If you’re not confident in your looks, you may be tempted to hide behind a low-quality or strategically cropped profile picture—don’t. “Make sure your profile picture is clear and shows both your face and body,” Van Kirk says. “This is not just about showing how attractive you are—women feel safer about online dating if they feel like they know who they’re talking to.” That said, studies have shown that guys get the best responses when their profile pics show them looking away from the camera and not smiling.
Parks, a University of Washington communication researcher and author of Personal Relationships & Personal Networks, has determined that 75 percent of the people who dated extensively the year before said they had help from a friend. In their corner is what Parks calls "the social proximity effect," which holds that the probability of two people meeting is directly proportional to the number of contacts they share. In other words, more friends means more female referrals. "Our research has shown that two-thirds of people who initiate a romantic relationship had met at least one of the dozen or so members of their partner's closest social network prior to meeting their part ner for the first time," says Parks, "and nearly half had met two or three." If you know Tom, and Tom knows Betty, then there's a greater chance you'll meet Betty. And if Tom also knows Susan, Heather, and Kimberly . . . well, then you owe Tom a fruit basket.
Meeting a potential relationship partner does not have to be confusing or challenging, especially when you have a particular goal in mind. You will often have the best success when you look in the places and ways that will bring you in touch with likeminded people. Specifically, long-term relationships are often found with others who are focused on similar long-term religious, spiritual, or educational activities in their daily lives. In contrast, short-term and sexual relationships can best be found with others who have such immediate excitement and pleasure on their mind—usually in the nightlife of bars, clubs, and restaurants. Finally, finding some specific relationship preference and need can often be accomplished by networking with others who are compatible in those ways—either online or through social groups. In any case, finding others with similar love life preferences and goals will bring you closer to satisfying yours.
"I met my girlfriend Stephanie at a book signing for Karen Russell," he says. "The line was kind of disorderly, so I turned to the person behind me and said, 'I didn't cut you, did I?' and she said, 'No.' That was Stephanie. I said, 'So are you a big Karen Russell fan?' and she said, 'Yes.' I asked who some of her other favorite authors were, and we chatted briefly. She got her book signed, then I got mine signed. Afterward I turned around, and she was standing there waiting for me. It turned out we were both going to Grand Central, so we walked there together. We had very immediate, very obvious chemistry. We got to the corner where we needed to split up, and Stephanie said, 'I want to keep talking to you though.' Her train was leaving shortly before mine, so I went with her to her train, then jumped off just as the doors were closing and hurried to catch my train. I had given her my business card, and she emailed me the next day. We've been together for almost five years."
To get the most out of these nights out be sure to show up early to whatever venue you’re going to. This gives you a chance to get acclimated and comfortable in the environment. While you’re there, warm up your social muscles by chatting with the staff and anyone else who’s around. As the venue fills up look for a “high-traffic” area – someplace people walk past frequently – and post up there with your friends. That way instead of running around looking for girls to talk to, the girls will wind up walking right by you.
Try to avoid compliments that are overly focused on her looks or very generic. Chat up lines like, ‘did it hurt when you fell from heaven’ deserve to be banned for life. Also avoid clichés like ‘you have beautiful eyes’ as this may well make her think that you’re just another guy hitting on her. If possible compliment her on HOW she’s doing something, ‘I like how focused you are’ ‘I like how you have this big smile, it looks like you’re having a great conversation…’ and if all else fails keep it low key with an implied compliment like, ‘I just had to come and say hi.’ It’s a classic but a good one!
Let your friends know that you’re open to meeting people—if you don’t, many will assume you’re happily single—but don’t ask them to set you up on completely blind dates. “Ask for a phone number or an email address so you can make the plans and feel her out a bit,” Van Kirk says. “You want to be sure that going on a blind date is worth both of your time.”
Our first tip is pretty obvious — you need to get online if you want to change your dating situation. Dating sites and apps have become the top way to meet people for many reasons. Not only can you quickly and easily find local single women, but you can also narrow down other preferences like age, appearance, education, religion, ethnicity, and interests.
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You are on the hunt and don't let anything get in the way! If you are still struggling with approaching women in public (and you are definitely not alone) there are a few books that made a huge difference in our success with older women. You could take a blanket along and lounge around while Fido does his thing, or you can actively seek the attention of an older woman by asking her a question or two about her own pet.
But it's not just the friend famine that's starving our sex lives. Socially inbred crews are detrimental, too. "In a tightly knit group, you know the same people," says Parks. "Your friends can't introduce you to women you don't already know." That's why access to a new resource, whether it's an unadvertised job opening, a lead on a house listing, or an introduction to a woman you might click with, is more likely to come through casual friends than close ones. It's what social-network theorists call "the strength of weak ties," and the greater the number of unique casual connections you have, the better positioned you are to benefit. These types of people are essentially network bridges, says Parks. They connect you to women you might not otherwise have met through your close friends. The secret isn't blind dates and setups; it's party invites and casual introductions.
With eHarmony you know that every woman on the site is extremely motivated to actually meet guys instead of just looking around. The signup process is more involved and takes more time than other sites so all the women who are just looking for attention or a distraction are filtered out. That means all the women who complete their questionnaire are very, very motivated to respond to your messages or message you first (not to mention meet up offline)!