Dear Reader: This is an article I wrote back in January this year, before my long-term on and off BF and I decided to give it a go. I was still on Match.com and Fitness Singles. Because of some exchanges I’ve had on Medium recently I decided to re-post this from another site. Read with large block of salt, please.
As someone who regularly gets inundated with winks from profiles with no pictures, and from men displaying dead members of the animal kingdom, I decided it might be time to do the other half of the (mostly) American population a favor and offer up a modicum of advice. Since clearly, no one is reading the profile-writing advice offered on line by those over at Match.com, maybe someone will read it here and it will either get passed along or — gasp- someone will actually do something with it.
Stranger things have happened.
Since January 3rd, Dating Sunday, the beginning of the wild and woolly dating season as dubbed by Match.com (and for me really, the beginning of the best part of football season) guys and gals have joined Match and other sites in droves. Being someone whose has used this system on and off for years, I have some suggestions for my fellow (ab)users.
Let’s begin with the obvious: Photographs. First of all, have one. You say you’re “ruggedly handsome.” That is strictly in the eye of the beholder. Actor Ron Perlman’s mother probably told him he was “ruggedly handsome.” That’s her job. He’s ugly as sin but that hasn’t kept him from being extremely successful playing roles like Hellboy. Don’t be ridiculous. If you don’t post a picture we’re going to assume you’re Quasimodo.
It helps if you use one that is of you, not your striking underwear model brother who is eighty pounds lighter and happens to have won the genetic lottery with a seven pack. It is poor taste indeed to post shots of yourself as a chubby child since one hopes most of us are not into child porn. Imagine my surprise, if you waddle up to my table at Starbucks 90 pounds heavier and about 500,000 black hairs balder than the college photo you claimed was current.
Dead shit. I don’t date dead animals. Not only that, many of us are not big on looking at dead creatures especially if we like nature. So shoving that (moose, deer, trout, bear, road kill) into our faces with you in camouflage and a beer can in your other hand is not likely to score Brownie points. Your pals maybe. But not us girls. Some gals are fellow hunters, and they may well find this hugely attractive. You will find them in the next tent over if they didn’t mistakenly shoot your white butt while you were relieving yourself. Better yet, go prowl the aisles at Cabela’s.
Photo suggestions. Take off the sunglasses, put your tongue back in your mouth, don’t make that stupid kissy face (really, guys?) how about getting close to the camera, in focus, take your ridiculous hat off, and let us see your face. Stop trying to look like a gangsta. You look like a fool. You as dot on the horizon in the wide shot of the Grand Canyon is not exactly romance material. What the hell do you look like? Sending closeup photos of intimate body parts? What is this this, kindergarten? Really? You show me yours and I’ll show you mine? How about I show you a close up face of my local detective, asshole?
Too many ECUs Twenty-six (the total allowed) extreme closeups of your distorted face in various grimaces to display your dental work and nose hairs are not sexy. The love affair you seek, you already have. Like the guy who wanted women who would sit and watch him flex (I’m not making this up) you don’t need a partner. You need a padded cell.
Boy toys. More on photos. Gentlemen, we don’t date motorcycles, boats, muscle cars. This is not 1966. The last time a Mustang worked to get you laid was when McDonald’s was charging a dime for a burger and you chugged through the parking lot to impress high school girls. Get OVER yourself. Toys impress boys. Unless your chick has a Harley. You will find her in Sturgis on a bike a lot bigger than yours. You probably had yours trucked in. She rode hers, and she’s covered with dust, road rash and attitude. She will drag your ass off by the hair into the biker bar. Enjoy yourself. If you survive.
Ladies, while this is aimed at men, suffice it to say that most guys are NOT interested in your widdle poodle, your widdle kitty, your Barbie doll collection, your hundreds of kissy-face poses, your teacup Chihuahuas, your elaborate and ridiculous hair concoctions, your elaborate and ridiculous designer clothing. Most- at least the really good ones I know- like real, honest, funny, authentic, accessible women who don’t paint on 47 layers of makeup to do a hike and spent $200 a pop to get their eyebrows plucked. They like fun women who can break a nail, guffaw, wrestle the dog, pick up a snake, earn their own living, hike up a mountain and still rock an LBD. Stop with this pretentious shit.
Profile copy. This is a sales pitch, folks. When every sentence begins with the words “I”, or “I want” or “What I expect is” or “This is what YOU have to do to get ME” you can expect absolutely nothing. Same for you, ladies. Relationship is exchange. Two creating more than the sum of the parts. Nobody owes you a damned thing. Prince Charming doesn’t exist and neither does Princess Leia, and sadly, the real Leia just passed away. You might have noticed she had a hell of a lot of flaws. The reason folks are on Match in the first place is largely because they’ve failed at relationships. Join the club. It’s hard work. Stop asking others to make your life work for you and you might end up with someone worth spending time with.
This one deserves its own paragraph. It wins the prize for dumbest statement of all:
I Love to Laugh. Really? Honestly? Naw, say it ain’t so, we thought you liked to pull the ears off puppies. This statement- included in nearly every single men’s profile I have seen on Match.com wins the Oscar for the Dumbest Thing Men Say. It isn’t that it’s the most natural thing for a human type creature to do, that WE ALL DO AND LOVE TO DO IT YOU MORON, but that it’s so obvious that this is patently painful. You love to laugh, that’s your big differentiator? The rest of us, of course, go sit in the toilet and amputate our ankle bones with a chain saw. Get a grip, guys.
Porn. Gentlemen. Do I really, truly have to tell you not to put explicit material in your profile title and text? Are you that dense, that dumb, that childish? Apparently. That shows up near me, you are off the system. What double digit IQ behavior. Go write on bathroom stalls. Crawl back under your rock. Or run for President. You’ll probably win.
Profile copy. A Match.com profile is typically a worse pack of lies than a job resume, and it’s much harder to validate. People claim to be good, true, honest, trustworthy, sweet, (here’s one from this morning) I don’t come with baggage, HAHAHAHAHA. My bullshit meter clangs so loudly that I’m deaf after three sentences. “I’m a nice guy, I’m kind, I’ll work hard to make a relationship last.” OH PLEASE. Gag-o-meter is off the charts. Some days you’re like that maybe, and some days you most definitely are NOT. We are all of us consistently inconsistent. Unpredictable. We are all of us dichotomies. My father would say one day, “I can’t stand people.” The next, “I love people.” Both were true. If you called him on it he’d get furious. But we’re ALL like this. It depends on circumstances. No more, no less. For most of humanity it depends on what it’s in it for YOU in the moment. That’s because we tend to be self-absorbed. Which is fine. Just stop trying to sell yourself as Mr. Wonderful 24/7 when we both know that some days you wake up dressed as a jerk.
And SO DO I.
Tell a story. Why? Because we’re only as good as our worst days. Better you share a story. A true one. That’s what I do. I don’t make character claims, for the simple reason I don’t know how I’m going to behave around a new person. We can’t know. That’s part of the fun of new relationships. You cannot possibly guarantee how you are going to act. That’s why making character claims is dishonest. The exquisite joy of love is the uncontrolled chaos of “Sh-t man, I don’t know what’s going to happen next!” If you did know, what would be the point?
Be funny. I’d be more likely to pay attention if you wrote that your old hiking boots were so foul that the Denver police used them for riot control, your farts peel the paint off the kitchen cabinets and you are more likely to trip on your bathrobe and smash your teeth on the bathroom cabinet than pick it up. That’s funny. That’s honest. And we will laugh, and love you for your imperfections. That kind of profile gets real responses from real women with a real sense of humor who don’t want cardboard copies of cardboard guys trying to be someone they aren’t.
And finally, guys, and I realize this is hard, just tell the damned truth. This is a stretch here but work with me. There’s a reason some of us post ourselves close to a restaurant exit door on a first date- both male and female. Or, one that has a bathroom window to the outside that I can slip my hips through. That’s because people do indeed post dishonest photos. It is supremely insulting to think that you can somehow win a girl — or guy- over in person with a sob story (it’s my hormones, I’ll lose the weight!!!) after posting a promising picture. I can’t count the number of times some guy showed up and said, in shock, “Wow, you look just like your pictures!!” Me: “Of course I do. And you don’t.” I don’t mean to be harsh, but false advertising is bad business. In marketing, this is called a Loss Leader. In dating, it’s called Dead in the Water. People do this all the time. It is shows an appalling lack of regard for people, their time, and their sensibilities.
Look, I’m sorry if you’re lonely. That’s genuine. But you don’t fix that problem with fundamental dishonesty. All you do is get yourself drop kicked. Because I am tired of having my time wasted by men who lie about their looks, their athletic prowess and their backgrounds. Just like men are tired of having their time wasted by women who post pictures of prettier and slimmer younger sisters or cousins, lie about their weight, or are dishonest about their intentions. Dating is hard. Finding love is a challenge. Lying to find it creates a lot of angry folks and you can’t blame them one bit.
I’d rather enjoy my own company than waste a perfectly good evening with a man who doesn’t have the moral courage to be honest. That’s why I bring my IPad, and sit right next to the exit door.