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Dating Tips Through Experience:
Woody and the Wooden Profile

Welcome to the first column of Dating Tips Through Experience (DTTE)! I would like to start off telling you about how I got into online dating. About a year after high school I ended up dating my best friend of three years, which lasted two and a half years and ended with a broken engagement. After a series of really bad relationships and dates I decided to try the new craze - Online Dating.

The exploration began as I signed up with my very own screen name, discovered chat rooms, and discovered the long list of men ahead that I would encounter. The first guy I encountered tried to take me on a "cyber date" as if that was somehow going to impress me. I mean, I might be new at this but I was far from impressed with this guy.

Tip: Normally when a man or woman only wants to "cyber" with you, they are generally have no interest in beginning any type of relationship with you outside of "cybering". Another misfortune is that a lot of times when a man or woman only wants to "cyber" with you, it's because they are married. This isn't a guarantee but it is definitely something for you to watch out for (for more information on married men online, read this article).

The next guy and I actually ended up living about 30 minutes apart from each other, so we continued talking for about 3 weeks and then the big day came - the exchange of phone numbers. Now, to me this was a big deal because I have always been leery of giving my number out to men off the net, much less to some guy I'd never even seen before.

So, Woody <fake name> and I talked for about a week. In that week Woody gave me a description of himself: “21 years old, 6'3, short brown hair, deep brown eyes, and a great smile.” He also told me he loved to bike ride for a good work out, loved animals, was a manager at a retail store and was looking for a serious only relationship. The end of our last conversation we decided to meet at his store while he was on duty. The next day, with my youngest brother in tow, I went to meet Mr. Woody.

We arrived at his place of employment right on time and as soon as we walked in my brother spots him by nametag with ease. Good thing this man was wearing a nametag because he sure didn't match the description he gave me.

He says “21;” I say he looked “35.”

He says “brown hair;” I say, “barely has any hair.”

The great smile he told me about? Well I was still looking for it and I didn't get close enough to find out his height. Needless to say, I almost ran out of that store completely discouraged and ready to give up on dating all together. Lucky for me, I don't give up that easy.

Tip: Pictures are a wondrous thing, everyone should offer one but they don't so don't be afraid to ask for one when they don't. Now you will come across those people who say you only want the picture because you don't care about what is on the inside, only what's on the outside. DO NOT LISTEN TO THESE PEOPLE, because they are generally the ones with something to hide.

If they don't have a picture and ask you to meet before they send one, decline and wait until you receive a picture. If they never send one, you may have saved yourself a lot of trouble. Also, if they say they will get you one soon, give them the benefit of the doubt but ask them to describe themselves in the mean time. When they do, keep that email or instant message so when they do (or rather if they do) send you a picture you can compare it to their description. For some reason, some of these people seem to think we all suffer from memory loss and won't remember the description they previously gave.

Let’s talk about posting pictures for a second. How can we expect to get a picture if we don't have one to give? The first thing not to do is post a picture of you from high school unless you graduated no more than a year ago. The general rule of thumb is to keep the picture as up to date as possible. I try to keep it within a one year time frame unless I have drastically changed.

If you do not have a scanner or if you do and just don't know how to use the darn thing, go to your nearest Kinko's and they will be more than happy to scan it for you. Also, some dating sites are now offering you the option to mail the picture in to them and they will download it for you (i.e. Romantic Planet and BBWpersonalplus to name a few).

Another idea is to go buy a disposable camera for about $6.98 and when you turn it in to develop you are offered the option to purchase the CD for around $2.00. Now, if you are not computer literate, which a lot of us aren't, Kodak offers step by step instructions on their CD's on how to download it and if you still can't figure it out, well, then maybe posting a picture or profile isn't the right way to go for you in the dating world.

Until next time online daters, happy hunting.

Your Online Dating Through Experience columnist is a 29 year old female from the East Coast.

How has your online dating experience been? Submit your experience for possible inclusion in Online Dating Magazine's Experiences section.

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