Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Tuesday is Ladies Night

Today the focus is on the ladies. Specifically, on do's and don'ts for female profile pics. I polled a few of my guy friends who are (currently or formerly) active online daters, and their responses were relatively consistent. Interestingly, they all had a lot more on their "don't" list than pics they feel like they must see.

Va va voom

All of the guys were pretty upfront about the fact that they want to find your photos attractive (shocker). We all know that men are visual creatures. You need to give them enough to pique their interest while still thinking they can take you home to mom. Men and women approach the profile pics from totally different points of view. One friend summed it up well -
Men make the mistake of posting the kind of pictures they want to see (too much skin). Women make the mistake of trying to hide their perceived weaknesses.
Like the women, men really just want to know what you actually look like and not be turned off or confused by your photos.

The close up pic

The best practices for this photo are the same for both genders. This photo should be a clear, straight on, recent shot of your face where you're smiling. No sunglasses or other objects covering your face. Included in the no objects covering your face is a fake mustache. I don't really get this trend, but apparently it's super popular. Think about it ladies... this is not attractive to a man. He does not want to wake up next to someone with facial hair, and the whole point of these photos is for you to look attractive to him. Save the fake mustache pic for Facebook or Instagram. And no duck face or selfies. These two got a resounding no from all of the men I spoke with.

The body shot

This photo is a must have. It doesn't need to be head to toe as long as it is very obvious what your body type is. As women we all have a body part that we absolutely despise, but chances are, most guys would have no idea which body part that is. Most guys aren't looking for a supermodel (if they were attractive or wealthy enough to bag a supermodel, they'd likely be out doing that). They simply want to know what you are going to look like when they meet you. On the flip side, if there's a body part you want to flaunt, do that but tastefully.

The action photo

With the action shot, a good tactic is to provide a photo that has something about it that the guy can use to strike up a conversation. Let's face it, they're going to spend more time looking at your photos than reading your profile so be prepared for your photos to be more frequently mentioned in a message than what you write. Include a photo or two of you doing an activity that is one that you would like the guy to do with you. He's looking for common interests in your photo. Don't use a photo that is an activity you don't actually like or do very often. If you don't like hiking, don't include a hiking shot.

Photos to use with caution

  • Party pics: If you have one of these, guys will assume you drink/party a lot. If you do, then keep the photo up, but make sure it doesn't look like your dress is about to fall off. If you're not looking for a guy who likes to party, choose another pic.
  • Bikini shot: Most guys said the bikini shot is ok as long as it's tasteful and preferably an action shot like playing volleyball. I don't have a bikini shot. I'm scared to think what kind of messages I'd get, but this wasn't something that was necessarily a turn off if executed well.
  • Costumes: Most female Halloween costumes are a little slutty. Or if it's "clever", he might not get the joke. In most cases, costume shots may not get you the response you're looking for so use sparingly.
  • Group shots with girls: He wants to know what YOU look like, not your friends. He doesn't want to guess which one is you. And you really don't want him thinking your friend is hotter than you are and wondering how he can meet her instead.
  • Group shots with guys: One guy said that if the guys look as attractive or less attractive than he is, the guy shots are ok. Most of the guys said he doesn't want to wonder who all of the guys are. In general, it seems like a good idea to leave these out.
  • Cropped photos: If you have a group shot where you look really hot, be careful with cropping everyone else out. If it looks like you awkwardly cropped out your friends or your ex, he's going to wonder why you don't have a better photo.
  • Pets: Don't be the sad, crazy cat lady.
  • Trying to hard: No photos where it looks like you're trying super hard to be sexy. Guys can smell desperation through their computer screens.

OKCupid also has an interesting feature on the page where you upload your photos called My Best Face. It basically does A/B testing on your photos and tells you which one is best. My action shot, in which I'm wearing sunglasses but you can see what my body looks like, is my best according to this tool. But take it with a grain of salt. The sample size used for the test isn't that big. The photo of mine that was rated lowest has also been the topic of the most interesting messages I've received.

Just like for guys, a good rule of thumb is to let a friend check out your photos. Preferably a guy. They don't usually hide reactions well so you'll know what he thinks. 

Mustaches and a group shot - no and no

Monday, July 29, 2013

There are no bad pictures. That's just how your face looks sometimes.

Last week I was a bit negative with all of the intentional messing with guys of less than reputable character. It just really gets under my skin when guys are cruel to intelligent, sexy women who they would be lucky to know. I like to think I'm providing some sort of social justice - some guy will realize he shouldn't be an ass and maybe he'll get a girl to be nice back to him or some girl will realize it's not her fault and she shouldn't give up because some guys are just cruel. Probably more of the latter than the former, but I digress.

This week, all posts will be more positive. Or at least neutral and objective. First up, what kind of photos should a guy use or not use to get a girl's attention. [This is all my personal opinion.]

Number of photos

5-10. You generally need 5 photos to show what you really look like. More than 10 is overkill. It makes it seem like you've been on the dating site for way too long or spent way too much time setting up your profile. 10 is plenty.

The thumbnail photo

This photo, the photo that shows up next to every message you write and in all the searches, is critical. This should be a relatively close up shot of your face. An alternative is a very cool, artsy action shot, but that's risky. The action should be very obvious - you're skiing or doing a handstand or kite surfing or something like that. However, when you're messaging with a girl, that's the shot she's going to start associating with you. Better that it's something that truly looks like you. The face shot that's an accurate representation of what you look like today is your best bet. No sunglasses or hats. No side angles. Straight on shot of your face.

Full body shot

Have at least one photo where it's obvious what your body type is. It doesn't have to be head to toe if head to thigh or torso shows an accurate representation. I've been lucky that since I mention (err... maybe go on and on about) how active I am, guys who aren't active don't message me. But there should be one shot that accurately shows your CURRENT body type. And keep your clothes on.

Hair shot

Alright guys. You're all getting older. You likely have a few more greys and a lot less in general than you did in college. It's not a big deal! We won't hold your hair against you if you don't hold gravity's effect on our boobs against us. We were all finer human specimens 10 years ago. That's just how it is. The likelihood that I won't message you back if you're a little more grey is small. The likelihood that I'll wonder what else you're lying about if you're a lot more grey when I see you in person is high. Just put it out there. Whether you've got it or you don't. Just be up front about it.

No photos like this. Can't see your hair or your eyes.

Height shot

This only applies to guys who are (in actuality, not based on your profile) less than 6' tall. If you're under 6', you're likely exaggerating like all your fellow males by at least one if not two, please not more, inches. Include one shot of you and your friends that shows what your true height is. If she sees how tall you really are and you look proportional, she will likely still respond. (I am not a tall woman so this probably does not apply to women who are taller than you are.) Other than this photo, don't put up lots of shots of you and your buddies.

Personality shot

I know, you've been dying for this one. You're so funny, silly, sarcastic, smart, well-traveled, yadda yadda yadda. Post one or two photos that show off your personality. This is the time for your travel photo, pic from Halloween, photo of you crossing a finish line or your ComicCon photo dressed up like a Klingon. OK maybe not that last one. I've never been to ComicCon and I'm not into Star Wars so I'm the wrong person to ask. But you get the idea. Keep these under control! I know you think you're awesome, but save some stuff to talk about for your date.

Photos to avoid

  • No selfies in the mirror. Of any sort. Just don't.
  • Half-naked photos are generally a no no. If you have one, you should be surfing, rock climbing, cliff diving or something similarly awesome. Don't have more than one.
  • Sunglasses shouldn't make an appearance in more than one photo (acceptable for the height, hair or personality photo). She wants to see what you really look like.
  • No more than one dog photo and only if it's your dog.
  • Kid photos. If you have one, it needs a caption. But you might want to think twice about have a child's photo (yours or someone else's) on an online dating site. There are creeps out there.
  • Photos where you're hugging a girl must have a caption. She might be your sister, but she might be your ex. Don't make her guess.
  • Photos that have a person awkwardly cropped out. We'll assume she's your ex, and even if she's not, it looks tacky.
  • Photos with circles or other goofy icons on top of the people's faces. If you can't crop the photo so it just shows you, get a new photo.
  • Headshots are acceptable-ish in LA, not elsewhere.
  • Raging party shots should be avoided. No photos with a shot being poured down your throat or where you're doing a beer bong. Unless you're looking for a girl to get black out drunk with you. If that's the case, keep the party pics.
  • Photos where you're doing something dumb or childish with your friends. A friend of mine stumbled onto Compliment Guy's profile and rightly mocked the photo he has where he and his friend have nerf guns (yeah, I should have seen the ninja laser tag coming). Women who are serious about wanting a long-term relationship want a man, not a boy. Don't post photos where you're acting like a boy.

Don't do this. Take a new photo.

Helpful tips

  • Have a friend look at your profile and tell you if your photos are accurate. Yes, it's embarrassing, but much less so than the look on a girl's face when you clearly don't look like what she thought you did.
  • Repost your photos. On most sites you can see when the photos were posted. It's ok to use photos that are more than a year old if that's still what you look like, but at least once a year take down your photos and repost them even if you use all the same photos. If all of your photos were posted in 2011, the girl will likely wonder why.
  • Reverse image search yourself. Most of us only have so many profile photos that we like, and we use them over and over. That's fine, but it does make it likely that your identity can be discovered easily. If you don't know how to do this, try it out. Go to Google and click on Images. Drag the file of your photo into the search bar and Google will look for that photo on all public sites. It's amazing what you can find sometimes.
  • Put out what you want to get back. Think about what kind of partner you want. Your photos should represent that as much as the "you should message me if" section of your profile does.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Why Don't You Like Me

Rejection is never fun, whether it's virtually or in person. People on online dating sites really don't take it well sometimes. The rules of etiquette are different online, but some guys get upset if their version of the rules don't quite match up with a girl's.

Hello? Can you hear me?

With the free version of OKCupid, you can't see if someone reads a message you send. On other sites, you can't always tell who is an active, paid subscriber and who isn't. This causes quite a bit of confusion for some guys when you don't message them back.
Hi, I sent you a note a couple of days ago. Did you read it ?
Yes, I did read your message. No, I'm not responding. Sorry.

I feel bad if a guy has clearly put in effort to write a note, but I can barely keep up with responding to the guys I might be interested in (and the guys to mess with). I don't really think it would make anyone feel better if I wrote back saying he wasn't my type.

Online Etiquette

Looking back through my message history, there are quite a few message threads where I've been the last one to write. I can see the guy read the message, and he never responded. I wasn't super interested in any of these guys so I hadn't even realized until I looked back. I'm sure I would have noticed if there was a guy who really stood out from the crowd, but with the barrage of messages I didn't. I feel less bad about not responding to everyone after discovering this.

The online world is just different. You don't know these people (at least you think you don't), and there's a good chance there won't ever be a platonic relationship that you have to worry about preserving. Everyone is busy so that means people just don't follow up like they would in other situations. It certainly stands out if someone does, but it's not the norm. You don't have to respond to every message or send a follow up after every date. For some guys, this just isn't OK.
A "no thanks, I'm not interested would have been polite"... I'm glad not having to deal with you ;) I wish you the best :)
This message was sent ONE DAY after the initial message. I don't always respond to work emails one day after getting them let alone every message I get on a dating site! This guy was stressing himself out way too much. And what is the point of sending a second message and insulting the girl! That's definitely not going to get a positive response.
You really need to relax. That message was quite rude. I actually am just replying to my messages from the last few days now and was planning to respond to you. I have this thing called work that keeps me busy during the week so I don't always respond immediately. But now, I'm definitely glad I didn't respond sooner.
Insecure guys seem to think it's ok to write insulting messages when they'd never have the guts to say anything like that in person. But better to find that out quickly than waste your time.

The World's Smallest Violin

I don't know any women who think a whiny man is attractive, but yet they send these follow up messages that are so pathetic. I don't understand what they think it will accomplish. Maybe they're just not thinking.
Why no response? :( 
Oh no. Don't take what I said the wrong way.
Ok. Think I'm getting a hint.
These messages don't necessarily seem that terrible, but when they're at the end of a string of painfully boring back and forth, they seal the deal.

Would you mind humoring me?

I got one message on match titled "Would you mind humoring me for a moment?"
Having been unsuccessful in attempting to make contact, I must be doing something wrong in order to try receive a response... If it's an age thing, I get it, but if that's not exactly it, do you think you might have an honest suggestion as to what a normal person does to try to make a connection on match, or at the very least, get a reply? 
Don't feel obligated to reply, but but you seem like you would be worthwhile getting to know, so thought to at least give a shot at sending you a note... or maybe time to decide why one would continue to use this service. 
Hmm. I didn't even remember this guy messaging me in the first place. I looked him up. He was well outside my age range and didn't live in the city. I wrote him back and explained that. There were also other things in his profile (like lack of adequate photos - he had one of his face and one of his feet) that would have made me not message him back, but I didn't go into it with him. I offered, but he ignored that part.

It's fascinating that guys and girls have such vastly different experiences on these sites. I would have to be really interested in a guy to notice that he hadn't written me back.

What to do? What to do?

There seem to be a few tactics that do work at least a bit.

  • Buy A-list for OKCupid if you're going to worry about whether someone read your message or not. The "did you read my message" message is never a good idea.
  • Use the VIP email for match. You get a special "very interested person" email that you can use occasionally. Apparently even a non-subscriber will be able to read this message. In match you can see who's read your messages once you've paid yourself.
  • If a girl doesn't respond to your first message and you really want to send a second, do everything you can to sound confident. I did get one that said he doesn't usually send a second message but he was interested and thought it was worth a shot. The conversation ended up not going anywhere, but I did respond to that one.
  • If a conversation has died and you want to revive it, don't be whiny. She's already engaged with you so unless you did something dumb, she's probably willing to restart the conversation. Keep it short and upbeat, and she'll likely respond.
Now that I've realized there are quite a few conversations that have died on my end, I'm wondering if the same tactic for reviving a conversation works for girls. I'll have to give it a try.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Trying to Find Jesus

Yesterday morning a friend sent me an email titled "Nice little good morning to me" with the below attached.

Seriously? Who sends crap like this at 12:57 AM to a girl who has never messaged him? And for the record, she is definitely not "fugly". What kind of a guy would intentionally try to upset a girl like that? Well, I was going to find out.

What's in a name?

I decided to engage the guy and see if I could figure out what his deal was. And maybe mess with him a little too :) He claimed to be a swimmer. That should be an easy in for me since my profile talks a bunch about swimming.
So you say you're a swimmer? Tell me more ;)
Bingo. He wrote back.
You shouldn't like guys like me...reevaluate your priorities.
This guy was a piece of work. But he was right. I shouldn't, and don't, like guys who send nasty messages to girls in the middle of the night. I replied -
I never said that I did like you. I only commented on your username.

Who do you think you are? God?

I suspected that this would get him going, and it did.
lol...burn. you like my pretty face. but guys that look like me won't settle down, they will use and move on. you'll never tame me. 
you seem nice, but will constantly date douche bags like me if you go for my kind of face. I say this because i'm feeling extra kind today.
best of luck. marry a geek and he will worship and adore you. or always aim to find a legend like me who will walk into any room and have any girl...
What was this guy's issue?! Did he have a god complex? Jeeeez. You're feeling extra kind today? Must be my lucky day then! Something wasn't really adding up though...
For someone with those kinds of super powers, a dating site seems like a lot of effort. Why bother? You could just walk into a bar and take home any girl you want. Why spend energy replying to online messages?
He told me he was "trying to find jesus ;)". Really? You're not doing such a good job at that, buddy.
I'm pretty sure he doesn't have a profile
I got a "haha" back to that one. The legend himself thought I was funny. Go me. I asked what he was planning to find if he wasn't going to be able to find Jesus.
social experiment actually... 

a friend of mine is on here, and he thinks my looks will attract all and even tho he looks good, he isn't quite a model like me. 

I think it is funny how I have a ridiculous profile, practically an asshole. and yet I get more replies and messages than he does because of my face. 

he is actually a better person, equally good looking enough in my opinion, and has a solid profile. yet, no dice. 

shallowness...simple conclusion. girls say they want to find that one great guy, but they all go for douche bags and assholes. 

so online or in person, girls are same. go for douche.

Who's your friend?

Social experiment you say? I know a little about those. This reply sounded a little fishy. I don't know too many guys who are like this guy was claiming to be who would waste their time doing this. (And I do know those guys. I've dated quite a few of them. If you're reading this, you know who are you.) Those guys are either out at the bar or picking off the hot, insecure girls from these sites. They're not sending insults in the middle of the night. And they certainly don't say that their less attractive friends are better people.
So iSwimmer, you never answered my original question. Are you actually a swimmer or is this part of the experiment?
His response started with "lol". <eye roll> He said he tried to match his friend's profile like for like except for the photos. This was blatantly untrue because his profile was barely filled out and he hadn't answered any questions. If his "friend" were less attractive and had a profile like this, that explained why he wasn't getting any attention.

I asked for his friend's username and said I was curious. I saw that he read the message but didn't respond. So I wrote him again -
Aw you're not going to tell me. That's no fun​
He read that message as well, but as of this morning, the account had been deactivated. I think we won this battle. My hypothesis is that there was no friend. Some loser guy created a fake profile with an attractive photo and was sending nasty messages to beautiful women because he was bitter that none of them like him. Hopefully the guy didn't just create another profile. If you know the guy in this photo, let him know some jerk is using his photos to create fake OKC profiles.

In other news...

According to match.com, I'm having a good week! Woooooo!

Too bad only about 5 of them were worth responding to.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

I Know You Are, But What Am I

Some guys just don't get it. At all. And I don't think they ever will. But when you call them out on this, they really don't like it. Some resort to the most infantile name-calling. It's hilarious.

<insert eye roll>

The other day I got another terrible first message -
How does a girl like you get to be a girl like you?
Oh please. What does that even mean? (That was my actual response, and my response back to him.) Then I realized that this guy had messaged me before. But not just once before, THREE TIMES. I've already even written about him in a post. He was the guy who called me Hilary Duff. He seemed to have zero recollection of messaging me before. This was going to be fun.

Oh please. You again.

You've messaged me before

His response to "what does that even mean" was just classic - 
I'm not exactly sure. 
But the first sentence you send a girl has to not be ridiculous... 
But it should at least trigger a response. Which it did. 
Let's break this down. First, he sent a message and he doesn't know what it means. Why would you do that? How do you even know if the response is a good one if you don't know why you're asking the question? Next, he thinks that this is *not* a ridiculous message? Oh yes it is, my friend. Now it did trigger a response, but only for the purposes of this story. Finally, it's not the first message he's sent. This guy is clueless.

After his lovely response, I told him he has messaged me before. His response just made him more irritating -
I have.... 

And what....you have zero interest in chatting with me? 

Or....a little bit more than zero?
More eye rolls. I replied - 
Just wondering why you referenced the first sentence you send a girl when that was not the first sentence
He, of course, does not respond to this, but he does go on to sarcastically call me a "wonderful conversational companion". Send asinine first messages to a girl over and over, then try to insult her? Oh this guy's got it coming. More inane back and forth, then he asks, "Are you always this lovable and charming?" Of course I am! ;) To this he replied -
Well. Show me.... I wanna see it.
I told him that I don't perform on command, but he could ask me a question. Here's his beauty of a question -
When's the last time you cuddled a cute boy?
Just shoot me. You don't know anything about someone and this is the question you ask? Eye roll, eye roll, eye roll. Not only was this the question but he followed it with "teehee!" and 5 minutes later asked why I hadn't responded yet. I have things to do besides deal with your mind-numbing messages! My response (I just couldn't pretend to take this guy seriously) -
As I don't have any kids off my own, I don't cuddle with children. 
This was when he started to get mad. You would think he'd just stop responding.

You're just not funny

After my response, he told me he knows everything about me that he needs to know. I told him -
I knew everything I needed to know last time you messaged me :)
And that's not even totally true. I knew I would never meet this guy in person just by looking at his profile. He has two photos. His main profile photo is a kinda cheesy black and white head shot with his eyes edited to be green, but a really fake creepy alien green. His only other photo is the same head shot pasted onto a Vogue magazine. Ugh. He asked me, rather he said "pray tell", what I knew. I told him that I wasn't at all amused by the "always a bridesmaid" message. He was proud of himself for bothering me, but he was clueless. It doesn't bother me that I'm not married, and I've only been a bridesmaid a handful of times. What bothered me was that the message is tacky, and I specifically said in my profile that I didn't think insulting first messages were funny.

He went on to throw out insult after insult. I wasn't exactly sure what I did to tick him off so badly, but I really got him going. He got defensive and went on the attack. Meanwhile, I was "LOLing" and enjoying a lovely glass of wine.

Some of his insults -
You are a royal pain in the ass. [Guilty as charged]
Sweetness is a virtue, young lady...and you lost your virtue long ago... [Maybe I never had any virtue in the first place? How does he know? He just started talking to me]
You have NO SENSE OF HUMOUR. You're uptight. Guys don't like that, darlin' [Is he British or Texan? So confused]
I didn't send you a message because I wanted to go out with you. 
I just wanted to clue you in that you're a needy, shallow fruitcake, who would be lucky to bag a guy on market street, on the curb drooling on himself. [You didn't send me *a* message. You sent me FOUR]
Ask yourself why you don't have a hot date tonight to brag to your girlfriends about on Monday morning. [I actually did have a date. He called me a liar multiple times after I told him that. And it's really sad that he thinks I'd only want a date to be able to brag about it. Please. Writing about him is way more entertaining to all of you]
Once upon a time, there was a girl who was a pain in the ass, couldn't get a date for Sat night..and will never get married because she's so annoying. The end! Remind you of anyone you know.....teehee!!!  [Teehee is the only thing I find more annoying than LOL]
How many tubes of concealer do you go through a month? 
The last one I found particularly amusing. If you've ever met me you know that I don't wear much makeup at all. Not only do I not go through makeup quickly at all, I probably still have makeup from prom. I should do an inventory and throw that stuff away.

He also went back to look at my profile and wrote this -
Remember. This is you. 
less progressive 
less kinky 
less spiritual 
less pure 
less independent 
That's everything a growing boy needs. 
OKCupid takes the questions you answer and determines your "personality". Now keep in mind, all questions are optional so this isn't exactly scientific. In fact, I'm pretty sure they just get drunk on a Friday at the office, make this shit up, and laugh about it. I hadn't looked at this part of my profile in awhile so I was curious. Yup, it does in fact say this. It also says I am more experienced in life, into exercise, spontaneous, energetic, cool, adventurous, and competitive. I'll take my "more" list over the "less" list any day.

I was bored and had a date to get to so I told him, "You're no longer amusing me." Then I blocked him.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

I Regret Nothing!

When a guy resorts to immature insults, my Ice Princess instincts kick in and I find it much easier, and more entertaining, to mess with the guy than to get upset. (You can thank my high school boyfriend for giving me the Ice Princess nickname.) However, I’ve been lucky that none of the jerks have been guys I’ve actually met in person. I have somehow managed to keep them contained to these websites.

A friend of mine wasn’t so lucky. She went out with a guy and when she told him she wasn’t interested, he went psycho to the point where he was actually being frightening. She is an attractive, intelligent, successful woman who does not under any circumstances deserve to be treated this way.

A group of us have been giving her our two cents on what she should or shouldn’t do next. I thought we could break down what happened for all of you so that this never happens to her (or any of you) again, and you all could help us decide what she should do.

His profile

I love OKCupid A-list and its invisible browsing. It means I can check out profiles for my friends and the guys will never know. So this guy’s profile has a bunch of red flags -

  1. He’s listed as “replies often”. That means either no one messages him or he’s desperate and writes back to everyone who gives him the time of day.
  2. In two of his photos, there’s a girl standing next to him who is cropped out. I don’t care who she is, but don’t make girls guess. Get a better photo.
  3. He says he’s 5’8” but has no photos of him standing in a group where you can see how tall he actually is. The chances of him actually being 5’8” are slim to none.
  4. His 2013 to-do list includes several adrenaline junkie activities, but other than one whitewater rafting photo, there’s no other mention of being an adventurous person on his profile. As a true adrenaline junkie (“Hi, I’m S. I’m an addict.” “Hi, S.”) I can tell you that he wants people to think he’s adventurous, but he’s really not. I’ll take it back if he actually ends the year with a Tough Mudder race bib like he claims he will. Even if he does, it’s a fun race, but it’s not actually that impressive.
  5. He mentions something about being good at making up reasons for why he’s on an online dating site. Combine that with his height and he likely has some serious self-esteem issues. (Sorry to the short guys out there, but it’s true.) He also mentions that he doesn’t eat fruit. That’s just weird.
  6. He says he’s interested in girls 18-35. 18??? That’s disgusting and nearly half your age.
  7. He says you should message him if you’re an emotional drunk because watching a breakdown is entertaining. Seriously, dude? I already want to smack this guy.

Pre-date messages

The first message wasn’t too bad. A little long, which reinforces the desperation that his profile insinuates, but it was generally complimentary. It asked whether or not she usually dates Asian guys (she is Asian), again implying that he doesn’t have much self-confidence. The message was also sent at 4:15 AM. The warning bells are getting louder.

Unfortunately, my friend made a few classic blunders. First, she apologized for not living in the city. Don’t apologize for anything before you meet a guy. You’re a catch! He should be willing to go to Timbuktu to meet you. Then, she gave both her phone number and name out before he did. She hates these messaging systems, as most of us do, but it’s jackasses like this that continue to prove my point of why it’s worth keeping your information private until you meet the guy and can see if he’s going to go completely bananas on you or not.

Once they moved to texting, the guy started showing his true colors. She suggested a neighborhood for them to meet in. He started interrogating her about why she wanted to go to that neighborhood and got upset that she had plans for later in the evening on a weekend night. (This is why I don’t do weekend nights for a first date.) Then he started saying that she’s going to “dine and ditch”. She felt bad that he got that impression, but in actuality, he’s an ass for ever even implying this in the first place.

The date

The date was fine, but she wasn’t feeling any chemistry. He said a few weird things, like that he once had a girl throw a pepper shaker at his head during a date. (I’m sensing a pattern of behavior on his end.) She offered to split the bill, and he declined as he should have. His profile says he makes over $100K so it’s not like this was a big imposition. She then offered to buy him a drink because she felt uncomfortable after the “dine and ditch” conversation and wanted to make sure he didn’t feel like she was taking advantage of the situation, which does happen. It was fine for him to go for a drink, but he should have paid for the drink as well if he were a true gentleman.

Then he continued to break all sorts of first date etiquette rules and asked her what she thought of the two of them. He didn’t just ask her out a second time. He asked her to define their 5 minute long “relationship”! She told him she thought they were better as friends and immediately realized he was actually interested. Then the crazy appeared.

Post-date messages

First message from after dinner -

FYI the best etiquette is to insist to split the bill if you're not feeling a connection

Nope, buddy. You may think you’re super smart with your midwestern MBA, but the best etiquette is for the guy to pay. Period. She apologized, which was again unnecessary. And despite the apology, he started being a total f-ing douchebag.

I was trying to keep an open mind despite the ethnic studies, mannish look and marketing background. Thanks for the lesson on generosity.

My friend was obviously shocked and disturbed that she was getting this ridiculous of a response. She said that she hadn’t intended to lead him on. She was being genuine with him, giving him very straight answers. There was nothing she could have said that would have made him calm down. He went on to call her a lesbian, since in his puny little mind she must like women if she’s not into him, and said she had a thick bottom half, which she does not. She got a little peeved and called him an “MBA douchelord” (thanks for making all of us look bad, jerk). He continued to insult her personality, her appearance and her career. Mocking her career and company (saying she works on a no name product that’s destined to fail) was particularly amusing to me since he is working at a start up that is very much struggling to get off the ground and has been rejected multiple times from the company where she works. Impressively, she ended with -

I still wish you the best. It's very sad to see such a hateful litany from you. I don't think you're this kind of guy whatsoever and am hoping you're just having a bad night. Take care of yourself.

He continued to send her nasty messages, proving just how insecure and pathetic he is.

Now what?

So, my dear readers, we’re leaving it up to you to decide what she does next. Several of our friends are a little, shall we say, vindictive. Personally, I think we can take the high road (which is what she has already done and plans to do unless convinced otherwise), be intelligent and still show the asshole just how awful he was. Here are our options:

  1. Online retaliation
    Example: set up a fake OKCupid or Grindr profile with his info and mess with him
  1. Offline retaliation
    Example: flyer his office with print outs of the asinine texts he was sending
  1. Circulate this post

Personally, I think any additional attention that she gives him feeds his pathetic little ego. She (and the rest of my friends) are better off focusing their time and attention on the nice guys out there who aren’t going to treat women like this.

If you agree with #3 (and live in or know anyone in SF), I’ll ask a few things of you:

  1. Send this to all of the girls you know who are doing online dating so they know to avoid this guy if they ever run across him or a guy like him
  2. Send this to any guy you know who could be a douchebag online dater
  3. Repost this on Facebook or whichever other social networks you’re on

I don’t think I’m underestimating how small San Francisco is or how powerful the network of business school students is in this city when I’m guessing that this blog post could very easily reach his inbox by the end of the day. Like I said previously, when you’re online dating it’s in your best interest to treat people well.

This has been a public service announcement. The end.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Don't Care How, I Want It Now

In addition to the rudeness and banality of many messages (with some good ones mixed in too!), some messages are just so incredibly childish. It's baffling. Grow up! I am not a toy that your mom took away! (Or a dog.)

Presents and prizes and sweets and surprises
Of all shapes and sizes
And now
Don't care how
I want it now

Case Study #1

I was messaging with one guy who seemed nice enough, though maybe a little overeager. His date suggestions involved multiple activities that would have spanned nearly an entire day. A little much for a first date, but he was enthusiastic about meeting up. Unfortunately I wasn't available for the first day that he suggested. A few days went by then he suggested getting together next weekend. I said that I was available Saturday afternoon. His response - "Tennis or racquetball?" Uh oh. As mentioned in an earlier post, I do not play tennis. Too many years of staring at a black line at the bottom of a pool have rendered me utterly useless at any sport requiring hand-eye coordination. Not only am I terrible at these activities, but I do not enjoy them AT ALL. Tennis is my idea of the worst first date ever.

I would not expect him to know this, of course. So I suggested that we do something different. At this point he switches to Saturday night drinks at 9 PM. Whoa there. No weekend night dates for the first time I'm meeting someone. (Compliment Guy proved my theory that it's a bad idea for me to do that.) I said I was unavailable and again suggested the afternoon which he had already agreed to. Then he suggested Friday night because he wasn't available Saturday afternoon. Huh? What about the tennis/racquetball idea? I'm confused. I said I couldn't do Friday night to which he replied...
Woof? WTF? Maybe I'm being harsh on the guy, but in my world "woof" is not an acceptable message to send to a girl who you're trying to ask out. I am not a dog. Don't bark at me when you don't get your way. I think I'll pass on Saturday afternoon too.


Case Study #2

Getting messages that seem like they're a cut and paste template is very common. A few days ago I got one such message - 
I know I have seen you out and about town but I can't put my finger where!! Your features just struck some sort of mental chord on me :) Don't mean to come off blunt.. but I find you strikingly beautiful and really appreciate how you own up to your femininity
Not a terrible message, but pretty cliché. Then, I got the message a second time... So I called him out. He said -
whoopsy.. looks like i made a poopsy...
Wow, ok. He claimed he thought he saved a draft, but it had sent anyway. Yeah right, but whatever. Let's see what else this brilliant specimen has to say. There was some acceptable conversation back and forth. Then he starts asking me what non-physical and physical traits I like in a guy. (I hate that. Please don't do that.) After this he asks for my phone number. I ignore him. He asks a second time. And a third time. I very politely (I promise, I was polite) told him that I don't give out my number before first dates so we should use the messaging app for now and go from there. His retort -
i can understand your hesitation. Truth is im barely on this thing and i just dont see us keeping in touch here. Bad timing i guess? Best wishes
Well, if that's all it takes for you to lose interest, it's for the best. Or so I thought. I discovered that this guy was actually continuing to look at my profile multiple times per day. Every time I would log on, I checked my visitor log and there he was again. (Buy A-list, buddy. You don't seem psycho when you pay to search invisibly.) I called him out to which he said - 
WFH so I have a bit of spare time... Btw, do you blame me? You look ravishing on your pictures...
I look ravishing on my pictures. Hmm. Then he proceeds to ask for my number AGAIN.
If you do not feel at ease with allowing me to reach you when i'm out and about, it makes me feel completely out of my element. It's like having a bad sushi experience.... yes we've all had it... but will you completely give it up because of one outlier? ;)
Yes! Resoundingly yes! You are not the outlier. YOU are the reason this rule exists. You're already stalking me. Why would I give you my number?! And why on earth do you need to be texting me when you're out and about WHEN WE HAVEN'T MET YET! I replied with -
Yep. Rules are rules.
No, you can't have your toy right now. Go in the corner and think about what you did. And we're done.

I've been getting some notes that I don't write about any good dates. Not only are those less interesting than dealing with these weirdos, but I figure if I actually like a guy and want to start dating him seriously at some point, I probably have a better chance of that working out if I don't put ALL of the details on here. That said, I did have a good first date last night. He's practically my neighbor though so hopefully that works out decently well or I might be moving.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Make Me a Match

I finally finished setting up my match.com account. Managing accounts on two legitimate services is going to be interesting. Most people swear by either match.com or OKCupid so I'm curious to see if one yields better results than the other. Here is my initial comparison of the two.

Setting up a profile

OKC: Overall not too taxing. There's a details section where you fill in basic information. In the main part of the profile there are 10 optional sections to fill out. I'm not sure why, but I didn't find it too painful to fill this part out (maybe it was the glass of wine). You upload a couple of photos, answer as many questions as you feel like, and voilà, you're done.

match: I first tried to set up an account using my phone (which successfully worked on OKC). There was some sort of an error, and it must have looked like I was trying to create multiple accounts which resulted in my email getting blocked from being associated with an account. When I finally tried to open another account, I stupidly used my work account (yes, I should have known better) as a temporary fix until I figured something else out. Holy crap! The spam from match is out of control. It seems to be impossible to fully turn off all email notification (I've tried). Fortunately, match.com isn't smart enough to figure out the trick of putting + in your gmail address so I'm good to go now on that. The profile itself is relatively similar. The details section has more fields, but guys still seem to ignore all of that, and there's a place where you can put in your ideal date's details, but that gets ignored as well. There are 12 optional fields, but I found these much harder to fill in than OKC's profile. The prompts just aren't as good - OKC: 6 Things I Couldn't Live Without (easy to fill in) vs match: Favorite Things (still empty on my profile though essentially the same question). You upload a few photos and fill in one quiz that has you choosing your favorite body type and favorite actor. Then the profile is done.

Cost of an account

OKC: Unlike most sites, OKC is actually quite usable with the free version. OKC's premium version is called A-List. It costs $44.85/mo for 3 months. (There are 1 month and 6 month options but now that I've paid I can't see them. Sneaky.) While the features don't seem all that enticing, once you start using them they're addictive, particularly having more search options (like attractiveness), seeing who rates you highly, getting message read receipts for sent messages (did he read it? did he read it?), and browsing invisibly so people don't know if you're looking at their profile (I'm not a cyber stalker, I swear). The also have a new "promote me" feature that costs $2 and claims to put you at the top of match queues. Seems gimmicky so I haven't tried it yet.

match: I was explaining to a friend that with match you don't get any of the good stuff until you pay. He said that sounds just like a brothel. Touché. With the free version of match you essentially can't do anything except wink at people. You can see that people are sending you messages, but you can't read them. It's dumb. They should just make you pay up front. A 6-month subscription is $119.94 (like OKC you can't see the other options once you actually pay). Match has most of the same features as OKC, but if there's invisible browsing I haven't found that yet.

The website

OKC: I'm probably just used to the UI at this point, but OKC has a much cleaner website. When you log in you see a few potential matches and some recent activity (people who have updated their profiles or answered questions). If all you want to do is read your messages and nothing else, it's very simple to do that. If you want to engage more, you can see who looked at your profile, do a search or use Quickmatch to rate people's profiles. It's overall very easy to use, not too many options for things to click on and lots of white space so it's not overwhelming.

match: This site looks like it hasn't been updated since 2002. It's sensory overload -- Daily matches. Who do you like? Inbox at 59 messages. 987 people have viewed me?! What are winks? Do I want to be winked at? Search. Custom search. Connections. Events. They're waiting!!!! Aaahhhhh!

The mobile app

OKC: Their mobile app is actually quite nice. If you have a message you get a little notification that I think is supposed to be a magic potion bottle. The messages part of the app functions much like any email app. You can also browse matches or do searches. My favorite part is Locals which is basically the same as Tinder where you see a photo and you swipe to say you're interested or not. It's addictive. Try it. You'll like it, I promise.

match: This app isn't too bad either. The one thing I don't like is when you're in the messages, you can only see the most recent message not the entire thread. You can get notifications about messages, but it's not on by default (for better or worse). Nothing fun like Locals on the app though.

Quality of the guys

OKC: Lots of garbage and quite a few weirdos. The messages are hit or miss and there's no way to stop guys who don't fit your criteria from messaging you. There are some interesting guys on there, but to date, Compliment Guy has been the only worthwhile one, and that has fizzled out. However, it has been high entertainment value thus far.

match: Not as many weirdos. But not too many that have seemed amazing either. LOTS that live outside of San Francisco even though I put a very narrow location range. There's a feature where you can filter out messages from people who don't meet your parameters, but I haven't tried it out yet. The most interesting guy so far says he makes films where he swims with sharks. I used my special VIP email (another unnecessary feature) to message him and ask him his professional opinion on Sharknado.

So far, I'm not convinced match.com is worth the extra money. But I'm sure my opinion will change if it yields good dates.