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To Wink or Not to Wink? Online Dating Advice

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With over 200 million people worldwide looking for love online, it becomes a crowded digital marketplace. Singles want to find a meaningful connection and often find themselves with an unexpected shopping cart mentality. It often can’t be helped as online dating is a numbers game.

As an online dating expert, I hear from both men and women who want to connect with more people, more quickly. But is more always better and can this expedited way of connecting actually backfire on you? I say yes.

When *Jim, a successful guy in his 40s came to me frustrated with Internet dating and was ready to finally settle down, he wanted to use the “wink” feature on Match.com. He felt that he was a good catch and the women would be thrilled to receive his winks. I disagreed.

A wink, flirt, poke, or anything that is not engaging is like old-fashioned broadcasting. It’s unilateral and frankly, quite lazy. In the time that Jim could carve out to wink to 100 potential women waiting for 10% to return the wink, he could have crafted a personalized email to 10 women that would have made a difference. Sure these features make it easy to be fun and flirty, but a serious woman, the kind of woman who was beautiful inside and out and also wanted to settle down and find a meaningful relationship, wouldn’t settle for just a wink or a canned introduction. Would you? Jim shifted his technique and in the third month of his membership, he met a woman that he decided to date exclusively. She wasn’t the recipient of one of his winks.

Sure winks can come in handy. Take *Jane for instance. She’s never been married and is adorable. She noticed that *Mike had viewed her profile and thought she’d like to meet him. She wondered why Mike hadn’t written to her after viewing her profile, so she sent him a flirty wink and went her merry digital way. Mike recognized Jill’s profile and hadn’t written to her as she specifically said she wasn’t interested in meeting someone with children. Jill had hoped to find someone to have a family with and didn’t think being a step-mother to three girls fit in with her plan. Mike winked back and the two have been together for several years now, where Jill now adores Mike’s children.

Does this mean that a woman can wink to a man to give him the cue that she’s interested, but a man can’t wink at a woman as she’ll find his behavior lazy?

Online dating, or any type of dating for that matter, has a double-standard. Men like to pursue women. Women like to be courted. At the end of the digital day, when in doubt, I say don’t wink. Take the time and effort to put into a smaller group of people who you think you have enough in common with to warrant a conversation, both online and offline.

Do you or don’t you wink? Do you think it’s gender specific?

Your comments and thoughts are welcome.

Photo Credit: ? kebox – Fotolia.com

*Names have been changed

Julie Spira is top online dating expert, bestselling author, and founder of Cyber-Dating Expert. She creates irresistible profiles for singles on the dating scene. For more dating advice, sign up for the Weekly Flirt newsletter and like us at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert.