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Online dating is horrible

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  June 25, 2009 10:16 AM

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Happy Thursday. It’s George Michael’s birthday. Take a moment to honor it, please.

When you’re done, read this letter about online dating and all of its crappiness.

Q: I’m trying to understand the online dating mentality. I will admit that I have tried a couple of different sites and they all have some good and some bad features. Currently I am on plenty of fish (POF) and eharmony (fyi – I do not recommend eharmony. I have already canceled my subscription) and I’m a little frustrated with the women on these sites. I’m guessing that my frustrations would apply to both sides (men and women) but I only interact with the ladies so I can’t speak to that.

Let me first say that 99% of all the profiles say they are looking for a nice guy who can make them laugh and isn’t looking for a one night stand. My favorite line is “Serial daters need not apply” (no love for poor Captain Crunch). Now, I will not claim to be perfect and I understand that my situation (38, Divorced, 3 kids) isn’t for everyone. So knowing that, I try to limit my contact with women who I feel would accept me and all that comes with me. Also (and I’m not trying to brag but) I am a nice guy, that will make you laugh and I’m not looking for a one night stand.

Having the background I want to understand the mindset of the ladies. I have sent several emails out in the past several months while I have been on POF and my responses have been “Sorry you live too far away” or NOTHING. First off, I know the too far away is typically a nice way to say, not interested. I get it. But for the one or two ladies who have said that and meant it, are you kidding me? Doesn’t “love” have no boundaries? Should it be considered a little flattering if I am reaching out to you despite the fact that I may have to drive an hour to see you (and yes, I would expect that it would be my responsibility, at first, to come to you)? I will say that while it is sort of frustrating to get this response it is better than nothing at all!

Now before I get yelled at by all the ladies, I understand that you are not going to email everyone back. And I would expect if the guy is emailing you inappropriately, then you should just delete it and move on. But I always take the time to read your profile before sending anything and incorporate what you said into my introduction. That way, you can clearly see that I have taken the time to actually read your profile. I didn’t just look at your picture and email. Shouldn’t that kind of effort deserve some sort of response? Yes, it is hard to say “Sorry I don’t feel that spark with you” and it may seem harsh, but sitting there wondering if you are interested and then just assuming your not isn’t any better or less harsh. For you, yes. For me, No.

So ladies, what is the deal? Do you really want a nice guy? How can I let you know that I am? Can a nice guy like myself find someone online? What are you looking for in that initial email that will put me over the top?

-- NiceGuy, Scituate, MA

A: NG, my advice:

Have a close friend look at your profile. For all you know, you’ve spelled something wrong. Maybe it's your photo that is less than flattering. Get a good, honest review of how you’re putting yourself out there.

Know that the online dating world is about what looks good on paper. Don't stop pursuing options in the real world just because you're online. Your personality, your chivalry … these are qualities that are easier to show off in real life. Don’t rule out real-life women as you date in the Matrix.

Online dating is about quantity. There are pages and pages of little faces to choose from, and many people behave as though their options are limited. It’s not very nice, but there’s not much you can do about it. Try to thicken up that skin of yours.

Women (and I don’t speak for all of them, but I think I speak for most) do want a nice guy. They’re not lying when they say they don’t want the Cap'n Crunch nonsense.

All you need is one good one. Just keep trying.

Readers? Are women lying when they say they want a nice guy? Is the kids thing the issue? Think there’s something wrong with his profile? Is it better to reject online than to ignore? Share here. Read yesterday’s chat here.

Also, a while back, I wrote about a very expensive service that teaches men to pick up women. I happen to know that the service is coming back to Boston this weekend. If you happen to see a bunch of guys trying out pick-up lines, they're probably in boot camp. Enjoy the show.

-- Meredith

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235 comments so far...
  1. Hi - I agree with meredith, the online dating is all about quantity. It is like looking for a job, you shoot out your resume hundreds of times hoping to get one interview. I also think that some people that are online dating for them it is all about convenience. I mean that is why they are doing it online right, where everything is at their fingertips - so maybe when they say that you are too far, it is simply too far for them to want to deal with, just too inconvenient for them. Perhaps they do not want a connection as badly as they think they do. Anyhow, good luck to you and don't give up, just keep sending out the e-mails and don't get discouraged if you get no responses, it happens all the time.

    Posted by JW June 25, 09 10:30 AM
  1. I didn't like match.com, eharmony, or plentyoffish.

    I *LOVE* meetup.com because you are not necessarily there to meet a date. It's a relaxed atmosphere where all have a mutual interest. You start friendships. I've met some really cool friends. Had some crushes that went no where. But I'm still trying!

    I am on Lavalife right now and am really enjoying the men I am intereacting with.

    Don't give up!

    Also, and here I go brutally honest on your butt: nice guys are usually boring or already taken. If you have the term "nice guy" on your profile please remove it. It's cliche at this point. Put every interest you can think of. I want a man I have things in common with but also someone who has his own hobbies/interests that are separate so life is interesting. I want to hear a man's stories and I do want him to make me laugh and vice versa. Don't give up! She's out there!

    Posted by Amazing_Abbey June 25, 09 10:31 AM
  1. I didn't like match.com, eharmony, or plentyoffish.

    I *LOVE* meetup.com because you are not necessarily there to meet a date. It's a relaxed atmosphere where all have a mutual interest. You start friendships. I've met some really cool friends. Had some crushes that went no where. But I'm still trying!

    I am on Lavalife right now and am really enjoying the men I am intereacting with.

    Don't give up!

    Also, and here I go brutally honest on your butt: nice guys are usually boring or already taken. If you have the term "nice guy" on your profile please remove it. It's cliche at this point. Put every interest you can think of. I want a man I have things in common with but also someone who has his own hobbies/interests that are separate so life is interesting. I want to hear a man's stories and I do want him to make me laugh and vice versa. Don't give up! She's out there!

    Posted by Amazing_Abbey June 25, 09 10:31 AM
  1. The key to online dating is to have a nice picture - or several nice pictures (the more the better) of yourself. I challenge anyone that is participating in online dating to say "this isn't true". Online dating in some ways is no different than being in a bar. You first see someone that you find attractive, and then you approach them to find out if they are a nice person. The physical attraction always opens the door to more communication.

    I am not saying that physical attraction should be the only characteristic involved - there is so much more that goes into a successful, sustained relationship. I am simply saying that your picture is a big part of getting someone to explore more about you - and most people on line tend to make a judgment about physical attraction within 5 seconds of looking at your photos. Keep this in mind and also take Meredith's advice - have someone you can take constructive criticism from and have that person look at your profile - they may have some comments on your photos that you may not have realized on your own.

    Posted by spaceman June 25, 09 10:32 AM
  1. Another point to make - I think it is fair to expect around a 5% response rate to your emails. I have read this in other forums, and speaking from my experience, this is about right. That isn't very high - and it is in direct relation to some of the points Meredith made - your other qualities that may shine in person are not available to the person on line - so people make more assumptions and guesses when reviewing your profile.

    If you email once and get no response - move on. The person has already made a decision on you - right or wrong. Just keep emailing people you are interested in and you will get some response - and continue to balance your dating approach with "real world" contacts and activities.

    Posted by spaceman June 25, 09 10:37 AM
  1. I would agree as well. It can become frustrating as well, and I know it did for me when I was using it. Hang in there, you never know. I did and I met a nice guy, and we just celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary last week.

    Posted by CEA June 25, 09 10:40 AM
  1. It sounds like you are WAY too frustrated with this no results thing. Online dating may not be for you.

    If the woman really thinkgs an hour is to far away for them.....guess what, it is.

    Don't push for success where there is no chance of it, in that don't harp over what hasn't happened. Just continue to go as you feel lead.

    Posted by swfoutsida June 25, 09 10:41 AM
  1. You seem like a nice guy, keep your head up!

    Posted by RC June 25, 09 10:41 AM
  1. Well, I'm interested and all I read is the Love Letter you posted. Age, distance, children and past marital status aren't my first concern, although I do consider that seasoning to a wonderful meal. If you're personality rocks, and you are a nice guy (which I am looking for, and can tell you may be a pretty decent one) then that should be the main focus, and everything else the highlights that make up who you are. Women who can't see that... well they are either nit-picky, or completely blind. You're making an effort, thats more than most men (and women) can offer.

    Good luck NiceGuy... I might have to go searching for your profile.

    Posted by Eternal Euphoria June 25, 09 10:42 AM
  1. Just the other day in the chat there were lots of 30-40ish women complaining about finding men. There a lots of women in your age group out there for whom kids would not be an issue. I wonder if you are putting too much emphasis on looks. For lack of a better way of saying it, the "top tier" people in the looks department can afford to be picky and reject you based on your looks, your kids, your distance factor, etc. If you are willing to make looks a less important factor, you may find yourself a great gal who is willing to literally go the extra mile for you. I remember hearing about a Dustin Hoffman interview shortly after he made Tootsie where he said something about what he learned from dressing as a less then gorgeous 40 something woman. He realized how people looked through him, and how many times he looked through women like him, and how he must have missed out on meeting so many wonderful people because he wrote them off based on their looks. Maybe this applies to you and maybe it doesn't.

    Posted by yikes June 25, 09 10:43 AM
  1. Meredith hits this one 100% Dead-On (congrats on the Grand-Slam "M"!). This is exactly like looking for a job in a bad economy: Remember that a lot of these Ladies are receiving dozens (if not hundreds) of responses, so you need to "Stand Out in a Crowd". Firstly, YES, find a sophisticated yet honest platonic female friend to critique your online profile and picture; secondly, send-send-send!!! Then, be both realistic and patient with your expectations.

    Posted by DudeGuyKidDudeGuy666 June 25, 09 10:45 AM
  1. Women don't want "Mr. Nice Guy". They want a great, integrated man. Check out the book "No More Mr.Nice Guy" by Robert Glover. They want a man who lives with integrity and passion.

    If he is not truly "Mr. Nice Guy" then perhaps NiceGuy would benefit from the training this weekend! Meredith, maybe you can pass the info along to him?

    Posted by midman June 25, 09 10:46 AM
  1. Meredith's advice is right: have a friend examine your profile--a female friend. Does your ad spell out the physical characteristics required of your female companion? Do you describe your physical attributes in detail? All of this stuff telegraphs: just wants to eat grilled cheese sandwiches (sic), etc. Look at the ads from women: they're looking for someone sensitive, romantic, caring, etc. 'Nice guy who can make you laugh' is fine as far as it goes, but lacking in romantic appeal. Bottom line: look at your ad and makes sure you are highlighting your fine personal qualities foremost.

    Posted by oldcynic June 25, 09 10:47 AM
  1. Ok.. I know two guys that are divorced with kids and about he same age as you that are currently doing on-line dating. If they wanted, they could go on several dates per week... My friend says "it's easy to get dates but hard to find the right one" ..No offense but maybe you just aren't very attractive? or you must say somthing in profile that is turning these women off. Maybe get a makeover or have a woman that you are friends with review your profile. Good Luck... It's gotta be difficult!!

    Posted by Paul from Wellesley June 25, 09 10:48 AM
  1. Meredith's advice is right: have a friend examine your profile--a female friend. Does your ad spell out the physical characteristics required of your female companion? Do you describe your physical attributes in detail? All of this stuff telegraphs: just wants to eat grilled cheese sandwiches (sic), etc. Look at the ads from women: they're looking for someone sensitive, romantic, caring, etc. 'Nice guy who can make you laugh' is fine as far as it goes, but lacking in romantic appeal. Bottom line: look at your ad and makes sure you are highlighting your fine personal qualities foremost.

    Posted by oldcynic June 25, 09 10:49 AM
  1. As a divorced dad who found his now wife of five years in an online service, I can vouch for it.

    Look, you can just as easily say that in-person dating is just a numbers game. Unromantic but true. I would argue that online dating opens up doors, especially for grown-up 30 somethings with jobs and real-life responsibilities and so little time. It also helps the ladies (and guys too) by providing a semi-anonymous way to screen out the crazies.

    My advice to you NiceGuy is stop investing so much in your initial contacts. Just keep sending messages to the ones you think look cute/interesting and forget about it when you turn off the computer. Meredith's advice to have a friend critique your listing is good. Do that.

    Posted by Spuckey71 June 25, 09 10:49 AM
  1. Ok.. I know two guys that are divorced with kids and about he same age as you that are currently doing on-line dating. If they wanted, they could go on several dates per week... My friend says "it's easy to get dates but hard to find the right one" ..No offense but maybe you just aren't very attractive? or you must say somthing in profile that is turning these women off. Maybe get a makeover or have a woman that you are friends with review your profile. Good Luck... It's gotta be difficult!!

    Posted by Paul from Wellesley June 25, 09 10:50 AM
  1. I tried and actually am dating someone I met from a online dating thing. All I can say is as a guy you'll need a thicker skin. The girls get "tons" of emails from all types and if your not in the small criteria (handsome, well-off, very few strings, not too old, young, bald, creepy, fat) they just don't respond or say no thanks.

    Keep in mind that though they might look good to you, that's not necesarily a two way street. Keep your messages, light, funny and non-creepy. If you don't get a response move on..thats a sign. Also, get ready to meet the "real woman" in person as many ladies post their profiles when they were ummm (hot and young) & still think that they look like that...woah!

    Oh, and send lots of messages out to lots of women..like in fishing you have no idea what may swim your way.

    Posted by EDisharmony June 25, 09 10:50 AM
  1. I've done the online dating thing for 5 years. FInd the profiles you like and then send them a message. You should get a few hits and take it from there. I would recommend some humor in your profile and don't make your introduction sound too serious or stiff. Show them you are fun and relaxed. As for what woman want, most will say they want a nice guy which I am too, but I've been finding that this quality is just the starting point. The expectations grow as the relationship flourishes and sorry to say, some people are just never going to be happy. This applies for both men and woman. If they see a few things that upset them or don'tt fit their agenda, it's easy for them to bail than to communicate with the other these issues and work things out. It should be easy to have a relationship. Have fun and respect, support and enjoy each other. But, for many, that is not enough!

    Posted by Maxwell June 25, 09 10:52 AM
  1. I agree that you need an objective review of your profile.

    First of all, you need a flattering picture.

    Second of all, you need to be funny, witty, unique, etc. in your profile and then in your future correspondences. What makes you stand out?

    If I was into online dating, I think I would note something on a potential date's profile, and comment on that. For example, if she mentions her hobbies and interests, instead of talking about yourself, engage in a conversation about her interests. She's more likely to respond to someone like that because it would show that you are truly interested.

    You can't tell someone that you are funny, you just have to be funny. You can't tell someone you're interesting, you just have to be interesting, meaning your profile and your first contact need to be interesting. I get a feeling that you are sending out generic, boring emails and nobody is interested.

    You live in Scituate? Well make that work FOR you. You live near the beach. You have some outdoor activities to do. You need to be intriguing. My unemployed friend that has absolutely notoing going for him does online dating, and it's like shooting fish in a barrel for him because he shows true interest in every girl he contacts. That's what works. Talking only about yourself doesn't.

    Posted by Mikey "Insane" Monkeypants June 25, 09 10:53 AM
  1. "Too far away" can be a legitimate gripe -- are you always so dismissive of women? Why would I if I lived in say Worcester set myself up for heartache and frustration by meeting a guy who lives in Scituate IF I can avoid it? Sure, love has no boundaries but why invite the drama? After all, any kind of distance adds to the pressure of when & how often you can see each other, especially if you (and presumably she) both have kids.

    Keep trying and try not to take it so personally. And in the meantime, think about other ways you might meet women and don't put all your fish in the online dating basket. It can work (I have many friends who have made matches this way) but it's not the only way.

    Posted by move on June 25, 09 10:53 AM
  1. I find that online communication needs something flashy or a spark to it to catch someone's eye. What do you bring to the table? Saying you're a nice guy means you're like 99% of the men out there. What sets you apart? What kinds of romantic things do you like to do? Women still like to be swept off their feet - why bother with Mr. Nice Guy? Also, I hate to say it, but the 3 children, unless they're reading to fly the coup soon, are a clear signal that you appear to have limited time to dedicate yourself to someone. I'm divorced with 1 child and there's no way I would be willing to take 3 more on.

    Posted by kmira June 25, 09 10:53 AM
  1. First off, POF is a terrible site. If you're looking for free online dating, try OkCupid.com.

    Secondly, it's pretty rude, I think, to assume that just because you've messaged a person, she is totally in the wrong for saying that you're too far away, or for not responding. I've made it clear on my OKC profile that I'm not interested in dating someone who can't even use proper spelling or grammar when they message me. So when a guy messages me, telling me that he thinks I'm pretty, and neglecting to use capital letters or punctuation, am I truly a bad or rude person for not messaging him back?

    I think the attitude, "I made the effort to send you a message, so message me back" is a bad one. After all, by joining a dating site, a person is in no way obligated to return every message they receive. And while at face value, it might not seem this way, that mentality could lead to the whole, "I'm complimenting you, so be nice to me/thank me/date me" attitude. And that's not okay.

    Finally, yes, I DO think that "too far away" is a problem. So, please stop judging women who tell you that you live too far away. It doesn't matter if you're willing to drive an hour. And considering that you and this person have not met, are not in love, and have no idea if you'd even hit it off, it's pretty presumptuous to assume that they're unromantic or that they're giving up on a chance for love by not agreeing to go on a date with you.

    Posted by sabend June 25, 09 10:57 AM
  1. Women want a nice guy... yeah right. That is one of those cliches I hear over and over, same as women aren't really fixated on looks, or what kind of car you drive isn't important.

    Even your own statements contradict it Meredith. It is about WHAT LOOKS GOOD ON PAPER. You want someone to buy you shiny things. You want someone to show off to your friends. You want someone who is physically attractive. Mental compatibility is secondary to these biological drives to find a good mate. All you have to do is look at the divorce rate to realize that women do NOT want a nice guy.

    As for on-line dating, it is all about hedging your bets. I have had very frank conversations with female friends of mine who use these services and have gotten some pretty unique insight into the typical experience:

    Women are absolutely barraged with replies most of the time and have to be picky in terms of which guys they respond to. If they stop and answer every e-mail they get, they would never leave the keyboard. In the end they tend to keep about two or three guys going just to hedge their bets and see which one turns out to be the shiniest. Reality TV has made this acceptable and you had better do the same if you want to understand where most on-line daters are coming from. There may be the occasional person that doesn't operate like this, but it is very common for people to just not respond, or if they have responded, doing so with multiple people at the same time.

    Before I leave I'll add my all-time-favorite on-line dating cliche: I'm not into the bar scene. The funny thing is, on-line dating IS the bar scene. The difference is that it is a bar with several thousand people all yelling at each other at the same time. It is hard to make a connection amidst all the noise and people are even more judgemental and petty than in a real-life bar.

    Posted by yeah right nice guy June 25, 09 10:57 AM
  1. I do the online dating thing. After NO luck w/any of the aforementioned sites (literally I got 1 reply) from a somewhat decent ad and reasonable pics I decided to go on a specific dating site, for me it was a bbw (big beautiful women) dating site. Granted I still come across the occasional retard, but for me it was important to have a guy know ahead of time I am NOT a size 6 and am NOT a cheerleader. Can you try a dating site geared toward your interests? That way you already have a connection to start with...and I agree w/Meredith let someone objectively look at your profile and pics and give you an honest assesment. If they agree the pics of you are showing you in the best light and your profile does accurately describe you, and you still don't get a reply, maybe try reading guy's profiles to see what they are putting out there. Always helps to eye the competition. And don't make online dating the ONLY way you meet women, just another way to meet women. Use every opportunity to make contact, be it a nice smile or smalltalk. Good luck.

    Posted by Chris June 25, 09 10:58 AM
  1. I was on PoF until recently... In the span of ~3 weeks I sent roughly 20 emails, got 5 responses out of which came 3 dates and one phone conversation. And I'm guessing that this response rate was probably a tad high, actually, based on previous experiences. All the emails were well-constructed: properly spelled words, articulate but not overly showy with word choice.. Long enough but not too long - leave some mystery, don't spill all the beans on the first shot. And above all: attention to details of the women's profile. It sounds like you are doing most of this, so I agree with Meredith's advice: have someone double-check your profile. Still, with even the best (honest) profile you can muster, expect a response percentage most likely in the teens... For a man in particular, the numbers are stacked against you.

    It can be really frustrating when a woman who seems great on paper refuses to give you a shot. Regardless, keep it to one email most of the time -- whatever you do, DO NOT send multiple pleading emails. Have some self-respect and don't be desperate. If you really think you might be a good fit, wait a week or two and send another, dignified note just in case she missed you the first time (with PoF you can tell when an email was read, and whether she actually viewed your profile - which is a good indicator of interest). And above all, do not be the creepy guy!

    Posted by unclefred June 25, 09 10:59 AM
  1. Women do want a nice guy. I tried online dating and it took a lot of time and yielded very little. Guys are impatient online, and want to cut corners. They use words like "stats" and "pics" and immediately ask women to describe their bodies in more detail including bra size, ask relationship status and other deeply personal questions. Would these same men ask those questions directly to a woman they'd met at an event or friend's house? If you wouldn't ask these questions when introduced in person, then DON'T do it online. It's gross.

    Guys, it's about courtship, and it will always be about that. Trying to cut corners in the detached world of the internet is a real turnoff to women. Yes, you are going to have to put some time in to communicate, probably via email for a while, until there are some connections. If you want a one-night stand or quick hookup, avail yourself of a hooker.

    Note: eHarmony is christian-focused. When I signed up, I didn't know this. I quickly unsubscribed due to the onslaught of christian singles spam but years later am still receiving it (yes, there is such a thing!).

    Posted by yupokay June 25, 09 11:00 AM
  1. Women do want a nice guy. I tried online dating and it took a lot of time and yielded very little. Guys are impatient online, and want to cut corners. They use words like "stats" and "pics" and immediately ask women to describe their bodies in more detail including bra size, ask relationship status and other deeply personal questions. Would these same men ask those questions directly to a woman they'd met at an event or friend's house? If you wouldn't ask these questions when introduced in person, then DON'T do it online. It's gross.

    Guys, it's about courtship, and it will always be about that. Trying to cut corners in the detached world of the internet is a real turnoff to women. Yes, you are going to have to put some time in to communicate, probably via email for a while, until there are some connections. If you want a one-night stand or quick hookup, avail yourself of a hooker.

    Note: eHarmony is christian-focused. When I signed up, I didn't know this. I quickly unsubscribed due to the onslaught of christian singles spam but years later am still receiving it (yes, there is such a thing!).

    Posted by yupokay June 25, 09 11:00 AM
  1. To answer your questions---
    1. Yes, for the most part, we do want nice guys. I'd be interested to know the ages of the women you are emailing here. I don't think I always wanted a nice guy, even though I said I did. It took growing up for me to realize that if I wanted a good relationship I needed to start looking for guys that could give that to me. I'm generalizing, but I think younger women are attracted to the "jerk" guy over the "nice" guy.
    2. It sounds to me like the way you are responding to them would indicate you are nice. I'd want to see that someone had spent the time to read my profile and that they were genuinely interested in what I had to say. Meredith is right though. Maybe your profile isn't sending the right impression. Have a friend, preferrably female, check it out!
    3. Of course you can find someone online. The options are endless, that's the great part as well as the tough part. You can scour profiles and find someone that is a complete match for you, but unfortuantely, you may not be their perfect match. The good thing is, you can keep looking! Why get discouraged over a few unreturned emails; no one said finding love was easy.
    Lastly--- about geographic location. If I was an online dater, the first thing I would look at would be location. I wouldn't take those comments to personally. People lead very busy lives, and traveling 50 miles to see your significant other may not be an option for everyone.

    Posted by Kathleen June 25, 09 11:00 AM
  1. I don't know if this will help you, but I wrote this letter some time ago for fun. However, NiceGuy, I don't think you would qualify as the recipient of this letter. In fact, you sound awesome. Can I have your #? :) Either way, I hope it sheds some light on what women are generally up against.

    Dear What’s Your Name Again?,

    Thank you for your wink/nudge/woo. I can tell how charming and clever you are from the answer to the “last thing you read” question on your dating profile: my profile. What woman wouldn’t love a wink/nudge/woo from a man who fully read her profile? However, I must bring to your attention how I explicitly asked not to be winked/nudged/wooed at in my profile, about three lines from the end. I wrote, “Please no winks/nudges/woohoos.” Remember? It was the last thing you read, so I can’t imagine how you forgot. I know I wasn’t explicit about why I requested no wooks/ninks/woos, so I’ll take this opportunity to tell you now, since it appears you have opened the door wide for a reasonable explanation.

    First of all, in the online dating world, things go slow. I have to sign up, write my profile, post my pictures. Before I post my pictures I have to crop all my exes out of the shots. Then photoshop the dark circles from under my eyes. By the time everything is all set to go, I have to update my profile to show I aged a year since I started writing the darn thing. So frankly, a nink/woodge/woo is just another step I have to wade through to get to the point where I can figure out if you’re a good match for me or not. Besides, it’s so f*ing lazy, just sending that wink/nudge/woodileehoo. You point and click. Put some effort into this, man. You say you want to find a “partner in crime” or a “best friend and lover” or someone with whom you can share “long walks on the beach” and “sushi.” (I’m sorry, I don’t share my sushi with anybody.) Well, start now.

    Also, I, um, kind of I noticed that several times you forgot to insert an apostrophe in the contraction “it’s” in your profile. And you misspelled “your” once. If you have a hard time spelling, I recommend either pointing and clicking on the spellcheck and reviewing the following words to make sure you got them right:

    1. Site — it’s a website not a websight. A websight would be something you saw in the empty space between your ears.

    2. It’s, its, your, you’re, form, from, know, now, to, and too. All of these words have very different meanings. If you use them improperly, you are liable to make your future best friend and lover confused.

    3. Occasion, as in “it would be a special occasion” if you spelled correctly.

    Again, thank you for your wink/nudge/woo. It confirmed my suspicions that all you guys suck and I should start considering Kissing Jessica Stein instead. It’s a movie. Wikipedia it.

    Yours faithfully,
    Obviously Still Single

    Posted by Sally June 25, 09 11:00 AM
  1. As a divorced dad who found his now wife of five years in an online service, I can vouch for it.

    Look, you can just as easily say that in-person dating is just a numbers game. Unromantic but true. I would argue that online dating opens up doors, especially for grown-up 30 somethings with jobs and real-life responsibilities and so little time. It also helps the ladies (and guys too) by providing a semi-anonymous way to screen out the crazies.

    My advice to you NiceGuy is stop investing so much in your initial contacts. Just keep sending messages to the ones you think look cute/interesting and forget about it when you turn off the computer. Meredith's advice to have a friend critique your listing is good. Do that.

    Posted by Spuckey71 June 25, 09 11:01 AM
  1. I haven't tried oline dating personally but from what I've heard about it from friends is that it makes people more picky. If they see one little thing listed in the profile that they might not be interested in they move on to the next right away without giving that person a shot. example (I'm a die hard Pat's fan and have season tickets)
    Maybe you could try to get into some activities that you can mingle with people in person so they can get to know you first hand. That way they can leave with that impression "Wow, what a great guy. He had a great personality, easy to talk to and cute to boot! Who cares he likes football and I'm not crazy about it. Durning Pat's season I can hang with my girls and catch up on my hobbies on Sundays."
    It may not be that easy but you know what I mean. Good luck and don't give up. You sound like a good catch. Also, people should keep in mind that the older we get, it's hard to find other single people without bagage or a past...by bagage I don't mean that in a negative way. Just part of life.

    Posted by bgcomreader June 25, 09 11:03 AM
  1. I went through the online dating "circuit" as well. As did Nice Guy, I canceled my eHarmony subscription, finding that it just wasn't worth the extra money. I ended up on Plenty of Fish and found my guy. We're now engaged and planning our wedding next spring. Here's what I experienced during my just over a year odyssey:
    not everyone is serious about looking, there are the married folks looking for some excitement and the people with their laundry lists of "must-haves" that will never be satisfied
    those who will meet you quite often want an instant spark of attraction, if it's not there in your hour coffee/drink meet, forget it
    people lie, either from desperation or out of genuine mistaken self image. I had one guy lecture me about my up-to-date and accurate picture saying it wasn't flattering enough, followed about complaints of women with pics from years ago, when his had to have been from 10 years ago and looked nothing like him. Huh?
    I have an issue with Nice Guy's statement that "my responses have been “Sorry you live too far away” or NOTHING. First off, I know the too far away is typically a nice way to say, not interested. I get it. But for the one or two ladies who have said that and meant it, are you kidding me? Doesn’t “love” have no boundaries? Should it be considered a little flattering if I am reaching out to you despite the fact that I may have to drive an hour to see you (and yes, I would expect that it would be my responsibility, at first, to come to you)?"
    Maybe you truly are just TOO far away. Maybe these women aren't in financial positions to afford the gas for longer distance relationships. Maybe their time won't allow the longer ride. You say you'd go to them "at first", so you would expect them to do their share of traveling.
    I detect a certain peevishness in that statement that would turn me off. It's like someone owes you something. I suggest you lose that, relax, and just try to enjoy the experience. And yes, maybe the fact you have 3 children plays into it. That's just life.

    Posted by writergeek June 25, 09 11:04 AM
  1. NG - Online dating in my opinion is considered a freakin' business. You have to have a profile telling a story about you; you have to have pictures that look appealing and not look too fake; you have to have an interesting tagline for women to get hooked in; your profile has to be not too much to tell all about you, you need to leave breadcrumbs so women are interested in replying back; the mystery is the appealing part. Overall, it's a game my friend; you have to play it well.

    eHarmony is no better either. My friend has been on it for about almost a year and he still hasn't found anyone. He's beginning to think that these women whom is being matched with are actually fake and they don't exist. He gets no replies, or some canned explanation that it they aren't a match.

    Everyone says that want someone "normal". What is that? What defines that? Is it finding someone who is outdoorsy? Going to Red Sox games? Someone who sets goals for themselves? The list goes on...

    I can imagine that you being divorced with kids can also be difficult. Who knows? Why don't you start an online dating website called www.yesihavekids.com in which you have to have kids in order to date? That way, the playing field is level. You don't have to worry about whether or not someone will date you due to having kids. Everyone is on the same page.

    I agree with you that if you don't like someone that you're talking to via online dating sites, one should be honest and tell that other person "no thanks". It hurts up front but if anything, you'll know the reason why. I hate when people get no reply back. Some people don't get the hint. Leaving that other person in limbo is unfortunate and is bad online dating etiquette.

    However, don't give up. Online dating is a long journey. Keep the memories of the bad dates and experiences and one day you will laugh it all off once you find that someone.

    Posted by dontgiveup June 25, 09 11:04 AM
  1. There are a variety of Web sites out there that offer good advice about online dating - if you're serious about online dating them you should use them.

    Women, especially attractive or desirable ones, get way more responses from men than they have any idea what to do with. So they can afford to be picky about which ones they respond to - and indeed often just don't have the time to respond to everyone.

    Also, it really is a numbers game, for better and worse. It's better because there are large numbers of possible matches available, it's worse because you just can't pick out one who looks special and expect any kind of success.

    A few suggestions from personal experience:
    1. Have a (female) friend or two read your profile and provide feedback.
    2. Make sure your pictures are good, up to date, well lit, show your face well, include some that show the activities you like doing. Whatever you do, don't include a shot of yourself bare-chested. Women seem to hate that.
    3. Make sure that the spelling and grammar in your profile are good - this is an easy screen used to disqualify.

    Posted by Alan June 25, 09 11:06 AM
  1. I'm having the same problems as Mr. Nice Guy. I'm a 47 yr old single who looks young for my age and is looking for Ms. Right. I send out Emails on Match and Fish and get nothing back...nothing. I also dont recommend eharmony. I was blown off for a second date just last night by a lady who's excuse was that she got the day wrong and she was out shopping. Even there you ask for "Guided Communication", which is supposed to be safe and anonomous and I still get nothing. I think these sites are just like a crowded bar where women are getting hit on by a hundred men at a time so they take one look and turn away. It seems that quantity is what is all about.

    Posted by Stunned in Arlington June 25, 09 11:09 AM
  1. 90% of the pics (of straight men) I see on dating sites are horrible. It's usually some weird pose in bad lighting, a bad haircut, yellow teeth, and a pot belly in an old tee-shirt. Sometimes showing off tatts, a baby, or another woman.

    Lose a few pounds, get a tan, a flattering haircut, and use a pic where you're not wearing a tee-shirt. The goal is to try to look like a happy, healthy, handsome man. Women also like responsible, especially financially. And don't have other people in the picture. In your blurb, mention that you are a parent, but don't talk about your kids. Make the blurb light, casual, optimistic, and maybe some humor.

    I think if you did all this stuff already, you wouldn't need an online ad.

    Posted by Bee June 25, 09 11:12 AM
  1. As a woman who has dabbled in those sites on occasion, I can say that goes both ways, but WHY take it personally? The sheer volume of "connections" thrown your way through those automatic databases makes it very difficult to keep it all sorted and organized AND correspond with each and every one. Sometimes you just HAVE to skip over some emails. So what? And as for the distance "excuse" what the heck is wrong with that? I've tried the 1+ hour away thing for what are essentially strangers (yes, that really is what you are when you connect with someone online), and believe me when I tell you it is a PIA. Nothing is more difficult than trying to fan an emotional connection while looking at your watch, worrying about traffic, and comparing calendars for free weekends away from the kids, etc. etc. Some people (men and women) are SO tired of all the drama they are just looking for a simple, easy connection and conversation.

    So, let it go. Enjoy athe few connections you do make, and stop overanalyzing everything (I did drop a "nice" guy once when I was getting multiple emails a day philosophizing about our potential "bond" and why I should email back to him--essentially ANSWER TO HIM--quicker than I was. Again, I do not ANSWER TO STRANGERS!)

    I'm so glad I gave up on all that.

    Posted by bzl1is1@yahoo.com June 25, 09 11:13 AM
  1. What goes around, comes around Nice-Guy. People usually "get what they deserve". I consider myself better off by not hearing from people who don't practice common courtesy or who have trouble being honest and straight forward. It is more their loss than it is mine. The mentality in general to me seems like all people are different and there are hundreds, maybe thousands of potential things that could turn either party off. People have the right to make their decisions based on whatever they choose. The more intelligently our actions and decisions are based, they better we will likely make out. But because we are all not perfect, this often requires a lot of work..

    Posted by David June 25, 09 11:17 AM
  1. I've been out of the online dating world for a while now (I'm with a guy I met via work), but I remember when I was in the thick of it and experienced similar lackluster response. Here's a few recommendations from a woman's point of view:
    1. Don't set too rigid requirements or expect the woman to meet all the criteria.

    2. Men in the "over 35" demographic (for some reason) frequently set odd age requirements for the women they are looking for - they want women 5-10 years younger than they are. Many women in that demographic (25 - 35) are not looking to meet men who already have kids of their own - they want their own kids. Guys should be open minded about the age of the women they are looking to meet - as there are a lot of young-at-heart women who are the same age or a little older who would love to get with a single dad and/or maybe have kids of their own and would like to meet a guy who would be a good stepdad figure for their kids.
    3. Whether we like it or not, looks are important. Show a recent photo and have it be as flattering and honest as possible. Just like men who complain about women who show old photos of themselves before the +20 lb. weight gain, men who show old photos of themselves before they went bald and/or photos of themselves that make their drivers license photo look flattering are not helping the cause.
    4. YES! Women want nice guys. Women (and men) also tell white lies, and/or don't always tell the whole truth. When we say we want "nice guys" we want guys who are not going to beat the crap out of us, are not going to steal from us, or lay around on the sofa all day while we go out and work to feed them. We also want guys who pique or curosity, our intellect, our sense of humor, or at least share some of our common interests (whether that's loud heavy metal music, Mexican food, or baseball). Showcase those unique qualities about yourself - I agree with the other poster. Have a friend (or sister, sister-in-law, etc) review your profile to see how you come off.
    3. Try joining a social networking group or attend a few singles "mixers" where you get together to meet other singles but it's under the guise of doing some activity. (a comedy club, a sporting event,etc). This is also a good way to meet people and practice the whole "flirting" thing again.
    4. Patience. Sense of humor. Keeping an open mind are all important.

    I think I maybe had 1 or 2 positive experiences from online dating. I had more luck, more positive experiences from meeting men at social functions, or through work. Don't lose hope, don't let the bitterness creep in, and you'll find someone (or someone will find you) eventually.

    Posted by Sam June 25, 09 11:19 AM
  1. Don't be too offended by the whole living too far away thing. Put yourself in their shoes. Maybe they've been there done that. My best friend does a lot of online dating and at first she didn't mind taking the hour+ train ride to NYC, but after a few failed "relationships", she's tired of it. So yeah she probably would avoid you if you lived an hour away. Completely logical.

    Good luck!

    Posted by RT June 25, 09 11:20 AM
  1. Online dating sites are a waste of money/time. I would be rather me somethru activites.

    Posted by Bob June 25, 09 11:20 AM
  1. Ok, I've done this myself and the overwhelming thing you will notice about online dating profiles is that they ALL SAY THE SAME THING. Check yours for cliches. If it is the same nonsense that every other person is saying, then they're going to move along, unless you're a dead ringer for George Clooney or something. I'm not the most handsome guy around, but I get more comments on my profile because I'm original.

    And yes, the process sucks. You just throw a ton of sh*t at the wall and hope something sticks. You'll get a ton of non-replies. Some people won't even look at your profile, let alone "wink" or email you back.

    This is all window shopping, so you need to stand out and give them something thatthe otehr pguys aren't providing.

    Posted by Juggernaut June 25, 09 11:21 AM
  1. OK, as someone who is doing this right now. 40 widowed with 2 kids. I've only spent time on match.com, but I found that a short intro email works best. Don't try to explain what a great guy you are in your email or have a lot to read.

    "Hi xxx,
    I read your profile and I think you are interesting (and I like xxx about you) and I'd love to chat with you more. Drop me a line if you feel the same."

    This usually leads to an email exchange and if that goes well, phone call, and a date.

    Posted by jck June 25, 09 11:21 AM
  1. Skip the online dating BS and go right for the Russian / Eastern European brides.

    Posted by K June 25, 09 11:21 AM
  1. They are looking for someone who their friends will be jealous over.

    For woman it is a talent contest and competition. approval of their friends is paramount and although the buzz word is looking for a nice guy...you gotta be Pitt, you gotta have the watch, you gotta have the sweet apartment...and you better make sure you make the other girls wish you were theirs.

    Posted by gigi June 25, 09 11:21 AM
  1. "Maybe your photo that is less than flattering." ... "Your personality, you’re chivalry."

    Posted by Ack June 25, 09 11:22 AM
  1. online ain't the same as face-to-face

    that is, not getting a response to an e-mail is different than not getting a response to a letter or a phone fall; it just means "not interested"; your need for women to respond borders on, well, being needy!!

    if you really think it's rude not to respond, you have just discovered an excellent "rudeness" filter!!

    Posted by Kei June 25, 09 11:22 AM
  1. Keep it simple. Write about what you like, remark directly about something you seem to like about them and ask a couple of questions. Just a couple. If the man or woman doesn't care to respond, let it be. Maybe check back in a month.

    What I've found is that many people approach dating sites with a 'wish-list' mentality, and they believe what they want to, based on an on-line profile. That is short-sighted, even if the pictures look good too. It's like saying a college should admit you based on your yearbook profile, or a pro sports team should commit to a player based solely on statistics.

    The lists of + or - are just one way of starting converstation. Keep trying. Be yourself.

    Posted by OneMoreBicycle June 25, 09 11:24 AM
  1. Keep it simple. Write about what you like, remark directly about something you seem to like about them and ask a couple of questions. Just a couple. If the man or woman doesn't care to respond, let it be. Maybe check back in a month.

    What I've found is that many people approach dating sites with a 'wish-list' mentality, and they believe what they want to, based on an on-line profile. That is short-sighted, even if the pictures look good too. It's like saying a college should admit you based on your yearbook profile, or a pro sports team should commit to a player based solely on statistics.

    The lists of + or - are just one way of starting converstation. Keep trying. Be yourself.

    Posted by OneMoreBicycle June 25, 09 11:25 AM
  1. Good first step in cancelling your e-harmony account. The women on that site could scare a hungry dog of a meat wagon.

    Posted by Sluggo June 25, 09 11:26 AM
  1. From what I've read, when women do respond with a "No, thanks", the guys don't take it well and either get nasty or keep pestering the woman with more emails/messages. So, I can totally understand why some women may not reply back to each and every email they get to let them know that they're not interested.

    Basically, it's a numbers game, and make sure to not put any unflattering information about yourself on your profile - in online dating, less is more. It's funny - women (and men) are looking for a mate yet they tend to not give a chance to others - they may like 5 things about you, but if they read about one minor thing that they don't agree with or dislike, out you go. I've heard from some of my female friends about their online dating experience, and it came as a shock to me to find out how easily they reject men who show interest, the level of perfection they're looking for (as little as one spelling mistake is grounds for rejection) and how nit-picky they get. What I took away from it was that they're looking to *not* date, and are there just to reject people to make themselves feel better, because let's admit it, getting messages from others who are interested in them is an instant ego boost. (I'm sure women will have their own stories to tell about men rejecting them arbitrarily, but I'm speaking about my experience.)

    Posted by The Dude June 25, 09 11:26 AM
  1. I have been using eHarmony for about a month, it is time consuming and more than 50% of the profiles are of people who joined but have not signed up with a paid subscription so there is no way to communicate with them. I am 34, male, no kids 5'8" 160 and in shape and I have meet some nice people on there. I'd ballpark it and say I have talked with, either by email or phone with 10 or so females and have meet about 4 or 5 in person and of those one turned into a one night stand. No long term love connection with anyone yet but I have some more irons in the fire and dates lined up including one tonight. I think you should take these sites for what they are, a tool to help you get back into the game. Using it as a way to retain yourself in the dating world and if you end up meeting someone that you connect with then great. Speaking from a guy's perspective I can see why you may find it frustration, being divorced with 3 kids is not the ideal situation someone wants to enter into. Personally my settings are set for girls with no kids, noting personal against people with kids but I am looking for someone who is coming from the same point in life I am and is looking to do some traveling before we get married, having kids would damper that. These sites are not for everyone but keep plugging away.

    Posted by PJ June 25, 09 11:27 AM
  1. duh! the answer to your problems is to take a boot camp like the one Meredith linked to at the end of the article. there is a local guy named Vin DiCarlo who does them in boston and NYC almost every other weekend. you'll need to dish out a couple grand, but if a companion is what will make you happy, then it's worth it. just because some of those guys in the boot camps are looking for lots of one night stands doesn't mean you can't use the same techniques to get women attracted to you and then hold on to them. and they routinely work with older divorced guys too. some of the companies that run the boot camps even have specific advice for online dating and finding girls on myspace/facebook!

    Posted by Buff June 25, 09 11:27 AM
  1. Sorry, but you come off really kind of crazy in this LL. Complaining about everything from women's responses to their lack thereof? Obviously if someone doesn't respond to you- They are not right for you anyways. Move on. Bemoaning about how women aren't responding in the way you would prefer makes you sound like a total control freak.

    I also can't stand the "I'm a Nice Guy" tantrum either. YES, we women want a nice guy. But we also want someone we spark with, someone that makes us laugh, someone we can converse with easily, someone we have to remind ourselves that ladies shouldn't jump into the sack too soon, but how long can we resist......

    If you're truly a nice guy, you wouldn't be throwing a public hissy fit about not being able to get any. I find your LL whiny and it grates on my nerves. As a woman who used to be on these sites, I can only imagine the rambling too personal e-mails that you send virtual strangers. "I see you have a cat. I love cats!!! What is the little fella up to today? Is he being good for Mommy?" I probably wouldn't reply either.

    Sorry for the rant, but you can't complain about how rude women are for not responding to your advances and then put it on us saying we lie when we say we want a nice guy.

    Posted by HBellz June 25, 09 11:27 AM
  1. What HBellz (#54) said!

    Posted by jenny June 25, 09 11:34 AM
  1. Don't expect women to write you back. It's not rude, they simply don't feel obligated to respond to you—because they aren't. Understand they are getting a TON of emails and it's hard to tell who has read their profile. That you want some kind of response so badly makes you seem too needy, and that you expect everyone to cater to your desires makes you sound too demanding. Don't force your thinking on others, you should respect their decisions. If someone thinks you're too far away, then expect she has a good reason for it , and know that she doesn't have to explain to you.

    Stop wasting time trying to change people's minds—why are you interested in someone who isn't interested in you? Don't you want to be loved for who you are? You shouldn't have to convince anyone of anything.

    Learn to respect people's boundaries. You will probably have better luck meeting someone, or at least not being so miserable in the meantime.

    Posted by sometimes June 25, 09 11:34 AM
  1. I like the idea of getting some honest reactions to your profile, for starters. You may think something is witty or funny or honest, but it is actually a red flag for a gal. I wouldn't rely upon your Mom or sister for this, but try to convene a panel of women who are in your life and who are the kind of women who fit the category of women you are looking for, but simply aren't the one. Wives of friends in your peer group are a good source for this kind of information because they can be objective, honest yet kind, and because they aren't single, they won't feel like this is some sort of weird pass at them. Think about which friends have wives where you look at them and go "She's really great, I wish she had a sister." Those are the kinds of women you want critiquing your profile. Feedback is good, especially when you can get a few ladies together and they can commiserate. You basically want your own focus group. This has an added benefit of letting them know you are looking without asking for a set-up. One of them may know the right gal for you, and she might turn up at the next BBQ or group event your circle of friends attends, and you can take it from there.

    I also liked one of the other poster’s idea of emphasizing things like the fact that you live near the beach, what you like to do for fun, and other things that give the flavor of who you are. That is more appealing than the usual song and dance.

    I also have to say that if your profile doesn’t say whether or not you have primary custody of the kiddos, then you should find a way of slipping that in there. Some women may be assuming you have full custody of the kids and figuring that you wouldn’t have a lot of time for the lady in your life.

    There is someone out there for you. You are likely to be a little more particular than you were when you were in your 20’s, and now that you are a fully formed person in their late 30’s you really and truly are a package deal. It will take a special lady, but if you are a special guy you wouldn’t want just anybody anyhow!

    Posted by merilisa June 25, 09 11:35 AM
  1. I've been to a bunch of match.com weddings, and am about to go to my own in a month (I'm a 40 yr old man).

    I've found that people who complain about online dating simply aren't doing it right. They expect some sort of "magic". Like any dating, or anything else in life, you get out what you put in.

    I got a lot of responses from women, both too my ad, and to my notes. Partly I'm fortunate in the fate department to have a number of things that look good on paper. But I took the trouble to get a photographer friend to have a good picture taken, contemplated the story my profile was telling about me, and made sure that everything, including the pictures, related to that story. I probably put more effort into the essays than I did on my grad school applications.

    And I was honest about who I was, and what I was looking for. A great thing about online dating is the weedout aspect - there are many people I'm not compatible with, and its a lot easier to get that out early rather than find out after 6 weeks of dating. And there are things about me which are not everyone's cup of tea, and I'd rather not waste my time with someone who won't be interested.

    And not being willing to travel makes total sense. Relationships are hard enough without adding distance. Heck, I wasn't willing to date anyone outside of downtown Boston. (I also found that single people who live in the suburbs and I seemed to never be compatible)

    Long winded, but the point is, don't blame online dating. Its still dating. And no one ever said everything about dating was easy

    Posted by Downtown Guy June 25, 09 11:38 AM
  1. Dude, you're complaining about teh online hook up sites and the women who are there. Two things:

    1. Know your audience and play to it. I'm not saying put up false airs, but at least know how to play the game by the accepted rules and standards.

    2. Don't blame the websites and all the other "non-responders" because you ain't got game. You need to sharpen your skills, and not assume that Love is the obvious outcome. Love knows no boundaries, but you're not going to find LOVE right off the bat.

    Believe it or not, guys who talk about themselves and their needs come across as narcissistic and needy on the web. Instead, make the point that you're funny and nice by being funny and nice. It's the whole "show, don't tell" thing. If you have to SAY you're a nice guy or that you're funny, you're not going to convince anybody. You gotta show it.

    Good luck.

    Posted by S June 25, 09 11:39 AM
  1. My two cents as a 37 year old woman with no kids...I would recommend that you don't include the details about being the father of three kids in your profile. Unless someone was over-the-top interesting, I would not contact a guy who had three kids. I would save that info for the email conversation after you first connect, or in the first meeting. Then you have a chance to make a first impression without that extra "baggage" dissuading woman from responding to you.

    Posted by tracey June 25, 09 11:40 AM
  1. All I can say is "Ladder Theory". Google it. As for someone that did online dating from 97-04, it doesn't work. Trust me, I am an expert. If your an average "Nice Guy Joe" your screwed. If the girl your trying to respond too is half attractive, then this women is getting bombarded daily by "nice" lonely guys. With so much interesting, witty men to choose from, she will find it difficult to give Mr. Nice Guy Joe a second date when their Inbox is full of bankers, firemen, surfers and other b.s. After awhile this woman will invest little or no time into anyone and come out discouraged at the end when her membership expires. All I can say is try not to look desperate, or lonely and have NO EXPECTATIONS. Be genuine, and have a wicked sense of humor. At the end, before I found someone, I became jaded in this online dating game and took it as a game myself. Come to find out, the less I cared, the more luck I had in getting women interested in me. There is a lesson there!! To end my story, I finally found my fiance at work.

    Posted by bahhhoo June 25, 09 11:41 AM
  1. In online dating, the picture means everything - it shouldnt be this way, but it really is. If you are overweight or otherwise don't take care of yourself, you won't get far.

    Hey, I wear glasses. IThey're not coke bottles and I think they are very nice frames. But some guys will pass me by because of them (no, I can't wear contacts). That's not fair but it's the way it is.

    I don't think the kids are a problem. But the distance could be. Be realistic. Since many of us have FT jobs, and kids as well, we are going to look first at people who live closer.

    I met some nice guys, and some guys that were kind of weird, including one whose profile picture had to be 15 years old. That was it for me.

    I have so much more fun with meetup.com. Why not find activities you like, and go for a meetup? Even if you don't find the love of your life, you can meet lots of new people. Way more fun than sitting by yourself at a computer screen.

    Posted by Ava June 25, 09 11:43 AM
  1. Distance is an issue even if you are willing to come to my area. Yes, there is meeting 1/2 way, POF is fairly new and most of us on it have been around enough to not want to make the effort. Sad but true. Make sure you have a good pic. I got a ton of responses when I put up the good photo. Also, some women may not want a young man with kids. I know it does not sound fair, but some women do not want the potential drama.

    Rather than having friends read your profile, have them fix you up.

    Posted by JustForComments June 25, 09 11:48 AM

    Posted by Tricia June 25, 09 11:49 AM
  1. One last thing. DON'T TAKE THE ADVICE OF A WOMAN on this subject! There are two sides of every female. The way they see themselves as ( we want a nice guy), and the way they truly are. To test this out, have a women write your add and post. Of course, she is going to write it the way she see's herself. See how many hits you get!!! None. I did this, I had a female friend type my Match profile up. She picked everything to even the pictures. I got no hits or replies. We had a bet and she lost.

    Posted by bahhhoo June 25, 09 11:49 AM
  1. NiceGuy, I understand your frustration. Meeting women at 38 with 3 kids can be tough. Other than talking about how nice or funny you are, be as open and honest as you can be in your conversations, such as:
    - I am 100% there for my kids and I would want my partner to support my relationship with them. (Good dads rock)
    - I am willing to travel cuz I know Love knows no boundaries. (Romantic guy points)
    Honesty about your priorities will score you major points in online dating.

    Posted by Sabs June 25, 09 11:49 AM
  1. Hi NiceGuy,

    You do sound nice, and I do hope for the best for you. I was a long-time online dater (although have been involved with someone for the past 6 months - hooray!), and met my match on okcupid.com. This is a free site, and overall I found that most of the men I saw on match.com were also on okcupid.com, so if the same holds true for women, don't pay - go for the free site.

    A few pieces of advice: make sure your primary photo is a recent head shot. Make sure to have at least one full-body photo. Please, no bare chest shots, no in the shadows shots, no holding beer shots (fine if you drink, but do I really need to see you on your way to drunk?), etc. Make sure you are honest and up front about your situation (divorce, kids), and your stats (if you are not 5'9", don't say you are 5'9" - I will find out when we meet). And when you email, do not make it a long email (that is what your profile is for - to tell me about yourself); if you are funny, try to be a little humorous; do not send a "form" email that you have sent out to every other woman - they can tell if it is; good that you comment on their profiles, but ask them a question to respond to (so many times I got okay, "nice" emails, but there was really nothing to respond to specifically, so I didn't at all).

    It is a numbers game. Keep plugging away, and you will meet your NiceGal eventually!

    Posted by Dee June 25, 09 11:53 AM
  1. Comment 51 is right on. I answered a guy recently, and then when he replied back it was a long rambing creepy letter that made me want to hide. I agonized over my response to try make it as nice of a "no thanks" as possible - sensing he might be unstable. Sure enough I got back an angry page-long diatribe about how aweful I was to judge people and how evil I am. Seriously folks - if someone you never even met isn't interested, why do you even care? I get turned down, and no repsonses, I dont freak out about it - that's what looking for someone is - looking. there's no guarantees. If I'm not interested in someone how far am I obligated to take it jsut to avoid telling them the truth? Am I supposed to marry this guy just so I dont hurt his feelings?

    Posted by Lynne June 25, 09 11:54 AM
  1. I met my fiance on the internet, and I have to say, your approach seems all wrong to me. In my case, we met because I sent him a witty and well-versed email telling him how original and genuine he seemed, and how much I hoped he would find the right person - because I was totally NOT his type. A good picture goes a long way, but not as far as a clever, unique worldview that can be expressed in a message. If you don't make yourself stand out, there's no reason why a woman won't look at your message, delete it instantly, and never respond. There are millions of "nice guys" in the world, and I do think that many women want to be with nice guys, but no one is interested in getting to know someone who can't even think of something original to put on an online profile.

    Posted by C. Boston June 25, 09 11:55 AM
  1. boring.........next letter pls!

    Posted by voiceofreason June 25, 09 11:55 AM
  1. "Stop cursing the darkness and turn on a lamp!"

    Posted by trueluv4eva June 25, 09 11:56 AM
  1. I don't get online dating. I'll just throw this out there. I know you're busy being a single dad, but you have to have interests that bring you together with other people. Are you not finding anyone appealing there? Do you hike or camp? Do you go to church? Do you enjoy concerts or shows? All of these are better avenues for finding someone you might have something in common with than the internet.

    Personality is what makes a relationship work, so no matter what anyone puts on their profile, if you can't figure out their personality from whatever the interaction is, it doesn't matter if they're looking for nice, or smart, gorgeous or whatever.

    As an aside, I agree that there is such a thing as "too far away". I live in the city and will not date anyone who lives outside the 128 belt. Simple reason: if you don't live that close to the city, it's likely because you don't enjoy the city as much as I do to spend more time there. It won't work.

    Posted by Andrew June 25, 09 12:00 PM
  1. First of all, happy birthday George Michael! I have to agree with what everyone else is saying here - Have someone look at your account and see if there is anything on there that needs to be added, changed, deleted. Maybe you are a nice guy, but if your page doesn't say anything about you then "nice guy" doesn't really come across on the screen. Take flattering pictures. Are you coming across too strong? Because if you are sending an email saying hey let's get married tomorrow then that can come across as creepy. Keep your chin up and try to look for love in other places - the gym, church, through friends, at the supermarket... But don't try too hard, just enjoy life!! Good luck!

    Posted by ArlingtonGal June 25, 09 12:03 PM
  1. I seem to recall that about 90% of profiles I saw online were from guys who describe themselves as "nice, funny, laid back, Sox fan, work hard, play hard, etc"

    They are all alike and there's not much a conversation starter there.

    I think the most important thing about dating that most people (both men & women) forget is that you have to be someone who another person would want to date. That doesn't mean describing yourself and fun and nice, but actually demonstrating your great qualities. Be interesting.

    Posted by cs June 25, 09 12:04 PM
  1. With online dating I've found the following:

    1) Many guys send out emails to girls that are out of their league...sorry boys, the hot 25 year olds already have a line around the block...don't waste your time!
    2) Many guys obviously put NO time or energy into an email. You don't have to know my life story, but know that I like swimming, camping, Shakespeare...and you'll get my attention and a reply (even if it's just to say "Thanks, but no thanks.").
    3) Many guys get weirdly clingy with their online dates...if we've emailed a few times, DON'T message/email me all weekend with weird updates on your trips to the pharmacy or something. Especially if we haven't met in person.

    In short, be realistic, be intelligent, be deliberate, and be user-friendly...and I'm sure a fundamentally nice person will find someone great to spend time with :)

    Posted by Soulsbane June 25, 09 12:06 PM
  1. 54 nailed it.

    Posted by W. Stradlater June 25, 09 12:08 PM
  1. "There are pages and pages of little faces and to choose from, and many people behave as though their options are limited."

    Meredith, maybe you could have NiceGuy's friend proofread your column before you submit it, too.

    Posted by bidemytime June 25, 09 12:09 PM
  1. I'll put in a good word for Eharmony. I was on Match.com but didn't post a Pic after seeing the profiles of 3 women from my building on the site. I now know more about them than I care to. I'm not posting a pic to a site that anyone can easily browse. And for a Guy to not post a photo makes you seem like you might be married. So I went to eharmony and I've had much better luck. Pic posted of course. I will say that most of the women on the site in their 40's have kids. Which is OK but if you start out a description of yourself with "my kids are my life", I'm clicking on by. You do need a thick skin though. Rejection is part of the deal. That's no different than in real life. I have also rejected women who contacted me due to distance. It's not love, it's a date. Most dates don't lead to love. I'm not driving an hour to meet anyone for a first date. It's just not practical. One more thing. Reading all these womens profiles I'm amazed that we don't have massive erosion problems on beaches everywhere. 9 out of 10 profiles will say that she "loves long walks on the beach". Maybe we should put up toll booths on the beaches for all these women taking their "long walks". Ooops better not give The Dems any ideas.

    Posted by Sean June 25, 09 12:09 PM
  1. Free dating websites are the place where everyone and their mother hangs out and consequently you have a different pool of potential play-pals. Pay for a subscription to a decent website and separate the wheat from the chaff.

    If your photo is one that you took with your webcam, have a friend take a nice photo of you one hour after sunset when the light is most favorable. If the website doesn't do this for you, indicate how far you are willing to travel to meet someone. You have to sell yourself in your ad like an extra special product. What makes you unique and your own person? What do your friends like about you? Besides your children, what puts the passion in your heart? You need to make a 3D image of yourself that leaps off the page.
    But do not depend entirely on dating websites to do the work for you. What types of activities do you enjoy outside of work and parenting? Golf? Baseball? Volunteer activities?
    Personally, I've used most of the major dating websites and magazines and I have given up completely. The definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result.
    My motto: make the best out of the Life I've been given and no whining!!

    Posted by exvermonter June 25, 09 12:10 PM
  1. I think anyone dating online is entitled to define his or her criteria and to not have to answer inquiries from people who don't meet them, or to defend the criteria if you say "no thanks" on that basis. If you are looking for someone who lives within 10 miles of you, that's up to you. The same applies to someone within a certain age range, income, political affiliation, etc. For various reasons, I was looking only for someone who lived literally in the City of Boston. Not Newton, or Lowell, etc. People managed to get offended by that. But there are literally hundreds of thousands of women in the City of Boston (and I found one easily whom I've been dating for a year). Why should I have to be willing to drive for an hour to meet someone?

    The letter writer seems to feel that because a woman has placed an ad, he is therefore entitled to a presumption that she has to date him unless she advances some good reason. Nobody owes you anything. Be attractive and then people will be attracted. If they are not, then that is a clue you have something to work on. Identify it and fix it. A good starting place would be your sense of entitlement.

    Posted by JC June 25, 09 12:11 PM
  1. Lighten up! As a 60+ something woman who uses online dating to try to meet a "nice guy," you have to have perseverance, patience and a positive attitude. I never rely on a picture to lure me into answering an ad...it's more about what they have to say -- and how they say it. Do I cringe when I get an actual picture? Sometimes. Long greasy hair, a scraggly beard, a background of an unmade bed/dirty dishes piled up/whiskey bottles on a table -- all that sends out a red alert and I graciously get out of the conversation. My pet peeves? Married men who don't tell you they are married until 2-3 weeks into chatting, men who talk sex (and I mean explicit) in the first e-mail, men who are too eager to phone you/meet you. Slow down. What's the rush? The beauty of online dating is that it gives you a chance to chat online before you talk on the phone or meet. The downside? You never really know until you meet!

    Posted by Carol June 25, 09 12:12 PM
  1. Rico has not much to say so again he'll keep it short and to the point:

    Rico first off wants to say your writing sounds goofy. How many times did you use the word Ladies? Rico knows you think this is being respectful but at the same time you sound annoying. meredith is right to have someone look at the profile, maybe someone you don't know (is there a service? Rico should start one) that will give you an honest opinioon and help fixing it. Rico thinks the world of online dating is not different from real life meetings in that even at a bar/party/club etc...you will approach men or women and get no response or the "I'm involved" or some other excuse to not talk to you. Get over it and get over yourself thinking that your responses deserve to be answered appropriately. In a perfect workd this would be great but we don't live in a perfect world. You are almost 40, grow up and look around, you sound like a whiny crybaby. You met a wife in the past and had 3 children, you can meet people, it is up to you to keep trying.

    "Get thicker skin", Rico loved that line and seconds that motion.

    Rico is off to enjoy the outdoors, the sun is out and time to get the fresh air.

    Love always,


    Bikes not Bombs

    Posted by Rico June 25, 09 12:21 PM
  1. The Captain Crunch line was LAME!

    Posted by Robin June 25, 09 12:21 PM
  1. Dear Sally-

    The word is spelled "Web site". No one ever uses the correct AP Style, so when someone does, I instantly fall for them.

    Posted by Steph June 25, 09 12:25 PM
  1. I married someone I met online. I had relative success prior to her, here is what you do.

    Step 1: Get a cell phone that has email access (Blackberry, IPhone, etc...)
    Step 2: Write one really good email introducing yourself, keep it light, funny, not to serious, not stiff, don't sound desperate
    Step 3: Email 100 ladies that intro email, just copy and paste it....
    Step 4: Watch your cell phone buzz away with dates.... Out of those 100, about 15-20 will respond, that should keep you busy for a month or two.

    Don't take them anywhere expensive on your first date, you want someone down to earth, who wouldn't mind a nice dinner at a medium priced restaurant. Joe's American Bar and Grill is ok, IHOP is not.

    Posted by KeepTrying June 25, 09 12:26 PM
  1. I have not tried online dating...so I do not have any firsthand advice. One thing did stick out to me though.
    An hour away IS too far to start dating someone. Atleast for me. If it was someone I already knew, and someone that I was very into, sure. But why would I start dating someone an hour away? Too much hassle.
    Also, I am sure that you are genuinely a very nice man, but I would be a little freaked out if someone wanted to drive that far to come take me out, when they have never spoken to me or met me.

    Good luck in the search:)

    Posted by sm1231 June 25, 09 12:31 PM
  1. Several years ago, I started an account on Yahoo! personals during a particularly dismal dating slump. I created a generic profile, posted a few pictures, and waited patiently for something to happen. I got emails from strange men much older than I was, guys who couldn't put a sentence together if their lives depended on it, and a few people who just seemed scary. I went on a few dates with guys who seemed like a great match at first, only to find no real spark there. I was totally ready to give up.

    I decided to spend an evening looking through as many profiles as I possibly could. I found one of this guy who sounded incredible, but lived -- you guessed it -- "too far away." Frustrated, I decided not to contact him and continued to date only guys in the local area -- a strategy that continually left me disappointed. I then decided to update my profile and say what I was really looking for and who I really was.

    Several weeks later, I got the sweetest email in my inbox and instantly felt a spark with whoever had sent it. Looking at his profile, I realized it was the same guy that I had deemed lived "too far away." I wrote back and we corresponded back and forth. We finally decided to meet and spent more than eight hours together on our first date, talking and walking around the city -- a halfway point for both of us.

    For those of you who have read this entire sappy story, I will assure you that it's true -- and better yet, that he really was the one for me. Online dating definitely had its drawbacks and was frustrating throughout. But if I had stayed with my original decision not to date anyone outside a certain geographic radius, I would have been totally out of luck. My husband and I have been married for four incredible years, and if it can happen for us, it can happen for you. Good luck!

    Posted by workedforme June 25, 09 12:32 PM
  1. Online dating is a sad depressing sign of the times. Pitiful, actually. The fact that people SO busy (or lazy) that there's a need for a 3rd party to be hired to do the preliminary mating for you....it's just sad and pathetic. Get off your butts and put yourself out there somehow in the flesh. Change your schedule to MAKE time! Be adventurous! Take a chance! The act of being proactive and putting yourself out there, to most people I believe, is FAR more attractive...or admired....than surfing behind your flat screen, pointing, and clicking, like you're some kind of coward.

    Those online dating sevices deserve EVERY dime they make off of you folks.

    Posted by Sebekemsaf June 25, 09 12:35 PM
  1. People are different. Not everyone is looking for the same thing in a romantic prospect. In reference to some of these postings, not every girl is looking for a rich guy who drives a sports car and will buy her things. I dislike it when guys are showy and could care less if someone is well off or not, so long as they are a responsible person (example - they pay their bills). As for a 'nice guy' - yes, I want someone who I consider to be a nice guy - why wouldn't I? However there are both men and women out there that I think it is unfathomable that someone thought they were nice, never mind that someone would marry them! My point is, there is a lot of generalizing going on here and bottom line, everyone is different and subsequently looking for different things in a romantic partner.

    Posted by Unsure Tenant June 25, 09 12:35 PM
  1. As others here are saying you have to be a little thick skinned. The majority of the people on the sites are liars, fakes, and worse. But there are some legit people and it is worth the effort to meet some of them. I had a few dates with some nice ladies that were not the one but we had a good time and moved on. I eventually met my wife that way and we will be married 7 years this year. Good luck and remember anything worth having is worth working for..

    Posted by techdood June 25, 09 12:35 PM
  1. I've tried a lot of online dating sites (match, jdate, POF, OKCupid, even craigslist) but the problem is people put their best picture of themselves up there, maybe its a year old when the light was just perfect, and they were 10 pounds lighter, so automatically when you meet the person...bam! you're disappointed and attraction is lost. If the person IS attractive and true to form, a lot of times they have been hiding behind their computer so long that once they are in the presence of a real person, they go wild, we sleep together, then the thrill of the hunt is over. That being said, I did meet a great person on JDate and we have been dating for several months now. So I suggest taking online dating with a grain of salt. It should NOT be your primary source ofr meetingpeople. ONy supplemental.

    Oh and Meridith, yo're welome for the Love Systems tip, its scary how that stuff works, but to be honest, if you took a guy that is successful with women and analyzed his interactions on a "successful" night, You would see many parallels between what the PUAs are teaching and what the naturals do naturally without any PUA training.

    Posted by FlirtaciousSwagger June 25, 09 12:35 PM
  1. OMG- Alan wrote Web site correctly!! We need to get married.

    Posted by Kate June 25, 09 12:39 PM
  1. Dear Steph,
    I have instantly fallen for you. Unfortunately, you live too far way. Also, I like guys.
    But either way, thank you.

    Posted by Sally June 25, 09 12:40 PM
  1. #84, I agree, the "Captain Crunch" line sounded like something my 65yo F.I.L. would say. After a long uncomfortable silence, everybody just groans and rolls eyes when they figure it out...

    Posted by DudeGuyKidDudeGuy666 June 25, 09 12:43 PM
  1. I'm finding this discussion fascinating since I have no experience in this arena. Intrigued by the comments, I went to one of these sites just now and WOW, all you people are so right! The pictures are horrible, the writing worse. One guy said he was looking for a "womwn." Another started out by telling about his divorce! And he spelled his town "Peabdoy." In ten minutes I saw one man who would appeal to me; he didn't list his interests, but from the tone of his writing I could guess what they might be. By standing out, he probably eliminated himself from many women's candidate lists, but he appeals more to a few.

    Scituate guy, I think you need to go live. Go out in Scituate and nearby towns, so you're (not "your") more likely to find local women. The three kids would really put me off, but if you're out live and not "on paper," this doesn't have to come up right away. Good luck!

    Posted by Jasper's pet June 25, 09 12:46 PM
  1. I met my husband on match. He's a really nice guy. So are my friends' husbands. There are actually a fair amount of nice guys out there. What makes a man husband-material is the chemistry two people have. When I was on match, I wanted to know about what a guys interests are, what he does in his spare time, interesting things he's done in his life, favorite vacations/locations, if he sounds educated, general idea of his job/career (not specifics), if he's family-oriented, etc. Being a nice guy doesn't qualify a person for a date, or even a return email.

    Admittedly, at the age of 26, I was one of the women with whom you are frustrated. I wouldn't return an email from someone if they lived more than 30 minutes from me, didn't fit in the age range I was interested in, was shorter than 5'9", or had a dog (I'm not an animal lover). There are just so many options, not only is it easy to be selective, it's necessary to narrow down the pool.

    At this point, it's worth re-vamping your profile. As a side note, I had the same profile for 11 months, and met my husband 3 weeks after doing a profile-overhaul.

    Try contacting someone whose picture or profile you may not be immediately drawn to. You never know what kind of chemistry you may have! (But don't put "I'm just looking for that special someone" in your profile...it's so cheesy. That's why you're there, no need to say it!)

    Good luck!

    Posted by married from match June 25, 09 12:48 PM
  1. Take a good look at your profile (with a female friend -- I second that advice) and make sure it's not saying the wrong thing. I'm an attractive 26-year-old female on an online dating site, and from my perspective, here are two phrases to avoid describing yourself as: "laid-back," and "easy-going." Of course I like easy-going, laid-back guys (if what that really means is that you're flexible, not snobby, and won't be the stick-in-the-mud in the group who wants to watch a movie when everybody else wants to go bowling). However, my real-life experience with meeting these "laid-back" guys too often reveals that that phrase is code for "lazy, indecisive, immature, and BORING." Instead, try saying that you're gregarious and fun. So much more interesting, and so much more specific (not to mention intelligent!).

    Posted by STK June 25, 09 12:48 PM
  1. #54 and Rico got it right. This guy sounds like a loser. I am a nice guy, I am a good catch I am wonderful. Why won't anyone talk to me? Why won't anyone play with me?
    Sorry lameguy but you wrote an irritating letter and deserve to be whipped for it.
    Maybe you should give up on women and admit who you really are. It's ok, we won't care and you'll be happier. I am sure you and your new "manfriend" will be happy together.

    Posted by I love Rico June 25, 09 12:48 PM
  1. Having just married a woman (last Saturday) I met on Match just over 2 years ago I would have to say my experience with online dating was quite different. I am a little older (mid 50s) and had been married for 25 years and had really not ever dated since I married my college girl friend. I think that if you are not overweight, are OK looking, and can carry on a reasonable conversation that men have a big advantage (as has been said many times there are not many normal guys out there), but you have to do your homework. My first attempts on Match were humorous; my initial approach was way too serious. In my pictures I look like a geek; my early e-mails were too earnest and I didn’t get a single response from my first ten e-mails. Once you read lots of profiles you realize that they are all the same; they love their families, have lots of friends, blah, blah, blah. I totally switched gears; skip all the women who focus on what they don’t want, have pictures of the sky, horses, sunsets etc. and focus on how they say what they say and go with your gut. Keep it light and friendly. I then sent out 3 e-mails and got 3 back, and I married one. There is life after 50, although I would like a few more grilled cheese sandwiches.

    Posted by a_bit_older June 25, 09 12:50 PM
  1. I actually totally agree with # 86.

    I met my husband on match.com and I would be lying if I said there was something specific and wonderful about his profile that drew me in. There wasn't. His profile actually did not depict him in any special way and his picture didn't even look like him. He seemed normal enough to sacrifice an hour of my time and our first date lasted 2 days. Had I waited around for some magical profile to have a profound impact on me, I would still be waiting.

    Online profiles will never truly depict someones character - only meeting someone in person will do the trick. You will not find your soul mate in a profile. It is a numbers game. E-mail as many women as possible that look normal and sane. Of those who respond, take the time to get to know them via e-mail and do not hesitate to go out right away if one stands out.

    Posted by Mandy June 25, 09 12:51 PM
  1. I'm dating online these days, and I have a few suggestions. First, read women's profiles CAREFULLY, and respond in a way that shows you have done that. Please only contact those who seem open to meeting you. For example, I am young, fit, never married, and don't have kids, and am only interested in men in similar situations. I always respond (often with the generic "No, thanks" message), but am only receptive to those who fit my criteria and who show genuine interest in getting to know *me*. This weeding out means that I'm usually pretty compatible with those guys I do end up meeting.

    On the other hand, I recently got burned when I guy I was really starting to fall for suggested we take our profiles down and then didn't take his down! I have found the main down-side of online dating to be a lack of real-life accountability. Lots of times people treat each other much worse when they think no one will ever know/care -- meeting through friends is a much better way to make sure everyone acts nicely, even when things don't work out.

    Posted by one woman's story June 25, 09 12:53 PM
  1. I agree with #80. You get what you pay for.

    If you want a good match and don't want to spend all your time writing to dozens of women that never write back, then you should try something like The Right One. I'm pretty sure it's a professional matchmaking service where they call you when they think they've found someone compatible and you can decide whether or not to call the person.

    Posted by effy June 25, 09 12:54 PM
  1. With all your complaints (and I echo HBellz at #54) it sounds like you’re either new to the online dating thing, or maybe you’ve bought into the advertising too much and believe the guaranteed soul mate stuff. Take a breath and relax for a sec.

    First of all, who are you targeting? Women your age, or a much younger potential trophy? The former will read your ad and know they should give you a shot and loosen up on their expectations (and I speak as a 38-year-old never married, no kids girl) but there will be something else in your profile that will make her write you off. The latter are too young to get tied down and might think you’re creepy.

    I don’t know how you’re presenting yourself in your ad, but I know that I look for someone, photos aside, who actually puts some thought into filling out the answers with more than just six words. Unfortunately, online dating is like a catalog, and if you don’t put some effort into describing the product—you—women are going to turn the page and keep going.

    You have to mention you have kids. You’re deceitful if you don’t mention it until the date, and you won’t get another one. But don’t make your kids the focus of your ad. As nice, attractive and appealing as a guy may be, any ad that mentions his kids continually and how he can’t live without them is a turn-off. What that means to a woman is that she will never come first in your life. That if you have a romantic getaway planned to Tahiti, and your eight-year-old gets the flu, the trip gets canceled. It means she is going to have to share her weekends with kids who may despise her or refuse to accept her for the next 10 years or longer (longer if they’re girls). It means dealing potentially with the First Wife’s groundless hatred of her because Wife #1 may be bitter you’re moving on.

    Speaking from my experience, it’s a hassle even to get single dads to the first date as it is. One only wanted to meet me at lunch, and expected me to drive on my lunch hour to meet him in his town 15 miles away from my office (he was unemployed, mind you); or, alternately, he could meet me from 10-12 on Saturdays while his kid was in CCD class—again in his town, which is 40 miles from where I live. He couldn’t get a babysitter, he said, to meet me after dinner. Finally, he suggested we our first meeting be one evening to watch his daughter’s soccer game together. You know what that said to me? Not willing to make an effort, and not ready to date. Buh-bye.

    Scituate IS a turnoff, I’m sorry. I live in the city because I like it here. If you only have your kids, say on weekends, that cuts down on time any new girlfriend is going to have with you, or limits her freedom to hang with her friends, because everything is going to revolve around his custody schedule. Traveling 50 miles to see a significant other is a sacrifice one makes for love, but traveling 50 miles to meet a guy you met online is much, much less appealing.

    I do the online thing too; and if I get a contact that I don’t want to reciprocate, I don’t always say “no thanks.” Rejection stinks in any form, but sometimes it seems kinder to let the silence speak for me. And if you’re on a site that lets you see who looked at your profile, PLEASE don’t follow up with a note to her saying “You looked at my profile, but you didn’t respond, so I’m reaching out. Hope you write back!” I don’t know if I like you until I look at your profile, and maybe for some reason, I didn’t. Don’t harass anyone. Peace, and good luck.

    Posted by Anonymous June 25, 09 12:57 PM
  1. I'm an online dating pro, first with yahoo back when online dating first came out, then later with match.com and other sites. I met my husband on match.com. We were about your age and also divorced with kids. It really is a quantity game and women typically get a hundred responses to every response a man receives, so keep that in mind.

    Here are the mistakes I see men making that are most common:

    1. Too freshly divorced (or worse, only separated). Women just aren't interested in being your transition girl. If a guy mentions he's recently divorced, we worry that the date will be filled with horror stories about the ex, or crying on our shoulders, or (and I've seen this A LOT) the guy is looking for a mommy for his custody days. If your relationship with your ex is messy and hostile, this is a turn off and we don't want to be involved. If it's too fresh, honestly, if you are a good dad you'll spend the first few years focusing on the kids and NOT dating.

    To counteract the divorced-with-kids part, write in your intro email or profile something about how you have had plenty of years to move beyond the pain of divorce, your kids are thriving these days in large part because you and your ex have made the peace, and you have spent time examining your own role in the demise of your marriage and are ready to try again. If you DON'T meet all these criteria, then you shouldn't be dating; get your act in order first.

    2. Going for women who are too young and don't yet have kids of their own. Face it, you will do better fishing in the 38+ also divorced also with kids pond.

    3. Distance is a BIG thing. You are settled because of your custody arrangement so you aren't going to move for the right person. Look for someone close to where you live.

    4. Going for the "top tier" women when you are not top tier yourself.

    5. Posting pictures where it's clear you cut your ex out of the photo. LOL. Posting pics that are years and years old.

    6. Having a profile that is filled with horrible cliches. I guess there are a lot of women out there that don't mind, but that was a big turn-off for me. I was looking for originality. So yeah, have someone read and critique it!

    7. Listing detailed physical requirements for your mate. I'm slim, petite, and pretty but I just hate this and find it shallow. I'd rather respond to the profile that says "you probably think your tummy isn't flat enough but I will probably think it's perfect."

    8. Not being content to email back and forth a few times. Okay, it sounds like you're not even there yet, but if you do get there, keep this in mind. Women are cautious about their safety and we prefer to email for awhile (weeks) before we feel comfortable meeting in person or sometimes even exchanging numbers.

    9. DO put in your profile whether or not you are willing to have more kids. That is important. If you don't want anymore, that will limit your options but it's important to be upfront about it (and guys - if a women says she's all done with that, please believe her!). If you wouldn't mind more kids someday, say that.

    Hope that helps!

    Posted by online dating pro June 25, 09 12:59 PM
  1. I'm also a 38 year old dad of 3 kids.

    I try the various services, but when they find out I'm still married and just looking for action on the side, they are not interested.

    Thank you Ashley Madison!

    Posted by Dave R June 25, 09 01:00 PM
  1. By process of elimination, I found you online @ POF. Here’s some feedback from someone who never had a tough time dating after his divorce (of course I am King of the Forest…in a Cowardly Lion sort of way). Now I must admit that I’ve never dated online, but words can easily convey imagination and intrigue…something not usually found on the Irish Riviera. The gift of gab is not always a foolproof way to entice those in heat. Look, for a moment at Sally’s post: Wonderful use of the English language, exciting to the virtual touch and ready to go off like a Princess Di land mine. She’s a Black Widow, but just imagine the thrill of the ride; not the burn of the crash. I don’t think putting pictures of your kids in your profile was the best idea…mostly because they resemble the crew in the film “Overboard” with Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell. I’m sure they clean up fine, but I assume you’re not looking for Hazel or a lactating bride. You need a tan…Mostly because the flash screams off your expansive forehead to another dimension in time. Which reminds me; ‘Star Trek Convention’ as “Perfect Holiday” in your profile might want to be kept in your hip pocket for date #2 when she asks to be beamed out of there. Other than that, I think you’re a nice guy who may finish toward the back of the pack, but happier than most. Hang in there.

    Posted by valentino June 25, 09 01:00 PM
  1. Yes, an hour away IS too far for some people. Especially for people who live in cities since they have many people closer to them to choose from. No, “love” does not have no boundaries and there is no "love" in the beginning anyway. Kids are also an issue for some women (not all).
    As for the no response thing, you have to accept that as part of using online personals. some people receive tons of responses and they will not reply to everyone. No response means "not interested". It happens to women too.
    Meeting online CAN work. I met my boyfriend that way. But you need to learn how to make it work for you.

    Posted by Mia June 25, 09 01:16 PM
  1. I met my husband on match.com (this was 8 yrs ago so pics were just starting to be a must-have). Don't come on too strong, I would just hit "delete" if a guy emailed me more than once in a day.

    I wouldn't hide the kids info either, there are plenty of divorced women with kids out there. (assuming you are looking for someone like you)

    Posted by L June 25, 09 01:18 PM
  1. She Bang's She Bangs

    Posted by William Hung June 25, 09 01:23 PM
  1. I'm 36 (female) & doing the on-line thing too. I agree, it is AWFUL! I'm so glad others agree!! My married friends think it should like "fun" -- ya right! You can't expect everyone to write you back. You can't expect someone to want to drive an hour to meet a dude she "met" online. Being nice is great -- but it won't get you a date -- EVERY guy claims to be nice! Note to Online daters: don't lie about your age, height - or post pics from 4 years ago when you had hair. why bother? E-harmony is awful -- I go days w/ no matches, then get a bunch of guys that are 5'2 w/ no pictures (no offence to the short guys, but I'm 5'6!). Match.com was brutal too. They're all the same & they all stink. That said, I've got more & more friends meeting & marrying via online dating sites -- so obviously it works for some. You gotta try to have (& keep) a good attitude & you MUST have a think skin - getting rejected online isn't much fun but its to be expected.

    Posted by polly21 June 25, 09 01:27 PM
  1. Perhaps your profile should highlight your *ahem* 'bigger qualities'.

    Posted by DrK June 25, 09 01:27 PM
  1. I agree with a lot of the comments here. Get a friend to review your pictures and profile. Women often look at the details of pictures. Do not include other women in the pictures, unless you specify that it is your sister or another relative. I do not understand why a man would post a picture of himself with women on his lap (yes, I have seen it). I dated a few men who preferred to send pictures via email and they were not hideous freaks- so keep an open mind about the no pictures. Spelling and proper grammar are key, an occasional mistake is ok but if you do it a lot (2 WORDS) then your profile will be passed. Look for women your own age and even older. The cute 20-somethings do not want a 38 year old dad; a 35 year old woman is not always desparate and old.
    The distance thing is tough, especially in a big city. Someone from the North Shore may not know where Scituate is or thinks that it is on the cape.
    Keep trying, keep an open mind and explore alternatives to online dating. Good luck

    Posted by Christine June 25, 09 01:29 PM
  1. Living in your parents basement in scituate looking for girls 15 younger than you is probably not a great plan of action. Try growing up and being a man. Get a place in the city (Boston.com Real estate) and a nice car and go to the mall and get some nice new clothes then go out and have some fun, make friends and walah, life begins, that is your Dating life begins. Also, much easier to meet at a bar in boston and invite a girl back to your place in the back bay or brookline for a little after party/night cap.

    Posted by real estate mogul June 25, 09 01:31 PM
  1. Agreed with Meredith - grow a thicker skin.

    Hey, it'd be nice if everyone said everything they mean, including the caveats. But for some, an hour *is* too far away. Some don't want what they consider to be a long distance relationship. (and yes, an hour is long for some people). Now, if they *knew* that they would meet the man of their dreams by driving an hour? I'm sure many of them they would. But when it comes to such things as online dating, you must expect people to be that way. You look for maximum convienience, appeal and compatibility all in one package. That's what the thing is there for.

    Fact is, online dating *is* like going on job interviews. You are selling yourself, selling yourself as the best candidate, as a "This can work" situation. But no matter what, you will mostly likely get piles of rejections and in many cases, no call back at all.

    There may very well be something ...off... about your profile. A turn off, and only you are able to discover what it is.

    I actually have to kind of side with Rico on this one, the LW is kind of coming off a bit.. whiney. Really, is there anything in your profile like your letter? If so, review and re-think it. The tone is a bit of a turn-off.

    Because y'know, if there's any way to get in good with a woman, it's by kicking off with "What's wrong with all you women?"

    Oh yeah, that'll get you big points.


    Posted by Ceej June 25, 09 01:33 PM
  1. I used eHarmony and liked the it focused on personality (seemed that way to me at least). Sure, you look at pictures, but they seem to ask a lot of questions in addition to that.

    Anyway, I found an awesome girl. We've been dating for almost a year. It's uncanny how well our personalities click. I'm a pretty weird dude with an odd sense of humor; I think I would have spent a lot more time looking for someone who I connect to this well if it hadn't been for going the online route.

    I like what people are saying about "don't act like someone owes you something". Man, I'm telling you, chicks pick that up in a SECOND, even in the written word. And, yes, make sure your pic's good. But really, it's just how you present yourself. There's a way to "spin" having three kids. Talk about how great they are and the fun stuff you do with them. Worst case, it doesn't work and you edit your profile. But I think that's the way to go. Don't hide from it, and don't dwell on "sacrifice", "responsibility", even "it's hard but I love them". It could be true, but no one wants to hear it.

    Also: wondering, what do you have as your age limits? Let the upper limit go older than you. Too often guys limit to younger than them, maybe just instinct or expectation. But odds are there are quite a few older women who don't mind you have kids because they're PAST wanting kids of their own or already have them. And women age a lot better than men in a lot of cases, so you could find a good looking lady who looks younger than she really is.

    And in general, be honest about yourself. If you expect women to accept flaws - I guess being divorced and having kids could be considered by some to be a "flaw" - you've got to be willing to look past the same thing in women. Do YOU skip over profiles for superficial reasons?

    Good luck!

    Posted by Dave June 25, 09 01:34 PM
  1. My guess: Your picture is enough for them to decide they are not interested.

    And every woman says they want a nice guy, but generally it's not what they want at all.

    Posted by JG June 25, 09 01:35 PM
  1. I think online dating is creepy. Here are some ideas: Join a sailing club, take cooking or wine tasting classes, join a gym and take group fitness classes. Things like that. If you make a reasonable amount of money, it is the easiest thing in the world to go to upscale restaurants (think Capital Grill, Grill 23) and look for the woman sitting alone eating dinner with a book at the bar.

    Posted by citykitty617 June 25, 09 01:36 PM
  1. You mentioned how your a nice guy blah blah blah, women want a good looking to very good looking nice guy, and most would perfer to have a very good looking somewhat nice guy, sorry your probably not the best looking guy in the world (im assuming you would have mentioned it when describing yourself) and need to lower your standards to women who are out of your league. No response means , no chance - not good looking enough.

    Posted by Fact June 25, 09 01:37 PM
  1. As a 39 yr old single mom who gave online dating a chance for a few months, I can't say that I would rave about it either, but I think Meredith gave you great feedback. Looking for typos and reviewing your profile with a few friends is great advice. Also good point that online dating should be an ADDITIONAL option. I find that online dating can make someone seem ideal, but there's much to be said for finding people in real life where you can instantly tell whether there is chemistry and how they are as people (such as how they interact with others) that an online picture, bio, and hobby list just can't capture. Then again, I'm going to a wedding in a few weeks of a couple that met on e-harmony and know some other happy (and married) couples that met this way. Just like real-life though, you have to know what you're looking for, be honest, and also be resilient. For all you know, these women may have limited time and/or getting hundreds of other emails, so perhaps distance is an issue, and they have a right to feel that way. Or maybe they're in the midst of feeling out someone else and considering options in meantime. Online dating just allows you to meet people you wouldn't otherwise meet, but doesn't guarantee you'll meet the love of your life, just as chit chatting in a bar or meeting a friend of a friend isn't going to guarantee that either. I know I've been turned off by people that send an email and it appears to be quite generic, so I would recommend that you say something genuine based on their profile. If they mention a book or movie or other interest...ask a genuine (yet specific question). Make it about having a conversation and less about when are we going to meet and I can pick you up. If you cultivate good conversation, the rest will happen eventually with the right person. I agree though...it's tough. I haven't had a date in about a year and I try not to get down on it and beat myself up. Let everyone know you're interested in dating and get out there and do activities that you like. Be bold and strike up conversations with people. In short, enjoy life and don't see it as a mission, but a journey.

    Posted by bklynmom June 25, 09 01:38 PM
  1. it seems like alot of people here have done the online dating thing (which is super encouraging). I tried eharmony last year and didn't like it...and FYI be very very very thorough when you go about cancelling your subscription...you have to like, do it twice or something...long story short they charged me twice)
    I'm still kinda effy about the whole online dating thing...but really would like to get back into the dating scene so I feel like I should try it again. (25, no kids no nothing)
    Does anyone recommend a better site than eharmony??

    ....and, the "you live too far" excuse is BS. you seem great NG

    Posted by JRo630 June 25, 09 01:40 PM
  1. valentino -- great post. hysterical!!!

    "mostly because they resemble the crew in the film “Overboard” " good lord, thanks for the laugh :-0

    are YOU single?? haha. (actually not even sure if you're a dude)

    Posted by polly21 June 25, 09 01:41 PM
  1. There's a lot of disrespect in this world when it comes to online dating and interactions. Take it all with a grain of salt. It's easy to dismiss a webpage, most people would find it harder to dismiss a real person. People forget it's a real person on the other end, regardless if they are your soulmate or not. But you still can respect the person and be nice.

    But, don't forget to ask a question with your emails... I've always been frustrated with the "I like your profile, email me" line... what do you say in return? "I like your profile too"? Help with the flow of conversation and ask something they other person can write about.

    And, never just answer their questions without asking questions in return. It's even more frustrating to answer an email... ask some specific questions... get the answers (even nice ones) - but then get no questions back to me in return. What are you interested in finding more about in the other person? Don't forget to help keep the conversation going... sometimes the art of conversation (via email or on a date) is lost.

    Posted by linda2 June 25, 09 01:43 PM
  1. An hour away isn't too far to sense the chip on your shoulder! I can understand your frustration - last summer I had a 3-month subscription to eHarmony, and it was hell! I didn't need to get a notice every time someone rejected me.
    I agree with many people here - get a thicker skin and stop investing so much into these early emails. Just because YOU felt the urge to email someone does not mean that she has to email back. It's the way it goes. And in my experience, a guy who calls himself a "nice guy" is anything but (he's either an ass or a whiner). So that's a red flag there...do you call yourself a "nice guy" in your profile?

    Posted by emmj June 25, 09 01:43 PM
  1. Just to answer some of the questions and comments

    Yes I have had my profile reviewed by a third party - My mom thinks its awesome! (just kidding)

    I understand that the ladies have it much tougher then men on these sites (with the crazies) and that you can't respond to everyone. I get it and I'm not saying that you should answer every email. (Just feels like no one answers any)

    I also understand the distance can be an issue. I guess that for me, if the "right" women is out there I want to meet up with her if she is down the street or across the state.

    As far as my kids and time. Yes they do take up a good amount of time but my kids ages range (my oldest is 19) but I do have the oppurtunity to have a couple of night a week where I can get out. So that is not a problem for me.

    No, I am not relying on the online thing along. I am getting out there and doing it the old fasion way too.

    I¡¦m not looking for a younger girl or an older girl. My age range goes from 28-48. Doesn¡¦t matter to me what the age is. Having said that, I think I would preferre someone close to my age if given a choice.

    One last thing, Yes I agree it is a numbers thing and that the more emails that I send the better my chances are to get a response. BUT, that flies in the face of trying to personlize them a little. I may read 20 profiles and feel like after reading them, there are 4 that I want to reach out to. I am trying to make an effort and not just mass email every girl out there with the "hey I saw your profile and thougth we might be a match" it's just as bad as winks/nudges. So taking your time and being a little selective takes time and doesn't really allow for a high percentage of emails. Well, unless I want to spend hours and hours online and that flies in the face of getting out there and not putting all my eggs in the online dating basket! (It's a vicious circle)

    Thanks for you responses. NICEGUY!

    Posted by NiceGuy June 25, 09 01:45 PM
  1. Try the Hingham nightlife--in and around Hingham Square and don't forget the Scarlet Oak! You won't be disappointed--its your age-appropriate and there are a ton of women looking for men

    Posted by SouthShoreSocializer June 25, 09 01:51 PM
  1. Do’s and Don’ts of web dating:

    Post plenty of information about the things you enjoy doing, hobbies, etc.
    Spend too much time on your personality; everyone is funny, laidback, responsible, blah, blah, blah

    Review other guys profiles to see what they say
    Copy any of them, be original

    Write well and spell check
    Write like you talk, this says “I’m stupid yo”

    Have a nice set of pictures, especially outdoors
    EVER post a picture you took of yourself at your desk, this screams “I am too lame and boring”

    Send a short but polite email and comment about her, blanket emails say “I’m emailing 100’s of women, therefore you are not so special”
    Wink/poke/IM as what Sally said so well it shows you are lazy and just trying to get laid

    Be positive and hopeful
    Expect any response, so when you get one you will be pleasantly surprised. Online dating should be fun!

    Realize online dating for many women is another form of weeding out the frogs and hoping for a prince
    Assume you are every woman’s idea of a prince

    Posted by indiglodoe June 25, 09 01:52 PM
  1. Keep on the look-out for people in real life too. After being very frustrated with dating online, I swore off all dating related activities for a month and met someone great the next week... waiting for a bus!

    Posted by Just sayin' June 25, 09 01:56 PM
  1. I met my fiancee online (eHarmony). In my experience, online dating requires a lot of patience. There were a ton of guys who initiated contact with me, went through eharmony's 9000 steps, said they wanted to meet me for a drink/coffee, and then never called or emailed me once they got my number. Weird. I learned not to take it personally and was glad their lack of dependability was revealed before I wasted time on a date with them. So if you email someone and don't get a response, don't dwell on it and instead keep looking for someone worth the effort.

    I agree with Meredith that you should carefully review your profile to make sure there are no glaring spelling or grammatical errors. Sure it's petty, but when you are flooded with emails from men who all describe themselves in fairly generic terms (everyone's a "nice guy" -- who says straight up that they're a habitual liar and cheater?) it's those little things that stand out and help distinguish would-be matches. Also, look for women your age. As a 32-year old, I found that the majority of the men who contacted me were in their mid-40s and in a completely different place in their lives. You'll have more in common and better luck with a woman closer in age. Finally, if you mention your kids in your profile (as you should - being upfront is much better than springing 3 kids on a women after you've started dating) I recommend you also mention that you have a friendly relationship with their mother and that there will be no "baby mama drama." Often it's not the kids that scares women away from dating divorced dads: it's the potential headache of having to deal with the ex.

    Posted by Jolee June 25, 09 01:59 PM
  1. Just a quick comment - driving an hour is not unheard of to meet someone that you may possibly end up with for the rest of your life. As I have told men on POF (yes was on there) you are looking for a convenience, not a relationship !
    I just deleted my profile as i did meet a man who I am hoping to build a long term relationship with. There are a lot of players out there both men and women, but just keep pushing forward. I did not reply to all emails but most of them yes, to say good luck on your search as I was not able to put the time into any quantity dating only quality...

    Posted by jatzy June 25, 09 02:00 PM
  1. I am also on match.com but have the opposite problem. I receive lots of emails and it can be a bit overwhelming. I always respond to messages when I can tell that the person who wrote it actually read my profile, whether I am interested or not. A polite "no thank you" goes a long way. That being said, I get TONS of one line "Hey how are you?" emails along with ones that are clearly copied & pasted to anyone and everyone. (see example below) Those I do not respond to and simply delete. I live and work in Boston and do not have a car, so for me the distance thing is actually a problem. Most women are not interested in a long distance relationship so I don't think you should read too much into that. Sometimes it is not feasible to date someone who lives so far away. I'm sure there are plenty of women who live closer to you, and be honest. Do you really envision yourself having dates during the week over an hour away? Even if it gets to the point that you're sleeping over, you still will have to get up extremely early to get back home and ready for work. It's too hard to hard to get to really know someone when you only seem them on weekends. As far as being divorced with kids goes, I think that there are plenty of women that would be open to your situation. Be honest and explain : "I have the kids on X days and weekends" etc.

    And finally, to everyone else: Please see below for a message I just received today. This is a great example of what not to do (no this is not a joke).

    Hey how it going? It going been working a lot and been through a lot haven't gotten much sleep. My name is ----- and I m 28 a pisces living in Southern NH and originally from Long Island NY moved to NH in 1999 cause my dad got a new job up here. I m a nice good guy with a heart soul been there helped people out treat them right and wish a girl appreciated it and they wanted a nice guy to be with and they didn't use lead them on play them for a fool throw them away and not care when they had enough just for other guys majority of the time. Wish girls also went for personality or the type of guy someone is not for looks like majority of them do and girls always say guys are bad treat them bad but girls do the same to guys. I m 5'9 skinny 160 with dirty blond hair wears glasses and got pics up and work 2 jobs one in retail for CVS in a mall and for the government at the passport center in Portsmouth. I like to cuddle go out for walks drives to the mall movies bowling. Playin dvd boardgames videogames mini golf chat on line on the phone watch tv listen to the radio and up to anything willin to do try new things. I do have a cell and use aim aol and yahoo and my sn are for aol/aim piscesasslooker ------, -----and on yahoo my sn are --------, ----------------, -------------, -----------. Saw ur profile u seem diff fun carin honest and u were attractive with nice hair skin eyes smile. Hope u reply back tell me bout u like what u like to do for fun car u drive music u like food u eat if u live alone with roomates family if u got a cell have screen names on aim aol or yahoo and anything else u want to share. Thanks for ur time and hope to hear from u and have a good day/night."


    Posted by C82 June 25, 09 02:03 PM
  1. No response IS a response....I agree with #69...why do you even care? This happens to me too...I just move on...this is a JOB, don't give up!
    #30...Loved your comments...may have to use some of it!!
    #89...Does not have a clue!

    Posted by Casey505 June 25, 09 02:07 PM
  1. Additional thoughts: think outside the box. Love is love...and hearts and brains shouldn't be constrained by race, ethnicity, age, and other factors that sometimes get constricted by things we have come to accept as common practices reinforced by our family, friends, and past dating history. You may be programmed to think a single white woman aged 25-35 (or insert other pre-programmed list) is your ideal woman, but you never know if the woman who will love you to pieces and engage your mind intellectually is black, hispanic, asian, or middle eastern. We all have notions of who we THINK our ideal partner is and don't realize those concepts narrow our potentials down significantly. So, make sure your profile is open to meeting other races and opens up the age window a little more.

    Posted by bklynmom June 25, 09 02:08 PM
  1. First of all Niceguy is lame, first mistake. Pleaing that your nice guy is desperate and borderline pathetic. Most men are nice guys, what makes you interesting(married with three kids doesnt) you like to do what. I did the online dating thing before I met my wife(in a bar) and meet some nice girls and crazy ones, online dating thing is not that hard, its can be very shallow(not goodlooking enough, not talking to you) could be your problem? Thats life and the way it is, stop investing so much time in personalizing the emails you send and having feelings for the person before you even send the email and then being disappointed, sounds needdy and pathetic. Man up and lower your standards some and you might meet someone, if the women at the bar and turnng the other way then so are the women online

    Posted by BoKnows June 25, 09 02:08 PM
  1. Attitude helps... You are the prize! Just remember that! It is not arrogance, just recongnition that you love yourself and you have standards!

    Posted by midman June 25, 09 02:08 PM
  1. Hi,
    As a single Dad, i tried the Online dating thing and it was tough - nearly impossible. Instead, try to find a group of single parents that might have similar tastes that you do. Once the women know that you are a good guy, they'll try to date you themselves or refer you to one of their friends... Its kind of like networking for a job. I find that meetup.com is good for finding groups of people with similar activitities - less pressure in a group. And if you find some one you can talk to and be friendly with, then maybe the former will occur. Its definitely not a one shot deal. You need to build your network of friends since most of your friends are probably married themselves and can't really relate well to your situation. Good Luck out there. its not easy, but it is possible to find nice women to date who like what you like!

    Posted by A successful single dad who dates! June 25, 09 02:13 PM
  1. I have one other suggestion....maybe the women you are writing to, who do not answer you, do not have a paying subscription. I myself, have profiles on 2 sites, but cannot afford to pay the prices. Maybe they are not members so they cannot reply to you without joining. $50-75-100 is alot nowadays with lower incomes due to the economy. I would have loved to answer a few of the guys who wrote me on Yahoo, but just cant see joining to answer one guy, who-yes, may be my soul mate. But then again, if I am supposed to meet him, I may just drive up to him in a Subway parking lot...like the guy I just celebrated 1 month with. Go figure...

    Posted by travlinterry June 25, 09 02:28 PM
  1. My NG-
    Take it from me…Mike Brady himself: Look for women who have kids. If you're a NG, you are also likely seeking a warm, fuzzy, maternal soul. How cool was Carol Brady? Even her stepson Greg took a shot at her. A woman (stop this 28 year old stuff to make you feel like ‘who’s your daddy’) who wants to replicate the "family" life at home is a keeper for a guy like you. If you’re secretly yearning for a porn star, that may say something more about the cessation of your marriage. Great divorcees are waiting to rock your world. Don’t spend a moment on women who have never had a house full of children and requires on the job training in taking a backseat to the needs of the kids. You’re looking for a selfless spirit. Who's your Step-Daddy?

    Posted by valentino June 25, 09 02:29 PM
  1. valentino, you're fantastic. that was great.

    Posted by sm1231 June 25, 09 02:35 PM
  1. I did the online dating thing - in fact, that's how my husband and I met 9 years ago. However, I did not respond to men I was not interested in, even if they did look like they had put in a little effort (though mostly they didn't). Why?

    Because I started off for the first week or so responding to the "nice" sounding guys and it Really Did Not Go Well. I would write and say in a better phrased manner "You sound great, but I don't think we're compatible and here's my well thought-out reason why so you don't have to wonder." What this earned me was a tirade from the previously nice-seeming guy about what a horrible person I must be to judge him on whatever thing - although I never judged, just said he was not a good choice FOR ME. Some of them would write repeatedly to try to change my mind about the thing I didn't consider negotiable and then yell at me for not giving them a chance. It only took a few of these exchanges for me to figure out that contact at all was a bad idea if I didn't want to set up a date.

    Point: it may not be about you.

    Posted by skreeky June 25, 09 02:36 PM
  1. OK now the Dark Side of the Force has taken over, and I must play devils advocate. Don't repeat all the same mistakes that led to your divorce, you would be wasting your chance at the second time around. Although everyone seems to think they are "blameless" in their divorces, I would say that 99% of the time people who think they are "nice" also share the blame. Whether it be the person you chose, or your subsequent actions, think of all the divorce causing factors that can be now be avoided. The most pathetic divorcees I meet are the ones pick the same type of mate, and make all the same errors; be smart and make this reboot a winner.

    Posted by DudeGuyKidDudeGuy666 June 25, 09 02:39 PM
  1. HBellz said it best! But to echo that and a few other sentiments already mentioned... Don't point out that you are 'nice guy' - it's a waste of your 1000 characters or whatever they give you. There are certain 'givens' that us chix are going to want to go ahead and assume from the get go - one being that you'll be a nice guy - I mean what are you gonna say? Hi, I'm a real jerk and one of my favorite past times is treating my girlfriends badly - Focus on what your interests are instead - And you gotta man-up on not getting responses or not getting the response that you wanted - it's going to happen more often than not - that's part of the charm of on line dating. Get used to it. And indeed whining about it only makes you sound desperate! Which is a major turn off. Aren't you glad you asked for advice? If the lack of responses from your on line dating sites hurt, the abundance of feedback here must be brutal! But take it in the spirit in which is intended which is to help. Best of luck : )

    Posted by loreleilee June 25, 09 02:43 PM
  1. I met a nice guy online. We chatted via email for a few months, and were both into it so that was enjoyable. We exchanged photos early on so knew there was attraction. After a few phone conversations we finally decided to meet.

    We both showed up on time and nervous which lent a sweetness to it. About 15 minutes into the conversation he started referencing his ex-wife bitterly on and off for about an hour. I thought I'd scream. I politely told him I had to go and gave him a kiss on the cheek.

    A day later, I told him it wasn't a romantic match and he was really disappointed. We agreed to stay in contact, and did so for a while, but it tapered off because he wanted more.

    Moral of this story: Even if you do everything "right" (confirm physical attraction by exchanging photos, discover shared interests, make each other laugh, etc.), it doesn't mean it'll work. Dude, if you are already ticked off at women you haven't met who don't respond or don't wish to travel 1 hour, that's gonna come across in how you communicate. It's certainly not going to attract emotionally healthy women who will sense that peevishness and neediness right away.

    My best relationships have been with people who were friends first. I'd gotten to know them, and the attraction just followed. I've been in a great relationship with a one such former friend for over five years now. Instant gratification fades faster.

    Posted by YouWinSomeYouLoseSome June 25, 09 02:43 PM
  1. I'm an early-30s guy who's tried various dating sites (most recently okcupid and match), but it was actually a craigslist posting of all things that led to my longest relationship. The problem I run into is that too many of the women I see just either aren't interesting or unable to articulate their interesting side. They all love flip-flops, dull music (usually Dave Matthews), bad tv, long walks on the beach... you see where I'm going here. Other women seem to be trying way too hard to appeal to men, playing up how big of a sports fan they are. Unless you're after a testosterone-fueled Axe-wearing meathead, guys don't want a chick who's more into sports than them.

    Posted by Not Dave Matthews June 25, 09 02:47 PM
  1. Online dating can be a very shallow place. Not only that, but most posters of the female persuasion feel somehow entitled to Superman. "Loves his job, loves kids, is in great shape, handsome, funny, sociable, athletic, has a phD, loves dogs, has his own house, independent, yet affectionate, has a great family, loves traveling... blah, blah." It gets monotonous after a while. What makes these people think they're so wonderful as to warrant the perfect man? I'm willing to bet lots of male profiles aren't much different.

    I ended up meeting a great woman online, but that was after lots of wading through profiles that were carbon copies of one another.

    Posted by Anonymous June 25, 09 02:51 PM
  1. AP Stylephiles: Just because AP Style PREFERS Web site does not make it CORRECT. I would love a guy who wrote Web site OR website as they are both correct. Geez.

    Posted by Chicago Manual June 25, 09 02:53 PM
  1. some are lying when they say they want a nice guy...

    they want a home, a baby and brad pitt..

    so they can show him off to their friends..

    if he is nice then that is only a bonus...but he's gotta be cute and loaded.

    Posted by sarah June 25, 09 02:55 PM
  1. NG -- these are my on-line dating pet-peeves. I'm not saying you're guilty of them, just some tips...

    - Make sure they're current & post at least 2 - 3
    - If they're a few years old, make sure your wedding ring is not visible (I've seen this more times then I can count).
    - Are you bald? Own it, don't post 7 pictures w/ hats.
    - Don't post group pics w/ you & all your buddies.
    - Don't crop people out (we'll assume it's ex)
    - Keep the kids out of pics.

    - Don't go on & on about your kids. You have kids, i/we assume you love them & they are important to you - it goes w/out saying.
    - Don't lie about your height or age (or anything for that matter).

    - Never wink - if you want to say hello, then do so.
    - Never fast-track - they have to accept your fast-track before they can read your msg.
    - Never nudge - they havne't forgotten, if they want to respond, they will.

    - Accept it & move on, its part of the game.
    - If they say you're too far away, that’s code for "she's not interested". IMO, I'd travel an hour for the right guy & I'm betting most women would.
    - don't hate the player, hate the game!

    Posted by polly21 June 25, 09 03:04 PM
  1. Sally, you rock!!

    Posted by Sally Fan June 25, 09 03:05 PM
  1. I think people over-rely on online dating. If you're spending all that time creating a profile, picking out an attractive photo, emailing women, checking constantly to see if anyone has emailed you back, then that's a lot of time wasted where you could be in the real (not the virtual) world. It sounds like you're trying really hard to find someone online, maybe a bit desperate. I have always believed in the saying that "Love finds you when least expect it," so maybe instead of spending so much time online in the Matrix you should just get out and get a life. Go do activities that you enjoy, join clubs, get outside of the computer portal. I think the online dating should be a distant second to finding dates, and that when people start to rely on it so much and get a little obsessive over it, like expecting an email back from everyone you write, then you lose sight of living YOUR life.

    Posted by Skyler June 25, 09 03:06 PM
  1. I lost my boots in transit babe
    A pile of smoking leather
    Nailed a retread to my feet
    and prayed for better weather

    Posted by valentino on the Half-Step June 25, 09 03:06 PM
  1. Everybody should just be honest. There are plenty of men who don't like the California blond stereotype. Just describe yourself as you are, there will be some people who like just that.

    Posted by Jack Certer June 25, 09 03:08 PM
  1. Dude, stay away from the online dating sites. You're asking for and you will get nothing but trouble. Believe me. I did the online dating thing and every single woman I met was a whack job. There's always a major reason why they are single: parolee, drug addict, alcoholic, gold digger, murderer, sociopath, various STDs, you name it. Online dating sites are not the place for nice guys to meet nice women and visa versa.

    Posted by Mark June 25, 09 03:08 PM
  1. I think those same Love Systems guys you were talking about also help people with online dating

    Posted by Wanamaker June 25, 09 03:12 PM
  1. Here's a thought. I'm considering adding the fact that I love making and having "Grilled Cheese Sandwiches" to my profile.

    Which is so true.

    Ladies... thoughts?

    Posted by sean June 25, 09 03:12 PM
  1. My husband and I just celebrated our first year anniversary after meeting on POF two years ago. On-line dating works if you keep plugging away at it. I dated for a couple of years after my divorce. I joined several on-line dating sites. I met "my dad just died" guy, "jail" guy, "marry me" guy, "angry and morose" guy, and "I've had 38 dates so far this year" guy before I met "the one" guy. Good luck! Just be yourself and you'll find her.

    Posted by drapes June 25, 09 03:30 PM
  1. I met my husband on match.com. We're both busy entrepreneurs and thought we'd see if we met "the one" online while we were trying to set-up thing with family/friends, meeting friends of friends, etc. It shouldn't be your only method of finding a mate, but hey, it worked for us. People who use the site, Lord knows, some wackos, some normal people...it's hit or miss just like it is in the real world. If someone says everyone online is an angel or completely insane, don't believe them...there's a bit of both I'm sure. Try having your friend write your profile, I did that and it seemed to go over well. Good luck and don't give up finding the right one for you no matter how you find it.

    Posted by Just a thought June 25, 09 03:34 PM
  1. Paco will share with you the best advice Paco ever received on this matter. Both men and women will likely say Paco is crass, but Paco is simply being honest, because the truth will set you free:

    "A man saying he is "nice" is like a woman saying she is "smart". It's a good bonus, but it's definitely not the first thing the opposite sex looks for. You wouldn't care if a girl was smart if she also was ugly or fat. A girl won't care about you if you're nice but also poor, timid or boring." ~Someone wise, to Paco

    Some people (often bitter) will tell you girls don't want nice guys. That's not true. Most do (and the others have issues that you really don't want to get involved with. Trust Paco on this one.) But they only want nice guys that are successful, funny and talented. It doesn't hurt if you're a good looking guy, either. If you think the Nice Guy angle in and of itself entitles you to love, Paco thinks some constructive work on yourself may be in order.

    And for the record, Paco is of the belief that an hour is legitimately too far away. Paco believes in finding love nearby, as long-distance relationships can be tricky.

    Paco has not seen your profile, so Paco does not know what specific things could do to help. But Paco believes a critical re-evaluation may help you in your efforts. If you're not successful, go back to school and make sure you become so. If you're overweight, work out. If you are shy, find a life coach to help you overcome it. But if you want to be loved, make sure that you are lovable.

    Paco hopes you find what you want.

    Posted by Paco June 25, 09 03:34 PM
  1. Val, you officially have too much time on your hands....but you use it so well!!

    Sally, funny letter.

    I checked out POF to get a reference point, and while I like to cuddle and am fond of cats, I would never contact a guy who says he likes to cuddle or has a cat in his photograph. My two don't's.

    Posted by Fresi June 25, 09 03:38 PM
  1. Empty your savings and put a picture of your cash in the profile. You'll look very much the "Nice Guy" to many women.

    Posted by Bustoff June 25, 09 03:43 PM
  1. I try each and every day to read these things, to make myself a better person or in the very least, to try and learn something new each day. Out of 147 comments, this is the one that struck me as summing up this Love Letters site the best.

    "Rico first off wants to say your writing sounds goofy."

    Mr. Nice Guy...this response is the reason LL can never be taken seriously.

    Here you have a person, no one knows if it is a man or woman, who LOVES to speak in the 3rd person...Rico says this and Rico thinks that but yet, you sound goofy in your insincere and honest attempt to find love via online dating.

    Hey, actually, you have to have hope, IF this person can find love, then you have a chance...even the crazy ones find their soul mates.

    Girls are just like buses, if you miss one, another will be along shortly.

    Posted by Pete June 25, 09 03:47 PM
  1. I'm a Chicago Manual of Style person stuck in an AP-using work environment. Sigh.

    Posted by yupokay June 25, 09 03:49 PM
  1. I think it's fine to be nice as long as "nice" isn't your primary good feature, or the first word people use to describe you. There's a big difference between a genuinely nice, kind person and someone who gets described like, "Oh, he's so *nice*." The latter nice descriptor always indicates, to me, that the speaker has no desire to see you naked. And usually if you're a really selfless, kind person, they'll say kind instead anyway.

    Online dating is a bitch. But do stop coming back to nice. What else are you? A runner, a sailor, a good storyteller? Or, what makes you nice? Do you volunteer? Are you kind to animals and children? What makes you nice beyond common human decency that we all usually express and/or expect?

    Posted by KT June 25, 09 03:53 PM
  1. NiceGuy, in your comment to clarify things, you say: "I get it and I'm not saying that you should answer every email. (Just feels like no one answers any)"

    To me, this is what it sounds like: "I'm not saying that you should answer every message. I'm just saying you should answer mine."

    And finally, like I said before, it's unfair to expect that everyone who is on an online dating website is looking for a long-term relationship and is willing to drive an hour or more just in CASE this first date will lead to true love. I won't date a guy who lives more than an hour away because it's inconvenient to get to know someone who lives so far away. And if it's hard for me to get to know someone, then it's going to be nearly impossible for me to fall in love with this person. So I'll stick with dating people who live NEAR me (also that way, if either of us feels like the date is a mistake/otherwise not fun, we can get home quickly).

    Posted by sabend June 25, 09 03:54 PM
  1. Give www.winkedat.com a shot as an alternative...

    Posted by Bob June 25, 09 04:05 PM
  1. NiceGuy,
    Here's some harsh, but honest advice: Your best bet is to narrow your search to single moms. I know that as a single, childless, 30-year-old woman, I WOULD NEVER date a man with kids. That is like buying an apple at the store with a huge bite already taken out of it. Some other woman has already gotten the best part of you. Most of my age cohorts feel the same that I have spoken to about this. You will be setting yourself up for major disappointment if you aim for single, childless 25-35 year olds. Don't bother. Most women this age categorize single fathers with smokers, married men, and ex cons. Good luck.

    Posted by Anonymous June 25, 09 04:06 PM
  1. To Casey505: I am sticking to my guns....online dating is pathetic, sad.....and somehow, unnatural. I have zero respect for anyone who uses this as THE TOOL to date.

    Posted by sebekemsaf June 25, 09 04:07 PM
  1. Women are not lying when they say that they want a "nice guy", but the list of wants doesn't end there. Sometimes women are more explicit, sometimes not. For instance, I've ignored many a seemingly "nice guy" because I frankly didn't like his picture. Or his hobbies, interests, values, etc didn't match mine. In short, we do want someone decent who is emotionally available, but we want to be attracted to him on all levels: physically, emotionally, practically. Perhaps this person's profile it not hitting enough women on all those areas. By the way, it is not much different for women searching for men online.

    Posted by Genevieve June 25, 09 04:07 PM
  1. @C82 (#131) Oh My God!! I was on Match.com back in March and that SAME GUY MESSAGED ME!! It actually weirded me out so much that I responded to him and told him to try using proper grammar, spelling, and perhaps throw a period in there once in awhile! Oh, and you may want to leave out the "baby got back" fetish!

    I forget his response to me (and oh yes, he DID respond!), but there was something about it that made me 97% certain that he was mentally handicapped, and then I felt like an awful human being.

    But, still...

    Posted by Alice June 25, 09 04:08 PM
  1. If you want women who are interested in YOU, then you shouldn't over-analyze what to write that will make women want to respond. In your letter you described the reasons you constructed your messages and their content, and all of those reasons had to do with what you thought women would want. Personally, I don't want a guy to try to guess what I would want to hear, I just want to hear from him. Every woman is different, and it may take 200 tries to find a decent date. But the best service you can do to yourself and to the women you contact is to stop trying to figure out what they want to hear, and just be yourself.

    A lot of responders have suggested that you have a platonic female friend take a look at your profile and give you feedback. Also, have her look at some messages you sent out too. Maybe it's the messages, not your profile that is turning women off.

    Posted by Match made in real life June 25, 09 04:10 PM
  1. #147 nailed it.

    Posted by joey June 25, 09 04:14 PM
  1. I did online dating for a couple of years, and I met my new husband on Yahoo.com. At first I would respond to everyone who emailed me. After a while I stopped sending the polite "thank you for your interest, but I don't think we're a good match, and I wish you luck in your search" emails. I was amazed at how often these men would respond to my polite rejection with outright vitriol. I would get flame emails calling me every angry (and often misspelled) insult they could think of. Unfortunately I got sick of the toxic cyber-outbursts, and just stopped responding to anyone I wasn't interested in. I'm sorry that a few bad apples spoiled the whole bunch, but I've heard of other women who had the same problem.

    If you like blondes, does that mean you fall head over heels with every blonde you see on the Red Line? I hope not, otherwise that's a whole different column. Being a nice guy with a sense of humor, or having all the same "checkboxes" in common with someone, doesn't guarantee that you are a good fit for each other. Attraction and compatability are a complicated formula, and it takes some digging to get it right. Believe me, it's worth the effort.

    I definitely think it's a good idea to have a close female friend look at your profile and give you some feedback from the woman's perspective. I did this for a few of my guy friends, and they said it made a difference. Most of all, don't get discouraged. It is all about quantity - statistically speaking, you're more likely to find The One in a group of 100 than in a group of 5.

    Online dating simply gives you the ability to cast a wider net in your search. All the other rules of dating still apply. Keep your expectations clear and realistic. Don't try to be everything to every woman. Know you you are, know what you want, and know what you don't want.

    Posted by Auntie June 25, 09 04:22 PM
  1. I've met my current boyfriend off Plenty of Fish so maybe I am biased. I tried Match and Eharmony and didn't really care for either. I got a lot of responses, but I think in part that was because my profile was short,sweet and to the point. I left mystery in my profile so people wanted to know who I was more. Don't worry about forever at this point, but rather trying to see if it's worth a first date. Once you get that first date, you will find out if there is a spark or not. I did find my nice guy, so yes girls do want that...keep at it..most times you dont' find it after a month or two, but rather it comes a few months down the road.
    Good luck and keep on Plenty of Fish


    Posted by JL June 25, 09 04:36 PM
  1. has anyone done bostondatenetwork.com and what do they think of it?

    Posted by boredinacubicle June 25, 09 04:48 PM
  1. "Doesn’t “love” have no boundaries?"

    WTheck? Did you really write that? No wonder nobody's replying. I wouldn't cross the street for that schmaltz.

    Posted by Sally2 June 25, 09 04:52 PM
  1. Each of us needs to know are value in the dating world; and set expectations accordingly. Online dating simplified. A dating site just need photos of the gal, and net worth for the guy. Gals over 30 want first and foremost financial security; Guys will always want killer looks. A hot looking gal can get a guy making 100K+, and vice versa. An okay looking gal 75-100K, less than average 50-75K, and not so good looking <50K. Divorced with no kids lowers one's value only slightly; divorced with kids lowers one's market value moreso.

    Posted by John June 25, 09 04:56 PM
  1. Each of us needs to know our value in the dating world; and set expectations accordingly. Online dating simplified. A dating site just need photos of the gal, and net worth for the guy. Gals over 30 want first and foremost financial security; Guys will always want killer looks. A hot looking gal can get a guy making 100K+, and vice versa. An okay looking gal 75-100K, less than average 50-75K, and not so good looking <50K. Divorced with no kids lowers one's value only slightly; divorced with kids lowers one's market value moreso.

    Posted by John June 25, 09 04:57 PM
  1. Is your photo one where another person has been cropped out? that always a turn off- we know those are women next to you in the photos. Have a friend take some good photos of you by yourself for your profile
    If you reach out to a woman who lives an hour away, in your first email to her you should state "I know I live in a different area code but I'm willing to make the drive to you to see if we have a spark." or something like that.
    If you really want a "thanks but no" reply from these women then state that as well. Say something like "If you aren't interested just say so. No hard feelings."
    I think you are expecting oto much feedback when you are just a guy online.

    Posted by Stee June 25, 09 05:02 PM
  1. You say: "Doesn’t “love” have no boundaries? Should it be considered a little flattering if I am reaching out to you despite the fact that I may have to drive an hour to see you "
    Not if the women you are picking out want a guy they can hang out with during the week. It's a lot of effort to manage a weekends only cuz you live an hour away.
    Try picking out some gals who live closer and see how that goes.

    Posted by Chris June 25, 09 05:06 PM
  1. #25 is correct....Specific Interests Dating Sites is the way to go.
    Here's an example of some great ones: (I use them all independently)

    .... just to name a few

    Posted by MiamiMega June 25, 09 05:13 PM
  1. meeting people online is just creepy

    Posted by annon June 25, 09 05:14 PM
  1. I am / was on plentyoffish and a few others and decided to start my own up for the 3rd time. (Hopefully 3rd times a charm). The way you have to look at is marketing, marketing, marketing. You are marketing yourself to someone who has no idea who you are. A couple of good pictures, a catchy title, a NORMAL BIO and you should be good to go. When writing emails, makes ure your spelling and grammar is acceptable. Use cut and paste in word and spell and grammer check..take the extra time on this! Exchange a couple of emails and meet for a drink or coffee in a public place. Don't waste time and fall in virtual like/lust/love with someone after 10 or so emails and then meet and everything goes wrong or they are not what they seemed.. By the way the name of my site? www.loveviamodem.com

    Posted by Christopher Barrett June 25, 09 05:14 PM
  1. I am / was on plentyoffish and a few others and decided to start my own up for the 3rd time. (Hopefully 3rd times a charm). The way you have to look at is marketing, marketing, marketing. You are marketing yourself to someone who has no idea who you are. A couple of good pictures, a catchy title, a NORMAL BIO and you should be good to go. When writing emails, makes sure your spelling and grammar is acceptable. Use cut and paste in word and spell and grammer check..take the extra time on this! Exchange a couple of emails and meet for a drink or coffee in a public place. Don't waste time and fall in virtual like/lust/love with someone after 10 or so emails and then meet and everything goes wrong or they are not what they seemed.. By the way the name of my site? www.loveviamodem.com

    Posted by Christopher Barrett June 25, 09 05:16 PM
  1. Regarding the distance - maybe an hour doesn't seeem like a long distance to travel for a date, or two, or 3. But.... If you're a nice woman who wants to find a guy to settle down with, your first thought is going to be "He has 3 kids. He is not going to have a lot of free time to get together if he has to travel an hour to see me. (Meeting for lunch or a movie on the weeknights is right out.) Our relationship will be limited to getting together on the weekends when he doesn't have his kids. if we really hit it off, he is NOT going to want to relocate. Am I comfortable moving to where he lives, which may be even further than an hour from my job? Am I willing to find a new job for him?" Unless the woman is staring into the face of the man of her absolute dreams, she is going to decline. Because you don't want to start a relationship that you don't see having future potential. Nothing against you, but in that situation an hour is really too far.

    Oh, and a word of advice from an over-30 woman who has spent a good chunk of time in the online and real-life dating world - don't ever say you're funny and a nice guy in your profile. Anyone can (and ususally does) say it, whether it's true or not. If you're really funny, something in your profile will make me laugh. And if you're a nice guy something you say will tug at my heart strings. That's when you find the right one.

    Posted by Kelly June 25, 09 05:31 PM
  1. I met my previous boyfriend and my current boyfriend on Ok Cupid, so I'd say the online dating thing has worked for me :) Lots of other people gave the same advice I was going to give, to but here a few more thoughts:

    Are you a good writer? I mean, beyond the e-mail you sent Meredith and your comment. Does your real personality come through in your writing? Are you good at making conversation via e-mail? Because if you're not, then online dating might not work for you. Think about it - if you walked up to a woman in person and was dull, cliched, and boring in talking to her, she wouldn't be interested. The same goes for online dating, only you're writing instead of talking. I had one guy message me and he seemed nice, but exchanging messages was painful - trying to find something to talk about was like pulling teeth! Now some would be OK with that and would just try to call him on the phone or meet with him in person, but I know for me I need a guy who can write well. That's just the way I am.

    Which leads me to my next point - someone said you need to ask the woman a question so she has something to respond to. Not only do you need something in your message for her to respond to, you also need something in your profile. A few times I've stared at a guy's profile trying to find something I can comment on and use to start a conversation.

    In your response you said that you know it's a numbers game, but you complained about how much time it takes to come up with an initial message. Well, no one said you have to send a message to every single attractive woman in one night! As someone else said, you have to have patience! I had about 15 guys saved in my favorites list, but I certainly wasn't messaging all of them. If I had time, I'd work on a good initial message to one or two guys every few weeks. If I didn't hear back from them, which was most of the time, I'd move on to someone else on my list.

    You also need have c'est la vie/que sera sera attitude towards online dating, too. You never know what's going on at the other end. Maybe they're super busy and just didn't get back to you, maybe they're not interested, maybe they just started seeing someone else, maybe they're taking a break from dating for a while to regroup. Who knows? The way I see it, if she doesn't write you back she's not your future wife. It can be disappointing, but that's the way it goes.

    Posted by OK Cupid Fan June 25, 09 05:33 PM
  1. I've been on and off pof for 2.5 years. I have had dozens of dates, a couple of real girlfriends, and am currently in an amazing relationship.

    There's nothing different about the women online versus the so-called real world. With one crucial exception, the women online you can actually say something to without feeling weird or self-conscious about it. Try that at the grocery store! Or a book store. It's not as easy as some people seem to think. Women don't generally appreciate strangers coming up to them. Online, well that's the whole point.

    It take a little practice. Here's my advice:
    - take a nice couple of pictures with your shirt *on*.
    - have a light-hearted profile that sounds like you love life and have interesting things in your life. Don't sound too desperate, picky, angry, or "randy". Check spelling and grammar.
    - when you actually write a woman, say something unique about her, to prove that you actually read her profile. Don't be too brief or too wordy. And try your wit.
    - Don't ask for a date until you've been communicating with someone for a few days. And keep the first date very casual. My favorite: "drinks".
    - don't sweat if they don't respond. It's no big deal.
    - Make sure you're aiming for the right demographic. 19 year old petite women are probably not interested in a 53 year old divorced dad. But don't sell yourself short.

    OK Best of luck - don't let it get you down. And don't give a nickel to a dating site. pof is a *very* active site, just hang in there.

    Posted by mezzb June 25, 09 05:35 PM
  1. Try Cougar dating. There are many hot older women who don't care that you have kids and either can't have or don't want any more.

    Posted by ramona126 June 25, 09 05:38 PM
  1. To the author of comment 169: I'm not sure what sort of satisfaction you get out of labeling online daters as pathetic or whatever. I guess we're all entitled to unreasonable and baseless biases.

    Next time I am with my super-hot, intelligent, amazing girlfriend (she's all of those things and more), I'll have to remind myself how pathetic I am that I didn't pick her up in a bar!

    Posted by mezzb June 25, 09 05:59 PM
  1. "A picture is worth a thousand words." Especially in the world of online dating. It's different. What you wear and how you present yourself in a photo is your marketing - and it can make or break you. Also, women are savvy - if you don't "look the part" we will know. Your photo should match your profile.

    If you wouldn't say something to her in a grocery store - don't say it online either. Their are no etiquette exceptions. For some reason, men feel that chatting online gives them some sort of green light for unsavory talk. Be polite, professional and a gentleman.

    Posted by Carrie June 25, 09 06:03 PM
  1. As a divorced dad, now engaged, of one child in his early thirties, I agree that you need to develop a thicker skin. Online dating never worked for me, despite buying several programs on how to write a profile. Its a numbers game stacked against men. (too many men, fewer women). If I were you, I would get a female friend to actually write an online profile for you. Don't depend on online dating. As previously mentioned, try volunteering, take dance or wine classes. Get a life. Don't tell women you have kid right away. There are a also a number of dating programs - pick up artists- that might work.

    Posted by pogie001 June 25, 09 06:18 PM
  1. i'm a guy who's been thru the online dating hell for over 2 years before finding a great girl for a relationship. there are lots of behaviors that you will experience as "bad" but not everyone has the same sense of courtesy and sometimes it's hard to reject someone so they may not respond at all. that happened to me hundreds of times at least. some find driving an hour to meet someone too much, others won't mind. post lots of pics (at least several of them recent) and have a friend look at your profile. an objective eye helped me out a few times. bottom line is you'll meet someone when you're ready to meet someone, but i do understand how frustrating online dating is. BUHLIEVE me.

    Posted by D to the B June 25, 09 06:21 PM
  1. I'm Clueless in Boston regarding Online Dating......I'm Divorced - but I can't even imagine computer dating - I'm COUGAR material I suppose..... I dated alot when I was younger and now I have NO DESIRE... I feel like "Madeline Kahn" when she says.....I'm tired - again & again thous......Sorry I have no input on this stuff - It's beyond my day......But with all these hotshot posters - I'm sure you'll bound to find some "interesting tips, advice, ideas, and so forth.......Just remember to be yourself & have fun!!!!!"

    Posted by Been around June 25, 09 06:33 PM
  1. A few things:

    1. You say you are a nice guy, but yet you feel entitled to responses and are angry/upset that women aren't responding, and when they do, you don't believe them! That to me doesn't sound like a nice guy...that sounds like you THINK you are a nice guy and thus are OWED these women's attentions. Genuinely good humnan beings don't have to tell people they are nice. Their common courtesy is natural.

    2. What age ranges are you seeking? If you are 38 with three kids, finding someone under 34 will be hard. You'll be at different places in your lives.

    3. Are you only seeking women without kids? Are you seeking women your own age?

    4. I find that men and women who complain about not meeting people online often do so because they would never date their opposite sex-equivalent. The a not--so-goodlooking guy won't date a not-so-goodlooking (or even average looking girl (he expects a supermodel, espeicially if he thinks he is "nice") or a woman with kids doesn't want to date a man with kids, etc. Those are just examples, but you get the idea.

    5. On many sites (not sure about PoF), people can see the age ranges you are looking for. If you are responding to women who only want to date up to age 35, then stop emailing those people as it shows a disrespect.

    6. When I did online dating (happily married to someone I met online!), if there was a guy who, for example was 38 but only wanted to date women 24-34, even if I was in that age bracket I would never respond. Why? Any man who won't date a woman up to his own age probably doesn't respect women as true partners. I have found this to be incredibly true.

    7. As others have mentioned, the distance thing IS a real excuse. In today's busy world, why would I want to date someone so far away...especially when I know my time with them would be limited due to the three kids thing.

    8. Other posters are right...try meetup.com and go to activities you enjoy. You're more likely to find people that way with common interests and an instant connection. However, don't go there to be on the prowl. Women can spot that it you will appear insincere. And creepy.

    Good luck. And definitely have someone look at your profile!

    Posted by beantownbaklava June 25, 09 06:37 PM
  1. Speaking as a single woman in her mid 30s, and looking to meet a nice guy, I have to admit, an hour a way would be a killer for me too. If I met a guy with 3 kids and lives an hour away from the city, I would assume, b/c of your kids, you are tied to your geographic area. I hate the burbs. I LOVE the city. I cannot imagine why anyone would live outside of a city. I know deep down that I'd be completely miserable driving on the highway to visit you and spending half my romantic life outside of the city. So someone an hour away is already crossed off for me.

    To me you would be a lifestyle choice that I made in the opposite direction a long time ago.

    Just my 2 cents.

    Posted by lisa June 25, 09 07:08 PM
  1. I did the online dating thing for almost a year. This woman had quite a few guys not answer my emails, so it is mutual. If they didn't answer, they have no manners, so ignore that. The nice folk who aren't interested will give you a 'thanks, but good luck with your search.'
    An hours drive isn't so bad for a single date, but if you are planning a long-term relationship, it is going to get old, fast. I would have said 'no thanks', myself.
    Make sure that your photos (plural is best) show your face clearly, with a pleasant expression. Dark and brooding is for immature teenage girls who want a vampire.
    And have a female friend or two check for anything that looks 'scary', or which doesn't ring true to who you are (I accidentally had listed that I have dogs).

    Posted by Danskat June 25, 09 08:05 PM
  1. And don't forget this gem from Oscar Wilde:
    "The one charm about marriage is that it makes a life of deception absolutely necessary for both parties."

    Applies to marriage as well as dating. :)

    Posted by The Dude June 25, 09 08:15 PM
  1. To all the guys who think that women get loads of responses when online dating, forget it! ""Given the ratio of women to me, it is the men who get many responses, so do give a female friend a look at your profile. Friends say that I am attractive, I am highly educated and into the arts and exploring, but I hardly ever got responses from men, and if I did, they never sent the second or third note (is it because I am in my early 50's)? Also, follow Meredith's advice to check the spelling in your ad. After all, you used the wrong word in this letter to her, so you might have done the same in your ad. Good luck - being a man is so much easier.

    Posted by aquarius9 June 25, 09 08:19 PM
  1. I have to agree with the women who learned not to respond to emails written by people they weren't interested in. I've done my share of online dating and I've tried many times to politely let someone know I wasn't interested. Many of them would want to know exactly what it was I didn't like about them, then proceed to try to change my mind. If that didn't work they would get mean, rude, insulting, insist something was wrong with me for not being interested in them. Or they would bypass the trying to change my mind and just go right to the insults. Niceguy, try seeing this from the woman's point of view and you'll understand why we choose to simply not reply.

    Come to think of it, in a much nicer way you're saying similar things i.e. "these women aren't acting the way I want so there's something wrong with them". It is that very attitude that is such a turn-off.

    I hope all these comments have been helpful and I do hope you meet your match. Good luck.

    Posted by solvera June 25, 09 09:57 PM
  1. @lisa -- what a sad and shallow comment, really. What it it was an hour on the T? Is that OK because it's still in your precious city? Maybe he works in the city and could easily meet for drinks/dinner. An hour is not a unusual commute. Maybe (gasp) he doesn't make enough money to live in the city or yes, (gasp) he wants to stay in his kid's lives. Maybe if things went well he could move closer.

    No wonder people stay single so long if they are so damn picky. Providence is a city and it's an hour away from Boston on commuter rail. So is Worcester. Go to NYC and you can be "in the city" for an hour, easily.

    My only solace is that there's a woman in a city like NYC, London, San Fran, LA or Tokyo that would look down on you because you live in podunk Boston, which isn't really a "real city" like the one she lives in.

    Posted by O June 25, 09 10:12 PM
  1. lol, too funny.

    did i actually here somebody say don't wink?! jesus woman you take all the fun out of it -.-

    I think the best advice i could offer for dad is. I understand you're "older" and a father of three, but your still a man pursueing a woman. Try being a little younger at heart, it goes along way from my experience ;)

    Posted by Anonymous June 25, 09 10:29 PM
  1. I met alot of great people through meetup.com -- it was fun and much less pressure than internet dating. I also did chemistry.com with good results -- everyone seemed like they were legitimately looking and sincere -- and got engaged to a man from chemistry this spring; we're getting married next year! Yes, we want a nice guy....a good conversationalist with good character, who' s polite, not pushy or needy, honest, human, fallible, and funny. Don't give up!

    Posted by Angela June 25, 09 10:29 PM
  1. I have not used an online service, but I do want to comment on the 1 hour away issue: One hour may be too far away for many. Yes, love has no boundries, but you don't even know the person on the other end, never mind love her, yet. That sounds either desperate or presumptuous, so better have someone check your profile and an initial email. You may be sending out the wrong vibe. A while back I got a new job, I was commuting 180 miles a day. It was a demanding job and demanding commute, I met a very nice man who lived 45 mins in the opposite direction of my commute. I just didn't have any interest in even giving the "relationship" a try. Shortly thereafter, I met a lovely man who just happened to live in the same complex as me, sorry to say, it was pretty convenient, so I gave it a go. Sure glad I did, we've been happily married for 10 yrs.! Keep trying. She's out there either in the virtual scene or live.

    Posted by jj June 25, 09 10:52 PM
  1. So a woman says she wants a nice guy and then women on here say they aren't looking for a nice guy? Am I the only one who thinks this makes no sense and just points out the double talk women seem to do?

    Posted by Tony June 25, 09 10:56 PM
  1. I think the terms "nice guy" and "someone who makes me laugh" are really horrendously vague. You might want to specify YOUR type of humor. And define what makes you a "nice guy." If I were single, I would avoid self-professed "nice guys" because that tells me nothing. Every girl wants a nice guy, but every girl's definition of a nice guy is different. Same for humor. I'm a girl who likes Monty Python. Most women don't. The point is that you have to specify what you find amusing. Only when you are specific will you find what you're looking for.

    Posted by Aviatrix June 25, 09 11:43 PM
  1. My husband and i met due to online dating.

    Firstly, the not replying thing happens ALL THE TIME. Get over it.

    Secondly, if you have misspellings in your email or your profile, that's a huge turn off. It makes you look like you're not trying hard enough.

    Thirdly, you do need to say something that will get a woman's attention. Saying all the boring usual stuff (you like movies? I like movies---duh, everyone does. What's the best movie EVER?)

    Posted by C June 26, 09 12:33 AM
  1. Girls just wanna have fun.

    Single? Employed? Straight? ...you got no problems.

    Posted by Steve L. June 26, 09 07:19 AM
  1. I love this topic! NiceGuy- were you in a relationship for a long time? We are the same age, and I am also divorced, no kids, and personally- I missed out on the whole online dating thing because I was with someone for 12 years. In the old days, I just met people. This online thing perplexes me too, and I've tried a few of the sites-Yahoo, Match, OKCupid, eHarmony, POF, and Lavalife.

    As a woman who often doesn't respond, it's because I'm jaded and cynical- truth be told. I've had guys send me nude pictures, stalk me, reject me because of bizarre reasons (like dating Seinfeld) and so forth. Now I'm back to the try & meet people in person, and actually, kind of giving up????

    Posted by Carlie June 26, 09 08:03 AM
  1. And as a hint to the female posters out there - Please none of the 'make me laugh' or 'long walks on the beach'. I've seen it way too much and it's a tremendous turn off. Guys want a little more out of a relationship than trying to keep you entertained

    Posted by Teddo June 26, 09 08:14 AM
  1. lisa # 194

    Who can turn the world on with her smile?
    Who can take a nothing day,
    and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile?
    Well it's you, girl, and you should know it
    With each glance and every little movement you show it
    Love is all around, no need to waste it
    You can have the town, why don't you take it?
    You're gonna make it after all
    You're gonna make it after all

    Posted by valentino June 26, 09 08:46 AM
  1. Like many others, I agree about the distance thing. YOU may be willing to travel for an hour to date someone, but I most certainly am not, and if I were to start a relationship with a man, it's only natural that eventually I would spend time at his place. I have two daughters and need to be accessible for them from time to time, plus I have my own activities and friends in my area. I don't even bother responding to men who "message" me when I see how far away they are. You should not expect everyone to send a reply message to you, just because you've read their profiles in depth. If I sent a reply to everyone who contacted me on a social website, "just because" they obviously read my profile, I'd never get my laundry done, etc. My advice to you is get busy enjoying your life, volunteer, and meetup.org is a great place just to meet other people in general and have fun, without the pressure of dating. Good luck.

    Posted by Deborah Lerro June 26, 09 08:50 AM
  1. Don't know about online dating so can't offer tips there, but suggest you don't discount singles events. I was skeptical when I accompanied a friend to dances at the Dedham Hilton, I just wanted her to find someone so I didn't have to go anymore (it's awkward, I'm shy). Met this guy there who I may not have even dated if I had initially known he was 6 years younger. He is a "nice guy," we've been married 14 years. My advice is be open, keep trying various methods to meet someone, enjoy yourself, don't appear desperate (the guys who would say to me "please, please call.me"), and look for women locally as well (participate in parent activities at your children's school).

    Posted by Anonymous June 26, 09 09:00 AM
  1. OMG you are a whiner.

    If you ever went to bars, was it the end of the world if a woman you tried to talk to wasn't interested?

    Sounds like you take this rejection personally, and it isn't.

    Sure, many of them don't respond. So what. Get over it. It doesn't matter why they don't respond, they simply didn't. They've indicated they're not the "one" for you. On to the next one.

    If you can't handle rejection, maybe you should just give up.

    Or you could put one foot in front of the other, get past your insecurities, and keep trying.

    Posted by George June 26, 09 09:10 AM
  1. I, too am on a dating web site. I am very honest in describing what I am looking for. I especially DON"T want to remarry. Sure, I'd like a guy to treat me like a queen, but I don't want a doormat. I don't like (and don't have children), so I only want to date older men whose children are grown and gone. Child support/alimony is a drain on his finances and you will always play second fiddle to his kids and God forbid, his ex. No thnks. Poor spelling is also a caveat. Sometimes you are writing so fast you might misspell a word or two, but either use spell check or proofread.
    In the meantime I enjoy the fhe friendship of my male friends and the occasional physical encounter with my housemate. I AM looking for a man who has a great sense of humor, a hobby he is passionate about but is not all encompassing, a high IQ and can beat me at Scrabble once in a while and is a bad boy (not a sadist) in the bedroom. I've had 3 Scorpios (2 studs and a dud-my ex) and one of my platonic male friends is also a Scorpio. Needless to say there are not a lot of men out there who qualify but I'm not in a hurry to meet them. I may be fussy, but life is short and I want to enjoy it to the fullest with someone who feels the same way.

    Posted by Liz54 June 26, 09 09:40 AM
  1. Several years ago I tried online dating and had a blast! Is that how I met my soulmate? No... Would I have dated a divorced guy with 3 kids... H*ll No! Sorry... that's me... but probably a lot of other women around your age feel the same... either they have their own kids or they have none and don't want to deal with someone else's.

    Posted by KimberlyM June 26, 09 10:09 AM
  1. What a whiner! I met my boyfriend on POF. I had my profile set up for 3 days and in those 3 days I received 7 pages of emails from guys. If I sat and responded to each and every one of them I wouldn't be able to do anything else. The term "nice guy" is open to interpretation. Distance is an issue in dating, especially with somebody with three children. The responsibilities of a father can leave precious little free time, adding in a long commute leaves even less time for dating. Rejection happens, it is a numbers game. The website is called Plenty of Fish because it is just that.

    Posted by Lynn June 26, 09 10:14 AM
  1. Hey Niceguy -

    Most women are really only interested in seeing men with no kids that have tons of money and status in society. Sorry it's the way it is. Before that, they are interested in jerks who will treat them terribly in order to upset daddy. Good guys like you get left behind.

    Don't get too frustrated though, there are a few amazing women out there. Too bad we have to sift through all wastes of space to get there.

    Also, if I were NiceGuy, I'd join coed a softball league or something like that. Great way to meet people. Stick with the online thing though. You might find someone just like you who is a great person but just striking out on their luck.

    Posted by Doug June 26, 09 10:22 AM
  1. If you're willing to consider older women, I bet you get more responses. I'm 53 and love things that most men my age won't or can't do: hiking, skiing, backpacking, rollerblading, adventure of almost any kind. Unfortunately, most men are only interested in women who are younger than themselves. Where are the guys who would consider a healthy active older woman?

    Also, guys need to open their sights to women who aren't slim. I'm not talking activity-limiting obese, but just average or a bit above. It means she won't look like a playboy model, but she probably knows a whole lot more about how to make a relationship last than someone who can coast along on looks alone.

    Posted by Peg June 26, 09 10:32 AM
  1. Well, Scituate is only 26 miles from where I live. :) Curiosity just might get the best of me and force me to look you up on POF when I get home this evening... Good Luck to you!!

    Posted by SA June 26, 09 10:37 AM
  1. Yup, good advice here: have a female friend provide feedback on your profile; add information about stuff you like to do besides work; post a couple nice pictures of you smiling; keep plugging away. That said, I kind of have to agree with the points made by the post by beantownbaklava June 25, 09 06:37 PM. While you are articulate and should appeal to women who like a guy who can complete a sentance, your statement "Should it be considered a little flattering if I am reaching out to you despite the fact that I may have to drive an hour to see you" really made me roll my eyes.

    Posted by demaco June 26, 09 10:37 AM
  1. Here are some suggestions:
    1) Take Meredith's advice and have someone critic on your profile
    2) If your strength is "niceness" and want someone who appreciate it, then make it standout in your profile. Don't over do it (that's bragging) but be specific. If you regularly donate time, money, blood, etc, say so. If you belong to any do-good organization, being a coach, or organize or participate in any do-good causes, say so.
    3) Describe hobbies, or anything you are passionate about. This is to show that you are nice but not boring. You never know what draws people's attention. I once had good traction simply because I play a musical instrument a little, while I thought all my other hobbies are more substantial and equally as fun and cool.
    4) Make sure you are not only targeting a certain age group that is too young for kids. Even if they say they don't mind kids, they may do. For the same token, don't take people's words for it when it comes to what they want in an online dating profile. If what people say reflects what they really want, nasty guys/gals would have died off a long time ago.
    5) Don't get frustrated. If you are being yourself, and have present yourself well, not getting a lot of response is actually a good thing. You have done a good job screening out the incompatibles. Good luck.

    Posted by TakesTime June 26, 09 10:51 AM
  1. Niceguy - when I read your two postings I thought, here is a man who has too much going on to be dating. You need to simmer down and spend some time alone as a single person, get to know yourself & enjoy being with yourself and then try the online dating again. Here is a tip: don't call women 'girls', a girl is someone under the age of 18. I sense a lot of passive aggressive unhapiness in your postings. Again, pls simmer down and enjoy the summer in Scituate. Chill...

    Posted by Katherine June 26, 09 11:17 AM
  1. Just to add two more cents (I'm up to 6), I am a divorced dad of two. So yes, a guy with kids and an ex can do *just fine* online. There are plenty of cool, cute single moms in the 30-40 range. I even dated some open-minded non moms.

    And I got far more responses when I put creative and (at least I think) funny stuff on my profile as opposed to the "sincere, decent man looking for someone to grow old with" line.

    The same goes for women too. Extremely cute, young women can say pointless things like "I love to laugh" and "friends and family are important to me", and get away with it. But it's far more interesting to see a women who sounds interesting and fun, than some boring cutey.

    Mainly I'm just saying, being divorced and a parent is not a barrier. And also, unlike in real life, you'll have zero success if you attempt a women even remotely cuter, or fitter than yourself. The numbers just aren't in our favor. Date laterally.

    Posted by mezzb June 26, 09 11:38 AM
  1. Nice is the defualt. *Everyone* should be nice. If that's all you can ask for, or all you can offer, you need to get some interests and some hobbies. My profile--about myself, and about what I'm looking for--is way more specific than "nice." And if all a guy is looking for is a nice, loyal, kind person, he should get a dog--I'll skip right over his profile. Again, this should be a given.

    Women could make the same complaints about men--how they claim they want a nice, drama-free, down-to-earth woman but only go for the drunken, golddigging nutcases. But that would be just as ridiculous as the entitled, whiny rants of these supposed "nice guys." Being nice does not entitle you to a relationship. If it did, every nice *woman* and every nice guy I know would be taken. People are people, and if you want to find someone, you need to offer more than the minimum. I expect everyone to be nice, to be considerate, whatever. Only offering nice? It's like applying for a job and saying, "I shower every day and get to work on time." Complaining that women like jerks and that women aren't falling at your feet despite your niceness comes off as whiny and a turn-off.

    Fact is, all of the frustrations you're running into women are running into as well. Can you kindly not pathologize women? While you're at it, perhaps you can put the chip on your shoulder on the shelf and recognize that everyone (women included) gets dissed and treated shabbily by some idiots. Move on, move up, and get a grip already. Sheesh.

    Posted by PM June 26, 09 12:14 PM
  1. Wow, sorry I missed this yesterday. I haven't the time to go through over 200 responses, but I bet part of your problem is that you are not using realistic search criteria for a potential. So, are you willing to date someone your own age or perhaps a few years older? Someone already with kids? Yes I know we all want what we want but really how may 20 somethings (and some 30 somthings) really want to get involved with a 38 yo man with 3 kids, sorry. I am a 48 yo woman on match.com and I am always surprised by the number of men that are my age or older that won't date a great woman at my age. And most I don't think should be so picky. To me it isn't realistic esp. in this day and age where most women (and men) look and feel younger than there real age. Go back and look at your search criteria and be open minded. But above all don't take any of this personel. You'll save yourself a lot of grief.

    Posted by bereal June 26, 09 01:28 PM
  1. Women who like reindeer are experts on the on-line dating thing. We know that whether freebie or premium members, the sites are a hit or miss for us. Just as women have to kiss a lot of frogs, men have to kiss a lot of toads. But joining the freebies-only make the potential mate look like a cheapskate.

    Yes, e-harmony-dot-lifelong-coma s*cks. I asked for a non-religious, non-hunter with an education. The site sent me hunters and religious freaks who never even read a book, let alone went on to higher education. So much for the sites 10,000-page questionnaire.

    I think it's rude for anyone not to reply. Just say, "thank you for writing, but I don't feel we'd work." If the person persists, then put that person on block and ignore. I disagree with the O/P. It's **not** hard to say that.

    The Captain Crunch thing? Lose it. It wasn't funny 40 years ago, and it's not funny now. Besides, cereal is BORING. Mini-golf? Sorry, Mere - just shoot me. I'd rather sit in an evangelical House of Worship being lectured all day, and I'm a Unitarian. Same with the coed softball. It's true we live in a sports town, but not all of us lean that way.

    Can the “My mom thinks its awesome!” (What are you, nine-years old?) You said another party is reading your dating site posts. I'm thinking that person has Borscht Belt humor. It was funny ... 40 - 50 years ago.

    I too looked for the O/P's profile on Fish, but I don't have val's excellent tracking skills, and couldn't find him. Seemed to be an awful lot of 38-year olds in baseball caps and T-shirts. Frankly, I prefer a T to a button-down-corporate-conformist shirt, but you guys have to lose those “hats.”

    Don't call us “ladies.” This is not the 1950s. Don't call us “girls.” You sound like Fred Mertz.

    I agree that if you want to see someone, you will make time for them. I live in a little corner in the middle of nowhere, and it takes me at least an hour (because I don't have wheels) to get anywhere. On the other hand, that's two more hours (round trip) payment for the babysitter. Men don't pick up half the baby sitter's tab anymore (in my parents' day, the date would pay the entire bill). It means even more time away from my child – surely, as a parent yourself, you can understand this. Don't assume everyone has a car. If you want a woman who has one, state that in your profile. I am car-free by choice, for environmental reasons (but please ... don't compare me to Bleako on that one). It's not easy – but I manage, and the payback is knowing there's a bit less of a carbon footprint here on earth.

    Now spell-check. Taking care to either use the spell-check function, or just learn how to spell, shows respect for yourself, and care for the women with whom you want to communicate. Take the time to proofread if you're serious about meeting someone. You didn't spell-check for LL posts – why would I think you would spell-check your emails? (Not that most of the posters here are spelling experts ... .) And you didn't spell-check your posts, why?

    I wish “nice” went further than it does. But that's not realistic. Just the other day I saw a craigslist post by a “nice” man, 33, about 450 pounds, with a double-chin hanging down to his waist. He was looking for a “PYT” of 18 – 23. Be realistic, guys. You have to meet us halfway in interests. I'll snooze through your co-ed softball game (if I don't hang myself first) if you'll drag yourself to my museum show.

    Follow the advice from others here – interests! Interests! Interests! For example, I had to put it in two direct simple words a few years back: Man Ray. I said music, they thought Golden Oldies. I said leather, they thought sofas (when what I meant was an alt lifestyle – btw, that's what OKC is for, not for the white-breads amongst you).

    I dig kids. I have one. I love them. Find a woman who digs kids as much as you do. Believe me, there are many women my age who would love to have more children, and would sooooo dig being part of a ready-made family.

    And remember – you 30-somethings have it a lot easier than did my generation. We had to sift through those creepy ads in the back of certain weekly newspapers, and wait ... and wait ... for the snail-mail to arrive.

    There was a Jean Rhys book, “Tigers are Better Looking.” Reindeer are better looking than so many men on the Internet sites. Still, I'll take a human male over a reindeer male, any day.

    Good luck. She's out there.

    Posted by reindeergirl June 26, 09 09:07 PM
  1. OK, I just threw together a profile on PoF so I could do an advanced search for 38-year-old men from Scituate, with children. None of those men can spell, and all of them wear baseball caps. None of them earned an undergrad degree. However, in their favor, they have lovely smiles, gorgeous eyes and seem really, really to dig the family thing. If someone's working in a good career like our O/P (and therefore probably has the funds to do so, or works for a company that will do tuition for him), I don't see why he wouldn't want to complete his education.

    I didn't like the survey. Some out-of-work social psychology major designed it, maybe?

    Posted by reindeergirl June 26, 09 10:01 PM
  1. "First off, I know the too far away is typically a nice way to say, not interested. "

    Well, in the world of on-line and dating clubs the term GU (geographically undesirable) is used. Distance is an issue, even if you may be a great person on paper. Sure, love should know no boundries BUT that's easier when you already have a relationship with someone. Even then, so many long distance relationships don't work out. It's just tougher.

    In a first response to an ad be brief and friendly. On a date is when you can then talk about profiles and such. You have to leave something to discuss.

    Next, what age group and life situations are you targeting? Are you responding to other 30 and 40-something moms or going after younger women with no kids? Another parent might connect with you easier than a never married young woman.

    Posted by ReadingRocket June 26, 09 11:48 PM
  1. I have now communicated with the L/W, and I have to say, I am ready to eat a large slice of humble pie. He IS a nice guy (and cute, too!). Honest, sincere and endearing. Any woman worth her salt would want him. But she'd best have a heart of gold, because I have decided to watch his back. I don't want any -itches on him. He's a good man, the L/W. I'm sorry for being so hard-*ssed about spell-check, and I wish him the best. If I were 10, or even 5, years younger, I'd be interested, but I like 'em 5 years on either side of my age. I wish him the best. I hope you all do, too.

    Posted by reindeergirl June 27, 09 05:59 PM
  1. wat up wit all the capatin crunch haters???
    luv that stuff

    Posted by mike in salem June 28, 09 07:29 AM
  1. Online is all about tiny pictures and quality. How do we really get a sense of the person - that magical chemistry? And, aren't alphaero pheromones supposed to play a major role in the selection process. Just google "vomeronasal" and a whole new side of attraction that the web can never duplicate appears.

    Posted by Jason June 28, 09 11:34 PM
  1. Dear niceguy,
    I think you're mad brave to put yourself out there, and have over two hundred people critique and offer advice. To those who have said you're overly sensitive, I think someone who puts themselves out there is willing to undergo a little pain.

    Here is some friendly, and well earned advice:
    1/ Looking for a relationship is like trying to hook a fish. You need to have a lot of bait, or "hooks" that will get someone interested. You have limited space in your profile- don't waste it all on talking about how devoted and faithful you are. You may see having three kids as a downside, but for some women it is actually a plus. If they have children of their own, they will be much less worried that you will reject them. It also indicates that you are a stable sort of person that won't make big geographical moves and has responsibilities. As long as you indicate that you are truly over, and not bitter about your divorce, I think that goes a long way toward covering your situation.

    As for the rest of it, you should absolutely load your profile with interesting things about yourself. Give yourself one point if they indicate diversity of interests; two if they're not shared by a majority, or even a few, other posters. You need to show why dating you is different that every other human being is out there. If there is one thing that women really want, it is someone who is really unique, and think that dating them is going to be a bit of an adventure. In short, you actually want to counter the family man image enough so that people don't see you as plodding and dull. One of the things that really attracts women is the feeling that this person is the gateway into a new world- you'll do, see, and have experiences that you wouldn't otherwise have had, or at least get time to spend with someone who has interests and drives of their own. Really secure, attractive women don't want someone who is extremely dependent upon them for a social life and shared activities.

    You really do sound like such a sweet guy. I know that women here have said that they don't like men with kids, but some women are actually attracted to that- single mothers complain that single dads with kids are nowhere like as burdened as them in the dating market, all the time. That's why its really wonderful to reach out to others in your situation. If mothers are going through a tough time dating, I'm sure that many will really appreciate your situation, and have similar struggles and schedules.

    But don't forget: to hook the fish, load those lines with bait of all kinds. So again, tons of interests, hobbies, books, music, whatever- and all as unusual as you can make it, although not so much that you become an aberrant freak or plain weird. Keep it real, and keep it genuine, and it will work. And the cool, casual one liner is enough- if she likes you, she'll respond- even if its after a week or two. Don't message her again and again, as others have already said. It will alarm her.

    Good luck finding your sweetie.

    Posted by chickadeessofree June 29, 09 10:04 PM
  1. To Nice Guy,
    First don't take any advice from women, women don't know what they want - they will make rules then break them all when they find a man they like. And the woman giving you advice will be telling you what 'she' wants, which is different from everyone else.
    If you want advice to attract women, go get it from a man who is good at attracting women. Simple.
    As far as bad spelling goes, it is unacceptable. Write in Word, spellcheck, then paste into your emails.
    Internet dating is unsuccessful for most people, and obviously it is full of people who fail at getting a date elsewhere so the quality will be lower. Only use it as an extension to your real-life dating. Internet dating is a numbers game so don't spend a lot of time or expect any good result, just email as many as you can... or better yet drop the whole thing.

    Posted by Max June 29, 09 11:07 PM
  1. NG, I'm not an expert on this but here are my thoughts
    First, the mentality. Lets think about what group of people uses online dating. People like you who has very little time to go out? People who are in a certain age group and most of their friends are married with children, therefore their social network shrunk and they do not have the necessary social skills to meet people on their own? How about people who blindly set up standard (mostly physical standard) and just refuse to meet any body who don't fit that standard? So, busy people will not have the time to sit there and reply to every single email that comes through. People who lack social skills will not have the social skills online either, they probably do not know how to start and carry on a nice conversation if your email is not interesting enough or talk about any topic they can relate to. To get to the People who has a certain standard ? You probably should take Meredith's advice, polish your profile. Yes, it is a resume and you need to make it marketable. My question is, do you need to include every little detail of your self there? You having 3 kids may turn off some women right away and these women may love kids but thinking you won't have enough time for them because of the kids and immediately shut you down and you loose the opporturnity to tell them you have the time for them. I am not suggesting that you lie about it, but do you need to include that on you resume/profile, not telling is not lying right? People do not disclose the reseaon of termination on their resume right? They would disclose it once they scored an interview and would talk about it during the interveiw. So, as long as you disclose it on your first date, or when you feel comfortable to tell after a few interested emails, I don't see any wrong doing in this. The purpose of your profile is help you to the opportunity to charm that woman in person.
    Yes, we, women like nice guys.. but I do think that "nice" is very geneneral and broad, women who say that probably don't know the specific qualities they are looking for in a man, therefore, they say they want a "nice guy". So, you need to be specific and narrow describing your qualities , this will help them to get to know you better.
    Don't be frustrated, be real and open minded, she is out there... it takes time to find the right person. Good Luck!!

    Posted by just a thought July 2, 09 03:05 PM
  1. I belong to match.com and I responded to emails as not interested (in order to not be rude!) and in return I received very RUDE and nasty comments such as this: "MY mistake..i forgot you smoke", "wow- and I was lowering my standards" and "just a tip but maybe you should by a new car so you can drive farther than the 30 mile requirement you have" !!!! so.. sometimes it's just better not to respond and move on.

    Posted by chris July 30, 09 07:34 AM
  1. I'm having a hard time with this online dating too. I am finding that the men are all telling me how cute and sexy I am. Who cares! I don't want someone who is going to tell me what THEY think I want to hear. I don't think my expectations are too much. Compatibility, mutual attraction. If I had to give you advice..I'd say put something in your profile that stands out because 90% of the profiles all say the same thing. How about meet me on the patio for a glass of wine. Now that would get my attention...

    Posted by CB August 11, 09 10:03 PM
ABOUT LOVE LETTERS: Welcome to Love Letters, the place for love advice (giving and getting). Globe relationship columnist Meredith Goldstein and Boston.com readers are ready to take your letters and tell you what's what. Have a question? Click here to submit or email us at loveletters@boston.com.
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Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.

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