Online dating: love it, hate it, or perhaps somewhere in between? With the internet facilitating outreach to such a vast pool of people, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed… or not. Here are some things that make it ridiculously easy to weed out people from a perpetually-growing list of prospects. (Note: while my reference point is guys, I’m obviously well aware that women can do the same–and maybe even worse–things too! 😉 ).
1. Let’s start with the obvious: Guys who don’t put up a profile picture. Does this even need to be said? I mean, you can already get suspicious with one, or even several, pictures. But none? Seriously? I mean, how many men would actually contact “women’s” profiles who didn’t have a picture up? There needs to be a study done on this.
2. Guys who only post pictures of themselves never looking straight at the camera, face concealed, wearing sunglasses, etc. Newsflash: women want to know what the person they’re talking to looks like. And as much as we want to think that women are not as physically-driven as men are, they can be. It’s not a negative or a positive; it’s just a basic truth. Some people will be more particular than others; it’s an individual thing. But regardless of preference, HELLO: I NEED TO SEE YOUR FACE! Why does the obvious need to be stated? UGH!
3. Guys with 95% pictures with groups of female friends. No, sorry, it’s not a jealousy thing. I know you have friends (or at least I really hope you do, and if you don’t, warning sign!!) and definitely don’t mind seeing them. But those guys who try so hard to make themselves look cool with all these women around them will just have me wondering what are they trying to prove?
4. Wimpy guys. Guys who check out your page–REPEATEDLY–but don’t say “hi”. WTF? If the guy can’t say “hi” online, where there’s a screen and it’s more anonymous than it would be in person, then how much worse might it be in person? Or perhaps it’s his lame attempt at trying to get me to say “hi” first? I may be old fashioned (and for some things I am), but it’s generally been my experience that it’s just not the same if the man doesn’t make the first move. Therefore, I expect the man to BE ONE and contact a girl, otherwise, *NEXT*!
5. Guys whose conversational skills don’t vibe with yours. Some PpL tYpE LyK DiS, others’s vocab consists of 90% slang talk, some are more simple and to the point, some are Shakespearean poet wannabes; you get the deal. Take your pick ladies.
6. Guys who ask things already stated in your profile–especially when they’ve been made obvious. Now, there’s some flexibility with that one (if not for all of them, but yanno whatta mean). I realize not everyone writes a 2-sentence dating profile. Some people are more thorough (*smile*) and others keep it short. With that said, it can often be pretty obvious who actually took the time to read it through based on the kind of things they ask and/or say. Yes, we know that (many? most?) guys check out the pictures only. But if you can’t even show that you at least paid some attention and did more than check out some pics, I’m not interested. Laziness is never attractive, duh! 🙂
7. Overly-sensitive, too attached, stalker-ish guys. I have one more confession to make: if a woman is interested, she’d reply to your message. Just shocking, isn’t it?! If she doesn’t, there’s a reason (and I assume the same is true for guys). Don’t try to make sense of it, and even if there is a good one (or several), the point is it doesn’t really matter. If she isn’t responding, especially after a few tries, chances are she won’t. But there’s also a twist to this. Sometimes a girl will respond because she feels like it, plain and simple. It doesn’t mean you should start planning your future together. Cue in the, uh, interesting phenomenon that can sometimes happen: some guys may get all overly-excited and attached, simply because you replied to them, assuming that you’re ‘so into them’ and other exaggerated stuff like that. How can we know we’re into you when we don’t know you? We may chat a few times with that intent of finding out, but it doesn’t mean it’s anything! Just calm down, chat like a normal human being, relax and see what happens. If it doesn’t go anywhere, I promise you’ll live. Sheesh.
Another wack example entails the dudes who blast your inbox with messages–to which you don’t answer for whatever (probably good) reason(s). At some point one of said messages may include the rather desperate “why won’t you talk to me?” plea. Sometimes you’ll take heart and finally decide to respond, if only to say a friendly hello and kindly explain there is no attraction (which you thought was made obvious enough by ignoring his messages in the first place!!). But then it happens: the angry guy comes out, hurling insults and rude statements at your confession that no, it’s not meant to be after all. Yup; you who totally could’ve just kept right on ignoring him, but actually took the time to respond to the heart-attack prone individual. UM HELLO, you only confirmed my gut feeling that you’re not right for me–and that I should’ve kept right on ignoring you! (LOL!) Extra points to online dating for teaching you to trust your intuition!! 😉
8. Bossy guys; guys who ‘tell you’ to meet up with them. UM, NO. Granted, depending on where you’re from that may be part of your conversational style. But still; don’t tell a girl you don’t know what to do. Plus it makes it sound like you expect her to clear up her schedule “because you’re gonna be in town that weekend.” Good for you, bye!
9. Guys who write you creepy lines. Sure it makes for good laughs. But no, I probably don’t wanna meet you if you say you’d “like to slurp me up with a bottle of Chianti and a bowl of fava beans!” Uh?! (thank you Silence of the Lambs for scarring us for life).
10. Guys who only talk about themselves. Once again, if this is done online, how much worse will it be in person? Some guys are also blatant enough–or dumb enough, or both?–to tell you they hope you can help them out with something (ie: work /business related, etc.) IT’S A DATING SITE, not a fucking pitching session, or work coaching/support site! Take that elsewhere.
11. Guys who tell you you look like / remind them of their ex. I get that people may have a certain type they’re attracted to, which might show up in their dating partners. But saying that isn’t flattering, and if anything, may serve as a kind of red flag that it’s not entirely a closed chapter.
12. Guys who only wanna hook-up. This seems like the default for online dating, if not for online profiles in general (Facebook, IG, Goodreads, etc.). People will always come at you trying to flirt. In some cultures, some might even be biased enough to think that just because you’re online, it means by default that that’s the only thing you’re looking for (because people never look for sex outside of the internet, ever! LOL!). But once again, I got news for people: not everyone who’s online is there to get laid. Obviously, online dating is another way to meet people, and can therefore offer opportunities to engage in those activities if you’re so inclined. This would tie into #5 and stating in your profile what you’re down for. But for those who aren’t interested, those lame (and sometimes rather hilarious) messages are really just fodder for inside jokes.
With that said, deciding how to proceed should always depend on the full context of the situation. It may be true that you can’t fully know someone without having seen them in person. But likewise, it’s not like seeing them in person automatically answers all your questions and impressions either. Grrrrrr, the conundrum of online dating, and people, and life and things! LOL! The point is that, whether in person or online, energies are still given off by people, which I believe to be a good indicator of potential outcomes. It’s complex, it’s not always ‘obvious’ or even seems to make sense, but I believe it’s that way for a reason. So once again, it all boils down to your gut feeling. Wanna go out with someone? Check it out. Don’t want to? Don’t do it. It doesn’t need to be complicated, and can and should be as easy and simple as that. I think we know all too well when we want or don’t want something, but then we have a way of second-guessing ourselves for whatever reason(s). All in all, online dating sites can be a great outlet for exploring potential connections, while reminding you on a constant basis what does and doesn’t work for you–assuming you’re paying attention (and why wouldn’t you want to?!). So if for nothing else, I’m thankful for the simultaneously crazy, simple, exciting, routine world of online-initiated encounters.