I recently put myself back into the online dating world (ugh), this time trying match.com, which is quite different than eharmony.com. Mostly because eharmony chooses your matches, whereas on match.com (and most of the other sites), everyone can see you, and you can see everyone. It's a bit overwhelming. I really prefer the communication process on eharmony - on match.com other than winking or liking or chatting (ugh), the communication process is to jump right in with an email to the person. As a woman, this is extremely challenging for me, because I just feel too assertive...but on the other side, I paid for this, whether I like it or not, so I'm forcing myself to initiate communication (romantic, I know...). It's really hard - It takes me about twenty minutes to write a five sentence email. I've only sent out a few.
Mostly, though, I haven't been impressed. Below are 25 reasons why (it was supposed to be a list of 10 but things got a little out of control...).
To all the men on all the dating sites, here are a *few* of my Online Dating Pet Peeves. Consider this a public service announcement to help you find your perfect date (and I don't just mean me).
1) Winking. I just don't get it. I don't wink at people in real life (except for my students, when I'm teasing them), so why would I wink in cyber-life?
And what are you supposed to do with a wink...am I supposed to wink back? Am I supposed to message you? I mean, does winking count as the first move, and so now the proverbial ball is in my court? If so, no thank you. You've left me with the much more challenging task of having to actually compose a message to you. If you could wink, couldn't you drop me a note? I'm confused. (Could someone please send me a guide to winking-etiquette?)
2) "Liking" my photos. Once again...I just don't get it. What am I supposed to do with the fact that you liked my photo? Do you want me to like one of your photos back?
3) Saying that you are looking for a "lady." As in, "I'm looking for a [adjective] lady who....", not as in dignified and proper. Something about that word choice gets under my skin, and it's used by a remarkable amount of people. It just seems like it's something out of a personal ad. Or the 1970s. (No offense to the seventies.)
4) Saying that you're looking for a "gal." What is this, 1950? Are you going to take me to the sock-hop for our first date and out for a milkshake at the Woolworth's later? (Okay, actually, both those things sound fun...)
5) Saying that you are looking for a "fun lady" or a "fun gal." Fun? Fun? What does that even mean? How do you know if you are fun? Am I fun? Do I just think I'm fun? Will you think I'm fun? What if I'm delusional and I think I'm fun, but I'm not actually fun?
6) Saying next to nothing in your profile. How am I supposed to decide if I'm interested if all you have in your profile is something like "I'm a fun-loving guy looking for a fun gal to spend my life with. I like my family and my friends. And sports."
7) Saying way, way, way, way too much in your profile (I know - there's no pleasing me!). Some people write not just a novel, but a Tolkien-esque epic about their life and their ideas of the perfect match.
8) Using poor grammar (shudder). I know that's probably just me and the handful of other English teachers on online dating sites, but nothing makes me cringe more than consistently poor English on your profile.
9) Messaging in "text" speak - like "how R U doing? i red UR profile and i am interested lol." In this day and age of smart phones and autocorrect - or even predictive text for dumb-phones, there is no reason for anyone to be writing like that. Also, if you really read my profile, you must have read that I'm an English teacher, and surely - surely! - you could put two and two together and assume that a teacher would not be impressed by someone who writes like they're twelve.
10) Using the "expression" "lol" in your profile. Mostly I just hate the expression "lol" with the passion of a thousand burning suns. I'm sure I've mentioned that before.
11) Getting too intense too fast. When I first signed up for match.com, this guy messaged me, and we emailed back and forth a few times over the course of about five days. After a few emails, I knew I wasn't interested, so I told him. He emailed me back the most melodramatic response in which he told me that 1. he was distracted when he replied to my email the night before and wondered if that was the reason why I wasn't interested 2. I was the girl of his dreams and 3. I was too good for him and that he was damaged goods.
Honestly (mostly because I'm cold and heartless) I laughed literally out loud. After five emails, you do not know if the person on the other side of the email is the girl of your dreams. You don't even know if they are the person that you think. For all he knows, I could have been a 600 pound man in Denmark.
12) Pictures with your (admittedly muscular) bare chest. And I don't mean the guys who are clearly, um, looking for a hook-up. I mean the guys who said "I love Jesus and I'm looking for a fun lady who also loves Jesus."
13) Mentioning the circumference of your biceps.
14) Posting pictures with beautiful women hanging on your arm and no explanatory caption. Is she a sister? A cousin? An ex-girlfriend? A wife? Please don't make me feel jealous before we even meet!
15) Posting 20 pictures.
16) Posting no pictures at all.
17) Giving a laundry list of things you want and don't want in a woman (lady/gal). I recognize that it's good to know what you want, but it's intimidating to see this list of things that you somehow have to measure up to. If you're to the point where you're trying online dating, why are you being so picky? I don't mean that you should lower your standards, but if you haven't found a girl in real life who can play fantasy football, knows all the stats for all the baseball, goes to the gym sixteen times a week, loves children, teaches Sunday school, helps out in nursing homes in her spare time, speaks eight languages fluently, has the entire New Testament memorized, served as a missionary nurse in the jungles of Africa for seven years, runs twelve marathons a year, teaches orphaned one-armed children the piano, has a Ph. D. from Harvard in international law and medicine, and is a graduate of Le Cordon Blue....you aren't going to find her online.
18) Saying: "I'm basically looking for a female version of myself." (Do I need to explain this one?)
19) Being unashamedly arrogant. I recently read a profile in which the guy said something like: "I am an extremely successful person, and some women find that intimidating, but that's who I am."
I don't find that intimidating. I find that annoying.
20) Saying you like to cuddle. This may just be me, because I'm not a touchy-feely person, and while I'll probably enjoy cuddling with my significant other, eventually - I don't really want to hear about your cuddling skills on your profile.
21) Giving out your contact information too soon in your profile or in a message - one guy gave me his phone number after the 2nd message. (A different guy than the "you're the woman of my dreams" guy.) Hello! How does he know I'm not a 600-pound Danish man????? I could be! How does he know I'm not a hacker phishing for his information? Sheesh. How can you be so foolish and naive?
(It's my big blue eyes...I just look trustworthy)
22) 25-year-olds and younger being on a dating site. Good grief! You're 25. Or 24. Or 23. Do you really need to be on a dating site yet? Surely all the great women your age haven't been taken yet.
23) Men who are way, way, way older than me...like 50...winking, liking, or messaging me.
24) Declaring that you are "funny" or have a "sense of humor" and then proceeding to have absolutely nothing funny in your profile at all.
25) Being absolutely perfect for me...but not being a Christian.
And that's *all* folks.
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Have an online dating pet peeve of your own? Share it with me...I'm suspecting this is going to become a series of blog posts, because I already have at least another five items on my list...!