Cultivating connections with strangers.

After bailing out of the online dating world faster than [something fast] back in August, I’ve decided to give it another go – this time on okcupid. Pardon me for referring to the male sex in agricultural terms, but I have to say so far okcupid has yielded a much more promising crop than match.com.

Promising as in better read, better spoken, and seemingly more self-aware.  No sign of v-neck tees anywhere. But after reading countless profiles (and by countless I mean like a hundred) I have a few tips that I think it might be helpful to air – just in case any of the guys who inhabit the world of online dating stumble across my blog someday.

I should qualify this by saying it’s hard to write your own profile. It kind of sucks, actually. You constantly have to ask yourself “Does that make me sound like a douche?” and “Am I writing the profile of who I want to be or who I really am?” But nonetheless, here goes:

One of my profile pics. See how the phone is cropped out?
  1. Not everyone is funny. Please stop describing yourself as funny unless it is a known fact. If your mom and your elderly neighbor are the only people you know who consistently find you funny, chances are you are not and you’re misrepresenting yourself, which could be why you’re still on this dating site. 
  2. Sarcasm is a given if you’re between the ages of 30 and 40. We grew up on Friends, Sienfeld, and loads of comics who mastered what once was an art form, channeled it into the mainstream, and now it’s as commonplace as Starbucks. Please stop telling me how sarcastic you are. It’s about as interesting as Starbucks.
  3. Enough with the zombies. I know they’re cool (everyone keeps saying it, so I know), but you know what’s cooler? Something no one has heard of before that you made up by engaging your imagination. You know what’s cooler than that? Grandparents.
  4. Moustaches (sans beard or goatee). Okay. I understand the appeal if you’re a hipster or a hipster-wannabe. The goal among the hipster crowd, as I understand it, is to turn anything that is decidedly uncool or formerly cool into coolness personified, and then exploit it until it’s not cool again so then you can make fun of everyone who’s now following the trend that you, apparently, started. However, even if I could get around what it means to be a hipster, there’s no way I’m making out with a dude who has a handlebar or walrus stache, no matter how hot he is when he shaves. Do you know where those long, pokey face hairs go when you’re kissing me? IN MY NOSE. 
  5. If you must take a photo of yourself by using your phone to capture your reflection in the bathroom mirror, for the love of Annie Leibowitz please crop your phone out of the photo and make eye contact. Or make it artsy if you want. If you are a computer super-nerd and you’re using your built-in web cam for your headshot, you might consider dressing it up a little by using even the most basic photo editing software, which you obviously have because you’re a super-nerd. The blue-green electron glow of your monitor is unsettling. Perhaps also reminiscent of zombies, which we’ve already covered. PS – I don’t need 6 photos of you with your shirt off. One is fine. And I don’t need any photos of you flexing.

That’s my top 5 so far. I’m sure there’s more to come. I would like to say that I’ve interacted with some really great folks, including one guy who was a 0% match and said he thought he would try the opposites-attract approach. He was very polite and sincere and smart. We actually started out at 3%, but then he answered some more of the match-determining questions and got us up to 7%, and then I answered a whole bunch more questions and we landed at zero. But ultimately, while I admired his courage, how far can you really go with someone who believes men should be the head of the household and homosexuality is a sin? About two emails, that’s how far.

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