The Pickup Artist's Guide To Facebook Dating

Everyone wants to meet that special someone, even if that special someone just means having a “booty poke,” right? So who’s to say that we can’t be forming those meaningful one night stands via Facebook?

Before you decide that this article is a creepy, misguided, and ineffectual attempt at providing dating advice, let me assure you that it is not ineffectual. It’s based off of hard science, minimal experience, and a seminar I took from a guy who insisted we call him Conundrum.

Facebook wasn’t always priming itself for Goldman Sachs or my grandma accessing the site via her new iPad; the social networking site used to cater to the idea of the “random hookup”. Until early 2008, users were able to list what they were “looking for”, including the salacious “random play” and “whatever I can get” that often raised the… interest of users. But Facebook has buttoned up and thrown out the fuzzy handcuffs in favor of cufflinks.

Of course apps exist for this sort of thing on the Facebook platform, Zoosk and Are You Interested being the most popular. But for those of us who prefer the old fashioned stalker approach to dating, here are some things to consider:

Get to Know the Real You

The most important thing to understand about any attempt at online dating, be it with OKCupid, Match, or JDate, is that your goal is to get an in person encounter with your interest as soon as possible.

Online correspondence can belie physical appearance, confidence, wit, and chemistry. While it might seem safer to have a drawn out exchange with your prospective lover, the reality is both of you will slip into the comfort of knowing each other exclusively online. The longer your relationship exists online, the more likely both parties will be let down when you meet in real life.

Attend Friends’ Events

No, I don’t mean attend events you were invited to. I mean click that convenient little button under the “Events” tab that lets you see all the Events your friends are associated with but that you yourself were not invited to. Checkout the guest list. See a girl with a smile that captivates? See a hunk with a body that don’t stop? Not only do you know what party that hottie’s going to be at, but you already have a wing-person in tow. Now you just need to perfect that pickup line (“Hi”, and “I would feel like an idiot if I didn’t say ‘hi’ to you” actually work).

The Semi-Random Message

See someone cute in a friend’s photo album? Tell your friend! Ask them a direct, unassuming question:

“Hey, I noticed Johnny’s a friend of yours. I think he’s really cute – can you tell me about him?”

Chances are your friend will be able to provide insight about Johnny and be more likely to make an introduction for you now that you’ve placed value on their opinion.

Not all that close with the mutual friend? That’s okay – even the mere fact that you have a mutual friend can help allay any fear that you’re a creeper who reads blogs on how to date using Facebook. Send them an honest message:

Hey – I just want to tell you you’re absolutely gorgeous. I suppose there are worse random messages you could receive :)

It’s complimentary while also disarming in its honesty. If the recipient chooses to reply, respond by reminding them that you know the same people. “So how do you know Stephanie?” Not only does this confirm your identity, they’re also more likely to follow up when the topic concerns intersecting social circles.

Email Addresses are Invaluable

Today, an email address can reveal far more about someone than a phone number. People tend to use the same email address to register for various online sites and services. A simple Google search of my email address “theitkids[at]gmail.com” yields newspaper articles, YouTube channels, Twitter accounts – all associated with me. One could glean an awful lot about someone by knowing nothing more than their email address, and sufficiently tailor a piquant message (having looked them up on Facebook).

The One That Got Away

Not all Facebook dates must be entirely anonymous. If you’ve ever wondered what happened to the unrequited love you sat behind in Chemistry 101, pull out your yearbook and try looking them up. Chances are they’re divorced, miserable, and yearning for the days of yore before they popped out two kids and a foreclosed mortgage. There’s nothing they’d love more than a kind hello from you to remind them that they’re still dabomb.com

Liar, Liar

No one ever said the dating world is where scruples reign king. While falsifying one’s identity has become increasingly difficult with the transparency and interconnectedness of the internet, Facebook has actually moved away from identity authentication. Verified email addresses are no longer necessary to associate yourself with a university or school; all one need do is edit their profile to reflect the information they wish. For instance, according to my recently updated profile, I’m the CEO of Twitter and received my Ph.D. from Brown in Interpretive Dance. Obviously, I didn’t go to Brown.

Would someone be more likely to respond to a CEO? What happens when date time arrives and the truth is revealed? As a CEO, I’ve never had to confront this.

No amount of “online suave” will ever supplant the necessary components for an in person romantic exchange, but Facebook can help extend your social reach and focus a normally happenstance world of dating. I’ve found that most success stems from an adherence to honest communication; I’m amazed at the number of my friends who complain about the inert and frequently counterproductive online correspondence they receive.

What’s your experience been like?

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