Dating online can be stressful and annoying sometimes because it’s nearly a pure numbers game. You can pretty much bet right off the bat that whichever girl you are messaging has already been contacted dozens of times that day—or, if she’s particularly physically attractive, hundreds of times—and by default you’re going to be seen by her as just another thirsty chump in a sea of thirsty chumps.

If you were approaching her in person, you would at least already be differentiating yourself from the 99% of guys who don’t have the guts to start a random conversation with a girl in public, but since you’re simply impersonally messaging her—and she can’t feel your presence, hear your voice, or see the way you carry yourself—you’re competing directly with any and every guy who can bang his fists on a keyboard and type, “Lol, ur hot.”

So what do you do, then? Well, the key here is to be different, to find a way to make yourself stand out from the crowd, even if you’re spamming all the hot girls just like everyone else.

5Be original

You know what would probably be tedious? Having 200 identical private messages in your inbox every day, and 80% of them say “Hey.” What would you do if you had to sift through all of that? Would you scan through every message until you saw the perfect “hey” that just made you swoon?

Probably not. In all likelihood, your brain would just get used to seeing all of the one-word greetings and start ignoring them. You want your first message to be eye-catching and interesting. Of course, don’t go overboard and pretend to be something you’re not, but make a genuine effort to disrupt the usual monotony of a girl’s inbox.

For example, why not start with a question? People love to blather on about themselves and their opinions, and this gives you the perfect opportunity to extract more information from her and decide if she seems like a good match for you. (It’s about more than just looks, after all, unless you’re only going for a one-night stand.) You could look at her profile, pick out something she mentioned in her hobbies, and come up with a relevant question about it, e.g. “Cool, I see you like retro gaming. Do you play any shoot-em-ups like Contra, or are you a pansy?” Bonus points if your question is something of a challenge; most guys are too busy trying to kiss up to her, and this will make you stand out.

4Be obvious; cut the crap

You know what else would probably be tedious? Having a bunch of guys who are running around trying to pretend that they’re not trying to get in your pants, when really they are.

She knows perfectly well that you want to have sex with her. If you avoid getting sexual with her when you meet, or apologize for mildly sexual comments in your messages, you are just signaling to her that you have low self-confidence and that you are embarrassed about making it perfectly clear what you want. If you’ve been texting back and forth for awhile, start inserting innuendos or lightly sexual content to signal your intention and to make it obvious that you’re looking for a sexual relationship from her, not friendship.

Just be honest, while still being respectful. A truly confident person won’t beat around the bush, and will be obvious about what he wants to the other person, accepting that rejection is a possibility. If you do get rejected for sexual advances, then good—this just means you’re incompatible. There’s nothing more creepy to a girl, though, than a guy who agrees to be “friends” and sticks around secretly thinking that he’ll be able to change her mind. If she won’t get romantic with you, just drop her.

3Meet in person as soon as possible

Don’t spend days and days having text conversations where you spill your guts to each other and talk about your hopes and dreams in life. That kind of stuff is for in-person conversation, preferably while lying side-by-side in bed.

The longer you delay your meeting, the more she’ll have time to second-guess her interest in you, and the more time you would have wasted with her if it turns out that you realize you’re not compatible after all when you meet in person. Nothing is as polarizing as meeting face-to-face, and you want that polarization to happen as soon as possible, even if it means getting rejected.

Better tear off the band-aid the moment you get the chance.

If she seems hesitant for some reason to meet in person, and keeps making excuses or canceling plans last minute, be suspicious. It could be that she just likes getting attention and validation from you, and has no intention of giving even her in-person company in return. If you think this might be the case, drop her immediately to keep her from wasting more of your time.

2Always be leading to romance and sex

As mentioned before, always be leading the mood and the conversation, even from the very beginning, towards romantic ends, not friendship ends. Does this mean being gross and sending her pictures of your unmentionables? No, absolutely not (unless she asks for them). But this does mean to set a tone right away that you are not interested in being platonic. Show her that you have the courage to risk rejection by laying it all out and declaring that you will take either a romantic interaction or nothing at all.

One way to do this is to just be upfront about it. During your early text conversations, you might say after the initial pleasantries are over and the two of you are talking about your preferences, “Just so you know, I’m a really sexual guy. I find sex exciting, and I like to experiment and discover things with other people. I’m not looking for anything platonic.” If you think this is “coming on too strong,” and that you’ll get rejected by some girls for it, you’re probably right; but the ones that don’t reject you will be extra attracted to you because of your forwardness and confidence, and they’re also much less likely to be the ones who will string you along.

1If at first you don’t succeed…

Again, online dating is a numbers game. Message lots of girls. Meet as many as you can in person. Don’t get hung up on just one. The more women you have a chance to interact with, the more of a chance you have to find some good matches.

Of course, there’s more to online dating than this, but these are a few key points to keep in mind on your endeavor. Happy hunting!

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