How To Online Date — It’s Not Difficult, But It’s Not Obvious

(If you’re short on time, skip to the bottom for numbered instructions.)

Whether you reside under a rock or not, you’ve heard of online dating. It seems so easy, so natural, so smart. Just post a few pictures of yourself, answer a few personality questions and that’s it. Wedding bells will be ringing soon enough. The problem is that it isn’t that easy. Lucky for us, I’ve finally figured it out. No, that doesn’t mean wedding bells are in my future, it just means that after nearly two years of online dating in some form or fashion I’ve finally developed a “how to” guide.

The number one difficulty with online dating is pushing the idea out of your head that someone can be captured by a photograph or a profile. They can’t. It’d be nice if they could, but it is not possible. Just like cameras don’t steal people’s souls, pictures don’t contain them. Neither do words. Bodies do, however. Real human bodies. So that’s the starting point, that’s where we’ll begin. We’ll begin with human bodies.

No matter what site or app you’re on, the most important question you need to ask yourself is, “Do I want to have sex with this picture?” It sounds base, it sounds dirty, it sounds disreputable, but it absolutely must lead the way. If it doesn’t, then you’re being dishonest with yourself and the other person who may or may not be sitting with you some day. By starting here we also cut right through idealizing the person behind the profile. Who cares if you read the same books or love the same lord? What gal doesn’t write that she prefers jeans and a t-shirt, but dolls up really nice too? And what guy doesn’t like sports or movies or video games or hunting or reading? Is anyone not passionate about their job? Seriously, there’s not that many options in life. Again, look at the pictures and ask, “Do I want to have sex with this picture?”

Next, skip everything to do with pen pals and make time to meet the other person. Then from the moment they arrive, stick with the sex question in its new, modified form, “Do I want to have sex with this person?” Not “would I?” or “what would their personality have to be like in order for me to want to?” but a chemistry/spark type unquantifiable feeling of attraction. If you don’t, if the attraction that was there isn’t there anymore for whatever reason, then politely thank them for meeting with you, but explain that it is in everyone’s best interest to not waste any time pretending. If on the off-chance you do desire them sexually in that moment, keep the moment going for as long as you can. Minutes to hours, hours to days, days to weeks, etc. Or whatever. I have no idea how to maintain a relationship. This post is about how to online date, not how to be in a relationship.

My point here is to simplify all the bullshyat that confuses online dating into something it can never be. We’re people first. People who are attracted to other people. In everyday life the physical attraction comes before the date. In online life it seems like there are other factors to consider. But that’s a lie. Physical and sexual attraction must be there. So trust in it and run with it.

Instructions for How To Online Date

Step 1 — ASK yourself, “Do I want to have sex with this picture?”

Step 2 — If the answer to Step 1 is “Yes”, then MAKE time for a date. If the answer is “No”, then MOVE on.

Step 3 —  SCHEDULE a date.

Step 4 — At the date ASK yourself, “Do I want to have sex with this person?”

Step 5 If the answer to Step 4 is “No”, then immediately–though politely–END the date.

Step 6 — If the answer to Step 4 is “Yes”, then I guess you at least know what you want to do, so DO it.

What’s fascinating about eHarmony’s take on online dating is how NOT according to these steps it is. Take for instance this pop-up that appeared when I took “white” off the list of races I was interested in dating.


Really, eHarmony? Really? After you’ve taken my money upfront and not given me any women with whom I seem remotely compatible, now you’re going to tell me that if I don’t feel like seeing anymore pics of white women’s dogs (is the dog interested in a date?), now you’re going to tell me if I don’t feel like seeing anymore ridiculous pics of white women being photographed while surrounded by non-white, third-world, presumably just converted heathen children, then I should stop and reconsider my tactic? Really? And what’s with the save button being grey’d out like it’s not even clickable? It’s like you are doing everything in your power to keep the races pure. That makes you my enemy, I think. And I thought you were supposed to be helping. Oh well. Just under two more months of fun. I can’t wait.



  1. noelleg44

    I have no idea what i would do if i were in that position again. The scene is so changed. But I think at the core, you’re probably right – if the person’s looks don’t appeal to you, don’t flog the dead horse. We make a judgement within 3 seconds of seeing a person, so you’re first step is spot on.The second step takes a bit longer, but not by much. Maybe you should start a dating site!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lucy Furr


    Step 1 (for me) is checking out the guy’s smile/teeth first. If I’m gonna exchange saliva he’d better have good oral hygiene.

    Step 2 is determining if he’s safe. Women need to feel safe. I watch for the red flags of abuse/lack of empathy.

    Step 3 is determining intelligence. Even if sex is fabulous, conversation with a dumbass is intolerable.

    Most people meet up before they really know each other, as you are recommending. Personally, this doesn’t work for me. So much can be learned via written correspondence. Knowledge is power…even in the dating world.

    You’re method will get you laid. Great. Sex is awesome. But my method finds quality guys interested in a real relationship…intimacy follows.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Pete Deakon

      I didn’t mean to imply getting laid was/is the goal of online dating, not at all. It’s just that if you’re not careful, online dating can zap a lot of time when the truth (imho) about it is it shouldn’t take anymore time than real dating. You either feel something, or you don’t. Quick, easy. But I often spend time considering what it might mean that she likes x, y, z or whatever. So these steps just remind me to go with my gut. Just like I do when walking around, looking around.


      PS – I’d put money that many, many women would like to know where these quality guys you’re finding are… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Lucy Furr

    Boyfriend dumped me. I concede. Your method of dating must be better than mine…or maybe there just aren’t any quality guys in cyber world (that live within 60 miles of me).

    So I might as well use your method. But here’s the problem. If my only criteria is, “Do I want to have sex with this picture,” I’m going to have to lower the age range because too many guys my age are experiencing erectile dysfunction. (And, no, Viagra isn’t a perfect solution.) Besides, younger guys are better looking.

    Liked by 1 person

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