FOR WOMEN, ONLINE COMMUNITIES CAN BE VAST, UNTRAVERSABLE MORASSES, where deformed, emo creatures wait to jump them verbally at every turn. If you can improve their experiences, you might get the chance to meet them IRL.
1. Don’t focus on her girl-ness
“ZOMG, a gurl!” “Lulz, so, do you, like, have boobs?” “Verily, fair maiden, let me deposit my avatar’s fur cloak in this mud puddle so that you don’t have to soil your Boots of Lightness and Speed.”
Quick quiz: Which of the preceding where the right way to start a conversation with a girl online? Trick question! None of these are acceptable, just like when you meet a new woman at the office, at the gym, or on the street, it’s generally frowned on if your mouth is hanging open while you’re checking out her chest. Women online face a constant barrage of interest, and by interest, we mean people trying to get into their pants–regardless of whether or not those pants are located hundreds of miles away. Treat your new female online contact as a person, not a fantasy: Invite her on raids, discuss tactics, and feel free to engage in debates about current events or favorite movies.
2. Compliment stingily and subtly
Part of treating a woman like a person is not going overboard with the compliments. It’s a hard truth that, as much as people like to be complimented, they don’t like to receive compliments that they feel are manipulative. You’re probably looking for a shortcut that will lead you to your lady’s bosom in record time, and you probably think that showering her with pretty words will do the trick. It won’t, because she’ll know that you have an ulterior motive (girls can be good at picking up on hints like that).
Even if you’re being sincere, too many compliments can lead her to think that you’re desperate or needy, neither of which will raise you up in the eyes of a member of the opposite sex. Trust us, a friendly “nice headshot!” on occasion is all it takes to make someone feel special.
3. Be prepared to talk a lot
Sure, it’s a stereotype, but in our experience, it’s turned out to often be true: women like to talk more than men. You can kill dudes or storm dungeons all you like together, but at some point you’re going to have to open up emotionally in order to get closer–or, at least, type more than three letters at a time on your keyboard.
Here’s an easy exercise that you can try the next time you’re in a situation where you’re interacting with a woman online: every time you think about something, type it or say it out loud. We’re not saying that you should completely remove your filters–you don’t want to terrify her into blacklisting all of your usernames, after all–just don’t be so damn tight-lipped all the time. Say you’re up against a dragon together; you can say something to the effect of, “Hey, I heard this mob drops some sweet gear.” And maybe she’ll respond, “Yeah, what are you hoping to get?” You’ll have to take it from here. We’re not going to hang around as the Cyrano to your Christian. All we’re saying is it’s not as hard as you think to, you know, have a conversation.
4. Share interests
When you find yourself actually conversing with the wily female, you’ll naturally get to a point where you run out of things related to your immediate circumstances to talk about. To forge a deeper bond, you’re going to need to share. Interests, that is. Please keep the naked pictures to yourself unless she explicitly asks for them
Before you go spouting off about something because you think she’ll be interested in it – or, worse, droning on without even caring about what she’s interested in – take a second to, you know, listen to what she’s actually saying. Not every woman likes puppies, or kittens, or dissecting the most recent game patch for World of Warcraft. Sharing interests is a delicate balance of exchanging thoughts and opinions that are both pleasing to the woman in question, and also don’t make you want to claw your eyes out.
5. Mirror her conversation styles
We’re not telling you to start littering your chats with LOLs and <3s; just pay her some attention. That’s what women appreciate more than just about anything. Does she take long pauses between each reply? Don’t spam her with nervous chatter. Does she get back to you almost instantly? It’s okay to be a little more verbose. If she’s a stickler for grammar and punctuation, you’d do well to be the same. And if she can’t properly spell words like “cat” and “the,” and throws an f-bomb in every other sentence, you might want to run. Or at least realize that she might find your attention to minding your p’s and q’s condescending.
If you’re lucky, she might just let you adjourn with her to her virtual boudoir. If you’re unlucky, you’ll find yourself impaled upon the friendzone fence forevermore.