Re: What women want on dating sites
One thing I suggest every online dater do is look at your competition. Go in your search settings (or create a stealth profile) and search for men in your age group, + and - five years on each end. Don't put in any other filters, just the age range. Then look at the pictures, scroll through them all, get a feel for who else women are dating who might be similar to you.
A stealth profile is easier to do this with because a lot of sites will not let you browse profiles without them seeing you...and it can be awkward when a guy sees you've clicked his profile....but find a way to do it and read profiles of men who you feel are in the same attractiveness range as you are, based only on pictures. From there, please take a mental inventory of the profiles and what they say. First of all, you will immediately see many "no drama queens", "if you're looking for a meal ticket, move along", "no one who is married but separated, BTDT", "PLEASE have RECENT pictures, I will NOT be cat fished again!", and so on.
Try to take a special look at what you would consider "normal" guys. See what is normal about them in their profile and see if it would attract your sister or a woman you respect.
This is all just to collect data for yourself, so you have a much wider picture of the whole online dating world.
At a glance it may seem that women over look wonderful "normal" guys all the time. But in my experience, any guy who appears "normal" but has any of the above volatile type of messages in his profile, is going to be bitter - at least a little bit. And that is too much for me (as you have said, you don't like women who display this bitterness either". Also, I've chatted back and forth with several "normal" guys who quickly became hostile toward me if I didn't answer fast enough or in a way they liked. I do not paint other "normal" guys with the same brush, but I'm just saying to you that a guy friend of yours who seems like a totally "normal" guy who can't get lucky could very possibly come across as very bitter and rude to women online.
What do I want at online dating myself....
At times I have just wanted a make out buddy.
At times I have just wanted a boyfriend, but not wanting a long term commitment necessarily.
At times I have wanted a relationship with all the bells and whistles.
At all of these different times, I have been honest in my profile of what I wanted, and I would skip past guys who didn't fit with what I was looking for (ie: if a man said he was ready for marriage on his profile and I just wanted a make out buddy, I would not date him). Not everyone is self-aware enough (men and women) to truly know what they are looking for. And others may be looking for one thing but would change all of that in an instant if they "met the right person". That last group I found were actually the least reliable to be good partners, oddly enough (just my experience, no clue if it is common).
When I have a profile, I usually don't put any picture up. I do say "will be happy to exchange pictures if there is enough mutual interest". I describe myself as fun and sexy, and tell a little about myself and where I'm at in life and what I'm looking for at that time. I'm pretty brief, but there is a bit of mystery to my profile, too. Then I go and look at men's profiles who I think are attractive. This way, no man will ever actually find my profile in a search (no one searches for profiles with no pictures), and ONLY men I find attractive (enough to open their profile) will even see that I exist because they will see I visited their profile.
Sometimes men are intrigued enough by my profile to message me and of course, ask what it takes to see some pictures. Which I completely understand. If I wasn't that impressed by their profile after I read through it, I might not answer. But if I did like what I saw, I will strike up more conversation and text or email pictures to them. From there, it's a quick move to meet for coffee...or in some cases we do keep chatting for a while but nothing ever comes of it. I don't actually mind that, sometimes. If I really wanted to meet a guy for coffee and he wasn't stepping up, I'd say "ok nice chatting and good luck in dating!" and move on. But if he wasn't all that much my type and I didn't have any hopes up about him, and if he is fun and funny and polite in chatting, I don't mind just chatting for awhile and it going nowhere. If people don't have time for that, I get it...but sometimes it is fun for me. I just get into asking them how the dating scene is going for them and other questions. A lot of times this is how I get the best dating stories.
Sometimes a guy is interesting enough to me for me to message him first. Once in awhile they don't answer due to lack of picture, I assume, but they usually do answer. Out of curiosity mostly, but I've never talked to one that was disappointed in my pictures. I think I have a decent feel for who I could potentially feel mutual attraction with, so if I was attracted to them, they are typically also attracted to me.
This has been a good strategy for me because I only end up talking to men *I* found attractive *first*, and I don't have to waste anyone's time who may be looking at my profile and sending me messages I will never answer (which is what happens if I have pictures posted).