Internet Dating for Rookies #8 The First Date “ask-out”

Asking someone out online is an art not a science. There are obviously things you can do to boost your chances of a “yeah I’d be happy to meet up” reply but it’s never a sure thing. In this article I’ll cover the key things to ensure when asking someone to meet up in person for a first date.

Timing is everything
 So the first key part in asking someone out on a first date is timing. You should already be in a position where you’ve messaged this person a few times. I’d recommend asking someone to meet up for a date after the 5th or 6th message. My rationale is as follows. The first couple of messages are simply intro messages, the next couple are about how your week has been going and the next couple are likely to include a little more substance (perhaps they confide something that a lot of people wouldn’t know about them). It is at this point that you should be asking them out. Leave it too long and you’ll end up as pen pals who write long “letters” to each other but couldn’t possibly meet up because it’d be too much of a big deal. Conversely if you ask them out too soon it’ll seem to forced as you’ve not had sufficient time to form a suitable connection. So, just as with comedy, when asking someone out, timing is everything.
How do you ask?
You’re ready to send that all important message, but how do you go about it? Well I’ve got a sure-fire winning formula for you to use (I’m too good to you guys!). The first thing to say is that the “ask out” message should not be a message in its own right. You don’t want them to receive a message from you out of the blue / cold which simply says “would you like to meet me?” (Also that wording is pretty poor btw). So your “asking out” request should actually be at the end of your next message – they’ll have read your engaging message and they’ll be a nice surprise waiting for them near the bottom. The wording I’d recommend is as follows…
“You seem like someone I’d like to get to know better. Did you fancy a coffee sometime?”
That’s it. The secret to asking someone out is to keep the request as casual as possible but ensure you are being direct and clear that you are asking them out.  You’re not trying to heap loads of pressure on them. Saying something like “I can really see myself falling for you, would you like to meet me face to face for a first date?” is likely to ruin your chances. So stay breezy and go for it.
Gauging the response
The part after the “ask out” message can be difficult. You’ll no doubt spend time thinking anxiously about their response but you must ensure you’re not too invested already (which is another reason you shouldn’t let the messaging extend past five or six) and if you’re following my teachings this wouldn’t be the only iron in the fire so to speak. When the reply comes, again like most things relating to dating, it’ll fall in one of only a few categories.
1. “Yeah sounds good, I’m free this Sunday if you are?”
2. “I’m probably not going to have much free time in the next few weeks because <insert bullshit reason here>”
3. No reply
If it’s a #1 well done, you’ve got yourself a date! Obviously you’ll arrange a suitable time and place (I’d recommend a local coffee place, at 3pm Sunday).
If it’s #2 two that’s also fine, they’re not interested in meeting you but feel bad about saying that so they’re making excuses. Either way, I’d suggest you drop #2 a quick reply back saying “no worries, catch up with you later”. It lets them know you’ve got the message (figuratively) and rounds off the message exchange appropriately. No hard feelings eh…? They may well reply back to that with another load of excuses but you needn’t waste any more time responding. Once difficult, always difficult is the rule here with #2.
Unfortunately, there will those who simply don’t respond. Perhaps you were too hasty in asking them out or they were only on the dating site to pass the time and aren’t that serious about finding love. Either way, there’s no need to pursue them any further and certainly don’t think about sending them a follow up message. It was only a quick coffee meet-up you were suggesting after all – not for them to be your organ donor!
And there you have it. We’ve reached the end of this series relating to The Rookies Guide to Internet Dating. I hope you’ve enjoyed it. Look out for the next in the series, The Rookies Guide to Speed Dating.
Happy Dating all! 
David Cohen – The Dating Guru

The Dating Guru’s Guide to Internet Dating for Rookies #7 Replying to messages


You followed the advice and your inbox is full of replies to the great opening messages you sent. Nice one. The next stage is for you to send a reply. But certainly not right away. Leave it a couple of days to make sure you don’t seem too desperate. (My book contains a little more about the art of timing regarding replies).
You asked a question in your first message and the reply you’ve received provides you with a suitable answer. But here’s the thing to remember. Not everyone knows the art of online dating and more importantly, online messaging. So the response you’ll receive back is likely to vary depending on that user’s level of proficiency with online dating. They might come back with their life story which could very well put you off, but you’ll find the response type falls into only a few categories and this is useful to know because it helps to inform yourresponse type. The response type you receive will be one of the following:

1. “Hey David, I know right. I’d have expected there to be loads more like us! I got into 2. Origami during my time in Japan, what an amazing country it is. How did you start?”

2. “I like paper and making stuff”

3. “<Insert life-story here>”

4. No reply
Let’s hope for #1’s! They’ve sent you a personalised reply using your (real) name. They’ve connected with you using the word “us”, referenced their time in Japan and asked you a question! All in I’d say you’ve got something solid to build on with this one. (Details of your reply to number #1 will follow in the next article).

With regard to #2 these types of replies always surprise me. There’s very little effort that’s gone into this one but they have at least taken the time to reply. You’ll need to work out if they’ve done so simply because they felt guilty about not reply, but also reassess whether in fact this person is the type of person you’re looking for. Perhaps follow up with an equally short message to see if it was just a one off. Be sure you don’t spend too much time on this one though. They might surprise you but I think it’s unlikely.
Number #3 needs more review. You mustn’t rule them out totally (since some people just love writing / talking etc) but it is a little daunting receiving an essay in reply to a short opening message. Take the time to read it through properly and respond accordingly, being sure to include some other questions – keep your reply relatively short though. You’re not yet at the time for deep and meaningfuls just yet.
If it was a #4 then, as the saying goes, there are plenty more fish in the sea 🙂

Happy Dating all!


David Cohen – The Dating Guru

The Multiple Dating Dilemma

When dating, there can be a tricky period between “dating” and “exclusive” that must be handled with care. I went through a phase of arranging consecutive dates on consecutive days of the week. After all, dating is a numbers game when it comes to meeting a prospective partners and exploring connections. The difficulty comes when you do find someone you feel you have some kind of connection with. Having been on multiple dates with this person, you either have to stop arranging dates with other people (out of respect) or continue with the nagging feeling that as things progress, it might be considered somehow “cheating” or dishonest to your potential love connection by continuing to message and go on dates other than them. Halting replies to messages and cancelling dates might seem like the right thing to do but of course, there is no guarantee that you and the current person you’ve started seeing will become more than just a good connection and if things don’t work out you’re back to square one and effectively having to start over. A difficult position to be in – but no one said dating was easy!
I can attest that arranging a different date for every day of the week (I think I managed six in a row at one point) certainly does help things feel more comfortable as the days go on, given you kind of fall into a routine. The ability to make connections seems to become easier and more natural because you’re more practiced and dating is just like anything else. It takes effort and practice to do well.

So if you’re able, do consider setting up multiple dates – for all you know, the person you’re meeting may be doing exactly the same themselves!

Merry Christmas from The Dating Guru

The Dating Guru’s Guide to Internet Dating for Rookies #4 Your Profile Text (Full Content)

I’ll make an assumption here which is that you’re the one initiating contact. I appreciate internet dating does work slightly different for men vs women (men generally initiate contact) but for the purpose of these articles I’ve assumed you’re the one making the first move.

1. Text length – It’s a common misconception with the profile text that the more you write the more chance there is that someone will connect with something you’ve written. Also, if you’re an intellectual you’re likely to fall into the trap of writing too much, given studies have shown the higher the IQ the more text that person writes on their profile page – I guess there’s “smarts” and then there’s “Dating Smarts” 😉 So adhere to this rule. Your profile should be around 100 words. If you’re looking for a clue, that’s about as long as this paragraph. So, not a lot. But with online dating, less is most certainly more.

2. The construct of your profile – A mistake I see time and time again is that people talk about themselves, the entire time. The profile text needs to be a balance between who you are and what you’re looking for. It’s easily done I know but forgetting to include a short section that states a little about the other person is essential to increasing your response rate. Dig deep and think about the qualities that are important to you in a partner (often I think people don’t include this section because they simply haven’t spent time establishing what these key qualities are). Don’t write a long list, but write two or three that are the most important to you and perhaps a quick few reasons as to why. Finally, there’s little value in writing about the type of physical characteristics you’re attracted to in a partner unless these are absolute deal breakers for you. (For example, you’re 6ft tall and simply not interested in a man who is shorter than you). If you’re the one doing the messaging then you’re able to determine this, from looking at their profile. Writing “I really like girls / guys with dark eyes” is likely to turn you off to all people and kill your response rate.

3. Language – An easy way to boost your response rate is to ensure you include at least a few of the following words. “Fun”, “love”, “family”, “heart”, “children”, “romantic” and “relationship.” People who use these words get more responses. Fact. Don’t get carried away and start writing them arbitrarily, and if you’re not a romantic person for example I’d perhaps not list that on your profile just to get the word in!

4. About you – the first section of your profile text needs to be about you. It should include what type of person you are (a fun-loving, romantic, with a big heart who loves children – just kidding) and some of your interests. A word of advice on these points. Firstly, it makes better sense not to be too specific about your interests. For example, by all means state you’re into football but there’s no benefit in you naming the team you support. Someone who’s also interested in football will likely reply, but if they see you support a rival team this might cause them to think twice. That’d obviously be quite annoying if that were the case but I’m pretty convinced that both guys and girls end up ruling themselves out simply because they list too many specifics within their interests and please remember that users don’t necessarily have a lot of time to decide whether to reply, there are a lot of other potential matches out there and often these choices are made on gut feel rather than logic. The same applies to naming bands you’re into, TV programmes, artists etc.
People often find it difficult to write about themselves, they don’t feel genuine doing it or they struggle to see themselves as they actually are – due to a whole host of reasons. But if you’re at the profile writing stage you’ve at least committed to taking the first few steps to find love, and you mustn’t let yourself down by failing to complete your profile text properly. So I’d recommend asking a friend. Not necessarily for them to write for you it but to give you some pointers as to the key qualities that they feel you have. You’ll not only find it refreshing to hear, but it’ll come across arguably more sincere than if you wrote it without any help.

Finally, be sure to include some things in your profile which give rise to questions. If you’ve followed the above there should be suitable opportunity for a reader to ask you something about what you’ve written but it helps if you’ve included things in your profile which naturally give rise to questions. An example might be writing:

“I consider myself level-headed apart from having the stupidest phobia ever!” 
if you happen to have a particular fear of sponges (or perhaps internet dating!). 
Happy Dating everyone!

The Dating Guru

Internet Dating for Rookies #5 User Searches & How to Avoid Rejection

Having setup your profile with an awesome username, a good photo and kick-ass profile text it’s time to start your search. You shouldn’t expect that you’ll instantly start to receive messages (though if you’re female with a picture you’ll probably find you are inundated over the first week or so after you join… (At least if you know it’s coming it’s at least a little easier to deal with, well done to you for reading this beforehand!). 

Whether you get messages coming in or not, you must ensure that you’re doing your bit to undertake a search yourself. You cannot rely on messages received from other users (especially if you’re a guy).

Most sites provide the ability to search based on various criteria. These will include physical attributes such as body-type, height, etc and also things like geographical location, what the other person is looking for and no doubt countless other things. Visit the website for the full detailed article which includes my killer tips on how to ensure you limit your rejections.

Happy Dating all!

David Cohen – The Dating Guru

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Internet Dating for Rookies – Your Online Profile #3 Profile Picture

The Rookies Guide to Internet Dating continues with today’s post provide useful insight into the all important Profile Picture…

Unfortunately, people judge things on appearance. Internet dating can be quite a tough business and whilst I do appreciate there are people out there who aren’t happy about how they look for many different reasons, the trap many daters fall into is not including a photo of them on their profile. As a result even the best written profile text will go to waste as you need someone to form a connection with you based on “the whole package” and a big part of this includes what you look like. There is absolutely no stigma attached to internet dating as there was years ago, it’s a totally acceptable way to meet people so it simply doesn’t matter if someone you know happens to see you on a dating site. If anything they’ll be positively impressed by your great photo and awesome profile text! So I’d implore you even if you have reservations to please add a profile pic. If you don’t believe what a difference it makes, gauge the change in response rate before and after you add one.

The profile picture choice should be relatively straightforward. It should be of you, taken within the past few months and one you’re happy with putting up there. Ideally it’ll be taken outside in good weather perhaps in a park or other open space, and shouldn’t include anyone else (unless you have a really ugly friend and want to make yourself look relativelymore attractive by comparison! I don’t recommend however). Finally, you must smile. It might sound basic but it’s an easy way to boost your response rate for no extra effort.

There are a few no-no’s when it comes to photos:

  • No bed selfie’s
  • No photos that don’t show your face
  • No photo you’re not happy about – you must be happy with the photo you’re putting up. If you’re not, it doesn’t deserve to go up on a dating site.
Happy Dating all!

David Cohen – The Dating Guru

Don’t miss next weeks article (#4 Profile Text) about how to write a kick-ass profile that will double your response rate! Available next Sunday (23rd Oct), or read it now for FREE by visiting and become a Dating Guru follower.

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Internet Dating for Rookies – Your Online Profile #2 Your Username

Welcome all. Over the course of the next few posts I’ll be taking you through the various aspects of your profile to assist in your Internet Dating journey. Today, the Username.

Please be sensible here people. No one likes a smart alec and anything coarse or rude is simply not acceptable. The username should perhaps be a quick way of describing you and could always be a good question for another user to ask you / you to ask them about the choice. People don’t tend to just pick the first word that comes into their head – usually the username will have some kind of significance to the user who chose it (it is the user name after all. You wouldn’t call yourself “crap-bag” would you?). 

Another tip is to ensure your username is positive. “I hate Mondays” might be a universally accepted truth but using the word “hate” within your profile name will put a lot of people off (as will mention of Monday!). I’d recommend including something that’s linked to positivity “Sunshine_girl87” perhaps or “Fun_guy91”. Neutral usernames are fine too as are ones that are personal to you – just be sure to remember that most sites don’t let you change your username once you’ve signed up and whilst the username might be personal to you, other people may not get the reference and may not choose to give you the chance to explain it!

Happy Dating all!

David Cohen – The Dating Guru

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Internet Dating for Rookies – Your Online Profile #4 Profile Text

One of the biggest mistakes people who are new to internet dating make is their profile text. This is such a crucial area with Dating Online and often will be the “clincher” between a reply or no reply (and with Internet Dating, all replies count!). The thing to remember with your profile text is that this is the shop window to you. Male or female you’re competing with thousands of other singletons and it’s therefore really important to ensure that you make your profile count.

So if the profile text is often the make or break (after all, they liked your picture and message enough to bother reading your profile text) why is it that there are so many poor examples out there? Bad spelling and grammar, references to sex or other inappropriateness, or hardly any text at all other than “message me”, these really do smack of someone who isn’t particularly invested in the process of finding love. You don’t need me to tell you, you should be giving these lot a wide birth!

Before we go any further though let’s talk aims. What is the point of the profile text? If you’ve never asked this question (because most people would consider this too much of a rudimentary question to ask), then ponder that for a second. Did you just write the text because there was a space to fill? Did the dating site you’re on state you couldn’t leave it blank? Did you just write the first few things that came to mind when you were signing up in a tipsy state late one evening? The point of the profile text is simply to ensure you give yourself the best opportunity to get a reply. That’s it. All you need to do is ensure that when someone reads it, they say “yeah, they seem like the type of person I’d like to get to know better”. Once you’re clear on this aim, you’ll make better decisions about what you write – my top tips on doing so are discussed in detail in my website article. 

I’ve listed the key things to things to be mindful of when writing your profile:

1. Word count
2. Profile balance
3. Language
4. The “About You” section

To read the full article which explains the four points above in much more detail head over to TheDatingGuru website (provide your email address to become a Guru follower to access this content). As a bonus, I’ve also included secret ways to boost your response rate 😉 

Happy Dating all!

David Cohen – The Dating Guru

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Don’t miss next weeks article (#5 Internet Dating Searches) about how to limit rejection and boost your reply chances! Available next Sunday (30th Oct).

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Internet Dating for Rookies – #1 Choosing the right Dating Site

In a new series of posts the Dating Guru provides a Rookies Guide to setting out on the journey of Dating Online…

It’s important when setting out with Internet Dating that you choose your dating site wisely. I’ve provided my top three dating sites and have listed these on my website. You can access the full review of my top three websites for free here and I’ve also provided suggestions on which Dating Site would suit you best.

I’d recommend checking it out as there are a number of key things to consider when choosing a dating site. Firstly, you’ve got to decide whether you’re prepared to pay to be a member. Some sites are totally free to use and place no restrictions on messaging, others practically force you into signing up as a paid member before you’re able to communicate with other users. Finally, you’re dating site choice should depend on how much time you’re prepared to invest in dating. Some sites will take a lot of the hard work out for you. 

Additionally, a word of advice. I’d recommend choosing one of the main sites and sticking with them solely (read my review to ensure you choose the right one!). It can look a little desperate if members of other sites continue to see you on more than one site and if you choose one of the larger sites, you’ll be assured that you won’t have to look elsewhere for a good number of potential matches.

Happy Dating all!

David Cohen – The Dating Guru

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A sideways look at 100,000+ shared article “The End of Small Talk”. Published in the NY Times

In a new series of featured articles, the Dating Guru provides his comments on the most popular dating posts of recent times…

#2 With over 100,00 shares, The End of Small Talk published in the New York Times, written by Tim Boomer.

The End of Small Talk centres around Tim’s longing for real connections and a new rule he decided to practice, replacing chit-chat with what he termed “big talk”, focusing solely on talking about our deepest thoughts and feelings, rather than what the weather has been up to lately.

Having read the article I was immediately struck by the similarities in theme to my first post regarding Melissa Moeller’s article, which centered around how frustrating it was that people wouldn’t text back straight away and that daters didn’t feel they could tell another dater how they really feel about someone – that they liked that person. The key theme across both posts is the sense of underlying frustration with the current way in which the dating game is played.

What Tim suggests is that the perceived barriers towards getting to something real should be removed. He argues this would make the dating world a better place for the singletons who currently inhabit it. On this basis let’s have an app-race (similar to an arms race but with more tech and less bloodshed) to see who can release an app that provides this? What about a cross-between Snapchat and Tinder where people swipe to find a match and then send them a short video asking something profound, which is then deleted forever without a trace. I’ll call it Snapder. An app where chit-chat and small talk is banned. Snapder delivers instant deep connections based on physical attraction. Shall I start the bidding at 1 billion dollars? 😉

Well the problem here is that whilst I do understand why, in today’s increasingly superficial “Insta-grat” culture, people are craving something real, Tim and Melissa are missing the point. Dating is a process. If you don’t like the way the game is played and you want to change your set of rule by bringing a coconut to a date (though that guy sounds like a nutter to me…get it?), then that’s fine and I hope you manage to find someone, but you’ve got to know that having a day-long date with someone that results in deep and meaningfuls until 4am will not put the “relationship” on any surer of a footing than the same two people sharing a coffee for an hour on a rainy Sunday afternoon. If anything it only acts to weaken the possibility that that connection could over time, mature and grow into something solid and dare I say it, real. Love needs time to grow and will not be forced or circumvented.

The modern dating scene seems to be having an interesting impact on the new generation of daters (let’s call them the Facebook generation for want of a better label) although I will state for the record that Tim is not necessarily within this category given his age. This generation have been blessed with superfast internet since they were old enough to type “www.” and had a mobile phone since school. As such, they expect instant connection, instant feedback, and maybe even instant love? I feel for them as the posts I’m referencing really do convey the acute angst they’re going through. But dating is hard enough without attempts to amend the existing rule set. Ask any singleton and they’ll agree I’m sure! 

Wanting to shortcut what should be a natural set of “getting-to-know-someone-phases”, by removing the bits that are perceived to be extraneous waste is not the answer – these things are a necessary part of the process and have as much significance as the deep and meaningful stuff. If anything they could be considered more significant given their very presence enables the deep and meaningfuls to take place naturally, when the time is right. 

As for Snapder, I guess it’s rather unfortunate for me that you can’t copyright an idea!

Happy Dating everyone!

David Cohen – The Dating Guru

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The article mentioned was published on the 14/01/2016 and can be found here: