It is time to blow the lid off this “No Drama” bullshit I so often read in online dating site profiles.
I’m not proud that I’ve been using dating sites for years. A lifestyle that treats choosing a human to spend significant time with like shoe shopping was not what I had in mind when my marriage ended.
But, here I am, in the 21st century, where eye contact in public makes you that weird lady that smiles at people she doesn’t know, and I really don’t want to die alone, to be found weeks later by my landlady and the police, a shriveled, poopy mess, so… online dating it is.
The Shame of Online Dating
Till now, I’ve resisted the urge to even write about online dating. There are so many stories to tell and I’ve bit my blogger lip because, well… I actually do want to find a partner, and I’ve feared there would be an unwillingness to date someone who issues a warning on the first date: “I’m a writer. There’s a better than 50% chance that sooner or later, you’re going to wind up in one of my stories.”
But I’ve also reached a point in my self-awareness that the person who winds up with me had better be pretty independent, have a manageable degree of self-confidence (not to be confused with arrogance) and a pretty sturdy set of balls (literal or metaphorical). In other words, the person who winds up with me had better not scare easily.
With my newfound self-awareness brass balls in hand, I want to start this new thread of blogs by complaining about online profiles. I went on one date with a guy (he was beautiful, but expected me to always initiate contact–verbal or physical–sorry babe, but this chick don’t beg) who I shared the dating site don’ts list with, and he thought I sound jaded and whiny.
Your damn right I’m jaded and whiny! Do you know how many fucking profiles I’ve read?! This is my personal list of pet peeves… I am 100% positive that I am not alone on this one. There are actually 12 don’ts; 10 was just SEO clickbait.
Top 12 Dating Site Don’ts
- “I don’t see likes.” It’s annoying, we know. You don’t need to mansplain what to do if we like you. We know. By the way, we don’t see likes either and you should also message us if you like us. Or reply. Replying would be good.
- “No Drama.” Fact. Everyone has drama of some kind. It’s called life. If you don’t have some modicum of drama, you are not doing life right. We don’t want your girlfriend showing up at our job anymore than you do. How you deal with it is what sets you apart.
- “No Baggage.” Fact. If you’re over 40, divorced or have ever had a relationship with another human being, and/or have kids… basically, if you’ve been alive, you, and everyone around you has baggage. Much like drama, the difference is whether you carry it around looking for a person to dump it on, or if you know how to store it.
- The ‘Don’t be’ list. Nothing says, “I’m angry and rebounding from a recent break-up” like a list of things ‘you better not be.’ It’s negative, it’s whiny, and it’s a major turn-off.
- Pic Rule #1 – Have a face. Fact. Humans care about looks. Is it shallow? No, it’s primal. Even people who say looks aren’t important. It’s a huge deciding factor in getting to know you. 100% of the time that I have been an optimist and gone for the great personality, the big reveal has been a major letdown. Plus, it’s a red flag – who are you really hiding from?
- Pic Rule #2 – #nofilter. The doggy ears and wagging tongue are kinda cute on your Snapchat profile (are they though? Isn’t that old yet?), but really, really dumb on dating profiles. Especially if you’re over 40. Please – no filters.
- Pic Rule #3 – Be who you are in your pics. Use recent pics, a variety of close-ups and full body shots, orient the pic correctly so we don’t have to turn our phone sideways to see you, WEAR CLOTHES, and be YOU. Looking different than your pics is a guaranteed first date killer. If you insist on “just worked out” shots, make sure you edit out the urinal in your gym bathroom background. But honestly, gym shots are meh. Please add more than one pic. We all know you have a phone full of selfies. By the way, what’s up with all the driver’s seat pics? Bored in traffic? At a red light? What is the story with those.
- Pic Rule #4 – No Kids Allowed. For the love of all that makes sense, do NOT include pics of your kids. It exposes your kids to the jerks on the internet, it involves them in your sex/love life, and anyone you date is already going to know you have kids, because you’re going to tell your prospective date that. We don’t need to put their faces in places where predators hang out.
- Be who you are. If you’re 30, don’t say you’re 25 and then blame it on the app. We all know how the app works. If you’re 5’6” don’t say you’re 5’9” – we can tell. If you depict yourself as someone other than you, we’re going to know when you show up. Red flag.
- “I never hear back!” Complaining about not hearing from anyone is a really good invitation to a prospective partner to not be the one to break the seal. We also don’t hear back from the people we are sure would be perfect if they would only reply. Whining about not hearing back is whiny. Stop that. Seriously, nobody likes a whiner.
- Have time to date. If every hour of your life is filled up with work, kids, karaoke, kickball, the gym, skydiving, volunteering, gaming… do you really have time to get to know someone?
- READ THE PROFILES. There are plenty of apps out there that don’t require much, if any written context to who you are. On the apps where an opportunity to explain who you are exists – USE IT! It will minimize embarrassment and awkward ‘wow, we are not a match’ moments on that first date. Dropping a line about how you’re going to fill it out later is just lame.
So, there it is. Jaded rant over. But I think the lid’s off the stories to be told too. They’re just too crazy to not share!! Sorry (maybe) to all the people I’ve dated that are about to appear in my blog. Oops!
If you have a ‘don’t’ you’d like to add, please add it in the comments–I’d love to hear it!