| || || | Want to widen your dating pool, but don’t feel like signing up for Match.com? Maybe you should simply try logging into your Facebook account instead.
Social sites can be used for more than networking and staying in touch with old friends -- they can help you score points with potential partners. With social networking spots, motives are murkier than on matchmaking sites and there’s less room for rejection. You can reconnect with that smoking hot girl from high school because of your shared roots, not because you’re both lonely and looking for love. Or, you can casually ask an online friend to introduce you to a gorgeous gal pal without putting too much on the line.
With sites such as MySpace and Facebook, matches emerge more organically because of shared backgrounds, friends and interests, says Jerry Kaplan, the former CEO of Egghead and founder of Winster.com, a free social network site for singles.
"The new generation of social network sites addresses this issue by offering shared social activities that create a comfortable environment in which to get to know other people without the heavy social pressure," Kaplan says.
Still, there is a fine line between broadening your horizons and going after every broad who pops up in your “People You May Know” box. Just like in the real-life dating world, approach and image are everything. Here are 10 tips for picking up women on social networks like a pro.
No.1 - Use the chat feature
Many people forget about the chat feature on Facebook. If you want to get more one-on-one with your romantic interest, instant message her when she’s online. You can get an immediate response instead of waiting for her to reply to a message that might take her days to open.
Follow these suggestions, and you’ll be meeting women through your social networking sites in no time. Just remember to change your relationship status when you two are officially an item.
No.2 - Appear on her page infrequently
You obviously want to show interest, but women can smell desperation from a mile away. The less you post on her page, the better. It will make her realize you have a life outside of your social network. It will also show that she’s special enough to communicate with privately and not on her page for all to see.
No.3 - Ask about her status updates
Does one of your lovely lady friends have a status update saying she had a bad day? Consider sending her a private message and asking her what’s up. (Note: This is preferable to “poking” her.) Or, if she posts a cool link on her Twitter page, shoot over a quick reply telling her it was interesting. However, don’t do this too often; you’ll seem like a creep checking on her every move.
No.4 - Look for upfront relationship statuses
Most people include a relationship status in their profiles. Simply put, avoid the women who don’t. Anyone who has “it’s complicated” or worse yet, doesn’t list a status at all, might have baggage -- or a crazy boyfriend -- you want no part of. Make sure you follow the rules in your own profile; list yourself as single and looking for a date or a relationship.
No.5 - Search your local network
Consider using the “search” feature on Facebook or the “browse” option on MySpace to seek out available ladies. Limit your research to people you might actually be able to meet rather than women on the other side of the world. You can narrow down your options by zip-code to keep them local.
No.6 - Browse your friends' friends
A Harvard study recently found that 70% of time spent on Facebook involves looking at other people’s profiles, two-thirds of which belong to women. Join the "in" crowd by scrolling through your buddies’ friends lists, and then asking to be introduced to one (or a few) of the cute ones. You can also suggest the Friend Match, a Facebook application that lets people set up their friends. However, make sure you ask for the actual date over the phone, not via message or e-mail.
No.7 - Join fan pages and interest groups
Joining several fan and group pages will take your dating pool to the next level. Connecting with a babe is good, but finding one that actually enjoys your favorite sports team, movie genre or comedian is even better.
An added bonus to joining groups is that they might organize local meets. You’ll be able to introduce yourself to one of the attractive female members in a non-awkward situation and ask her out in person, if you hit it off.
No.8 - Be interesting
We don’t have to tell you that people who constantly update their pages and profiles are annoying. However, a strategically timed or placed status message or vacation album may help your cause. You are allowed to boast a bit, so let it spill that you’re going on a Caribbean cruise or flying to Paris for business.
While it’s not cool to reveal too much about your social and dating life, it is OK to show you actually go out on weekends. Keep your updates vague by writing that you are “heading downtown.” This will make your potential partner wonder exactly where you’re off to -- and if maybe next time, she can join you.
No.9 - Shape your image
View your profile as a first impression, and maintain a bit of mystery. Keep things simple by not posting tons of silly quizzes, boxes or widgets on your page, and avoid overwhelming it with a distracting or flashy background. Also, think about what you’re advertising. There are slots for several preferences and identifying factors on all social networking sites. Stay away from listing anything that could become a deal breaker for a woman right off the bat -- such as not wanting kids or not believing in marriage.
Another thing that has no place on your page is your ex. We know that social networking sites truly are a way for everyone to stay in touch, but it’s a little tacky to broadcast your friendly relationship with your former flame. Also, remove from your page anything that could be offensive or make you look like a tool. If your buddies write distasteful comments all over your wall, women are going to be turned off which is why there's a clever little "delete" button for all those comments to quickly disappear.
No.10 - Have a good profile picture
Resist the urge to use that photo of you doing a keg stand from college as your default picture. The same goes for any picture where you can’t tell which person you are, you look visibly drunk or you’re surrounded by Hooters girls.
Your ideal photo should be casual and “honest” rather than something overly posed -- you want it to be a true reflection of who you are. Also remember that your photo can be changed fairly frequently.
Illustration from Clyde Mendes column at MetroSexual LA