There’s definitely a dating website “culture” of sorts. I should know. I’m part of it, evidently. There are things you can talk about with other website daters (yes, sometimes it pretty much is like just dating a website) that people who haven’t gone this route just don’t get. Kind of like when you’re single with no children and you go to a baby shower with a bunch of friends who are married with kids. You can join in the conversation, but sometimes its hard to get the in-jokes.
In case you have had little exposure to the strange and wonderful world of internet dating, here are some mostly innocuous observations. (We’ll leave the horror stories to other blogs, conversations and newspaper headlines.)
According to some of my male friends, it is customary for them to receive multiple emails a day from women from other countries, mostly looking for visas, and probably money. Apart from that, I can’t really say much about what goes on in women’s profiles because (shocker!) those aren’t the ones I’m reading. I can tell you that I personally don’t get multiple emails a day, but maybe some women do. I just can’t tell you what it is about their profiles that increases their traffic. Oddly, none of my male friends have intimated to me what profile details motivate them to get in touch with the person behind the profile in question, although I guess I could figure it out by what they say they want in theirs. I just don’t think I’m that girl, most of the time.
As for male profiles, well–listen up, guys! Here is how to get your profile to stand out in a crowd . . . at least, if you’re hoping to attract an excessively tall, intense, quirky, brainy, impractical and scatterbrained woman like this one:
1. Do not say, “Looking for a good women.” If you are, indeed, looking for multiple women, you might be on the wrong website and you might not want to employ the indefinite article a. If you just meant one woman, the singular is woman. Also, presumably most of you are looking for a good woman. And presumably most of us think we are. So . . . you can say it, but it doesn’t narrow down the field much.
2. What are you saying when you put “Drama free” in your tag-line? Are you trying to tell me that you will not break down and cry at every little thing? Or are you trying to tell me you can’t handle it if I get emotional? And if you can’t, why not? There’s “burned before” and there’s “afraid of one’s own emotions.” Probably in either case, we all need therapy. I usually assume that if I have to wonder about this, the guy in question would consider me dramatic and therefore I should steer clear.
3. The Matchmaker likes to tell me with a laugh about a woman whose profile he viewed once who put as her first qualification for a partner that he be clean-shaven. He said he thought men might be more shallow, but women are probably more open about their shallowness. This is probably because, as I do not read women’s profiles, he doesn’t read men’s. He has, therefore, never seen the profile I saw in which a man, in answer to two separate questions mentioned specific qualifications for body parts. Just because I happen to match the qualifications, did not mean I felt even remotely inclined to communicate with this person. And then there’s always Mr. Crest White Strips.
4. If you tell me you’re laid back and positive, I’m going to assume that I will feel judged and inadequate around you all the time, since I am intense and not necessarily negative, but definitely contrary. Besides, I have a sneaking suspicion “laid back and positive” are often just things people say.
5. On the other side of the coin: I totally get the self-deprecation thing (as evidenced by parts of this post). I also get the dismal feeling of having “lived” on a dating website for a large part of your adult existence. But probably screen names like “unlucky” and “tryingagainforever” and “itsgottaworkthistime” are not the best choices.
And yet, there are some great profiles out there, too. Like there was one guy who said, “I don’t believe in putting your kids before your spouse. I have seen it damage relationships. The greatest gift a man can give his kids is to love their mom 100%.” Yay! Good for him! I heartily concur and why don’t more people see that–and say it?
Or there was the guy who said, “Everybody always talks about how great they are, so how ’bout I start with some of my downsides?” Somehow the way he did this was way funnier and more upbeat than the pessimistic screennames above.
Since I’m on Christian websites these days, I like when the reference to Christian faith is overt but not too perfect. Like, “As with most people, I’ve had my time on the rollercoaster of faith, but my refuge and trust is in Jesus.” That resonates! Also, it’s way more concise than I would be.
In the end, of course, it’s all kind of a personal thing. I guarantee guys could go nuts dissecting my profiles. I’m just saying–this is stuff I’ve noticed . . . more than once. Anybody else got stories?