My name is Marina and I’ve been online dating.  There, I said it.

Reason 1 – I’m single and am ready for love.  Having love in my life is absolutely on the priority list for me and I’m not going to leave it to a chance run-in with my Prince Charming.

Reason 2 – I’m coaching men and women on How to Date.  In order for me to be the best, I need to know what it’s like out there!  Let me tell you, a lot has changed since I tried this online dating thing.

I chose 3 websites to try:

Match.com  I’ve tried this before and actually met my ex on here about 9 years ago.  It’s a paid site, so I figured the people on here are more quality individuals than the free sites out there and are serious about finding love, not just a hookup.

HowAboutWe.com  This was interesting to me because their motto is to actually get out there and go on real dates, in the real world.

OkCupid.com  I honestly don’t know why I chose this one out of the free available sites.  I think I heard great feedback from a few friends, so I decided to give this one a shot also.

It’s only been 2 weeks since starting this dating thing and I must admit, it’s A LOT of work!  If I wasn’t fully committed to my 2 above reasons, I would have deleted myself from there and most likely wouldn’t attempt again for a long time.  But, I have decided that I need to bite the bullet and master this art of online dating.

Things I’ve learned So Far:

1.  As expected, most guys don’t read.  Period.  Good thing my profile is short and sweet, but even with it being this way, I would say that 90% of the men contacting me did not look at anything besides the photos.

2.  The “Wink” “Like” “Intrigued” features of these sites drive me crazy.  I’m realizing that men use these as a sly “safe” way to virtually test the waters.

3.  There are, however, men who do use the Message feature. BUT! out of the 400+ actual messages received, there are 2 extremes:  1.  an autobiography (in addition to the profile) about the guy and a “call to action” at the end asking to write him back.  2.  one of the following: “hey” “hi, what’s up”  “you’re hot”  “how’s your day”  “how’s your summer”  “enjoying the weather?”  “what did you do this weekend?”

4.  Now, because of my dedication to helping people date, I thought I’d actually take the time and reply to the men who clearly have no clue what they’re doing.  I sent the same message reply to the guys who seemed like nice guys and whom I could maybe help.  I explained that women get a lot of winks, likes, generic messages and to be honest, the only reason I was messaging was because I felt the need to explain that this approach will never work for them.  I suggested taking the time to look at the profile, pick out an interesting topic, comment on it, share a little story or tid bit about yourself about it and ask an intriguing question.  Lesson learned:  Even the men who lack the desire or balls to message an intriguing message have huge egos.

5.  A number of these guys replied explaining to me that there are RULES to online dating.  They are as follows:  Guy checks out a girl’s profile.  He LIKES or WINKS.  The girl is to check out the guy’s profile and LIKE or WINK back.  Only THEN will the man actually message the woman and take the time to begin an actual conversation.

My question to all the singles or coupled people out there – What are your thoughts on these RULES of online dating?  Is it really that difficult for a man to take the extra 3 mins and message something intriguing?  Are men too lazy?  Are women not worth the extra effort?  What’s the problem with this setup or is this the new norm?