Posts Tagged match.com
If there’s one thing every Dating Ninja knows it’s that first impressions are everything in the world of online dating. That first email you send to someone on an online dating site can make or break your chances of getting a response. But with a little thought and little effort you can increase your chances of getting a response.
These are the DO’s and DON’T’s for that first email:
- DO personalize the email and mention something from the person’s profile and tie it back to you. For example, I notice you like Green Day. Did you see them when they were in town last year? It was a fantastic show.
- DON’T start with, “Hi, how are you?” It’s an empty question with a one-word answer – “fine.”
- DO keep it short. Three to five sentences is about all you need in a first email.
- DON’T send the same email to every person you write to. It’s impersonal and lazy.
- DO check for spelling errors before you click Send.
- DON’T ask a question that is already answered in the person’s profile. It is a big red flag that you never actually read the person’s profile.
If you’re not the best with words and you don’t know where to start, use this formula:
- First sentence is about the person you’re writing to.
- Second sentence is about you.
- Third sentence is a question that gives the person a reason to respond.
Dear Dating Ninja,
I love the photo of you in front of the Trevi Fountain. I was in Rome in June, and threw a couple of coins in the Trevi myself. What was your favorite spot in Rome?
While the above email comments on a photo in the profile, an email that comments on something that you read in the person’s profile can increase your chances even more.
Dear Dating Ninja,
I see you have a passport story…me too. I learned that you should always know the expiration date of your passport! What’s your story?
The bottom line is be authentic and engaging. Good luck!
I recently had an experience where I met someone online and then a few days later did some cyber sleuthing only to find out the person was not who they really said they were. I felt a little violated, you know like someone had hacked into my OS and planted a Trojan virus. And this is someone I met only once for coffee!
This experience got me thinking, why can’t I run my dating life like I run my servers (computers) at work?
Opening Ports of Communication
A port on a computer is a communication channel that allows devices to talk to each on the same piece of hardware without interfering with each other. Think of it as a phone number. If you publicize that port number anyone can call it. Don’t publicize your port number unless you’re ready to communicate!
Install Anti-Virus Software
I would never open up a server at work to the outside world without first installing some sort of anti-virus software to protect it. You’ve all heard of computer viruses, those nasty little programs that hackers and spammers secretly install on your poor unsuspecting computer. In the IT world there are anti-virus software programs like McAfee, Norton and Semantic for that.
The anti-virus software in the dating world is called your gut instinct. Just like Norton your gut will raise all kinds of red flags when it senses danger. Would you ignore Norton if it popped up a message that said some malicious piece of code was trying to gain access to your computer? I think not. You would click that Quarantine or Delete button without a second thought.
So, the next time you’re on a date, and that anti-virus gut instinct software starts popping up messages, don’t ignore them! Hit that Delete button and run!
My production servers at work are locked down tighter than Alcatraz in the 60’s, unless you’re a really good swimmer/hacker. I employ something called whitelisting, which means you can’t talk to my servers unless I know who you are. This is a difficult concept to apply in the dating world, but it can be done. Before you decide to meet that person on Match.com for a cup of coffee talk to all of your friends who have been active in the online dating world. Ask them if they have come across this person before. The dating pool is small. The likelihood is that someone you know has already met this person for a date, and can give you some very valuable feedback. Positive Feedback=Whitelisting. Proceed with coffee date.
In the Microsoft world you can blacklist a website by adding it to your hosts file. The hosts file is like a guest list that meaty bouncer outside the coolest club in town has on his clipboard. Not the V.I.P. list, but the OTHER list. You know, the one that lists all the people who have been kicked out of the club at one time or another, and are banned for life. That my friends is the blacklist, and you need one.
While whitelisting is the “known good” list, blacklisting is the “known bad” list. When you log on to Match.com and come across people you work with, add them to your blacklist. Just block them. You know you’ll never date them, and do you really want them perusing your dating profile while they’re deciding whether or not to promote you? And furthermore, blacklist the people you met on Match.com three years ago. The second or third time is not the charm.
Security Certification Process
Many of the clients I work with on a daily basis require my company and my servers to pass a rigorous security clearance. The process involves a lengthy verbal interrogation and a cyber scan of my servers from the outside world to see what they can see. In a word, they are trying to find out that I am safe to communicate with, and that I am who I say I am.
Thanks to the World Wide Web this concept maps very well to the dating world. Most people give you enough information in their dating profile and their initial communications for you to find out more than you ever wanted to know about that person. If all you have is a first name and a city, you may be hard pressed to find any useful information unless the first name is really unique. However, if you have a first name, a city and an occupation you may be in luck. Plug that information into our good friend Google and you’re off and running. You can often find the very pictures they have posted on their dating profile on their business website, which allows you to verify who they are.
If you have an email address or a first and last name and a city, I suggest you get familiar with a site called pipl.com, which takes the information you input and then crawls the Web for you. Pipl.com provides a comprehensive list of all references to that individual anywhere on the Web.
For the serious cyber sleuth I recommend a service called BeenVerified.com, which will give you a 7-day trial if you really need to do a deep dive on someone. This service provides past addresses, name changes, MARITAL STATUS, and criminal records. Don’t ask if you don’t want to know.
Proceed with Caution
People are not as black and white as computers, so even if you employ all of the above methods as you navigate the murky waters of the online dating world, you still need to proceed with caution. Think like an IT manager:
- Don’t open a port of communication unless you’re ready for that person to start calling you and texting you. You can always close a port on a computer when you want to stop communicating. In the dating world it’s called blocking his/her phone number!
- Don’t whitelist someone until you really know them. Whitelisting someone gives them access to things that no one else has access to.
- Do your due diligence, and if you find some compromising information on someone ask them about it before judging them. Not all computer programs are flawless, and not everyone who looks like a criminal online is actually a criminal today.
Go forth young grasshopper, and apply these Dating Ninja skills the next time you decide to try online dating.
Originally published on MySpace on December 19, 2008.
Is all really fair in love and war?
I got an email from a good friend the other day. I’ll call him Mitch. The email started out on a very positive note. It started out with, Karma is shining her face on me I guess. The subject: Match.com.
But as always, there are interesting twists and turns when you are speaking of the online dating world.
Mitch’s email to me went on to say that he had just been thinking it was time to cancel his Match.com membership and give it all a rest for a while, because he just wasn’t meeting anyone worthwhile. Then he got an email from Cindy. She winked on a Monday morning, and they exchanged a few emails that day. It seemed she liked “nerdy, shy, intelligent types” (Mitch is), they enjoyed traveling to the same places, and even had the same favorite restaurant.
They arranged to meet for dinner on Wednesday. It all seemed too good to be true.
And it was…
He received an email from Cindy late Monday night, after they had traded emails all day and had planned to meet for dinner.
I would love to post the email verbatim here, but I don’t have permission from Mitch to do that. But here’s my version of it (grammatical errors and all!).
Hey, I’m sorry to have to break it to you, but don’t bother going to our
favorite restaurant on Wednesday – I won’t be there. In fact, I was really never planning to be there.
CONFESSION TIME: I put this profile up on Match and started emailing around to get my boyfriend jealous so that he’d get off his duff after 3 years and propose already, and it worked beautifully.
Sorry you got caught in the crossfires, but the emails had to look real. I guess your radar about my profile being to-good-to-be-true, was dead on. But hey, sometimes a gal’s gotta due what a gal’s gotta due.
If it makes you feel any better, you weren’t the only one I was emailing. Just one of the few I didn’t have to stand up. Happy Holidays!
Cindy <– Her real name because she deserves to be publicly flogged!
WTF Cindy? You used my good friend and a few other innocent bystanders to get your boyfriend to propose to you? And he actually walked right into your trap and proposed? Let me tell you something Cindy, people don’t like to be cornered and given ultimatums. Your boyfriend proposed to you under duress because he thought it was the only way he could keep you. Well guess what, if he’s not a dumbass he’ll wake up one day soon and kick you to the curb. Who wants to spend the rest of their life with a manipulative woman who acts like she’s still in high school? Or maybe you’re both dumbasses and you just saved my friend Mitch from a disaster. Good riddance.
The moral of the story? People misrepresent themselves online all the time to get what they want. And they don’t give a shit about you, because you’re just a fictitious persona they came across on Match.com.
P.S. My friend Mitch is not curled up in a fetal position because of this little incident. It’s just one of the many landmines of online dating. He was suspicious from the beginning.