When Gaily and I met in the 9th grade, we had this mutual friend named Abby. Abby was kind of surly and sarcastic, just like us. She was also batshit crazy. As high school wore on, that last bit became more and more apparent, but the true mark of insanity was when Gail, forced to take on a roommate after her divorce at 22, let Abby move in with her. Not only was Abby constantly shoplifting and never paying any rent, but she once walked in on Gail showering, looked her up and down, and said suggestively “Well… you look better than I do.” Gail had to actually ask her to leave the bathroom. Not long after, Gail woke up in the middle of the night, her boyfriend by her side, to see Abby standing in the doorway staring at her.
So, when Gail and I were crafting and marathoning Under the Dome, I decided to search Plenty of Fish for Abby. Her horribly misleading Facebook pictures alone are hilarious. I couldn’t imagine what her Plenty of Fish account looked like and after she screwed Gaily out of hundreds of dollars when her daughter had just died, I don’t mind being catty… not that I did before, when it came to Abby.
16-year-old Gail: “She rides her horse a lot.”
16-year-old Belle: “Yeah, I noticed the dip in his back was pretty low.”
The girl was awful and crazy. After making jokes about using the skin of Gail’s daughter to make a pool table and telling a high school acquaintance that Gail mistreated her as a roommate, it’s apparent she hasn’t gotten any better. Her online dating profile sounded like a fun read. Unfortunately, I was not able to find her brand of crazy. Instead, I found several new brands.
I pick on men a lot in my online dating blogs, because I date men. I feel like the poor guys get a bad rap in online dating, though, and not just from me. It’s not that I don’t think women do crazy shit. Quite the contrary. I’ve even done my fair share.
Now, there were certainly a number of good profiles, where cute girls advertised themselves well, just as how some good men advertise themselves well. End disclaimer. Looking for Abby’s profile, however, brought to my attention something I hadn’t really considered, and that is just how horrible some of us women are at making profiles. For example…
Insulting Online Dating
I’m finding women do this a lot more than men. Regardless of gender, there are two versions of this statement.
1. I’m out of school. My office has a no fraternization policy. People are only looking for hookups in bars. As embarrassing as it is to admit, I’m trying online dating.
2. I’m fed up with online dating, but it’s the only way anyone meets anymore, so I’ll stick with it.
I understand your frustration with the dating scene in general. No one meets in person anymore and efforts to disprove that statement are expensive and time consuming; but the story you tell your grandchildren is going to be so unromantic compared to the one your grandparents told you if you meet someone online. I get it. I do… but get a blog, because your profile isn’t the place for that negativity. If you’re declaring that you’re embarrassed by online dating as a whole, you’re implying that every person who might be interested in you should also be embarrassed to be dating online. Also, don’t be embarrassed. Just yesterday, I confessed to my redneck daddy that I mostly date online. His response? “Hell, baby, everybody dates online, anymore.” I expected a lecture about being shankraped and I pretty much just got a fist bump. Don’t feel bad that you’re dating online, because everyone is dating online. Besides, your grandparents story likely left out the part where they only got married at 17, because he knocked her up and her daddy owned a shotgun. Romanticism is about presentation, exaggeration, and well… lying.
If you’re just frustrated with online dating, because no one’s actually 5’8″, everyone’s allergic to your cat, all the men are divorced, that guy called you stupid for believing in Christ, or whatever it is that’s not going well, again get a blog, because your profile isn’t the place for that. Do you really think opening with “I don’t even know why I’m bothering to fill this out, since no one reads these anyway” is going to make anyone want to message you? Yes, a bad date is disheartening, but if it is legitimately enough of a reason to give up, then delete your account. If it’s not, then actually try to appear interested.
The Ridiculous Expectations
I once read the profile of a man demanding that any interested parties must have no divorces, tattoos, or children, not wear make-up and be a virgin from the Church of Christ. Furthermore, he wasn’t paying for Match.com, so prospects should wink at him and then he would pay to talk to them, if he deemed them worth it. Welcome to the Midwest, y’all.
This guy, however, stood out in all his crazy glory, because it’s not super common for men to be so specific in their demands. Women, though? Wow. Gail’s boyfriend, Terry, once complained that women were just looking to fill in their check-list and I thought he must have just had a bad experience, but after one search on Plenty of Fish, I see that he’s right.
Now, don’t misunderstand my point here. There are some things that are genuine deal breakers and these should really be listed. If you just cannot have a relationship with a Christian, make that clear. If you don’t want to be with someone who is not politically aware, say so. If you do not and will never want kids, state that upfront. These facts cannot be derived from a photo and they could genuinely affect the outcome of your relationship and your own personal happiness. Make sure they’re understood. What I’m concerned about is over-the-top statements like:
looking for a man to make me dinner just cuz, take my kids to the park cuz i’m tired, buy me flowers just cuz
I want a man who knows how to take care of a woman in her emotional needs. Opens the door for me, says please and thank you, tells me I look nice when I get all dolled up for a date. Also, not 100% sure I want to have my own kids in this society, but for the right guy who takes care of me and shows me that I’m the most important thing I would be willing to have kids. I want to feel like the most important person in the man’s heart. I like PDA so you have to be willing to hold hands, hug, kiss, snuggle.
What I’m reading in these profiles is a lot of the word “want”. Why would a man want to date someone he’s never met, when she’s already making some pretty big demands, such as taking her kids to the park while she relaxes or taking charge of her “emotional needs”, with no real explanation for what that entails? I’m not saying that’s an unreasonable hope from an established relationship, but the men viewing your profile are going off a few pictures and what you type. They don’t know you. They don’t have any obligation to you. You’ve sort of just told them that they would be taking on a lot, from day one. One or two of these statements wouldn’t be so bad, but these women are making actual lists. Then there’s:
2) You drive a…
a. Jeep (3 points)
b. Truck (2 points)
c. Car (1 point)
We all have our trivial preferences, sure. I’d like a guy who is tall and broad and rugged and… oh, we’ve had this conversation already.
Are you really going to deny yourself the opportunity to get to know someone because you’ve set up a fucking quiz assigning points for something as inconsequential as what he drives? I love me a big, intimidating truck. I do. It’s not a requirement, though. I drive a freaking hatchback. I am the last person to demand a sexy car. In this gal’s defense, she really liked camping, so I think that had something to do with the Jeep preference, but you can drive a car to a campsite, so I still declare this a trivial desire based on physical attraction. The fact remains that he loses points if he doesn’t check the box she’s already picked out for her perfect man. He doesn’t quite fit the clearly stated mold. Just like with this woman, who states…
No Black Men. Not attracted. Thanks.
It’s okay not to be attracted to someone. It really is. I’ve met black men who will openly declare that they’re not attracted to black women. My problem with this statement is that, if she doesn’t want to date a black man, it’s always an option to… you know… not date a black man! You can tell from a person’s profile, through pictures and/or text, if he’s black, white, bald, tall, short, fat, Asian, has glasses, or a weird-shaped head. Why sound so judgmental by listing those things and being somewhat offensive to the people who don’t fit those parameters if you can tell without doing so? This is like men who include a “No Fat Chicks” paragraph. Why tell Ola that’s she’s not good enough, because she’s 200 pounds, when you could just not date Ola?
The Detailed Description of Baggage
The search I ran was for women ages 24-28, within 35 miles of Shetland. I’m not going to mock a demographic I don’t fit. A surprising number of the women I found opened with statements such as…
Someone said to me “you’re too pretty to be single” I said “no, I’m too pretty to be lied to, cheated on, and played games with.”
I am actully working on getting back in shape so I would like someone with this same goal or who would support me in this goal, prior to having my children I took ballet and was healthy I have never been a size 2 and I don’t want to be but I do want to be smaller then I am
Dont let my outside bubble fool you I am very sweet and have a lot to offer…. if you can break down my shields.
Yeah… those were copy and paste and it pained me not to fix the grammar, but you get my point. We’re in our twenties. A little baggage and some insecurity is implied. I understand that there are some pieces of information that you have to get out there, despite how much I throw a tantrum about it.
I do list myself as divorced and, when prompted, I explain briefly.
I was married at 19 and divorced at 23. He was just a really bad person. I finalized two and a half years ago and there are no attachments.
It’s a weird question to answer without sounding like I got bored with marriage one day, but also without being that crazy person ranting in the mechanic’s office about her ex-husband being a prick. Oh, yeah. That was me. After I gave Aerospace that explanation, he gave me a brief account of his last relationship and we stopped talking about it. If you’re divorced, mention it. If you have a son, say so. If you’re overweight, make sure your pictures reflect that. More explanation is not needed until the other person gives a shit. I loved this advice book as a teenager, and the author, Carolyn Hax explained that you have to lay your cards out on the table one by one. “You can’t just shout ’52 card pickup!’ and expect someone to care about the mess.”* Stating painfully obvious deal breakers, like lying, cheating, and stealing, is the equivalent to talking about how your ex lied, cheated, and stole from you. No one wants a liar, cheater, or thief, just as no one wants someone who can’t even put their past betrayals behind them long enough to make a profile. You sound like the personification of a headache.
The Batshit Crazy
I think my favorite profile belonged to the unemployed, six months pregnant, mom of one, with her twin daybed in the background of her profile photo, as she flipped off the camera, showed her boobs, and made a duck face. You can’t ask for something you don’t offer, such as employment or pride.
My second favorite was:
first off if ur just lookin at my profile cause I’m in a bikini top in one my pics an thats the only one u noticed then dont bother with sending me a message i am more then just boobs!
Perhaps, little lady, if you’re looking to express that you’re “more then just boobs” (::cough:: than ::cough::), you shouldn’t be displaying them in your profile.
Tell Me About It: Lying, Sulking, Getting Fat… and 56 Other Things Not to Do While Looking for Love, by Carolyn Hax.