Or, I’ve just about had it.
Or, Google will not keep your secrets.
Or, Men are from Mars, if by “Mars” you mean “Idiotworld.”
Or, And you thought these stories were weird.
Wow. I could really just write titles for this baby all night long, and never even get to the post. You do realize that it’s a very fine line that separates the absurd from the depressing, right? Picture me up high in the air, on the tightrope. I might even be wearing a tutu.
So, uh, it’s come to my attention that some men are in desperate need of a bit of coaching, when it comes to meeting ladies online. I live to serve, so who better to enlighten those poor souls? NO ONE, says I. I’m in a unique position to assist the misguided, because I
1) have a blog
2) am the only one who could stop laughing long enough to help.
All of the following is based on actual recent experience, so help me God. (And God? I AM NOT AMUSED.)
Are you male? Are you doing the online dating thing? Listen closely.
If you share a picture, share a decent picture. Try one where you’re smiling. Photos wherein you resemble a serial killer are not likely to garner much interest. Likewise, unflattering angles (I’m sure you’re lovely and all, but I don’t want to see the inside of ANYONE’s nostrils) are a no-no. It should go without saying that I am not interested in a picture of your dick. (Seriously, dude: Normal woman are horrified, and women who might want that sort of thing? Are going to assume that a penis-only shot could be ANYONE. Just don’t do it.)
Pictures where your last wife/girlfriend/fuckbuddy are blurred out are ikky. Do you not have a single picture of yourself without someone in need of blurring in it? That’s sad.
Pictures featuring babies or small children come off as cheap and staged, particularly if the kids aren’t yours. If you feel the need to soften your image, you’re better off donning a pink shirt in a field of puppies. If you’re posed with someone else’s kid, I suspect you’re using them as a prop, hoping to evoke an ovarian response from a potential date. If you’re posed with your own kid, I wonder if you have any concerns about THEIR privacy at all. Don’t do it.
Bonus guidance: If you have two or more chins in your photo, do not list your body type as “Fit.” If you need to lose 50 pounds, do not list your body type as “Average.” Worst case, you’re a liar; best case, you’re delusional. Either way, the evidence is right there, so you may as well just be truthful.
I obviously cannot speak for all women. I can’t even speak for all smart women, but that won’t stop me from trying. I will say it once, and if nothing else, know this:
Most women I know will not answer an ad wherein a man asks for a woman of a certain physicality.
Don’t ask for pretty. Don’t ask for a certain hair color, or “someone who takes care of herself and always wears make-up,” and FOR CRYING OUT LOUD don’t ask for someone thin. The reality is that we all have SOME preferences about these things; I understand that. But as soon as you put it out there, first thing, I know it’s overly important to you. And—surprise!—I know you’re shallow.
News flash: I’m thin and I never ever EVER answer an ad when a man asks for thin. EVAH. I may be thin, but you’re obnoxious. Next!
Bonus guidance: You also want to avoid “appearance is unimportant to me!” or some variety of the same sentiment. If it’s unimportant to you, don’t mention it. As soon as you bring it up, I know that it’s too important to you or you’re either ugly or indiscriminate. None of these things are attractive in a potential mate.
Guess what I’m going to do after you email me? If you guessed “sit around drawing little hearts with your name inside them,” you’re a moron. I’m going to do what any modern woman does.
I’m going to Google you.
If there’s something out there you’d rather not have potential dates seeing, you may want to consider 1) withholding your last name, and/or 2) using a designated email address only for dating and NOTHING ELSE.
Sound extreme? Let’s review two handy examples!
Example 1: Man expresses his interest in me, shares much of his background, including his close relationship with his kid. A quick Google search turns up court transcripts from a heated custody battle–which mention said kid, as well as THREE OTHER CHILDREN. Oops! Must have just slipped his mind! (It’s not like I care how many kids you have… but lying about it—even by omission—isn’t cool.)
Example 2: Man expresses his interest in me, and a Google search links his email address to fifty gazillion spam investment postings across the ‘net, inviting everyone to join him in his COMPLETELY LEGITIMATE Ponzi scheme. When I made a joke about how perhaps his email had been hijacked when that happened and he should feel free to clarify, he answered my email but completely ignored that part. UH. Well, hey! Good luck in your search, and might I suggest that in the future, you use separate Gmail accounts for your scamming and your dating!
Bonus guidance: Also use a different email for any posting you’re doing on forums of an “adult” nature. ‘Nuff said.
The Truth is Your Friend
I despise liars. DESPISE. If I catch someone in a pattern of untruthfulness—even if it’s about little stuff… wait, perhaps PARTICULARLY if it’s about little stuff—I’m going to say goodbye. Refer to the above; either you’re dishonest or delusional, and neither of those is what a woman wants (though at times I’d be hard-pressed to tell you which is worse). Tell the truth or don’t bother.
Bonus guidance: When caught, own up. Anything else makes it worse.
Desperation is Not Attractive
Everyone likes lots of attention. Everyone likes to feel special.
Most people also like you to have a life. And a job. And some friends. And a bit of confidence.
Having me as your first priority when we’ve barely begun dating is nice for about fifteen seconds. Charming can become cloying in the blink of an eye. I admit this one can be difficult to navigate, and I’m not advocating “playing it cool” or other head games. I’m just saying that the stink of desperation cannot be covered with cheap cologne.
Constantly commenting that someone is going to dump you often becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. I’m about as self-deprecating as they come, and even I know not to go that route. If you keep saying it, I’m going to wonder why. I’m going to figure that you know something I don’t know. (And once I figure it out, boy will I feel dumb. But that’s another post.)
Bonus guidance: Have a little dignity. When a woman says “it’s over,” that does NOT mean “please keep looking for a way to get my attention” or “now you should hang around playing wounded puppy until I give in and scratch your belly.” Chances are that’s the sort of behavior that got you dumped in the first place.
I hope that this has shed some light on some of the more elusive facets of dating etiquette. If you need me, I’ll be in my cave.