Thursday, June 9, 2005
My friend E_____ was visiting the other night, and we decided to show each other the "back end" of our personal ads on Nerve.com.
E is a divorced guy and he owns a successful small business. I think he looks kind of scruffy and disreputable in his photo, though. He received something like 20 emails in the last year or two.
I on the other hand, being a woman, had accumulated 27 PAGES of email from hundreds of men. As we're surfing around, laughing at the pathetic photographs that men submit of themselves with their ex cropped out of the photo and her hand dangling, severed and anonymous at his waist, I was suddenly struck with the futility and sadness of it all.
I've been posting personal ads off and on since 2003, a few months after I returned from France and decided with regret and sadness to cancel my engagement to Yvan. I was extremely lonely in France, and after giving it a great deal of thought, I decided to once again try to find a man who lived in my country. But two years had passed and here I was, two years older, and more single than ever.
Even more pathetically, as E and I clicked on profiles, we realized that most of those 27 pages of men were still single too. A few of them had freshened up their profile with a new photograph or slightly more glib and clever headline, but face it-- nobody was connecting.
It all made me wonder -- has the online personal ad destroyed our ability to create and sustain relationships in the modern world?
So today I checked out Craigslist and did a search for Match.com and E Harmony rants. I found that the backlash against online dating is vehement, bitter and overwhelming.
Here are a few of the online dating discontents that I found today:
He had SUCH great potential.... Seriously, WTF? Third date and I'm excited. He's extremely attractive, seems to be relationship oriented, intelligent, athletic, hard-working AND he cooks! I was ready to fall. Dinner conversation topics. He starts with:
Him: What do you think of divorce? (Wow, what a start to the evening huh?!!)
Me: Obviously not ideal....it happens...hopefully not to me.
Him: I've always thought I would get divorced one day. (Well, it's only a third date, I'm not expecting to marry him, but why would you say that on a date? It's already implanted in my mind, "not marriage material.")
Then, next topic:
Him: Old love gets boring and fades away. New love is so much better. The first "I love you's" are so amazing.
Me: Yes, but there is something amazing about someone who knows you and has grown with you.
Him: But you eventually stop growing together
Me: Not necessarily.
Him: People stop trying. New love is so much better. (Okay, note to self- this is why he is going to get divorced...) Then- NEXT TOPIC:
Him: as men get older, they mature. As women get older, they fall apart.
Me: Oh really?
Him: Absolutely, think of how many older men have younger girlfriends. Men become more distinguished. Women just age.
Me: Okay...so women are not desirable as they get older?
Him: Not like men are. (Well, my natural conclusion is:)
Me: So, you are telling me that you are going to leave your wife one day for a fresh new love with your secretary?
Him: I don't believe in office romance.
Me: (HI, NOT THE POINT.) Fine, some other hot little 20 year old then.
Him: Where are you getting that?? How can you make that generalization about me? Why are you getting upset about this? I had no idea you were so sensitive.
Date over. Dinner was good...eerily quiet after that conversation. I understand that some of his views are not unique, but I am more of an idealist than that. I want to believe that people are not disposable and that new is not always better. I think he's survived this long because he's really attractive. God, I wish he wasn't so attractive.
At the end of it all, I still wanted to jump on him. If only he didn't talk. Well, back to the drawing board.
Old fashioned girls don't use match.com.
-- anonymous poster.
I think its the whole match.com site that's making you spastic. The fact that you can each look and see if the other person is still making him/herself available is just wierd. You can't do that when you just meet someone in person, you're forced to talk about those sort of things. I know that online dating speeds up the dating process but in the process you miss out on some of the things that meeting someone in person entails.
I have to chime in here. I was screwing around on Match.com yesterday and saw someone I used to date.
Talks about how she can go from gown to jeans
- Says she respects watching sports
- Wants someone who can discuss sports and the future of Iraq - Wants someone who loves their family, yet she hates her step-mom and barely spends anytime with her dad because of it. - Makes reference to the expensive vacations she requires
- Incorporates grrrl into her name
- Talks about how liberal she is
- Has mysteriously cut a year off her real age (almost 35 now)
- Posts head only pictures that are at least a few years old
- Refers to herself as athletic/toned, when she has a huge ass
- Talks about a guy needing a backbone, must be ambitous, smart, etc.
- This person works 80 hours a week, cannot cook if her life depended on it, and is frigid. Yet claims she loves to take care of her man. When would she have time and how?
I still think the best way to meet someone is in real life. I don't use on-line dating services, but it seems like most of them are filled with delusional thirty-something women who have no clue what they want. They have unrealistic demands for a mate and waited way too long to settle down. The good looking successful guys won't give them the time of day - they are either married or dating women in their twenties. So now they have to settle for the scraps, and that just makes them more pissed and bitter.
Another favorite "Why can i find a nice guy" or "Are there any nice guys left" and you scroll down to "my criteria" & it looks like this...
Height: 6'0" to 6'4"
Income: $75000-$99999, $100000+
Body type: Slender, Fit, Athletic and toned
Match.com Ultimate cliche
"Living life to the fullest!" could also mean: "Catch me on the rare occasion I'm not tanked!"------
I too was lured to try Match.com last winter because of a free trial period and here is what I found after about half a dozen dates from there. Each woman I met was attractive and intelligent but within a short time I learned either had MAJOR neurosis and/or an STD.
The ones with STDs were your garden variety reformed sluts. They're the type who fucked lord knows how many different men indiscriminately while in their twenties and now have the absurd notion that a decent man is eager to wine and dine them for their diseased cunt. Something I noticed is a lot of them fancy themselves fine food and wine experts, maybe in the belief that it will give them an aura of class. They almost always have one or more cats. They have a disturbing degree of familiarity with every bar in town (classic trait of a whore). They are liberal in that predictable knee jerk non thinking way. They take major offense to even the slightest infraction of political correctness.
When I used to hear that there is usally something wrong with a woman who is 30+ years old and unmarried I would scoff but now I think differently. These women have more baggage than United Airlines!
The ones on Nerve are about the same only slightly more pretentious. Nearly every goddamned one of them sites David Sedaris as their favorite writer, they define themselves by their equally lousy taste in music, they have one of more idiotic tattoos (another trait of a follower), they love to put carpe diem on their profile but have the most mundane lives imaginable.
Match.com ultimate cliche
"I love to live life to the fullest"
Translation: "I am so neurotic and hyperactive that I'm incapable of sitting still or enduring peace and quiet for any length of time. And when you attempt to set a date with me, it will be next to impossible due to my 60 hour work week, daily 3 mile run, pilates 4 days a week, salsa dancing class, volunteering, clubbing with my girlfriends every friday night and saturday night from 7pm-2am, spending all my free time with my sister/mother, power shopping sprees, answering work calls on my cell phone at all hours, attending work functions so I can network and attain even more responsibility, going to night school, blah blah blah.
On the off chance that you actually manage to get some of my time, you will have the worst night of your life and won't learn a single thing about me as I rush you through the meal so that we can start rushing around from bar to bar, so that we can rush off to the club and dance nonstop until 2am. If you're lucky, at the end of the night you'll know my last name and where I work."
This often goes hand in hand with the "Can you keep up with me?" challenge. What I want to do is get to know someone, not have a contest to see who can stay awake the latest, drink the most and dance the longest on the most mindless, stupid night of my life.
I do enjoy it when some girl on Match.Com posts a photo of herself with an ex-boyfriend at a fancy party....I often wonder what's up with that. Then, I will invariably come across a slighty more savvy girl who will take the same photo of her and her ex at a dance and then crop out part of the ex, but not all of him, leaving a hand on the shoulder... and I think that is even more lame...so I guess I hold them to a double standard. In any event, just find a good shot that pretty much gets the whole body in the lens...sans ex-boyfriends please
Some of my favorite cliches on Women's profiles that come to mind:
"No games Please!"
"....a man comfortable in his own skin."
"Sense of Humor a Must!"
"Searching for my Soulmate"
"Looking for Mr. Right, not Mr. Rightnow!"
"From jeans to tux...", and all its infinite variants...
"knows how to treat a lady..."
"likes to cuddle in front of the TV" (Imagine somehow getting stuck with someone who was against cuddling in front of the TV)
And one of my all-time favorites: "...is able to show up at the door without alcohol on his breath."
More to come, as I remember them!
My favorite (Match.com cliche) is the 98% of women who state that they love to laugh. Really? Does this need to be stated? Because they state this like they are seperating themselves from the rest on the entire human race, women must honestly believe that there are a good percentage of people out there who do not appreciate humor. Real profound. Thanks for narrowing it down.
Or the women who are looking for someone to make them laugh. First, why do women need someone to make them laugh, are women that dense that they need others to find humor for them. I guess since most women do not have developed senses of humor this is kind of a requirement to keep humor in their lives.
I get especially annoyed with the photos posted and you hit on the two most egregious offenses: NO pet pictures and NO travel photos with the person a tiny blip in the landscape. And I'll choke the next time I read that a woman is comfortable in both jeans and a ball gown or wants a guy comfortable in jeans or a tux. One woman had a number of pics posted and all but one were of her dog.
RANT: Tips for women on Match.com
For me, Match is one of things that intrigue me, but nothing ever comes of it. Probably once every 2 months or so I go browse around on there, it's the same shit, just different women. You hit the nail on the head with the pictures they post up. Any girl who has multiple pictures of her dog on her dating profile has some issues she needs to deal with. It'd be like me putting 5 pictures of my car on my profile. Although with all the gold diggers on there, it'd probably work in my favor.
One thing you forgot to mention is how more than half the girls seem to be "new to the town" and are "looking for someone to show them around." Then you read a few sentences down and they say they've been here for 5 years. Huh?
Most of the women seem to fall into one of two categories: the seemingly versatile jeans and t-shirt girl who mentions how she likes to watch movies and order pizza, or the girl with the laundry list of requirements that a guy must meet in order to get a date out of her. Deep down they are the same, one is just more honest than the other.
On the positive side, I've heard most of the girls on dating sites are easy. I could use a couple freebies before my next relationship.
I guess I'd say Match.com is the dating world equivalent to TJ Maxx, you have to dig and dig and dig to find something worthwhile.
The tip that caught my attention the most was the one re: getting dressed up and dressed down. At the end of the day, women really have no idea what they want - they are nuts. So, when you force them to commit what they want to the written word, they can't. Instead, you end up with the gibberish that you described.
"Hmm, I want him to think I'm feminine and sexy, so I'll say that I like getting dressed up. Oh, wait...I don't want him to think I'm all prissy and what not. I know! I'll say I like wearing a t-shirt and jeans, too. Yay!"
Their description of what they want in a guy is equally confusing. "I want a guy who is a nice guy...and a bad boy, smart...and dumb, athletic...and nerdy, tall...but not too tall, rich...and rich, wants to spoil me...but isn't too clingy, manly...but sensitive..." You catch my drift.
They're also notorious for stating the obvious and vague, usually in conjunction with the aforementioned gibberish. "I want a guy who will treat me well, is handsome, employed, physically, emotionally, spritually, intellectually, and financially stable, and who will be my partner in crime. Can you keep up with me? Are you up for the challenge?". It's not limited to Match women, either.
RANT: Tips for women on Match.com
Here are a few pointers from the male perspective for you women who are going on Match in no particular order.
1) If you constantly travel, do yoga 3x week, spend lots of time with your family, ski all winter etc, maybe the reason you're single is because you need to make time for another person if you want a relationship! If trying to get together with a prospective match for a cup of coffee is a major undertaking, then why on earth are you on Match? If you're going to go online dating, then maybe you need to make some time to actually meet a guy!
2) Why does EVERY woman have to put the line "I can go from a gown and heels to a baseball hat and a t-shirt"?
3) Photos: here's a good one. Don't post your head shot. We all know how airbrushed and retouched they are. My brother's an actor and nobody looks as good as their headshot. If you do post a headshot, post a few other non-professional shots! I know a lot of guys who will not respond if the girl just has a pro headshot only. And I don’t care what your family looks like. And why would you put a shot of you with 5 of your girlfriends who are better looking than you? And by the way, I'm dating YOU not your damn dog. One woman had 10 photos and 6 were of her dog! What is that about?? Oh, and if I wanted to look at travel photos I'll go to a bookstore. Yeah, great, you went to Greece, but I want to look at YOU not the PARTHENON with you merely a tiny unrecognizable figure with sunglasses, hat and backpack!
4) I love women who say how down to earth they are and then check off that they're looking for a guy making $150,000+.
5) "My family is a major part of my life." That's great. But, when you say that 3 times in your profile, do you know what they translates as? It means that we're spending every weekend with your family, and if we spend a holiday with my family or traveling, that I’ll be the bastard who is keeping you away from your family.
6) Don't say "I love you" the first time we have sex.
7) If we make a date, don't cancel that day.
8) Photos again: don't post a photo of you with short brown hair, one with long blond hair, one from 5 years ago. Use your camera or have a friend take a few current ones, OK?
9) Don't write these long ass profiles that are excerpts from your poetry journal.
10) Chances are if you describe yourself as a "flirt", decent guys won't write you. But you'll get plenty of letters from players who'll want to bang ya. Then you can whine about how they used you. 11) My Pet Peeve: women who name themselves something with the word "Diva" or "Grrrrl" in it.
12) Harlequin Romance novels are NOT REAL!
13) "I want a man who can build us a house and yet be willing to go in a store and buy me tampons. I want a man who'll stay up to watch me sleeping. James Bond/Brad Pitt/Picasso/Richard Branson/Derek Jeter all rolled up into one." Uh, MacFly!? Wake up! These are observations from me and many of my friends who have been on Match.com. Good luck! By the way, (what the hell, right?) if you're a female 30-37 who's reading this and agrees, send me a note and photo (of you not your pet).
What's up when women post a W4M ad with a couple photo from a prior relationship? I saw another one like that on CL today. I browsed Match.com once for fun and was astounded how many photos of women had a guy crudely cut out of the photo. Usually there is a hairy arm around her shoulder not attached to a torso. Do you W4M think we wanna see these artifacts? At least get Photoshop and handle the detachment that way. Sheesh.
Oh I feel your pain girl. I've been there. A couple years ago I met someone from Match, we became bf/gf. We made a mutual agreement to delete our profiles. I double checked his computer (it saved his password) and he wasn't active on there any longer. Well call it womens intuition but a couple months down the road I just had this FEELING that he was hiding something. Or maybe I was so much in tune with him I noticed he acted differently towards me. Turns out he was back on Match, different pictures, different wording of his profile. I was livid. I confronted him.
Know what he said? What? My profile is on there? I didn't do that, my friends did that!?
His best friends girlfriends claimed they didn't see any other girls with him but why take my chances? Too many other honest men out there that won't hide things from you. Anyways I think you know what to do... Muchas suerte!
eHarmony - I gave up on it
I did the eHarmony thing for a year. 90% of the matches I got had at least three of the following traits: recovering from an addiction, blue collar, loved their Harley Davidson more than life itself, born again thumpers, unable to spell, too lazy to complete the questionaire, TOO recently divorced.
I sent a complaint to their customer service bot. I told them that there HAS to be a way to filter out undesirable traits (specifically the addiction thing) and please find a way to include intelligence in the profile. Their response was automated: We find you matches based on 29 unique personality traits. Blah Blah Blah.
I don't care how hot the guy is, I'm not going to dumb myself down for a date. I have NO interest in someone who has been sober to 3 months and while I appreciate the love a man has for his motorcycle, I am not amused when the motorcycle is kept in the living room. I will never fault a person for their spirituality but PLEASE don't try to convert me on the first date. The VERY recently divorced need time to get through the legal crap and get their head on straight (I took me 18 months). Although, my g/f's and I had lots of laughs telling tales of the bitter divorcees.
BITTERMAN.... party of one... BITTERMAN.
So ... thanks eHarmony, for the occasional laughs (the guy who claimed he is an engineer but could not spell engineer, and all the guys honest enough to report they cannot live without pizza and the remote). But the laughs weren't worth the $300.