Real stories about dating and relationships in New York City. Truth is more interesting than fiction.

You’ve Got Mail vs. Add to Cart

I’ve written before about .  For those of you who are new to this blog, I’m a fan.  I don’t have universally wonderful things to say about .  Not all of my experiences with it have been good.  No, I like despite the fact that most of the guys (women, too) on there are lying about something and it can take an awful lot of time and patience, trial and error, to meet someone you like.

I think it’s a pretty convenient way to search for a new partner – whatever you want that partner for:  fuck buddy, casual dating, LTR..  There are a lot of people in the same (cyber) space all looking for the same things at the same time.  Far more people than you’ll find at a bar or a party or a speed dating event.  And I like having the variety and the options.

That said, I was asked recently about my online dating habits.  My process.  So I thought I’d write up a quick primer.  The way I see it there are two ways for a girl to proceed in online datingland.  One is to put up her profile and then wait to see who contacts her.  This is the You’ve Got Mail approach. And if you’re an attractive woman you can bet that your email box will fill up with mail.  If you’re new to a service you’re going to attract a lot of attention as there are always going to be guys looking for fresh met.   And even when you’re not new anyore, you can count on a steady stream of email for ever and ever (depending on where you live – if you live in the middle of nowhere, this clearly does not apply to you).

The opposite approach would be to carefully search through the men in your target demographic and approach them.  I think of this as the Add to Cart plan.  It’s like online shopping.  If you see a guy you like, you click and add him to your cart.  You can actually create a cart of sorts on most sites, a hotlist, and then when you are through screening candidates you can review your hotlist and decide who you’d like to send messages to. I know there are women who just won’t do this.  Who believe that the guys should be the ones who do all of the intial approaching.  Well, all I can say is, “sucks for you”.  The most aggressive guys on most online dating sites are rarely the interesting ones.  They are usually a combination of the biggest sleazeballs and the biggest losers.  But hey, you go girl, you hold on to your “girl’s don’t ask” rules.  I wish you luck.

I use a combination of both methods.  My profile just reappeared less than a week ago and so I haven’t had the chance yet to search and see if there were any new men online (truth is, I’ve already communicated and/or met with a frightening percentage of the guys out there) who I might want to contact.  I am still trying to catch up with the messages in my inbox.  But tonight I plan on taking at least 30 minutes to do that search.  The way I see it is, I don’t want to be limited by only meeting the guys who found me.   There are thousands of people out there.  I want to increase my chances of success.

For more of my thoughts on online dating, check out my Online Dating Survival Guide.


9 to “You’ve Got Mail vs. Add to Cart”

  1. bobbyjensen says:

    As you may know from my past posts, I am an advocate for woman contacting men also. It probably has a lot to do with my stupid shy guy mentality, but it really does make a lot of sense for either to open the discussion. It’s 2009 and no laws would be broken 😉

  2. WiiAdam says:

    “You’ve Got Mail!”:)
    Okay, I’ll say it: You just may meet me one day.



  3. 20forty says:

    “if you live in the middle of nowhere, this clearly does not apply to you” Amen girl! I think you’re right…it’s a combination of both that is the most effective approach.


  4. derek7272 says:

    What makes you intrigued enough to respond to a guys’ email or profile?

  5. DC Dating Diva says:

    I’m happy you like it or are open to Online…I personally hate it, but it seems lately that that’s where most of my friends are meeting people & potential suitors…

  6. SINgleGIRL says:

    -DC Dating Diva,
    I can certainly understand why someone would hate it. I do. And there are times when I hate it, too. I just appreciate the convenience.
    I’ll be answering your question in the next few posts.
    And to everyone else, hang in there with me. I’ve been under the weather for the past couple of days. Time for me to play catch up.

  7. FitDarcie says:

    In real life, I always say I prefer the man to ask me…I like a man with balls and assume, since I am abnormally attractive, that men who don’t ask me out are just intimidated by me. But online things are different, there could be a million reasons why he doesn’t initiate contact, so if I see someone who interests me, I go for it.

  8. she77 says:

    I was always an Add to cart online dater. I found the guys who bombarded you with messages, were bombarding hundreds of other women too, hedging their bets. I didn’t want to be one of hundreds (and you could always pick the generic messages from the ones that had actually read your profile) – and I liked being in control. Seeing a guy I thought was interetsing/cute and actually wanting to know more.
    Though I have to say, I’m pretty sure I met my husband through the You’ve got mail approach LOL

  9. SINgleGIRL says:

    You and I are on the exact same page. In the flesh and blood world I am much more turned on by men who ask me out (though I still sometimes do the asking). But online dating has a different logic.
    EXACTLY. The guys who are aggressively sending out messages to every single woman are not the ones I want to date. It’s exciting to hear you met your husband online. It give me hope.