Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The thing about online dating

I have a big pet peeve when it comes to an online dating profile: A list of things you hate about people who are on the same site as you, and nothing else. (I hate the following: Slutty pictures! No pictures! Poor grammar! Etc.! So hit me up if you're not like that :))

Look, I get it. Online dating is the worst. The unmitigated, unqualified worst. But no one wants to date the person whose only personality description is "here is the stuff I hate."

I say this, knowing that I will soon be accused of the same behavior. But ladies and gents of Blogland, after a few rounds in the Online Dating Trenches, I feel like it is my obligation -- nay, my sacred duty -- to let you all in on a few tips to improve your own online dating misadventures.

Or at least, provide you some amusement.

1. For the gents: Do not post pictures of yourself with guns or dead animals on your dating profile.
For the ladies: Do not agree to meet a man who posts pictures of himself with guns or dead animals on his dating profile.

Friends, I don't have particularly strong feelings about guns or hunting. I do have a very strong feeling about the HORDES of young men who feel like it is appropriate to advertise how many guns/kills you have to anonymous women who are already 10% convinced you might be a serial murderer.

I saw a profile with the tagline, "Looking for my princess." And his profile pic was, I kid you not, him looking through the scope of an automatic rifle. Just think about how that looks to a stranger. For one minute.

I am potentially willing to date someone who hunts. I am not willing to date someone who thinks their best look is a picture of them dressed like the Unabomber, holding aloft a still-bleeding deer head. Do you see the distinction?

Thank you.

2. For the gents: No one cares about how many cars/motorcycles you own.
For the ladies: Do not agree to meet a man who has more pictures of his cars/motorcycles than of him and his friends.

Guys, what would you think of a girl who had pictures of all her shoes or dresses or books or whatever on her dating profile? Not much, right?


3. If you have to describe yourself as "nice" ... you aren't. If you think you're only looking for "nice" ... try harder.

If you're about to go on a three paragraph rant about how girls treat nice guys like crap and how guys are so shallow that they overlook nice girls ... newsflash: You aren't a nice person. Nice people don't make sweeping generalizations about others. Nice people aren't insanely bitter. Nice people don't consistently fail to identify their own flaws in dating and blame everything else on others.

And also, nice people are not entitled to getting a date, much less getting into a real relationship.

If the most you can say about yourself is, "I'm nice," then no wonder you're single. You are not owed romance because you meet the baseline for basic human decency. No one ever dated anyone for their "niceness," they date them because they are interesting. If you want a boyfriend/girlfriend, be interesting, not entitled. Mere kindness (assuming that you are actually kind, and not a closet lunatic) is the lesson you should have learned back in kindergarten.

4. For the gents: Don't call women sluts. Ever.
For the ladies: Don't date guys who call women sluts. Ever.

This one should be a no-brainer, but apparently it isn't: even Snow-Freaking-White doesn't like the word "slut." You want to decide which girls, based on their photos, are sluts and which ones aren't? Awesome. You want to declare yourself a Slut-Free-Zone? Cool.

Just keep in mind that even the "non-slutty" women don't really appreciate having their entire worth determined by some guy who has never even met them. All you're going to attract with that tactic is women who base their self-esteem on the high or low praise of men ... which might have been what you were going for, consciously or not.

Any advice you'd like to share with the universe, friends and readers?


  1. Is it me or do 95% of people say they "like having fun"? (Not to mention "love the outdoors", and "trying new things".) Are there people out there who dislike having fun? Just seems like there's room for a little (ok, a lot) more originality in these profiles.

    1. Ding ding ding! Yes, everyone is so generic on there. Lame.

  2. I found my husband of almost 7 years through online dating. :D I think what I did (If I remember correctly) Was write a very candid profile. 'This is who I am..Like it or lump it.' sort of thing. I also remember throwing in some rules there. 1) If you still live with your mother, don't bother emailing me (though because of the way the housing has collapsed, this may not longer apply). 2) Look around your kitchen, if there are more then 5 dirty dishes in the sink, right not contact me. That sort of thing! Tried to keep it funny...but telling the truth at the same time.

    1. Good advice, thanks for commenting :)

  3. I saw a profile with the tagline, "Looking for my princess." And his profile pic was, I kid you not, him looking through the scope of an automatic rifle. Just think about how that looks to a stranger.

    I can't even deal with this one!

  4. LOL! I love the list of things you hate. I HATE ALL THAT STUFF TOO! You couldn't have said it any better!

  5. A few things:

    I am weirdly envious of my friends in the thick of online dating, because they get to experience so much wackiness that, yes, is horrible, but also makes for such great stories. I know that's not cool for me, a privileged married lady, to say, but it's true. I love living vicariously through my single friends.

    I agree with your point that it's not helpful or attractive to define yourself with a list of things you hate. At the same time, there's a great quote from one of my favorite comic books, Y the Last Man, about the binding power of hate. Essentially, the fact that my husband and I hate a certain type of music or people who behave badly in certain ways unites us more than if we happened to like the same band or whatever. If I encountered someone with a super specific list of hates on his dating profile that overlapped substantially with my own super specific hate list, I'd definitely send him a message.

    I also lack strong feelings on guns and hunting. However, the strength of my feelings toward people who feel strongly about guns and hunting sometime confuses me and makes me think I hate guns and hunting.

    I met my husband on Facebook, back when there were spaces for you to list your favorite books and movies and musicians and you could click anything in these lists and see who else at your school liked the same things as you. My husband found me because we both listed White Noise by Don Delillo as a favorite book. I can't even imagine meeting someone via Facebook today. It seems so much worse than regular online dating.

    1. Feel free to live vicariously, friend, I don't mind :)

      And I do see your point about the binding power of hate and generally agree -- but I think the hate has to be specific. Hating "negative people"? Booooring.

  6. Oh man, this brought me back. I married my husband, who I met through Match back in November. I was his first "online" date, but he definitely wasn't mine! I've been through those trenches! I just love that basically every guy wants a girl who can look great in an evening gown but looks beautiful waking up and throwing on a baseball cap and jeans. That's all well and good, but I get the sense they think I'll look like Giselle first thing in the morning with my hair all wonky and a baseball cap. Guys also love to say how they are just as comfortable at a black tie affair as on a ranch.

    I always see your link on Phil's blog and finally clicked! I think we might be the same person (nerdy ex-sorority girl-writer-lawyers) :)

    1. So nice to meet you! I love Phil's blog, and fellow ex-sorority girl writer-lawyers are tough to find :) I'll definitely check yours out.

      Thanks for the story about you and your husband, it's nice to know it's working for someone out there, haha.

  7. To me it seems those pictures help weed out the people you'd never want to end up with in the first place. Say they post a nice photo, then you meet them and they're all about guns and ammo and "slutty" women? Wasted time.

    Dating in general is hard. Then again, so are relationships.


  8. The last time I met someone for a date via internet means, I was like 22, and was on AOL dial-up chat rooms. That said, this seems to be pretty sound advice. Basically: guys: don't be colossal douche-canoes!

  9. My general rule regarding the descriptor "nice". If that is someone's primary character trait, they're likely boring.