"State of Date" Online Dating Do's and Dont's

Advice from the State of Date surveys

Thursday, June 28, 2012 - 12:00 PM

A sample survey from the website State of Date, which collects reports on online dating

The website "State of Date" collects surveys from online daters (mostly women) reporting on their experience: how they met, how the date went, and more. When they heard about the Brian Lehrer Show's Broadband Love series, they contacted us and offered to post some of what they've learned, from their own experience and their online community. Below are State of Dates top online dating Do's and Don'ts


Edit, edit, edit. Get over the fact that you’re dating online and will have to eventually admit it to your friends, and then ask one of them who knows you well to give your profile the once-over. This is invaluable on so many levels.


Use flattering photos. It is shocking the number of people out there who are great looking in person and use the most mediocre shots of themselves online. Your profile is an advertisement and you want to look your best!

Ladies- no ironic moustaches, no firing ranges, no slutty halloween costumes. Instead, try atasteful at the beach photo, or one in a pretty dress. Trust us.

Gentlemen- we don’t care about your band. Don’t post a bunch of photos with bad lighting and a lot of distractions in the background just so you can have a shot of yourself playing bass/drums/tambourine on the internet.  Smile! A warm, friendly, engaging smile is always the best option. 


Be honest when creating your profile. This counts for appearance as well as deeper insights into your character and goals. If we end up on a date together, it will be very easy to tell that you’re actually 5’7 and not the 6’1 you advertised and we will be annoyed and disappointed. Share what you want and what you’re looking for and be clear about it as this will minimize eventual drama and heartache.


Have an open mind. We’ve heard this again and again from both men and women. Online dating can become a shopping experience where you get really picky about what you’ll “buy”.Though a guy or girl might initially not be what you consider your type it’s entirely possible you’ll be attracted in real life. Another good reminder is that sometimes even if you don’t end up with a boyfriend/girlfriend, the date may have been worth it. We have gotten great roommates, job opportunities, and friends out of online dates that weren’t romantical but were awesome nonetheless.


Use too many iphone photos with hipstamatic filters and weird angles. It makes us wonder what you’re hiding behind all that faux-vintage lighting and bad perspective.

Also don’t use headshots in your profile pictures. At all. Ever.

(see DO #2 for more guidelines)


Use your profile to advertise your services as a photographer, model/actor, mediocre jewelry designer, yoga teacher/masseuse or motorcycle mechanic (for example). If you’re not on a site to date, then go away please.


Include mention of your dad (ladies), mom (gentlemen) or exes. This is invariably a red-flag that you may have some issues, shall we say. Find a nice therapist to work them out with, and pretend you’re a wonderful baggage-free person in the meantime! Everyone wins.


Use the phrase “make love” ever, anywhere, at any time. This is mostly a guideline for the gentlemen that we beg you to please heed. There is not a single woman we know who is ok with that phrase, especially in the context of a dating profile. Most of us can’t even bring ourselves to utter the words aloud much less read them written by a stranger who is trying to date us.

State of Date is the brainchild of Rachel Nina Schwartz and Asie Mohtarez, two NYC-based ladies who have been on enough dates to realize they needed a tool to help with the process.

Since we rate restaurants, share the details of our lives via our social networks, and recommend to friends everything from food trucks to fashion blogs, State of Date is the next step as applied to dating.
 The survey is our way of collecting/sharing data from users who find us via word of mouth or on our tumblr. Eventually we hope to grow the project into a full product review site- like a yelp for dating. 


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Comments [11]


In reference to the above comment I am a white man that will date most every race except black women.

Jun. 10 2013 05:01 PM

True it's not easy to have success online with all amounts of fakes and scams. But I do believe there are still true people who just like me are looking for a soul mate or partner. I think success depends mostly on how real you are yourself, and how positive you are about others. I've tried recently and didn't regret it. Those girls who I met were normal and adequate. Plus on this site they have video chat which is really helpful. Because I don't like sharing my personal contacts till I am sure about someone. So I am having good experience over there.

Apr. 20 2013 09:28 PM
two of us dating from birmingham

Great advice.

Aug. 04 2012 03:58 PM

oh those hipstamatic filters make me sick. come on people it's not ok to have two thousand photos and all the same.

Jul. 17 2012 04:56 PM

i thought if i just want a date i can just find it on line cause im desperate i need one urgently

Jul. 05 2012 06:47 AM
State of Date from Brooklyn, NY

@AmySara, we think honesty is the best policy. Having had experience in rounding my age down out of fear of smaller dating pool, I can report that while maybe less guys were messaging me, those who did were looking for something serious and/or were unfazed by my not being <30. Haha.

Plus, we found the best dating prospects were revealed the more true and honest we were about who we are -- answering the questions truthfully, presenting ourselves accurately helped us attracted the best prospective partners. Good luck! And visit us at xx

Asie + Rachel

Jul. 03 2012 03:33 PM
Shoshanna from nyc

Online dating used to be for the socially inept, but for some reason, people still feel unconfortable about using online dating services.
I am gay and went to an LGBT mixer/social even at an Ivey League Club in NYC. I met a few people in a group, whe I'll introduce myself, I'd say hi, I give my name (also on my tag) after small talk I'd ask how people in the group know each other and multiple times people would enter this awkaward silence and odd exchange of looks as if passing an invisible hot potatoe to one another and eventually after the hmmmm ahhh heeeu someone would say, "We met... (pause)...." " we met.." " well we kind of dated" " yes, we went out together but we're not dating now.." eventually one will say " we met on OKcupid" but it always seem like a labored delivery of a stillborn-relationship and they do that in a group of potential dates.

So, it's interesting that notwithsanding the wide spread use of online dateing there is still some shame or disconfort associated with it.

Jul. 02 2012 11:57 AM
Amy Sara Clark from Brooklyn

I'm happily married, but for my single friends, I have a question: Many of my female friends are 41 and 42. But a lot of men do an age-range search from 25-39. What do you think of a woman listing her age as 39 just to get into the search and then clarifying in the text of the profile or in the first interaction?

Jul. 02 2012 11:54 AM
tina from NYC West Village

1. People post pictures from 10 years ago when they we slim and tooke cares of themselves.
2. Lesbian dating: complicated so many peoplego out witht the same people and the EX network makes it dificult to actually want to go on a date with someone since it's so small a pool of people.

Jul. 02 2012 11:51 AM
Erika Ettin from Washington, DC


I think you've hit the nail on the head with these. One of my personal pet peeves is when people talk about sex in their online dating profile. So inappropriate! Even "cuddling by the fire" is a little much for me, as referenced here:


Jun. 28 2012 10:04 PM
Rebecca from Bay Ridge, Brooklyn

Hi Brian,

I have observed a disturbing phenomenon on is a section on your profile where you can state whether you have a racial or ethnic preference for your date. I have noticed that almost every man who states he has a preference will choose every race/ethnicity except for "black." It's one thing to have a preference, but another to exclude only one group from your selection. I think this is a great example of how racism continues to rear its head in more subtle but extremely important ways (finding a partner!). I hope you will discuss this important issue.

Jun. 28 2012 11:01 AM

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