Featured Image: My dating profile. Open to constructive criticism.
I can’t tell if online dating has ruined or increased the probability of finding someone you truly connect with.
With everything else on the internet, saturating the market usually makes it harder and harder to find the “good stuff”. With hundreds of men and women at my swiping-fingertips, I can swipe for an hour and seemingly find no one worth talking to.
And I’m sure some of the people I swipe left on are great, but I wouldn’t know because their bio says something like “You can find me watching football on Sundays” or “I like The Office and dogs.”
These things are not characteristics, I’m sorry. Liking these things makes me assume you are a boring person who forgot to make their own personality. And when your responses are lame, you’re going to get judged solely off your looks and rarely does that get you guys anywhere (like genuinely sometimes I question if I even like men because god you guys are either unattractive or terribly unphotogenic. Women at least know their angles. Men will take a picture next to a murdered deer just to let you know they own guns.)
Other responses that do nothing for me:
“I like to eat” – Same, I like to live.
“I like to travel” – Same, but it’s expensive and I only have 2 weeks of vacation time a year, so unless your daddy’s rich..?
“I like to workout” – Same, but I once had a guy be two hours late for a date because he just had to go to the gym first. Don’t be that guy.
“I can’t live without Dunkin/Starbucks” – 1. You should seek medical advice for your addiction. 2. That’s so much money and calories omg. 3. Literally every coffee shop in the world is better than those two.
“Loyalty is important to me” – Can we stop using the word loyalty when you really mean “don’t cheat on me” which is literally important to everyone who wants a functioning relationship.
“Add me on snap” – No.
“Don’t hate me if I like to stay home and chill every day” – Too late, I hate you.
And, my pandemic favorite, “I’d rather meet up in person than text” … and I’d rather not risk death just to find out you’re incredibly boring and shorter than your profile says you are..?
So in the 1% chance that I enjoy your dating profile, we have a brief but not terrible conversation, and we actually exchange numbers, there’s an 80% chance we stop texting each other before we get to go on a date because we either bore or annoy the hell out of each other.
Texting all day, every day is for high schoolers. I have a job, you (hopefully) have a job, and other things to do other than sit next to a phone. The endless “what are you doing” texts back and forth that happen with constant texting are painful and, especially during the get-to-know-you phase, fairly pointless. It’s also unhealthy and can lead to some controlling behaviors (“Why didn’t you text me back for two hours?” “Why didn’t you tell me who you were with/where you were/what you were doing?”)
I do wish phone calls were more popular, though. Instead of texting for six hours, let’s set aside one hour for a phone call. I wouldn’t know if this actually works or not because I haven’t had a boy call me since junior year of college (he was always drunk, but at least he called). The only other time I’ve spoken to a boy on the phone was when he was telling me he “wasn’t ready for a relationship” because he “had too much baggage” and I wish that was a text.
Here are some examples of why I hate whoever created the ability to send text messages:
The guy who makes every conversation turn into something sexual:
The guy who keeps texting even though I haven’t answered in years (this went on from 2015 to 2018):
The guy who makes plans then blocks me:
The guy who asks for nudes then blocks me when I say no, then messages me on Snapchat saying “You’re cute but I only fuck 10s” then blocks me on Snapchat (sorry there’s no screenshot but this did actually happen)
The guy who texted me this, a month after we dissolved:
The guy who could’ve gotten away with it too if it weren’t for this:
Once you’ve gotten into the treacherous waters of the Texting Phase, you need to ensure that you ask their intentions early and explicitly. Intentions need to be made clear at the beginning of any online dating relationship. It took me a long time to learn this lesson and I still really haven’t. If you ask too early, they think you’re trying to marry them and they get spooked. But if you ask too late, you might have to face the fact that you just wasted two months on a guy who was only trying to sleep with you.
The following are some real-world examples of responses I have seen for the dreaded “What are you looking for?” question, and what the guy actually means:
“I’m just looking for something casual” = just wants to have sex with you
“Just want to hang out with someone cool” = wants to have sex with someone cool
“I’m not really sure, just testing the waters” = just testing the waters to see how long you’ll let me have sex with you without commitment
“I’m looking for a partner in crime” = wants to have sex with you but like also maybe do crimes? Instructions unclear.
“I’m not ready to date because [cites failed relationship as if we haven’t all had failed relationships]” = “I’m not ready to date you” but is also willing to waste a bunch of time wooing you just to have sex with you.
Now, you’re deep in the dating game. And it most certainly is a game, in case you didn’t know. I hate the people who say “I hate playing games” — well I’m playing to win over here, so step aside.
And I know it’s a game because there are rules to it:
Don’t text more than three times in a row.
Don’t seem too interested or too eager or too clingy. Just pretend like you don’t even like them.
Don’t talk about your ex or any of your trauma or really anything regarding mental health.
Don’t talk about politics because they might not be into them, or worse, they stormed the Capitol and now you have to report them to the FBI (too much work).
Don’t tell them you don’t really like dogs or think that The Office is overrated.
Don’t have sex until the 3rd date despite that number being completely arbitrary along with the fact that guys don’t actually care when you fuck them because they either a) weren’t going to respect you either way or b) would date you either way.
Don’t flip your phone over on the table, especially after receiving or responding to a text. They will think you’re hiding something, and we both know that you are.
Don’t let them find out you cyberstalked them by revealing that you know the exact time frame of their last relationship.
Do make sure you FaceTime before meeting them to make sure they’re not a catfish.
Do make sure you talk about fetishes before you have sex because man if I knew that guy was going to ask me to fart in his face I would have never gone over there in the first place.
And the most important rule: Don’t, under any circumstances, be yourself. That’s too intimidating.
Kidding. But I have certainly found that the more I say about myself, the more guys are like ah! Why would she tell me pertinent information that I should know before dating her, so scary!
Once you’ve surpassed the rigorous vetting process, you’re ready for the actual date. And remember, it’s best to Facetime or otherwise prove they are who they say they are first. Some apps now do background checks for you, too, for a fee. Everybody thought Ted Bundy was cute too before he murdered them (god, he would’ve LOVED Tinder).
Now you’re going to dress really nice, maybe even shave your legs just in case, maybe even do a facemask to get that nice dewy glow. And when you show up he’s going to be wearing a stained sweater and the same jeans he’s been wearing all week. But don’t be too disappointed! At least he wasn’t a catfish and didn’t stand you up!
Then you will talk about all the stuff you already talked about over text because you’re getting his characteristics mixed up with that other guy you were talking to. The conversation will be mediocre at best. But don’t be too disappointed! At least he’s not actively murdering you!
Then you will walk back to your cars and you will awkwardly hug and he’ll ask if you’ll see each other again and in your head you’re saying no but for some reason your mouth says “Yeah definitely!” And you sit in your car for a moment and possibly slam your head on your steering wheel a few times. But don’t be too disappointed! There are 7 billion other people on Earth so really it’s just a numbers game at this point! You’ll find someone! Eventually!
This shit is exhausting, and I’ve been in the game so long I should be on Varsity but I can’t make the team because I’m still playing a horrendous game. Like, so many penalty flags on my plays. Even my best friends are throwing challenge flags after my piss-poor call-making.
If anyone wants to tell me what I’m doing wrong, I’d love to hear it.
This is how I rate a person’s dateability. Score goes up to 100, each section is worth 1-10 points, with reference ranges defined.
Some example scores of guys I’ve considered dating: 62.5 , 54 , 54.5 , 75 , 69