I remember when I first started bicycle touring.wind2 I was training along the coast of North Carolina when I joined up with a seasoned rider.  We were cruising along easily, and I noted to him that this biking thing wasn’t really so hard. He grinned and replied, “Yeah, with a tailwind.” I hadn’t noticed.  I did when I turned around to go home. The headwind beat me up.

Finding your Tailwind

Albert#1 Use great photos online
Your first photo viewed and all the others are the most important online facts about you that will get you dates.  To understand this better see our post on window shopping. Don’t discount the importance of your image. It may be true that you are so much more than what you look like, but we all make snap judgments about people based on their looks.

#2 Don’t confuse selling with buyingmarket
Your online profile has one function, to sell you out in the marketplace for dates. It’s an advertisement for you. It’s your 30 second ad during the Superbowl.  Make it work for you. Know your product, and know your target audience. Advertisements don’t say “I want xyz from you.” They say “I’ve got what you want.” The desire for you is out there. Your job is grab the attention of the people with that desire.

You get to do “buying” when you check out their profiles and pay close attention to them on dates. This is equally as important as selling. Know what you are looking for. Hint: if you think it is mostly about looks, you are way off course. Looks are very important to begin with and way less important for a relationship.

pinocchio#3 Be Yourself
You ask, “What else could I be?” Well, people pretend to be all sorts of things they aren’t because they think that is what will get them the most attention. Talk about creating a headwind.  Sooner or later faking wears thin and you’ll just be you. You might as well make it easier by being you to begin with.  Be proud of who you are. People respect that, and studies show it leads to better dating success.

Know your strengths. Work on your weaknesses. Be happy.  Those three things aren’t so easy to do, but it you work at them a little bit at a time, you will be amazed at the tailwind you will develop.

No one knows you as well as you know yourself (presuming basic mental health). You know where you’ve been, what you’ve done, how you feel about things, what you dream about, etc. elizabethanYet, we all find it challenging to classify ourselves into personality types with confidence.

Know Yourself
As you get involved in the dating game there are definite benefits to knowing generally what kind of person you are.
Know what you are offering
Not everyone wants the same things from a mate.  Haven’t you noticed that with some happy couples one is a talker and the other tends to be less talkative. The less talkative one probably likes it that the talker brings that to the table. Do you like to touch? Listen? Debate? Cook?

Know what you want
Do you want someone to exercise with you? Or to leave you alone while you exercise?  How much time do you want to be alone, with your mate, or with friends? Do you want your mate to structure your vacations for you? Do you want to do it? Do you like unstructured vacations?

distortedjpgHow to learn about yourself
Sorry, but while introspection is helpful, it will rarely give you a clear picture of yourself. We all have biases about ourselves that make it difficult to see ourselves. You are trying to get past that cloudy thinking, not accentuate it.

Counseling
Counseling can be a great way to learn about yourself. Sure, it takes time and money, but a good counselor (not one who just tells you what feels good) can open your eyes to see yourself in amazing ways.

Personality Systems
An easy way to start seeing yourself better is personality test like the Myers-Briggs 16 personality types.  Google “personality test” and you will find a bunch.  Some folks like the Enneagram personality typing scheme.  Look for yourself.

baby_in_mirrorDon’t be Afraid to See Yourself
You are who you are, warts and all.  You are an amazing product of nature and nurture; a complex, wonderful human being. The more you know about yourself, the more you can appreciate yourself.

People are window shopping on your dating site. Some may pause for a moment to glance and then move on. Some will take a little more time to look at your display in the window to consider whether they want to enter your shop.  Make your display get attention and interest from the type of shoppers who might buy what you are offering.
eyeglass-window-womenretroCapture Attention
Online daters are out shopping for dates.  They are looking in the various shop windows to see what appeals.  Why should they focus on your display?

Dating sites tend to arrange potential dates with thumbnail pictures and simple bios. If your likely dates won’t click your pic, you are doomed.  Make that image draw shoppers to the window. Be eye-catching!

Inspire Interest
It is essential that you have a basic understanding of what interests your shopper.  Yes, your shopper is interested in finding a person like you, but why would your shopper want you?  What needs of that person can you satisfy?  If your profile gives your shopper the idea that you will satisfy those needs, then you have inspired interest.  (Hint – the greatest need to be satisfied is companionship.)

No Price Tags
Window displays don’t show prices.  Prices scare people away.  fabioOne of the biggest mistakes we see with online profiles is showing the price.  Do you wonder how you might be showing your price?  You display it when your profile creates high expectations of what you require from your potential mate.  Profiles do it explicitly and implicitly.  Do you really require your mate to be tall, lean, athletic, rich, and possess a graduate degree or are you just in fantasy land? Your shoppers aren’t perfect and, most importantly, they are not likely to be altogether confident in themselves.  Remember, your display is there to appeal to the shoppers needs, not to over-state your needs (real or not) that may scare off buyers.

window shoppingIt’s Not Facebook
Window displays work best with simple and powerful images. You don’t need to put the whole store in the window.  You want to create a positive feeling about you that inspires a further look. Yes, your store has a diversity of items, but you have to get the shopper in the door before the real shopping begins.

Most people feel insecure about creating a profile for the world to see. We sure did. One way many of us compensate for that insecurity is to try to create a profile that makes us look good.  Well, that is OK as long as it also serves our purpose of communicating our abilities to satisfy the needs of the desirable shoppers.  That is often not the case.  Too much about where we have been and what we’ve done may turn off some shoppers. Don’t let your profile seem like bragging about yourself.  With your profile you should be exposing yourself in a manner that makes you desirable to the people you want.  No more, no less.

Win the online dating game by doing it better!

bearRule # 1 – Keep ahead of the others
You know the old joke about the guy stopping to put on his running shoes while a bear is chasing him and his buddy. The buddy asks “Do you really think those shoes will help you outrun a bear?”  His calm response is “I don’t need to outrun the bear, I just need to outrun you.”

The same logic holds true for dating online. Be better than your competition and you win, you get the attention.  Thank your lucky stars that most dating profiles are not very well done.  So, tie on your  running shoes and polish your profile to look better than the other ones.

Rule # 2 – Know what your “buyer” wantsbananas2
Which banana gets picked first?  It all depends on what the buyer wants from the banana.  Over-ripe bananas sell well for making banana bread.  Some people can’t put up with any brown specks.  Others want really green bananas to eat much later.  Someone may want just one that is perfectly ripe to eat in the parking lot.

Who’s your buyer?  What is it about you that your date wants?  When you can answer those questions, you can properly show off your assets and attract the attention you want.  Lets say you want a date who will appreciate your stability. You may want to mention that you’ve been following your hobby since you were a teen or that you’ve been elected to the position of treasurer in an organization for xx years in a row.  Facts speak much louder than the common simple brag statements like “I’m a dependable person” or ” My friends say I’m ……”
bad-appleRule # 3 – Know what your “buyer” doesn’t want
Some profiles are rotten apples.  No one in their right mind would pursue those people based on their profiles. If you’ve seen a few profiles then you will likely have noticed the rotten apples.

There are also some better approaches to improve good profiles. One thing people do all the time is say they are looking for someone who is honest.  We wonder if that distinguishes them from the people who are searching for dishonest dates?  Displaying a strong need for honesty is code for “I’ve been burned by a no-good lying ……”  It’s better not to disclose that early on.  Avoid the negative in your profile.  You may be justifiably bitter about your last relationship, but it doesn’t sell well. Also, most people are nervous about dating, but don’t say things like “I can’t believe I am doing this.”  You are doing it, so everyone believes it.  At least pretend to be confident.  It’s attractive.  Additionally, avoid nonsense. Saying things like “I like people” just makes potential dates think “Huh? Doesn’t everybody?”  Display your smarts.

Your online profile is like a tapestry of who you are.  Weave it with skill and care, and it will attract attention, desire, and collectors.

swift-silvertails-passing“SWIFT SILVERTAILS PASSING” by Ulrika Leander

So maybe your first attempt won’t quite be a masterpiece like Ulrika produces, but you can weave an image of yourself that is cohesive, coherent, and very appealing.

Design it
Your dating profile is an image of you that you have decided to present to the world.  Isn’t that worth composing well?  We are regularly amazed when incredibly fine people present profiles that make them look like clods of dirt. Maybe consider your first attempt at drafting your profile to be a “rough sketch.”   Re-read what you did and start to better develop the idea of who you are and how you can best be presented. Maybe crumple up a few drafts and file them in the recycling.  We’re willing to bet big money that Ulrika didn’t just sit down and start weaving with the vague idea that a flock of birds would look pretty cool flying through a forest of trees.

Weave it
It’s work. Creative work? Yes. Rewarding work? Yes. But nonetheless, work.  Invest the necessary time and energy into what may ultimately be one of the most important things that you do in your whole life. What if you were offered the deal of having a great mate for the rest of your life in exchange for a dozen or so hours of work creating your profile tapestry?  If you’re too busy watching TV to take that deal, it’s probably best that you just keep on watching Cheers reruns.

Get help if you need it. Would you fix the brakes on your car yourself without knowing how?

Profile bonus
Unlike woven tapestries, you can rewrite your profile to improve it at any time.  If it ain’t working, fix it.  You can and will learn what works and what doesn’t. Apply that knowledge.

Be a masterpiece!

You only have one chance to make a first impression!

We encourage you to take the time and make the effort to deliver the first impression that works best for you.

Put your best foot forward = to act or appear your best; to try to make a good impression

To Act and Appear Your Best Online
The first goal of your online profile and pictures is to catch the attention of dates who are good matches for you.  After you catch their attention, your online presence needs to create sufficient interest in you to make dating likely.

Rule # 1 – Appeal to universal desires
Unless you are one of those rare people looking for something “peculiar” in a relationship (shades of whatever), count on the fact that most people are looking for the same normal things in a relationship.  Not many daters are looking to avoid people who are “nice” and “interesting” and “happy” and “healthy” and “honest” and….

Rule # 2 – Avoid unnecessary turn-offs
Sometimes trivial things detract from your image. Skip displaying information that is irrelevant to you. For example, including your astrological sign may give someone the impression that you are an astrology true believer.  That may be an unnecessary turn-off to some people.  over-accessorizedThere is a tendency to believe that the more you put in your profile, the more likely you will attract a date.  Not true.  Show what is important to you.

Rule # 3 – Keep the “your” in your best
If you are creating an attractive image that is not you, that is not likely to benefit you in the long run.  On the other hand, get past the generic descriptors when describing yourself.  Maybe sit down with a friend and “brainstorm” what makes you special.  Sometimes others see us more clearly than we do.

Rule # 4 – Don’t try to hide the obvious
Research has proven that being open about your obvious characteristics you may believe are  “negatives” works much better than trying to hide them.  For example, if you think you are too short to be attractive, it’s better to show you are comfortable with your height than to initially appear to be hiding your height.  People are attracted to confidence.  Don’t make your insecurities (we all have them) the focus of their attention.  If your profile seems to say “Yes, I’m 5′ X”. I’m good with it.”  you defuse the issue.  More often than not, what you think is your big “negative” is not nearly as big a deal to potential dates.


The title is a famous marketing statement made popular in the 1930’s. It’s based on a simple progression that takes place in the human mind:

DESIRE    ATTRACTION    SATISFACTION

Desire for Steak
Steaks sell because of a powerful recurring desire, hunger.  That’s not the only desire though.  There is something about grilled meat that really turns on most people (no offense intended to our vegetarian and vegan friends).  Maybe it’s the memory of the satisfaction of eating a hot, juicy, and tender steak.

Sell the Sizzlesizzle
Sizzle is stimulating. It creates an eagerness for the steak. We all know that instant appetite we feel when we smell baking bread or grilling meat.  It’s a primal instinct of desire. We can choose whether or not to pursue the desired thing, but we don’t choose the attraction.  The attraction works at a subconscious level.  We may need to be in the right mood to be susceptible to the attraction, but it works on us whether we want it to or not.

Deliver the Steak
Unless you don’t care about the customer, you have to deliver what the sizzle promised. You have to meet expectations or there will be disappointment.  Satisfaction will bring them back for more.

Dating Desires
To understand your sizzle you must first understand the desires that you may choose to satisfy. OK, everybody’s mind jumps to the desire for sex.  While that is often a powerful desire and should not be overlooked when considering your sizzle, it is not necessarily the most powerful desire your potential date may have.  It is surely not the only desire.  The desire for companionship is strong.  What about the desire for appreciation?  Happiness.  Romance. Giving. Touch. Safety. The list for what people want from the person they hang with goes on and on.

Dating Sizzle
Like a steak’s sizzle, your dating sizzle comes from the highly attractive attributes of what satisfies the desires.  Eating satisfies hunger.  The sights, sounds, and, smells of a steak cooking are the attractions.  The desire for steak is relatively simple compared to dating desires.  You will have to work harder at being creative to discover your dating sizzle.  The desire for sex is often believed to be one of the simpler desires and therefore one of the easier ones to produce sizzle. Sizzles for the companionship desire are more challenging. Those sizzles are even more challenging if you try to create sizzle with written words; for example, “long walks on the beach” or “cuddling together on the sofa” or “attending the opera together.”  candlelit

Pictures can sizzle way more than written words (unless you are Shakespeare). Humans can be powerfully stimulated by images. This is why advertising uses images.  There is a big difference between writing “I love candlelit dinners for two” and this image. Your dating profile pictures are very important to creating your sizzle.

What you do on a date has great potential to sizzle. Your packaging can sizzle. Dressing attractively, being nicely groomed, and wearing a nice fragrance (even though every carnivore loves the smell of bacon, we don’t recommend it) can stimulate a multitude of desires. A kind word can be powerful, not to mention a smile or laugh.  You may not be able to give your date a lifetime of love on your first date, but you can give them the expectation that you might be the source of such love.  Did we mention the excellent sizzle of eye contact held just a little longer than normal?

Dating Satisfaction
Only create the high expectations that you want to live up to.  It may be tempting to offer what you won’t deliver, but it’s obviously a doomed enterprise. Know what you will be delivering before you sell the sizzle.  The good thing is that most people want what most other people can satisfy. If someone desires companionship, it’s not too hard to find someone else who wants the same thing. If your date desires appreciation, is it so hard to say “mmmmm, this is good” when you eat your date’s cooking?  Deliver the goods your sizzle sold and you have the makings of a great relationship.  Sizzle gets them in the door, but satisfaction keeps them coming back for more.

Sell the sizzle – deliver the steak!

All I really know about dating, I learned from the poker table?

Poker_handLook at your cards
That seems obvious.  You don’t want the disadvantage of not knowing how good or bad your hand is.  The same holds true for what you bring to the dating table.  Have you taken a clear look at your strengths and weaknesses?   Sometimes we think we are just like most everyone else, but that is not true.  Some people downplay their strengths and over-emphasize their weaknesses.  Others do just the opposite. Finding reality is what you want.  Your cards are no better or worse than the reality of them.

Play your hand well
Use your strengths to your advantage and don’t let your weaknesses hold you back.  In the hand above the 2 of hearts is insignificant. How to play the three 5s is what this hand is all about.  Say you are a great cook, but you aren’t interested in sports.  Look for someone who loves your cooking and could not care less about your detachment from sports.

Be observant
If you know your hand, you are half way there.  After that you need to get an idea of what cards are across the table. It’s not easy to know the other person’s hand, but it’s impossible if you are not paying attention.  You know all too well that well-practiced bluffs can fool you. On the other hand, amateur players may not even know how good or bad their hand is.  The longer you play with someone, the better idea you will have of how that player plays.

Calling your bluff
You can pretend to have assets that you don’t actually have.  In poker you may win when your competitor believes your bluff and folds never knowing for sure whether you were bluffing or not.  That is not the way dating works (hopefully!).  In dating your bluff will always be revealed if you stay in the game long enough. If it a big bluff, you are likely to lose.

Know when to fold ’empoker
If the chances of this hand (date) being a winner has really bad odds, it’s time to back out and wait for the next hand.  There will always be another hand to play.  If you are willing to take the risk of playing against long odds,  you are going to have to get used to losing a lot. Play hands that you have a good chance of winning.

You too can be the King or Queen of Hearts!

It’s true, you are a liar.  Don’t try to tell me that you didn’t tell your grandmother that you really loved the teal sweater she gave you for your 12th birthday.

Yes, you are a teller of “white lies.”  We all are.  Sometimes deceit is excused by the greater good it serves. Sometimes white lies are strong.  For example, publicly denouncing your family to save all of their lives. Sometimes white lies are so light they are barely recognizable. You say “It’s OK” when it’s really not because you know it’s not worth fighting about.

It’s also common knowledge that there are quite a few white lies in dating profiles.  Quite a few black lies too.

800px-Auto_Racing_Black_White.svgHow to determine if your lie is white or black
The test is simple, but it’s correct application is sometimes difficult.

A deceit is excused (white lie) if the good it serves is greater than the bad of lying.
Lies, standing alone, are always black.
Generally, societies and religions have straightforward beliefs about lying.  Lying is wrong. There is a clear recognition that people live better together when communication is truthful. It’s hard to imagine a functional society that encourages lying.

It’s the good intentions that whiten a lie.
The big test of “good intentions” is to determine who will be receiving the good.  It can’t be the person lying. Lies that have the sole purpose of benefiting the liar stay black.

When is an untruth in a dating profile a white lie?
Some black lies in online dating profiles are really obvious.  It’s pretty clear with the broke guy who claims to be a millionaire and posts pictures of his younger, handsome cousin who kinda looks like he did ten years ago.

What about lying about your age?  Just 2 years, 41 to 39?  Figuring the good intentions of that misstatement is not easy.  If some people cut off their matches at 40 for no particularly important reason, and the two of you could be a match made in heaven, that untruth seems to be leaning toward white.

What about saying you’re single when you are still married – but expect your divorce to be final next week? What if you say you are 2 inches taller than reality?  What if you claim to be slender when you are carrying a few extra pounds – but you have already committed to an exercise program?

If these small lies are unimportant to your potential dates, are you merely working with the system for the benefit of both of you?

Finding someone who would really not care about the untruth, but would love to be with you, seems to be the common “good intention” that whitewashes small lies in your online dating profile.

pants

 

Can it be a white lie to give the only right answer to the question “Do these pants make me look fat?”

Imagine you are on a stage and before you is an audience of 1000s of people, and all those people are potential dates. Imagine you have the power to pick as many of those dates as you want, and your available dates can be narrowed by the criteria you choose.
stage
What criteria would you choose?
What if you start to get excited about finding your perfect soul mate and you come up with an image in your mind of that perfection. You describe that wonderful person exactly with your criteria and wait for the spotlights to illuminate your dream dates. And wait. And wait. And…..

OK, you accept that you have narrowed the field out of existence with the expectation that your dates be billionaires. Millionaires are acceptable, right? So you modify that criterion (isn’t the singular of criteria cool) and the spotlights illuminate three dates. This is exciting now!

You contact the first dream date and arrange a meeting. You two have a fun first date culminating in your dream asking if you can just be friends because your dream date is just not ready for anything more serious. You are a little deflated, but there are still two others.

Your second dream date never responds to your contact attempts. Maybe you don’t fit that person’s expectations. Maybe your dream date had a family crisis. Maybe your dream date found someone else. Maybe….. Oh well, fate must have it that the third dream date is the “one.”

Your third dream date goes out with you, you have a great time, and it continues with a second and third date. But something is feeling not quite right. Why does this person have such a hard time scheduling dates? That’s when you notice the faint tan line on your date’s ring finger.  Anger!   Depression.   Ouch!

Don’t narrow your field too much
The good part of your experience is that you have learned a good lesson about problem with criteria that are too specific.  You get to go back to that audience of 1000s and loosen up the criteria.  You realize it takes more than criteria to make dreams come true. You get to go on a bunch of dates. You get to date without the burden of extreme expectations. You have a much better chance of succeeding.

We suggest you look for dozens or even hundreds of potential dates who could be right for you if you want to find the “one.”