In my nearly 10 years as an online dating coach, I've personally witnessed the positive and negative attitudes towards the online dating shift so it was no surprise for me to read in the Pew Study (which was released today) that 42 percent of all Americans know an online dater. Back when my husband and I met online over a decade ago, we hid the truth of how we came together, but in recent years more couples are not only meeting online, they're also unafraid to tell their friends about how they met.
In a time when 59 percent of internet users say that online dating is a good way to meet people, it's no shock that clients who once turned up their nose at internet dating are now agreeing with my view that online dating is the one most powerful tool in your dating toolbox. But just because everbody's "doing it" doesn't mean that everyone is successful at it. For example, when I host a co-ed bootcamp or seminar, the enrollment is usually about 75 percent women who are always eager to improve their approach. The most common complaint I hear from women is that they can't seem to make it past the first date while the men who attend my dating coaching programs report having trouble getting to the first date at all. This tells us that the most men are doing something that essentially scares off women before they even had a chance to say "boo" yet they are less likely to do anything about it.
Here's why men fail at online dating -- and what they can do to turn their rejection around:
1. Men Need Help -- According to the Pew Study, 30 percent of women have asked someone else to help write or review their dating profile compared with just 16 percent of men. The fear of looking unstud-like has kept men in the dark about how what they write is perceived by the women who will be reading about them. So while women are taking workshops, testing different photos, and re-working sentence structures with coaches, friends, and family, men remain in the dark.
2. Male Minimalism Doesn't Make an Impact -- "Hey Giiiirllll, you look good," may work in the club, but in the land of online dating such mindless messages fall upon deaf ears, making their way right to the trash folder. In an ongoing experiment that we are conducting at Dear Mrs D, Inc., we found that the majority of messages from men came in either empty or with a boring subject line like "Hi." Taking the time to create a more intriguing message helps men stand out immediately.
3. Men Lie Big in Dating Profiles -- A 2011 online dating survey revealed that men out-lie women in most categories including height, income and, somewhat surprisingly, age. Nearly 1/3 of men fudged their birth year as compared with just 17 percent of women. An untruthful profile is non-negotiable for those seeking a long-term relationship.
4. Men Need Competition -- Since most online sites don't show who your competition is and because the risk level of sending an email is lower than an approach at a bar, men tend to all make the same play for the foxiest female on the site. While women tend to judge men on a variety of factors including humor, stability, and intellect without dwelling on the pictures, men get caught up in looks and measurements.
But all is not lost for men who online date. New tools, features, and apps are making online dating easier and safer than ever for both genders. With a little bit of help and lot more attention to detail, men will soon be able to catch up with women and we'll see a shift from the current 66 percent of online daters who have snagged a date on online, to every virtual connection becoming a real one..
This article originally appeared on DearMrsD.com, the leading dating strategy company in the U.S.