I have to be honest. There has been a TS4, in the meantime, but my wisdom doesn’t feel that enriched by the encounter, so while I might end up with yet another lesson about him, right now I’d like to focus on the most common and detrimental mistakes men make while still online.

1) Pictures

Not everyone is blessed with beauty and perfection, and I guess whether we like it or not none of us would be using online dating services if we looked like Brangelina. Still, there is a margin.
First of all: do use pictures where one can actually see your face. With this I mean not only that it should be a technically good picture, but also that you should avoid sunglasses, masks, glasses of wine or any other stuff covering your face. But this should only be common sense. What I wish I could forbid to all of you are other delicacies:
DO NOT post pictures of you naked or half-naked. I don’t care how hot your six-pack looks, just don’t, unless there’s a very specific reason why you are shirtless (i.e. sunbathing, getting a tattoo, swimming). And mostly don’t you dare use pictures of you naked shot by yourself. That’s creepy. On second thought, even if there is a reason why you are naked, just don’t post it anyway.
DO NOT post pictures of you with your tongue out. I’m not your dentist. Yuk!
DO NOT post pictures where we can see your ex. I mean, seriously?!?
DO NOT post pictures taken by yourself in your room or directly in front of your computer. You’re single, do you want us to believe you have no friends either?
DO NOT post pictures taken by yourselves half-naked laying on your bed. That’s the trifecta…

2) Nicknames

Please guys, I’m begging you. You cannot do much about the way you look, but you can do something about how you introduce yourselves. When a girl is shopping on an online dating website, she (at least I do so) proceeds in levels. First comes the main picture, then comes the nickname, then the description you wrote about yourselves, then the list of attributes, then possibly other pictures in your profile. If a girl notices your picture, do not spoil this opportunity. Choose your nickname with wit or at least pick something harmless like your name followed by numbers. Please do avoid horrors such as slushy_teddybear83, mad_for_milfs, Juan_amor_de_tu_vida, beautyandbrain, pure_passion, solid_body, tinkerbell82 (yes, for a man)… I am serious, it’s insulting.

3) Descriptions

Some of you just don’t bother writing one. How do you suppose we can start a conversation if we know nothing about you?? But that would still be better than other examples, like WRITING YOUR WHOLE DESCRIPTION IN CAPITALS; what, you wanted people in Japan to hear you shouting it?
I may be hard to please, but I don’t like that much quotations either: what they say about you is “I lack imagination to such a  point that I cannot even put a sentence together”. But if you really really really HAVE to use a quotation, please don’t post love poems as if your beloved was reading. We are checking your profile, not proposing to you.
I don’t even want to spend a word about those who still believe they are writing a commercial on a magazine “tall, blond, never married looking for a woman 30 to 40”. Uh, no price tag?
One of the worst abominations are guys who like to point out how they just broke up after a long-term relationship. You may just as well write “I’m looking for a rebound”. Right, because our love for being used like tissues is widely known…
And then there are narcissists: those who state with the utmost confidence in the very first line of their presentation that they are handsome. You’re just sooo attractive… you definitely won’t mind keeping having sex with your own self!
Last but not least, the doubtful’s: “Where should I begin?”, “What could I say about myself?”, “I’m not very good at describing myself”. Honey, if you don’t know, how the hell should I?

4) E-mails and messages

Oh, well… a parallel universe of its own!
First things first: if I have made clear on my profile that I prefer e-mails to chats; why on Earth do you think it’s smart to contradict me and you chat me up anyway? And don’t go complaining that girls won’t consider you…
Secondly: I insisted on e-mails, ok, but that should tell you that simply writing “hi” may be just a little less than enough.
Thirdly: I have spent a considerable amount of time thinking about something smart to write in my profile. Won’t you just do me a favour and acknowledge that? It’s nice when people comment on my profile. How comes you are writing me your own description, which I didn’t ask for since you came looking for me, and you don’t even show a little appreciation for erm… me?

5) Search criteria

Search criteria are there for a reason. Some of you deliberately ignore them.
I am starting to wonder if people expect something other than dating from a dating website. I look for people living nearby to potentially start a real-world relationship, not some penmanship with someone on the opposite side of the country. If I live in London, I must date someone who is in London too; why do you suppose I could be interested in knowing you, sweet boy from Inverness?
But the worst happens with age. I may have an excessive tendency to like younger boys, but in the hope of changing this habit my search criteria embrace the age category 28-38. Still, I constantly get… can I say harassed? by 50-year-olds and older. There are younger women attracted to older men, or just attracted by older men’s means, but I am not one of them. The website asked if I am one of them and I said no. Just go away!
Same goes for 20 year olds and younger. Younger boys yes, infants not quite.

6) The mute peekaboo

The websites that I commonly use have developed any sort of tricks to connect users. They include pop-ups of people who are checking out your profile, lists of people who added you to their favourites, sending of electronic gifts or tests to answer to as well as chats, e-mails… you name it.
However, the idea behind it is getting to know each other. Considering it could be premature and severely harmful to swap phone numbers from the very first contact, what’s left is writing.
Unfortunately, writing – meaning composing a text of varying length made up of sensible and grammatically correct sentences – is still an issue to many. That is not a good reason to become a mute peekaboo.A mute peekaboo is the typical user who never writes anything, he just clicks. He clicks on your profile and let you see he is online every single time you are online, he sends you virtual roses times but never says hi, he adds you to his favourites a hundred times a week. All that without a single “hi”. All that without ANY sign from the girl indicating that she appreciates. Clue: SHE DOESN’T. IT’S STALKING.

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I admit I may be just a little bit unforgiving and extremely picky… but I am not going to cut you any slack anyway guys…

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