First, let me make two things VERY clear: (1) I have always been a very independent, strong willed person. I haven’t dated much for the simple reasons that I haven’t found the right person who can tolerate me yet, and I’m not one of those people who will date just about anybody so they can be defined by the fact that they’re in a relationship – one they probably shouldn’t have gotten into to begin with. (2) I am also someone who doesn’t do “one night stands” and can’t stand drama, so it’s difficult for me to enter the dating scene since relationships can historically include a lot of the latter.

Having made these points, I maintain a profile that has been activated and deactivated over the years on OkCupid, which is the poor man’s dating site – free and full of other guys who are (just a I am) too cheap to pay. I mostly have the profile to amuse myself, but also to see what one of the top gay-friendly cities in this country has to offer, since that’s one of the reasons I moved here from the South (Florida) to begin with.

Each time I give dating sites a try, I generally signup and then close the account fairly quickly. Why? Well if the two very obvious points above weren’t argument enough, the guys that DO contact me are far from long-term relationship material. And to be honest, they make it very clear – very quickly – why they’re single and still looking.

I am not a picky person when it comes to dating, but there are a few things that immediately eliminate you as a “prospective suitor.” Here are just a few examples.

Bad photos – why would you sign up for a dating site and then post photos of you standing in front of a mountain with the mountain being the only thing you can see? Either because you’re an idiot or because you have low self esteem and don’t like to take pictures of yourself. Both are reasons you can’t find a date.

Bad emails – when you decide I’m adorable and that I’m worth emailing, make sure you have some sort of game plan. One guy emailed and said “hey how are you?” And then every response from that point was “oh ok.” That chat lasted about 2 days before I finally gave up.

Bad etiquette – I can’t stress enough how awkward and offensive it is when a guy you JUST met calls you “sexy” or “cutie.” My name is David and until I know you better than two lines of text in an email on a free dating site, don’t call me pet names. Epic fail!

No nudes please – chances are high that you’re not a muscular athlete with a 6 pack, so there is plenty of time for me to see you naked and be disappointed. Don’t meet me and then email me nude – or half naked – pictures of your hairy body looking in a mirror. It’s not only tacky and a turnoff, it’s also you appearing desperate because you don’t think you’re funny and interesting enough to keep my interest. Typically, that assumption would be wrong.

These are just general tips, but if you can make it past these mistakes you’re probably gonna get lucky.

And if you think I’m just being picky, here ya go. You’re welcome.