I'm glad to see something never change.
There are a few ways to approach online dating and sifting through potential suitors.
Way #1: This is usually the way to go about it when you are new. You carefully read every profile of anyone that looks cute. I always wrote emails because doing that proved that I was a member and not some cheapo who refused to pay and could only wink hoping they'd read my profile closely enough to find the hidden clues to my personal email so I could continue not paying.
Way #2: This sets in after you have been at it a few weeks to a month. You scan the important stuff in the profiles: age, kids, married/divorced/widowed, smoker, drinker, living situation, job, interests, religion, what kind of girl they want, income. You do this for everyone who has a picture and remotely interesting headline. You email them.
Way #3: You scan the important stuff in the profiles: age, living situation, job, interests, income. You do this for everyone who has a remotely interesting headline. Email them.
Way #4: Scan the important stuff in the profiles: age, living situation, and job. You do this for anyone who passed all three (even by a margin) and wink.
Way #5: I adopted this method the last couple of months. Smoke a joint and/or drink two glasses of wine and wink at whoever had a nice smile.
As you know I have been looking for guys online for my friend. I like to call it "window shopping" except I have to remember I am not shopping for myself. This means I have to adopt Method #1. Unfortunately, I just send her the names of who I liked and a dissertation (sometimes she needs A LOT of convincing) on why I liked them. The rest is up to her and she always blows it because she winks. I tell her repeatedly if she doesn't have a picture up, she at least has to write an email so she catches their interest and she also has to offer them a picture if they want. She doesn't listen and therefore I have to spend the next week listening to how they didn't write or wink back. But if they did wink back, I have to hear how lazy they are that they didn't write an email. But I'm saving all that for my online dating etiquette blog.
I look at a whole bunch of guys in her age range from Stamford to Middletown. That is a lot of dudes and I have to say that 95% of all the ads are the exact same with a few savory exceptions which I'll get into later. It's kind of scary but after 2 years being off match, I see a lot of familiar faces. I saw one of my old Match dates has taken up yoga and put up a few pics of himself in various yoga poses. I cringed when I read that he likes"'long wet kisses". Granted, I was on and off for years so I am assuming it's the same with everyone. You take some time off and one bored night you find yourself back cursing yourself because you swore it off months ago. There is no shame in going back. Maybe you just grew bored of it, tried to meet people in real-time or you were dating someone for a while it didn't work out. It's ok to come home. It's like the safety bar you go to because you know you're chances of going home alone are 2 percent.
However, if you do go back, at least I had the decency to freshen up your profile. Seriously. Some guys still say they are going to graduate in 2004. Um, it's 2006, have you graduated yet? If not, take it out or we're going to think two things:
2.) you don't care enough about your profile therefore, you won't make an effort in the dating scene
Oh, and I know the Da Vinci Code was a bestseller years ago, but by now you surely read something else. Even that very question "What's the last thing you read" is more recent. Good god, the book was already made into a damn movie. If it still says Da Vinci Code we think two things:
1.) you put that because everyone else did
2.) you are a slooowwwwww ass reader
It's ok to say you don't really read much. I have respect for the guys who say that. At least you are being honest. It's even ok to say that work keeps you reading tech manuals or something so you don't have time to read for pleasure. Some girls actually care about this question. I'll admit, I did. However, I only cared about it because it was a sure sign to me whether or not you looked at your profile in the last decade.
There are certain things that need to be said in a profile:
1.) Dropping the Daddy/Mommy bomb
If you are a man or womyn with a child then be upfront about it. By upfront I mean, somewhere in the first three lines. Most people are upfront about it but every now and then you find someone who buries it deep within the profile like a passing comment or fleeting thought. It's your right to tell us on a first date or something but if you're going to put it in your profile, put it high on the "things about me" list. I saw one profile recently where the guy just kind of slipped it on towards the bottom. He said "Oh yeah, I am about to be a dad too, long story, I'll tell you sometime." Hey buddy, now's a good time. Long story? Why do I have a feeling it has something to do with a night of heavy drinking and blacking out. It will avoid a scenario that happened to me once.
Having a great time on my first date. My date seems like an awesome guy.
Me: Here's where you tell me you have 6 kids or something . . .
Date: Well, actually . . . .
He didn't have six, he only had one but bringing it up that way seemed a bit sketch. I'm personally not against dating people with kids, but some people are. Give potential dates the option of knowing before investing the time in getting to know each other.
This leads me to #2 . . .
2.) Pictures with kids and/or animals
If you are going to have a picture of a kid in your profile, identify who the kid as your son/daughter/niece/nephew/godchild fairly soon.
Men and womyn come from two different schools of thought on this. Men think showing us a pic of them spending time with their child or animal shows their sensitive side. They think womyn will say to themselves "awww.... they like kids/animals." Honestly, most womyn I know, think it's a bit weird. It doesn't pull at our heart strings, it makes us roll our eyes. We've met plenty of assholes with pets and kids so this doesn't exactly set you apart from the rest.
Oh, and need I remind you that the people you are meeting online are strangers? So, yeah, it's possible some creep may use you to get to your kid.
3.) Have kids? Yes. Want kids? No.
An online dating site has two questions, they put fairly close to the top of your profile's beginning. It plainly asks "Have kids?" Here is where you can choose a variety of answers. If you choose "yes", you also have to state if they live at home with you or do not. I've seen a lot of guys answer yes to this question. Yay for honesty. The next question is "Want kids?" You can answer just about anything to this: yes, no, undecided, someday. You can even put how many you might want. I've seen a lot of guys answer "yes" to having kids and "no" to wanting them. Granted, this could mean they do not want anymore but the fact of the matter is, they already have at least one and they're going to be around for at least 18 years so make us think you at least care.
4.) Crop shop
Stew had an adorable online picture. I love this picture. He looks so cute in it that I was shocked (and thrilled) he didn't get a million responses it from it. One day, while flipping through a photo album of his I saw the picture. I also saw what wasn't in the picture which were two girls with skirts like underwear, halter belly shirts and bellychains. Ugh! By then it was too late, he already lived with me. I was a victim of crop shop entrapment. Little did I know that boyish little grin meant "Outside the margins of this picture I am up to no good."
There are plenty of these pictures online. Stew was smart enough to not even leave a trace of "the others" but a lot of people aren't. It's a stray well manicured hand on the chest that gives it away. I like the people that blur out thier exes' faces. Just crop them. Is that supposed to prove something like other people find you attractive? Because chances are, we've compared ourselves to them and think, "oh, they like that type, they'll never like me."
5.) Love may be blind, but I'm not your nurse
Because I have a habit of writing about stuff nobody likes to talk about. I will preface this by saying this ONLY goes for the beginning stages of a relationship. Not after you have gotten to know someone well and are certain you see a future with them or you are already commited.
There has to be some mystery when you're trying to meet someone. You have to keep them wondering about you long enough to build interest and then you can start being yourself. This is going to sound mean but I think it is a reasonable. If you are in a wheelchair, you should say that in your profile. I spent a while chatting with some guy online to find out later that he was in a wheelchair. Some people may be willing to overlook that but a good majority of people won't. It's one thing if you are with someone for a while and something happens to them, but it's a whole different mindset to start a relationship like that unles you're lazy and in it for the parking.
The same goes for health issues. Hiding something like that is just sneaky. Granted, it's your right to privacy and I am not saying you have to disclose illnesses in your profile. You can wait a few weeks after going on at least 3 (but no more) dates with someone or talking to them for a while. If you really like this person and you want to see where things can go, you should be honest about things before they get too serious. It's always a slippery slope. I've heard from a quite a few guys about girls opening up about having some serious health issues after things have gotten serious. I've also heard a few guys tell me about girls opening up way too soon. One guy told me about going to a girl's house for their second date and things getting a bit heated. She had to stop things because apparently she had a "female procedure that day to try and determine if she has cancer." Why she would disclose this on date #2 begs the question why she would invite a guy over to her house on date #2 knowing she was going to have a "female procedure" earlier that day. When he told me about this, I told him she would become a psycho. She proved me right three days later.
A health issue can be a deal breaker when starting a relationship.
I remember once I was talking to a guy. After our first phone conversation, he wrote me an email explaining that he really wanted to get to know me but his dad was really sick and he was afraid he couldn't give me the time he wanted to but he wanted to try. I thought that was very upfront and honest so I hung in there. We met, we had an ok date but I just wasn't feeling any chemistry. We had been talking for a month and he called me any free moment he had which was actually A LOT more than I thought he would have and the constant calling was starting to really irritate me. Anyway, I finally told him that I didn't think it was going to work. He did not take it very well and despite my better judgment we swapped a few emails where I explained myself because I had some guilt that he was going through enough with his dad in the hospital dying. He stopped communicating me with me after a while which was fine with me. A month or two later I received an email from him, part of a mass mailing telling everyone his dad passed away. I wrote him and said I was sorry and that my thoughts were with him and his family. A few days later, I got an enraged email from him about how he thought I was a nice person but I wasn't and blah blah blah. Maybe he was expecting me to show up at the funeral. I have no clue what brought the rage on. But he said something that cemented the "thank god I got rid of you" feeling. He said how he had something personal that he doesn't tell many people about himself and he was going to tell me but apparently I am not worthy of telling. I forget exactly how he worded it but he made it sound like it was something health-related was going on with him.
Ok, so you were going to wait until I invested a lot of feelings in you before you told me you were dying or something? No thanks. For once I was glad I wasn't worthy of such information in the event i didn't want to deal and left you. I'm not going to spend the rest of my life carrying the guilt for being a shitbag when it could have been avoided if you told me sooner. ASS!
He did TIVO Dr. Phil every day tho'. Maybe he was going to tell me he really was a womyn.