After I wrote this post last year, I was surprised to receive a couple of emails from men who seemed genuinely shocked that the old commenting-on-a-woman’s-ass approach to meeting women was deemed unacceptable. After I pieced my will to live from where it had shattered on the floor, I was able to
calmly explain that dating doesn’t have to be so difficult; just don’t behave like an asshole and chances are women will not be averse to spending an evening in your company.
Apparently, this advice doesn’t seem to have reached many men in the online dating community because the number of reprobates masquerading as functioning members of society seems to be on the up.
And so, I thought I would put together a handy list of things not to do when approaching women online (more specifically in the online dating sphere.)
How Not to Approach Women Online
1. Completely ignore the profile
If my profile says I take personal hygiene extremely serious and you shoot me a message talking about how you like to shower every other week, don’t be surprised if I say something disparaging about you and your life choices. Is this not how things work? Similarly, if my profile says I am interested in guys ages 26-33 and you are 45 and send me a message, I will think one of two things:
- You are an idiot for not reading my profile
- You are an idiot for reading my profile, ignoring it and being so arrogant as to think I’ll change my mind FOR YOU.
2. Send out mass emails/messages
Don’t presume to think that we won’t notice that this is what you have done. I understand the premise –it’s the law of averages. If you harangue enough women, chances are that one will find you charming or at least tolerable and respond to you. But here’s the thing; it’s rude and lazy and demonstrates a lack of originality that most women will find distasteful.
3. Comment on a woman’s body
Here is the thing: most women enjoy compliments and would like to receive them. Here is the other, more important thing: most women would like to be seen as more than the receptacle for your penis. Reducing us to “OMG awesome tits!” lets us know right away what you’re after and often, that may only one part of what the object of your objectification wants. So yes, don’t comment on our bodies. Do comment on what we have written in our profiles and if you’re incapable of that, then keep any comments to everything above our necks (I’m talking: “you have a beautiful smile,” and not “you have fellatio lips.”)
4. Dispense with correct spelling and grammar
Look. I know that not everyone is as…particular (read: obsessive) about spelling and grammar as I am. But if you are trying to engage in online conversation with strangers; wouldn’t it be prudent to ensure that said strangers KNOW WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT? You know what’s worse? When you list incorrect spelling and grammar as something you cannot bear but then send messages like this:
hey how u doin i wantd to tell you you have butiful smile and skin. Hello I will be pleassed to have a chat with.*
Red mist descending. Must log out.
It’s a shame that so many people use online dating as a method of restructuring reality to coincide with whatever lame fantasy they’re playing out in their heads. But y’know, this is a given. It’s an even greater shame that these people are so arrogant to think that the truth will never leak out and stain whatever pristine façade has been created. You know what’s hot? honesty. You know what ain’t? Saying you’re single and then having the very present mother of your children threatening to assault me with a broom handle (this hasn’t actually happened to me but you get my point.) Tell the motherfucking truth.
It sucks to be rejected. We all know this. You pluck up the courage to send a message and it either goes ignored or is met less than enthusiastically. While we all know that this is an awful feeling, it does not give you the right to harass someone. Let me repeat that for the idiots: it does NOT give you the right to harass someone. I don’t care if it’s online. I don’t care if you think you’re simply being “romantically persistent” (this term was actually used), you’re not. You’re being a douchebag and it is not OK. If someone doesn’t reply or rejects your advances, do as Jay-Z instructs, go brush your shoulders off and MOVE ON.
7. Create a new profile so you can continue to stalk/harass
We’re not stupid and will recognise you and your wack-ass game.
8. Assume we’re here to help you cheat on your wives/significant others
Honestly, asking for a “discreet” relationship basically just screams I am married and have three children so I will only be available between the hours of 5 and 7pm when I can claim I’m at work. Couple this with:
- lack of a photo
- immediate questions about sex
- next to nothing on the profile
and we’re just going to assume that you’re
- a serial killer that likes to make lamps out of the skin of women
*an actual message
Maybe it’s because I refuse to pay £25.90 a month and instead opt for free sites. Maybe that £25.90 a month would weed out the psychopaths, sexual deviants and those looking to cheat on their spouses. Maybe that £25.90 a month would make me less disillusioned with the whole thing.
Probably not though. Next episode will explain how not to go about a first date.
Any horror stories to share?
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Stereo. 20-something aspiring bon vivant. London based. Exceptionally Nigerian. Partial to snark. My default setting is "wry". Jeans and blazers are my uniform. Landlady. Speed reader, tuneless singer, hoarder of words, drinker of Schloer; I am suspicious of most people, have zero tolerance for tomfoolery, have a vast DVD collection, worship at the altar of Al Green, own too many bottles of nail polish, have small eyes, small ears and giant hair and owe approximately 86% of my awesome to the Parents Typewriter.
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