The rise of the Internet is responsible for many things – an inexplicable obsession with cat gifs chief among them – but its influence can be felt most notably, and sometimes nefariously, in the realm of dating.
Way back in 1998, when dinosaurs roamed the earth and cell phones were the size of footballs, the popular romcom You’ve Got Mail explored what an online relationship might look like for its two gun-shy protagonists.
America’s sweethearts struggled with what it meant to love someone they had never actually met, but less than 20 years later, it’s no longer embarrassing to find a girlfriend online. In fact, it’s nearly unheard of for people to live exclusively in “meatspace.”
Whether through Tumblr, Tinder, or Game of Thrones fanfic communities, we all have online friends – and some of these friends turn into sexual companions, even spouses. Which is why it’s safe to say that at this point in the new millennium, “all the cool kids are doing it.”
If you have read up on online dating and the success men have had with it, you may know that one-third of all marriages start online these days. Also, compared to couples whose relationships start in the “meatspace,” couples who meet online report being more satisfied. So even if you don’t plan on getting married anytime soon, this just shows that women are online, they’re looking, and it can work if you want it to.
But as with all things “cool,” some do it better than others.
If you’re reading this, chances are you have a borderline-embarrassing OKCupid profile stashed away in some lonely corner of the Internet. Maybe you’ve even met a girl or two from “online.” Maybe it even went well! (In that case, sir, we doff our caps.)
But if you’re like most guys, you are sending out waaaay more messages than you’re receiving. In fact, it might even be safe to say that you, like most online daters, are frustrated with the results that you’re getting – or not getting, as the case may be.
That’s where an Internet dating coach comes in.
Many Internet Dating Coaches, Many Approaches: Which One is Right for You?
It might sound crazy, but online dating is as much of a skill – or a blood sport – as football. If you don’t know the rules, then you can’t play the game. Which is why an Internet dating coach is there to take the guesswork out of it for you. There’s no judgment or forced laps around the track: just expert advice from a friendly source.
Many Internet dating coaches have an arsenal of personal experience, customer experience, research, and hard data to back up their approaches and advice. Rather than leave communication up to chance, the best Internet dating coaches have analyzed years’ worth of messages to see what works – and on whom.
You might be surprised to know that a pick-up line aimed at a twenty-something probably won’t work on a forty-year-old, and vice versa. (If you are in fact surprised by that nugget of wisdom, may we suggest you find yourself an Internet dating coach?) All snark aside: having an Internet dating coach in your corner will help you pursue your target demographic in the most effective way possible.
Of course, the definition of “effective” varies. When it comes to Internet dating coaches, there are myriad approaches to take. We’ll discuss two: cram-for-the-test, and cheat-off-the-nerdy-kid.
Approach 1: Cram for The Test
Often called the “Fairy Godmother” of dating, Bela Gandhi, Founder and President of the Smart Dating Academy, takes an intensely academic approach to making you a better dater. With its readings, practice exercises, mock dates, and videotapes, the Smart Dating Academy treats dating like the SATs.
While this arsenal of practical social skills is no doubt highly useful, the time-strapped gentleman might find it difficult to spend countless hours every week on “dating practice.” This approach works best for those who have trouble with women both online and off.
Approach 2: Cheat off the Nerdy Kid
Hailed by the Huffington Post as “The Next Big Idea,” ViDA is the first company ever to allow men to outsource the process of meeting women online. Watching “over the shoulders” of the pros as the best practices for meeting women online are put into play also happens to be the most effective way to learn for yourself.
You’ll get the foundations for success all set up for you. Can’t decide which of your favorite mirror selfie ab-shots to post as your Match.com profile picture? ViDA will use its reams of data to help you decide.
Sick and tired of sifting through countless profiles to find the lady of your dreams? ViDA’s on it. Can’t think of anything witty to say to that 26-year-old guitar-playing elementary school teacher with the sweet tattoo and the side-bangs? ViDA’s got you covered.
By developing a personal brand for your Internet dating efforts and keeping that brand consistent across your profile text, profile pictures, initial messages, and conversations, ViDA makes your desirability transparent to attractive women online.
In short, ViDA is your Cyrano, there for every online-dating need you might have.
Snapshot of Advice Offered and Implemented by Internet Dating Coaches
So you’ve found yourself the dating coach of your dreams – the one who will work with you and for you to finally land Ms. Right. Here’s a tiny fraction of the knowledge that your dating coach will employ to get you dates with the women you’re most interested in.
- Look away. When considering possible profile pictures, follow this rule at least once: look away from the camera, and don’t smile. It might sound counter-intuitive (who wants a broody weirdo?) but in fact, research shows that women are more likely to respond to a man who is looking off into the distance with a contemplative look on his face. Bonus: it’s a fairly flattering angle, so work it.
- Be alpha, but stay respectful. Though a certain amount of teasing and flirtation is highly encouraged, keep it classy. If you’re reading this, you’re probably not the sort of guy who is sending super suggestive messages right away, but don’t make the mistake of thinking that girls want to hear how pretty they are in the first message. Go for something more original, more interesting. “Ur pretty” is a conversational dead end.
- Keep it simple, sunshine. When it comes to an online dating message, shorter is better. We live in a world where breaking news is regularly disseminated in 140 characters or less. You don’t need to be that brief, but don’t write a novel in your online dating messages. Keep it simple and leave something to talk about on the actual date.
- Ask a question. The best way to demonstrate interest is to ask her questions – particularly at the end of the message. This way, she’ll have a reason to respond. But don’t be like every other guy on the Internet. Ask her something more imaginative than “hey whassup.” Try asking about her plan for the impending zombie apocalypse, or the scariest experience she’s ever had. You might be surprised at how fun your messages will get.
- Follow up. Sometimes women don’t respond to the first message. Sometimes, a promising back-and-forth ends abruptly. If this happens, don’t assume that women aren’t interested. Try again! Send a little “reminder” message after a week or so. Nothing too heavy – a “Hey, how have you been?” suffices. You’d be surprised at how well this strategy works. But if she doesn’t respond to that “reminder” message, give up. No one likes a stalker.
Work With Your Internet Dating Coach – Or Have Them Work for You
After you’ve chosen the Internet dating coach that best suits your needs, you’ll have an in-depth interview to help your coach(es) understand who you are, what you’re looking for, and how to best tailor a time-tested approach to your unique personality.
Once all those pesky questions are out of the way, your coach will either work with you or work for you on crafting a killer profile. Your Internet dating profile is your modern-day “first impression,” and it’s crucial to your success as an online dater.
Depending on the services you’ve chosen, you might now be navigating the choppy waters of online dating all by yourself, sufficiently confident in your beauty, brain, and brawn to get the results that you want.
Or maybe you’re writing your own messages using tips from a coach that helped nudge you in the right direction … or you could be kicking back and running the world while your online-dating minions from ViDA schedule 1-5 dates a week for you, no effort required. (Just remember that you’re the only one actually going on these dates, so try not to mention your stamp collection, enduring love of American Psycho, or luxurious bachelor pad in your mom’s basement before the coffee even arrives.)
Regardless of the approach you choose, happy searching and good luck … unless you’ve chosen ViDA, in which case you’ll just need luck during the date – not any time before.