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A Guide to Online Dating & Matchmaking for Ugly People

I'm an obsessive quantified self junkie with a love of new gadgets and a hatred of inaccuracy, pseudo science, and platitudes.

It would be dreadfully trying to be strikingly good looking. That said, the preliminary aspects of dating—be it online or in the 'real' world—are heavily biased towards looks, which can put the less aesthetically endowed at a disadvantage. Here's a guide to overcoming that initial hurdle, and successfully dating, both online and off.

Online Dating Tips for Those With Non-Godlike Physiques

Not gorgeous? Don't worry. In the end, looks are only a small factor in the world of love and romance. Here are some pointers on being a great date—looks optional!

  • Go for an honest, but witty profile picture: Thinking about photoshopping yourself to perfection? Let's skip that one. You're only going to get yourself in trouble should you get to the in-person meeting stage. It's much better to be honest with your profile picture - but be honest and fun! Show that there's more to you than a boring person with mediocre looks—perhaps a photo of you skydiving would be fun, or a shot of you joking with a group of orphans you just saved from an erupting volcano.... you get the idea.
  • Don't say too much right away: A great way to scare people off online is to bare your soul too early in the game. Feel free to be honest about yourself and share fun details, but leave some things left to be discovered later—a little air of mystery can be a good thing.
  • Don't be too judgmental: You're not the only one in a vulnerable state on online dating sites. Be kind and patient, but also be fair to those who approach you and don't lead people on if you're not interested.
Why not connect over books instead of looks?

Why not connect over books instead of looks?

Dating Sites That Favor the Inside Over the Outside

It's kinda sad that so many people turn to mainstream dating sites to meet their online dating needs. There are so many fun, quirky dating sites and matchmaking services out there—one need not stick to the beaten track.

Here are some fun sites for those of substance and depth!

  • Nerd Passions - Another free dating site, Nerd Passions differentiates itself form the herd by letting its members "create their own personal social network of dating sites, customized specifically to their particular interests (or passions) in life." Nerds, unite!
  • Geek 2 Geek - This service focuses on online dating for those who identify themselves as geeks. And often those who identify as geeks also openly admit that they are not... built for the runway... as it were. The site isn't free (it's $12 per month), but you can enter your profile for free.

There are many more sites out there—really, it's best to poke around to find one that has a decent number of people in your area. I mean, who wants to deal with long-distance relationships? Nobody!

Flowers - the oldest trick in the book... but an effective one!

Flowers - the oldest trick in the book... but an effective one!

Offline Dating Tips for Those Who Are Not Chiseled From Marble

  • Be considerate: Thinking of the needs and feelings of your date will ensure that he or she has a great time, which is really what matters when it comes to your chances of going on another date, right?
  • Be confident: Nothing reeks of unattractiveness than a lack of confidence. This is one of the biggest reasons why those who find themselves to be unattractive are so unsuccessful in the dating arena—it's not that they're really less attractive, it's that they've got an annoying complex that ruins the mood!
  • Be courteous: We live in a fast, modern world where traditional courting protocol has been... well, violently raped and thrown out the window. This does not mean that you, too, have clearance to behave like a baboon in heat. Bring back some of that old fashioned chivalry or ladylike charm - it can take you far, and prove that you're worth getting to know better.
  • Have fun: The most important thing is that you not take things too seriously and instead focus on having fun and getting to know someone new. Whatever happens, happens. No big deal!
  • Go for the details: Small things—a little compliment here, a kind gesture there- can make a big difference. Don't forget them!
Hey, you might not be Venus, but at least you're not embarrassingly vain :D

Hey, you might not be Venus, but at least you're not embarrassingly vain :D

You're Not as Disadvantaged As You Might Think!

You might not be gorgeous, but that can actually be a good thing in the long run. Here are five reasons why it pays off to not be strikingly attractive.

1. You will find it easier to cultivate and be appreciated for other talents

Even talented beautiful people have to battle with a sort of stigma- in this case, it's the stigma of being attractive. All too often, people let that one facet of attractive people's personas be an all-encompassing trait, and this can hinder the appreciation of more important talents. As you're not burdened by particularly distracting attractiveness, you're free to be appreciated for your intelligence, wit, and other favorable (and ultimately, more important) qualities.

2. You will find it easier to be humble and more understanding

You might not be beautiful or handsome, but at least you're not conceited about your looks, right? Nothing is more insufferable than a date who thinks he or she is the best thing that ever happened to planet earth.

3. You will not experience the pain of losing your beauty

One thing I experience quite frequently in biographies, memoirs, and other tales from beautiful people, especially women, is an account of how painful it is to age and lose one's beauty. If you're not known for your beauty, or particularly attached to your looks, you won't have to endure the suffering associated with losing them!

4. You have the advantage of differentiation, and can be more memorable

It is well understood that humans favour the norm, and value more normal appearances as more beautiful. This is understandable enough- we are all attracted to to that which is familiar. Nevertheless, looking different (and therefore less attractive) can still be leveraged to one's advantage. Looking different allows one to stand out, be memorable, and make an impact. If you look different, stop feeling self conscious and utilise your uniqueness to make an extra impact. Just think of all the famous and influential people in history who were known for odd or unique features- they rode their singularity to success; why don't you?

5. You are given a good challenge which can make you ultimately stronger

I would never presume to say that life is easy for those who are not attractive- toms of studies and anecdotes alike acknowledge that being beautiful can make life easier and more enjoyable. That said, one can use a disadvantage to make one ultimately stronger, hence being less attractive only gives one the opportunity to become more clever, agile, interesting, and talented.

A Final Note

In truth, there is no such thing as an ugly person.  In my book, the only way one can be ugly is if one has a closed mind.  That said, we can all agree that every culture has certain standards and understandings of what optimal and desirable physique and appearance is, and it is this to which I refer.  One can be very beautiful indeed and not conform to contemporary standards of attractiveness, and in that event, one will still feel quite ugly amidst peers.