Can we talk about online dating profiles for a minute? I mean, those of us who’ve spent any amount of time weeding through them are all rolling our eyes at the same things (amiright??), and those of you not reading them might be wondering what we all keep chuckling about. Also, any of you considering online dating could probably benefit from some helpful translations.
I’ve seen my fair share of online dating profiles over the years, and there are a few things guaranteed to make me cringe/laugh/swipe left immediately. And then there are things that just make me want to shake a guy’s shoulders and say, “Really? Did you think this through??”
Here are some of both:
TRANSLATION: “I’m somewhere between 5’9” and 6’ tall. (With my shoes on.)”
I realize this might not be such a big deal to all women. But, as a tall girl, I’m continually amazed by this phenomenon. Allow me to rant for a moment.
According to the profiles I see online, approximately 95% of men are six feet tall. Yet, somehow, guys in the real world seem to be a whole range of heights. Maybe it’s just all the single men online who are six feet?
Guys. Help me understand. Do you really think you are six feet tall or are you just exaggerating because _________???? (Wait. Why exactly?) Actually, don’t answer that. I already know. Yep. Yes. Yessiree, you do believe you’re six feet tall. I know this because I’m repeatedly arguing with men shorter than me who insist I’m not 5’11” (which I am) because they’re “six feet tall”.
My conclusions are this: a) Men shorter than six feet “measure” themselves with their tallest shoes on and b) these men assume women don’t know what six feet looks like anyway.
So. If you’re a tall girl, or any woman who cares, here are some helpful insights about height: If a guy reports his height online as six feet, there’s a high probability that he’s only six feet when measured from the bottom of his cowboy boots to the top of his ten-gallon hat. If a guy reports that he’s taller than 6’1” he probably is.
To be clear. I’ve dated guys shorter than six feet. I have nothing against shortness. It’s the lack of transparency (and self-awareness?) that irks me.
Also, hint to guys: If a woman says she’s 5’11”, that is her height without shoes. As in, that’s the height the nurse recorded the last time her height and weight were taken at the clinic. This means any shoe she wears will make her at least six feet tall, and possibly quite a bit more. If you ask this girl out, your true height (and lack of forthcomingness) will be exposed.
TRANSLATION: “I’m looking for lots of dates with lots of women and I’m talking to all of you at once. Because women like that.”
I can’t even with this one. Do the guys who write this imagine themselves onstage addressing an audience of women eager to fight for the chance to date them? Do they think we like to be reminded that we’re just one of many women they’re fishing for? Please, make it stop.
TRANSLATION OPTIONS: “1) I’ve had a bad experience with at least one woman,” 2) “I consider any emotion a woman has to be ‘drama’,” or 3) “I’m a conflict avoider.”
I mean, on the surface, this one is legit. Who wants drama? No one. Duh. No woman is searching for the guy who says, “I love drama. I want to build a lasting relationship on drama. Let’s do this.”
Not wanting drama is universal. It doesn’t need to be said. And when it is said, it tells me that this guy has experienced some crazy-making dynamics in a past relationship (haven’t we all?) and the only way he knows to deal with it is to blame the woman and forbid any future “drama”.
HEADS UP. The man who is actually going to avoid drama (and find a great woman) is the one who says something more like: “I’m looking for a woman who understands her needs and is willing to voice them. I value communication and I’m looking for someone who can successfully work through disagreements.”
Now that’s attractive. Am I right, ladies?
TRANSLATION: “I like to keep my options way, way open. (Also, I prefer younger women, but I’ll take one my age if necessary.)”
I might be more sensitive to this one than I need to be. But here’s the thing: I’m entering a new decade this year, and when most of the guys my same age proclaim they won’t consider a woman even one year older than themselves, whelp, it’s frustrating. It implies that I, as a woman, have an expiration date. It creates the impression that I’ll continually be physically compared to women decades younger than me. And it narrows the number of men I would even consider dating. I’m looking for someone who wants to live this actual phase of life with me. Not someone who needs to rewind.
By the way, I saw a profile for a 45-year-old guy the other day who was looking for women aged “18 to 103”. I feel like I should report this to the authorities.
TRANSLATION: “I’m looking for a younger woman.”
I usually get this one in direct messages from men a generation older than me. To this I must reply: We all feel younger than our age, sir, so the age gap is still the same. If a woman wants to date an older man, she won’t be sold by that line. And if a woman doesn’t want to date an older man, she’ll just think you sound desperate. (Which I do.)
TRANSLATION: “I just got out of a relationship (and I’m actually not ready).”
Dear Mister Single Man: I get it. I do. I understand why those words came out of your head and ended up in your online profile. But here’s the thing. Pretty much all of us on here are starting over. When you feel compelled to include that information, what it actually tells me is that your previous relationship is still such a big part of who you are that it’s impossible to describe yourself without mentioning it. Which also tells me that you may not be ready for a new one. Come back when you are just you and dating is more about your future than your past.
TRANSLATION: “I don’t have any friends” or “I don’t want to tell my friends I’m on here.”
Besides the whole friendless problem here, there’s the pain of just having to see so many selfies. Occasionally a guy can pull off an acceptable car selfie, but my eyes sting every time I see a shirtless bathroom selfie. This debacle is compounded by the guys who only take selfies from the angle of their lap. Why? Just, why? As far as I can tell, this either means: “I don’t have the upper-arm strength to hold my phone at eye level,” or “I didn’t bother to Google ‘How to not look like a stalker in a selfie.’”
TRANSLATION: “See how hot I used to be?”
I’ve noticed that gray-haired (or no-haired) gentlemen like to throw in photos of themselves from their twenties, when they had more flow and less dad bod. GUYS: This tactic makes you look old, and not in a fun retro way. Stop immediately.
Also, I feel like this (related) point should be obvious, but I’ll say it anyway. If a guy only posts old photos of himself, he’s really taking a risk. I showed up for a date once and the guy was completely unrecognizable from his profile photos, which I realized must have been taken 10 years and 15 pounds earlier. The waitress had to help me identify him and I was completely thrown off by the strange face sitting across from me. He wasn’t unattractive in his current state, but I felt so duped that I couldn’t get out of there fast enough. What was his strategy exactly???
TRANSLATION: “The last time I had fun or looked good was with my ex.”
Also, I’m highly attuned to photos that were taken by an ex during a special, shared moment. I can tell. Reminding me of your past relationship is not a great selling point for a new one.
TRANSLATION: “I don’t like how I look” and/or “I am my hobbies.”
These photos would be great if I were shopping for a Caribbean vacation, hunting tips, or a softball team, dude.
TRANSLATION: “This picture gives me self-esteem. (And I like to hug barely dressed women whose names I probably don’t know.)”
TRANSLATION: (I wish I knew!)
Actually, there’s nothing wrong with this one. I don’t have any judgment or conclusions about a guy who loves Vince Flynn novels. But it blows me away how many men list this author in their profile. Is this a Minnesota thing? (Vince was Minnesotan, right?) Is this a guy thing? Is this an author my book club should be reading? I’m so curious. Why do I only hear about Vince Flynn in the online profiles of single men? Do you know???
Okay, friends. Those are my top 12. Did I miss any? What drives you nuts in online profiles?
Oh, by the way. Would you like to know what is possibly THE MOST ATTRACTIVE THING I can see in an online profile?? (I have only ever seen it in a few.) Here it is:
Bam. Mic drop. Here’s my number.
Julie Rybarczyk is a freelance writer, fair-weather blogger, and empty-nester mama who’s living alone and liking it . She’s perpetually the chilliest person in Minneapolis—so most of the year you’ll find her under layers of wool, behind steaming cups of tea. Or on the socials at @shortsandlongs.
BY Julie Rybarczyk - July 11, 2018
Thank you for being here. For being open to enjoying life’s simple pleasures and looking inward to understand yourself, your neighbors, and your fellow humans! I’m looking forward to chatting with you.