Online Dating 3-Step Wink Management: Stop, Drop & Roll

You’ve just joined that Online Dating Site you promised in your New Year’s Resolutions, huh? You’re in your account, and you are surfing through all of the yummy and not so yummy profiles. All of a sudden...


Score! Some gorgeous guy just sent you a wink - but you don’t know yet if he is of the frog or toad variety. Whoa there. Don’t do anything hasty.  As cute as he may be, looks can be deceiving.

In my earliest searches for Happily Ever After, I returned  quite a few random winks only to be disappointed to learn later on that the man was a toad. I knew I had to choose between winking and emailing, I just didn’t know what meant what.  Can you relate?

For the uninitiated, the wink is a first socially acceptable and benign but flirty contact between the citizens of the online dating community or as I love to call it, the Toad Kingdom. It is a way for men and women both to avoid rejection as well as get a pulse on the other person’s interest.

Once you know how to separate the frogs from the toads, the wink  also becomes a girl’s best friend. Use this power wisely,  and you’ll have a lot more fun with your online dating experience.

I wasted precious time and energy kissing toads because I didn’t want to hurt their feelings and just go home.  The good news?  I may just be able to save you from a few warty kisses.  Here’s your action plan:

Stop - Drop - Roll: A 3 Step Wink Management Plan

The Scene:  You open your computer and someone has WINKED at you:

  1. Stop thinking about how cute he is and start looking at who he claims to be - the essay, the details. Profiles without pictures are a much different discussion for the more seasoned citizens of the Toad Kingdom, but the generally accepted principle - No pic, no chance. So he won your attention with his photos - but don’t jump in just yet.  Take your time.  Make yourself wait an hour.  
  1. Drop into his Match profile and see if he meets your key criteria.
    1. Non-smoker? Nope - says he’s a smoker. Doesn’t work for me.
    2. Likes Kids?     Yes, but my kids don’t need to be  around the smoke.
    3. Witty little personal essay? Sure - he’s got spunk, but the above are deal breakers.

The right step  - move on.  Don’t waste your time if being around a smoker sends your asthma into a flare. And if you try to politely decline every guy who winks your direction - you’ll start to mistakenly wink back even at SPAM.

3.   Roll with your gut instincts. If it doesn’t feel right, pass this guy right by. However, you investigate his profile and it says...

  1. Non-smoker? Yes
  2. Likes Kids? You bet...And he coaches his daughters basketball team to stay connected to her world.
  3. Witty personal essay? Spunky with a hint of intelligence. Wow - I really want to meet him

If you choose to ignore, simply ignore. He will not be able to wink at you again until you respond.He may, however, start to lurk around your profile when you are online, and he could potentially send you a note.

To prevent this, you can block a person with the click of a key.  I learned to feel secure within the avenues provided by the dating sites I used.  At the end of the day, if you get a creepy vibe at any point in the process, try another pond...there are plenty of Toad Kingdoms out there.

What Next?

You’ve now learned to Stop - Drop and Roll and you have decided you are interested. As tempted as you may be to fire off a thank you note, please do not.  This is a real key. Returning a wink with an email makes the toad in a man jump up and take notice and that is the last thing you want to do!

Did he like what he learned about you, or was that wink actually a nervous eye twitch. He might have sent out winks to 25 ladies within your 5 mile radius – hoping for a hit. Don’t fall for it!  Read into his profile first.  Stop - Drop - Roll!

The Big Moment Arrives

OK, new story. He’s got your attention. Invite him to court you. Wink Back!

And then?  And then you wait.   

Wait for him to take the next step. This is the hard part, I’ll give you that. After all, you really liked what you saw, right? Do not, I repeat, DO NOT reply again. If you don’t hear back from this guy, he’s either

  1. Been in a catastrophic accident, and you don’t want to have to fight with his mother on the best way to nurse him back to life; or,
  1. IS indeed a toad and has already trapped an unsuspecting lady out there unaware of these toady tricks.

The key here is to leave the next step to him - let him show his stuff. He is now forced to make a decision - either email or get off the lily pad. Match won’t let him send another wink to you.  Letting him make the next move will toad proof you this round.

If you return his wink with an email, you give away your power too early in this game. Bring traditional dating rules into the online dating world and wink back just as you might in a social scene. Let him come back to you with a note of admiration or appreciation.

And when he does send you a note, you’ll get goosebumps. Maybe even butterflies. You’ll start to know the romance of a courtship - the traditional dating values will take over, and you and your suitor can move into the next step - email.

And then the fun begins...

“But wait, Heidi Lee, what if he skips the wink and goes straight to the email? What then?”

Patience, young grasshopper.  We’ll get to that in our next lesson. Need some guidance along the way? Follow me to