Do's and Don'ts of Online Dating: An Open Letter from Women to Men

06/08/2010 12:39 pm ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Statistics show there's a 1 in 33.33 chance an adult will meet his or her partner on an online dating site. In an effort to increase these odds (and remove some of the guesswork for guys), the Dating Without Drama community of women has come together to compose an open letter to men looking to meet a woman online.

We hope it helps.

Dear Men,

Online dating can be daunting. We get it. But we really do want to meet and get to know you. So here are some tips to help you get -- and keep -- our attention:


  • DO Use proper spelling, grammar and punctuation. - Danni
  • DO say something about yourself. It makes it impossible to write to you if all you have is a list saying you're "kind, fun, nice, and want a girl who is attractive and easy-going." You and everyone else in the world.
  • DON'T air your grievances with women on your profile. Yes, some women are emotionally unbalanced, and some men are over-sexed pervs. But I'm not gonna call attention to that in an email I write to them! - tinydancer2009
  • DON'T select "it's complicated" as a status. Why would I consider meeting a man who is in a situation he can't end? -EJ


  • Although your mom thinks you are great, DON'T include a photo of you and her. Sweet and endearing as it may appear, it is such a turn off.
  • DON'T post a photo of you on the beach in a Speedo, legs cocked wide open. - EJ
  • Photos that DON'T impress women include: you and your car, you wedged in between two scantily clad women, you and your ex (even if you think you've cleverly cut her out of the photo). -Blossom
  • DON'T post pictures with children who aren't yours. It's just confusing.
  • DON'T post more than one shot of yourself with a drink in your hand. If you're not doing anything more with your life than drinking, you're not for me. -tufkagk
  • DON'T post webcam photos. A dark picture of you, wearing a gray hoodie scowling at the camera is only going to make me think you are some creep-o unibomber who watches porn at two o'clock in the morning. -tinydancer2009
  • DON'T send me pics of your penis. Just don't. - Danni


  • No, we DON'T want to come over to your place on the first date for a "sexy massage." -thetababe
  • If you're nervous, DO say so. It's charming and immediately breaks the ice. I probably am also.
  • DO look into my eyes, but DON'T stare into them as though yours are laser beams. Just make eye contact so I know you're listening to me. -Kat60
  • DON'T keep talking about how much money you make and how expensive your car is.
  • DON'T talk about your ex on the first date. Or at least don't go on and on about her. Or at the very least try not to cry. - Je ne sais quoi
  • I DON'T need to hear about the girl in high school who broke your heart and made you scorn all women from then on. You're 35, get over it. I don't need to hear about how you have no game and no one will date you. Feign some confidence. - tinydancer2009
  • DON'T gush about love and wanting to get married and have kids during the early dating stages. It is not the new pick-up line and it freaks us out too. Walk the walk. -Toughcookiegirl


  • DON'T come on super strong and then back off. Women crave safety, stability and consistency from their man. When you act like you can offer this, and then suddenly take it away, it can be really heart-wrenching for a woman who was feeling like she could count on you. Take it slow and don't let your lust and raging hormones dictate your actions. Exercise some restraint so that you don't always come charging in like a bull in a china shop and make every new relationship run full speed into a wall. - tinydancer2009

To sum up, EJ said it best with: "I am not seeking a perfect man; I am seeking a man who respects himself enough to project the respect he has for himself. Drop the drama, find out who you are and what qualities make you a great catch, and present them to [us]."

Thanks and see you online.


P.S. Ladies: join the conversation in the dating forum - and get helpful relationship advice for women - on my site!