Thursday, January 12, 2012

Online Weeding ... er .... Dating

It occurs to me that as much as we all are different... we all expect different things in online dating.

I have a friend who is much younger - early to mid 20s - who is annoyed that guys send her messages through the online dating service. She thinks that if they are interested they should just call her.

Now, I would be creeped out of my mind to get an unexpected phone call from some random guy who only knows I exist because of my online profile!  So I encourage her to respond to their inquiries and move forward from there.

On the plane back home from Christmas vacation, I sat next to a nice young man, and our conversation turned to our experiences in online dating. I told him that I realized it's more complicated than it seems, because I make a lot of snap decisions based on profile pictures.
If the only pictures they have are self-portriats in the bathroom mirror - I pass. It tells me he doesn't have any friends. That he hasn't even been to a party or a wedding in the past two years!

"The only thing worse," I said, "are the guys who take their picture in the bathroom mirror..." "...with their shirts off!" my seat mate finished for me, agreeing.  They are looking for hook ups, and have little more than their abs to offer, I concluded.

I recently met a guy from my last dating site who told me that his strategy is to just contact the women who are online while he is online. I found that very odd, and told him that when men IM me while I'm online, I tend to assume they're looking for a hook-up/booty call - and I ignore them.

So, OH MY WORD! If there are these sorts of miscommunications, misunderstandings and mixed signals how on earth does anyone ever meet?!??!

I nearly missed meeting Hometown boy because he wasn't up for making conversation via the dating site email.  I'm typically frustrated that many men want to get right to meeting or right to the phone calls.  It feels, to me, like they're rushing it. I want to know that we have something in common, that he can carry on a conversation... before I go to all the trouble of picking out an outfit and fixing my hair and makeup to go on a meeting date!  I guess I want some guarantee of success! Or I'm just lazy!

With Hometown boy, I noticed his resistance and was slightly annoyed. I thought I'd help him out by asking him questions (via email) about some things we had in common. He later told me that he felt like I was putting him on the spot. I finally understood his perspective when we had our first phone conversation, and it took him a while to warm up but once he was comfortable - we were clicking pretty well.

Because I am a communicator by nature, a writer, a talker and a reader... I sort of expect everyone to operate the same as I do.  Hometown boy made me realize differently.

Another man who wanted to meet without, what I considered, a suitable initial email exchange, responded back rather gruffly that he wasn't looking for a pen pal.

Still another wanted to meet without an introductory phone call - which goes against my not meeting ex-cons rule (I'm looking for the link to that story) and I finally said good riddance to him.

Oh, and the anti-pen pal guy also took issue with what he called my lengthy profile writing (which, by the way, wasn't any longer than his - the difference being that I provided information about my values and interests and he instead, logged a series of one-liners) which leads us to the assumption that "Nobody Reads the Profiles Anyway."

I read the profiles.  Of course I do.

And if he says he's separated, not divorced... I delete.
If he says he's spiritual but not religious... I delete.

Let's do a little informal survey here... and tell me what conclusions you draw about certain actions.
I'm thinking of doing a series of posts that we could share with men - to open communication and to perhaps make it easier on all of us.


Anonymous said...

If he has a bunch of other women in his picture I think he's a show-off and not looking for something serious. I don't like to see him showing off muscles either. I don't like if he talks a lot about traveling because I don't like traveling and it makes me think, "don't you know how to find excitement where you are?" I really like if he has a picture of him doing something odd or silly.

Anonymous said...

If his picture is so small I can't see his face or if he is wearing something (sunglasses, ski mask, etc.) so his face is obscured I won't look at it because to me it says "I am in a relationship already but am looking for something better so I'm going to be a weasel and cheat."

If his first comment is about looks, I don't give him a return comment. To me it says he is shallow and looking for arm candy.

Anonymous said...

Hi, never did the on-line dating thing, so do not have any opinions on that topic. However, in previous posts you've indicated that you're R.C. so I have a question about that. This past Wednesday our pastor indicated when folks leave a Protestant congregation and join a Catholic congregation the joined church does not bother to send out any notice to the previous (Protestant) church, because they don't acknowledge (our) Christianity. Have you found this to be true? Does your congregation send directory change notices to non-Catholic, yet Christian denomination congregations when someone switches denominations? I need a non-Protestant perspective on this one, Thank You

TRS said...

Anonymous, thanks for stopping by.

Actually, I don't know anything about that. I didn't even know such a thing was done. Perhaps it's an administrative detail that the parishioners aren't aware of?

Which also leads me to think... maybe it's something Protestant Churches do that the Catholic Church either doesn't do or doesn't know about, and therefore, those churches are finding offense where none is intended.

I will say, that for a Protestant to join the Catholic Church, they must go through RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) which includes studying and receiving the sacraments of Reconciliation, Holy Communion and Confirmation (and perhaps having their marriage blessed and recognized by the Church) - so one doesn't really just walk in and "join" the Catholic Church. It requires much discernment and reflection.
But that is probably where your question would be answered.


Herding Grasshoppers said...

Wow. Online dating sounds really complex! I think I would be like you - wanting to email a bit first, get to know the guy a bit at a safe distance. But I can understand many guys aren't as into writing. Maybe it feels artificial???

I don't know! Hang in there!

Is Hometown Boy still in the picture?


Kristy said...

I usually pass on a profile if the guy has a negative tone - either he includes negative statements about his past relationships, or negative thoughts about other profiles on the site, or just talks about what he's NOT looking for in a date. Just strikes me as a complaining spirit, versus a positive one.

I'll also pass if a guy talks more about what he's looking for in a mate, than what he himself can bring to the relationship. Like if he has a long laundry-list of requirements for a potential date, but the only thing his profile mentions about himself is his height, weight, and the fact that he likes sports? No thanks.

Andi said...

This isn't directly related to your topic, but I thought you might enjoy this article I recently read from Christian magazine Relevant titled "You Never Marry the Right Person":

TRS said...


I read that article a couple days ago.
Funny, i feel like I know all those points... I just need to marry -A- person!!

I think, we need to share that article with men. They're the ones not asking... the ones afraid to even date decently.


Genevra said...

I've been thinking about this post on and off for a couple days. In fact, I woke up at 2 am this morning with a couple thoughts and got up to write them on post it notes. They weren't anything mind altering, so I don't know why I thought I had to write them down in the middle of the night.

Anyway, the one I thought of, I know you and I have have discussed this before about people (men in this case) being able to handle rejection somewhat graciously. I have yet to change my mind about deciding to not give a man a further chance after he has gotten upset with me because I won't. I get rejected too, and I don't freak out on the person about it. I consider myself saved from some future trouble. It boggles my mind when a man gets upset with a woman for rejecting him and thinks that is somehow going to get her to give him a chance.

What I found so interesting was the example how your much younger friend views the process of online dating. Jumping straight to a phone with a man who had just liked my profile, or picture really, would make me very uncomfortable. But what I would prefer would probably drive her nuts.

The shirtless pictures aren't something I love either, but it makes me wonder if there are women who do, because some men sure do keep posting them.

I think you should do the online posts. Dating in general has such potential for miscommunications.

Andi said...

TRS - Amen, Sister! I completely agree!

Anonymous said...

If women become the Crazy Cat Lady for posting pics of their feline friends, then guys who post umpteen photos of themselves with their dogs are just as weird.

When guys mention women's physical attributes in the Must Have section, they may as well write "I AM SHALLOW".

Here are a few others:

"I want someone who's affectionate" = "YOU'D BETTER PUT OUT...OFTEN".

"Self-employed" = "UNEMPLOYED"

Pictures of themselves with lots of skinny, pretty girls = "YOU'D BETTER BE HOT...OR ELSE".


In the Last Book Read section "I don't have time to read" = "I DO READ BUT FELT GUILTY WRITING THE SPORTS ILLUSTRATED SWIMSUIT EDITION".

"I want someone down to earth" = "I DON"T LIKE WHEN MY ARM CANDY EMBARRASSES ME".

Pics of triathlons, mountain bike races, marathons, tough mudders, etc = "ME MEAT HEAD, YOU JANE".

Pics of them holding/playing with little kids/babies = "WOMEN LOVE THIS SH*T".

OK, so some of the above are meant to be funny, but in my experience there's a kernel of truth to them all. Happy hunting, ladies! :)