1. “I don’t want to upload images”
* Identify and examine reservations for posting a photo in your profile (generally fears of some kind, particularly of exposure, being judged, rejection, self-esteem & body image issues, etc.). Write down all of the reasons why you don’t want to post a clear and close-up photograph of your face and then come up with some counter-statements to defeat these negative thoughts and resistances.
* Emphasize the significant importance of “first impressions.” Generally speaking, a profile without a picture raises suspicions in the minds of many viewers. They wonder, “what is he hiding?” No posted picture can commonly raise some “red flags” to potential prospects, who may pass over the personals ad altogether without even reading the profile content and an opportunity may have been lost.
* Take full advantage of the picture by showcasing who you really are. Let your personality shine through, have a shot of you doing something that you love to do (in addition to a headshot) Make sure the picture is CURRENT. There’s nothing wrong with hiring a professional photographer but make sure that any “glam shots” are truly representative of who you are and beware of props in photos that distract from you or are sexualized in nature. Remember, you’re the star in your ad!
* A picture online gives you an identity and helps a viewer gain some personal contact with you when he’s visiting your ad.
2. “I don’t want to connect with any of matches; I’m not interested in them.”
* Unless there are some definite deal-breakers present in a match based on what’s documented, avoid pre-conceived notions or making assumptions about the man and approach each match with curiosity and intrigue. Getting to know someone and the mysteries inherent in learning more about them is fun and alluring! And just because a potential match may not be boyfriend material, they just might fit the bill for a new friend to add to your support network (and they may know someone who could be compatible for you as well!)
* Does the dating profile need tweaking? Is it truly representative of the type of person whom you’re seeking? Perhaps doing a make-over of the profile so it matches more specifically your vision for the ideal partner may help screen out those who may be incompatible.
* Seeking perfection and being “too picky” can alienate you from achieving your dating goals and can be self-defeating in your quest for Mr. Right. While you don’t want to compromise on your values, take care to differentiate between your needs and your wants to avoid narrowing down the dating pool to a point where nobody will ever be good enough and reach those high expectations you’ve set. You could be missing out on a great guy if you operate solely from a place that everything is non-negotiable.
* Define your relationship expectations. Are they rigid and limiting? Differences among people are gifts. Be open to dating people outside your typical “type”; if you resist this, try it anyway and pose it as an experiment and “be in the moment” with your date. You may just be pleasantly surprised!
3. “I don’t want to put anything in my profile. I don’t know what to say.”
* This is the only way people are going to know whether you are a compatible match based on what’s written in your profile! Self-knowledge is key here! Your best screening tool is to know what your personal requirements are for your ideal partner and relationship (qualities and characteristics). What’s negotiable vs. non-negotiable for you? Incorporate this information into your personals ad profile by injecting some personal spunk into the content. Have a captivating headline that pulls viewers in to want to read more. You have a wonderful opportunity to showcase your personality in a unique and creative way that is both compelling and gives viewers a bite-sized glimpse into who you are, what you stand for, and what you’re ideally looking for in a mate. The online reader can only handle and digest small amounts of information, so hold back on writing a novel and maximize the space you have with writing a succinct advertisement of yourself. Have fun and be playful with it. Stand out from the crowd with your special spin, but make sure to be authentic and true to form. Be positive and remember that the more specific and clear you are on your personal requirements, the greater probability exists that more compatible matches will respond!
4. “I don’t want to initiate contact with my matches.”
* Dating is a pro-active art form requiring us to be in the driver’s seat of our lives. We have to be willing to make things happen for us by taking the necessary risks and asserting ourselves to realize and accomplish our destinies.
* In a recent survey I conducted on my site, the vast majority of gay men who responded indicated that they do not initiate conversations with men whom they find interesting or attractive, preferring instead to take a passive stance and waiting for others to approach them first. Huge mistake! Imagine how many potentially good relationships could have come to fruition had someone mustered up the courage and taken that first step and made the first move! Don’t be a casualty of this!
* When communicating, ask open-ended questions to elicit as much elaboration as possible. Show curiosity and genuine interest in the other person.