This one is going out to the men of online dating. I’m sure that there are women who would benefit by taking these observations to heart, but for now I’m going to stick with my observations on those with the XY chromosomes.
Now, please understand that I’m not being an asshole – these observations are about men who have reached out to me, supposedly after drinking in the wit and vitality glowing in my profile like the sun itself.
In other words, these dipshits asked for it.
If you have friends, enlist them in both taking and choosing profile photos. If they care about you, they will help you avoid the following profile picture mistakes:
- Amish Beard Showcase: People with this kind of facial hair generally eschew technology, so I have no choice but to infer that you are either a mountain man or think that your copious, unkempt, crumb- and dip-laced facial hair makes you desirable to a woman with a mainstream office job and a decent Goodreads list. I may be wrong, but I’m not nearly as wrong as you are, Kaczynski.
- Ted Bundy’s Playbook: The only thing worse that serial-killer handwriting is serial-killer eyes. (Or actually being a serial killer.) STOP STARING LIFELESSLY. It’s fucking creepy, and if you “wink” at me again, I’m contacting the authorities and my next-of-kin.
- I Know You Love Your Kids, But This Is Creepy: Your young children can’t give informed consent for you to use their images on an adult site in order to manipulate a woman into a date; if you write that you are a good father and enjoy spending time with your children, I will believe you. Your photos in the bar with your adult son, or of you with your adult daughter in formal wear with a plunging neckline may be even more disturbing. Stick with photos of you and snapshots of your life – don’t live vicariously through kid pix.
- The Time Warp: Hey, 52-year old fellow, I can tell that your pictures are from 1983 (the Night Ranger shirt and feathered hair are dead giveaways). Stop this shit right now because I’m not an idiot.
- Photo Booth: I know Photo Booth is fun. If you must use it, Fish Eye is the only acceptable effect. Twirl, Squeeze, Stretch, and Bulge (it doesn’t do what you think it does) are unacceptable and not conducive to your goals.
- Bathroom Selfies: If you need me to tell you why these are a million ways of wrong, then you should probably buy a yurt and park it next to a nice sand dune in the Sahara, because you really aren’t fit for human companionship. I’m sorry, and I hope that you like cacti.
- ALL THE PIXELS: If your photos leave you image less defined than a Minecraft character, it’s time to upgrade your phone to one with a better camera.
- Playa Hate: If there is a woman to whom you are not biologically related in your photos, you’re a dick, and I must assume that you’re probably compensating for any number of emotional and/or physical shortcomings.
- Inability to Master Seventh-Grade English: The differences between “you’re” and “your” are important. Don’t get me started on “their,” “there,” and “they’re.” Mastering these homonyms is not difficult, and your inability to do so tells me that you’re intellectually lazy.
- Get a Grip: This may be the harshest of my harshes, so prepare. If you take no pride in your appearance and have only an inflated sense of self and feelings of entitlement, you do NOT have the right to specify parameters for attractiveness in a woman. Remember that Shrek’s princess was an ogre, and if you’re an asshole, you’re going to attract assholes. If you have an irrationally inflated ego, an arrogant personality, and – frankly – are not physically appealing, you need to not shame women. You need to address your ego and arrogance with a therapist, then maybe a self-respecting woman will give you the time of day.
- Making Sure We Know Where We Stand: We’re not dumb, and we actually have an expectation that your children will take priority over us, especially since we’re complete strangers. When you specifically state that you will only have a couple of days per month to devote to dating, it might be time to re-evaluate your investment in a dating site. Don’t get me wrong: we appreciate that you work hard, have extracurricular activities, and are an involved father. However, telling us that you want a slim, attractive, old-fashioned woman, and then immediately stating that you have approximately 8 hours a month that you can carve out for your “queen,” you defeat your purpose. Or at least I think you defeat your purpose – you’re giving some seriously mixed messages and might want to hire a writer to iron out your plot holes.
- Verbiage Matters: If you use the word “lonely” in your username or profile, I am going to bypass you because I’d hate to get in the way of the hobbies I imagine you have, such as thimble collecting or small-vertibrate taxidermy. WORDS MATTER, JACKASS.
- Reading Comprehension Matters More: A cursory glimpse at my profile will reveal that I love animals. Guys – if your idea of a good time is killing animals, we are not going to mesh, so please move along. These details matter.
- Complete Thoughts/Sentences: The contents of your email should consist of more than one syllable. “Hi” and “Hey” are generally not enticing or impressive unless you’re an Australopithecus.
- Reading Comprehension Skills: Do you know what human beings enjoy? Being recognized. Because of this, show the person you’re messaging that you have actually read her profile, and SPECIFICALLY REFER TO SAID PROFILE. Do not reiterate things you’ve already outlined in your own profile, because frankly, I don’t care about you at this point. I care about why I might want to spend time with you. Real-World Example: One man messaged me, repeating words he’d already vomited into his own profile, and I took advantage of the handy-dandy “Not Interested” button. This dude followed up and asked me what turned me off, and I told him (nicely…don’t laugh, I really was kind). He responded by begging me – a perfect stranger – to give him a chance because he is a “fine wine connoisseur” and loves dogs, too. For those of you unfamiliar with match.com, this is the exact language they use when trying to partner you up with these dudes.
I know the above sounds very harsh, but just put yourself in my place. I had to deal with all of this and not totally and completely lose my shit and destroy these poor souls. I am only trying to help you…learn from these men’s fails, gents. Learn from these men’s fails.