What not to say when engaging women on online dating sites.
There’s a general knowledge that men will go to aggressive lengths on dating sites. They’ll be over-the-top, disgusting or horrible in their messages to stand out. But unless you’re a female with an active profile on one of these sites for singles, most don’t get just how disgusting or horrible some men can be.
The perceived cover of the Internet is a big reason why. Send a dirty picture, or make a comment about a woman’s body as the first thing uttered to a woman. Proposition her in no uncertain terms. What’s the worst that can happen? She doesn’t respond. She blocks you. There are plenty more profiles out there. In person, pulling this garbage would get you slapped, kicked or thrown out of an establishment. The web, as sophisticated as it is, does not allow me to smack a guy upside the head. Side note, let’s work on this.
The other day a friend sent me this blog post from cracked.com which does an excellent job of encapsulating the depths men will sink to on dating sites. Author Alli Reed doctors up her profile so that she becomes, on the screen, the worst woman ever. She makes herself out to be a clingy, stupid, selfish gold digger who traps men by getting pregnant and then demanding money. All the while, she uses a photo of a model friend and then sees how men react to the wretched profile.
I’ll just say that, in it, men are dogs.
The whole post is brilliant, not to mention terrifying and, sadly, not altogether shocking.
Similarly, I decided to scour the messages I’ve received for some of the grossest, most baffling or—as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie would say—just stupid openers from gents. In doing so I realized that a few outrageous ones had gone from my inbox, the blatant genital ones I desperately wanted to forget. Many of these dirty emails that either asked me for pictures of my hoo-ha or volunteered to send me what was in their pants made sure to remind me how lucky I was that they were asking. Yeah, that’s what I was: lucky.
This is meant as further proof of what women are up against when they put themselves out there on digital platforms that connect singles. Here, a sampling of what is actually sent to me:
1. “How do you feel about Macdonalds and strippers?”
OK, granted this is not the worst ever. At least the man who sent it has some semblance of a sense of humor. Consider this a warm up. According to my records, though, I did respond and he wasn’t joking. Definitely wasn’t joking.
2. “I may not be a genie, but I can make your dreams come true.”
In glancing over my received messages, cheesy pick-up lines are rare. So this stood out as a clunker of an opening, especially as the very first communication of any kind with this dude.
3. “Nice breasts.”
That’s all. No “Hello.” No sign-off. No “How are you.” Just a statement about my chest. Why try to search for meaning or explain what’s wrong about this? He scoped out pictures and then went caveman about it.
4. “hey ur cute, im a fun date. just looking for casual hook up.”
Purpose stated from the get-go. I see how it is, sir. You are so anxious to get it on that complete sentences and capital letters go out the window. All I get is a fragment about lust. He’s far from the only male to just plainly state that he wants to do the no-pants dance, and that’s all.
5. “Would you consider dating or having a relationship with a bi curious guy? I have just joined okcupid and I am new to this. I still need to complete my profile.
I have been with women all my life but I am also curious about the other stuff. I do not see myself being romantically involved with a guy… it is basically a sex thing I want to explore. I am looking for a female partner who is OK with my curiosities. Even better, it would be great if she would enjoy and support my exploration.” See No. 4 but introduce another guy into the equation. Got it.
6. “thought i’d send a shout out since i’m jewish and living life to the fullest in dc too. no one ever guesses my age – i am a nude model and you don’t have to worry about anything in that category ;)”
Thank God, I don’t have to worry about that, my man. This will be a fun story to tell our grandkids about our meeting as well.
7. “tendrías un amigo con beneficios?”
So, he did read that I’m proficient in Spanish. Kudos. Why not, “Que pasa?”
8. “Hey, I saw you have a hammock and thought maybe I could borrow it for summer … I can use it in my balcony …”
9. “I’m being kept awake by my hyper puppy. That’s a good excuse to show up to work late, right?”
10. “When people ask dumb questions, do you feel obligated to give sarcastic answers?”
For the last three, nay, a threesome of simply random statements from three different men that had nothing to do with anything, I’ll admit I chuckled, especially at the guy who doesn’t know me but wants to borrow my hammock or the one asking for my take on his overactive canine situation.
I have checked, double checked and checked my profile some more. Nowhere does it say “Pepper me with upsetting or potentially offensive sentences,” yet some have read it that way. I don’t need to be dazzled with prose. And, actually, a lion’s share of the messages get super poetic with things like “Hello” or “It seems like we have things in common.” You know, Robert Frost type stuff. Just don’t degrade me. Can we agree to that?