Tuesday, June 15, 2010

10 online dating mistakes for dudez

I still hate the Frisky, and I always will.  And while I like this list, there are still issues with it.  For example, all Frisky articles seem to be from a hetero-female perspective, even when they're not relationship articles (i.e. an article about how to improve sibling relationships, which could have been gender neutral, but was decidedly, "Ladies, here's what to do").  It's ANNOYING.  But that said, here's their list, and my comments.

1. TMI. We don't want to know about your ex-wife, your bankruptcy, or your feelings of masculine inadequacy. If you're neurotic about it, leave it out.

I've found this to be true when it comes to some of my friends--male and female.  Self-esteem issues, family issues, etc., are things that can come up after the first few dates.  I didn't write on my online profiles that I was estranged from my father, or that I'm a sexual assault survivor, two things that any boyfriend would have to learn pretty soon in the relationship.

2. Mr. Eager. If you send us an overly long e-mail that sounds overly solicitous, we won't think you're interested. We'll think you're desperate.

Desperate, or creepy!  I've also found that very suck-up messages tend to have this attitude that I will feel SO complimented, I will want to go out with you.  It'll also make me concerned that you won't be able to handle the idea that I might not be interested.

3. Only Interested In One Thing. Just after a one-night-stand? With few exceptions, we're happy to show you the door.

I don't completely agree with this one.  While I definitely wouldn't be interested in a person looking for a one night stand, it's insulting for the Frisky to assume that almost no women in general would be interested.  And I also would prefer to know whether or not a guy was looking for one night; otherwise, I'll end up going out with him and we'll waste each other's time because we want different things.  Since sites like OKCupid allow you to make it clear, just in your preferences, that you're looking for casual sex, not a relationship (or even dating!), it's not that unacceptable or weird for men or women to write that they're interested in something casual.

4. The Dealbreaker. There's a difference between knowing what you want and having a list of criteria no woman could meet. Keep it real.

This I agree with, way way way much.  Knowing what you want is something like, "college-educated, looking for a relationship, Jewish, politically liberal."  Being a picky asshole is like, "has to be shorter/taller than I am, must root for the Red Sox, has to be really funny, wants to spend time with me but is completely independent," etc.  Your perfect, ideal person does not exist.

5. Body Obsessed. If you say you won't date "fatties," even skinny chicks won't date you. You're not a hater. You're just a jerk.

This one's a big duh.  If you don't want to date someone overweight or underweight (or midweight), then just don't message those people, or politely turn them down.  Duh.  Easy.  Don't be a jerk, if you're male or female, and make demands on other people's bodies.  We're tall, short, big, small, bony, fat, all shades of pinks and browns, and our bodies all function differently.  And yet we're still all awesome people who are just looking for relationships and sexual partners.  So don't insult us.

6. Stalker Boy. Keep e-mails, calls, and date requests to a minimum. We'll let you know what we want from you.

I once kept getting messages from a slightly older man who really wanted to go out with me.  I barely knew anything about him, and vice versa; our conversations were mostly mundane.  I explained to him that I was in the middle of finals (I was still a college student), and that I would not be available until they were over.  I even told him when that would be!  He kept asking to have dinner with me before finals were over, and I just stopped responding.

When you continually badger someone to date you, you're basically saying, "Nothing should be as important to you as meeting me and having dinner/lunch with me.  It is perfectly acceptable for me to harass you and demand your attention." 

7. Material-tastic. We appreciate your toys -- your car, your motorcycle, your boat -- but we would rather hear about what makes you tick. That we like.

Well, let's be perfectly honest here: there are men and there are women who are materialistic, and who would want to date someone who had cool stuff, or could take you to Paris or something.  That said, in the context of "mistakes hetero-men make that turn off women," bragging about your possessions is an indication that you want to swap finances (of which your toys are a sign) for sex. 

8. Grow Up. Your resume should include something other than trips to Mardi Gras, booze-fueled tales of debauchery, and all the hot girls you dated. We're looking for love (mostly).

Again, this is a case-by-case thing, much like one night stands.  I don't love to get trashed and party, but there are men and women who do.  It might reduce the number of messages you get from people who aren't into partying, but I got fewer messages on OKCupid when I explicitly stated I was a feminist, and I considered that a good thing.  Talking about the hot girls you've dated is a bit different; in general, it's a bad idea to write about sexual prowess and past relationships/flings on an online dating profile.

9. The Black Booker. If we want you to have our real e-mail address and our phone number, we'll let you know. Asking for it right out of the gate creeps us out.

One of the fantastic things about a lot of dating websites is that you can meet people without having to give up your personal information.  That way, if you don't like someone, they can't stalk you using your email, phone number, or IM-client screenname.  It's one thing to swap numbers if you're meeting up for a date and you want to be able to call the person to find them or let them know you're lost or late (for what it's worth, I didn't always swap numbers before the first date, and things have gone fine).  But asking for personal information, including a person's real name, in the first message or so is unacceptable and rude.  Giving our your own personal info right away is also rude, as well as creepy.  And saying, "Hey, why don't you give me your AIM screenname?  The OKC IM-chat is so buggy," is douchey.

10. Chill Out, Dude. Take it slow. We're not going anywhere. If what we're both after is a relationship, let's take the scenic route to get there.

If we don't message you back right away, chill. CHILL.  If we don't go out with you again right away, keep CHILLING.  If we're seeing other people, calm the fuck down.  This goes for anyone of any sex.  If you're this high strung about dating, then a relationship won't work.

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