Message Monday: adjectives

color

I realize that compared to other Message Mondays, this one is pretty harmless. It’s polite and to the point. It contains zero, insults, sexual propositions, or terrifying back woods date scenarios. True, ‘what is your fav color’ is a more appropriate question for a 5th grader texting his first girlfriend on a school night than a 38 year old man messaging a potential date, but in the grand scheme of things, this is not so terrible. Apparently this guy wasn’t satisfied with his first message, though, because he quickly sent me a follow-up:

color2

Again, nothing blatantly insane, but here’s where this became MM-worthy. Ignoring the fact that there’s no mention of my profile whatsoever, so it’s unclear if he even read it. Good sir, would you go up to a woman in a bar and start listing your stats and self proclaimed attributes right off that bat like this? Is that how we’re striking up conversations these days? More importantly, the entire reason you HAVE A PROFILE is so you don’t have to fire off this info. right off the bat. It’s not 1996 and this isn’t an AOL chat room; the internet has evolved past the need to throw A/S/L out there, and thank God for that. I know you’re (allegedly) 38, single, 5’9 1/2 (ahem 5’7 tops) and have no kids, because you put all that info. in your profile. You know what else you put in your profile? The second part of this message, essentially:

selfsum

Here’s the other thing that annoys me (besides ‘I’m honesty’…really?). L and I often lament the many Okc profiles we come across that are filled with useless adjectives. I realize that when writing about yourself it’s damn near impossible not to throw a handful in there, but lots of profiles I read contain pretty much nothing but this one part of speech. The thing is, listing personality descriptors doesn’t actually paint me a picture of who you are, for a couple of reasons. First, more often than not it comes off as self congratulatory and obnoxious. Second, it’s way too easy to exaggerate or lie. If there’s one thing we’ve confirmed on this blog time and again, it’s that the internet is full of liars. It’s frighteningly easy to say whatever you want about yourself, and most of the time I have no way of verifying this info. until we go out. I said most of the time, because if you’ll recall, last year L wrote about an amazing (since discontinued–boo) blog that took down dudes who claimed to be “nice guys” and then immediately contradicted that statement elsewhere. If you’ll also recall, today’s Message Monday claimed to be “open-minded” in his message to me, but his answers to some choice questions beg to differ:

openmindedreally

Source: nbcsnl.tumblr.com

 

shut it down dealbreaker

 

Source: giphy.com

Which brings me to my third issue with adjectives. Even if you genuinely believe you are all of the things you say you are, we may (and probably do) have very different definitions of the words themselves. What you consider “romantic”, I may consider cheesy or even creepy.

What you consider “open-minded”, well, see above. What you consider “easygoing”, I might just consider lazy. Sidenote on this one: if I see one more profile where a guy describes himself as laid back or easygoing, I’m going to flip a table.

table flip

Source: tableflipgifs.tumblr.com

I would estimate that 7 out of 10 single men on Okcupid use one or both of these adjectives in their profile, and I actually think that may be a low-ball number. News flash, single straight men of Okcupid: there is no way you are all actually “laid back” and “easygoing”. Do you possibly mean that you’re “lazy as shit”? Because that’s more believable. But easygoing in that pleasant, amiable, positive way that you clearly mean? Nope. Not buying it. Basically, if you’re using either of those adjectives to describe yourself, you’d better be this guy:

dude

Source: mmashare.com.2112112.net

Here’s a good rule of thumb for profile and message writing, guys (and single people in general): use the same advice that your 7th grade English teachers (presumably) gave you.

showdonttell

Give me something, doesn’t have to be a novel but something, to help me learn some actual information about you. If you have a full time job and are in grad school working towards an advanced degree, that shows me that you’re ambitious. If you babysit your niece and nephew and take them on fun day trips, that shows me that you’re caring and trustworthy. If you share a self deprecating anecdote about yourself, that shows me that you’re down to earth. Also, bonus: it actually gives us things to talk about! Because currently what I have to go off of is “likes movies and traveling” (who doesn’t?) and “claims to be trustworthy” (who doesn’t?).

Anyway, stepping off that soapbox and back to the subject at hand, my “open-minded” Message Monday victim. Here are some more gems from his profile for your viewing pleasure:

positive

Again with the adjectives (and grammatical gaffes). Stay focused on what? Maintaining the least informative Okcupid profile of all time? If so, A+, sir.

positivity

Getting a littttttle redundant up in here. Also, I’m choosing not to comment on “chivalry” in the interest of keeping this post short, but ugh.

sixthings

Welp, better add “the inability to count or follow directions” to the list. That’s three things, you fool. Also, inquiring minds want to know, do you consider yourself to be a positive or negative person? I’m not sure, since you haven’t mentioned it.

Nerd-Rage

Source: katecornellonline.com

 

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Almost 30: The YOLO approach to dating

Well hello again readers! It’s certainly been awhile. I’d like to tell you that’s because I’m successfully married by now, due to following the advice we dispense on this blog, but that would be untrue and I cannot tell a lie. (Like this guy. And George Washington). However, the reason for my absence is pretty delightful; I just got back from a whirlwind vacation in the Balkans. I’ll spare you the deets, since, much to my chagrin, S and D were not fans of my request to transform this blog from a dating blog into a “brag about your exotic vacation” blog. And let’s be real: that’s what facebook and instagram are for. So instead, I tip my hat to S and D for keeping the wheels of the blog turning while I jetted around Europe took lots of buses through mountain back roads.

Anyway, vacation gave me a lot of time to reflect on things. 

925419 - EAT PRAY LOVE

Good god. Not like that. No meditating or like, speaking to monks or spiritual nirvana or anything. But I did take some time to think about the way I interact with men and what I’ve learned after a good year and a half of being single. S and I have also been having a number of conversations recently about our “new” approaches to dating. I mean, we’ve been feeling pretty mature ever since we hit 29 and the next birthday on the horizon is the big 30. I think we’re hoping to feel less like GIRLS and a little more like SATC (though it’s usually more like Seinfeld).

Anyway, folks, here are some new things I’m trying this summer. I’d bill it as advice, but since I’ve obviously demonstrated by now that I don’t have, as we say in the business, a “proven track record of success,” I’ll call it experiments from which you are welcome to take or leave your own lessons.

1) Limit the texting. On this blog alone we have amassed a collection of memes and videos about texting, and how it makes us single people miserable as we navigate the dating world. I just googled “texting ruins dating,” and found this spot on article from the Toronto Sun. (BTW, should it make me feel better that texting and dating is an INTERNATIONAL problem? Cause it does. People around the world unite! Free yourselves from the tyranny of ellipses and emoticons!) 

I’ve always felt a lot of pressure to carry on a text message conversation with guys I’ve been on a couple of dates with.

This involves:

  • Obsessively checking my phone/not checking my phone;
  • Getting a Master’s degree in Emoji language (I mean, why say BE COOL when you can send a picture of a cute bee and and ice cube? And let the person on the other end try to figure out if you meant “BE COOL” or “striped ice” or “I am putting ice on my bee sting?”); and
  • Trying to craft witty responses to stupid questions like, “what’s up?” or “how’s your week coming?”

I no longer have time nor the patience for this nonsense. I’m a grown woman with a job and a mortgage rent for godsakes. I’m not saying texting is bad for everyone. It’s just that I’m sick of spending time communicating in a medium I don’t even like. Going forward, I am trying to use texts for two things: Making plans and sending articles/sharing information that is truly funny and relevant to another person. Eventually, I’m gonna try to graduate back to phone calls.

mindy texting

http://www.torontosun.com/2014/04/03/six-ways-texting-is-ruining-dating

I know Mindy, but YOLO. A lady’s gotta try an alternate approach.

2. Go for it. Drive to the basket. Swing for the fences. Run the ball. Kick the hockey puck. Sink the putt. (I mean do I know my sports analogies or DO I KNOW MY SPORTS ANALOGIES? I feel like a got 1-2 of them right.)

The point is, I am not sure where the pressure comes from, but a lot of times I feel like dating is a contest of just trying to care less. Care less if someone calls you again, even if you had a great date. Care less if someone disappears for a week and resumes texting you (DAMN THE TEXTING) like nothing has happened. Care less if someone says they really like you and want you to see again.

And the truth is, that’s so hard for me, because I care so much about everything I do in my life, and usually I show it. I’m a passionate person, with a lot of strong opinions. (I know this might be quite shocking to you readers. Hope you were sitting down). So if I like someone, I’m just gonna tell them I like them.

joey chandler love

http://www.mycandylove.com/forum/t30444,22-ooc-girls-vs-boys-semi.htm

OK, well, ideally, a bit more toned down than that.

In the opposite vein, but same sentiment, if I am confused about a guy’s behavior, I am just gonna call him out rather than watch him slip away unexplained. (Major props to S for inspiring this–please stay tuned for her upcoming post, unofficially titled “YOLO Part II.” The more interesting part. Since she’s already YOLO-ed)  

3. Don’t give away the “cookie” right away. WTF IS THE COOKIE? Bear with me for a sec. I recently read Steve Harvey’s, “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man.” It was recommended to me by a colleague, who wanted my expert perspective, as a trusted voice on love/dating/relationships.*

*Actually she gave it to me after listening to story after story of dating mishaps and said, “I hope this helps.”

Anyway, I am considering doing a full review of that book, but for now I’ll sum up my thoughts in a few short words: SEXIST. PIECE. OF. CRAP. Even the title is heteronormative. It’s full of stupid statements, including a Q and A section at the end where Steve Harvey and his ghostwriting team have dreamed up ludicrous questions that women allegedly submitted to him like, “What should I wear on a date?” and “Is it ok if I don’t like to cook?” (According to Steve Harvey, if you want a boyfriend, ladies, you best learn to cook).  You’re welcome readers. I guess you got a mini review after all.

However, there was one useful nugget I am trying that was loosely inspired by that book: Don’t sleep with a guy ASAP.

Of course, my reasons for trying this are very different from those presented by Mr. Harvey. If you haven’t guessed by now, the “cookie” is the delicate term Steve Harvey uses to describe sex. According to him, men are basically the equivalent of preschool students you might be bribing to sit still for a dentist appointment or something, and the only real power you have over them is a “cookie.” That, or men are cookie monsters.

cookie monster

http://giphy.com/gifs/whNK1SAMSQjwQ

Neither possibility is flattering. And, for the first time in a very long time, I found myself defending men. THEY CANNOT BE THAT SIMPLE AND STUPID.  Right? Male readers, please tell me I’m right.

But something about Steve Harvey’s advice stuck with me, and I have decided to try not to sleep with guys on the first or second date. When I sleep with a guy right away, I often muddle the process of getting to know them. There is a ton of physical intimacy ASAP, and yet, I don’t even know the person’s last name (well I do, because I’m an A+ internet stalker, but not officially).

Plus, as much as I’ve tried to deny it, sleeping with someone does make me more attached to them. And, I’d rather not feel so connected to relative strangers. 

Lastly, I have this hypothesis that the better you know someone, the better sex with them will be. And who doesn’t want to start something on the right foot?

That’s all for now readers. Hopefully you’re crossing your fingers for me and not shaking your heads about all the misguided assumptions I am making. Wish me luck as I unleash my YOLO resolutions on the DMV area and see what happens!