How to Meet a Guy on Instagram

This blog is a public service where I get the opportunity to write about all things dating-related. However, writing about is not necessarily endorsing.

Thus, today’s blog post on Instagram as a dating platform. I know using Instagram to meet people is nothing new, but until it gets written about in the New York Times, it doesn’t really count for me.

I know using Instagram to meet people is nothing new, but until it gets written about in the New York Times, it doesn’t really count for me.

So let’s start here: Instagram is huge. 800 million use it at least once a month. Hell, I have an Instagram fan page. And a personal one I set up six years ago and never used.  

And I guess this is the part where I acknowledge the limitations of being a 45-year-old man who has been married for ten years and still offers dating advice; the interpersonal dynamics between men and women remain the same, but the technology has not.

So, could I theoretically take the time to research and come up with a strategy for successfully Instagram stalking a guy or setting up “thirst traps”? Sure. I could also theoretically build an extension onto my house or become an expert skier.

Life is too short.

In other words, if you want Instagram help, click here to get some. I don’t judge you for dating via a photosharing app; I just don’t have much in the way of advice for you.

“Ghosting” is not remotely new; it’s just been rebranded for a new generation.

And if you’d like to hear my take on another millennial problem called “ghosting,” this Washington Post piece accurately quotes my thoughtsnamely that “ghosting” is not remotely new; it’s just been rebranded for a new generation.

Please share your thoughts on Instagram as a means of meeting people below. Do you know any couples who met this way?

Join our conversation (29 Comments).
Click Here To Leave Your Comment Below.

Comments:

  1. 1
    Jen

    Evan:

    Besides dating apps, what do you think about matchmaking service like the one offered by the lady you interviewed a while back (three day rule)?

    1. 1.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      I’m a “whatever works” guy, Jen. I’m friends with lots of matchmakers and I think they’re bright, passionate and well-meaning. I guess, as a dating coach, my mission is to turn you into your own matchmaker – give you the skills to create a love life online, filter through guys, and make healthy relationship choices – without having to pay $5-20K to get set up on 10 dates. If that sounds like too much work and you just want someone to hand you a pre-screened guy (who may or may not be better than the one you’d find yourself), matchmakers are a great resource. Some people are DIY, some people pay big $ to save time. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach. I see myself as a middle ground between flailing at dating and hiring a matchmaker. 🙂

      1. 1.1.1
        Jen

        So you don’t think people paying $5-$20K tend to be more serious in seeking a relationship?

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          They’re more serious; it doesn’t mean they’re “better” candidates though. Matchmakers have a small database compared with dating sites; they are comprised of people with enough money and enough frustration to pay a stranger to set them up on dates they can theoretically get themselves online. If that premium of $1000/date is worth it to you, it’s a good investment. My hope is that I can help women do this themselves and vet men themselves instead of relying on the crapshoot of hiring a matchmaker; and I say this as a friend and fan of matchmakers.

        2. Adrian

          Hi Jen,

          I am not sure how long you have been reading this blog but there have been many women over the years who have spoke about their experiences with matchmaking services…

          All the testimonies seem to agree that for the amount of money you pay the number of men available to date is very small… and I even read once that because of their low male ratio many matchmakers go to online dating sites and facebook to try to recruit men.

          Also in all the stories the women have said that the matchmaker only promises you a limited number of dates(I believe it was about 3), so again you are paying a lot for only 3 dates.

          Finally if I remember correctly I believe that at lest 2 or 3 women have meantioned in their stories that since there are usually so few men that when the matchmaker shows you pictures even if you are not attracted to the guy they will try to “strongly” insist on you going out with him/giving him a chance anyway because again he may be one of their only few available men.

          I’m sorry I can’t be of more help but the stories are so sporadic on this site that I can’t just point you to one post to look them up.

  2. 2
    Lana

    Hey Evan! Long time reader here and I’m glad to see you’re open to the idea of using Instagram to date as I believe you have been against dating apps as opposed to traditional dating sites in the past.

    Dating apps are an extremely effective way to find a long-term partner and they are no longer the source of quick hook up sex.

    I actually think that dating apps closely mimic the experience of meeting someone organically because you don’t read a huge page of their entire life story. You simply see a person that is cute and so you begin talking.

    I recently started a blog about millennial dating that you or some of your readers might find interesting and this is a post I made explaining why I think dating apps are more effective than traditional dating websites. You can check it out here if you’re interested.

    Happy dating everyone!

  3. 3
    Lana Otoya

    Hey Evan, long time reader here. I’m glad to see you’re opening up to the idea of dating through apps like Instagram even though you’re not quite fully supporting it yet.

    I think that dating apps are an excellent way to meet people and are no longer just a place to have quick hook up sex. Dating apps (including Instagram) are the closest thing we have to meeting people organically because you just see someone you think is cute/hot and you start chatting with them in real-time. Unlike a traditional dating site where you read their life story on a page only to start questioning and judging them based on their interests rather than their ability to actually connect with you.

    Times are changing fast and I think dating apps will soon be the new dating norm and traditional dating sites will slowly die off.

    1. 3.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Thanks for your comment, Lana. I don’t like dating apps; that’s true. I think they have taken an already shallow medium like online dating and removed the depth from it. 🙂 No profiles. No emails. Just photos, swipes and texts. It’s the epitome of how technological progress is inevitable but it doesn’t necessarily make our lives better. By creating a frictionless environment, it encourages less personal interaction, less emotional investment, and more of an online shopping/instant gratification vibe than all previous forms of dating. That doesn’t mean there aren’t great people on dating apps, but rather, the medium is the very cause of most of the problem. Why are guys so shallow? Because they have endless choices of women who are younger, hotter and sluttier than you? Why are guys so flaky? Because they have dozens of other women’s phone numbers and have infinite options? Why do guys text and not follow through? Because they don’t have to. Any time I hear someone complain about dating apps, they say the same thing: they appreciate the choice and the speed, but the choice and the speed are what cause the angst. See my TEDx talk for more. Long story short, if you’re happy liking guys’ photos on Instagram and hoping they ask you out, by all means, keep doing what you’re doing. In my world, this is called The Normalization of Deviance. The system is broken but people don’t know any better so they don’t even mind.

      So am I open to dating apps? Put it this way: I’d probably be using them if I were single, but I would know better than to think that they were at all facilitating better dates. What they do is simply give you more choice and access based on the shallowest information (photos) and the worst form of interpersonal communication (texting). Is anything I wrote untrue?

      1. 3.1.1
        Yet Another Guy

        @Evan

        I have to agree with you. Photos are the worst thing that ever happened to online dating. While first joined Match back in 1995, there were no photos. There were no smarts phones, and very few people owned a means by which to digitize a photo.  Match was basically an online version of the personals. It was basically blind dating with an introduction.  If a guy wanted to see what a women looked like, he had to meet her, and every date involved a pre-date telephone call. I can assure you that there were quite a few shocking moments; however, on the flip side, a guy was less likely to be in hurry to go back to the well if he met a woman who was acceptable appearance-wise and he had a good time on the date.  That is how I met my ex.  There is no way on God’s green earth that I would have settled for my ex given today’s format.  It is far too much like a candy store where a guy can continue to shop for the bigger, better deal with serious analysis paralysis.  The photo-only apps take that shallowness to a new level.  The sad thing is that there is no guarantee that a person even looks like their photos.

      2. 3.1.2
        Lana

        Hey Evan,

        Thanks for your reply. What you’re saying makes a lot of sense and while none if it is un-true, there are a few points in there that could be looked at with a different perspective.

        For example, you mentioned: By creating a frictionless environment, it encourages less personal interaction, less emotional investment, and more of an online shopping/instant gratification vibe than all previous forms of dating.

        While this is true for the guys (and girls) on there looking for hook up sex, it is un-true for the people on there looking for a real relationship – and this is actually the majority of people on dating apps.

        “Tinder says 80% of its users “are seeking a meaningful relationship,” which results in 1.5 million dates each week” – Time.com

        When you are chatting (whether that’s by text, email, messaging, whatever) with someone who is actually interested in a real relationship, it doesn’t matter how you started the conversation because it will inevitably lead to a real in person date, and that’s where the real connection test is.

        I find it’s faster and easier to get a real date on Tinder which actually results in more face to face interaction instead of writing big long profiles or big long emails that never end up resulting in a real date.

        1. Yet Another Guy

          @Lana

          What matters is not time to date, but quality of the date when it occurs. The Tinder approach penalizes people who are not in the top 20% of the population when comes to attractiveness.  It is a said state when 1/3rd of the photos that are posted by women and 1/4th of the photos posted by men on Tinder and other swiping websites have been airbrushed or touched up to some extent.  The medium is too surface.  Those airbrushed photos are starting to show up on non-swiping dating sites.

          People complain about online dating being too shallow, that people do not to get to see the real 3-D person before making a decision.  I have to agree.  Some people are more photogenic than others. I have met women in person who blew me away because they were so much more attractive in person than they were in their photos.  On the other hand, I have met women in person who were far less attractive than their photos.  Something is lost when the opportunity to meet someone is reduced to exchanging 2-D images.

      3. 3.1.3
        Noquay

        Agree 100%

  4. 4
    JB

    Evan is 100% right. In my opinion “Apps” have ruined online dating. Maybe if Apps were separate entities it might be better but I understand why that will never happen as the Match Group stock price soars. (They’ll buy Bumble soon as well.) Especially for older guys like me that still do everything on a computer. I send a thoughtful, well written, classy opening email and if I’m lucky I get a 4 or 5 word text back. Sure occasionally I get an email response from a woman who I know is probably on the website on that archaic device (her laptop) and not on her phone but it’s getting rarer. I’ve always wondered out of curiosity and maybe the women on here can help me here. What do most men say in an “opening text” and how many words is it?

    1. 4.1
      Gala

      My most recent experience in OLD is from 2017.

      Most men say “Hi” or “you’re pretty”.

      Then there are others, who are in the minority, who send lengthy multiple paragraphs intros and immediately get filed under TL;DR

      Then there are normal people who can come up with a couple of sentences that I can process without spending my lunch break on it.

      1. 4.1.1
        Yet Another Guy

        The challenge for a man is finding a couple of sentences that distinguish oneself from the other noise she is receiving.  That is the reason why guys resort to spamming or sending multi-paragraph messages.  The guys sending multi-paragraph messages today will be spamming women with “Hi beautiful!” messages in the not too distant future. 🙂

        1. Gala

          Honestly, if i like the guy it doesn’t matter what he wrights (as long as it is not “hey beautiful”). Simple “liked your profile, how come we never ran into each other on that bike path? Let’s chat” will do. Guy needs to distinguish himself with photos. Having your first photo tell the story is important… message is not.

        2. Yet Another Guy

          @Gala

          Guy needs to distinguish himself with photos. Having your first photo tell the story is important… message is not.

          That may be true in your age cohort, but it does not cut it in my age cohort.  If I sent the message you used as an example to a woman in my age cohort (especially one who has a lot of options), it would end up in the proverbial bit bucket without reply, regardless of the quality of my photos. Women in my age cohort are looking for wit, grammar, and a host of other things that can be ascertained by a man’s written command of the English language.  We are talking about women with a metric truck load of life experience who are very selective; therefore, short, sweet, and simple rarely cuts through the noise.   That is why the quality of a man’s profile summary and what he says in messages matters.  The first message does not need to be treatise, but it has to have enough substance that woman can tell that she is dealing with a different level of man.

        3. Margo

          “The first message does not need to be treatise, but it has to have enough substance that woman can tell that she is dealing with a different level of man.”

          Yup. (I’m 55, Ivy-educated, divorced for 3 years after a long marriage, and 2 months ago I finally found a wonderful guy for me who distinguished himself in just this way.)

        4. Emily, the original

          Gala,

          Simple “liked your profile, how come we never ran into each other on that bike path? Let’s chat” will do. Guy needs to distinguish himself with photos. Having your first photo tell the story is important… message is not.

          It depends on the woman, of course, but a woman must like the pics. If she doesn’t, it doesn’t matter what he writes to her or what’s in his profile. However, if she likes the pics, she won’t be too overly concerned with what he writes so long as it’s not overly sexual or demonstrates he hasn’t even glanced at her profile (i.e., your example of “Hi beautiful.”) Just like a man will look at a woman’s pics and dismiss her for not being his type, a man can’t “outwrite” his pics for a particular woman if she’s not interested.

    2. 4.2
      JB

      I’ve said it for 20 years and Evan would never agree with me but you said it Gala. “It doesn’t matter what you say, what matters is what your pictures look like and how tall you are. “Hi” works fine if you’re good looking……LOL Although you didn’t say it quite that way. 😉

      Btw I’ve never just said “hi” ever. Nor have I ever winked.

      1. 4.2.1
        Yet Another Guy

        @JB

        It depends on a guy’s target market. If I am being non-selective, then just about any non-repulsive message will work.  However, if a man is interested in financially stable, well-educated, high SMV women at our age, he is looking at women who reject most men. I never had a problem with not being tall enough, so I do not know how that affects a man’s prospects.

        On the height thing, I know that a lot of guys bellyache about women wanting tall men, but lately, I am encountering profiles with minimum male height requirements in the 5’6″ to 5’8″ range.  That is below average American male height, which is 5’9″.  Most of the women in our age cohort are clustered around 5’4″, and a lot are shorter than 5’4″ and shrinking more each decade.   I literally tower above most of the women in my 50+ meetup group wearing a pair of street shoes, and at 5’11.5″ when measured in bare feet (between 6’0.5″ and 6’1″ in shoes), I am not exactly tall.  I would say that the woman in this group cluster around 5’2″ +/- 1″.  There are the odd women who are in 5’7″ to 5’9″ range just as there are sub-5’0″ women, but they are outliers.

        I personally believe that height is often used as crutch by men who are unwilling to make the changes necessary to attract women. Bodybuilding is a sport that is notorious for attracting short men.  We are talking about serious manlets. 🙂  I used to work out with a bunch of guys when I was younger who were in the 5’5″ to 5’7″ range who were basically chic magnets.  These guys had confidence and game that a lot of guys who had six inches or more in height on them lacked.  They could pass any shit test that was thrown their way, and shorter men are subjected to a lot more shit testing.

      2. 4.2.2
        Adrian

        Hi JB and Gala,

        I agree with Yet Another Guy; though I do see both your point but I think that what he is saying is more inline with all the research on assertive mating…

        A beautiful women working at Walmart will be okay with guy that just has a handsome face but a beautiful women that is a CEO will want both! Or she may even compromise slightly on the looks for a guy that is her equal financially though he isn’t as attractive as she is…

        This is also proven in the research that shows that Men who are in the top 10% of looks still don’t do as good as the women in the top 35% of looks when it comes to online dating.

        So yes a picture matters but if he has nothing else but his looks then he will still get rejected in online dating.

        1. Emily, the original

          Hi Adrian,

          I believe what JB and Gala are saying is that, if the man doesn’t get past the looks threshold for a woman (whatever that is for each individual woman), what he writes to her, what he writes in his profile, what he does for a living, how much he works out, how tall he is, what kind of car he drives — those factors don’t matter. You can’t earn/work your way into a woman’s good graces. This isn’t a college course. Dating isn’t a meritocracy, and men (and women) get rejected for a myriad of reasons totally beyond their control.

        2. Adrian

          Hi Emily,

          I completely agree with you but I always assumed that her finding him attractive was a given (O_o)

          Perhaps this is why it’s best if I don’t try to interpret what others wrote (^_^).

    3. 4.3
      Noquay

      I like your photos

  5. 5
    Gala

    Honestly, when i think about my 2016/17 foray into OLD, i can only compare it to dumpster diving. I mean the sheer number of undesirables just dwarfs the good guys I’d like to meet and it leaves you feeling dirty. So I quit it and found a boyfriend in my (ethnic) community through the muti-generational network of people who are dying to pair up their kids 🙂 This is kind of like free community matchmaking. If this relationship doesn’t workout I’d probably use a matchmaker or do something similar. Never again do I want to expose myself to a non-curated subset of men.

  6. 6
    Roxanne

    Omgggg I always said to myself I wish Evan put his memes in an Instagram! Cause you never advertised Instagram. And I’m super happy you have a fan page! And it’s full of your empowering memes! I am following that fan page

  7. 7
    H

    Another drive-by post… I haven’t been here for a while, but always seem to return.I  think dating sites & applications can only work for those who live in really big cities (or on international dating sites, but most seem to restrict the search parameters to a perimeter of a few hundred kilometres) and/or have a LOT of patience and willingness to sift through all the chaff (OR are really desperate). I did an experiment with three dating sites. I closed my account after a week or so; in one case, after two days.To put it simply: I may have had bad luck, or maybe I didn’t attract the right people, but I what I have to offer is SO superior to the “goods” that were on offer that I felt humiliated simply by visiting the sites and interacting with a few people.I remember a few men – in real life – always used to comment: “i don’t know what a woman like you do is even doing with a ‘bum’ like me”… And they were right.People on the internet aren’t that “deep”. They think if a woman is on a dating site, she must be fair game. And they are right! But that still doesn’t mean that everyone on a dating site are “equals”.I haven’t met my equal – in real like or in OLD – ever. I don’t believe anymore I ever will. But staying online would only debase me further.I wish everyone all the happiness they can get.As for me, I am done.  

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