The 5 Online Daters You Should Avoid

With both personal and professional involvement in online dating, I have come to realize that while it can be highly rewarding, it can also be highly frustrating. The most common feedback from successful PlentyOfFish couples (as well as my own observations) is that when it comes to online dating, you get what you give.

That said, there’s a shortcut to navigating the time wasters from those who are actually worth your valuable time and effort. It all comes down to some very simple, very common traits that we see online everyday! To save yourself from endless profiles to pick through each day, here are the top 5 online daters you should avoid:

1) The Negative Nancy

Modus operandi: The person who has all the negative things to say in their profile. They have a laundry list of things wrong with online dating or the idea of how online dating should work. They have a wishlist of their perfect match and will always list it in point form on their profile. They will always state in their profiles “I’m not here for hook ups”, “Don’t message me if”… No matter all your redeeming qualities if you’re a tad on the flirty side and you’re not out to get married tomorrow, don’t have a beard, tattoos and a motorcycle you’re OUT. No if’s, ands or buts.

Why you should avoid them: They will bring you down. Online dating is hard enough as it is without having a pessimist in your midst. Trying to live up to their 500 deal breakers / makers listed in their profile is frustrating at best. While I strongly agree that intentions should be clear, a profile is supposed to put your best (positive) foot forward. Decision making to carry on a conversation or to perhaps meet should come at a later time.

2) Spammy Steven

Modus operandi: The person you know has sent you the same thing he’s sent to about 500 other people..and you know it. The classic spammy message that is obviously just bait.

Why you should avoid them: I always say “Quality over quantity”. A spammy steven has definitely not read your profile and is just pulling generics out of the air. This is not only annoying, it’s discouraging as well. Throwing out lines in hopes to catch something is like picking low hanging fruit and it shows they aren’t necessarily trying to put in any effort. What does that say if you’re trying to find prince charming? Creativity in a first message is the make or break, your first impression! Make it count.

3) Persistent Pablo

Modus operandi: Messages you over and over and over again, most of the time it’s with the same line they used 2 weeks ago (do they not realize you can see the conversation thread?). You’ve ignored them or declined their invitation to chat once and here they are again. Often linked with a spammy steven, they have definitely not read your profile.

Why you should avoid them: Hello, future restraining order. If you have politely declined them, then that should be enough.

4) Boring Beth

Modus operandi: The person who has nothing interesting to say but keeps responding to your messages with one or two words max. Riveting stuff.

Why you should avoid them: You can’t be the only person initiating conversation, if they have nothing to bring to the table, they can eat alone. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they are boring but it definitely doesn’t make them interesting, either. If they aren’t asking about your interests or have nothing to contribute to the conversation other than your regular “YES, NO” they probably aren’t that interested and you should probably move onto the next.

5) Phone Number Phil

Modus operandi: The person who gives you theirs or asks for your phone number on the first message without really conversing with you first. “I’m not on here much, call me at….”

Why you should avoid them: They are probably nuts or have a serious inappropriate picture collection / porn site subscription they wish to share with you. People often forget about the safety tips that should go along when online dating including not sending out your phone number to EVERY person you think is attractive. Consider using alternative options like a voice chat feature if you’re really interested in hearing their voice.

7 Reasons Why Being Single On New Year’s Eve is Awesome

Now that the Christmas season is coming to a close, the excitement of New Year’s Eve and all the New Year’s resolutions I plan to stick to for a whole 2 weeks are just around the corner. Since it seems that everyone I know is partnered up, I find myself asking my friends, “What are you and (insert boyfriend/girlfriends names here) doing for New Year’s Eve?” and find myself reminded that I am still without a significant other. So that’s when I decided to stop looking at New Year’s Eve as a reminder that I won’t be kissing anyone. This year, I am doing something different, and that is focusing on the positive. So for all of those who are racing the clock to find that person you want to spend your New Year’s Eve with, I decided I’m going to embrace going at it alone. For this reason I have come up with 7 FABULOUS reasons why being single on New Year’s Eve is awesome!

1. Your cost is cut in half

Whether it be splitting the bill with your partner (and let’s face it, your friends too) for drinks, the event venue ticket cost and all that comes with the prep work of looking so fly on NYE, you’re gonna need at least 2 bank accounts, plus a dipping into your savings and/or credit cards (especially since you just drained that on all those presents for Christmas). Going Solo you only have to worry about numero Uno! You can spend as much or as little as you wish and you don’t have to worry about shelling out for your significant other, this includes if you’re from the suburbs heading to the downtown location the cost of hotels, not too mention the CAB RIDE. That means drinks for one at the venue (but all the pre-drinking galore back at the house) to the over priced one time wear dress, let’s face it with all the cash you’re forking out this Holiday season you could have bought an all inclusive to Mexico to ring in the new year with Jose delivering you Margarita’s poolside. Hey, that’s not such a bad idea.

2. Are you done yet?

My biggest pet peeve in this life is having to wait for other people, especially when on the party scene. When my social meter has expired, when I want to leave, I want to leave 20 minutes ago. I don’t want to sit and wait while you say goodbye and have just one more drink with your buddy. Now is NOT the time to rehash 10 years ago and definitely not the time to break out in the singing of Oasis at the pizza joint after spot. I couldn’t care less, and this cab is trying to go. Let’s face it, we’ve all been with or had that one partner that just can’t call it a night, once the party gets started they are on a ROLL. And there’s nothing more of an evening spoiler than having someone practically dragging you by the ear to go home when you’re just getting started.

3. No party obligations, no problem

My family has a tradition of throwing an epic house party. Every. Single. New Year’s Eve. It’s fine for me, I could hang out with that bunch everyday. My significant other (imaginary at the moment) may not. Now, if I had a boyfriend, I would want to spend it with them and they might have party plans with friends or may not be so fond of playing beer pong with my family considering we just had to spend 3 days of Christmas family gatherings shuttling back and forth between places. And I might not be so fond of getting dressed to the nines on a night that I feel is over rated at the most to be in a crowded venue packed with too many people and over priced drinks with people I may not particularly care for. Being in a relationship and spending it together on New Year’s means there’s definitely some compromise happening at some point for this evening. Being single, I’m obligated to make one person happy and that’s me. No compromise necessary. You can go to as many parties as you want, get as drunk as you want (within responsible reason of course) and do whatever you want! The sky is the limit.

4. Avoid the DRAMA

We’ve all seen that one couple that decides that THIS IS THE MOMENT to discuss every last issue of their relationship when liquor is running it’s course through their bodies, emotions are suddenly in high gear and inhibitions are set loose. Tears, yelling, mascara in business for itself, and that one sly comment that just sets the other person OFF. It’s either been you or been a couple you know. Yeah no thanks. That won’t be me this year, another year drama free! Cheers!

5. #thatkisstho

SO what you don’t have anyone to kiss at the big moment? That’s the BEST PART of being single. You aren’t obligated to kiss anyone! See that cute guy from accounting over yonder who is there with some of his friends? NOW is the time to sneak in the casual (yet slightly awkward) New Years kiss and this just in…..IT DOESN’T MEAN A THING.

6. No really, are you done yet?

Ever had the partner who partied a little TOO hard and ended up being carried home? LOL NOT THIS YEAR. You don’t have to leave the party because your partner got carried away, you can save your embarrassed apologies for their behavior another day another relationship another year because this year, You’re SOLO. If you’re apologizing for anyone’s embarrassing behavior it’s your own.

7. You may meet the person of your dreams!

You never know who you will meet in this life, especially when you’re looking so on point. Let’s face it, you’ve spent quite a bit of money to get to this event and although, it’s always nice to impress your partner with how stunning you can look (as opposed to the sweatpants you rock 90% of the time), Imagine meeting someone for the first time on New Year’s and they not only look amazing but you’re ringing in the New Year getting to know someone new and perhaps you may even be able to sneak in that New Year’s Kiss I was talking about. I always believe that love can happen anytime, anywhere but to meet your future significant other on New Year’s Eve is best done when single 😉

What do you like about being single on New Year’s Eve? All the best in 2015!

Online Dating Red Flags: From A Dating Site Employee

When it comes to online dating, nobody really has a step by step playbook on what to expect, not even me! The internet has gone ahead and kicked it up a notch by granting us complete anonymity behind screen names and Instagram filters. Even as a dating site employee, I can admit that more than once I’ve been disappointed after meeting someone who turned out to drink and womanize like Tyrion Lannister. But no more!

As someone who sees the ins and outs of online dating on the daily, believe me when I say, not all dates have been or will be bad. From practice, I’ve come to recognize the red flags I was missing by being too blinded by excitement or who I wanted my date to be. So at my expense, save yourself the wasted time and effort, and pay close attention to the most common (and most serious) online dating red flags.

1. Bringing up an ex repeatedly in conversation

There is absolutely no reason in the world that a guy you are talking to online should be giving you a play by play, sorting out the pots and pans of their previous relationship (she was boring / he was unmotivated, he cheated / she was lazy etc). If they are constantly speaking; ill or otherwise about their ex, they are looking for a therapist. Not a relationship. Every ex of their’s was crazy? Uh huh, onto the next.

2. Their Longest relationship is a year or less and they are in their mid-30’s

Now I’m a big advocate of not wasting time on losers or people who do you no good. Cutting ties to those who cause you hurt is best done sooner rather than later. However, everyone has had one relationship that has lasted over a year, whether it be dysfunctional or the best one of your life, as much as we hate to admit it to ourselves (or others). If you are looking for a serious relationship and are speaking with mid 30 year olds who have not had a relationship longer than a year, it’s time to reconsider how seriously relationship oriented this person is or will be. Will this person be someone to bring home to family dinners? Most likely no. Some of our best relationship lessons are learned early on, if someone hasn’t experienced those ups and those downs, this might not end well.

3. Out of a recent relationship (within first couple of months)

I once struck up an online convo with a guy who’d ended his relationship. THAT WEEK. Now, I’m not one to judge, but if you and your ex broke up last Saturday, you’re more than likely looking for a rebound come the next Friday and can stay out of my lane. If their relationship was +2 years and they’re on a dating website in less than 3 months since the time of break-up, more than likely buddy over there is still dealing with yesterday’s news. Later for that noise.

4. No real profession

All too many times I see guys list their profession as “Got one” or “A good job”. If you can’t at least provide a vague FIELD of what your profession is, chances are you do not “got one”. What are you, a spy? I’m not asking for a detailed description of your daily activities but if I’m gabbing with my girlfriends over a bottle of wine and can’t definitively say what you do, we won’t be meeting anytime soon. I don’t know about you, but I don’t necessarily look for a partner who doesn’t take some sort of pride in at least mentioning what they do for a living.

5. Lavish lifestyle photos (most commonly associated with vague Profession)

Hi, my name is red flag. The idea behind posting pictures is to put your best food forward, showcasing your interests and hobbies. Guys with only images of themselves in the VIP section of the club surrounded with bottles or selfies with that expensive watch in their luxury vehicle scream someone who has something to prove. Those who have money are subtle about it. It’s great to see someone has worked hard for their things but, I question what type of intent this person has. We get it already, you’re into making money. You and the rest of the world.

What are your online dating red flags? Leave them in the comments below!

5 Reasons You Should Date Your Friend

I was recently out on the town beyond reasonable hours with a few drinks coursing through me, and a group of friends in tow. I found myself stumbling down the cobblestone streets and chatting with a friend of mine about our recent dating traumas. Now for the sake of short stories, I have known this friend for about 3 years. Strictly friends, I long ago placed him in the friend-zone  to continue on my journey of  horrible dating decisions. I value this person very much, and besides, he is completely opposite for what I am attracted to. However, it suddenly occurred to me that I had been looking for love everywhere besides the most obvious place; within my broad circle of friends (okay, so that’s probably the alcohol talking me into a serious case of the feels).  I began to contemplate this for far longer than I regularly would if not assisted by the likes of Jose Cuervo, and came up with 5 reasons why you should consider dating your friend (or at least put them in the running):

1. You’re already friends

You’ve been friends for how long now? If you can hang out just the two of you without the heavy intervention of alcohol or debating,  you are ready for them to see you in your Sunday sweats. If you can call them up for some serious perspective or would consider introducing to your single friends, why not consider them for yourself first? You’re single, they’re single, you have a lot of interests in common. Perfect start!

2. You can be yourself

You can eliminate that awkward dating phase! You have shown them your sweet beat boxing skills and you know about their secret talent; armpit farts. You can be yourselves without the fear of the first date faux pas. They have seen you after a few too many and may have even helped you get into bed (we’ve all been there) or they know how you hate being called “cute”. This is a person you can forget inhibitions with and a definite PLUS in the dating direction.

3. You know each other’s expectations

You have had conversations with this person about your at the time fling or previous partners. You compare dating notes and awkward stories from Tinder. Or laugh about how you were deemed matches on the same dating site you’re both on (hint hint). The lines of communications are clearer about what it is that you are expecting in a relationship short or long term. You feel confident that you are both on the same page. Time to edge out of the friend-zone. You may think they “ aren’t your type” but life is a real jokester like that.

4. You don’t have to guess their motives or intentions

Maybe you’ve hooked up before, maybe you haven’t. If one overly drunken and heavily flirtatious evening turns into waking up with a pounding headache and they have already taken the liberty to prepare the coffee, you should consider marrying this person. The fact that your friendship doesn’t skip a beat and you can hang out like it didn’t even happen, is GREAT. If you haven’t yet taken the car for a test drive, you at least have seen their dating history profile at a glance and can confirm that although like yourself they make bad decisions and have terrible taste at times (you saw their last ex and, puh-lease). You can at least put the “what are they looking for from me” to rest. You have established a friendship already, this is the foundation and good start to any lasting relationship. There’s no doubt in their motives as you have already had the expectations briefing (see #3 for a recap). The need to play games drastically decreases.

5. Your friends already approve

No doubt you will have mutual friends that will either say things like “I can’t believe it” or “I knew it!” and everything in between. You can skip introducing your friends to your new boo and setting your partner up for the friendsterrogation. They already know your friend turned lover. They will most definitely approve (perhaps after they get over the shock). This greatly decreases pressure both on your and your new partner as you aren’t having to play lawyer (honey, you don’t have to answer that). I’m not saying to run out and date your closest friend. In some cases, it doesn’t always work out, and that’s something you will have to take into consideration before making the jump from friends to more than friends. But if you find that you have searched under every rock of all 7 kingdoms, and no gold and treasure has been found; perhaps try closing the net on your search and you may be surprised what you seek isn’t always hidden. Sometimes it really is closer than you think.

10 Online Dating Messages You’re Sending That Won’t Get Replies

First impressions are everything, especially on the internet. And after working for the world’s largest dating site for over 4 years, I’ve often received feedback from users finding it difficult to connect with someone ( everything in due time!)

For instance, Men will often send out a ton of messages on PlentyOfFish and find themselves coming up short in the reply department. Women on the other hand  are most often not sending enough (or any) messages, because they’re too busy waiting to be wooed. The truth is, they’re both failing miserably for a reason.

Here’s where I come in with years of behind the scenes pro tips to help you put your best foot forward when it comes to first impressions in the online dating world. Because sending that first message to another user can mean the difference between an amazing new romance, or a Friday night in with Ben and Jerry.

As a jumping off point, I have compiled the 10 messages that guarantee you WON’T get a reply.

1) “What’s up cutie ; ) what you up to ? We should chat sometime hmu. “

I can’t begin to express how frustrating it is to not only be called “cutie” (I am a GROWN WOMAN) by a total stranger but to throw in a “we should chat sometime HMU”. This is first message suicide. I’m pretty sure this has been sent to about 100 other users in hopes they will “hit you up”. If you were really interesting in chatting and getting to know someone, you’re going to need to put down more than a sentence. Give me something to work with. Mention an interest listed on my profile, or something we could converse about, otherwise it’s going to go to nowheresville, fast.

2) “Hello how are you my name is (insert name here) and I’m single and i’m trying to find my life long love.”

So you mean this isn’t a site for tips on growing better potatoes? In most cases with a message like this, the person means well. However, announcing your single status is useless here. Scale it back on the life long love stuff because let’s face it, I’m probably checking my Tinder profile after this.

For the record, if a profile intent is geared more towards Casual Dating/No Commitment, chances are you’ve lost them already – so read the profile and gauge what kind of relationship they’re looking for first. Take it SLOW. Also, check your grammar and spelling. Many people are huge sticklers for those details.

3) “HOLA BONITA HOW ARE U I JUST WANTED 2 SHOWCASE MY INTEREST IN YER BEAUTY…”

Okay whoa. On the internet, if you’re using Caps Lock, you’d better be Kanye West, or 90 years old. Otherwise, you’re screaming at me. Please refrain. Good try on the Spanish though!

4)“Hi how’s it going? I was just viewing your profile, and I’ll love you know more about you.”

Great start! This probably would receive a response if you’d included a thing or two included in my profile, in that “About Me” section we all grudgingly fill out. Was it my selfies? Was it something you related to? If you’re viewing my profile and would love to know more, mention something you noticed about me, or ask a question to learn more.

5) “Just came across your profile randomly. You seem like an interesting person? You are attractive. Would you like to chat?”

This isn’t exactly a snowstorm in July. We are both on an online dating site, so crazier things have happened than you coming across my profile. My dog also tells me everyday that I’m attractive. You will need to put in a little more effort.

6) “Gorgeous, text me” (insert phone number here)

Anyone who includes their phone number in a first contact message can step to the left. Stay away from these people 100% of the time.

7) “What do you do for fun, what do you do for a living, and what brings you on PlentyOfFish?”

More often than not, these are questions you’d know the answer to, had you taken the time to read my profile. Again, check my“About Me” section and “Profession” tab. To answer “what brings you here”…my dog needs a father figure so he’ll stop peeing in the yard like a girl. Next!

8) “Hi. I’m (insert name here). I’m a part time dad (or mom) to a beautiful 5yr old who is my world and my everything. I just want to be up front right away as I don’t play games or believe in wasting anyone’s time. So if that’s an issue let me know. I work full time and have my child every other weekend but as I’m lucky to have a job where I work 4 10hr days I do have free time for someone special. I’m not into clubs or bars but occasionally go to a pub for sporting events. I’m very outgoing as I love to talk about anything and everything. I love kids and animals, going for walks, being outside, whether at the beach or just walking or on the patio having a drink. That being said I also love watching movies and cuddling with my significant other I miss that. Sidenote, there’s no baggage or drama with the mother we split after our daughters first bday in case u were wondering. Sorry if it’s too much too soon I wear my heart in my sleeve and will always share my feelings. It’s who I am. 🙂 better to be blunt than to say nothing I figure. Anyways just wanted to say hi hope you had an awesome weekend.”

Good Lord. There’s always that one person who just unleashes every last thing you need to know in their initial message. While I always recommend being upfront and honest about your intentions and situation, there’s a little sense of TMI, especially when this is your opening. Too little can be boring, too much can be sensory overload and a general turn-off for any potential dates. A first message is geared to be an ice breaker, not a would-be therapy session.

9) “Hey how is it going? u into bi guys at all?”

While people certainly shouldn’t judge your sexuality, You’re coming on a bit strong with this one. At least save this for our third date.

10) “After a rigorously brief overview of your profile, I wanted to let you know I have already married and divorced you in my mind.

 Thanks for all the wonderful imaginary memories… you will always have a special place in my heart.

Your Ex-husband,

-

p.s.
You can keep the beach house in Florida as long as I can have the dog and my DVD’s back.”

One of THE oldest and most commonly used internet pick up lines. It’s unoriginal and has been used since the internet was blessed with cat videos. We know you didn’t write this witty (yet creepy) line yourself.