How can text lead to sex?
Do you ever struggle to make things happen once you get a woman’s telephone number? Are you experiencing problems with expressing the full range of your personality through something as limiting as a Tinder bio? As with most social skills, texting requires a good amount of practice to master. But who in this world wants to sit down and have a lengthy typing session, or swipe yes or no to strangers on some app when you can leave the house and interact with so many beautiful females in real life? Personally, although I’ve experimented with every possible way to meet women, I usually tell my guys to not bother with online dating until you’ve got a handle on cold-approach. Why? Because the returns are low and so often it’s used as an excuse not to go out and meet women in real life.
Enter Corona Virus…
In the past month or so society has entered a worldwide domestic lockdown lifestyle, but no matter the circumstances, human nature hasn’t changed. The hot girls you’d normally approach in the street or bars are right now, in a similar way as you are, lonely, bored and horny. This has caused a massive surge in the use of dating apps like Tinder and Instagram (yes, Instagram is a dating site). That's why, in my opinion, there has never been a better time in recent history for a man to explore and master online dating. To help figure out an action plan so you can capitalize on this crazy situation I sat down with dating coach and Ted speaker, the one and only, Hayley Quinn. The great thing about Hayley is that she is not only an incredible dating coach (she’s been walking the beat as long as I have) but she is also a coach who teaches both men and women how to meet more quality partners online, as well as in real life, and this gives her a unique and valuable perspective.
Having a look from both sides of the screen
This was a unique interview in which we explored together both the masculine and feminine perspectives of online dating. Hayley told me about how to select the right profile picture. “What are the deal breakers?” I asked her. She said that we have to face up to the fact that in the social media age our standards for what constitutes a ‘good’ photo of you have radically escalated. Hayley noted that the ladies she coaches seem to have an amazing back catalogue of great photos that their friends have taken of them but not the men. It made me wonder why that is. Could it be part of a general difference between men and women where women are more likely to complement each other, whereas men are more likely to knock each other, even though women may still be as competitive as men at the same time in other ways? I told Hayley how I’ve asked female friends and lovers to let me watch them use Tinder and how they seemed to be so trivial in how they decide who was acceptable based on one photo as they swiped their way through many matches. So how do you avoid getting so easily rejected? What is a ‘good’ profile picture?
“You need a new, high resolution photo of you,” she directed me, as well as urging me to void anything that is going to interfere with your picture being clear, e.g. it was taken at night, you’re in a group, a photo with ‘red-eye’, or where you’re in sunglasses or a hat, “All of which,” Hayley tells me, “ have been statistically proven to ‘ding’ your profile.” Ok, got it. Don’t want to damage the most important part of your profile (your profile pic) with these more obvious errors. Next, you need to figure out what the theme is to your profile, your personal brand. This should be authentic to certain aspects of you. Don’t try to look like some generic hot guy in any style if that really isn’t you. Think about the background of your profile pic and photos in general. Think about the setting. Could she see herself in your photo? Direct sunlight is not good for photos so wait for a cloudy day. Use no more than one photo in the same outfit or at the same location. Not all your photos should be professional photos otherwise it will appear fake. Hayley’s general advice was to look relatively well-dressed and well-organised. Your dating profiles, just like your Instagram should be ‘well-cultivated.’ And yes, Hayley tells me, Instagram is rated and used as a dating site and must be a strong part of your online presence.
Who are you online?
Let’s talk about your online presence for a minute. Hayley told me that you can choose not to have an online presence, but if you are going to have one then it has to work for you and not against you. Do an audit of this part of your life and get rid of things that don’t reflect well on you. Post regularly and make it artful and interesting in some way. Change it regularly, make it different. Look at your profile page on Instagram. Are the images all the same or even mostly similar? Try to include different aspects of your life. It is possible to work an online niche, such as BDSM or photography, and use these as platforms that attract women who are interested in that niche. But before you go trying to set up as the next Instagram photography success just start with getting your friends to take good photos of you when you’re at an event or doing anything interesting so that you have something to use to create an online presence that is worth having, one that works for you by showing you and what you do rather than casting you in a bad light. Female friends, if you have them, are better at taking these photos Hayley claims! Probably had more practice I guess. You need to learn to relax and just pose for the photo. And if your friend won’t take a photo for you then maybe he isn’t really your friend. It’s worth thinking about.
When we talked about what to write on a bio Hayley’s advice was to avoid clichés. According to her, short and strong is better than long and rambling. Avoid being generic with how you describe yourself (what does ‘fun loving’ really mean anyway?) and no more emojis! Those days are over. Hayley’s suggestion was to be more dynamic and seductive by saying something more like “You would win me over if...” or “You should swipe right now if…”
How can text lead to sex?
And then you get to messaging! Everyone’s always looking for the great opening line, but the truth is that there is no one great opening line. It’s the same as in reality where words and phrases that have no charge and are generic have no power, and your message needs to be powerful if even just to stand out from the endless stream of messages that she is receiving that are ignored and forgotten. Hayley advised using a template of good messages in order to deal with the high rate of messaging you have to do in order to deal with the low returns involved with online dating. Having worked for some of these apps she informed me that even the most attractive men on dating apps only get a 35 to 40 percent return rate on their messages. When you look at it from the woman’s perspective you see that she has a large number of options and limited time, and if she’s seeing very low investment from you then she will easily move on. On top of this there’s always the ambiguity involved with the question of whether he’s just using the app for casual dating or if he is interested in, or even just open to, a relationship. Hayley told me about ’hey guys’, guys who just send a stream of heys with no response. The hard fact that Hayley made me aware of is that she has to show investment before you ask her out. Don’t immediately go in for a date otherwise you indicate that you have low standards and will respond kindly to any kind of communication, even lazy, low investment communication, from her.
Something I’ve noticed with sending messages is that it gets boring really quickly when you’re texting with matches and Hayley agreed with me that it can be very difficult to get to know somebody online who you haven’t met in real life. I’m an interesting conversationalist but my conversations are boring online. So how do I keep her interested? Hayley says that actually “How do I keep her interested” is a losing game. You need to balance your interest against hers and keep to your standards throughout this process. “Make your communication intermittent and impactful,” she said. One of the first things I coach guys to do on workshops is to contribute to the conversation and talk about yourself. When I text I don’t use emojis. I use a smile, a wink and …, and supplement that with voice mails in which I talk about what I’m doing/being/feeling and so contribute to the conversation. Hayley agreed that voice mails are great to use every now and then to spice it up and that she gets suspense too of playing the message.
My favorite part of using dating apps is when you stop using them
To close the book for now on online dating I want to say do it but keep seeding for real interaction. Beware the swipe! It can be a useful tool or a video game slot machine sukcing your attention away. Allocate limited time to this and don’t use it all day. When we talked about how you pivot from an app to another platform like Instagram or WhatsApp I told her that I usually just say something like “ I’m not on here much so let’s use whatever.” Hayley replied that there’s only two possible outcomes; one she doesn’t reply, two she objects and you challenge and negotiate. You can, and should be direct, but when you look at how people typically behave on these apps men are like, “Let’s swap details about each other and cut to the chase,” whereas women are more like “Let’s develop a connection.” How you do this is to always ask “What is she trying to show about herself in this message?” Women are quite artful with this at times, and I will often overtly comment on this, on what her communication shows about her. Call her out and don’t lower your standards, this is more for your personal integrity than for your external success.
And, as always, use your time and energy purposefully, and, as with all things online, make it real or get off it.