I have a group of lady friends with whom I share a meal at least once a month. We gather in a local eatery (no chains. Call it an effort to keep our cash local.) to catch up, crack jokes, banter back and forth, and eat more than some third world children could ever dream about. The most recent topic has been several of our experiences and frustrations with dating. Some of us are divorced, some of us have never married, and I'm pretty sure at least two of us aren't unfamiliar with polyamory. We have varying levels of give a shit, desire to be talked nerdy to, and experience with life, love, and everything else. We are each our own pretty fucking self rescuing princess, and this is why I love the ladies of the Bad Behavior Support Group.
One of our more cautious friends was expressing her concern over some messages she'd been getting from a guy or two online. They just... Well, the words were there, but the feeling "this guy might be trying to pull one over on me" was strong. She asked our opinions. That was what really opened the door to the discussion of what irritates us, or we'd wish would be different.
First impressions are different online than they are in person. They have to be. So, here's something to think about. Choose your username wisely. You can't change it later, and if you've invested time, effort, and a piece of yourself into your profile (which you should do anyway) you don't want to have to start over if you end up hating your username. Here's another thought. What if your moniker isn't all that appealing to the people you're trying to meet? I mean, who really wants to meet up with a guy who chooses to call himself StinkyPeteXX? That conjures up thoughts of way too much time in the mountains or remote cabin in Montana and patchouli as a substitute for soap. That, or you were the comic relief on Bonanza. Either way. First impression? Pass.
Innuendo is great. Flirtation gets my motor runnin'. However, if I get a message from someone who chooses to represent themselves with a name like "lilmissle" I'm going to think twice. Really? A dick joke as your identity?
Next in the progressively panic inducing lineup is any username that's your name plus your city. PhilbertInAustin? Wow. You're such an original. Come on, there's more to you than that. There HAS to be. It makes me think that you've been captured and under military interrogation where you're only going to provide your name, rank, and serial number.
Next up, using the numbers 2 and 4 as words. Examples to include: PrinceCharming4U, Looking4Her, or Ready2Settle. We're not trying to come up with a witticism for a license plate here. You're not limited to 7 characters and 1 number.
As a corollary, if your first impression screams "I WANNA GET MARRIED" which a name like Ready2Settle does, many of us are going to run screaming for the hills. (That would include me, FYI.) That would be like us approaching you and saying "OH MY GOD. MY BIOLOGICAL CLOCK IS SO LOUD! FUCK ME NOW AND MAKE MANY BABIES WITH ME!!!!!" Yeah, see? Scary.
The point I'm trying to make is, please, put some thought into how you want to appear. It's not unlike taking off the baseball hat, showering, pulling a comb through your hair, and putting on a nice shirt to meet someone in person for the first time. Did I forget to say please? Ok, once more for good measure. Please?