Frank Relationships Radio Show: Gina Stewart, Online Dating Coach

Monday, Dec. 17th 2012 1:19 AM

 

Looking for that special someone? If so, you have undoubtedly given some thought to online dating. Stay tuned … we’ve got just the coach to help you put your best profile forward.

Links to this week’s guest: http://www.expertonlinedating.com/ and http://datingadvice.com/


 
FRANK RELATIONSHIPS: EXPERT ONLINE DATING
Guests: Gina Stewart

Frank: Looking for that special someone, if so you’ve undoubtedly given some thought to online dating. Stay tuned, we’ve got the coach to help put your best profile forward.

Frank: Welcome to Frank Relationships, where we provide a candid, fresh and frank look into relationships with goals of acceptance, respect and flexibility, I’m Frank Love and you can find me, my blog and my various social media incarnations at franklove.com.

Once again I’m joined by my co-host Dr. Gayle, she has a doctorate in psychology and ain’t afraid to use it. What’s up Dr. Gayle?

Dr. Gayle: Hey, hey Frank?

Frank: If you’re on the dating scene you might find yourself do the club or church thing in order to find that special someone. Potential mates can assuredly be found at each, but the fastest growing dating scene can be found right in your living room. Yep at your computer, no matter if you’re looking for a one night stand or a spouse and no matter if you are 20 or 60, the internet hosts a rich set of opportunities to connect and that’s where my guest comes in. She’s an online dating consultant, columnist and proprietor, a graduate of Cal State University, she’s worked with several big marketing firms, but found her passion as an online dating consultant that helps her clients, yep people market themselves. So, if you wan to know what works when creating your online profile, the results of sharing too much information and the types of pictures that you should not share, then join me in welcoming online dating coach, extraordinaire, Gina Stewart. Good morning.

Gina: Good morning, Frank. Good morning, Dr. Gayle.

Dr. Gayle: Good morning, Gina

Frank: How’s it going?

Gina: Very good. Pretty good, actually. It’s pretty early over here in California, but it’s good.

Frank: Well, alright. Let’s get you started and get you back to bed.

Gina: Yeah. Thank you, appreciate it.

Frank: Tell us about your background in marketing and how it prepared you for this business.

Gina: Okay, well, I worked for several ad agencies and marketing companies before I started my business, Expert Online Dating and basically what I realized what was happening in online dating was that online dating was relationship marketing. The only difference between selling ads for a Cherry Coke and online dating was the product that I was marketing and that’s a person instead of a beverage. So, the importance of marketing comes in to play in terms of online dating, because whether you like it or not, you are presenting a picture of yourself, a brand, and ultimately you’re trying to get people to buy that brand and go out on a date with you. You have competition whether you want to think that you do or not and so every message that you send, goes in your online dating written profile, your emails, your behavior, should all be geared with that in mind. That you are ultimately trying to get someone to do something which is go out with you, get to know you further or whatever.

So, when people are online dating, they need know that they need to represent themselves as a brand. They need to be consistent about the message that they’re sending to other people in terms of the type of person that they are. It’s also really important to identify who their audience is. Who is it that you’re actually trying to attract?

I think so often people just put themselves out there without giving a thought of “Okay, well how is the person reading my profile or looking at all my stuff, going to respond to me?” So you need to identify your audience and you need to position yourself in a way that makes your audience want to interact with you.

Visuals are super important, so a lot of people take for granted just how important pictures are. Just like in all marketing, you’re drawn into things that look well presented or whatever, whether you’re walking down the street and you look like slug, like how you wear your clothes is part of how you market yourself and how you brand yourself. So—

Dr. Gayle: So then are—

Gina: The same thing goes with online dating.

Dr. Gayle: So then Gina, are you representing or are you helping people to represent a false sense of themselves? Or how is that different from dating traditionally?

Gina: Oh no, the thing that’s great about what online dating or in any dating or whatever, different stokes for different folks. Not everything is met for everybody, not every person is meant to appeal to everyone, so that’s not what I’m doing, I’m just helping you identify how you can best put forward your assets so that someone wants to respond to you. And that’s not misrepresenting, all it is, is positioning you in a certain way. And nothing that I do is in anyway falsified, everything that I tell my clients to do whatever, never out of line as who they are as a person. I’m just helping them put forward their best qualities, their best assets, their best chances to get dates.

Frank: Do you have any experience with online dating?

Gina: Oh yeah, I have tons of experience with online dating, that’s how I got started it—you know, the idea business was from personal online dating. In fact actually, this is kind of a funny story, but I first even realized that people needed this help when this guy contacted me and I looked at his profile and it was kind of generic, but not terrible or whatever and we ended up going out a couple times. Anyway, not a love connection or whatever, but maybe a couple weeks later, I got an email from another guy. And this guy was almost like a joke. He had this—just the body shot picture in the mirror and no face and he sends an email to me complimenting me on how I’m not a short midget chick like all the other girls on this site or some—it was just bizarre. I was like, “I got to go see what this dude’s all about.” So, I go and I click on his profile and I noticed the word-for-word he has the exact same profile as the guy that I went out a few weeks prior to and I thought, “This is weird,” like “How did this happen?”

At first I thought that the headless dude had copied the other guy’s profile or what and then I was like, “You know what? The first guy I went out with was kind of lazy.” I had a feeling he didn’t even write his profile, so I literally copied and pasted their profile into Google and I found and it was like on a men’s blog somewhere for people like, “I don’t know what to write an online dating profile,” and these guys were literally lifting it word-for-word, not even trying to change anything about it. It’s like, okay, number one rule of stealing something somebody else wrote is at least change the words around a little bit, right? So you don’t get caught. So just by shear chance both these guys gone the lazy way about writing a profile and I thought you know what—

Frank: Cha-ching.

Gina: Exactly, well there’s two men that I know of for sure, just two men by *(inaudible) 7:44 contacting me that don’t know how to write their profile, there’s plenty men out there also that don’t know how to write their profile and I didn’t want any more men to get caught by a smart ass girl like me that put two and two together, just did a little background work, you know?

Dr. Gayle: So, it kind of sounds like you’re the online millionaire matchmaker. Is that true?

Gina: Kind of. I get that a lot. Some people tell me I’m like Hitch a lot for online. It’s funny, because I hadn’t watched that movie in awhile. I was like, “I got to go see this. Like what are they talking about,” and it’s true. There’s a difference though I feel like between what I do and traditional dating coaches, matchmakers or whatever. My goal is getting people dates. What happens on those dates after that is completely in their court. They can hire a dating coach for that.

Dr. Gayle: So, you don’t care about the after effect, you just want someone to have a date?

Gina: It’s not that I don’t care, don’t get me wrong, I want all my clients to find love and I believe there’s somebody out there for everyone, but my area of expertise is the online component.

Dr. Gayle: Okay.

Gina: It’s not the “How do I get someone to fall in love with me and he hasn’t called me back and what do I do?” That’s not where my expertise is.

Frank: Is it exclusively with men or do you work with women too?

Gina: No, not at all, I started working with men and I thought that was basically my best *[touch] 9:07, because I was a women I could give them the female prospective and what not, but what ended up happening was after working with so many men, I started to see how men were experiencing women and I sort of got the feel for the other side of ledger, like “Wow, here are all of the mistakes that women are making and things that they could be doing better.” I started out thinking like only men would hire me for my help and expertise. I gained a whole new area of expertise and insight from doing so much stuff on the guys side, but now I help both men and women. But there’s a difference between the way both sexes experience online dating for sure. It’s definitely not, I mean there are some things that are obviously that are *[overarching things] 9:54 that both sexes can do and be better at, but the strategy is for each on how to get better dates. I approach pretty definitely.

Frank: Well, let’s hear it.

Gina: Alright. So, well the thing that’s interesting to me that I found in online dating is that men and women take on more traditional gender roles in online dating than I feel like they do in more organic dating. And so, what I mean by that is, women plan to get contacted by a lot of men online, which puts them in the role of being the chooser. They, in part, by becoming a chooser, they’re the ones that become pursued. So, men are the pursuers and women get to choose between those men that are pursuing them, who they want to go out with or who they want to pursue something. That’s not to say that women don’t pursue online, but it’s just I’m finding a general trend that goes with that. Men have to put in a lot more legwork to get women to respond to them than the average woman does.

So for men, I have to teach men how to be the aggressor and how to pursue a woman, whereas a woman I have to teach be welcoming and getting how to position herself as someone who is going to be receiving of these messages and how to look a certain way for the type of guy that she is trying to attract.

Dr. Gayle: That sounds interesting to me Gina, because you say that you have to teach men how to be more assertive, do you think that men that date online are less assertive in real life, for a lack of a better word?

Gina: Well, that’s interesting, because I feel like that—yes and no. I’m going to answer this in a two-fold way. One, the thing about online is that everyone becomes a little bit braver. When you’re behind that screen, rejection doesn’t seem to sting quite as bad as when you’re in real life approaching somebody. So, in a lot of ways—and I think this is why women get pursued much more online than in real life is that men are a lot braver and more willing to take a shot at something when they’re online. However, how they do what they do and what they view as pursuing a woman or trying to court a woman online is where I feel like they make mistakes and that’s where I come in. Because sometimes they are just too passive or sometimes—I always tell men you need to make an effort. You need to write an email, you need to write a thoughtful email to a woman, you just can’t just *(inaudible) 12:25—

Dr. Gayle: That sounds like real life.

Gina: Yeah, it does.

Dr. Gayle: It doesn’t sound like just online. It sounds like real life.

Gina: Yeah, yeah exactly. It’s true, it is. There’s a lot parallels. There definitely are. And so, it’s like I’m helping men but at the same time I’m helping women, because I’m helping men learn how to treat women. Women appreciate that those men are like, “Okay, a little bit more clued in.”

Frank: Any experience with coaching people who just want tryst?

Gina: For the most part I try to stay away from that. It’s just a personal thing, I’ve been able to choose who my clients are and what they’re looking for in a relationship and I don’t usually like to go for just the tryst type thing. I don’t know, call me like a romantic or whatever. I like to feel like I’m helping people find love.

Frank: Okay, describe your clients; blue collar, professional, ethnicity, age group. What you got?

Gina: Pretty much all over the board. Like I said, the first part of my business definitely skewed male. It’s definitely evening out a little bit more but in terms of what they do for a living, that’s interesting, because it’s pretty much all over the board.

I get a lot of blue collar, maybe lesser educated people, just because they don’t feel confident writing about themselves necessarily. They’re like, “You know, I haven’t taken an English class since high school or something and I don’t want my grammar to messes me up.” So, I get like men and women who have that problem and I also have people who are the white collar and they may not—they’re like, “I’m fine writing and what not, but I am just too busy to handle this by myself. I need someone to come in and help me do it.”

Frank: So what would you do to help someone who doesn’t have time to type their own profile or something like that?

Gina: Well, so beyond writing profiles I can search and sort for people that meet their criteria, because that’s part of the thing that takes the most time, is just filtering through all the different people that you could contact to the ones you actually do want to contact and end up contacting and what not. So, what I’ll do is, I’ll get a list of criteria from the men. I’m like, “Okay, what are you looking,” and then instead of them going on and searching, I’ll go search and then I’ll send them a bunch of usernames of people that I think would be good for them and then, they are like, “Okay, I like this one, this one, not this one. It saves them a bunch of times.

Dr. Gayle: So, you’re like a ghost writer, like a ghost searcher, kind of?

Gina: Yeah, yeah in a lot of ways, I do. I do a lot of ghost writing.

Dr. Gayle: So, then how do your clients move from you and you kind of in there ear, so to speak, from being face-to-face and being able to interact with their potential dates alone?

Gina: Well, that’s also the thing that’s like to me, this is going to be overarching thing that I say over and over again is that online dating should always and only be viewed as a catalyst to meet somebody in person. You don’t know someone, because you read their online profile and you read some emails or whatever. Even though everything that I’m doing is honest like it’s true to the person, you really—for anybody—you really don’t know anyone until you’re face-to-face and see them on an inner personal level. So–

Dr. Gayle: So, is there like a number of dates that you suggest—or a number of, I don’t know, contacts that you suggest that people wait until they meet the other party face-to-face or how do you suggest that people move from online profiles to actual face-to-face contact?

Gina: Timing is very, very important, so you just definitely want to be able to move things along in a fairly quick pace, because like I said, you don’t want to draw something online and then get these expectations of how this person’s going to be and then when you finally do meet, they’re different than what you had in your head and so you’re kind of setting yourself up for failure. However, you don’t want to just rush in and meet anybody just because. You need to be selective and you need to be careful. There’s a lot of scary people out there, so you definitely need to go at the time when you feel like you’ve gotten to know this person a little but you still want to get to know more, but you also feel safe in meeting them in a public place and comfortable interacting with them on a personal level.

So, it’s hard to give a hard number, everybody’s different, but I like to get the ball rolling for making plans at least by about the third email exchange between the two people; third or fourth.

Dr. Gayle: And how soon do you suggest people exchange phone numbers? And also do you think that people should—I know I’m bombarding you with questions—

Gina: That’s okay. Great.

Dr. Gayle: About the email, do you think they should create a fake email account? How does that work?

Gina: The good news is, a lot of sites you never even have to give your email account. You email through the site. For safety reasons, I always recommend going that route. Don’t ever give your personal information out. In fact, for a lot of my female clients and stuff that don’t feel comfortable about giving out their phone number, I say, “Don’t.” Set up your meeting through the sites and set up your meetings through the sites’ email exchange and say, “Hey I’ll meet you here,” or whatever and skip the whole phone conversation process altogether.

If you don’t want to do that, you can also—again this is more for females to be more safety-orientated—I say get the man’s phone number and then call him from—do a star 67, block your phone number and call him if you’re concerned about your phone number getting out there.

Most people understand that online dating and it can be a scary space and so I’ve encountered a situation where guys was turned off by a girl, because she was practicing caution and safety in getting to know them.

Frank: You noted that you help some of your clients with sorting through some of the people and based on their criteria. Now, does everybody know what they want? Do you find some people say, “This is my criteria,” and then you slide one in and hey, there happens to be a love connection?

Gina: Yeah, actually all the time. That’s actually part of the fun part of what I do, because a lot of times people will give me their—their hard list is like, “I need this, this, this and this and not this, this and this.” But the thing we know about true life, is that sometimes you meet somebody that knocks your socks off and you have chemistry with and you’re like, “Wow, on paper I would never even given you a second thought, because you don’t meet these x, y and z criteria.” So, the fun part of my job is actually trying to convince people to go sometimes a little bit outside their comfort zone and what it is that they think they must have or can’t deal with at all. I’m like, “Okay, just give this person a shot,” because again as much as people want to feel like an online profile is all encompassing of what they are, you don’t know until you meet them in person anyway.

I can’t tell you how many people will check a certain box in online dating profile or whatever, but then once you get on a date how they explain that whether it be their religion or political views or whatever are so much different than just what that little box says. It’s important to give people the time to explain themselves, which is why I recommend get to know a person in-person before you make all the judgments just based on what they write or put in their profile.

Frank: Every meet with clients face-to=face?

Gina: I do meet with clients face-to-face. For my own personal safety, I try to avoid that unless I either know them through a referral or what not. I can accomplish a lot over Skype which is the same exact thing, but all my clients are now—they’re all over the country, so meeting face-to-face is not something that is even an option most of the time. But yeah, I have met some clients face-to-face.

Dr. Gayle: Is there a specific site that you refer clients to? So, it sounds like clients seek you to help with their profile and they determine what search engine they want to choose.

Gina: Yes.

Dr. Gayle: Okay.

Gina: I don’t work exclusively with any dating website that matches people up. I’m not affiliated in that way and that’s good, because certain sites have their different things that they offer. Even just from the clientele, there’s certain sites that are more hook-up oriented and there are certain sites that are more along the relationship oriented. So, it’s important that, when people come to me, I’m like, “Okay, what are you trying to achieve and accomplish?” Let’s choose a site that helps get you to your goal.

Dr. Gayle: What do you think about the free sites verses the ones that you have to pay for?

Gina: That you have to pay for?

Dr. Gayle: Uh-huh.

Gina: There’s some absolutely great free sites in terms of you know—they’re really good quality of there user interfaces and all that. The thing about free sites which is great is that you’re going to get a lot of people trying to try out online dating.

The thing that’s not so great is that, or is not as great I guess, as the paying sites is when people are paying for something, they’re going to take it more seriously, because they have a little like vested interest in it. So, I find that the people on paying sites are a little bit more serious about finding someone where you tend to get a lot of people who are flakier on the free sites. That are just like, “Oh I’ll put up a profile, but I’m never follow through or anything like that.” So, if my clients are looking for something a little bit more serious and finding someone else who is serious, sometimes I recommend going with the pay sites. But at the same time, I’m like “You know what? You could always change,” like you can put yourself on a free site, if you don’t like it after you try it out for a little bit, then you can go to a pay site. You know, you haven’t lost anything money-wise.

Frank: You’re listening to Frank Relationships and we’re to talking online dating coach Gina Stewart, please tell our listeners where they can find your articles and services.

Gina: Excellent, so the name of my business is, Expert Online Dating. You can find me online at expertonlinedating.com. I’m also the online dating expert for datingadvice.com, which is where you can read all kinds of articles written by me for both men and women to help you get more dates. Be a better online dater.

Frank: Now, how often have you seen these magic words in a profile, “horseback riding” and “long walks on the beach?”

Gina: Actually, you know what, it’s funny, I think it’s become so cliché that people almost avoid that. I think the ones that drives me the most crazy is when somebody says, “Oh, I’m looking for someone fun and I like to have fun,” and I think to myself, “Who doesn’t like to have fun?” I don’t know anyone even the most—debby-downer person I know, for her that’s fun, so you know fun is a different—it’s different for everybody, but everybody likes to have fun in their own way like you got to be more specific than that.

Dr. Gayle: So, can you kind of off the top of your head give us an example of an exciting profile that kind of would grab someone’s attention?

Gina: The things that I think are best to do are to tell stories about yourself, because you can get so much more information from a story than you can from adjectives. So, what I mean by that is so, oftentimes people when they go to write the written part of their online profile, they basically write, “I’m smart. I’m funny. I went to school here.” You know, whatever and they list a bunch of adjectives in a row, which really don’t give you a picture of a person. But what’s awesome, is if you can tell a story about, “The craziest job I ever had,” and you can tell a lot. “Oh, this person is smart. Oh, this person is funny,” just in the way they write about themselves and it’s much more interesting for a reader.

Anytime you have a reader that’s more interesting, you can already have a conversation going that you started in your profile, it makes it easier to transition from a conversation in emails and ultimately getting towards the date. So, that’s definitely something I recommend, is don’t think of yourself in terms of adjectives anymore. You can use adjectives as a starting point, but think of things that describe how you are those adjectives more than just those adjectives. Don’t say “I’m funny.” Tell a funny story and then you don’t have to say, “I’m funny.”

Frank: What would you recommend a guy look for in a woman’s profile?

Gina: Okay, so men are very visual and how they seem to try to interact with women is based on what they’ve seen of them. So, for example, women get all kinds of emails that say basically just like, “Oh, you’re pretty, your nice smile,” or whatever and all these emails are very old hat to women. They just seem to roll right off, because not only are so many men saying it, but in a woman’s mind she’s thinking, “Okay dude, you’ve never even really saw me. Like you’ve seen some pictures that I put up there or whatever, you don’t know that I’m actually this.” So, the way a man can get better attraction, is if he looks for something in her profile that is actually something that she’s accomplished or some other way to compliment her, because don’t get me wrong, women love compliments, like they feed off that, but you need to find something that I feel like is not visually-based or—

Dr. Gayle: Seems like they actually—something that seems like they actually read her profile and put some effort into it.

Gina: Like the read the profile and are taking an—exactly, and are taking actual interest in something she’s done or who she is so—

Dr. Gayle: Kind of like what I life.

Gina: Yeah, here we go again. Kind of like real life, exactly. Find something interesting that she’s done and then ask her about it and don’t ask her about it with a one word answer like, “Did you like this?” You have to say, “How did you feel about this and this,” so she has the reason to write about herself and her feelings in a longer sentence than just a one-word answer, because if you pose a question that has a one-word answer, that’s all you’re going to get back from her. You want more back from her than that, so you have to give her a reason to respond.

Frank: So, get her running her proverbial mouth?

Gina: Yeah, women love to talk about themselves and if you let her do that, you’re already ahead of the pack.

Dr. Gayle: And so then, I’m going to ask you, how do women attract men? How do, how do they attract a man?

Gina: Okay, because I just said men are visual this where women have to place the most emphasis is on their pictures. Whether you like it or not, men are looking at your pictures first and foremost and that’s in their deciding factor whether or not they’re going to contact you. It’s not, “Oh, she volunteers in her church and she takes her grandmother to lunch on Sundays.” That’s all fine and good, and it’s certainly wins points I’m sure, but first thing he’s looking at are your pictures.

Dr. Gayle: So what type of pictures do you suggest putting up then?

Gina: You need to have your initial profile picture be—obviously you don’t want to be too like statuette, but you need to have your profile picture be attractive. You need to look as attractive as you can. Don’t, like I said, don’t be misleading and do the weird angle shots or whatever. But men are going to be clicking on your profile, if they think you’re attractive.

The first picture and that’s definitely the most important, because if they don’t click on your profile, they’re never going to see all your other pictures or read anything about you. After that though, what I recommend women do is try to tell things about yourself through your pictures. So, if you want a guy to know, “Oh, I’m active and I run marathons,” or whatever, put that picture up. If you want him to know you love to travel, put the picture up of you in Italy.

And then, what happens if you can tell a story about yourself through your pictures, he can still ask you questions about yourself. A lot of times they’re going to be based on your pictures, but that’s okay, he’s still trying to get to know you and at least you’ve shown things about yourself. Like I said, if you volunteer through your church, if you show yourself building houses in Mexico with your church in a picture, you’re achieving the same thing, but that’s how men are going to respond is through your pictures.

Frank: Tell me about being too honest in your profile or is it possible to be too honest?

Gina: It’s definitely possible to be too honest. Like I mentioned earlier, you never want to lie and misrepresent yourself. Ultimately, someone’s going to have to get to know you and they want to see you for you, because if they find out that you’ve lied about something or whatever, it’s going to ruin the relationship anyway. Every relationship is based on honesty, but that said, your online dating profile is not your autobiography. You do not need to tell every detail about your life and the good and the bad in hopes that someone will just see that and take that as it is.

Okay, we’re in marketing here, right? We’re trying to get someone to take an interest in you and buy you, so what I say is, “When in doubt leave it out.” So, anything that anybody could have to reject you without getting to know you first, don’t put it in your profile. There’ll be a time to get to know a person in-person and that’s when you want to explain whatever it is that may not be the best thing about you, but you want to do it in person where you can adequately explain and they’re not going to judge you based on whatever you wrote in a profile. So, there’s definitely a line between being too honest and being just honest, and actually effective in getting people to take an interest in you.

Dr. Gayle: So, how many miles do you suggest or do you suggest people dating long distance when finding someone online?

Gina: Oh, heck no, I think long distance is terrible, because again, you’re going to need to know a person in-person. That’s how relationships happen. As much as you want to think that you can have a solid relationship over text and emails and so on, it’s just not the same. So, I think you need to choose a number of miles based on what you and/or your potential date are comfortable with traveling to be in-person.

There’s so much about being in-person with someone that tells you more than just straight words ever could. So, you need to experience someone in-person. You need to see like, “How does this person treat a wait staff? How does this person act when the person they’re presented with challenges that they didn’t expect when they’re traveling or something like that?” And it’s not anything you can find out over just straight emails.

So, one thing to keep in mind, I guess, is that a lot of people at least that I have worked with travel for their jobs, and what I mean by that, is maybe they’re salesmen and they have a certain territory. So, they may live somewhere, but they may often be in a different area or something, in which case obviously that makes sense. They can date people and maybe a farther area or whatever, but they are going to be there in person for them to get to know them in-person and that’s what’s important.

Frank: If a guy’s 300 pounds and out of shape, does he put that in his profile?

Gina: Well, he’s going to have to put pictures up, so I would think that the 300 pounds would come across at some point. The thing is, is that I do believe there is somebody for everyone. Does a 300 pound guy, go online post the right pictures of himself? Yes. Does a 300 pound guy contact girls that are eights, nines and 10s, thinking that he’s going to get a response? No, dude. You got to be realistic. What you are, you need to go after. Don’t start thinking you’re going to take a shot at something and it’s going to work out for you, because you bound to set yourself up for disappointment.

Frank: But you’re ruling out a lot of hooks that women go for, you’re talking about money, cars. It may be frivolous, but it’s real. So, you’re saying a 300 pound out of shape guy can’t get a dime?

Gina: Oh, you didn’t, you didn’t say that he was rich and—

Gina: You didn’t say that he was rich and—

Dr. Gayle: Right.

Gina: *(inaudible) 32:51 or whatever, right? I’m picking him just on *(inaudible) 32:55 Okay, so here’s the thing though, that’s interesting about online dating, which I think doesn’t come across, which is again different from real life for men and women. So, obviously we know that some ugly dudes can get some beautiful women, if they have other attributes going on, right? This is no secret in life, but these relationships are much harder to start online, simply because online, especially women, are forced to rely on visuals of men. They not going to see homeboy’s bank account right off the bat or whatever, like that he’s kind towards animals or what not, until later on. So, its’ going to be a harder sell for a guy to sell those things about himself and get those 10s in an online meeting area. Not again, not that it’s not possible, but, it’s harder.

Dr. Gayle: So Gina, is that the same for women too? Should like a five think she can date like you know, somebody that has a nice body and he works out every day and—

Frank: Of course.

Gina: I think that misjudging your expectations is a big problem for a lot of people in terms of who they think they are and what they think they deserve. But I think that’s a problem that surpasses online dating in just you know, life in general. I think some people just have different ideas of who they are and what they bring to the table. That’s something that I have to bring in, sometimes, as a reality check to some of my clients. Like, “Okay, you look like you got a bunch of good things going for you or whatever, but let’s be realistic, like you’re this level and you need to pursue people who are at your same level, because that’s how you’re going to actually get dates. Otherwise, if you want to just spin your wheels and send out emails, go for it, but that’s not how you’re going to get dates. Like attracts like.”

Dr. Gayle: What do you think about people that are 10s and that are online dating? Shouldn’t they be able to get people without being online?

Gina: Absolutely not, everybody’s looking for a connection and it’s hard to find that. It’s hard to meet people that you actually feel you hit it off with. Online dating is just another medium to find someone that you hit it off with.

Now, I think maybe in the past, definitely because online dating got started with the conception that, “Oh, this is for people who can’t meet someone in real life.” Like “They’re not good enough socially or whatever to meet someone in an off line scenario,” and that’s obviously changing all the time now with so many people signing up for online dating. It’s just becoming pretty normal. One thing that I’ve been noticing that’s really interesting is the amount of really young people that are joining online dating. I’m talking like 18, 19, 20 year olds; people that are in college and I’m thinking like, “Wow, you meet people in college all the time,” but then I put myself with what these 18, 19, 20 year olds grew up with. They grew up with technology. And being online and whatever and this is just a natural extinction of them interacting with people in a digital space. That’s totally normal for them. So, I feel like no, they could be 10s doing online dating. No problem, everybody’s looking for something.

Frank: I want to go back to something you said a few minutes ago and you were talking about someone at given level, looking for someone at a given level. How do you tell a five guy, “Hey guy, you’re a five. You know, leave the 10 alone. Are you joking?” How do you break it to them?

Gina: That’s never a fun or easy conversation to have, but I don’t say it in terms like, “You’re a five,” or whatever, but I’ll be like—here’s the thing is, I try to put him in the position of who the woman that he is going after. So, let’s say he’s a five. I’m not going to necessarily talk so much about he’s a five, but I’m going to talk about how she’s a 10. I’m going to say, “Look homeboy, this girl is a 10. So, not only is she getting a million messages from guys online. When she’s walking up to the street to go to her car, when she’s going to get coffee, when she’s at the grocery store, she’s getting hit on because she’s a 10. So, you have to think of yourself of—you’re in competition with not only every single guy, the 10 guys, you know, are an hour that are emailing her, you have to think about all the other guys in her life that she’s meeting. I mean I can only do so much. I’m not a miracle worker, I’m a dating coach, right.”

I help people position themselves to be the best version that they can be, but I’m not granting three wishes like it’s Cinderella or something over here and getting you know, the magic person. So, I focus more on, “Okay, think of all the competition you’re in and what do you bring to the table that you think is going to separate you from all these other guys that are after her to make her choose you?” And ultimately it comes down to statistics like, if she’s getting all of these you know, contacts or whatever, what are the odds that she’ll choose you? Go for a girl who’s not getting that many contacts or whatever and who you look better than all the men that are choosing her.

Dr. Gayle: What are your guarantees? Is there like, if you don’t get a contact, if you don’t go on three dates or you know what are your guarantees?

Gina: Yeah, I cannot make guarantees in my line of work whatsoever, because not only is there so many things out of my control, because I am only one side of it. I’m helping a certain person, again, put their best foot forward and market themselves, but what all the other people are doing that are marketing too or whatever, I’m not in their head. They may still be obsessed with their ex and thinking about them and that’s why they’re not responding, even though I did everything right on my end and they’re a great match, that doesn’t mean it’s going to be a guaranteed thing. So, there’s no guarantee, what I can usually do for people that have been online dating for awhile, I can show them what they did and what I’ve done and compare the results. And just show them, “Hey, with me you’re doing better than you did on your own,” but other than that there’s not actual hard number that I can give to anybody. Everybody’s so different in what they’re looking for, so different and all that unfortunately—I wish I could, but I can’t.

You’ve got to be wary of the people that do give you hard guarantee dates like, are they really getting you someone that you’re really going to be compatible and interested in or are they just working to get someone there so that they can say, “Oh well, you know, we got you that guarantee.” A lot of dating services, they freak out, because they guarantee people a certain amount of results or whatever and then they have to make good on those promises, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re doing their clients any favors by doing that.

Frank: Ever find anyone that you can’t effectively market where you’re just saying, “Look hey, I can’t work with this. Look at you?”

Dr. Gayle: You’re a two.

Gina: I have. I haven’t told them the reason why I can’t work with them or whatever, but a yes, in some cases I have had to turn down clients, because it wasn’t a worthwhile, proposition for me to be able to help them, unfortunately.

Frank: Is it okay for a 50 year old woman to put a picture of herself when she was 40 on her profile?

Gina: Heck, no. The thing that’s kind of tricky about age, which is unfortunate about online dating, is that there are a lot of people who look different in age than they actually are and this goes both ways. Some people look better than their age, some people look worse. Unfortunately, a lot of people feel like, “Well, I’m going to lie on the good end of either one of those and put the age that I feel like I am or that I look like I am,” or whatever and again, you get into the, the realm of dishonesty, which no, no healthy relationship can start off *(inaudible) 41:05.You’re already setting yourself up for failure if you do that. So no, don’t do that. I feel like dating sites should have a second column, like “I’m this age, but I look like I’m this age, and I feel like I’m this age,” you know? And then people go like, “Alright, I’m feeling you.” But you got to show who you are now is the best way to do it.

Frank: You ever hear a guy come to you after going on a date and say, “Good night, Gina. I went out with this woman and she said she was 30 and was an eight and she was 60 and was a three? What in the hell did you get me into?”

Gina: I got a pretty good keen eye now for spotting ones that are trying to hide something, so that doesn’t happen all that often, but it has happened before where—the thing that men are most concerned about is getting a woman who is bigger than what she portrays in her paper profile. Yeah, the weight—it’s funny, the weight thing is important for men. The height thing is important for women.

Women are afraid of getting somebody shorter than what he says he is. So yeah, it’s happened. I’ve had guys call me from dates before and it’s not because I did anything wrong, they were just like, “Oh that chick was, you know. She was fat crazy,” like “I don’t know even know what to do with that one.” But it’s like that’s the luck of the draw though too. That’s the reason why you got to go on a lot of dates, because they look perfectly normal, regular people online, and then you get them in person and you’re like, “Okay, I don’t need to spend anymore time emailing you.” You got to move on to the next one. It’s a numbers game.

Frank: Did any of them say her name was Dr. Gayle?

Gina: That’s so funny they did, but I didn’t want to name names. *(inaudible) 42:51 I’m just kidding you. I’ve never met anybody that knows Dr. Gayle.

Frank: It’s a small world, I had to ask.

Dr. Gayle: So listen—how do—and they didn’t mention Frank, because he’s married. That’s the only reason.

Gina: Yeah, better not mention Frank, that’s for sure.

Dr. Gayle: But Gina, how do people ease into the online dating thing?

Frank: Or is it necessary to ease into it?

Gina: No, there’s still a lot of people who are afraid of online dating. It’s so funny, I was at a bar the other night. I knew some people and I went to go say, “Hi,” and this guy I didn’t know, he was like, “What do you do,” and I start telling him and he was like, “Oh.” He’ s a probably a guy in his you know may be late 50s, early 60s and he’s like, “Online dating, you always here about all these women that get killed and raped from all that,” and I was like, “Why? You think that doesn’t happen to people from meeting in a bar?”

Dr. Gayle: Right.

Gina: *(inaudible) 43:52 just as common, if not more common. You’ve got to exercise caution wherever you go, but it’s not specific to online dating where there’s crazy people and bad things happening or whatever. So, you need to be careful in online dating, but you do also—the hard part about online dating is, is keeping in mind it’s a numbers game. You’re going to have to meet a lot of people or go on dates with a lot of people.

Not all the time, you may hit a home run the first time up to bat. Like go buy a lottery ticket, because you’re really lucky. But that’s the hardest—like be ready, you’re going to face some people that ultimately you don’t like, you know, but that’s the nature of the game. You just got to keep getting out there and that’s the hardest part is I think like, nobody wants to be rejected and nobody wants to keep doing stuff that they feel like isn’t effective. But it doesn’t mean it’s not effective, it just means you got to keep going and change your approach sometimes too, which is sometimes what I have to do to help people get better dates.

Dr. Gayle: Is there a time of year, because, for instance, now you know, in psychology we call this seasonal depression.

Gina: Right.

Dr. Gayle: Is there a time year that some people—you have more inquiries than others?

Gina: Yeah, absolutely and I think it’s absolutely tied into that season of depression thing. So there is a huge *(inaudible) 45:15 of people that have joined online dating right after the first of the New Year and I think a lot of that has to do with, spending holidays, maybe alone or lonely having to deal with the cliché questions from relatives like, “Are you seeing anybody?” Like, “Well how’s your love life?” And so I think it’s also New Year’s resolutions or whatever in the office. The Valentine’s Day coming down the pike and you’re like, “Oh gosh.” The first of the year, we’re coming up right now is a time where a lot of people start joining online dating, which is great, because that means there’s more people to choose from and more people that might meet what you’re looking for. So, if you’re looking to get into online dating, it’s a great time to start thinking about it.

Frank: Well, it also means more business for Gina, right?

Gina: That’s never bad, you know. I can’t complain if that happens too

Frank: You’re listening to Frank Relationships and we’re talking to online dating coach Gina Stewart. Once again, please tell our listeners where they can find your articles and your services?

Gina: Alright, you can find my articles at datingdevice.com where I am the online dating expert and you can find my website for online dating consulting at expertonlinedating.com.

Frank: A guy comes back to you after going on a date with a lady or you know, the other way round? She gets back and there’s no love connection, do you suggest they tell the other person that there’s no love connection or just stop returning calls and emails and all that good stuff?

Gina: Uh.

Frank: Dr. Gayle asked me to ask you that. She said this happened with her just last week. She just stopped calling the guy.

Gina: Rejection is never fun whether you’re the one receiving it or you’re the one giving it. I think that’s probably one of the hardest parts about dating in general and what I recommend is, obviously, I feel like it’s best to let someone off. To let them know that you’re not interested in pursuing anything, because that’s the worse thing is if you’re on the end, always wondering. But you can also be nice about it, so I have a basic sort of thing that I tell my clients to do. It’s a text message and it says, “Listen, it was very nice meeting you, but I think we just connected better as friends,” and boom. It shows it’s cut off. Don’t engage in anymore explanation or whatever. That’s enough for them to know they need to move on and you haven’t had to explicitly hurt anyone’s feelings.

Frank: Now have you connecting as friends, you’re still connecting. I mean, it wouldn’t be just automatic cut off, it wouldn’t be a complete cut off, because friends still communicate with each other. How you feel *[about that part of it?] 47:57

Dr. Gayle: We all have enough friends. We don’t need anymore friends around.

Gina: Yeah, if you’re on an online dating site, you’re not looking for new friends necessarily. So, I think the friend’s thing obviously, it’s a line and I’m giving you people a line that they can feel comfortable about saying, but the writing is on the wall in text like that, but you’re not interested in them romantically.

Frank: Okay.

Dr. Gayle: And do your clients always report back to you, or do you set them up and then you let them go on their way?

Gina: No, yeah, sometimes I just set them up and let them go on their way. I do different services for different people, depending on their needs and so, it’s never the same thing twice that’s for sure. But yeah, sometimes they report back and sometimes they don’t.

Dr. Gayle: What’s a price range for your type of services?

Gina: It depends. I have all kinds of things for different services that I offer. I’d rather go into that one-on-one with clients and see what their goals are and how I can help them.

Frank: What if a person does not specifically want a one-on-one connection. They’re alright with dating multiple people at once and they have no particular interest and just having one partner? What do you do with them?

Gina: That’s okay. I think that’s what, ultimately, that’s what online dating is, is getting to know multiple people dating, multiple people or whatever. I have no problem with—again it’s like everybody looking for different things. So, if you’re looking to date multiple people, there’s other people out there also looking to date multiple people and that’s who you should be getting hooked up with. I don’t have any problem with that.

Frank: I’m a take it offline for a second, does appearance matter?

Gina: In terms of your pictures or—

Frank: Face-to-face meetings.

Gina: Oh, okay.

Frank: So, we’re not online. No internet. I’ll meet you. What is appearance? Tell me how that is important or if it’s important?

Gina: Obviously appearance is very important, because appearance helps determine attraction, which is like the very first step in establishing any kind of a relationship with someone is feeling of attraction.

You need to look good, I mean sometimes all it takes is a quick trip to a store to get a new shirt and get a hair cut and you have no idea how many wonders that works for you. But I don’t actually—again, this is the part where my services a little bit taper off and you can hire a dating coach or a relationship expert to tell you what you need to do to dress to impress or what not.

Dr. Gayle: So, let’s say, someone has a certain picture online, their profile. Let’s say my hair is read online, but when we go to meet, I change it and it’s blonde, do you suggest that? Or do you suggest people keep it consistent to what the other person has seen of them online?

Gina: You need to keep it consistent. Men are definitely looking for a truth in advertising type situation and women are too, to be quite honest. Everybody uses that profile as the basis of what they expect when someone shows up so you need to bring that person to the date. If you’re—this is something I tell a lot of guys that are balding, because—they don’t like it. They’re like, “I don’t want it, I don’t want to put my I’m balding pictures,” and I’m like “Alright, well listen, if you’re going to put all your pictures of yourself that all have a hat on when you show up for that date, you better have on a hat,” because she’s expecting a guy to have a hat on and you need to get yourself in front of her in a way that she doesn’t automatically already feel disappointed before she’s even engaged in a discussion with you.

Frank: Interesting.

Gina: Yeah.

Frank: One more question, taking it offline, speed dating

Gina: Yeah.

Frank: Face-to-face, tell me what your impression of it is.

Gina: I think speed dating is great. I feel like there’s more than one way to skin a cat. There’s obviously a million ways to meet somebody and get to know them. Speed dating is just another avenue. I don’t think you should just discount it anymore than you should discount meeting somebody online or meeting somebody offline at a conference or coffee shop. lt’s all good.

Frank: Nice. When you have a rich guy show up and he’s asking you to help him let his money show through in his profile. He’s 300 pounds, out of shape, back to that guy,

Gina: Back to him, huh? Okay.

Frank: What do you do? How do you help him?

Gina: A lot of sites have the option where you can list your income or whatever. Income is a tricky thing that I feel like in a lot of times it either helps you or it really hurts you. So, you need to be pretty purposeful on how you approach, how you answer that question or that drop down, because your potential daters can really see that.

For a 300 pound guy and he makes a lot of money, I’m going to tell him absolutely put his income. You’ve got to give yourself every fighting chance to get that date and if that’s one of those things that’s going to help someone feel like they can be attracted to you, use it. Absolutely, use it. If you don’t make money on the flip side and—

Frank: Leave that out.

Gina: Leave that out because again it gets back to my thing of don’t give somebody an automatic reason to tell you, “No.” So, if you already know that someplace you’re not doing too great in, wait till you get her on that really nice $2.50 coffee date before anything comes up about money.

Frank: Any advice to your clients on when to have sex or is that pretty much passed the time when you are helping them on the virtual side. That’s the face to face stuff that you don’t really mess with?

Gina: Exactly, that’s so far passed me. I don’t want to know anything about the sexy time between my clients and anybody else.

Frank: What kind of pics should not be included in one’s profile? You said the marathon, that’s cool, but what’s bad?

Gina: Yeah, what’s bad is anything that’s pretty much flat and boring and/or unattractive. So, the ones that I think that are pretty flat and boring are the self pictures in the mirror, the self pictures with—

Dr. Gayle: The bathroom pictures.

Gina: Yes, exactly, don’t—the ones where you’re driving, I think are pretty bad too, because you can’t even tell which car a person drives when they take those pictures. Anything that doesn’t tell you anything about a person; either something interesting about them or—

Dr. Gayle: Well, what about the thirsty pictures where you’re half naked, in a two-piece thong?

Gina: So, hey now, yeah. Those pictures, I always advise my female clients—like I said earlier that females seem to be real thoughtful in how they choose their pictures, because men are so visual, but there’s a line where you need to be careful, when you go over the line and just doing the sexy pictures, because a lot of women will do the really, really sexy pictures and that’s going to get you attention, but it’s going to come with unwanted attention as well, you need to be mindful of that, like you’re going to get contacted by a lot of men who are going to sexualize you, but that’s the image you’re putting out there. So, if you don’t want to have people sexualizing you and writing you suggestive emails and what not, don’t put those pictures up there. You’re going to get back what you give. You want to always look attractive and your best, but you in your bikini, bending over or whatever. No way, no.

Dr. Gayle: Right.

Frank: What’s wrong with a bikini?

Gina: There’s nothing necessarily wrong with it. I just tell women to be careful if they use multiple like sexy orientated pictures and that’s what they’re doing. There’s nothing in itself wrong with the bikini picture.

Frank: Got it.

Gina: Does that make sense?

Frank: Absolutely, absolutely. What time of year or—you kind of touched on this and I get the impression that it is now, but I could be wrong, I could have heard something different. What type of year do you see a spike in the internet dating and when do you notice a decline?

Gina: I definitely notice it more when weather starts to heat up and, and the time changes back to when those longer days, I think people are less likely to be at home on their computer doing stuff

Dr. Gayle: So it’s kind of like real life, like cuff in season?

Gina: Yeah, kind of yeah, it does. There’s definitely a seasonal aspect but computers aren’t going anywhere. It’s never like a real shortage of people. Don’t think that, “Oh I can’t sign up for all my online dating in the summer, because Gina said, less people are doing it.” No absolutely not. There’s like 15 million people on match.com alone. There’s plenty of people out there for you to meet at any time that you want to sign up and more [on all the time – 57:00].

Frank: You mentioned match.com, any other sites you want to note that someone might be willing to use? Some free ones, some paid ones, some good ones, some bad ones?

Gina: Sure, so a match.com is the biggest and with the biggest you’re going to get yourself probably in front of the most amount of people in your given range. So, that’s something to keep in mind is that because this is a numbers game, you give yourself more chances in the place where there’s more people. But that doesn’t mean you can’t meet someone on other sites. Okcupid.com is a great free site that seems to be growing quite a bit in terms of like one that my clients are seeking an interest in. Another—

Frank: Okcupid?

Gina: Okcupid.com, yeah.

Frank: Okay.

Gina: They got all these funny questions that they have people ask and then they like rate you on whether or not you’ll be like a match, a friend or an enemy based on how you answer those questions and stuff. It’s an interesting algorithm that they’re using. Eharmony is one of the ones I recommend for clients if they’re looking for something like a real serious long-term relationship. It seems to be the site where those types of people are gravitating towards. The thing about eharmony that’s both good and bad is it’s a closed search site. So that’s good, it offers you a lot of privacy, if you don’t want anybody being able to sign into an account and see all your business. At the same time, they send you matches. They pick people for you based on this really long sermon that you have to do—fill out. So, you’re in front of less people. The idea is you’re in front of less people, but they’re more compatible with you, but, it’s a pro and a con I think, in that sense. Plentyoffish.com is another free site that’s really, really large. That one’s really kind of basic on how they do stuff.

Frank: Funny fish?

Gina: Plentyoffish.com, plentyoffish.com.

Frank: Plenty of fish.

Dr. Gayle: Plenty of fish

Frank: Okay.

Gina: Yeah plenty of fish. Yeah. Like plenty of fish in the sea.

Frank: Alright let’s wrap it up. One last question. What’s your best success story?

Gina: My best success story are the guys that keep going on dates and using me to help them get dates. Those are my favorite clients, because I get to hear a lot of fun stuff. And like I said, my business is getting people dates. I’m not in the match making game in the way like helping people—

Frank: Get married.

Gina: Yeah, get married and stuff. Again, my success stories are when I get guys dates and they come back to me and they’re like, “That chick was awesome,” or same thing for females. If they’re like, “Oh I really like it,” even if there’s a “but” behind it, you know like, “but” this or that or whatever. I’m like, “That’s okay as long as they’re having—

Frank: Fun.

Gina: Good experiences doing online dating. Exactly like that. That makes me feel good about what I’ve done.

Frank: Very nice. Dr. Gayle, you want to close us out? You got anything to say?

Dr. Gayle: I was very informed, thanks a lot.

Gina: Oh good.

Frank: She’s going to be implementing some of your tips next week.

Dr. Gayle: From my profile.

Gina: Yeah, me and Dr. Gayle are going to have a chat later.

Frank: Alright.

Gina: I’m just teasing.

Frank: You’ve been listening to Frank Relationships, we’ve been talking with online dating coach, proprietor and columnist, Gina Stewart. Once more would you tell our guests how they can contact you?

Gina: Yelp, visit my website, expertonlinedating.com.

Frank: Along today’s journey we’ve discussed the importance of telling stories in your profile, tips for rich guys and slubs and pictures not to include in your profile. I hope you’ve had as much fun as I have talking with Gina Stewart about online dating. As always, it’s my wish for you to walk away from this conversation with a heaping, helping of useful information that’ll help you create a relationship that’s as loving and as accepting as possible. Let us know what you thought of today’s show at facebook/relationshipflove, on twitter at @mrfranklove or at franklove.com. Until next time, keep rising, This is Frank Love.

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