approaching a woman

My online dating experience started with Tinder. Then I tried Whisper and Zoosk, Match and OKCupid, POF and even one dedicated to men and women looking for something a little… kinkier in the bedroom. You know what I learned? People are all the same when it comes to dating apps – they all behave the same way, especially men. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, at least men are consistent, but it’s not exactly conducive to me wanting to connect with them online, much less in person.

The basic rules of dating still apply even if you’re only talking to someone online. How you treat a woman through a dating site is how they’ll assume you’d treat them in real life. So if your goal is to show that the only thing you’re interested in is getting laid, you’re far less likely to get what you want than if you at least pretend you’re a gentleman who sees a woman as more than your next sexual conquest. So here are some of the things men shouldn’t do when approaching a woman on online dating sites and apps.

1. Using rude language

Do not, no matter how cute you think you are, refer to a woman as a “F**k toy” especially as you’re greeting. Boy, who the hell do you think you are?! Do you not have a mother? A sister? How would you feel if your mother told you some guy called her a F**k toy? At least attempt to be respectful.

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If you wouldn’t say it in person, it is probably not a good idea to say it in a text “I would totally f**k you” is not a compliment. In fact it’s the exact opposite, what you’re saying is “I’d f**ck you but I probably wouldn’t bring you home to mom.” It’s hurtful to know that you think we’re good looking enough to have sex with, not obviously not good looking enough to have a relationship with. If all you want is a quick bang I know a few women I can put you in touch with…sadly this is where we part ways however.

2. Acting clingy

A few days before writing this I met a man via dating app. I gave him my number and we started chatting. He seemed nice enough, until the texts would not stop – like at all. Between 2am and 7pm four days after meeting him he’d sent me about 200 text messages to my 100 or so. Most of them were him whining about how I wasn’t responding fast enough, or how he felt like I was ignoring him. The truth is that I was busy with family stuff, and you know… my life. Guys, you hate it when women get clingy and so do we, especially if we haven’t even met you yet.

3. Overdoing it

Charm only goes so far. Most women on reputable dating sites are looking for something real and lasting, so if you’ve got the charm we can not only tell when and if you’re laying it on thick, but we’re laughing at you and we’re not apologising for that.

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4. Being inconsiderate

There actually is a difference between girls and women and we’d appreciate it if you’d pay attention to it. Man, I am over 30, I haven’t been a girl since I was sixteen. The fact that you calling me a girl minimises all I’ve been through at my age. I am a woman: mature, strong and smart and I have a world of experience that you know nothing about. Show some respect when speaking to us please, no one likes seeing “Hey girl” ever.

5. Requesting nude photos

Nude photos should be reserved for the man who puts a ring on the damn finger. The guy who’s wiped our tears and hugged us when we’re sad. The man who has been there through thick and thin no matter what we say or do he’s there – so yeah, he gets a teasing shot. You? You do not get nude photos after five seconds of meeting me. It’s not only a turn off, it’s a warning sign. What are you doing with those photos? Are you sharing them? Spreading them around? Saving them for when I become famous so you can sell them around for cash? Hell no, I’m good, thanks. Some of us still believe in the fantasy of keeping our nude selves to… you know, ourselves.

6. Making it hard to get to know them

If I’m asking you more questions about you than you’re asking about me, you are not only making me work too hard to get to know you, but I am also wondering what it is that you are hiding from me. I don’t need to know all your secrets, but the harder you make it for us to connect, the less we are interested.

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7. Ghosting

Please respect my time and effort. As much as we loath it when you text over and over and over and over, we also want to know that we’re not wasting our time. If we set a time to meet up, don’t ghost. It’s frustrating for all parties – you don’t want to spend time with me? That’s totally awesome, I’ll find someone else, but at least have the decency to let me know you aren’t going to show up.

I don’t know about you, but I’m recognising that dating can be like shooting fish in a barrel. I know it is hard to find the right person online, but it doesn’t mean that I can’t try and have fun while I wait right?

Did we miss some other things that men get wrong when approaching a woman online? Let us know in the comments below!

Devon is a survivor of abuse. She's one of the founders of The Literary Sisterhood and she believes that magic is possible. She also believes in fairies, gnomes, and spends far too many hours talking to the voices in her head while writing her debut novel.

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