SpaceManAndy’s Advice for Unlucky Online

Dear SpaceManAndy,

I’ve been trying online dating for a while without success. I feel like the only people who hit me up are just looking for sex, or they say hi, and I say hi back, and our conversation really doesn’t go anywhere. That’s on the rare occasions that someone actually sends me a message. Based on how infrequently I get messages, I have very little confidence in sending my own messages. Someone told me that you’re engaged and met your fiance online, so clearly it’s possible. What am I doing wrong?

Unlucky Online

Dear Unlucky,

You are correct, I am engaged to someone I met on OKcupid. For reference sake, I have reactivated my account exactly as it was when I stopped using it. PLEASE NOTE: I have lost a bunch of weight since those pictures were taken. PLEASE ALSO NOTE: My profile was not perfect. Some of my advice is not reflected in my profile. Do as I say, not as I do. I’ve learned since I made that. What I’m saying is that I’m trusting all of you lovely people in putting up my old profile. DON’T YOU JUDGE ME!

SpaceManAndy circa 2010

Anyway, I really liked OKcupid. The interface was good, and there were a ton of questions you could fill and then say how important it was that your potential match had the same answer. For example, one question was “Which is bigger, the earth or the sun?” I marked the sun, and said that it was very important that my match also said the sun. Basic knowledge of the universe in which we live is the most basic of litmus tests for me. Other things also help with compatibility like political questions, religious questions, moral questions, what you like to do in your spare time questions, yada yada yada.

So, yeah. I’m a fan of OKcupid. Did I mention it’s free?

When it comes time to build your profile, it seems obvious, but put your personality into it. I mean, you’re looking for a potential significant other. Do you really want someone who chose you for your pics alone? No. Portray yourself as the intriguing quirky person that you are. And when I say that, please don’t interpret it as “List interesting things about yourself.” I mean “have your personality come across in the way you write.” Remember, a boring profile gets you boring matches. Honestly most profiles I came across were just boring lists of interests. But hey, maybe you are boring. I don’t know you.

It’s the difference between:

“Interests: horror movies.”


“One of my favorite things in the world to do is spend a night by myself with the lights out and a glass of bourbon and a good horror movie. I find just a little bourbon goes a long way for suspension of disbelief.”

The second one gives a feel for your personality. The first one just tells what the person likes. The second also leaves more room for conversation starters. THAT, my friends is the key to a good profile. Above all else, write a profile that makes the person want to talk to you. I don’t mean say “hi, what’s up?” to you. I mean have a real fucking conversation.

Which brings me to my next point, Pictures. What you look like is the first thing someone will notice about your profile. Often, before a potential suitor reads your profile, they will look at your pictures. What do you want to say about yourself (other than how attractive you are)? If you post pictures with skimpy clothing, you know the kind of attention you will get. Maybe you want that kind of attention. That’s ok too. But you should know what you’re getting yourself into.

This picture is not going to get him the girl to bring home to mom and dad, unless you want to bring home Snooki.

Pick photos that make people want to know more about you. Remember, you want people to want to talk to you. Take a look at the pictures I chose. The first one is pretty a pretty standard “this is what I look like” picture. At the time it was one of the better pictures of me. Remember, I’ve lost weight. The second is of me at the launch of a satellite down at Kennedy Space Center. The third is of me at a prohibition party I helped put on. Next is my friend shaving my head. You get the idea. Each has a story to tell, and a story that might make someone want to ask about.

All of this advice also works both ways. If you see someone’s profile that you like, look at the specifics of their profile. Find something to comment on. “Oh, hey, you like horror movies. I just watched The Gingerdead Man on Netflix. HILARIOUS! Have you seen that one?” is a much better opener than “Hey.”

I guess if I could leave you with one final thing to remember, it’s that questions are your friend. Put questions in your profile so when people message you, they have something to go on. When you message someone else, have a question in your correspondence. When getting to know someone, it’s easy to let the conversation stall with both of you wanting to talk more but neither of you knowing what to say. So guide and stimulate the conversation. Hopefully that will lead to other stimulation, if ya know what I mean!

And you know, be yourself or whatever. But you already know that part.

I don’t know, I guess that could work. Maybe?

– SpaceManAndy

2 thoughts on “SpaceManAndy’s Advice for Unlucky Online

  1. 2 things: 1) Please tell me the Gingerdead Man is about a redheaded serial killer and 2) I was on Match and OKCupid for a time (I’ve met several girlfriends on Match, including my current one), and one thing to remember is that the person you are emailing might not answer back because they don’t check their profile anymore. their “active within X” stat isn’t usually accurate. You sort of need thick skin when internet dating, people are much more likely to simply stop answering you, rather than say: hey i’m not really interested. Especially if your first email is “Hi” I’ve had much better luck with than OKCupid, but also costs money. so, YMMV and all.
    Also, from what i hear the ladies (heterosexually speaking)have a much harder time on these websites than guys, for the exact reasons you state. A lot of dudes are just looking for some strange. i’ve found that if you message back and forth, go on a date within a week or it’s going to crash and burn faster than Andy Dick in Thailand.
    Ok that was like 3 things…

    1. 1) No, it’s about a serial killer who’s blood got into magic gingerbread mix and he comes back to terrorize Sarah Lee, Lorna Doone, and Amos who own a bakery. It stars Gary Busey and has a sequel called Passion of the Crust.

      2)All very good points.

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