New to Online Dating

So I recently made the plunge and got into online dating, hoping to get some quick experience dating. It hasn’t been as easy as I’d thought, but I’m quickly learning many of the ins and outs of a good profile.

I’d like to get quick experience dating and maybe make a few friends of the opposite sex, so I’m not going after the girls I like most from the get-go. So let’s say I get an exchange of messages going with a girl, basically just a typical conversation; would it be such a terrible thing if I have some lengthy correspondence with them over messages(as if to establish some sort of nascent friendship) and then meet up with them knowing I’m mostly after the dating experience and perhaps a friendship, rather than an actual relationship? If we turned out to be a great match in person, then I’m not dismissing the possibility of pursuing a relationship, but what if I’m only interested in the girl as a friend; how might I go about letting her know? If the date doesn’t go well at all, then should I afterwards simply send a polite message telling her she’s not what I’m looking for?

I guess the best thing to do would be to keep the messages brief and go straight for a phone number or meet-up? Maybe send the initial message, and if she replies, then ask a few brief questions and suggest a meet up or ask for her number in the second message? Or simply suggest a meet up in the second message, without much any conversation in the message?

And if I get their number, should I strike up conversation over the phone, or simply discuss details of a meet up? I’d know to make any meet up a fair distance between the two of us and in a public place, but what are the best bets for a first date? Coffee? Dinner? Would it be improper to suggest a stroll in a nearby park together, or some similarly cheap and easy option?

Many thanks for any help!

You’re doing it wrong.

You might as well go after the girls you like the most, because 90% of them won’t work out, anyway.

Not terrible. Kinda toolish, though. If you’re not looking to either, a) have a relationship, or b) get laid, why the hell are you on a dating site in the first place? If you want to make new friends, join a Meetup group or Myspace or something.

Lengthy correspondence is a bad idea. Get her number by the third message, call her the next day, and set up a date on the first call. The operative phrase with online dating, at least for men, is “Strike while the iron’s hot.” Women are usually absolutely inundated with suitors, so it’s important that you jump to the front of the line as quickly as possible.

If you want to remain friends, tell her so. If she’s not doing it for you at all, then just stop taking her calls. The etiquette in this sort of situation is pretty cutthroat. Believe me, if she doesn’t like you, she’ll always manage to find an excuse not to pick up when you call her.

You’re overthinking it. Women aren’t robots - just treat the initial couple of exchanges like a face-to-face conversation with someone you just met. Get her number as quickly as possible without being pushy, and then call her. Have normal conversation of the phone. If the conversation goes well, ask her out.

Coffee is for platonic friends. Dinner is for a second date. The standard opener is a couple of happy hour drinks. It should be at a place that you’re familiar with, but are unlikely to run in to any friends at. The key is to be at ease with your own surroundings while avoiding any distractions from your conversation with her. Plan on finishing up your drinks by, say, 7:00. If everything seems to be going well, suggest grabbing a cheap bite to eat, preferably somewhere within walking distance.

Couldn’t agree more with what black rabbit said

My personal belief is that I don’t feel the need to tell someone it’s not working out until at least after the 3rd date. I also strictly follow the 1-1 call ratio up until the third date. Always leave a message and if she doesn’t return it then that’s it. Don’t over analyze it.

Especially agree with the ‘friends’ part. Use for that. I went on the date after they met minimal requirements, and we had a lot in common. I feel you should always err on passing on a person instead of giving them a shot. First dates are a novelty for the first few, but then become boring and repetitive. Don’t let it get stale.

I also used to supplement online dating, and frankly feels like it worked better since it attracts similar interests and backgrounds to the events you attend. It makes the attraction stronger meeting them as a friend and having an interest then meeting them on the first date.

It was surprisingly frustrating at first. Girls trade up online because of the demand, but guys could get a better quality girl than the could in person (which is inherent from the girls trade up).

Use the internet dating site to quickly establish a connection then forget about it for the girl. I met my current girlfriend of 6 months through the site, once we exchanged phone numbers we stopped using it, then once we went out on the date found out we have a lot of mutual friends in common. I sometimes forget that we used the site to begin with.

Good luck