Updated: Jan 4

In addition to being a veteran web nerd, I’m also a veteran online dater, dabbling in the craft off and on for about twenty years. Lavalife and OkCupid were my first encounters with online dating. I went on A LOT of dates and when one stuck, people would ask where we met. We were both too shy to say where. It was so taboo to say at the time, “I met him online!” But I actually thought it was quite cool! We have this amazing tool called the internet, I thought. Look at how we’re using it to bring people together! This is so advanced!

Twenty years ago, it was like that movie with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks, You’ve Got Mail. Well, similar, but different. You would log into your account and scroll through people’s profiles. When you connected with somebody, you would get so excited as you waited for their responses. Or at least, I would. We would exchange really long, thoughtful, beautiful e-mails with one another, which gave both of us the time to get to know each other with ease and excitement. Now, you log into an app and swipe left or right, and when you connect with somebody, you receive a short, “How are you?” text message. And then a minute later, “Let’s exchange numbers!” It’s so anticlimactic!

I realize not everyone is like me and wants to date a gentleman, but my standards are apparently really high for today’s culture, and I’d like to think that I’m not alone in this. So I put together a list of 10 tips for what to do and not do in order to attract a lady for the long haul:


“The energy you put out is the energy you’ll get back.”

Write this down, and keep it somewhere you can see it because this goes for nearly EVERYTHING in your life, and you’ll see what I mean by the examples below.


The above quote DEFINITELY fits with this tip. If you’re using online dating apps and you feel defeated, or keep saying to yourself, dating sucks, it’s time to take a break. Nobody wants to be around somebody who has a “this sucks” attitude. That negativity will get you nowhere, and the women you connect with will be able to sense your vibe almost instantly. So do yourself a favor and delete the apps. Take a break. And when you’re feeling excited about meeting somebody new, sign back on and find your woman.


I am no stranger to selfies, as I was taking them before digital cameras existed. But for a dating profile, it’s in your best interest to put in a little more effort (see above quote). Get somebody to take photos for you, or if you have the funds to allow it, hire a photographer. Mirror selfies are super lame and unimpressive. Plus, they give the impression that you have no friends.


If you connect with a woman that you’re interested in getting to know, don’t start the conversation with, “How are you?” Men and women alike are exhausted by the lack of creativity in that question. Everyone is FINE and if they weren’t, they wouldn’t tell you. So it’s a wasted effort. If you’ve connected with someone who has taken the time to write something on their profile, refer to something they have written. And if they haven’t written a profile? Swipe left and move on. That person is clearly not in it to win it (refer to the above quote).


I had somebody recently ask me, “So why are you single?” Never ever ask a woman why she’s single. Me and a few of my girlfriends had a lengthy discussion about this question and we concluded that it implies that there is something wrong with whomever is on the receiving end. If you want to know about her previous relationship, wait until at least the third date. In the meantime, keep it light and fun! Everyone has an interesting story to tell. Find out what that is!


If you ask for a girl’s phone number and she says no, respect her decision. After all, it’s her number to give, and if she doesn’t feel comfortable giving it to you yet, that’s her choice. I’ve had guys bully me, shame me, and criticize me for not wanting to give out my phone number. Thank goodness they showed me their true colors early on because I never meet those people in person for obvious reasons. Who would? There are articles all over the internet that advise people against giving out their phone numbers online for a plethora of reasons that you may not be aware of. And although I’m sure you’re the sweetest man on the planet who wouldn’t harm an ant, let alone another human being, these women don’t know you or what your intentions are. Planning a date through an app is very efficient. You don’t need a woman’s number in order to do so. And you KNOW that if you’re super interested in her, you’ll move mountains to make sure you meet her. If it is apparent that you both enjoyed the date, that is when it would be appropriate to ask for her number.


I cannot tell you how many times I’ve had guys reach out to me at all hours of the night asking, “What are you up to?” Come to find out, they wanted to meet right then and there. No self-respecting woman will drop what she’s doing to meet up with you. If you’re interested in dating a lady, you need to treat her like a lady. And the way you do that is to say, “What do you think about meeting up this week?” Or, this guy recently reached out to me and said, “Can we meet on Friday?” Absolutely! Girls love the hype of the first date! They may take a lot of time picking out an outfit, painting their nails, coloring and fixing their hair, and putting on makeup. It’s an ordeal! So if you want to allow her this excitement, I’d suggest planning your date at least the day before. Never ever ask the day of. Once you start seeing her more regularly, you can test out her level of spontaneity.


Maybe during your exchanges, you learned something about her that you’d like to explore. For example, let’s say she mentioned loving silent films. Find a local theater that is playing silent films and plan a date. You get the idea, right? Meeting for coffee for the first date is also perfectly reasonable, but if you’re really trying to impress her, be creative! It could be something as simple as a walk in a garden/ conservatory, a trip to a museum, or a picnic in the park. You’ll find that when you plan special moments for people, it really sets the tone for the future of that relationship. And the girls will be super impressed, which will make you feel really good. Please note the quote, however, because recently I went on a picnic date at the park and the guy brought whatever he could find in his cupboard, which consisted of a 1/4 bag of almonds, a kiddie size pack of fruit gummies, a few crackers in a ziplock bag, and some JIF peanut butter to-go. Be more thoughtful than that, and make an effort! I promise you’ll feel the difference.


I don’t know if it’s the pandemic, but I’ve been on dates recently where the guys are wearing HOODIES! And shorts with flip-flops! Meanwhile, I’m all dressed up and spent hours of my time preparing for the date and spending a bit of money to get there. So, fellas, please re-read the quote. Hoodies tell women that you’re either lazy AF and/or that you really aren’t that interested to meet them. Put your best foot forward and you’ll get amazing results.


Hopefully, your date went really well and you’re both excited to meet up again. Please do not apply the 3-day rule. That’s so lame. Go for it! Reach out to her again and plan another time to get together for round two! If you weren’t feeling the chemistry, that’s cool! It happens! At the very least, I hope you enjoyed meeting another human. If you felt like she wasn’t interested in you and you felt the same, great. However, if you felt like she was interested in you and you’re not interested in her, please be a gentleman and at least text the girl to tell her that. Do not ghost! This ghosting thing has got to stop! Not only is it cowardly, but it’s also super hurtful. And I know that we all want to live in a world of kindness. So, this is the one thing you can do to be kind to another human being who is also trying to find love. Kindness matters.

So, there you have it! My contribution to society and to the love-lives of you beautiful people. Now, if only the universe could download these tips to men everywhere, the online dating world would be in much better shape.

Love and peace!

~ Denise


© 2022 by de la foye design studio, llc.

chicago + asheville

Chicago + Asheville

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