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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: 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.

 

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?

Online Dating: Advice for Men – How to Pick a Good Photos for Your Profile

Scuba diver. Found at Plongée sous-marine & ob...

Image via Wikipedia

I am writing this because I just keep seeing the same thing over and over and it is making me crazy. I know most dating websites have general tips and tricks on picking the best profile photos.  I am not sure who is reading the advice given because I just checked my Match.com profile and in one day saw so many great examples of what NOT to do…I felt compelled…the blog must come out.

The absolute first thing you should do before publishing your profile or emailing anyone is: Have a trusted female friend look over your photos, your essay and everything else.  I cannot stress this enough.  Your mother doesn’t count.  You need a woman close to your age who knows you, and has your best interest at heart.  An ex-girlfriend is perfect, as long as you are on good terms.

Here are a few bad photo trends that I see repeatedly:

#1 – Bathroom Mirror Self-portrait – If you are really going to the full cliché then take every photo of yourself without a shirt.  Just make sure we can see the cell phone in the photo, and make it clear that you are in your bathroom.  Some men have nothing but shot after shot of themselves flexing in the mirror.  If you want to look like a Jersey Shore type of douche bag – this is the perfect way to make that happen.

#2 – A photos of yourself with an ex-girlfriend with the woman’s face blacked out –  When there is a big black box over the face of a former lover it speaks volumes. It says a lot about what you think of that person, and what it is saying is not very nice.  The same goes for the artful crop, that is we can tell that you have carefully cropped out a former girlfriend.  It’s fine on one photo but not so cool if all of your photos are like this.

3. Every photo is a group photo. – You would think this one would be obvious.  It says something about you if every single photo is a group photo…and what it is saying is that yes, you have friends..BUT you are hiding something…not good.

4. All of your photos are taken from a far distance. – I don’t get the landscape photos, or photos from vacation that include no humans whatsoever.  A photo of a nice sunset is lovely, but it says very little about what you look like.  When I see this, I just assume the man is married, or hideous.  It seems shady.  Don’t do it.

5. Really old photos – Some guys take this to the extreme, I have seen photos from the 1970’s complete with the yellowed sepia film and obvious hair and wardrobe choices that are clearly not from this decade.  It’s great if you had a wonderful bushy stash in the year in which I was born….but I would like to see what you look like now.

6. Nudity – The only exception to this rule is if you are looking for hook-ups or casual sex and you are making that very clear on the rest of your profile.  Then by all means…show the goods.  But there are sites for that sort of thing.  Generally speaking on most dating sites, nudity will get you kicked off and your photos will be taken down.  It is also probably not going to work as well as you think it is.  Women like a nice looking male body, but you run the risk of repulsing a lot of women.  It’s kind of like going up to a stranger and flashing them.  If you are at a swingers club, this behavior could be extremely welcome.  But if you are just standing on the street – women are libel to just run away from you.  Most women just aren’t wired in quite the same way as the average male. Also your body might not be as smoking hot as you think it is.  When in doubt – show a female friend and she what she thinks.

7. Scuba Gear – I have seen so many profiles in which the majority of photos are a man in scuba gear.  Not one photo, but every photo.  To me that says the man is either married, not confident in what he looks like, or embarrassed by being on an online dating site.   Well get over it and show your face!  Scuba gear gets its own category because it is nearly an epidemic online.  I have no explanation for it, but it drives me crazy!

8. Sports – Sure some women love sports maybe even more than you do, but if every single photo of yourself on your profile is one of you playing a sport, it might be a turn-off for some.  It’s not the worst thing you can do and it does say to any potential date…”I love sports!”  But you might want to throw in a straight shot of yourself just hanging out, instead of having every single shot in tiny running shorts covered in sweat.

9. Ironic boa, dress, women’s clothing – WHY? WHY? WHY do I keep finding these?  It’s just confusing unless cross dressing is your thing.   In one man’s profile,  half of his photos were in full drag, while the other half were in mens clothing.   He was open about being a cross dresser and I had to give him kudos for that.  Sure, he will turn off most women, but for the women who are actually seeking a cross-dresser the profile will be a magnet for them.  I all for honesty!  If you are cross dressing as an ironic joke, women who don’t know you may not get your sense of humor.

10. All Body shots, none of the face – This one just makes me think – married man. I’ve actually found numerous profiles like this where the man explains he is married and cheating on his wife.  One even said he was specifically not in an open marriage, nor was he polyamorous – he was just looking to cheat.  If you aren’t married, then why not show your face?  Nearly everyone tries online dating at some point.  There is no shame in looking for love online, and I have actually encountered a few men online with fairly high profile jobs.  Don’t hide.  If you want to look suspicious having no face shots is an easy way to do it.

11. Pay attention to your backdrop and details – I’ve seen many photos with men still wearing their wedding rings.  They could be old photos, but they are definitely sending a mixed message.  The married man who boasted about cheating on his wife had a baby fence behind him in one of his shots.  Sure it could have been for a dog, but it looked absolutely dreadful.

12. Only one shot – You can’t be bothered. And it increases the likelihood that you won’t look like this one photo.  I have found a good rule of thumb is 5-6 but it never bothers me when a man has 20, as long as 10 of them aren’t landscape shots. 

I know men read this blog, because I can tell when they search for it.  Hopefully some of them might re-think their online profile photos after they read this, but maybe not.  I want everyone to find the love of their life out there, so put your best face forward…and please show your freaking face!

Dating Online – Some of the worst profiles yet!

Trash Cans

Trash Cans (Photo credit: roeyahram)

So because I have so many of you tell me that you like it when I post these things, here I go again.  Online dating, or in my case non-dating is really starting to suck my soul dry.  Everyone I encounter just depresses me further, either by being incredibly creepy, pathetic or lately….wimpy.  And I am not counting anyone I have actually gone out with, these are guys I don’t even bother making the effort.  I keep getting men that ask me out, only to cancel right before the date.  And mind you in every case so far I have had little or nothing to say to them online, so it’s not like after I sent them a crazy rambling email they decided against following through.  No instead it is simply

“When are you free?”

Then I give them my availability, then they act like we are going to met up and then at the last-minute I get another email.

“I can’t, something has come up, but maybe next week”

To which I don’t respond, and then I never hear from them again.  One guy did this to me, and then months later tried to chat me up again.  He never mentioned that the first time he just sort of drifted away and never followed through with his invitation for a date.  I just can’t get excited about this process, I am very busy so to set aside time for someone I don’t know and then have them cancel like that….come on.

But this one really floored me.  I respect his honesty but the whole thing made my skin crawl.  He came up on my daily matches…there wasn’t even a good photo of him, but if I wait until LATE SUMMER, WOW!!!

I am currently in a relationship with an expiration date. My girl’s work visa expires at the end of June and she has to leave the US. I’m not planning on going with her, and she’s not planning on coming back, but for the next few weeks we’re spending every available minute together. I still sign in to okCupid out of habit more than anything else, but I won’t be looking to meet anybody new until later in the summer.

You can hide a profile and restart it up at any time.  So if you are spending every available minute with this lady friend of yours, then hide your profile.   Why rub it in the faces of those of us who are lonely and dateless that you are having this great, albeit short-lived romance while we are just sitting at home.  But maybe when you are available???…I don’t know the whole thing seemed rather sleazy.  I have friends who are poly amorous and have multiple partners, but they are so upfront about these things, and they don’t mention their other lovers in their profiles especially lines like “we spend every waking hour together”.  Just hide your profile then.  Something about the middle ground of this guy, just makes me think that if I dated him…he would still keep that profile up.  He also just changed his relationship status in a matter of hours from “seeing someone” to “available”…I don’t even want to know.  

This next guy emailed me and I could feel the slime coming off the computer screen. Sure I would love to be this blunt about what I DON’T want on my profile but it tends to be off-putting.   I am editing this one down for length and just showing you my favorite quotes…he is in his fifties too, imagine that!  Most of his profile is just him really going on and on about how he is amazing human being…one of his quotes being something like

“I am just as comfortable at a homeless shelter than at a formal event” 

Something makes me think that is a little bullshit.  He also mentioned how he has book deals, and television deals in the works and how he has sky-dived, snow-skied, it just goes on an on and on.  It was one of the most self-aggrandizing profiles I had ever read.  I think he even referred to himself as visionary and humanitarian.   I would reprint it, but its long, and I think it would be somewhat cruel of me to do sobut here are the angry rants, and the capitalization is exactly as he wrote it.

Before you read my profile I want you to think about this: That a lot of the “questions” on this site have no purpose. They are just here to amuse the staff. The amusement comes from asking the questions and the fact that people are taking the questions seriously and answering them at all. MUST HAVE PHOTOGRAPHS AND LIVE IN NYC.  Looking for someone intelligent, kind, and attractive. I tend to be attracted to women who are SLENDER or ATHLETIC in build. I don’t mind dating women who are taller than I am as long as they don’t mind.  If the circumstances were right I’d like to have children, but that is not a deal breaker. NO PHOTO=NO RESPONSE! MUST LIVE IN NYC!!!!!!

So basically no fatties from the suburbs.  As if anything he typed on his profile will stop them, trust me it won’t.  I have tried adding “age appropriate please” and instead of repelling any 60 year olds, it seems to act like a beacon of hope to them.  Being that negative will just make him look like a jerk to just about every other woman on the site.

And my latest trend is men who look like extras from “The Jersey Shore” with biceps flexed in their main photo and multiple posed hairless, steroid pumped shirtless photos all over their profiles once I investigate further.  Now I am trying to be open-minded,  I don’t think I could have even a five-minute conversation with a man like that.  Or maybe I could…maybe I too could learn to love spray tan, hair gel and men with shriveled testicles and wild mood swings…well isn’t that what happens when I guy is on steroids?   Oy Vey!  

 

Dating Online – Things on a profile that completely turn me off

So this is re-posted from another old blog of mine, but since I am on a roll with this topic so to speak…

Because I am a freelancer and my social life revolves around the New York Burlesque and Alt-Comedy scenes, I don’t even KNOW a lot of men.  And I have a strict NO-COMEDIANS rule.  Which leads me to online dating.  I know it is hell out there trying to date in NYC.

Things that make me Cringe.

1. Semi-nude or posed shirtless photos.  I am not talking about hanging with your friends at the beach photos, but obviously staged photos of yourself as naked as possible, the “classiest” taken by yourself with a cell phone into a mirror.  Now would you walk up to a stranger and flex while half naked? Maybe you would.  Then you are not the boy for me.

2. Overly long profiles.  I don’t really bother if they are super long.  The photo tells me so much, if I am not attracted, I am not attracted and when I see a really long profile I just think “oh great work!” and I move on.  There are thousands of guys out there.  Keep it simple.

3. Overly ANGRY profiles! Don’t complain about all the other women you have dated in your profile!!!!  We have all been through the mill, who doesn’t bitch about an ex or two?  But please not on the profile!  It is also not a great place to tear down my entire gender.  You are looking for a WOMAN right? Then stop bitching about them.  And my favorite line so far “Be EMOTIONALLY AVAILABLE…leave your baggage at home, think positive and let’s have a good time”  And yes he used all caps.  So I need to be emotionally available for him, but I am not allowed to discuss my own problems.  Well at least he is straightforward.  HA!

4. Don’t lie about your age.  This one is fairly obvious, oh and pay attention to my age range, if you are 10 years over my limit….seriously???  And I think the magical age on these sites is 49, we all know you are not 49, who are you kidding?  If you are looking like my dad, we know you are NOT 49.

5. Sunglasses in your primary photo really? They warn you not to do this, and I can see why, they make you look incredibly pretentious and I can’t really see your face?   Brooding?  Sexy? Mysterious?  No.  I have over 200 in a search I am not going to take the time to see what lies beneath!

6. Don’t continually pester me repeatedly if I don’t respond to your “wink” I am doing you a favor, I am not interested, there are so many women out there.  And my least favorite tactic is when I spend all of 5 minutes checking my e-mail on there and I get a “Hey I see you are online, did you get my “wink”?, What is your number?  We should go out some time?”  This has happened more than once, so do these guys LIVE online?  Ready to pounce?  Creepy!!!

7. Less philosophy – Just the facts – Now some women may disagree but the more “crazytown this is how I see the universe” you get the more I want to hit that little X button at the top of your profile and never see your mug again.  I get it, but then I don’t get it.  And lines like “What can you expect from me….the unexpected!” or “Your Mr. Right is Right here!” honestly?  Does that work for anyone????

8. Limit on the Action/Adventure shots.  OK I get it you like Scuba diving, but one photo would have been enough, seven of you with goggles and I still can’t see your face!  And what is up with Scuba diving?  Maybe its fun, I don’t know I never tried it, but it isn’t exactly the sexist sport out there.  And I think I have seen hundreds of scuba diving photos at this point..hundreds!   Now a rowing, rugby or mountain climbing?  DAMN!  Those are sexy sports.  And even the classics like baseball, basketball, football or soccer can make you look good depending on the context of the photo.  But Golf?  Golf is so BORING, and it might but a joy to play but, still photos of you playing golf……are not exactly chick magnet material.  And OK so you run marathons, that is great, but can you include ONE photo where you are not covered in sweat, and wearing tiny little shorts?

9. Be realistic about distance – OK I live in BROOKLYN, dating someone in the Bronx would be considered a long distance relationship.  Philadelphia? Don’t they have women in Philadelphia?  I don’t want to move and that is just way too much effort if I don’t already know and love ya!

10. Try to look STRAIGHT! – Now this is probably the most controversial thing I am bitching about.  Because after all what is looking or acting straight?  I of all people should know, I married a gay man, HA!  We all know there are many shades to the rainbow.  But having all your photos be of yourself in clubs surrounded by beautiful men, perfectly manicured with stunning wardrobes and amazing haircuts, isn’t really screaming “I love women”!   I think I have sadly seen many a deep closet case looking for the wrong gender on these sites.  Sad.

11. Boys, be Realistic about YOUR age range. – So you are 45.  And your age range is 22-28?  Are you independently wealthy?  Are you devastatingly handsome?  Are you hysterical and loaded with wit and charm? Maybe you can bag a 22 year old, but my suspicion by the look of your photo/profile is that you have never dated in your life!  Come on!

12. I am MORE than a womb! – So I just saw a profile where all the guy talked about was wanting children.  He wanted 2 children and wanted to start trying in the next 1-2 years.  I am like DUDE!  Let’s go on a date first!  I understand his need to reproduce, but if your entire profile is about baby making.  YIKES!

13. Poorly written or Overly jokey profiles – If you entire profile reads as sarcastic, most people might think you are a jerk.  Lines like – “What is a typical Friday night for you?” and you answer – “Being completely awesome while I hunt for puppies and unicorns!”  I guess for some women, that might be perfect, but I will just think your crazy!  Or abuse of the written language such as: “R U the 1 for Me?”, or obvious misspellings.  Call me uptight, but it make me think you are of lower intelligence!  Yes I am a bit of a snob when it comes to language…..I am not the world’s greatest writer, and I will openly admit it!  But language is what separates us from all other SPECIES ON THE PLANET!  You don’t exactly see chimps writing novels, so USE SPELL CHECK, or open a DICTIONARY!

Dating Online: eHarmony is useless!

This has got to be an eHarmony date.

This has got to be an eHarmony date. (Photo credit: David Reber’s Hammer Photography)

eHarmony – The reasons why I absolutely loathe your site.  

Too many suburban matches – I honestly felt bad for these guys because many of them tried to contact me, and I didn’t see the point.  I live in a city with 8 million people, I shouldn’t have to date someone in the suburbs when I have no reliable way of getting to them on a regular basis.

Too many matches that did not meet even minimum criteria – location, height, religion, political affiliation, etc.  Sending me multiple “matches” that were well below my own height?  Sure some guys might be fine with this but many don’t like dating women more than a couple of inches taller than them.  Also I clearly said all over the questionnaire that I was agnostic and NOT RELIGIOUS! I would rather have fewer matches that actually fit my criteria rather than have hundreds of men that did not come even close to what I had indicated in my preferences.  I could just get that from a non-premium free site.  I also questioned the validity of a questionnaire that sent me men with CAT ALLERGIES!

Long process to delete a match – To get rid of a match is a two-step process.  It doesn’t seem so bad but when a person has so many bad matches, it’s an extremely tedious process to get rid of them.

Too many matches with no photo – eHarmony is hardly cheap.  If I am paying a premium for the service, I should not have to waste my time with profiles that don’t have at least one photo.

High Cost – The lock you into a three-month contract and have auto-renewal, I made sure my account did not auto-renew, but it is difficult to make sure that it doesn’t happen.

No Gays Allowed – I didn’t know that when I signed up.  And had I known it, I probably wouldn’t have signed up.  I am not gay but I don’t see anything wrong with being gay.

Questionable matching process – Suburban cops?  REALLY?  I am a creative stand-up comic, emcee and singer with a degree in Theater and Music, call me crazy but I don’t think a COP is probably my best match. I don’t think most suburban cops would think I was their best match.  The amount of law enforcement matches was baffling to me.

Unethical practices – eHarmony recently sent me an email completely out of the blue claiming a member was sending me an “icebreaker”. I found this highly shady since I hadn’t been a member now for a year.  I went to “unsubscribe”, but the link took me to a page to re-register my account.  I could find no way to contact the company other than to sign up again for a service which I absolutely hated.  So they are either using phony profiles to try to lure old members back to their site, or they are using deleted and deactivated accounts as bait for current members.  I responded to their email basically saying there were committing fraud and threatened to expose them on this very blog.  I decided to not wait for a response, as the whole experience really made my skin crawl.

The Incident that made me shut down my account 

I went on eHarmony to answer an email from a “MATCH!”  On eHarmony I get a ton of matches, but most of them live extremely far away, or are horrible.  Despite their claims of superior matching abilities eHarmony doesn’t seem to pay attention to things like height, or religion as they have sent me more than one 5’2″ devout Christian. A man’s height is not a deal breaker but a deeply religious man is definitely a bad match for an agnostic, at least this agnostic.  I find it all very frustrating since I spent an hour filling a long questionnaire when I signed up.

I finally had one member contact me who lived in Manhattan.  I really didn’t have strong feelings for him as he was average looking and his profile didn’t say much.  He lived in Manhattan though and wasn’t a cop!  eHarmony loves matching me with members of suburban law enforcement.  I have no idea why!

I thought, let’s try this so I started to do their whole question back and forth thing.  On eHarmony unlike other sites has a very rigid way of communication.  We had to go through a series of questions before setting up a date.  He asked for my top favorite albums of all time, and the last five albums I listened to recently. It get why he might think that was important, but it seemed rather trivial.  Asking about one’s favorite bands was something we did in college right?  Like most people, I don’t buy full albums very often but I managed to cobble a list for him. He also asked me to type random things about myself and I obliged.  I became aggravated because after several steps, and a lot of time and energy, I still knew next to nothing about this person.

His response, over a week later was to tell me he was allergic to cats.  I wondered why eHarmony matched us in the first place since I think I had indicated strongly my cats and I were a packed deal. Things really got strange when he attacked me personally for my accordion, my ukulele and my use of punctuation.   I admit maybe my punctuation wasn’t perfect, but it was online correspondence and he had asked for random things.  I think I just gave him a list, and I was trying to write in these tiny boxes that eHarmony uses for its forms.  I’m sure I wrote in fragmented and run-on sentences.  Compared to the writing style I usually see on dating websites my prose was on par with Hawthorne or Poe.  I guessed what upset him is that from the time he first emailed me until his second response, I had tried to shut down my account.  I wasn’t that interested anyway and I hadn’t heard from him in over a week. He must have taken this personally or as some type of snub and thought his best defense was a good offense.  I had gotten hostile reactions from men online before, but it was a little unsettling to get it on an expensive premium site, especially one that brags about it’s screening process.

So I told Mr. What are your favorite albums where he could stick it.   During my three-month membership I went on zero dates and found most matches inappropriate or unpractical.  I honestly couldn’t imagine dating someone in central New Jersey, Long Island or Connecticut as I would never see them.

Overall I would never recommend the site.  If they’ve matched people it’s by luck and not their expensive service.

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Dating Online: Some of the worst opening paragraphs.

Hearts and Candy

Hearts and Candy (Photo credit: Rdoke)

I am taking these out of context because I don’t want to humiliate anyone. It is hard being vulnerable on an internet dating site. I almost wish I could just write_divorced, decent human being_and leave the rest of my profile blank. I keep seeing these profiles and I am simply blown away by what people write. Dating website profiles are one big character study for me.  These are all openings to dating profiles.  All of these men chose to start off their search for love or sex using these gems. Please do not msg me ANYTHING if you don’t have Pics…different State or Country … I am not looking for anything long-distance “based” connections … good luck. NY cats are always welcome for Miauuuuuuuu…sessions … no loud barking please (esp in bedroom area) So I am with the guy on the out-of-town messages, as they make little sense to me too, but the barking in the bedroom?  WTF?  Now you are making sexual requests?  Can we at least go out first, get a cup of coffee before we discuss our sexual preferences?  I mean really now. I’m a single dad who is looking for someone who is okay (well, more than okay) with my situation – or someone who is also a single parent. I am open to having another child someday – but not for at least five years. That is fairly specific, and that would also count me out!  Single dad, might be open to having another kid, but not for five years.  Those are some fairly specific and rigid guidelines that are just going to turn most women off. I live with my wife and our semi-permanent couch surfing gay. I purchased my wife through the “American Wifes” catalog and my couch surfing gay at a labour day sale event at Wallmart. I was originally planning to go for the more socially acceptable Russian or Asian mailorder brides, but with the current low value of the dollar, the American mail order bride alternative definitely seemed like the most value for my money… (I actually met my wife right here on OkCupid… amazing, eh? It actually works!) He probably thinks he’s hysterical, but in that one short paragraph he’s equated women with property and referred to a man as simply “a gay.”  He’s also married which might be fine for some women but I’m not so sure I want to start anything with a man with a live-in gay (his words), and a bad sense of humor. i’m too busy for “dating.” i’m a musician, and plenty of the stereotypes that come with that apply. broke often, not marriage material, etc. this site is pretty stupid, but so is hooking up with people in your social circles so if you wanna just meet up, drink, and make out when i’m not in rehearsals or on the road, then send me a message. I get it man you’re slutty, you don’t want any commitments but there are sites specific for those requests: Adult Friend Finder and tinder.  I admire your honesty but you’re aren’t going to get an email from me.  When I read a profile like that I just think of getting my cervix scraped after discovering you’ve given me HPV.  Sure you can get an STD from anyone but, the sluttier ones are almost advertising their higher risk status.  Also what kind of sentence structure or grammar is going on in those two sentences. Then there is this gem.  I don’t even know where to start here, obviously he is trying to be funny……

I appreciate inappropriate nakedness. pickles are my passion. breadnbuttaaaaaahhhh! sometimes i do cartwheels just to convince myself that i exist. i wish i was better at cracking my toe knuckles. i have been known to photograph my balls. dont judge me. i pee sitting down. im not ashamed of it. i like to have a soundtrack. i want to have dirty, painful-in-a-good-way sex with pandora. i enjoy being nice to girls. no, really. i have a car named yoshi. she is currently sickeningly clean. this does not feel natural to her. i once threw a pool party in my bedroom. i dont remember much of it. i have a blackbelt in napping. viva la siesta! i am partly responsible for the life of a hilarious four-year-old girl. she lives in california. she is a terrible phone conversationalist. i still love her. i possess no gumption concerning business skills. only the gods know how i keep my tiny business running. i rarely eat meat because i dont have to. i have witnessed entirely too much terrible karaoke for one man. i will doubtless be witness to so much more. i have a fat dingo called albus. he is slowly losing his mind. dont ever challenge me to a thumb wrestle… i will not take it easy on you. i am a relentless cuddler. hold me, touch me… let me be vulnerable.
listen… i just wanna love ya… and be who i am. I am bricka, bracka, and firecracka
So you have a four-year old child that lives in California and you sometimes talk to her on the phone!?!  WOW what a great dad.  Sign me up!  AND you take pictures of your balls?  How did I get so lucky to find you!?!
I think I am giving up again.

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