The Ups and Downs of Online Dating

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online dating

Lauren Urasek is a science geek turned makeup artist in her mid-twenties. With more than 15,000 four- and five-star ratings, an average of 35 messages per day, and hundreds of thousands of profile views from interested suitors, Lauren was dubbed “the most popular girl on OKCupid” by New York magazine. After being inundated with online dating messages, she began to document them in her Tumblr. 

I spoke with Lauren on Last First Date Radio about her new book documenting her journey through online dating in The Ups and Downs of Online Dating from the Most Popular Girl in New York City. I’ve posted highlights of the show in today’s blog.

The Ups and Downs of Online Dating

How did you react when you found out you were the most messaged straight woman on OK Cupid?

It changed my career and how I think about dating. 

I have my book out now! I would never have thought that I’d be a published author. I love empowering women through my work. People are very quick to forget about their worth. It’s important to remind them. 

You weren’t always the most popular girl. Can you talk a little about your past?

I was heavily bullied for having a cleft lip.

My parents got divorced, and I switched high school a few times, so I never had a close group of friends. I grew up being bullied on social media, too. There was a MySpace page called “We Hate Lauren Urasek”. After I wrote my book, I received an apology from the guy who started that page.

Being bullied contributed a lot to my drive. 

What elements are essential when you create an online dating profile?

Photos are the most important aspect of your profile. Aziz Ansari said, “Online dating should be called ‘online introduction services’”. You shouldn’t put so much into everything a person says in their profile.

Have hi res photos. Don’t wear sunglasses, don’t be in a group. Write something thoughtful that’s not generic. If you say you love to travel and take walks on the beach, the last five people probably wrote that. Ask a friend for help if you’re stuck. 

Do you have any tips for sending a first message? Any tips for responding to a first message?

I think women shouldn’t be afraid to send first messages. I still like to be courted, but send a guy a message if you like them. Guys like it. They find it attractive. Sending a respectful message is a good place to start. Choose one or two things you think you might have in common. That’s a good place to start. I like to save a real conversation for when meeting in person. 

What has online dating taught you about yourself?

I first started dating online when I got out of a four year relationship. Online dating taught me what I want and don’t want in a relationship. In terms of my self-worth, I dated a few guys who were not treating me well, and I could have stayed with them because I wanted a relationship. But I recognized it and got out before it got worse.

Being single means focusing on your own happiness. Then, when I meet guys, it’s more organic. I’m dating online, but not checking every hour. I’m happier with myself, and that’s the most important thing.

Listen to the episode here.

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