As my faithful readers know, politeness is a double-edged sword in online dating. Men hate it when their overtures are ignored, yet polite nos are met with badgering bullshit. The overwhelming advice I get from men and women is to quit with the politeness already.
Today presented a new challenge.
A man “liked” me. In other words, he didn’t send a message, but hit a button indicating interest. A quick perusal of his OKC profile led me to one conclusion: No.
He’s homophobic, thinks creationism should be taught in science classes, rates his faith as “extremely important” in his life, etc.
So I logged back off.
Unfortunately, some lonely people spend all day hoping that someone, anyone, looks at their profile.
Him: No hello
[Please note that I did not comment on the irony here. He didn’t say anything to me when he read my profile; he simply clicked on a star.]
Me: I don’t think we’re very compatible. You seem to be more old fashioned than I am. I hope you have a wonderful rest of your day!
[This is me being nice. It is code for “go away, you homophobic bigot.”]
Him: Why would you say that how do you know?
Me: I read through some of your answers to questions. You said homosexuality was a sin, that creationism should be taught in science classes, etc. As I’m a passionate advocate for gay rights, for science, etc., I don’t think we’re compatible.
Him: Omg I don’t give a shit about that
Once again, I wished him well. I did not mention how he just took the lord’s acronym in vain, etc.
And then I blocked him.
I’m so sick of this.
I’m coming to the end of a three month experiment with Match.com.
I’m very ready for it to be over.
Are there some good guys on there? A few. I’ve been out on dates with two of them. But that’s only two guys who got to meet me in over two months.
1. The layout is ugly.
2. The layout doesn’t encourage men to give any useful information. There are fewer prompts than we have on OKC; only the most basic questions for compatibility (do you smoke? do you want children?).
3. The site doesn’t seem interested in actually matching me with anyone at all. Even with only the basic information, it keeps showing me men that I would not be compatible with–men who “definitely” want children, etc. It also keeps showing me people I’ve seen already–sometimes whom I’ve talked with before–just so it can keep claiming it has all these matches for me.
4. There seem to be fewer men on this site who are willing to narrow the net, especially politically. 98% of the guys I see say they’re “middle of the road” politically. In this political season, I’m not even sure what that means. When I do check in with guys, they aren’t actually in the middle. Just yesterday I asked a “middle of the road” guy if he was socially conservative–he expressed interest in dating me although his profile states that his ideal match is Christian. He admitted to being a conservative and became quickly convinced that we wouldn’t be a fit once I told him I’m committed to equality, to universal healthcare access, and to being pro-choice.
It may be that women on this site also say they’re in the middle–one man who contacted me expressed surprise that I admitted to being a liberal on Match.
5. There’s an option in their questions to say, “I’ll tell you later.” I would just prefer that the guy not answer it at all. When you say, “I’ll tell you later,” it seems like your answer is going to be awful.
I want to know now if you’re married.
I want to know now if you want more children.
I want to know now if you already have children. (C’mon–if you say “I’ll tell you later,” then YOU HAVE CHILDREN.)
Many men also say they’ll tell me what their religion is later. I always assume they belong to the Muslim faith or that they’re atheists like me. I know that there’s a cultural bias against these two groups, but why would you want to date someone who holds that bias?
6. Match guys love cliches in their profiles. As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, match gives guys lines they can use–and they do. So their writing tends to look the same, which makes them all boring. The guys are all carefree and want no drama. They all seem to have this idea about us, since I keep seeing it: “Looking good in a little black dress is a plus, but so is looking good in a comfortable pair of jeans.” They mostly want us to go camping and hiking.
7. More guys on Match than on other sites I’ve used have a problem with older women. (Though it’s common on all sites). By older women, they mean women who are their age or older. In other words, it’s extremely common for a 40 year old man to be looking for women between 22 and 38.
8. I’m really tired of guys calling themselves “single dads,” and guys on Match love that term. I’m a single mother, which means I provide the financial and emotional support for my child. I do the housework and the work work. I do not get to hand off these responsibilities for even a few days a week.
Thus, when guys say, “I’m a single dad. I have my kids every other weekend,” I want to punch them.
Guys, if you are a divorced father and/or a co-parent, then say that. Save “single parent” for those of us who have to (had to, in my case) hire a babysitter every time we want to go to a dinner date.
9. Finally, I’m ready to be done with Match because it’s sexist.
When Match shows you a profile, they say three things on the right side of the page–they try to make this about three things you have in common. You both do yoga, etc.
However, check these actual statements out:
• You both fancy felines.
• Like you, he’s not a smoker.
• He has a graduate degree.
Oh, he does? That’s funny. SO DO I!
Match, since your whole point is that you “match” us, then why not tell me we have this in common?
And don’t say it this way:
• Like you, he’s not a smoker.
• Pretty impressive – he has a Ph.D.
• You’re both fine wine connoisseurs.
Wow–that is impressive. I can’t even begin to imagine how smart, talented, and hardworking he is.
Oh, wait. I can imagine that.
I’ve asked several men what they see when they look at my profile. Not surprisingly, Match doesn’t highlight my academic accomplishments.
I know that my PhD is off-putting for a lot of people. I can even understand why Match doesn’t want to highlight it–more guys will respond to me–I’ll have more hope that the site is working.
However, they should tweak the algorithm so the double standard isn’t so clear.
Match, I hate to break it to you, but we’re not a good one.
A few days ago, a man on Match contacted me. His profile and our brief conversation made it clear he was looking for someone who was into the great outdoors and doing all the body intensive stuff in it (whereas my favorite way to be outdoors is either finding the perfect spot to listen to the waves or watching the sun through leaves from a hammock pov).
I answered a question about ComicCon, but then said this: I don’t think we’d be a good fit. My back problems don’t allow for lots of hiking and other outdoor activities. I hope you find what you’re looking for, though!
The man sent me many more messages; he wanted to know what I did for a living, how long I’d been in Davis, etc.
I resorted to this: So I don’t know if you saw my message yesterday, in which I addressed a concern about our being a good fit. I’m not an outdoors person.
Him: Thanks for the email. I should pay attention to details. […]
Of course, I am definitely a snob about this kind of stuff. I prefer guys who read and write clearly.
On the other hand, maybe it’s not so much that I’m a snob. Maybe it’s that I don’t want my recreation time to be spent reading unintelligible things or having my comments ignored–I get enough of that at work.
It’s probably both.
That said, I give you two of the most difficult messages to parse that I’ve ever received. A 56 year old man messaged me. He was looking for women 30-40, so I asked him why.
Him: well their total abilities is still active an not as hard two get along with I notices that older women have went through a change of life that don’t let the be as nominal as a woman 30 to 40 why you ask an do my answer make a little since to you?
Me: I’m not sure what the word “nominal” means in that sentence.
It’s just a little strange for someone who’s so close to my mom’s age to think that my age is almost too much.
Him: well I been a fun an happy guy all my life so I thank an fell 10 years younger than I guess I’m suppose two that what most people tell me an the reason I never been married I was tough two put my carrier in life first an then the rest I came from a good family of poor people an they didn’t wont me two come up the way they did now I’m proud of they way they tough me if you understand that I’m saying.
*A 45 year old in Rancho Cordova: I just wanted to say hi
A 22 year old in Iowa: So this is going to be a very random thing to ask but I feel, for myself, this is a great way of expression oneself. So I ask if you mind me sending you a link to some music?
A 22 year old in Fairfield with a blank profile (except for one picture of the lower half of his face): Hii
A 32 year old in Modesto, who lists God as his most important thing, wants children, is homophobic, and thinks “evolution has no place in schools”: I have a naughty secret cutie!
A 36 year old in Rocklin (who’s a smoker and who wants kids and who only wrote this on his profile: like to go to gym having fun): Hello there I like to meet with you let’s talk
A 34 year old in Santa Clara (three hours away; has a mostly blank profile): Are you open for a relationship with an Indian born male in US?
*I’m also not answering because I can’t parse his profile easily. Take this sentence: “I enjoy cooking, like plants I work out and take care of myself.“
Over the last two days, I’ve gotten several “hi” emails from a very suspicious person. His picture is obviously fake (a google image search confirms it), and that fake picture is all the information he gives, except that he’s supposedly 31 and lives in Sac.
I asked him to stop constantly messaging me, explaining that I prefer to talk to real people.
He said he didn’t fill out his profile “coz I don’t lie.”
I then pointed out that his picture was a lie.
He said it wasn’t.
I said “google image search” and asked if his side business was modeling.
Him: Okay I am not lol in . Relax and breathe. I hope u don’t have control issues and super type A personality. As I said and please read in the lines and stop assuming things no my side business is not modeling it’s I. T. And 2ndly I haven’t dated online I didn’t wanted to put everything out there.m not that person but I m not some ugly fat ass short serial killer either . All I can say is u won’t disappointed at all.and I respect ur privacy too.u have put ur pics I didn’t ask for it and trust me pictures don’t tell u all .so herr we go as I said earlier I didn’t wana lie.what I said is true
I told him I didn’t want to continue the conversation, suggested he read Modern Romance for tips about better profiles, and wished him well: “I also hope that you find the right woman for you. May tomorrow be better than today.”
Him: Lol u r fucking insane
No wonder u r single [. . .]
U wrote alot I m gona say one thing breathe new relax and don’t be controlling
Don’t text me no more.u r getting on my nerves .I can’t stand people like u .
On Wednesday, I took up 50 essays. Yesterday, I led the all day scoring of the Upper Division Comp Exam. I scored 137 from the pile.
Naturally, I would like my personal life to provide an escape from the irritation caused by lack of reading comprehension.
Online dating is not providing me with such an escape.
Two examples from the past two days.
My Match profile says (among other things–NONE of which mention anything about the outdoors, sports, etc.): I don’t want to live with someone or to be married (I’m happy to explain why), but I am looking for a partner and for commitment with that person. My partner will be my lover and one of my best friends. We’ll be there for each other. We’ll be the first one the other wants to talk to when something funny happens, when there’s important news, when that coworker does whatever it is that needs a little ranting about, etc. We’ll spend several nights a week together, but we’ll have alone time and friend time too. My partner will be that person I’ll want to go to a show with when I score great tickets, and he’ll be that person I’ll want to learn to dance with someday. Wanna dance?
Man 1 (aged 25): I would love to dance , but I can’t dance that well. Will you teach how ?
Guess he didn’t understand what it means that I want to learn. This 25 year old also “definitely” wants kids, while my profile says definitely “no.”
Man 2 (aged 55): I must say it seems we share many common interests and values. There is something about you that intregues me.. Do you ski or enjoy tahoe 🙂 have you been up lately? I love anything outdoors. I am supportive, loyal, fun, intertaining and loving. I want to share all that with someone very special. Im a degreed professional and a USCG licensed and ordained captain. I own a house and i am seeking a wife that wants fun and lots of hugs. Its a great new year ! Lets make it one to remember;)
His degree, by the way, is an AA. There is nothing wrong with an AA, of course, but it just seems so weird to try to impress a PhD with it. Oh well, maybe he didn’t read the part that mentioned my degrees.
Um, I have to do this, right?
From OKC (the company):
“Thanks for being a loyal and active member of the OkCupid community! We wish everyone could be such an upstanding citizen, but like any user-driven website, OkCupid attracts its share of trolls, scammers, and people who just don’t follow directions well. To help minimize this element, we’d like to invite you to moderate the many reports of misbehavior that we receive daily.
“Moderating can be fun, but it’s not for the faint of heart. If you’ve never seen a rated-R movie in your life, you may want to sit this battle out. Otherwise, accept our gratitude for embarking on a journey into the dark recesses of online dating!”
After some discussion on line, a guy* asked for a date, suggesting the next Sunday afternoon.
Me: How about 4 p.m. at Barista Brew Cafe in Davis?
[He didn’t answer, until the day after the date was supposed to happen.]
Him: Hey Gorgeous, I def would like us to meet. I find you very classy and sensual lady. think we will enjoy each-others company. Cant wait to meet you.
Me: What happened on Sunday? I was really surprised that you left me hanging.
Him: sorry, it was a busy day for me. request, can we meet somewhere in Sacramento? what’s up with you ladies of match living anywhere, but Sacramento? I look forward to seeing you Lovely.
Me: Is me living in Davis a problem for you long-term? Would we always have to meet in Sac?
[At this point, I’m worried he may not have a car.]
Him: oh no, distance it’s not a problem at all Lovely. It was just me. I got asked to go to Granite Bay for coffee the other day. Thought to myself, it got to be a charming lady in Sacramento..only looking for one 😉 ? I am eager to meet you. Hope to see you soon.
[Oh, you have a car, but I’m not worth the 20 minutes in it.]
[& then, later]: Cafe some day ?
Me: We can maybe set something up. I have to admit that I’m less excited than I was. It bothered me when you asked me to do something Sun afternoon but then didn’t even write to tell me you were too busy. And then in the next messages, you basically complained that the women you’re meeting don’t live in your city, which I thought was a bit tacky, and also not very empathetic, since none of the people I talk to are in my city either.
[6 days go by]
Him: when are you coming to Sacramento?
Me: At this point, I’m not coming to Sacramento.
*Readers may remember another guy insulting my intelligence after I told him we weren’t a good fit, since he expressed a desire for children. I had to send the guy described in this post a similar message, but rather than being offended, he said he was open to children but not set on them, thus paving the way for things to wrong for other reasons. 🙂
I’m listening to an amazing story on This American Life about an awful troll who ended up apologizing to the woman he actively tried to hurt for years. Over and over again, the woman explains that trolls and their insults, rape threats, and death threats are “just a part of [her] job.”
I’m thinking about two things: the few times I’ve been trolled and the awful way in which society expects women in the public sphere to accept trolling as inevitable.
Naturally, I’m also thinking about how many times this week I’ve thought about taking myself off of dating sites, just giving up, due to the rudeness with which some people respond to me (I’ve been accused of being rude too, and I’ve apologized in those cases).
I’m feeling especially pessimistic this week. I’ve had the usual problems, which I’ve written about and will likely continue writing about, but I’ve also had thee particularly bad experiences.
1) My profile very clearly states (in many ways) that I’m looking for something long-term.
However, some guys hope I’m kidding.
One man (without a profile pic, so he’s probably married) recently wrote, “Hello….how are you? Would you be interested in getting together sometime for some consensual fun?”
Isn’t it nice that he doesn’t want to rape me?
I was polite but firm in turning him down, wishing him well in his search.
That’s a little different from this recent question (sent as his very first email):
“How proficient are you at riding a nice cock?”
I had never “reported” anyone before, but I reported him.
He no longer has an account. It’s likely that OKC saw that he did that to a bunch of us and cut him off.
The site has a vested interest in getting rid of those guys. The perpetual problem on dating sites is an imbalance in the male:female ratio. Thus, the site doesn’t want guys scaring off the few women there are.
2) A 30 year old guy contacted me, asking what subjects I teach. I looked at the five questions he’d answered. One said, “Are you looking for someone to have children with?” He answered, “yes.” I responded to his message, telling him what subjects I teach, but noting that we aren’t a good match if he’s looking to have kids. I wished him well.
His immediate response was to say, “I dont understand women!” He then went on to tell me that didn’t pay attention to the questions and said I shouldn’t bring up children in a first email. I told him I always address dealbreakers right away.
Him: At least, you should have asked people what they really think about a particular subject without saying farewell in your first messages!
We went back and forth for a while; eventually, I suggested we end the conversation, since we were just frustrating each other. I was so careful to keep it light and polite, not typing any of the potentially mean things that entered my head.
Me: I think we’re both feeling misunderstood by the other, and I’m sure neither of us wants to upset the other. We should probably cut the conversation short and go enjoy our evenings instead. I’m sure you have something better to do than to have a frustrating conversation with me. 🙂
Him: I just wonder with that level, how you teach something!
Me: Did you really need to insult me right then?
Him: Lmao, i dont need anything, and i dont insult anybody! I just want to learn something because you gave me that impresssion, i dont have any problem to understand you, i just dont like the way you communicate with me! Your mind seems to work quite slowly and it might be hard to digest what i am saying! [. . .] I hope that will really TEACH you that you wont talk about this subject in your first message anymore!
3) A guy with a very blank profile (he had no picture, had answered no questions, and had only written a one sentence description of himself) messaged me, asking if I was real.
I said I was real and suggested he fill out his profile if he wants real messages from real women. He then wrote some weird ramblings about how posting anything was a waste of time and how having a partner should be a “right, not a privilege.”
I indicated that I wasn’t interested in continuing our correspondence, noting that I am uninterested in blank profiles and pointing out that he would not have messaged me if the only info next to my name was “looking for that someone” either.
What followed was a succession of stranger and stranger messages. In some, he put words in quotes or otherwise indicated that he was responding to what I said; however, in each case, I never said anything on the subject (see the “as you say” line below for an example). Maybe the voice in his head said it?
“I live alone and I have no pets. Women, as you say, often tell me I am incapable of falling in love. I am the odd one out, the one who will never conform…or at least show emotions. But that doesn’t mean I don’t understand what is going on.”
“Your smarts is letting you down. And when it comes to expressing your feelings, you Ph.D. is not helping. Thanks for wishing me well. I actually am doing well. No, you are not angry. You are just disoriented. You are talking to a smart guy, for a change. And that’s a first for you, isn’t it? You are not sure you like it.”
Those last two guys are from the same night. They partially explain the funk I’ve been in all week. Being mansplained to is exhausting, but it’s moreso when guys are mansplaining about how stupid they think you are.
Unwilling to allow the insults to go further, I ended up blocking both of them.
Many people, including my therapist, say I need to stop answering people. The very first impression of ick that I get should lead to the delete button. I’m considering it more and more. I feel like I’m in a trap. If I don’t answer, I’m a bitch. If I answer, guys think I can be bullied into a date, or just bullied.
Still, there have been a few guys who actually said thanks after I said no thanks.
Not sure what to do.
Yesterday, I was messaged by a man in the Bay Area. I was surprised by the message, since OKC said we had a 30% enemies factor (OKC calculates things based not only on my answers, but on the answers I say are acceptable for a partner, and on the importance I give such answers). He and I are “enemies” for a variety of reasons–he had several answers that indicated he’s the jealous type (like answering “yes” to “is jealousy healthy in a relationship?”); he said he’s looking for someone to have children with, that “marriage is a necessity when a couple loves each other,” that creation theory should be taught alongside evolution in science classes, etc.
I explained that we weren’t suited for each other. He tried to say that he didn’t actually believe any of those things I had objections to (he wasn’t the only guy with that defense yesterday–one guy said, “oh, the questions aren’t important”). He kept asking for my number, but I think we all know how I feel about offering up my number to some stranger.
I then explained that he is also too far away (he was offering to meet halfway–in Fairfield). (Yesterday was long distance day. This guy, a guy in Pittsburg, CA, a guy in Reno, NV, and a guy in Clearlake, CA all tried to convince me that distance is not a factor [when I get to decide what factors are in my own damn dating life!].)
We’ll pick up the conversation there:
Me: I admire your persistence, but I’m not interested in dating you. I don’t want a long distance boyfriend. I hope you find what you’re looking for!
Him: Good morning Is not long distance relationships You are the first real woman in here I really like that [sic]
Me: My profile is very clear about what I consider long distance–if I’m not willing to do the drive, then I’m not going to date you. . . . I answered your first message because I’m polite, and I answer everyone who leaves an actual message. In that first message, I indicated that I’m not interested in dating you. You’re making me regret my politeness; please take my no for an answer.
Him: Im open to talk about Politeness I have not negative think Ok let’s met in your town this week ? What day is with for you ? [sic]
Me: I have told you in every single message that I’m not interested in dating you. I’ve asked you very politely to take my no. I will not be answering any more messages from you.
Update: 12 days later, he wrote me again: “Good morning beautiful woman How are you today?”
Not sure if he’s hoping I’ve changed my mind or if he doesn’t remember that’s he’s tried and failed with me already.