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Just a Guy Who Did a Lot of Internet Dating

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Welcome to Internet Dating 101 -- here are five rules that everyone should follow.

Bruce Sallan: It felt like a job, Internet dating, for me. And if you really want it to work, you have to treat it as a job. Like many sales jobs, it's about numbers and sublimating your ego. And, like the real world, the roles of men and women are quite similar. Men pursue, women respond (or not). And both sides have their challenges as a result.

man using computer

I could write literally dozens of blogs on this subject and if the feedback on this one is good, I will write more.

But, to start, I'd like to offer some Internet dating rules, garnered from 3+ years of experience AND the ultimate success of meeting my wife online.

There's no order to these rules, but trust them, do them, and you might have success in this often frustrating world:

1. Don't give up.
2. Absolutely post at least one picture and be honest with it; don't post one that is years old and/or Photoshopped to death.
3. Don't lie about your age or weight (the truth will come out and then what?).
4. Limit your chatting and e-mailing to a minimum. If there's some connection, meet. And make that first meet-and-greet a coffee date, period! If it goes well, there's plenty of time for romantic dinners.
5. If he or she is over 35, never married, there's a reason. Use caution as this applies to both genders.

These first five rules are just the beginning of my Internet Dating Rules 101 course. If you want more, let me know. It worked for me; it can work for you. Be patient, be persistent, be creative, and don't give up. But, what do I know; I'm just a guy.

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11 comments so far | Post a comment now
Loren June 13, 2009, 11:02 AM

LOL!!!! Bruce you’re a bit harsher than I was, my rule of thumb was if the guys had reached 40 and never been married then that represented a red flag for me. But I couldn’t agee with you more. Dating, internet or otherwise is a numbers game and you can’t take it personally. What you do need to do before you start is to know what you want in your potential mate, stick to it and consciously decide that you actually want a committed relationship. This may seem odd to say but most people who fail at the dating process really haven’t made up their minds about having a relationship. Trust me it shows. Also, you are right about the coffee “meet and greet”. There is nothing worse then having to sit through a 2 hour dinner with someone you know you aren’t going to see again.


Loren June 13, 2009, 11:16 AM

By the way, talking about rules of internet dating. I broke one of my own when I met Bruce. He actually stood me up on the first date. He calls it a date, I call it the “meet and greet”. But he begged and pleaded so I gave him another chance. You just never know!:-))))
-Loren (your wife)

Erica June 13, 2009, 6:51 PM

Good to know… I guess this is the best way to get back into the dating scene these days…
- Erica

Jackie  June 14, 2009, 1:50 AM

This is 1 guy who definitely speaks from experience! His wife is a lovely, classy woman who always laughs at his jokes ~ must be love!

David June 14, 2009, 4:41 PM

From about 1997 to 2005, I participated in various forms of Internet dating for a total of…let me produce a quick calculation in my pea-size brain…this could take a while…wow, probably during roughly 25 or 30 of those 100-plus months. I had almost all positive experiences. None of the connections made turned into long-term relationships, engagements or marriages; but among the connections that turned into meeting, going out several times and so on, I have 98% good memories. I personally endorse Internet dating as part of a “dating plan”—kind of like how in a marketing plan, a business identifies several channels of marketing communication it will pursue…as opposed to conducting marketing/promotional operations in only one channel. So too in dating: several “channels,” if possible, are better than only one. As far as “over 35 and never married, there’s a reason, so use caution” … OUCH! And I say again, “O*U*C*H!” Having myself been in the over-35 and never married category, and having been EXTREMELY defensive about that, I must observe that the use of the phrases “there’s a reason” and “use caution” so close together as they are in the post presumes that it is LIKELY (although not guaranteed) that the reason for being 35 and over and never married is disreputable. But let’s recognize the possibility that “the reason” may very well be a good one, as opposed to never being married as of 35 because one is crazy as a loon, or has been in prison on a 10-15 jolt. Wouldn’t it be funny if Bruce himself had been over 35 when he first got married (I believe his bioinfo and previous posts suggest he was married before the current union)…I don’t know how I would find the answer to that. But it would be like how some years ago Bill Bennett used to give moral instruction to the U.S., and then it turned out he had a serious gambling problem. In any case, other than his unsporting generalization about over-35-etc., Bruce put some good information in this post.

Lana  June 14, 2009, 10:56 PM

Love it!
Bruce your 5 comments are so key. I’ve never understood why anyone would want to misrepresent themselves on the internet, knowing full well that upon meeting, the proof will be in the puddin’ (so to speak!).
Allow people to like you for YOU. Eventually you’re going to trip on that “best foot” you’re putting forward, and both parties will have wasted their time on the pseudo you.
I’ve successfully dated for 10 years (with long term relationships amidst that), and have recently launched a business around successful dating. So many good people are sitting on the sidelines, and I intend to get them in the game :)
Men, from a ladies perspective (and not just my own), I’ll tell you this….there’s a way to have rockstar presence without carrying a guitar!
Cheers, and safe hunting!

Erin June 15, 2009, 10:43 PM

I don’t know. It seems like too much work for me. I still believe and hope in that “cute meet.” Call me naive, but I put myself out there and if it’s meant to me, it will be.

Ashley June 19, 2009, 1:47 PM

Okay, when do we get the rest of the course? I want to get better at this as it’s been a pain, so far, but your suggestions make a lot of sense.

Christine June 24, 2009, 5:48 PM

Bruce, I think you got most of the tips down to a T. I was also a 3yr veteran of internet dating, although I could have ended it sooner had I not suffered from ‘niceitis’. Even while dating I was a people pleaser, and it really didn’t serve me. I think I wasted alot of time. I believe you can usually tell within the first 3 seconds of meeting someone whether or not you click, so I do agree with the coffee chats first and foremost (if you have made the decision to finally meet someone). A person can look really good on paper, but that’s all they look good on if you know what I mean.
I ended up feeling like a part time host and full time secretary while I was doing the online thing. Don’t get me wrong, I do think there is some value in it especially because some of my friends and family members have married from it. But if I ever have to do it again (which I hope I do not) I would have limits and boundaries. Just like you said, it’s like a job… or in the positive, it’s just like ‘shopping’. My biggest tip is know what you really want out of it. Whether it is just to meet people, have lots of dates, or get serious with someone…. it’s how you show up.

Jack September 30, 2009, 10:14 PM

Keeping my promise to comment on your internet dating tips, they are quite edifying indeed, except for number 5, it is too over-simplified and speaks to generations with a limited shelf life.

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