January 10, 2014


Dating Rules for the Digital Age | Men's Fitness

Seven tips for using technology to your advantage

Read the original Men's Fitness article here.

Your grandparents never experienced the childish amusement of a text fight. Your parents never had the opportunity to Facebook stalk eachother before they got hitched. And the first girl you dated, you probably asked her out face-to-face.

For better or worse, technology changes the dating world—fast—and when it does, you just have to roll with it. If you meet women online, you already know what I’m talking about here, but even if you don’t, how you use technology will have a big impact—positive or negative—on your dating success.

Obviously every man should understand the basics of social media, and how it affects your dating life, but it doesn’t end there. We approached dating guru Nick Savoy, founder of Love Systems and author of the Magic Bullets Handbook, for his seven dating rules for the digital age.

Dating Rule #1: You’re not Nick Newell

Just because there’s an awesome MMA fighter with one arm doesn’t mean you have to imitate him, or fight the game of love with one hand behind your back. There are digital tools to improve your dating life; use them. Your competition will be.

For example, if you met an interesting woman earlier in the day and now you’re at a great party and want to invite her, don’t just text. Send a picture or video clip of where you are to entice her.

Or, when you go on a first date, have some impressive pictures on your phone. Just like we covered in the how to use Tinder piece, let your pictures tell a story about who you are. Don’t just have a collection of headshots, or worse, photos of you with your arm around random women. That screams insecurity. Have pictures of yourself doing different things, with different people, in a way that complements your identity and is attractive to her.

Why is this important? Because at some point, you’ll be talking about a trip you were on or a show you were at, and she’ll ask if you have pictures. Prepare for her to browse other photos when she does.

Dating Rule #2: She’s not Nick Newell either

Newsflash: Women generally spend more time thinking and talking about dating and relationships than men. She’s not going to fight for what she wants with one arm behind her back either.

A friend of mine caught her ex-boyfriend cheating. He told her he was at home, but the background noise on his phone sounded different. So she asked him to get on video chat for a second. He couldn’t, because he was at another woman’s house. Five years ago, he might have gotten away with this. Now he can’t.

By the way, I’m just using this as a (stark) example. I’m not trying to help anyone cheat. You shouldn’t have to lie to get what you want. Check out this Men’s Fitness guide to dating multiple women without lying.

Dating Rule #3: It’s not 2004 and nobody cares that you "met online"

Ten years ago, there was still a stigma about online dating. If you seemed like a reasonably normal person who would be able to approach and meet women at parties, bars, and coffee shops, and you told people that you used online dating, they’d probably squint at you and wonder why.

Now it’s the opposite situation. If you’re single and you want to be meeting or dating someone and you tell people that you don’t use online dating, they will probably wonder why. It’s here to stay. I know many women who pretty much only meet men online. I mean, they wouldn’t rule out a man who just happened to cross their path because he wasn’t from online, but they don’t ever go out with the intention or the desire to meet men.

So if you’ve ruled out online dating in the past, give it another shot. The single best place to get started (full of examples and sample profiles and transcripts) is Derek Cajun’s Gentleman’s Guide to Online Dating.

Dating Rule #4: Text. But not too often. Or too little. Or about the wrong things

It’s so easy to stay in regular, even constant, contact with someone now. Most guys know that they shouldn’t bombard a woman, but the opposite is just as true. E.g., if you meet a woman on Tuesday and arrange to meet up on Friday and don’t communicate with her at all in the meantime, she might think that the plans aren’t firm or that you’re about to cancel. Or she might forget about you when she’s getting interesting messages from other men.

It’s not enough just to text, and many kinds of texts will actually hurt your chances with a woman. Text in a way that builds attraction, qualification, and comfort, maintains romantic and/or sexual tension, and neither over- nor under-pursues. Easier said than done? Check out my free 10-minute video tutorial for 5 specific techniques to improve your text game right away.

Dating Rule #5: Fox Mulder was right. The truth (or a version of it) is out there

Be aware of what is out there about you online. Most women will Google your name before or after a first date. Assume that she will find whatever is out there. So if your top search results includes your friend’s Tumblr, where he photoshoppped you having sex with a blow-up doll, you might want to tell her the story first before she sees it, doesn’t realize it was a joke, and deletes your number.

(Though you might also want to rethink your taste in friends.)

We’re not quite at the point where people write reviews of their dates on Yelp, but we’re not far off. I was recently on a date where the woman I was seeing showed me an app where she and other women had rated her ex-boyfriend based on looks, personality, ambition, etc. Even if you’re not feeling enough chemistry to want a second date, there’s no harm leaving her with a positive impression of the first one; you never know who she might influence in the future.

Dating Rule #6: What’s good for the goose is good for the gander

You’re also allowed to look her up. As long as you’re not stealing passwords or going places you shouldn’t, it’s not stalking. It’s totally normal and appropriate. If spending a half hour on her Twitter makes you lose interest or realize that she falls into one of the ten types of women you should never date, cancelling your next date will save you both a lot of time and frustration.

But don’t do this once a relationship is over. Technology can make breakups more difficult and drawn-out. Most experts agree that the best way to handle a breakup includes cutting off contact. But in an interconnected world, it can be hard to avoid seeing her tagged in a mutual friend's Facebook post. Minimize this as much as possible and never, ever give in the temptation to “find out what she’s up to now.”

If you actually want to get back together with your ex, don’t stalk her. Follow these seven simple rules to get your ex-girlfriend back instead.

Dating Rule #7: Avoid the Black Hole of Suck

We covered earlier how it’s so quick and easy to communicate with people these days. Well, that’s a double-edged sword. There are a lot of people out there who love the validation of receiving flirty messages online or through texts more than they actually love meeting up, going on dates, and so on.

These “validation junkies” are a Black Hole of Suck. In fact, they qualified as a category all by themselves among the list of 7 women we can guarantee will waste your time. Avoid at all costs!

Nick Savoy
Nick Savoy


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