Date Reporters

Dating FAQs from a Successful Online Dater

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This is the latest post from our Los Angeles-based Date Reporter Rachel Nina Schwartz. She’ll be documenting her experience dating in LA. Catch up on her story here. She’s had a pretty successful run, so this week, we asked her to talk about her general online dating tips. Check it out.

This week, I wanted to start out with some of with basics and address some of the most common questions about [online] dating. Now please note: these are just suggestions based solely on my personal point of view. With that disclaimer, let’s jump in!

I like getting messages that are longer than one sentence but not longer that one paragraph. You don’t even know me; you can’t have that much to say to me already.

What’s a good first message to send someone online?

I like to send messages that show I’ve read a bit of the person’s profile, so they know it’s not the same 50 words I’m sending to multiple people. Depending on how attractive the person seems (from photos) I will be more or less flirty and incorporate that into the message. Nothing wrong with a little batting of eyelashes over the internet. And the most important guideline: keep it short! No one wants to read your entire life story or a five paragraph essay on why we’re perfect for one another.

On the flip side, I like getting messages that are longer than one sentence but not longer that one paragraph. Dude, you don’t even know me; you can’t have that much to say to me already. If both men and women kept initial messages short and sweet (but not too sweet) I’m convinced more dates would come out of it.

Decoding Profiles: What are some clues to help sort out what’s really going?

I could talk endlessly on this topic, but I’ll try and distill some universal rules for this short post.
Guys with multiple shirtless pics: Just NO.
Guys who mention friends and family: This is a good thing! It means they have relationships with other humans and hopefully are comparatively well-adjusted!
Guys who post only pictures that are in costumes and/or with large groups of people: They’re probably really into Burning Man. Thanks, but not for me.
Guys who don’t drink: Either there are some issues there or they’re super religious. Both give me pause.
Guys who talk about their ex-girlfriends or ex-wives on their profiles: This is terrible and tacky. It also means they are not over it and not ready for a new relationship.

Do you send a follow-up text after a good date?

The operative word here is good. After a good date, absolutely yes send a follow-up text the next day. But don’t start walking home and text before he’s even had a chance to reflect and muse on how awesome you are, and then again don’t wait four days to let him know you had fun. I always text something super clear and simple such as, “Thanks for drinks last night, I had a great time. Let’s make plans again.” And then let it be. Put the phone down and walk away, don’t check it every thirty seconds for a reply and don’t send another text until he replies.
Rachel Nina Schwartz is a designer based in New York who is currently in LA for the summer, where she will be writing about her dating experiences. She looks forward to learning how to surf and reveling in a climate conducive to good hair days. Check out her other project,