Monday, June 28, 2010

Red Flags - SST At Your Service

Ladies. It's time for some words of wisdom - take it or leave it - from the wise old lady here. (that would be me)
Now, I recognize that my wisdom is limited in that I've been dating a long time and still haven't found my best friend and lover... but the years have taught when to invest my time and energy and when to just cut bait.

Most of today's advice centers on what to avoid in online dating pursuits. Perhaps I'll share my own 'He's just not into you' rules for traditional dating, another time.

So here goes. Single Solitary Advice for online 'dating'. ( if there are any men peeking in - there's a thing or two to learn here for you too!)

Let's start with the profiles.

Just like the advice for poison ivy- leaves of three, let it be... if these three things are present, don't even engage him!
1. His photos obscure his face, either in shadows, by distance or with something sporty like ski goggles, motorcycle helmets etc. ~ this is a sure sign that he's not available. He's cheating on someone and is hoping not to be identified.

2. His only photo is a shot of his well-carved chest and abdominal muscles. Yes, they're nice - rock hard - and we do appreciate them. ~He's telling you this is all he has to offer - or - all he's willing to offer. He's just looking for someone who thinks he's hot and will get on her back in short order.

3. All of his pictures are self-portraits, taken in either the bathroom mirror or a mirror of some sort. This indicates two things. A) he's not really taking online dating seriously enough to make an effort. He's not going to put forth effort with you either. B) He may not have any friends... he hasn't been to a wedding or any social event in more than 2 years?! How else do you explain having NO photos of yourself taken by someone else? He can't even ask a neighbor kid to take his picture in the yard? If he has his shirt off in these self-portraits... run -don't walk- away.

Now, some may argue that these are all circumstantial. And that could be true. Use your own judgment on one or two of these red flags. But trust me, if all three are present - you don't want to go there.

Next up, red flag behaviors.

You've gotten to know one another on the dating site and now it's time to meet. You exchange phone numbers and it's time to make a plan...
1. If he only texts and never actually calls you. AND you get a yuck feeling from his choice of words and abbreviations. For example, one guy in his texts addressed me as QT. An abbreviation for cutie to be sure... but ... um ...NO! I am not 15 years old. That's just icky. Plus, my profile indicates that I'm a journalist... know your audience!!

2. He's asking you to come to his area of town for a first meeting/date... rather than coming to you. Say... NO! You are worth the trip and if he's serious about dating he needs to make this effort. At the very least, he should agree to meet at a mid-point. The red flag is ... if he's asking you to come to him... he's trying to get you home. If you decide to go anyway, make sure you never lose sight of your drink. Befriend the bartender.

3. If after numerous texts and/ or phone calls, he still hasn't established WHERE to meet at least 12 hours in advance of the date... you NO go. Again, if he's serious about dating, and he's a gentleman - he's not going to let this happen. You are a prize. You are a busy woman. You deserve firm, well-thought out plans even if you have to make them yourself. If he's still up in the air with less than 12 hours on the clock - he's not worth it.
These tips are not all inclusive. But based on experience - you can't go wrong by following this advice. You may think it's unfair to knock someone out of the running on one or two of these behaviors... but if you overlook them ... do a favor and let me know how it turns out.

My gut is well-educated. And here for your service.

Men, if you dispute my findings - I can respect that - but this is a learning experience. If you do any of these things... these are the conclusions women will draw. These are points on which you can easily accommodate us, rather than the other way around.


erinannie said...

Yet again, YOU ROCK! Personally, I'd say the 12 hour rule is too generous. I'd make it 24 hours, allowing for a few exceptions.
You nailed it on the head!

Krissie said...

Totally agree, great advice!

Genevra said...

Good advice. It amazes me how willing we are to discount our gut feelings about people. I can't speak for others, but I know my gut hasn't lied to me yet, but people certainly have.

Roxie said...

I once had a guy get mad at me because I was judging him based on his lack of typing skills. If he can't figure out how to use a shift key, what else doesn't he know?

And another guy would only set up "dates" with 3-4 hours notice. I may check my email a lot, but not that often, and I would never be available for a first date with that amount of time. Let me know a week in advance, or at least by Monday or Tuesday, that you want to take me out on the weekend.

TRS said...

Yes, the 12 hour window is quite generous... but I am basing this on a first meeting from an online suitor. This makes the assumption that it's JUST coffee or JUST drinks... which doesn't require the formality of a FIRST date.

Also, this also assumes you've made plans for a date... just not the specifics... ya know? I'm saying if he can't offer specifics on a 12 hour window. .. cut nait. He's probably working too many angles.

TRS said...

Drat... phone based typing. I meant bait!

auntie said...

I would definitely agree that all of these things are warning signals. On the red flag behaviors, I would add to #2 that if he isn't willing to come to your area and/or meet you at a midpoint, HE'S LAZY IN RELATIONSHIPS, and he will forever expect you to make the effort because it's more convenient for him. Not that I'd know that from personal experience, or anything ;)

Jennifer M. said...

Excellent advice! I'm horrible inexperienced at dating (though I've observed many friends going through it) but just recently decided to try online dating. Your advice is very well-timed. :)

Anonymous said...

Great advice to stay single, what do you think?

TRS said...

That may be. But most of us would rather be single than put up with men who lack basic social skills... or the ability to behave like decent human beings.

Interesting how so many suggest that women ought to lower their standards rather than for men to raise the bar.

Anonymous said...

Is true that is better to stay single, but the thing is, if you go to an online dating page , you are already lowering your standards, and it is evident that is a resource for ppl without social skills, which is not a crime by the way. I would never use that.

TRS said...

I don't think most people see it that way. I mean, 10 years ago... yeah, online dating seemed like a last resort. But then it became a way to just expand the pool from people you knew or were likely to encounter - to people that were sincerely looking for someone special.

That's why it really surprised me to learn that 20-somethings use online dating.... so now I suppose it is just a way to circumvent social skills.

And I will admit - the free online dating sites are teeming with those who lack social skills. You get what you pay for after all!
Which is exactly why I offer these red flag tips. If we're using online sites - this is how to weed out - by sight - the men who aren't even serious - those who are just looking to get laid - and those who don't have the good sense God gave a snail.

And Pablo - whoopdeedoo you are too good for online dating. Seems you are also too good to let others (who you seek out) link back and learn anything about you (anonymous).
Maybe you are afraid that if people knew anything about you - they would have no respect for you. Is that it?