Thursday, July 10, 2014

Online Dating: Oh, The Horrors I've Seen!

Okay, yes. Confession: I've dipped my toes into the dreaded online dating pool. Well, dreaded for me at least considering that, aside from my wife (oops, I keep forgetting to prefix that with "ex-"), I've never actually dated anyone else. So the prospect of getting into that whole scene at the ripe "old" age of 37--and after roughly two decades of never having to concern myself with such--the prospect of learning how to get out there and mingle was not very appealing to me. Add to that this newfangled online component all the kids are raving about these days, and it's a wonder I didn't suffer a panic attack or something.

Now, before I make some helpful observations about what I've seen out there so far, I'd like to preface all this by stating that: No, you will never, ever read on this blog personal accounts of actual dates I've been on. No one's identity will be compromised on here, nor will the details of my dalliances with the fair ladies of this great city of New York ever be exposed on this site.

There, I got that out of the way. So what you're going to get here instead today is some curious patterns I've been noticing from various online dating venues (plus apps) I've been making the rounds of lately. I'm constantly reading about this experience from the woman's point of view, but I'm here to illustrate that us men have to put up with some weird shit too! Of course, I've only just begun, so my observations are rather limited and unvaried at this point in time. Look for me to maybe update this site in the future. Again, with no personal details from any parties involved, of course.

So, here's what I want to rant about . . .

Racial Profiling.

This is highly annoying. Or maybe it's just me. Having a preference for men of a certain height? Fine, I'll give you that, ladies. Doesn't really affect me since I'm usually more than tall enough for most of you anyway (except you 6 ft, 2" Amazons out there--whoa!). Or if some gal mentions that only men with beards--or who loves puppies, or some other banal shit like that--need apply. I mean, that's a little too specific if you ask me, but whatever. Go find yourself a Fido loving, Zach Galifianakis-looking hipster douche if that's what you're into. But where I get really squigged off is when you make a point of stating that you ONLY date Asian men, or White guys. Or, worse off--when you state "Jewish only." And yes, that last isn't as random as you might think. Here in the NYC area at least, it seems a very important concern for a lot of single ladies. And, no, they don't always hail from the tribes of Judah themselves. I see this from a lot of Asian women as well. Go figure.

Anyway, it disgusts me. The concept of limiting your dating options to just one group of people based solely on their ethnic background is so outdated, old-fashioned, and let's face it ... downright creepy in this day and age that it's an instant turn-off for me. I can't even imagine closing myself off to a veritable sea of other potential dates simply because they're not of the same persuasion as myself. Maybe it's because I'm so genetically mixed that there simply isn't a single person out there with my exact background. I would be dating the man in the mirror if that were the case. So, maybe that's it. But no, I don't think so. Come the fuck on, people! This isn't Germany in the late 1930s! Admittedly, I see this only from White and Asian girls online. Ladies from other or mixed backgrounds seem to be far more accepting of the wide range of potential dates out there. Like me, most women seem to only care that you're a decent human being with the ability to feel feelings. And that's how it should be.

Must Likes.

I'm telling you, the more I look around the dating sites and apps, the more it seems that you ladies can be a very demanding bunch. The number of profiles I've come across with a veritable laundry list of things their ideal match "must like": You must like the same music, or the same food, or the same [insert favorite alcohol here], or the same pet that I'm into, OR ELSE don't even bother trying to contact me. WTF, women? Are you serious? Ewww! What can be more snores-ville than being with someone who likes EXACTLY the same stuff you like? Where's the fun in that? If you're a vegan or a non-smoker, that's one thing. But why the hell would you want to be with someone who's a carbon-copy of yourself? It's shit like this, along with the race observation above, that demonstrates to me why incest is a thing. Seriously, either go marry your own brother -- or make a clone of yourself to have wild, passionate clone nookie with. Just please go away.

I [heart] me so much!

Or better yet, ease up and enjoy a different experience from time to time. You might be surprised and learn something new! I would hate to meet someone who loves the exact same music that I do. I'm so eclectic in my tastes, anyway, that she would have to be almost certainly certifiably insane if she ended up being into exactly the same tunes that I'm into. I'd rather be with someone who is into her own thing, but who can come to appreciate and maybe even LIKE some of the stuff I'm into as well. And vice-versa. That's called BLENDING, mofos! Look it up!

No Autographs, Please.

This one is common logic. You go through all that trouble of putting up an online profile, but you don't put up a single photo of yourself? You might think you're being intellectual, or philosophical even, and hoping that a guy will have the hots for you based solely on your scintillating use of commas in your bio, but I'm here to tell you that you're only giving off warning signs when you do this. Online dating is fast-paced -- time is money, people! Well, not really, but you get the point. And that point is this: there are hundreds of other profiles WITH pics out there.

Oh for the love of Mithra, take a
pic already, girl!

When I see one without (or just as bad, pics that don't show your face in any recognizable way), I don't sit there and piece through your profile to figure out what makes you tick. I simply close out and move on to the next one. Simple as that. More often than not, however, I simply assume you're not a real girl and run clear the hell away from that scenario. No catfish for me, please!

Party People!!!

Whoop, there it is NOT! I hate it when all the pics in a woman's profile is of her at some other club or lounge, tight cocktail dress on, makeup to the nines, drink in hand, standing with 3 other of her identical looking Stepford sisters. One of such photo is fine, and maybe I might still scratch my head because that scene is soooo lame. But fine, I'll grant you one fun night out with your lookalike besties (all 10 of them!) and hope to god your other pics are more down to earth and revealing of the true human being you are inside. But when all 6 of your pics are of you standing in a group and you always seem to be nonstop partying, I quickly become bored and move on. My party days are long over (if I ever had any to begin with), and right now all I want is normal. I don't need drinks and loud music on a Saturday night (although once in a while is okay) -- I mostly want weekends where we can do outdoorsy things by day, or maybe a show or dinner at night, but definitely more laid back and not some frenetic reliving of one's college days. It's seriously time to grow up! And, yes, you might think this only applies to younger gals in their 20s, but I can assure you I've come across this scenario in online dating sites with ladies up to my age and even beyond. Please, show some variety!

The Truth Shall Set Ye Free.

I call this the bait and switch technique. It's when a girl has a set of photos in her online dating profile, all of which only show her from the neck up. You can't tell much from just the face, but in her bio she states that she's a lot of fun and is CURVY!!! Uh-oh, there it is. There's that code word I dread. Because, seriously, 10 times out of 10 whenever a girl emphasizes the fact that she's a "real woman" who has "curves"--and throws it in the face of the reader as if she dares him to be man enough to handle this fact--she's guaranteed to be anything BUT what most guys' visual of curves actually are. See, curves are plural. Curves imply shapeliness. To a man, curves are an hourglass figure. Curves go in and out, and in and out again. My hands should be able to go in at your face, out around your shoulders, in at your waist, and out again at your hips as they move down your body. Not in, out, out, and far, far OUT!!! Shapeliness is not one shape. Curves are not the single curve of a circle. No, my dear. Round is round, and if this is your shape then this is just called being BIG! You're a big girl. And you know what? That's fine. There's nothing wrong with that. To each their own. There are plenty of men out there who love your bigness. Own it, girl!

But please for the love of god, please stop saying that you are curvy if you are not. Also, don't fool us with 8 out of 10 pics showing only your face, or from the waist up, and then have the last two show a full body shot of a very large figure. While I appreciate that you were brave enough to show it all eventually, the first 8 pics prove that you are self-conscious of your size and are hoping that most guys won't make it all the way until the end. Especially deceiving is when those first few pics are clearly from a much earlier time in your life, say your college days, when you looked a whole deal different than you do now.

Be like Old Abe: make it your best policy, honesty that is.

That Better Be Your Brother.

Now this is just tacky. Sure, sometimes a woman will include a few pics of her standing next to a male relative at a family get-together or such. Or sometimes she will warn in her bio that the guy in one of her pics is her gay best friend. Sure, it happens, and that's cool. But many, many times I've come across pics where the lady is clearly attached at the cheek to her significant other, former or otherwise. Here's an idea: learn how to crop your pics, ladies! It's not hard to do. Every PC image viewer known to (wo)man has a crop function. Heck, even most phones have that option now, too! You crop out who you don't want to be in your pic, then hit SAVE. Done. Better we see the cut-off, disembodied limb of some former flame just outside the margins of your shot, rather than the full deal and leave us to wondering just what game you're playing at here. My rule of thumb is: if her relationship status looks complicated, move the hell on!

Can I Quote You On That?

I don't know about you, but when I'm looking through online profiles of potential dates who have "liked" me, or whatever the site-specific equivalent is, I enjoy getting to know the person first before I act. This is why the bio section is so important. You're given a small paragraph or two to say something about yourself that should entice someone to want to get to know you more. While I don't expect you to jump through hoops to pull a Mark Twain and entertain me with your witty prose, I do like a few insightful details about your life to help separate you from all the other profiles out there. And, you know, to see if maybe just MAYBE we might be even remotely compatible. So when all you have is a series of quirky, snappy quotes from people more erudite and famous than you as your bio section, needless to say this is a major buzz kill. Seriously, you might as well have NO bio up (and don't even get me started on these dolts!) for all the good it does you.

Writing a nice bio -- my kind of gal!!!

Look, I love to collect quotes from famous or historical personages, too. My favorites are from the aforementioned Mark Twain, Oscar Wilde, and even Erasmus to name just a few. But quotes tell me nothing about YOU! And I clicked on your profile for YOU. No one else. The least you can do is make it worth my effort. While pics are great for giving me a quick glimpse to make sure that: 1) you are a human, and not a typing dog or chimpanzee; and 2) that you are at the very least female ... I do require some actual words from your actual brain to demonstrate you're capable of rudimentary communication. Otherwise, uh, there are Japanese blow up dolls out there for everything else. And enough said about that!

As you can see, this list is by no means exhaustive of all the shenanigans going on in the world of online dating. These are just all that I've experienced thus far, and I'm sure there's still quite a lot I'm missing. *meep* I've only just recently decided to check the possibilities out. But I've gotten quite a few hits in this short period of time, and communicated with a few nutsos and nice gals alike. Beyond that, I'm not at liberty to say for reasons I outlined at the beginning of this piece. Suffice to say that New York City is perhaps one of the best places to live if you are male, single, and ready to mingle as the saying goes.

What will the future hold? Only time will tell. But in the meantime, won't you drop a comment down below and tell me one or two of your personal observations from your own forays into the wilds of online dating?


  1. Very interesting observations. I really think you should write a column for a magazine. You are funny. :)

  2. If only I had the time, Cin. But I'm glad you find these sorts of posts entertaining. I try my best. :)

  3. Online dating is the devil! haha

    I think it's great that you're out there, treading the waters, as they say. But do be careful sweets, I wouldn't want some crazy woman to cause you grief. Your observations while hilarious, carry a lot of merit. You would be so amazed at what some profiles say or contain. -Cue in the Twilight Zone music please! :)

  4. Thanks, Yvonne. I'll heed your warning. I know you have your own horror stories of the travails of online dating. Or dating in general, actually. Ha! :)

    And, no. So far no grief. I've had some interesting encounters to be sure, but nothing I couldn't handle. I'm actually being very casual about things for the time being. Not looking for anything serious. For now ...


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