Monday, January 11, 2010
On-line Dating Do’s and Don’ts
Man, I’m so tired of on-line dating, but once you reach a certain age, you don’t have tons of options. Let’s face it, you feel pretty stupid standing on the edge of a dance floor at midnight with 20-somethings, and hoping your clothes are still up-to-date (Skinny heels or chunky heels this year? Straight legs or bell bottoms?) especially when you realize some of them are young enough they could be your kids. There’s something sort of sad and pathetic about it, the way an abandoned dog is sad and pathetic, or still paying on student loans as you near retirement.
But every time I look at people’s profiles, I see the same mistakes. My friend, Rob, showed me his inbox and even the women who write him make the same gaffs. What gives? There needs to be an “Internet Dating School” that everyone must first graduate from before they venture a picture of themselves holding a puppy in a sad attempt to get a “pity-date.” Having said that, here’s a few tidbits for newbies.
Top Ten Do’s and Don’ts of On-line Dating.
1. No pictures of you with baseball caps and sunglasses. I don’t get that and neither does anyone else. If we can’t see your face, is there a reason? Are you sporting a friar-like hairdo? A classic Shakespeare do? A giant 1973 afro jammed up under there? A big, shiny cue-ball? Is there a third eye, slit-yellow alien-reptilian eyes, Jodie-the-pig-red-eyes-from-the-Amityville-Horror, or no eyes at all?
2. Avoid copious pictures of kids and pets. One picture of you and your pets/kids is enough, but include several more of just yourself. Yes, I'm sure they’re cute, but chances are the opposite sex is thinking, "They're cute, but not as cute as mine." Besides, no one ever said, “I fell wildly in love him/her because she/he posted such a cute hamster picture.”
3. Avoid cutsy nicknames. Make a nickname that defines you or a hobby instead. “Luking4hotluv,” “Studmuffin,” or “Bleedingthohealing,” is just sad, very, very sad, not cute and funny. Think sad, like a kitty run over on the highway.
4. Do post recent pictures. “Recent” means no older than two years, or within ten pounds. I once saw a guy post his high school graduating picture, which, given the hairdo, was approximately 1984. I guess he thought the Flock of Seagulls hairdo wouldn’t tip anyone off.
5. It should go without saying that you should post FLATTERING pictures. You want to put your best foot forward. A picture of you sitting on the lawn chair after you ate that rack of smoked baby-back ribs, the picture where all your buttons are straining and your gut is hanging out, probably isn’t a good idea.
6. No Disappearing Shirts. Sit down for this one fellas. I know it sounds like a neat idea, the way throwing a little gas onto that stubborn charcoal to get it to start also sounded like a good idea last summer, but put your shirt back on. Seriously. Girls do NOT find a picture of shirtless man sexy unless he’s ALREADY her boyfriend. Displaying your, 70’s porno-king-Ron Jeremy, shag rug on your chest, or your pointy moobs is not very appetizing in the same way that pulling a long, suspiciously curly hair out of your Taco Bell super burrito is also NOT very appetizing.
7. No bicep flexing shots. This one, like number 6, is just very sad. Think sleeping-under-the-bridge-because-you’re-homeless-sad. Like #6, I know it SOUNDS like a good idea, but you gotta trust me on this. Nothing spells UNSEXY like a guy with third-grader sized biceps or saggier triceps than your ancient sixth grade math teacher when she was wearing a sleeveless shirt and writing on the blackboard.
8. Knock it off with the clichés. People want to see how you’re different, not the same as everyone else including that last loser who dumped you. Posting, “I feel just as at home in a tiny black cocktail dress as a sweatshirt and pair of jeans,” is not only cliché, sista, but an outright lie. A guy can sniff out this lie better than a sow sniffing for truffles. Be yourself. And dudes, posting every single sport in the world you watch on ESPN and trying to pass it off as hobbies you actually participate in is just as bad. Besides, telling us on your profile who your favorite NASCAR drivers are along with a list of reasons why, may not drum up a lot of interest from the ladies.
9. No Cabella's ads. Ditto goes for all the pictures of dudes dressed in cammo and holding up ten-point buck heads. If you're into hunting, that's OK, but put it this way, guys, would you like pictures of us ladies holding up floor-length terry cloth, zip-up robes we found on sale at K-mart? I guess, not.
10. Pictures that show you have a weird, perhaps disturbing sense of humor are not good “first impressions” either. When Rob first went online, he took a picture of himself with an empty, carved out Halloween pumpkin on his head as he wielded a fake rubber knife. “Look, it’s funny,” he chortled. That’s not funny to someone who doesn’t know you, I told him. Unless, of course, you think Norman Bates, Micheal Myers or Hannibal Lecter was “funny.”
Good luck, Newbies. I'll be praying for you.