A while back I decided that it would be fun to write an article about the goofy things that guys do when trying to date online. (It was inspired by the misadventures of a female friend of mine.)
So, I contacted a bunch of women who have been in the trenches and asked them some questions. I got some great replies and wrote the article.
It was at that point that a confluence of events derailed my plans.
1) I found out that half of the newspapers in Canada are, apparently, laying off large chunks of their staff.
2) I found out that articles about online dating have been done… and done… and done.
3) I realized that I didn’t exactly set the world on fire with my writing in the article. (You like how I mentioned that part last?)
So, I forgot about it and moved on.
And then I remembered it this morning. So, I figured that I’d share it with you
suckers valued readers now.
Online Dating: What Women Want… Men to Stop Doing
A funny thing happened on the way to writing this article. What started off as something sarcastic and silly, has turned into something different. Well, mostly.
With every passing day, more and more people are meeting online through dating websites. It is possible that meeting this way will soon become more common than meeting at a bar or a party.
What’s the appeal of the online hook up? Maybe it’s a teensy bit more prudent to decide on a potential mate based on the careful reading of exchanged e-mails, while sipping on a coffee in the sober daylight of morning, than, say, based on a discussion held while outside of a bar at closing time. Especially if you are half-soused on tequila and trying to figure out how to button up your coat – that still has a hanger in it.
You know, hypothetically speaking.
Let’s take a deeper look into the lives of the women on the front lines of online dating. And, fellas, they have some complaints.
Lucy, 35, says that “women put more into their profiles and pictures than men. They seem to present themselves better.” And she wasn’t alone in this feeling. Harper, 30, tells of meeting a guy for lunch who looked nothing like this photo. As did 23 year old Laura. As did– well, let’s just say that it was a recurring theme.
In addition to sneaky photo use, women are also unhappy with men who try to fudge the numbers when it comes to their height. While Catherine, 29, admits that “the most common lie from women seems to be about weight,” a large number of women accused men being a little creative when divulging their height.
34 year old Stacey recalled one such instance, “after staring at the top of this man’s head for an entire dinner, and then being asked for a kiss goodnight, my immediate reaction was ‘I don’t think I can bend down that far.'”
Aliya, 28, had a similar experience. “The guy lied. His profile said he was six feet tall. He must have been five-foot-four. For a girl who is five-foot-eight, and wearing four inch heels, it was not a comfortable situation.”
I can see him going over his mental check-list as he arrived at the restaurant, “Shower. Check.. Shave. Check. Stop at bone stretching shop. Dang!”
As bad as lying about height is, Catherine can go it one better. “One guy was not how he described himself – in terms of ethnicity. He assumed that I’d only meet him if he was Asian American, as I am Asian Canadian.”
I’m guessing that it would take some pretty slick spin control to be able convince someone that you are Asian when you very obviously are not.
If the height-challenged and the inexplicably faux-Asians were the worst things about on line dating, it would likely be even more popular. Sadly that’s not the case. Even if the man looks exactly like his picture, it is still entirely possible that the evening is going to go completely off the rails. And quickly.
To say that Lisa, 35, had a bad first date, is an understatement. After a dinner conversation consisting of complaints about his life, and prying personal questions, he was good enough to walk her to her car. Then he tried to invite himself to her house. She declined. After she made it clear that she didn’t really want to pursue the relationship, “He said that I must be a lesbian.”
And you thought that only happened on TV.
Samantha, 46, also had a less than stellar date with one eligible bachelor, “I met a born-again Christian who was grilling me about my spirituality and my religious beliefs.” It got better. “He said that I was everything he was looking for in a woman except for ‘that’ and since I seem to have had a good ‘religious’ upbringing (I was raised Catholic), he had hopes that I would, ‘come around’ some day.” Now,
wait for it. “Then he proceeded to ask me if I wanted to join him in his hot tub.”
We’ll just assume that it was full of holy water and had a Pope Pius XII floating thermometer.
Sometimes a woman doesn’t even need a first date to figure out that someone is already Mr. Wrong. Wendy is 36, from Toronto, and has this story to tell, “I had one person emailing me for at least half a year, telling me I was the one. I received emails from him (sometimes weekly) and he wouldn’t give up for the longest time, even with never receiving one reply from me. He lived in Colorado!”
Guys, persistence is not always a good thing. Don’t be “the little engine that could… get hit with a restraining order.”
But, all is not lost. Despite a plethora of bad experiences, not yet finding Mr. Right, and sometimes becoming a tad jaded, many of the women still held out hope. There was talk of having to kiss many toads – and a willingness to do so.
Maybe we men should work on being frogs from the start. Just a thought.
Lucy summed up the optimism well, “It is interesting though that when you read profiles of a lot of guys they seem to be looking for someone too… so that provides some sense of the fact that you are not alone in your quest for that someone to spend your time with.”
A funny thing happened on the way to this article. What started off as something designed to poke fun at my fellow men, has turned into a warning. Fellas, there are some wonderful women out there. You just have to approach them the right way… and tell the truth.
Frankly, we single men have enough competition.
And I really am six-foot-four.