Social media could be killing your chances at real love; although, the death could be a slow and subtle one. It's like someone adding a dash of arsenic to your orange juice every morning, and you can't figure out why you have headaches until you just keel over one afternoon.
The blessing of the real world is immediate feedback. Say you're talking to the man of your dreams and you blurt out, "I can't believe I forgot to brush my teeth this morning! Ugh!" He clears his throat, and then asks his friend about that brilliant touchdown in the 4th quarter. You might die of embarrassment, but hey, you wise up.
With social media, you don't know that the guy you met in the library is looking you up on Facebook and wondering why you like to cross your eyes so much. You don't know that your aunt told her young doctor that she has this "wonderful niece." You don't that the young doctor checked you out on social media, and he wonders why you're snorting milk out of your nose. Since you don't know you are losing opportunities, you don't know what you need to change. You just know that your weekends are kinda slow.
So take it from someone who has seen her matchmaking career take a serious nose dive. Here are a few rules you might want to follow:
1. You are only allowed to post one picture of your cat and that's pushing it
We know you love your cat, but we don't love your cat. In fact, loads of cat pics are a major red flag. Dogs have a bit more leeway. If you are running or camping with your dog, then you are allowed up to three pictures. If your dog is small enough to fit into your purse, keep him there and don't even think about posting his picture in any kind of public space. Parakeets? Absolutely off limits.
2. Don't post so many pictures of yourself
It seems like y'all have about 600 pictures of yourselves on social media. It gets a bit tedious looking at so many pictures of YOU. And your dad. And your roommates. Guys will often look at more pictures of you than they really want to because it's easier to keep clicking than it is to load the dishwasher or tackle their physics assignment. By the time they're done, they are bored, and you haven't even gone on a first date yet.
Keep a sense of mystery. Make the guy ask, Who is this girl? Unless you are a member of the British monarchy, ten to twenty pictures of yourself is truly enough. Oh, and make sure you un-tag any obnoxious pictures your "friends" post of you.
You've got to take a hard look at each of those 600 pictures and ask, "If people judge my IQ based on this picture, will I be able to clear 65?"
We look good in only 5% of our pictures. We look intelligent in even fewer pictures. Even your typical supermodel must submit to thousands of pictures at her photoshoot. It doesn't matter if her hair was done by a British chap who styles killer bangs. It doesn't matter if there are 15 high-powered fans blowing her gorgeous hair six feet up into the air. The camera man is just snapping like crazy because only 5% of those pics look good.
4. Get a second opinion
You may think it was really funny when you and your best friends took a bunch of selfies at your latest hot dog eating contest, but the rest of us just don't get it. You are biased and so you've got to get a second opinion. Don't ask your roommate- the one who's crushing on the guy that took you out last weekend. There is only one person you can absolutely trust, and that is your mother. She'll give you the cold hard truth. If you two are in a bit of a tiff because sharing the cold hard truth is a bit of a habit with her, then get the help of a professional.
5. Don't post pictures where your tongue's hanging out of your mouth
You are not a puppy, so there's really no excuse. Your mouth is perfectly capable of "holding" your tongue and so please, please keep your tongue parked in it.
Do you think we dig your sunburn and flip flops? Do you think we want to meet your waiter, friendly Harry from Indonesia? Do you think life is just one big party? Do you live by the song, "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun?" For goodness sake, you must cut it out.
Instead, post a picture of yourself at an event where you could wear a string of pearls- somewhere where people might take you seriously.
7. These subjects are also off limits
Whatever you do, do not write a post about these subjects: your pet's health problems, your digestive problems, your ex-boyfriend's problems, or your ex-boyfriend's recently slashed tires. Your latest mental breakdown. (I know, we're all having them, but still.) Your current status on "FarmVille." A request for some dating advice, your attempt at giving dating advice. Or, the high that comes from robbing a 7-11.
Becky Blackburn Griffin writes about dating and relationships. She's compiled top research into an entertaining guide called "Get Out of the Friend Zone." It's available at her website, "A Quality Girl."