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Dating Online: Advice for Men – How to completely mess up the First Date

English: stamp with the words "Fail"...

English: stamp with the words “Fail” and “attention to detail” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve written about this before in my article What Men should NOT to do on a First or Second Date, but I decided I needed a shorthand version – a cheat sheet if you will.  Also ladies, consider this shorthand for extremely negative behavior.  If some guy is doing several of the things on this list…RUN!!!!!   I’m making this specific to online dating because I think it’s a fairly unique way to meet people, and fraught with peril.  If you totally want to sabotage a date early, here are a few sure-fire ways to do it:

Say any one or more of the following phrases:

  • My bitch, crazy, psycho, ex-wife or ex-girlfriend – I get it, you had a bad breakup.  This is not the time for a festival of bitching.
  • I’m still in love with my ex-wife or ex-girlfriend – This has happened to me more than once…no joke.
  • I have to pay way too much child support – Well maybe you think you do, but would you rather have your kids live in a box on the street?
  • How many guys have you slept with? – Are you kidding me?

The following will make you look like a liar, even if that wasn’t your intention. 

  • I lied about my age on my dating profile
  • Oh by the way, I have a girlfriend – This information should have been on your profile
  • Oh by the way, I have kids – This information should have been on your profile
  • Oh by the way, I’m married – This happens more than you would think…and of course…this should have been on your profile

How to look rude

  • Make frequent text messages
  • Receive phone calls or make calls
  • Constantly check your phone in front of your date
  • Never ask your date any questions about herself, just give her a non-stop biography
  • Take your date to an expensive restaurant and then ask her to split the bill – If you are on a budget do coffee or drinks
  • Insult your date – You would be surprised how often this happens
  • Discuss politics or religion – Unless of course you know 100% it’s OK to go there, it’s not exactly romantic
  • Show up late or cancel at the last-minute – things happen but if some catastrophe occurs, contact your date immediately and BEG for forgiveness.

How to freak out your date

  • Assume it’s time to start making out, when your date has given you no indication that it’s cool do go there
  • Drink to the point that you’re a drunken sloppy mess
  • Assume your date does drugs, and then tell her it’s a deal breaker if she doesn’t
  • Force your date into a social situation with a ton of people she doesn’t know
  • Have an emotional breakdown and then treat your date like a therapist
  • Focus the conversation on sex, and ask intimate sexual questions right off the bat – The only exception to this is if you both agreed ahead of time it’s a casual sex type of encounter, or you met your date on a hook-up site.
  • Get angry when it’s obvious your date doesn’t want to have sex with you – Even if you met her on a hook-up site or with the expectation that you would have sex.  You might have freaked her out, she might have changed her mind.  No always means no, so chill out and let it go.
  • Send your date a dick pic – Although I love making fun of these in my act, dick pics are rude, goofy, and way too forward.  Your date could cancel completely, scream at you or threaten to call the police.  The only exception is if your date has asked to see your business…otherwise DO NOT DO THIS!

My personal #1 Pet Peeves

  • I’ve always thought I was funny, I bet I could do stand-up.  Could you help me get started in comedy? – If you want to get started in comedy then go to an open mic or take an improv or stand-up class…and never ask me that question again.  🙂
  • Get competitive with me about comedy.  Insist your are funnier or try to one-up me with jokes – Unless you really are a comedian…please just stop…no really just stop
  • Never laugh once during the date
  • Demand I tell you jokes, or want to see my act, right there out of context, while on a date – I basically hate you now.
  • Proclaim that you can’t stand cats – When then say that I know 100% that it isn’t going to work out.
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Dating Online: Confessions of an Accidental Cougar

English: North Amerian Cougar

English: North Amerian Cougar (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I call myself an Accidental Cougar, because it’s exactly what it feels like.  I didn’t seek this out.  I never thought I would become a 40-year-old woman trolling for younger men.  Although I think the term “Cougar” is inaccurate as in my case, I’m hardly predatory.  In fact, the young ones usually come to me.  I have been a wimp when it comes to dating since as long as I can remember.  Any time I’ve gone outside my comfort zone and tried to be aggressive with men, the results have been disastrous. I’m just not good at it.  So I guess I’m younger man bait, but not exactly a cougar.

Many younger men seek out a liaison or even a relationship with an older woman.  Most 22-year-old women might demand more time with their partners.  Whereas a more mature gal might actually desire significant personal space. Most women past 40 would also not rush into a major commitment right off the bat, or could prefer a more casual relationship.  A cougar would probably be more mellow, calm and less likely to flip out over something that might upset a younger cub.  Of course there are exceptions as there are plenty of immature women in their mid-forties and up and even-keeled emotionally grounded 23 -year-olds.  There really are no rules here, as people don’t necessarily grow emotionally as they age.  But the perception by many young men is: older women know what they want and are less of a hassle.  That’s at least what I’ve heard from any number of them.

Some younger men have issues with their mother, and openly seek a more maternal relationship with a partner.  While others view a more emotionally complex middle-aged woman as a greater conquest.  And of course, for some the appeal is the sexual experience of a woman who has been having sex, longer than they have been alive.

I view the dating game as a totally different beast than I did when I was younger.  At 25, if an obvious player type hit me up, he would be instantly cast aside as a lecherous pig.  Now, I size him up – he might be a lecherous pig, but is he attractive?  Will I get bragging rights?  Can I show him off to my friends?  As I’ve often said many times on this blog, I would rather have an honest devil than a lying phony saint.  So I’ll take the admitted man whore for a few spins around the block, as long as I know everything’s above-board.  Afterward I will be sharing my exploits at the next girl’s brunch, or BBQ with my married friends.  Once you hit a certain age, it’s difficult to tell who’s the hunter, and who’s the prey.

It’s not to say that all younger men are nefarious lotharios, or good for nothing but sex.  A close friend of mine has had a long-term committed relationship with a man 16 years her junior now for nearly three years.   Another has been happily married to a man 14 years younger than her, for over a decade.  Age and maturity are relative.  At this point in my life, I feel like I almost don’t have an option anymore.  Most men in the 35-45 age range are one of four things: married, in a serious committed relationship, crushed from a breakup/divorce or confirmed bachelors.  It’s just so rare when I have an age-appropriate man even approach me.

Yesterday for my article about online dating profiles I had to re-start my defunct OKCupid account.  I wanted to search through as many names as possible to get the best sample.  I knew when I did this that OKCupid would treat my account as if it was brand new, and promote it heavily.  My inbox overflowed, I got over 87 emails in a 24 hour period.

Here is how the ages broke down.

  • (Ages 20-25)  17 or 19% of the Total
  • (Ages 26-30)  34 or 39% of the Total
  • (Ages 31-35)  14 or 16% of the Total
  • (Ages 36-40)  4 or 4.5% of the Total (10 minus 6 who didn’t live in NYC or were not single) 
  • (Ages 41-45)  5 or 5.7% of the Total (12 minus 7 who didn’t live in NYC or were not single)
  • (Ages 45-62)  6 or  6.9% of the Total (10 minus 4 who didn’t live in NYC or were not single)

The largest group of me to send me emails were 10-14 years younger than me, the second largest group was 15 years or younger than me.  The two groups totaled 51 men or 58% of the total amount of emails .  When I subtracted the men who didn’t live in NYC from the 36-45 age group I was left with only 11 men.  I removed the men who didn’t live in NYC from the older categories as they didn’t even live in NY state.  Some lived as far away as Italy, the UK and Spain.  I also omitted men who openly admitted to being married, or in a committed relationship.  There were some non-single men like this in the younger groups but their numbers weren’t significant to count.

I indicated on my profile that I’m seeking men ages 30-45, but that didn’t seem to stop 51 men from making a go for me.  So am I a predatory cougar?  It looks instead like a lot of younger men couldn’t care less about my age and are just as predatory and aggressive with me as they would be with women their own age.

The creepiest email of the day ironically came from a 36 year man who simply said.

“I would love to come over and videotape you”

He didn’t indicate what he wanted to video tape me doing.  Maybe I should have offered to clean my bathroom, or my cat’s litterbox – but then someone probably has a fetish for exactly that activity and the next thing I know I would be on a kitty litter cleaning porn site.

Admittedly, I look very young for my age.  Everyone in my family including both of my parents seem to have some magical youth gene.  Most people think I’m in my late twenties.  My youthful appearance might have skewed my results somewhat, but my age is very clearly indicated on my profile.  It seems most men don’t give a f*ck, at least not on a dating website.  If they are looking to have children or a long-term committed relationship the age difference might mean much more to them, but if they are trolling for ass online, age seems to matter very little.

The 35-45 age group of single men is still as elusive to me as a well-paying steady job with health insurance.  In theory such a thing exists, but I have no idea how to get it.

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Dating Online: What’s in a Name?

Hello my name is

Hello my name is (Photo credit: maybeemily)

Dating profiles are little windows into a person’s psyche.  They say so much while saying so little at the same time.  I’ve tried nearly every service from eHarmony, match.com, OkCupid, chemistry to even Jdate.  I’m not Jewish but I live in New York City so I thought – why not?  So far nothing has worked.  I’m like a curious bystander staring at a crime scene or car accident, no matter how pathetic my online dating experiences have been, I just can’t tear myself away from the sites.  Pursuing profiles is like a huge sociology experiment.  If I have any advice on here to ANY MAN it would be this.

PLEASE HAVE A TRUSTED FEMALE FRIEND, WHO IS NOT YOUR MOTHER, LOOK OVER YOUR PROFILE BEFORE YOU PUBLISH IT.

I would repeat that three times for emphasis but I like to keep my word count under 1000 on this blog.

One of the things I learned quickly in regards to emails on OKCupid – A guy’s name says so much.  I get email all day on those sites. If a guy has a crazy name, I know it isn’t even worth opening anything until the next day.  Sometimes a name can actually ruin everything, in one case a man emailed me with a name that was a creative spelling of spermbank, yet when I looked at his profile he seemed perfectly normal.  I just couldn’t imagine though, going out on a date with a man who thought SPERMBANK was an appropriate name for a dating profile.  I write this with the intention of helping guys who are well intentioned but have no clue about how a name like, HappyHuggerGuy might come across to a woman.  The more extreme names like Slave4URFeet or BigSugarDaddyLvr will always be there, and easy to disregard.  But if you are a guy and you aren’t sure why your profile isn’t getting more email, or if your a woman and want to see some of the most tragic names I could find…this article is for you!  Most names fall into the following categories.

Sexy Names – must contain one or more of the following

  • 69
  • Deep, Long
  • Big, Huge,
  • Pulsing, Thorbbing
  • Girthy, Girth, Thick, Wide
  • Xrated
  • NSFW
  • Beast
  • Pervert, Perv
  • Naughty
  • CunnyLover
  • ThreeWay
  • Casual, NoStrings, Discrete
  • Honorable Mentions:
  • SpermBank
  • WellHungForFun
  • Youlllovemy
  • NiceGuyButNot
  • Longrider888

I Think the only thing I have to offer is MY MONEY 

  • SugarDaddy
  • Richboy
  • Ferrari, Lexxus, Porsche, Benz
  • HighRoller
  • BigPlayer
  • $$$$

I’m a Sensitive guy – these made my skin crawl more than any other category

  • Cuddles
  • Snuggles
  • Sweet4U
  • SensitiveLover
  • Sweetboy
  • Gentle
  • Lover, Loves, Lovey
  • Friendly
  • Huggs, Huggable, Hugger
  • Kisser, Kisses, Kissy
  • Lonely
  • Honorable Mentions
  • GentleLover4U
  • Mr.Cuddles
  • SnuggleBearLover
  • Soft_N_Gentle

The following are subcategories that depending on the woman could work.  After all, we are all quite different and if a woman specifically seeks a squirrel loving guy who is into BDSM and has a foot fetish – A name like SquirrelDomFootLuv – might be just the thing.  If you are into kinky and this is what you are looking for, by all means don’t hide it.  It’s always better to NOT surprise a potential partner

I’m Kinky or a have a Fetish

  • BDSM
  • Kinky, Kink,
  • Slave, Master, Slavery
  • Submissive, Sub, Dom, Dominant
  • Beat Me, Wimpy, Wimpee
  • LoveFeet, LoveBig, LoveCurves, TallChaser
  • Fisty – Couldn’t make that one up
  • Honorable Mentions
  • SlaveMasterDomme69
  • Mr.Wimppee
  • McFisty
  • WhipMeGuy4U
  • SlapSlaveAssMan

Spiritual – Again these would repulse me, but if you are a mystical sort seeking a similar type of gal, they could be perfect

  • Soul, Soulmate
  • Peaceful, Peace
  • Spirit, Spirit Guide, Searcher
  • Hippie
  • Mystical
  • Seeker, Visionary, Visions,
  • Dreamer, Dream,
  • SunGod, Goddess Seeker,
  • Healer
  • Evolved

Alternative Lifestyle Names – Again for the right girl, these could be just the thing

  • Vegan – probably the #1 I see in theis category.  I get it, as they are probably seeking another vegan.
  • Veggie, Veg
  • Yoga
  • Meditate

I might be Dangerous!

  • Rebel
  • Rogue
  • NoRules
  • Fire
  • Danger
  • Animal
  • Pirate
  • Spicy
  • HarleyMan888
  • Untamed
  • Maverick

Proud to be me

  • Geek, Geeky
  • Nerdy
  • Treker
  • Trekie
  • Robot
  • Gamer

The Classics – These are total cliches.  They aren’t terrible, just massively overused.

  • Guy4U, Guy4Ya, YourGuy
  • Mr.RightNow
  • PrinceCharming, Knight, Prince
  • GreatCatch
  • StopLooking, SearchEndsHere
  • I’mTheOne, TheOne
  • Popeye – I have no idea why this one is popular but I see it a lot
  • NormalGuy, GuyNextDoor, FavoriteGuy, Regular, Average
  • Smiler, Smiles, Smile
  • Boy, Boyz,
  • Johnny or Joe – both extremely popular
  • Happy, Nice, Fun
  • MacGyver – A LOT of guys make variations on that joke
  • Honorable Mentions
  • AllUNeedIsMe
  • AverageJoe4U
  • FoundIt
  • DoneSearching

Animals – Used a lot, not sure why.  

  • Ram
  • Tiger
  • Phoenix
  • Dog or Dawg
  • Monkey – extremely common – I have no idea why names like MonkeySmiler would help a guy out, but to each his own.

Inexplicable names – I have no idea what they were thinking…honestly I don’t.  These are all real names, I’m not kidding.

  • TurtleLover
  • SquirrelBoy
  • Beeswax
  • FrankenChicken
  • BreadPudding
  • BloodDonor
  • PumpkinHeart
  • Mudrunner – Could mean you’re into off-roading, but a woman probably won’t get the reference – this one is iffy.
  • Plopgasm
  • PappyAss – Personal favorite, as what the hell does it mean?  And how would it attract women?
  • MarriednDating

Boring Names – Include things like

  • Occupation
  • Hobby
  • Location – NY, SF, ATL
  • Age – 1973, 1984, 1968

I usually get attracted to a photo, and then I read the profile.  Those are the two things that grab me, a boring name will NOT turn me off.  My own name on the site is fairly boring.  However a super cheesy, overly sexual, creepy, cuddly name could hurt you.  So when in doubt just call your self NYCGuySohoDentist – You’ll probably get more email!

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For Some: All Women are Fat

When my article “Dating After Divorce in a City of Sluts” exploded all over the internet I was strangely picked up by the humor website fark.com.  I have no idea who really reads fark.com but most of the comments seemed written with a 14-year-old male perspective.  I did have some supporters, but the majority of comments were along the lines of “Women aren’t funny” and “This chick is fat“. Someone had re-posted photos from my website.  The glaring evidence of my reckless obesity was this photo.

Schtupp12

My article had nothing to do with my physical appearance   So I am not sure why it was the main topic of discussion.  And when I look at this photo I think I look great, as do the women behind me.  I guess for some because my body is not up to the extreme standards of a photoshopped maxium model or the cartoonish proportions of a porn star I am basically huge.  Physical attractiveness and weight are subjective, but at 5’7″ and a BMI of 21 I am not by any reasonable standards fat or overweight.  A modeling agent would call me large, but they would also tell me the industry standard is a minimum of 5’10” and the highest paid models are extremely young – many in their teens.

When I shared my fark.com story with the women backstage at a burlesque show it unleashed an avalanche of similar tales.  It seemed every woman in the room, regardless of shape or size, had been hit with some completely non-related beauty related insult or remark.   The very thin women complained of getting snide remarks such as,

  • Eat a sandwich
  • You’re anorexic
  • You look sick

Women with plastic surgery have heard,

  • Your body is fake
  • You have a botox frozen face – even if they haven’t had botox
  • Your boobs are plastic

And for some any woman over the age of 35 is simply too old to even appear in public. Tabloids and the media just feed into this.  I am always floored when I see a photograph in a magazine of an actress in her mid-forties with an arrow pointed to a slight bulge in her lower abdomen with the question

  • Baby bump?

She is far less likely pregnant, then simply going through the physical changes of a typical 45-year-old woman.  And can we just accept that slightly dimpled skin is simply part of being female, especially when it doesn’t seem to correlate to a person’s weight, fitness level or even age.  Why does any sign of cellulite warrant panic, fear and terror when about 90% of women have some amount of it.

But regardless of any of this, when was the last time a man speaking to another man decided to unleash the nuclear option in an argument and blurt out a

  • You’re fat
  • You’re ugly
  • You’re old

I can’t think of a single time in my life I have seen that happen.  I have never seen a woman say anything like it to a man, unless the argument was somehow about his weight or age.  Some feel the lowest nastiest thing they could say to a woman is basically – you are not sexually attractive.  As if any of us will just crumble to a pile of low self-esteem dust when someone makes such a judgment call.

I have reached a point in my life where I just flat-out don’t care anymore.  I don’t give a flying f*ck if someone thinks I am fat, unattractive, if my ass is too big, and my breasts are too small.  I don’t care if they think I am too old, my skin is starting to sag on my face, or that I have wrinkles around my eyes when I smile.

I know I am not 25.  No one needs to point out to me the year of my birth.  Being older is not a weakness.  What my age has given me is the wisdom and knowledge to understand there will always be another younger more beautiful and attractive woman just around the corner.  Physical appearance is fleeting, and real perfection is impossible to obtain.  Our real value comes from our hearts and minds, which will live on long after we are at our physical sexual peak.  We either get old or we die, there is no way around it.  So I accept my age, and I don’t try to run or hide from it.

My favorite comeback was once uttered to a wardrobe coordinator on the set of a now cancelled television show.  When she kept making remarks about my weight I hit back with.

“Listen, I can see my ribs through my skin.  I don’t think I’m fat.”

Insults like these are just another way to try to disarm us and to dilute the real point.  We are women with opinions, sexual pride and we are more than the sum of our physical parts.  How dare a woman who is not a size 0 get onstage and take her clothes off in a burlesque show!  How dare a woman without perfect facial symmetry or glowing skin pick up a microphone and speak her mind!  How dare a woman in her late fifties write an article criticizing the status quo!  Shouldn’t we all be trapped in our homes existing on salads and lean proteins while working out three hours a day in the hopes that we will be the youngest, prettiest, thinnest woman in any room?  F*CK THAT!  The next time a man calls me fat, unattractive, or old I will simply turn to him and say.

Thank you sir may I have another!  What does that have to do with anything!

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Dating in New York: Mr. Spontaneous

Texting

Texting (Photo credit: Joi)

One particular dating archetype that I have heard a lot about lately is Mr. Spontaneous.  I am sure there are women who do this sort of thing, but it is especially a problem with men in New York City.  Mr. Spontaneous is the #1 complaint that I hear from women about dating in the Big Apple.  What defines a Mr. Spontaneous?

  • Text – Late at night – Only on weekends – Expect you to come to their location
  • Refuses or avoids making plans ahead of time
  • When the tables are turned they will not drop everything to see you on a moment’s notice

Most men who do this will claim they are simply living in the moment or being spontaneous.  What they are really saying though is that you aren’t worth even a modicum of pre-planning or respect.  You are a girl on call, probably one of many, ready willing and able to drop whatever you are doing to come over on his terms.   If you already have established a mutually beneficial relationship of late-night, last-minute hook-ups that is one thing.  But if a man is pursuing you, and you don’t have boundaries established, it is extremely rude behavior.  It is not living life in the moment, or being spontaneous, it is just inconsiderate.

A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself

“Would I do this to a friend?” or “Would a friend treat me like this?”

If the answer is no, don’t put up with it from some random guy.  Would you text a friend at 1:30 at night to come meet you at a bar?  Perhaps, but it would probably be someone you know extremely well.  You know they will be awake at that hour, and maybe you have met them for late night drinks before.  If this man is new to your life, he should not be treating you like an unpaid prostitute.  Of course there is nothing wrong with taking the bait and meeting someone for a late-night sex session. Chances are though, the minute you allow this type of treatment, things will not improve.   If you want a no-strings attached sexual relationship, he should at least do the same for you.  You should be able to text him at 2 am and expect him to come flying over.  If he doesn’t drop him like a hot rock and don’t look back.

I really loathe the ridiculous dating guide “The Rules” as it sets up rigid guidelines about when a man should call and exactly how a woman should react to his advances.  I don’t believe anyone should live according to such an exact standard, and some of their advice encourages emotional manipulation .  However, I do think the authors do make a valid point; any man who doesn’t give some notice for a date is not worth your time.

Another sign that you aren’t being taken seriously are the following:

  • He needs a date for a social engagement – He has no interest in seeing you otherwise
  • Doesn’t want you to meet his friends, or meet your friends – Only wants you to come to their place when it is convenient for him
  • Only wants you to attend shows, gallery openings, band performances – Wants a groupie not a date
  • Put zero effort in seeing you on your terms
  • Has no interest in getting to know you better – He asks few personal questions about you.
  • He tells you very little about himself
  • Never move beyond text messages or email in communication – Phone calls are too personal

No woman should expect an instant boyfriend or partner, nor is that a healthy thing to desire.  Every relationship builds at its own pace and neither partner should rush into anything.  You shouldn’t expect everything at once, but you should also not feel disrespected.  If the shady behavior goes on for an extended period of time, there is a reason he is not letting you in.  You are simply a sexual plaything and you will never be seen as anything more.  If you are wanting more of a connection, allowing a man to treat you poorly is not going to get you anywhere.

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Dating Online: The Coward

The Cowardly Lion as pictured in The Wonderful...

The Cowardly Lion as pictured in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This particular problem is not relegated to any gender, sexual orientation or age group.  Cowards  in the dating world are sadly universal.  I would bet that even prehistoric men and women scratched their heads over this dating archetype.   What is a coward?

A person who asks someone out on a date, only to then:

  • Cancel last-minute
  • Stand-up a date
  • Constantly reschedule
  • Make themselves consistently unavailable
  • Claim they never made the date in the first place – Act as if it was somehow a misunderstanding

I want to emphasize the distinction here, a coward is the person who sets up the date in the first place, and then blows it off. That is a huge difference, because plenty of people might bail on a date for any number of reasons.  Life is complicated, misunderstandings are common and people really might need to cancel.  They may also not be that interested and bailing on a date is a passive aggressive way of saying as much.  However if a man or woman asks someone out on a date, the need to do everything in their power to follow through.  A coward sends the mixed signal of

I want to go out with you, only I DON’T actually want to go out with you.

I hear these stories all the time from both men and women.  It has happened to me more times than I can count, and I will admit that one gentlemen strung me along like this for months.  I didn’t quite have my post-divorce self-confidence back yet so for reasons I still don’t quite understand, I put up with it.

Over half the men that ask me out on online dating sites do this.  The scenario goes something like this:

  1. They send the first email asking me to go out.
  2. I respond saying I would love to go out with them.
  3. Then they either cancel at the last second, blow me off completely, or never get around to actually planning anything.

I used to give these types the benefit of the doubt, but now I don’t.  If they can’t get it together for one date, they probably aren’t going to get it together for much more.   I used to think it was due to my blog, so I stopped using my name in any correspondence online.  Multiple friends of both genders have said this exact scenario plays out with them repeatedly.  Why do people do this?  I am not sure why but it might be

  • Fear of Failure – They are worried they will be ultimately rejected so they avoid the date, thereby avoiding rejection.
  • Fear of Success – If your date does actually go well, then they might have to deal with some type of dating situation this freaks them out, so they self-sabotage.
  • Intimacy Issues – They would rather have some type of fantasy of you than actually deal with another human being.
  • Seeing someone else – It is all a game to them, you are merely a pawn for their ego.
  • Ego Boost – They asked a person out just to see if they would say yes, never intending to go out with them.
  • Living in a Virtual Reality – A person becomes so accustomed to relationships online social networking etc, that a real one is just too much for them to handle.

Faking out dates is almost rampant behavior nowadays.   It seems completely irrational as asking a person out on a date is a bold move, and makes a person quite vulnerable.  It is such a problem with online dating, I could almost bet half the guys who end up in my inbox will never follow through with an actual date.

Actions really do speak louder than words.  If a person is not making you a priority in their life, then they are letting you know that you are not really that important to them.  Asking you out, only to then flake is rude, inconsiderate and downright baffling behavior.  If someone really wants to see you, they will move heaven and earth to make that happen.  Don’t waste your time on a coward.

 

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Dating Online: Nice Guys of OKCupid – Why it’s Horrible

Loser

Loser (Photo credit: jugbo)

I get a lot of love and hate mail due to things I have written on this blog.   My critics come from every direction imaginable from angry males calling me a man-hating shrew to virulent feminists claiming I am eroding the women’s movement.  I find all of this venom ironic since I average a little over 100 readers a day.  Not that bad for a total unknown blogger, but there are blogs out there that get a lot more traffic than this one.  Men often take umbrage with my articles, and I can understand their frustration.  I write from a woman’s perspective and I have repeatedly explained to many of my detractors that since I am female, I cannot write from a male’s perspective.  If men want to read about other the dating lives of males, they should read a blog written by someone with a penis.  I simply cannot write from an experience I know nothing about.

That being said I openly admit that I frequently make fun of the online dating profiles of men I find on dating websites.  I mock poorly written or pretentious self summaries on my Facebook page, in my stand-up routines and on this blog.  My regular readers like it when I point out the absurdity and arrogance of some of the men I encounter online.  I make no apologizes for it.  I do however go out of my way to protect the identity of anyone I ridicule.   I never include photos or even screen names.  My intent is not to make personal attacks or to public humiliate a man who might not have an inkling on how to write effectively on a dating website.  I have also tried to help men in their quest for love online.  Since I have scrolled through hundreds of profiles, I know what turns most women off.  In my articles Online Dating: Why you get ignored, and Dating in NYC: What to Not do on a First or Second Date I am honestly trying to help men not make the same mistakes I have seen time and time again.I completely agree with the creators of The Nice Guys of OKCupid up until a point.  Most of the men featured on their blog are clueless and have negative views about women.  However the crime of writing a poorly written dating profile should not subject anyone to public shaming.  I have no problem with poking fun at the grandiosity, rudeness or misogyny on any profile.  The Nice Guys of OKCupid crosses the line by attaching images to the poorly written content.  Now these men are no longer anonymous, any number of friends, relatives or co-workers can see personal information that was not meant for all the world to see.  Anyone could easily fabricate a dating profile and submit it to the site, in order to humiliate someone.  There is no way of authenticating if any of the information posted is actually accurate.

We all put ourselves out there when we sign up for a free online dating profile.   Vulnerability is not easy for anyone, especially men that might have limited social skills.  When we bare our souls looking for a possible mate, we also open ourselves up to the darker sides of someone’s psyche.  I have gotten pure hate from total strangers on dating sites.  I am not sure why, but now and then some man decides he needs to send me insulting or disgustingly perverted emails.   There is no joy in making myself open to this kind of negative behavior.   It makes me cringe when men I know tell me they stumbled upon my profile while browsing, or that I came up as a good match. I would rather not have to resort to putting so much personal information on a site for someone else to dissect, decipher and judge.

The whole thing reminds me of a bully finding a love note written by a total nerd to a popular girl and then plastering a high school with photocopies to humiliate the author. Are the men featured on Nice Guys of OKCupid clueless?  Yes.  But do they deserve public shaming for not understanding women?  No.  Do most men understand women?  Do most women understand men?  I don’t claim to know what is going on in the mind of most men and I would hate to see my own photo/profile in a

  • Women who think they are all that of OKCupid
  • Bitches of OKCupid
  • Cougars of OKCupid
  • Future Old Maids of OKCupid
  • Cat Ladies of OKCupid
  • Annoying Women of OKCupid

Will this public shaming do anything to change the behavior of those featured on the site?  I seriously doubt it.  If anything it will just make the men that much more disillusioned with the gender they already don’t understand.  When a person signs up for an online dating website they don’t sign up for another third-party to exploit them.   OKCupid should get the site taken down.  It is surprising that someone hasn’t already threatened the site with legal action.  I don’t think there is anything wrong with making fun of someone’s words  as long as their identities remain private.  Dating online is hard enough, do we have to make it that much harder?

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Dating Online: The Liar – A Hall of Famer!

pants-on-fire

I am launching a new category on this blog: The Hall of Fame.   Anyone I place in the online dating Hall of Fame will be a person who expresses the most extreme traits of an already established archetype.  To protect this man’s identity  for the purposes of this article I will simply call him, “The Pretty Boy”.

It started out innocently enough.  Tired of my inbox filling up with 22-25 year olds trolling for cougars, and geriatric men who lie about their age, I did a quick match search.  My query was simple, men who live in New York City ages 32-47.  After scrolling through dozens of profiles I ended up emailing exactly two men.  One was an extremely attractive man, almost too pretty for my taste.  Most of his photos were professionally done, and he had one shot of himself holding a guitar in front of a large crowd of what looked like several thousand people.  The caption read “I was a rock star…about 10 years ago”

This photo was the first red flag. I questioned why he would put something like that on his profile.  I also wondered if this man might be promiscuous; as the lifestyle of most professional musicians isn’t exactly one of steadfast fidelity.  My roommate looked at his photos and said immediately.

“He is probably gay, he is way too pretty to be straight”

I disagreed as I have met many pretty straight men.  I was more concerned with, “How could a man this good-looking really have much of a problem getting a date, especially if he was a rock star at some point in his life?”

I have come across many extremely attractive people on dating websites.  However this man was model good-looking.  He was gorgeous, and that is rare on dating sites.  I wasn’t really interested as I am really attracted to bookish nerdy guys or artistic types; but, his profile was so over the top I felt compelled to contact him.

I sent him a brief one sentence asking him for a “drink or something”, to which Pretty Boy responded.

When you said ‘or something’ did you mean sky diving?  Or a book reading? Something a bit more exciting?”

I found his response rather annoying.  Here I was a total stranger sticking my neck out to ask him out and he is scolding me for not being bold enough in my request.  So I responded…

“No actually I meant just coffee.  I would hate to ruin an experience like sky diving with a total stranger, not to mention it is rather expensive.  If we went to a book reading we wouldn’t get a chance to talk much and well…you are a total stranger so it is better to actually get to know you”

And then the first shoe dropped and I get this response.

“Well I would love to meet for coffee but I actually live in Los Angeles but I will be moving to New York soon…so that is why I have New York on my profile.  I will be in town on Dec. 10th if you want to hang.”

I wish I could say this is the first time I found an inaccurate profile, but unfortunately a lot of guys lie about living in New York.  I guess we New York gals have a bit of a reputation for being fabulous.  I have no idea.  I should have just walked away; but, for reasons I don’t understand, I shot back

“Hey man if you live in LA you should say you live in LA.  And if you are moving here soon, maybe you should focus on moving here before you try to date anyone.  If that is what you are looking for, I am not sure.  Anyway good luck to you, New York is a really difficult city to date in.  I wrote an article about it, trust me it is hell.”

And because I thought this would be the end of the conversation I sent him a link to my #1 hit as it were, “Dating After Divorce in a City of Sluts.”  I have no idea why I did this.  I had never done it before.  I guess I meant it as a nice parting gesture.  I was just trying to give him my perspective on dating in this city. I just forgot how opinionated and worked up people got about that article.

About twenty minutes later I get this long rambling response written mostly in text speech with the letter “u” substituting for the word “you” and some of the worst grammar and spelling I have ever seen in my life.  I would have just ignored it but his tone set me off.  The line that pushed me over the edge “I disagree with the very notion of writing about it in the first place.”

Plenty of people disagree with me, and I don’t mind a healthy debate.  However telling me I shouldn’t write about any subject was incredibly disrespectful and insulting.  It was also incredibly difficult to respect his opinion since he couldn’t write in complete sentences, spell simple words or even make his opinions clear.  My writing is not perfect, but his writing was simply abominable.

I will paraphrase as our correspondence got somewhat heated and long-winded.  My first tactic was to  defend my article.

“Look you may not agree with me, but I have every right to write about whatever I want.  This is my personal experience so you may disagree with my point of view, but I wrote it from the heart.  I got hundreds of new followers on twitter, it was shared thousands of times on the internet, and I even did interviews based on the article.  So you may not agree with me but a lot of people did.  I am not bashing men as this is a universal problem.   As I stated in the article: women, men and people of every sexual orientation and gender identification deal with this predicament”

His next response is when things really got weird.  As he took my attempt at defending my piece as me bragging about my accomplishments.  His response was to try to out-brag me…again paraphrasing for length.

“Look I have sold millions of records, I have been on TV, was voted one of the most beautiful people in the world and I have been married for 15 years I am just on a hiatus and I have four children”

Well this is news now isn’t it?  He hadn’t indicated on his profile that he was MARRIED, nor that he had FOUR CHILDREN!  I was floored, and kept reading. He may have not realized the verb tenses he used but the words “have been married for 15 years” implied he is still married.  Also the use of the word “hiatus” made me feel he was not even legally separated much less divorced. He went on,

“And because of all of this, I have had a lot of experience with women…all over the world”

And I started doing the math in my head.  So if he is 38 and married for 15 years, and is probably still married…if he was screwing a bunch of women 10 years ago when he was in a band, then he was cheating on his wife.  Wow, this man was a catch.

“And so what about your article who cares?  I also know I am attractive.  Why?  Because thousands of people have told me so.  Including millions of readers in a certain popular magazine that called me one of the most beautiful people in the world.”

At this point I started cackling.  Yes this man was attractive, but obviously he had put a lot of his self-worth into what he looked like as I had not brought up his physical appearance.  I realized he misunderstood my defense of my article.  I wasn’t actually trying to brag, just point out that yes my piece was controversial but plenty of people loved it.  Now it seemed he was hoping that I would rue the day that I had snubbed him.  After all he was one of America’s Most Beautiful people, a fact he mentioned twice in his rant. If he only knew how many other pompous beautiful men I have turned down over the years.  I finally ended this madness and wrote.

“Well if you are so famous and attractive, then why have you resorted to online dating to try to meet women?”

And then I blocked him from contacting me.  I was kind of insulting myself  and everyone else on dating website when I wrote that.  I didn’t mean to diss everyone on a dating website as plenty of people find love online.  I just thought it was funny that this man who kept bragging about how he was so beautiful, had appeared on television and sold millions of records was trying to find a date on a free dating website.

I WILL NOT reveal this man’s identity on this blog but after a fairly quick google search I found out he had what looked like one big hit and a couple minor hits about a decade ago.  I didn’t recognize him or his musical partner, nor had I ever heard any of their music.  It was bland light pop and I am sure they had a loyal following for a brief time.

I have been on and off OKCupid now for over two years and I have never found a profile that proved to be so blatantly fraudulent.  He had no mention of children, still being married or living in a totally different city.  He tried to defend his actions by saying he was only looking for “friends and activity partners”.  That was the only honest thing he had written, but  I can’t imagine his wife would be overjoyed if she found his profile.  This was the ultimate liar, and from the looks of his ranting a fairly insecure liar.  Perhaps he should try to find some groupies who might still be starstruck.  He will learn soon enough, most New York women won’t give a damn that a popular magazine called him a beautiful person.  If he wants casual sexual encounters he will have no problem getting them, he just shouldn’t pretend he would rather go skydiving instead.  Had he been honest from the start, he would have saved us both a lot of trouble.

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Dating Online: The Body Experiment

Anyone who knows me and knows this blog understands my complicated relationship with online dating websites.  For the most part I loathe the entire online dating experience, but when I go offline I rarely meet anyone appropriate.  I noticed that my online dating profile was becoming a magnet for the most pretentious men in New York City. My inbox filled up with book long diatribes full of ostentatious vocabulary and self-aggrandizing biographies.  I had no idea what was attracting these men.  I just knew it had to stop.

I wiped my profile clean and started over.  My current dating profile has next to no information on it.  I mention that I am a performer, I live with two cats, I am a vegetarian, I am a liberal and little else.  My profile redesign gave me an idea.  I decided to create a blatantly sexual, shallow and slutty profile and see what kind of mail I would get.  I was not shocked by what I found, but the numbers were overwhelming.

I won’t mention the dating website I used for fear that they will have me banned for life.   For the purpose of this article I will refer to my alternate profile as “German Girl”.

My actual profile.

Age 39, Vegetarian, Cat owner, Agnostic, Bachelor’s degree in the arts.  My regular profile has 10 photos on it, but for space I will include only three representational photos here.


One performance photo, one from a wedding and one of how I look while at home writing.

German Girl – The Body profile

Originally I had these two photos associated with the profile but they were taken down for violating the rules of the website for being “extreme close-ups”

I am a pear-shaped athletically built woman with a small bust and wide hips.  So I decided to go with my best assets…my abs.  I also used somewhat blurry photos on purpose, to hide my identity and to cover up any flaws.  I don’t think I have a perfect physique or anything, and I am not 25.

The following three were perfectly acceptable and approved for use on the site.

The lingerie shot, the abs shot and the bikini shot were the three photos that made up German Girl.  I made myself one inch taller at 5’8″ and six years younger.

My profile went along the following lines.  I am editing it for length.  .

The first things people usually notice about me

My eyes. I am not showing my face for a number of reasons. But I am blonde and most people would find me attractive. I might send you a photo, if I like yours.
1. Sex
2. Creativity
3. Music
4. Intellectual stimulation
5. Open minded people
6. Freshly baked bread.
Finding men that are compatible with me. I am a bit strange. I like them smart and nerdy. The nerdier the better.

You should message me if

You aren’t a total jerk.

I added freshly baked bread as a bit of a joke, as I keep seeing bread references on nearly every other profile.  German Girl was also a vegetarian, atheist and non-drug user.  I also gave her a Masters degree in the “Arts”.  My alter-ego was childless like myself, but without pets.

Here is what happened.  In the course of two weeks time, here is how these two profiles did in a head to head competition.

Regular Profile – Total emails – 15

German Girl – Total emails – 541

The headless photos of myself…got 36 times the email that my regular profile.

Here are just a few of the breakdowns of the emails sent my headless body.

  • 193 – Quick simple one sentence message
  • 92- Emails that just said simply Hi
  • 43 – Used humor in their emails
  • 32 – Asked for more photos
  • 27 – Asked for Sex Directly
  • 18 – Referred to me as gorgeous, cutie, adorable, beautiful  – (I am not sure how a body can be “adorable” but their words not mine.
  • 13 – Sent a mild insult
  • 12 – Were also profiles of photos of male bodies with no face.
  • 11 – Sent a several paragraphs
  • 11 – Sent a message that was obviously a cut and paste that is sent to dozens of women
  • 9 – Requests for BDSM Sex
  • 8 – Asked the simple question where is your face?
  • 1 – Told me I had a nice smile
  • 1 – Called me curvy (I wish I was curvy but I found that compliment to be way off especially with my flat abs and B cup breasts)  I have hips but I don’t exactly have curves.

German Girl got email from men of all ages, demographics and parts of the New York Metro area.  The profile even got email from out-of-town men who asked to meet up for a drink or sex for the brief time they would be in New York.  My favorite comment that I got repeatedly was “I can tell by your profile we have so much in common” which was especially funny since there was next to nothing on the profile.

About a week into my experiment I got a strange email from one of the founders of the company urging me to answer some of my hundreds of emails.  It felt like a mild threat, as they seemed to know that my profile was fake.  I decided to send some responses but I did so in the weirdest way possible.  A few of the several hundred men got one or two-word cryptic answers.  For instance:

Man: “Hey there!  I like your body what are you doing this weekend?”

German Girl: “Weekend?”

Or if they would say something like

Man: “Girl, you are hot I would love to get to know you”

German Girl: “Know me!”

My bizarro answers would deter some but most men would still try to chat with me anyway.  I was only answering a few emails so the site wouldn’t kick me off.   I didn’t want to lead anyone on.

In the case of the handful of men that emailed both profiles they tended to write a lot more to my actual profile. German Girl was lucky to get a sentence.  Nearly 200 emails simply said…”Hi!” or “Hey there”.  It gave me amazing insight on communication with men.  When they are thinking of you as a just a piece of meat, they won’t bother with much chit-chat.  When they are hoping for a girlfriend…they might send several paragraphs.

In the case of the men who emailed both profiles, if sent German Girl an email I didn’t take them seriously on my regular profile.  The whole thing acted like a screening process.  A few men that I knew, looked at German Girl but did not contact her, a fact that I found reassuring.  Not every man took the bait.  I am sure many found German Girl tacky and vacuous.  A few guys I had gone on dates with didn’t recognize me and sent German Girl an email.  These were men I had just had a drink with and nothing else.   They hadn’t exactly seen my body!

I also got several emails from men that looked exactly like German Girl – all photos were of body shots and no head.  So a headless body was sending another headless body email begging to hook up.  I actually respected the direct hook-up requests seeing as German Girl herself was fairly straight forward.

When I briefly added another shot of my mostly obscured face, the flood of emails slowed down.  I would love to do another experiment with one profile with a face and one without and see which one gets more mail.  Somehow a face made me too intimidating, it was easier to send mail to a detached body.

I am not surprised by the outcome of this experiment.  I knew the body shot profile would get more attention and more email.   Any woman seeking casual sex and posting bikini photographs is going to have a full inbox. What shocked me were the overwhelming numbers.  I have had multiple friends find partners, even spouses online.  I am beginning to feel though that their success had more to do with sheer luck than anything else.  If I ever decide to just start hooking-up with random strangers though, I might just resurrect Ms. German Girl and give it ago.  Maybe I will get some freshly baked bread out of it, or an STD.  For now, I will just stick to my profile with a face and hope I get lucky.

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Dating in NYC: The Snob

English: Engraving on wood by W. M. Thackeray ...

English: Engraving on wood by W. M. Thackeray himself, for the first edition od The Book of Snobs. Chapter XVIII, “Party-giving snobs” . Mr Snob and Miss Smith Français : Illustration du chapitre XVIII “Party-giving snobs” de l’édition originale du Livre des snobs par l’auteur. Gravure sur bois. Mr Snob parle avec Miss Smith.(page 69) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We have all been on a date with a person like this.  No matter what you say, or what you have accomplished in life, to a snob, it won’t be good enough.  Who is the snob?  And why are there so many of them in New York City.  I am going to use a male example here as that is my personal experience, but I know that this category especially has no gender specific qualifications.  The snob can also just as easily be a woman as a man.

The Snob

  • Any Age
  • Profession – Something high-profile – they have done press, interviews, written books, etc.
  • Advanced Degrees or Ivy League degrees
  • Enjoy hobbies and sports average Americans know nothing about – i.e. Squash, Polo, Sailing
  • Few live in Brooklyn or Queens and if they do this fact is a source of embarrassment  (Park Slope exception)
  • They have well-connected friends, constantly name drop
  • Brag about accomplishments
  • Blather on about expensive travel all over the world
  • Best paired with other snobs

A typical date with a snob will feel more like a job interview than anything romantic or fun.  They will judge where you live, what you do for a living, your background, where you grew up, the amount you have traveled and even your ethnicity.  Some snobs like the idea of “trolling”: going out with someone they believe far beneath them.  You have to watch out, because a snob will never really respect you or what you do.  You might just be another eccentric accessory he can show off to his friends.

Probably the biggest indicator of acceptance by a snob is education.  According to the most recent census, the percentage of Americans with college degrees is at an all time high of 30%.  So even though you may have had to work two jobs while getting your diploma and might have had to resort to a combination of college loans, the Pell grant and scholarships to go to school none of this will impress the snob.  If you don’t at least have a masters degree, or some type of ivy league affiliation you are simply not good enough.  Even though with a BA you are still doing better than 2/3 of the general population.

One snob that I had the displeasure of going out boasted of the extremely prestigious school of Oxford on his dating profile and his Facebook page.  Although in reality, he had only gone to Oxford for one year before he dropped out of a masters program.  His BA from an Ivy League institution and perfect grade point average is not enough, so he brags about a school he couldn’t hack.

I had another date where the man kept grilling me over my “life plan”.  I tried my best to answer him but other than working on my memoir and getting on stage as much as possible I don’t really have specific life goals.  Perhaps I should, but most of my energy is spent just trying to survive each month.  The whole experience just made me feel like I was defending my life, and every choice that I had made up until that point.  Never mind that I just went through a devastating divorce, have worked in an artistic profession for the past decade, and come from a blue-collar background.  This person ignored the success of this blog, the press that I have done for my articles on the Huffington Post and the huge body of work I have done on stage.  Needless to say the date made me feel crushed and about an inch tall.

Why are so many men like this in New York City?  My bet it is just insecurity on their part.  They may have worked extremely hard for all that they have accomplished and worry that if they date anyone beneath their status that it will somehow lower theirs.  What they fail to realize is that most of us work extremely hard at what we do, but we don’t all come from privileged or even middle class backgrounds.  Race, gender and socioeconomic factors are all at work against many of us, despite out best efforts.  The workforce is not exactly an even playing field.

A snob also might believe that their advanced degrees and their overflowing bookcases actually make them a superior person, someone society should value greater than a humble janitor or preschool teacher.  No one will ever live up to their standard, because they don’t live up to their own.  A snob is most critical of themselves than they are anyone else.  Their projection of arrogance towards you is just a symptom of their own feelings of inadequacy.  A person who was truly happy with their lives would never waste energy looking down on others.

Snobs exist everywhere but are especially a problem in New York City because of the many elite colleges on this little island, and the cultural and financial makeup of its residents.  As the city attracts the best and brightest many view significant others as an extension of what they have accomplished.  It is not enough to a snob that you are intelligent, well read, beautiful, young, creative, in amazing shape, have a great sense of humor, have a kind heart, or an open-mind. In addition to any number of positive qualities you must also have a résumé that rivals theirs.

So if you see the signs of someone who doesn’t think you are good enough for them…BOLT.  Try to find the inner strength to get up and walk out.  Point out to this person that they are being a jerk.  I can’t write how many times I have wanted to tell one of these jokers off and haven’t.   No person is better than any other, the distinction only lives inside their mind.  Don’t put up with it, just get back on that saddle and try to find someone who will appreciate you for all that you are.  The snob can sit and wait for Mr. or Mrs. Perfect.

 

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