All day long, as a dating coach, I help my clients with online dating…and hear some interesting perspectives. Today, I am featuring two men who went through the online coaching program with me and who agreed to an interview to share their thoughts, ideas, misgivings, feelings, and advice to others on online dating and the best approach.
And, I must make a comment here for my women readers----Some tell me over and over again on weekly coaching calls as we are perusing potential dates online— “Oh, no, Andrea, not him. I’ve seen him online for 5 years”. Ok, you just wait!!! (Big parenthesis---you’ve been online looking for 5 years yourself before becoming my client with no success---yet you won’t reach out to a man in similar straits???). As I said, just wait!
No, they are not identical---just as no two of my clients are alike! What they had in common---they wanted results and they didn’t want to spend much time messaging women online. One commented he’d rather be on the golf course than on a dating app; the other has an intense career and in his free time he plays basketball---neither’s idea of fun was online dating. Surprise, Surprise, right?
Stay tuned for dating advice they have for women near the end.
Both names have been changed and for simplicity here are the facts:
Mark, 64, a business executive from Dallas who traveled 85% of the time, had serious time constraints
Tim, 55, Silicon Valley, technopreneur and founder who lived primarily in New York City
Here we go with the interview:
1. Why did you decide on online dating?
Mark: I realized I wasn’t going to meet anyone where I worked where I worked---it was highly discouraged plus I was a high-ranking executive at a Fortune 100. I was divorced for 5 years---had two teens at home and I was just ready to date (not a serious relationship, I thought) but knew nothing about online dating but had seen commercials.
Tim: These days, I didn’t see any other choice. Everyone is doing it! I looked at the company you founded, Andrea, It’s Just Lunch, and just couldn’t imagine they had a large enough pool compared to the internet. Seemed a no-brainer when I researched the numbers on the online dating pool.
2. Feelings about going online?
Mark: Hesitant, Fear of people recognizing me (and it happened twice---a woman from my neighborhood who I actually went on a date with and a woman from my company who I did not go on a date with---at this point, I got over my fear of people recognizing me. I thought, hey, our senior VP of Marketing is online, so I got over it!).
Tim: My hesitation was privacy---people will see you unless you choose the option where they only see you if you select them, but then you are limiting your options. Another drawback was time---not to get caught up looking at these damn sites all day long---well, that was until I hired you and you wouldn’t let me. (He laughs).
3. How long were you on the sites/apps before hiring me?
Mark: 5 years. I just had no time and would check it once a month—which of course was not optimizing my dating life. I went on maybe 4-5 dates a year, but wasn’t putting much effort in. Then my kids went off to college and I hired you and got more serious. I didn’t even know someone like you---a dating coach---existed five years ago. Hey, I was married a long time!
Tm: I was married for 24 years and initially got lucky online and was in a relationship for 9 months. I then went on 3 sites/apps for three months which was overwhelming and that’s when I decided I needed help and hired you to vet these women and show me a more efficient way to use online dating.
4. How often did you check the dating site/app?
Mark: Once a month.
Tim: Every day before you. I’m super organized and tend to check emails constantly too---but I quickly got swamped with the dating thing and got discouraged/frustrated with time and energy.
5. What three things made a woman attractive to you and want to reach out? And, how did you respond---message, phone, straight to a meet?
Mark: Her photos, and something in her profile made me laugh, or we had a commonality (like one woman also was from Boston where I grew up and visited the Cape often as I do). A message on the app, then a text on the phone, then a short phone call. I did the phone because I’m a bit reticent and shy---so by hearing their voice first it made the in-real-life meet really feel more comfortable and almost like a second date.
Tim: All the things you preach: multiple photos, a complete profile, and listing things that are truly unique to them---no generic platitudes. As far as the first date, I think women want to feel safe so I’d take the lead from them—I’d say 50% we just agreed via text to meet at a restaurant and the other 50% we had a short phone call after a couple of texts. It just depended on them.
6. Did you ever think about using a matchmaker or doing group single events?
Mark: Definitely not my style at all. I wasn’t comfortable with either of those.
Tim: No. In today’s world, it makes no sense. It’s like do you really need a “travel agent” these days or can you book your own hotel and flights? Now having someone write your profile, select photos, set me up online and help choose dates---that’s cost effective.
7. What about your photos?
Mark: Initially I just picked a couple---one with family and friends also to show I was social. Full body. A few women told me men misled on height (I’m 6’2) so I made sure there was a full body shot too. And I was smiling. You had me add more—no baseball cap and only one with shades on!
Tim: Typically, 5. Headshot, activity (at a football game or concert), hiking. Wanted to show full body in maybe shorts and t-shirt.
8. Any advice you’d give women online dating?
Mark: Stand-out by saying unique or quirky things about you. I liked this one woman who said she loved hosting Thanksgiving each year for 40 people and she did all the cooking herself---I was impressed as she sounded fun and ambitious with entertaining! Have a full body photo for sure—I did look for that. And make sure your photos are current so men aren’t surprised. Oh, be honest about your age too.
Tim: I frankly got mad when I met someone where it was obvious that they were using old photos. My advice to women: always date your photos.
9. Anything else we should know?
Mark: Hire someone like you. It saves time and you’ll be on the right track.
Tim: My dog photo got a lot of comments! So did the one playing pickleball with my 15-year-old though I covered her face. It’s just showing the real you.
Thanks, Mark and Tim. Ok, so want to know their outcomes? Mark’s in a serious relationship—as he told me early on, never say never that you’d never marry again! Tim---he’s been Gail for almost a year; they don’t live together nor plan marriage—but it’s a committed relationship.
My oddball career to family and friends for the past 30 years began in my 20’s----I feel so lucky to have you as clients---and I’m happiest when I hear people fall back into dating or love.
Happy Thanksgiving! I’m truly grateful to you.
Andrea McGinty Founder, 33000Dates.com Founder, It’s Just Lunch (sold)
Text if you want a free 15-minute call to see if I can help: 702-494-7344
Dating Coach, Online Profile Writer, Dating Expert, Relationship Coach Featured on Oprah, CNN, Good Morning America, People, Wall Street Journal, NYT, Forbes and more