When I started online dating for the first time this past December, it didn’t take long for me to realize that the process of online dating can be totally time consuming. Within a few minutes of publishing my profile, my inbox started to fill up with messages from potential suitors. As someone who was already a little apprehensive about online dating to begin with, panic started to set in. As the messages arrived in my inbox faster than I was able to answer them I started to wonder “What have I gotten myself into?! Will I even have time to make this work?! Is online dating going to cut into the time I spend marathoning episodes of Pretty Little Liars?!!” After all, I’m a busy girl who spends most of her day in front of the computer for work, therefore the last thing I want to do when I’m finished working is spend more time in front of my lap top. I want to get out there and actually, you know, date.
Online dating can be a total time suck – but only if you let it be.
To maximize results and minimize the time and effort I spend online, I came up with a few online dating hacks that I like to call “The Lazy Girls Guide to Online Dating”
1. Let them come to you – I’m an attractive female with nice photos and a well written profile, there’s no absolutely no need for me to spend hours online cruising profiles looking for dates. It’s easier for me to just sit back and let guys message me first… because they will. I’m sure it sounds like I’m really full of myself – but it’s the truth. Besides, I found it a much better use of my time to focus on people who had already expressed interest than to seek out new ones. I’d still reach out to new guys, but I’d limit the time I spent doing this, budgeting 5-10 minutes at the end of my session to check out new profiles and message potential dates before logging off for the night.
2. Keep things short, sweet, concise…and never, ever linger. In my opinion there is never a need to send a super long message to anyone on an online dating website. There’s something to be said about keeping things short & sweet. If a guy sends me a novel of a message (even if it’s a great message) I make sure to keep my response to 1-2 paragraphs max. Writing long responses back is too time consuming – besides, I’m not looking for a pen pal. If we have that much to say to each other, I’d much rather it was said face to face over a coffee or glass of wine.
3. Take things offline with the “3 message rule” – My online dating motto is this “Get in, get out, get dating” If we’ve sent 3-4 messages back and forth to each other and – a) I get the sense that we have a few things in common, b) You haven’t said anything creepy or offensive, c) I get the vibe that you’re not an axe murderer – let’s meet for coffee. If you don’t ask me out by the 4th message, I’ll ask you out. Time is money and I’d much rather meet for a casual coffee to see if there is any chemistry then waste my time being your dating pen pal only to find out later down the road that we’re completely not compatible.
4. Say no to chatting and texting. I hate using the chat function on dating websites. Not only do I feel like it’s a huge waste of time to me (I’d rather have a conversation with you over coffee to see if we actually click) it also makes me feel like I am back in college, chatting on MSN messenger when I should be doing my homework. I stick to sending messages because I feel like it’s a more effective gage of someone’s personality.
Same goes for texting – I only give out my number once we’ve set a date and never, ever before. I don’t mind texting – but only with people I’ve actually met and like! Engaging in an extended “Textationship” without ever going on a date is not something this lazy girl is interested in.
5. The 5 second rule. When I see someone’s photo for the first time I can generally tell within 3-5 seconds whether I’d want to see them naked. If someone messages me and I know right off the bat that I’m not attracted to them, I delete their message right away. This sounds really cut-throat but I honestly, if I’m not someone’s type I’d prefer they just never respond to me than lead me on. Not everyone is going to be your time. You’re not going to be everyone’s type. Don’t take it personal. Accepting this reality is going to save you a lot of time and agony in the long run.
What are some of your time saving online dating hacks?