a casual dinner partner on Friday nights, others may be looking for a new father-figure for their children. I make no claims to be in the mindset of everybody, but from my lips to your ears, here is my (fairly typical) thought process as I log-in to my online dating profile.

It starts with a look at the subject line and first sentence I can read in my flooded inbox. (Often I’d only check once every week or two.) You can read my full blog posts regarding what “pickup lines” do and do not work elsewhere on the site but the gist of it is this—if it’s nothing more than “hi” I probably won’t be clicking through to the message. If it’s too forward or calling me something like “babe,” I probably won’t be clicking through to the message. If it’s your second or third email in a row, I probably won’t be clicking through to the message.

Araboosh

Araboosh Dating

Then the superficial side kicks in (hey, I promised you honesty, didn’t I?). Truth is, superficiality isn’t the first thought primarily because thumbnails are too small to see much of. However, this goes beyond “hot or not.” The superficial aspect can quickly help narrow down which users seem outside the age range guidelines I’ve set. They provide a glimpse into whether we have the same fitness (or couch potato) life habits as one another. Ultimately, they show me how you have decided to portray yourself while seeking a woman’s attention and approval. If your headshot is red-faced at a wild party, I am automatically disinterested (even though I am admittedly a fan of a good party and pub crawl).

After finally narrowing down the inbox, I start conversations that usually have to have some solid back and forth before I feel comfortable meeting in person. That’s a pretty subjective guideline, but it’s less of a time-frame and more of finding a good vibe and comfort level with the internet stranger at hand.

As a woman, I’m also constantly paranoid about my safety and integrity when it comes to meeting new people- especially stemming from a virtual means! This is why I won’t just go for coffee after your first email, or give you my personal phone number right-off-the-bat for ease of talking. What if that’s the man that ends up being crazy… then he has the ease of blowing up my cell phone at all time of night!

The point is, it’s not about being coy or stubborn or high-maintenance. When I go in to an online dating site, I aim to find the same quality (or higher!) man that I would interact with in real life. Just because I have created a profile on this site doesn’t mean I’m in a hurry to settle down and often that leads to delayed response message times or a refusal to rush off to a date. My online persona reflects my real-life beliefs… good things are worth waiting for; don’t settle for convenience.

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