I will fake it until I make it!

All about the escapades and thoughts of a girl who thinks WAY too much for her own good!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Statistics and Internet Dating: It's All In The Numbers!

This is my third attempt at dating on the Internet. I’ve come so far over the years that I’m not even embarrassed to admit it’s my third time. Okay, I’m slightly embarrassed but only because I can still hear the words said to me by well intentioned albeit misguided people, “... Only losers date online!” Ouch! But I digress.

In 2005, when friends first suggested the idea of Internet dating I was a little reluctant. NOT IN A MILLION YEARS might have been my first reaction, but that's so long ago now, who can really remember!

I had not been single for 15 years, and much had changed in the dating world. Plus I had never really "dated" before. I was a serial monogamist who went from high school boyfriend, to college boyfriend, to husband with very little dating in between.

It took me about 3 months to warm up to the idea. And that was only after a friend pointed out that the Internet might be my best option since I worked two time-consuming jobs, never had time to go out, and when I did go out I only went with my guy friends. (Apparently guys will never approach you at a bar if you're already surrounded by guys. Go figure!) And, after my divorce, I had a list longer than my arm of prerequisites for what this next guy must have if I was to date him. Yeah, Match.com's sort capability alone sold the idea for me! 

I started by logging on to do some data gathering and analysis. I first looked at my competition, the women who were my age, to see what types of pictures they posted and what types of profiles they wrote. And what I found was a sea of similarity.  Apparently all of the women in the Greater Washington, DC Metropolitan Area feel as comfortable in a pair of jeans as they do a black cocktail dress. They all have cats- some with the personality of dogs- and they all LOVE to laugh. I’m sorry but have you ever met anyone who actually HATED to laugh? 

Despite a witty profile and some decent profile pictures, I was a nervous nellie when first hitting the send button to pay and activate my account. Would anyone write me? I had visions of opening my profile to see an urgent blinking message, “You have no messages… AND YOU NEVER WILL! AND YOU NEVER WILL! AND YOU NEVER WILL!”

Ahh, looking back now, I was such a neophyte. I wrote back to everyone who wrote me. It didn’t matter if he was short or tall; skinny or fat; too old, or too young. If a guy put himself out there and contacted me, he got an email response back. At first I was appreciative that people even wrote! But after a while, when it seemed that only really old, really fat, or really well… ugly men were reaching out, I started to wonder, “Am I so hideous that this guy really thinks he has a shot with me?”

A friend of mine (I’ll call her Trisha even though that's not her real name) who was well versed in Internet dating explained that it wasn’t that I was hideous, it was all about the numbers. The more women these men wrote to, the more chance they had at getting a response. It's basic sales training really. The more numbers you cold call, the more times you get hung up on, the closer you are to the one person who will say, “Yes, I WOULD like to buy that timeshare in Boca Raton!”

This time, on my third attempt at Internet dating, I was prepared. I had the rules down and I was armed with a healthy dose of self confidence and statistical understanding; It’s all about the numbers! This time I knew not to take things personally. I signed up for a longer membership than before understanding that it could take longer than a month or two to find a guy with whom I really click. I've kept an optimistic and open mind. I’ve dated a wider variety of men than I ever did before (all within what I want in a partner – just more variety in the types of men). And this time I am enjoying every minute of this experience (well, almost every minute).

Throughout all my attempts at Internet dating I have met some really great guys who have helped teach me a little something about myself. One man broke my heart, but showed me how capable I was of truly loving another. One man helped me define the balance of characteristics I want in a guy. And this time… well, who knows what I will learn, but I am not afraid to find out!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Internet Dating: A Guy's Perspective

An introduction:  Today's guest blogger is Dave.  I went to high school with Dave and even though we were friends, I had a HUGE crush on him pretty much throughout high school.  Dave was smart and an athlete.  He had curley black hair with a quarter size patch of grey hair on the back of his head.  I used to sit behind him in French class and focus on him rather than my French lesson.  We had a chance to reconnect during the preparation for our 20 year high school reunion and we've been keeping in touch ever since. He is still very goodlooking by the way!

I was VERY surprised at some of the things he wrote. His comment about not including pictures of where you've traveled because guys think you are high maintenance was an eye opener!

I also felt pangs of, "OH NO! Do guys really think this way?" when I was reading what he wrote.  I sometimes dread how shallow men can be, but then I think about my horror stories of online dating and I become more sympathetic.  There is nothing like getting super excited for a date only to find the guy had posted pictures from 10 years ago, put on 20 lbs and is now challenged in the hair department. 

In the end, most of Dave's sentiment is the same as mine.  Know who you are and what you really want.  Be honest.  Show who you really are.  Believe in yourself as you really are and you will find someone who likes you for you.  So without further ado... HERE'S DAVE!


Okay, let’s be completely honest, size, ummm…I mean looks matter! We all need to feel attracted to our partners and for most of us that begins with appearance, or in the case of online dating the dreaded profile pictures. This week let’s talk about these pictures in terms of what not to do and what a guy (that’s me, Dave) REALLY sees in pictures.

To begin, if you don’t have at least one profile picture, don’t expect much activity. Oh, I’m sure you are a wonderful person and have much to offer, but if I can’t see you, you won’t hear from me. Call me superficial, but I’m not alone on this. If I’m going to put myself out there for the entire world to see, so can you. I will always seek the profiles with photos.

Alright, you are willing to post photos with your profile. I commend you on the excellent choice. Now you are faced with the next task, deciding not only which photos to post, but also which one will be your main profile pic; the one that will entice a guy like me to read on or look deeper into profile. First you must truly decide if you have a recent enough picture with which to represent yourself. I know retro is in, and while posting your high school cheerleading or catholic school uniform-wearing picture will certainly bring many responses, with the exception of a certain mid-western girl that had hers shortened and Velcro put in to make for easier access, most of you don’t still have those outfits. But I digress…and she deserves a whole, spectacular chapter all to herself…oh, yes she does.

If you can’t find a decent and recent pic, don’t just throw one up there. Find a friend and have them take a few for you. If you are willing to post and few and want the greatest amount of good connections, be honest with us (guys) and yourself and post at least two pictures. One should clearly show you face and the other should show your entire figure. Better to have a guy that is looking for an extremely thin gal pass you over than be disappointed or surprised when the two of you meet. If you don’t buy into this logic, that is fine and you probably haven’t read my thoughts on “Body Types” yet. Oh and also, you’d be wrong.

So, take a couple pictures with simple backgrounds and/or at places that are nice but not too extravagant. It may seem like a great idea to post a bunch of pictures of you in exotic locations but this can have quite the opposite affect. You see, we are men! We view things differently from our pragmatic, problem-solving, not just wanting to listen, Martian viewpoint. So while you think you look amazing atop the Eiffel Tower, swooshing the slopes of the Swiss Alps, dinning al fresco in Rome or lounging on some Carribean beach (side note: bikini pictures should only be posted by those that can really pull that look off, or are willing to accept the consequences), we see nothing but the bills for those expensive trips. We imagine you will expect us to take you around the world on our dime just to have any chance to possibly make or keep you happy. Unless you can afford to do these things on your own, and please figure out a way to slide that into your profile, leave those pictures out for now. Remember, it can be a lot of fun to have a handful of such pictures available to send when you start to communicate as opposed to having had “played all your cards” already.

Next let’s look at who is in these pictures with you. First, I recommend that you use pictures that only have you in them and I do this for several reasons. Remember, we are interested in seeing you not others. But, if you do choose to include others in your pictures, think about what you are doing and mind the following.

The obvious faux paus is to include the ex-anything (boyfriend or husband) in a picture. Also the photo-shopped or crudely cut out/smeared out face should be avoided. Come on girls! You have to have another picture you can use…it can’t be that good that you must use it. On this line, if you have a guy friend or relative in a picture you are using, make sure you can put a caption on the photo that explains that the dude is you brother, gay friend or co-worker. And don’t lie about it, if a real relationship develops and then you have to go back and explain that the dude in the Speedo with you in Jamaica was your ex-boyfriend we will only be left wondering about what else you might have fibbed. Hmmm…maybe they’re not real and spectacular???

This may seem hard to fathom but I promise it’s true. I’ve actually looked through profiles of ladies with a half-dozen or more pictures and not known which woman’s profile it was. Don’t make me have to load up all your pictures in an effort to find who is the common denominator in all of them, thus determining whose profile I am viewing. This also ties back into using recent pictures. I’ve had ones labeled (second from left) where I would never have been able to determine it was you! In a ten picture profile, I’ve seen four hair styles, two different lengths and three hair colors! If I wouldn’t be able to pick you out of a police line-up, I’m most likely not going to want to meet you in person.

Fine, you have disregarded my advice on posing solo in your pics and have included others in your profile photos. Luckily you have heard my other pleas and you have not included any exes and you have clearly labeled who is who in each and every picture. I know who you are in each picture and I’d ID you in a hot second in any line-up presented. Think you are all set? Not quite yet my dear. If I want to sell you something, I wouldn’t display it next to better items that I’m not trying to sell. In that vein, quite simply, be the hottest one in your pictures. My biggest laugh came from a makeup artist that posed with the runway models with whom she works…true story! We can be pigs and you don’t want us looking at your profile trying to figure out if there’s an appropriate way to message you and ask: “Hey, is the girl on your left your second picture available, the one in the black dress?

Lastly let’s talk for a moment about animals, your pet or pets. Sure, post a picture walking your dog or holding your cat. Great. List pets in your profile if you’re able as well so those poor folks with allergic reactions to our four-legged friends can be warned off or take their meds before arriving at your doorstep. But beyond that, let it go! Viewing a profile where 9 of 10 pictures show only your pet is a big turnoff. I love fluffy as much as the next guy, but I am there to look at you not them.

Well I hope that gives you a little insight into your profile pictures and how us guys view them. As always every scenario mentioned here is based on an actual interaction I’ve personally had while online dating. I never mean nor intend any hurtful feelings or ill will towards the women that were involved or women in general. I love women…and just want us to better understand one another and perhaps, just maybe, a few more of us will find our other halfs. Best wishes finding yours…he/she is out there.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


Anniversaries are a time when we are reminded to reflect – A time to look back and see what has happened, where we have been, and where we are now.

Today is the 3rd anniversary of my former husband's death.  I miss him.  I miss not being able to call him and share a memory, or tell him a story that only he and I would understand.  But this anniversary I am not overwhelmed with sadness about his death. Instead I know I am closer to making my peace with it.

As I was reminded today by a remarkable friend, Steve's time here helped shape me into the person I have become.  Without him I would not be as strong, I would not be as centered, and I would not have grown as much as I have over the last six and a half years.  

That is what I hold on to now – the incredible lesson he taught me.  As hard as it was to learn, it was exactly what I needed and is what keeps me moving forward in life.  Thank you Stevie.  My heart is always with you.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Picture Says 1000 Words

Today’s Internet dating topic is the essential profile picture. For those of you not in the know, the profile picture is the number one thing that'll get you noticed online.  Shallow as it sounds a picture really can speak a thousand words... words like, "Don't do it, you'll never get those 2 hours back."  Or "Ya know what, I'm secretly gay so don't get too excited!"

Together with your profile headline, your profile picture can make quite an impression.  In this installment of my Internet dating bliss, I’d like to share some of the profile pictures that have left the greatest “impression” on me.
The people at Match give some tips on how to make good use of photos. Their suggestions are below.
1) Use photos that feature you.
2) Show your best smile.
3) Verify photos are in focus.
4) Use recent photos.
Allow me to add a few more in the interest of helping…
1) How about you don't wear sunglasses and a hat in every picture. I'd like to see your googly eyes and beautiful bald head before we meet!

2) Include a body shot (and may I be as bold as to request a recent body shot). You may have a cute face but I'd like to see if you are either:
A) a midget
B) a fatty.
No body shot = you’ve got something to hide.

3) For the love of Pete, don't post a picture of yourself shirtless (or in your underwear) that you've taken by pointing your camera phone at yourself!  How about we save some things for later!  I'm sorry, but pictures like this give me a serious case of the heebie jeebies.

4) Don't lie about your age. My favorites are the people who lie by 10+ years. For instance this man says he’s 29. Okay maybe he didn’t say 29 but he was definitely off by a couple of years.

So that's it really; just a few tips to help the guys out there meet the woman of their dreams.  Good luck guys.  Hope this helps.

Tune in some time this week to catch my friend Dave's guest blog where he shares his insights on the same topic from a guys perspective.