Dudes, Really?

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?

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12 thoughts on “Dudes, Really?

  1. Having been on a lot of first dates, I’ll take a stab at number 2. There’s a code here that mainly applies to people who’ve been through a divorce. For me, drama free means that you’re at a place in life where you’ve come to grips with your past, and you’re looking forward to the future. It doesn’t mean you can’t shed a tear, or have a bad day. Most of the men and women on the site are divorced. Our world is just getting back to normal, we would rather not date someone who’s life looks like a game of 9 ball. A good example of drama is the ever popular first date question “Why did you get divorced?” If the answer is an eyebrow searing forty minute diatribe of what that SOB did to me, drama is alive and well. Google image the old Maxell “Blown Away” poster, you’ll see how it feels. You can’t deny the raw pain that goes with divorce, but it needs time to heal, or at least scar over. Unfortunately, too many people try to self medicate with a new relationship. IMHO they should be in a DivorceCare group learning a healthy, Christian way to cope, and not a Christian Dating website.

    • Thanks, Paul, for clarifying. I think there’s drama that goes along with never having been married, too. I guess we’ve all got to work on stuff. But the explication is helpful, and you’re right–relational band-aids don’t really solve anything. I think there are some of us also who are drawn to drama and would like to BE the band-aid; and who are coming out the other side of that and realising it’s not where we want to live–but it still makes “drama free” a phrase that stops us in our tracks and overanalyse. 😉

  2. I am not someone who could speak to this subject, but I can empathize with many of the thoughts and subsequent emotions constructed here. Unforunately what I often hear in the 30 to 40 something circles is cliche assertions thrown about as if feelings were an after thought. In example ” If you will just trust God, He will bring just the right person into your life” or some such denigrating (meant to be helpful) comment.

    Being a man and married for 25 years thus far I have not thought much about the dating end of things but can speak with some authority about the
    male gender. Yes this is a broad generalization so please evaluate it as
    such. Men are driven in part by hormones, we probably don’t need to go much further there. But, men are also driven by the need to be needed and are challenged in our society today by women who want to prove they don’t
    need anyone. This goes against our created purposes! Now I realize I have traveled around the mountain here but there is a point, Whether someone is on “Christian” or non “Christian” dating sites I believe will not in most cases overcome societal conditioning (remember the broad brush). So I believe what men may write about themselves or what they look for as markers of interest
    from women’s written profiles will validate my hypothesis.

    Of course it really could be just all about human anatomy :-)!

    • I would say I agree with all that in theory, but there are some of us who have been told in the past that we are “needy and clingy” (think I’m past that now, thank God) and many profiles state they want a woman with confidence and independence. It makes sense to me that that’s attractive, but it’s really hard to find the balance between “needing and not needing,” I guess and I wonder if men even know what that is. Also, sometimes I suspect that some of the men who wish for ‘Independent women” really just want not to have to feel responsible for their part in a relationship, and some of the men who want women to need them have their own confidence issues. (I say “some” fully intentionally in both cases; I in no way think that this is a black-and-white, either-or situation.

      • Absolutely, in general most men I know (myself included) have confidence issues. A dysfunction that contiues to grow regrettably, in large part because our basis for needing or being needed is usually selfish. Hence we are broken people :-(. However we are not without hope and hope will prevail. In this connotation it sounds like my faith is more of a crutch than a certainty, be that as it may my dependence on Jesus is all I have, and all that I need for my foundation and is absolutely necessary for proper relational perspective.

        That being said, what men want or think they want is as different as there are men to ask. You are right, there is no “black and white” and the topic itself is immense in scope and breadth to the point where, meditating on it I am overwhelmed with it’s complexities .(Makes my brain hurt)

        Staying on the ligthearted side is much easier on the brain, and there is room for both I suppose. However it’s not always easy going between the two if you know what I mean?

  3. Eph. 5:33 However, let each man of you [without exception] love his wife as [being in a sense] his very own self; and let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband

    Love and respect, the Marvel Mystery Oil of relationships.

  4. Heh – disconcerting on the men’s side, when a woman describes herself as a “Real, drama-free women” – DOUBLE WHAMMY! Boo-yah!

  5. You’ll get a kick out of this. I am on my 3rd day of three free days at Christian dating site. I’ve received much mail, most appears to be from those whose first language is not English. This is a list of the locations last few women to contact me … in order of most recent (no editing, this is legit):

    Monterrey, Mexico
    Sofia, Bulgaria
    Houston, TX (i’m presumptuous, but she doesn’t look like English is her first language)
    Capetown, South Africa
    Athens, Manila, Greece (seriously, that’s what it says. Greek-Filipino?!)
    Johore Bahru, Malaysia
    Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia
    Lima, Peru
    San Jose Del Monte Bulacan, Philippines
    Cebu City, Philippines
    Yakima, Washington (YAY! Finally, someone actually on the same continent [with apologies to Houston], same state even. Shocker!!)

    Sincerely,
    “Hopelessly lonely looking for an amazing drama-free independently-needy bleached-smile laid-back woman who will let me play video games all day”

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