I placed personal ads on Kiss.com, Yahoo! Personals, and Match.com, and though I had to virtually kiss a lot and I mean a lot of horny toads to get there, I did eventually meet a prince. And marry him.
One thing I learned, lucky for me: Dating on the Web is a woman's game. In the virtual world, women post their profiles and wait for it to rain men, while guys are forced to grovel and beg just to get a single response. Never fear. Guys, we've compiled a helpful list of dos and don'ts to improve your online dating prowess.
DO pay to join a service. Nothing screams "cheapskate" like a guy who won't fork over 20 bucks to meet Ms. Right.
DON'T contact incompatible women. If her profile says she wants a huge family and you despise kids, look elsewhere. If she's an outdoor enthusiast who loves exotic travels and rock climbing, and your biggest outdoor adventure this year was the 13 hours you spent camped out in line for a PS3, she's not interested. Trust us.
Note: If you can't figure it out yourself, try dating via eHarmony.com. Its extensive questionnaire will help match you with compatible women. Be prepared to shell out $20 to $50 a month for eHarmony's full services, depending on your contract length.
DO be honest, but not brutally honest. If you have children, we need to know. If you're looking for a casual partner rather than a serious relationship, we need to know. If you have a third nipple, we don't need to know (at least, not on the first date).
DO write an intelligent, well-planned response. When initially contacting a woman, talk about what attracted you to her profile. Speak to common interests and goals. Show that you really "listened" to her and aren't just responding because she's a hottie. In fact, don't ever use the words "phat," "hottie" or "babe" in an introduction or you'll instantly find yourself in the recycle bin with the other trash.
DON'T expect an immediate response. Any decently attractive woman will receive tons of responses. My first week on Yahoo! Personals, I received 732 e-mails about my profile and I'm no Halle Berry. That's a lot of losers to weed out before she reads your brilliant introduction. Give her a week to respond, and if you don't hear back, move on to the next lady and work your virtual mojo again.