Insights from The ‘Online Dating Rituals of the American Male’

By Paulette Cohn for eHarmony Advice

MARCUS 3

Ever wonder what men are thinking about in their pursuit of online dating? Are they actually looking for love and a life partner?

Alex Stein is a 27-year-old who has used online dating to meet more than 100 women. And he’s not afraid to cop to those numbers. He says, “That’s true. That’s who I am. No shame in my game. Life is about love. I’m looking for love and lust.” On the other side is Marcus Pierce, a divorced 36-year-old, who has turned to online dating to, as he says, “find a wife.”

Both Alex and Marcus let the cameras follow their search on Bravo Media’s new docu-series, “Online Dating Rituals of the American Male,” premiering Sunday, March 9 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Bravo.

Each week, the show will follow two men as they search for their match. Ladies will want to check out the series as it will provide them with an inside look at the male psyche from the beginning stages of communicating online to landing a date.

Intrigued? Well, read on as Alex and Marcus provide answers to the burning questions you have about what men look for in a woman’s online profile, what are the red flags, does the “M” word scare them off, and much more.

Alex Stein:ALEX 7

eH: Do you prefer to text or call someone you met online to get to know her better?

AS: I prefer to call but, in my experience, texting works better. It is a little more informal and you are more protected with a text because you have more time to respond. But I like to call and just get the ball rolling.

eH: How long do you wait before reaching out to someone to suggest you meet offline?

AS: Two seconds. Zero time if I like their pics. There is not some girl I am going to be intimidated or nervous to meet. I want to make friends. I am a social butterfly. I’ve got to spread my wings and fly.

eH: How many women do you “talk” to online at the same time? Or, do you prefer to focus on one woman at a time?

AS: You have to have your irons in a lot of fires. That is how I work in business and in love. You can’t put all your eggs in one basket. That is just a recipe for disaster in my opinion.

eH: How important is the rest of a woman’s profile (besides her pics)?

AS: There are a lot of red-flag words, like when a woman says, “Looking for money, or I’m broke.” Any type of money stuff is the biggest red flag to me. If that word is on there, it is a no-go. It is the biggest turnoff. I consider myself decently affluent and I would hate to be with a girl because I am buying her dinner. That is the last thing I want.

Other than the pictures, I like a girl that you can tell from her profile has a sense of humor. That is the most important thing. That she can make a joke about whatever it is. I like to see that. That is the most important thing to me other than the pictures.

eH: You said on the show you want to have a bikini shot?

AS: I want the full bod. In my profile, I put pictures of me in a bathing suit. I expect the same from a lady who is trying to get courted by a handsome young man like myself.

eH: Are you scared away from women who mention marriage in their profile?

AS: No. Not at all, because at the end of the day, I do want to get married. I just don’t want to get married today.

eH: Any other turnoffs in a woman’s profile?

AS: Because I am 26, I am not looking to be a stepfather, so when I see girls my age or younger — or even older — with kids, that’s another turnoff to me. I am just not willing to be a stepdad. That is my opinion and I am sticking with it.

eH: Besides a sense of humor, what else do you look for in the profile?

AS: I like when a girl tells you where she is from because that gives you a judge of her character.

eH: You said you have gone on more than 100 dates. Do you have a preference for what you do on a first date?

AS: This is my advice to online daters. The first date, you can’t buy a girl dinner. That is too formal. If you don’t like each other, you’ve got to sit there, and you’ve got the appetizer and the meal, so the best thing to do is go have a cup of coffee, or go to a popular bar and have a glass of wine. You can tell after one drink by her body language if a girl is interested in you. So that’s why I always say, go do something simple where you have an easy out if you are not interested in each other.

eH: How do you get out of a really bad first date?

AS: Sometimes, I use the cell-phone trick, I have a friend call me and say it is an emergency. A lot of times, I don’t use a gimmick, I just say straight up, “Look, I don’t think this is working. I don’t think we are clicking. Here is a drink on me. Good luck in the future looking for love.”

Marcus Pierce:

eH: Do you prefer to text or call someone you met online to get to know them better?MARCUS 5

MP: I would say texting is probably safer these days, just because when you get on the phone, it is a lot more personal. If you don’t have much in common, you have to feel your way through the whole thing. Messaging and texting is probably the best way to go until you feel comfortable.

eH: How long do you wait before reaching out to someone to suggest you meet offline?

MP: I just go off of the conversation. If the conversation flows easily, if I look forward to messaging with that person and it is a comfortable thing for both of us, I will feel it out and go to the next level.

eH: How many women do you “talk” to online at the same time? Or, do you prefer to focus on one woman at a time?

MP: I consider myself pretty picky, so it normally ends up being one girl. I am also really busy so it is hard to spread my time out amongst many girls at one time. So normally, there is just one girl I am messaging with back and forth.

eH: How important is the rest of a woman’s profile (besides her pics)?

MP: Very important. Not that the pictures aren’t important, but for somebody like myself, I am into fitness, I am into sports, I am into art, and not that they have to be into all of those things, but you just want to see some sort of connection there as well. It makes it easier to have conversations and to go through things, so to have that part of the profile filled out, which most women don’t fill out — and most guys don’t either — it is important.

eH: One of the things I liked was when you said that you don’t just look at a woman’s body, you look at her eyes. So can you talk about what you look for in photos?

MP: The No. 1 thing I want is a woman who is confident. Of course, I look at the eyes. I think you can see a lot of things in someone’s eyes. You can see peace, you can see happiness. But to also own whatever shape or size you are is attractive to me. I don’t have one specific body type. They don’t have to be super lean, or super skinny and tall. They can be short, athletic, whatever. Just own it. Don’t try to hide it by having pictures that are shoulders up and not showing everything.

eH: Are you scared away from women who mention marriage in their profile?

MP: Ultimately, for me that is where you want it to end. It just depends in what capacity. It depends on how that word is being used. I see myself being married down the road. I don’t mind that.

eH: What are the biggest turnoffs in a woman’s profile?

MP: There are a few. No. 1 is having pictures far away. Not showing pictures of your friends, just showing a bunch of selfie pictures. That is a red flag. I want to see that you have friends. I want to see that you have fun with those friends and they have fun with you.

I don’t like duck-faced pictures, where the lips are out and you’re trying to look sexy. That is a huge turnoff for me. I don’t know what that is. It seems to be a phenomenon of online dating, which is crazy.

eH: Like they are trying too hard?

MP: Exactly. Some guys may be into that, but I would just like to see you being normal, smiling and enjoying yourself. I want to see that real side.

eH: Do you have a preference for a first date? On the TV show, you had a lot of dinners, but then you got caught a lot in uncomfortable situations.

MP: I think my preference is drinks, and if a girl doesn’t drink, maybe coffee. Just a place that doesn’t suggest that we are going to be hooking up tonight, because I want her to feel comfortable. I want to feel comfortable, so a place where we can meet up without having to worry about where this is headed after this date. Normally, a drink. Something casual. Dinner sometimes tends to be a little too much because you are committing yourself to a lot more time.

eH: How do you get out if it is a disaster?

MP: I haven’t had many of those. I have had some. It has never been bad enough where I’ve had to be rude or not be charming and a gentleman. It’s normally mutual that it’s not working. I would normally get through the drink or dinner and connect on what we can, and then go our separate ways into the night. I have never had to bounce out of a date, or go to the restroom and then just leave type of thing.

eH: There was that one girl you didn’t want to kiss…

MP: That’s because that would be leading her on. I am online dating to meet someone I am interested in. A kiss would send the wrong message.

eH: You did say you were looking for your next wife.

MP: I never want to give it that finale because that could scare people away. I am looking for a life partner. I am looking for somebody who has a good understanding of who they are, that is happy with who they are, because, ultimately, I don’t believe in completing somebody. If someone is not happy in their own life, there is nothing you can do to make them happy. I am not a super hero. It’s finding somebody who is happy in their own life, and I am happy in mine, and if we can make it work, and marriage is the end result, great.

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