3 Red Flags for Women Who Use Personals (& How to Avoid Them)

By Gia Ravazzotti for YourTango

Let’s skip to the good ones, ladies!

Online dating has taking over the world! Seriously, it has become one of the preferred methods for meeting a potential mate and grows ever more popular every year. It makes sense really, considering that it’s accessible, convenient and relatively quick to meet someone online.

People use online dating sites for a variety of reasons including: meeting a life partner; random hook ups; sexual exploration; and (as per the recent Ashley Madison scandal) to seek extra marital affairs.

However, even with such a convenient method of meeting mates, there are a few no-nos that accompany this medium. And smart women know to check for these three things before we’d ever consider chatting with a guy IRL:

1. They do a grammar check (duh!).

Admittedly, being an educated woman of a certain age, this may make a woman seem like a snob, but spelling and grammar are vitally important, both in profiles and subsequent texting or chatting.

It may seem shallow, but for many women, spelling or grammatical errors (that are obviously not auto-corrects) are a make-or-break situation. Even if it means you take a little longer to reply or write out your profile, please, please use spell check!

Knowing the difference between “your” and “you’re” is pretty simple and could be the deciding factor between getting brushed off or embraced by a wonderful woman. And please don’t forget to use punctuation.

Reading an entire paragraph as one sentence is not fun, not to mention confusing. It also alerts us to the fact that full stops and commas aren’t part of your vocabulary, which makes us think that actual real life conversations might be a bit tiring!

2. They check for up-to-date photos (without Photoshop).

Everybody loves to look at beautiful things, and many of us enjoy admiring others on the basis of their looks. But, if you want to make a meaningful connection with someone online, make sure your picture is both accurate and up to date.

No one enjoys the awkwardness of meeting someone who looks nothing like their photos.

While you may get a lot of views and contacts online from your touched up photo from 15 years ago, you’ll inevitably find yourself at a loss for second dates if you go that route. Honesty is the best policy when it comes to your online profile, so please use accurate pictures.

3. They pass over men who only send a one-line intro email.

We get it. You’re a man of few words. But, just a heads up — there is nothing worse than receiving a message that simply says, “Hey babe, your (sic) hot. Wanna (sic) hook up?”

Even worse are messages that have no Inquiry. If you want to observe on the basis of looks or your own carnal desires, then please don’t expect many responses. How can a woman engage in an online conversation without any valid or interesting questions?

When I was online dating, the best messages came from guys who actually read my profile, took a cue from what I said, and asked a question on the basis of what they had read.

Try engaging rather than using the scattergun mass email approach and see how many more responses you start to receive.

It only takes a little extra time and effort to do these three simple things, and they’ll make a lot of difference to the reception you receive from women. In a society that values nonchalance, seeing someone make the effort to impress or woo you is not only rare, but quite erotic, too.

Give it a try, if it doesn’t work, at least you’ve learned how to approach smart women and have a fighting chance at getting a date.

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  1. Now, I get the importance of spelling and grammar and all that, but don’t forget that some of us have learning disabilities. Some have very severe learning disabilities, but that doesn’t mean they are dumb, uneducated, or that they would not make a good partner. My brother has a LD that makes spelling incredibly hard for him(he spells words like they sound: hundrid, werk, etc) When he sends me texts it usually takes me a 10-15 seconds to figure out what he is trying to say. Here is the important thing: my brother is an amazing man, a great father, and a wonderful husband. If you judged him just by how he writes you would have missed out on a great guy.

    While it may be hard to tell the lazy men from those who have learning disabilities, there are great men out there who don’t or can’t spell, use punctuation, or use your you’re their there appropriately.

    Sorry, I just get a bit bummed out thinking about how hard online dating is on those men with learning disabilities and how some get discounted so quickly over something that they can’t help. Spell check can help, but it is hard to know what the right way to write is if you can’t even tell something is wrong in the first place. Telling the difference between your and you’re may be really hard for some people and not simple at all.

    1. Mea culpa, Derek — though we didn’t write this piece, we chose to publish it, and we never considered your point! Which is kind of ironic, given that we’ve made the mistake of writing your for you’re or its for it’s when typing quickly — and clearly the two of us are (a) worthy of love and (b) incredibly smart. 🙂 We promise to bear this in mind in future posts…

      1. Derek’s point brings up the delicate balancing act of what do you bring up in your profile and what do you let them discover later? What falls into the category of “Don’t scare them off now; when they know me a little better, they’ll accept this quirk – or not”? Likewise, what’s an “Uh, dude, you should’ve mentioned that upfront”? I guess it could hinge on whether your philosophy is to cast a wide net or that, for online dating to be considered a success you only need to find one very good match.

      2. No worried, you two: my ire, such as it was, was not directed at you. This was a rant that had been flowing through my brain for some time now, and I am glad I had a nice forum to let people be aware of this point they might not be aware of.

        Again, you ladies are great and need not worry: you all are great, as evidence by your kind reply.

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