Online Dating: How to Chat With a Lady

“When women buy roses they go for the blossom, not for the stem.”

by Jürg “Fed” Federer


In the second post in our exclusive new series Le Dude, Swiss provocateur and author Jürg “Fed” Federer discusses online dating (and how to do it right).

Even though online dating seems as convenient as a TV dinner, it should have more nutritional value than a Hot Pocket. Here’s a guide to creating a three-course meal out of the online dating adventure.

Dudes, we have to understand that women are approaching the online dating thing differently than we are. While we swipe-off somewhere in a quiet corner, women are very social with their trusted tribe. When we get a first date from Tinder, Bumble and the like, chances are we got approved by an entire tribunal. One wrong word after that, and we’re sentenced to death. A lot of men still don’t understand that this is actually hard and smart work.

One thing is certain: The same guys that are successful in a face to face conversation will pick the cherries off the proverbial pie online. If you can’t talk to a woman in flesh and blood, how would you do it when you’re hiding in the bushes; when she can’t see you, smell you, hear you or feel you? When all she has are your text messages and some pics, you better be a great communicator; smooth as lotion and sharp as a knife.

When women date online, picture them in a shop filled with beautiful flowers. You’re just one tiny little flower of the whole bunch.” Source:

First of all, have some respect: Who’s the woman you love the most in your life? Your mother! I know, it sounds uncool and I know chances are you’re hitting “ignore” every time you see her caller ID pop up on your phone. But don’t fool yourself. Your mother is the one and only unconditional love you will ever have. So start with that example. Would you call your mother skanky nicknames? No? Then why would you do it with any other woman you meet? It’s not “babe” and it’s not “honey.” It’s also not “sugar” or “sweetie.” The lady has a name. Use it! Addressing someone by name equals respecting the person.

It’s not "babe" and it’s not "honey." It’s also not "sugar" or "sweetie." The lady has a name. Use it!

Secondly, have some dignity: How would you feel if a job applicant walked into your office saying: “Hi pal, I really like your desk and I’d love to put in some hours for you.” Hired or fired? Right. Online dating is like negotiating. It’s like speaking to a Japanese business owner. When you don’t hold that business card in both hands, repeating their name while taking a bow, chances are the dude who did his homework is going to get the contract. Mind your manners, be polite, and fill the gaps with smart questions.

But what are smart questions? Smart questions are the ones that show you care: Read her profile before you reach out. Ask a question that’s directly related to her words. You’ll jumpstart into pole position. Why? Because you’ve shown that you listen to her. But first and foremost, start by saying thanks for swiping you right. After all you already made the first step. Go you. Show some respect for being selected. She doesn’t have much profile text to work with? Look at her pictures. Check out the background. Is there an ocean? Ask where it was taken. Speak about her favorite vacation spot. Ask if she’s traveling a lot. Speak about the best city she ever visited. Find out if food matters to her. Ask about her preferred cuisine. In many ways that woman is just like you: She loves time off, she prefers to be calm and careless, and she’s comforted by feeling safe. In other words, free time and vacations are better topics than career. So stay away from the “so what do you do?” This is not a job application.

Do you really think she’s going to pick you because of your beautiful stem? Or is she more likely going to buy the rose with the best blossom?

Once you have her attention, do not – I repeat – DO NOT send her any pics where anything below your neckline is uncovered. A pic of you topless in the gym? Hell, if that’s all you have going for you you’re like an ice cream cone without ice cream. When women date online, picture them in a shop filled with beautiful flowers. Different shapes, scents, colors, and sizes from the world over are there for the perusing and the picking. You’re just one little flower in the whole bunch. Do you really think she’s going to pick you because of your beautiful stem? Or is she more likely going to buy the rose with the best blossom? Right. Now you understand what a woman is looking for when you’re chatting her up online. It’s in your head.

Use your intellect to write meaningful texts. Not too long, but also not one-liners. Adjust to the length of her texts. Write in full sentences. Show that you actually went to school. Don’t talk about yourself, talk about her. Be curious. And then, after a couple of texts, try this: “I would really like to take this conversation to the phone. I’m curious to hear your voice.” Get it? You don’t get to ask for her number. But you get to give her an opening to choose to give her number to you. It’s how nature works, dude. You take a bow, she calls the shots. If you want to play the game, study the rules.

Jürg “Fed” Federer is a Swiss author, provocateur and chef. He lives in Los Angeles and in Zurich. He has been written up in Cosmopolitan, Maxim, Time Out New York and many more. Fed is working as a copy writer, with offices in Zurich, New York and Los Angeles. He is currently under a three-book contract with MacGregor Literary and he will contribute to IMBOLDN with this column on living the life of a Dude every second week.

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