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7 Unwritten Rules of Online Dating

Remember that old 1995 book The Rules that took some singles by storm? I was running It’s Just Lunch at the time, and wow, did I get questions about the 3-day rules, etc., etc., etc.….

If you did read, I hope you’ve forgotten everything in it! In 2023, with online dating being the #1 effective method that singles from 20-80 meet each other, it is much simpler---if you are a half-glass full kind of person. Attitude is key!

With 30 years of counseling and fixing up singles as a dating coach, here we go:

1. Zip up your baggage We all have had prior relationships, though I like to call it “life experiences”. Until it becomes pertinent and you’re in a serious relationship, skip it. No one cares.

2. Meet quickly, or stop messaging. The maximum number of messages is 6----that means 3 from you, 3 from a potential date. The idea here is momentum; otherwise in the fast-paced world of cyber dating this meet-up is never happening. Yes, based on statistical evidence by research firms including Pew and Gallup.

3. Don’t lie with the camera. Overly photoshopped, filtered, or 5-10 years ago photos are a big no-no. Embrace your looks and show self-confidence in the aging process. There is nothing worse that showing up to see your date does not resemble his/her photos, even when you are squinting.



Text 702-494-7344 (text if you’d like a free 15-minute consult---I don’t take new clients without speaking to them first to see if they are a good fit and I can help---it’s why I bat over 60% with clients ending up in relationships!).


4. It may take many dates to find the one. Or it may not. But you need a great attitude, keep going on dates, understand there are new people every day online. It helps having a cheerleader in your corner, because yes, it can be exhausting….until Boom! There he/she is. I see it happen every single week.

5. Modesty is a turn-off…. just as boasting is. Now, this can come from several sources---your profile, the messages you send, and how you comport yourself on a first date. Self-confidence is so sexy!

6. Don’t have a long wish list. It makes you sound like a control freak.

7. Sexy snapshots will get you nowhere. Unless you are looking for a Tinder hook-up, then ok. Most singles I work with are looking for long-term relationships and that most likely will be a hinderance to your goals.

My best advice: If you are truly committed to finding a relationship, use everything in your arsenal.

Happy Dating!

Andrea McGinty Founder, It’sJustLunch and

Featured on Oprah as America’s Premier Dating Expert/Dating Counselor, People, Forbes, Bloomberg and more


Andrea McGinty is the founder of It’s Just Lunch dating service. Founded in 1991, prior to the advent of online dating, Andrea expanded the matchmaking service to 110 locations worldwide in the next 15 years.

She sold out in 2010 to a Private Equity Company as she saw the benefits of online dating and that so many singles were trying online dating without any success. They could not figure out the algorithms, search engines, how to write an engaging profile, have attractive photos that resonated and were fun, had difficulties choosing the right dating sites/apps (there are over 1400!) and how to write intriguing, informational and fun messages to elicit responses.

So, Andrea founded so she could help singles navigating online dating. In the 2020s, she knows the best way to meet people is through online dating using a professional coach and specializes in singles in their 40s-70s! She takes the burden of guesswork out---and makes it fun. She’ a dating coach, cheerleader, and entrepreneur who genuinely gets excited when her clients meet someone and it turns into a long-term relationship or marriage. She’s had over 6,000 marriages to date.

Andrea has been featured on Oprah, The Today Show, People, Forbes, WSJ, NYT and many more publications.

What one client said about her in January 2023: Lori, 54, Los Angeles:

Online dating is like going into an unknown jungle with all kinds of wild animals, dangerous plants, and traps….but also gorgeous flowers, sweet animals and revitalizing pools. Andrea is the no-nonsense safety guide who does the briefing BEFORE you go in and then is also the guide who points out things along the way. Sometimes, she has to pick you up after a bad fall and dust you off. Now, imagine going into the jungle with NO guide or briefing…. no wonder people have horrible experiences!

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