Online dating usernames: The bad, the good, and the average

Hey readers!  L here and ready to bring you the scoop from the internet dating websites. Never fear readers. I may be one year older as of a few days ago, but I’m as immature and judgmental as ever. Which is why I’d like to use our time today to judge fellow online daters on one thing: their usernames.

The minute you join any online dating site, the first thing you have to do is create a username. Why not just use your real name and email, you ask?

doh

http://giphy.com/gifs/8WdsK61D9YOOc

Because you don’t want all those creeps out there to immediately google/facebook/email you. Plus, while we at StuCu obviously believe an online dating profile is nothing to be ashamed of (even though my mom keeps referring to internet dating as “paying for sex”), we also don’t want to openly advertise our first and last names to all the folks in the area, who are potential clients, colleagues, friends of friends, etc.

So, enter the USERNAME. Where, depending on the guidelines of the site, you have 5-20 characters to convey your identity in a smart, witty, way that won’t scare people or give away your identity.

THE BAD

Now, you’d think this would be pretty easy to do. However, for some people, this is very challenging. Here are a few examples *changed slightly to protect identities* of the worst ones I’ve found yet.

JamesNeedhamIII- So you know how I just said it’s really dumb to use your first and last name? Some people do it anyway. And to those people I say, “I hope you are not going on a job interview any time soon.” 

Notlookingforsluts- Oh hello, nice guy of Okcupid! Thank  god you made it clear in your username that you aren’t looking for a slut, because I was just about to message you and offer you my body. Word to the wise, and also to you: hold off on using derogatory terms to refer to women till at least the second date.

Stinkypants-The only person who could possibly get away with this is a baby. And while babies are cute (SO.CUTE.)  they should NOT be online dating.

Now, S and I have discussed the possibility that some “bad” usernames may be intended for comedic purposes. This post was the original brainchild of a spontaneous gchat about bad usernames:

gchat offensive user names

Thanks S, for being the voice of reason and drawing that conversation to a close. As I learn all too regularly, there is a fine line between being funny and just plain scary. And one (me, obvs) should avoid that line when it comes to dating.

THE GOOD

Every once in awhile, I’ll stumble across a username that makes me outright LOL, or, become so impressed/intrigued I actually message the guy!

ZackMorrisCellPhone/DavidSilver/SayAnything- Nothing makes me weak in the knees like a casual reference to late 80s/early 90s pop culture. Nothing. I usually get so excited I’ll message something CRAY like, “Meet me at the Max in 1 hour?” or, “You were the best DJ Donna ever dated!” or, “Diane Court here.”  

so excited sbb

http://giphy.com/gifs/dLyfT21xFdwpG

BagelMeetBagel- Surprise, surprise. This one came from a Jewish guy. (See Dad, I don’t hate them all!) I like it because 1) It’s a clever play on a name for another internet dating service and 2) It’s a little joke about Judaism, which you know I appreciate.

Herecomesyourman-One of my favorite Pixies songs transformed into a username. Just go ahead and hold a boom box up to my window, why dontcha?

Key takeaways here:

  • Humor is good.
  • LLoyd Dobler is greatness rolled into one single man.
  • Pop culture references are good, for the most part, provided they don’t reference recent murder cases.
  • And when in doubt, make a little healthy fun of my religion, and I’ll be eating out of the palm of your hand.

THE AVERAGE

The truth is, readers, most usernames are just very, well, average. And, honestly, average is probably a safe, smart place to stay before you’ve met someone.

A visit or message from Mark3456 or jbt78 or Cardinalsfan may not catch my eye as quickly as I_shot_the_Sheriff_forreal. But that’s ok. Because honestly, what people say in their messages, and their profiles, is way more important than their username.

And sadly, easier to screw up. We’ve already done a post or two on profiles and messages, but rest assured, readers! There is enough material here to run a daily tumbler for eternity. In fact, you can find one of my favorite message tumblrs here. This should keep y’all busy for awhile.

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How about we….cancel our subscription to HowAboutWe

Earlier this year, when we were still relative online dating newbies, L told me about a new site that she’d just heard of. “It’s like Okcupid,” she explained, “except everyone suggests an idea for a first date.”

Color me intrigued! I remember thinking the concept of men having to provide a date idea up front was not only incredibly attractive, but also borderline genius. I’d do pretty much anything to avoid receiving one or all of the following texts from my date prior to meeting him:

“So what do you want to do?”

“Got any ideas about where we should go?”

“I don’t know the city that well, so I’ll leave the planning to you.”*

*(This one infuriates me. Do you also not have the internet? Have you never heard of Yelp? Are you not in fact texting me from an iPhone 5, but from a Zack Morris monstrosity circa ’91?)

zack morris phone

The thing is, I am not looking for some over the top first date featuring like, a hot air balloon ride (real talk, that idea was legitimately suggested by D, of movie theater yelling fame. He’s a rare date planning gem, that one. We never went, but I kind of secretly still want to. If it ever happens I’ll be sure to share with the class.) Drinks at a chill bar are fine. with. me. It’s not rocket science, gentlemen.

I realize we co-bloggers complain about the inability of men to plan dates pretty much every week, but my job involves a significant amount of event planning, plus I’ve been in a number of weddings this year. Like L, I am a bossy oldest child, so in many cases the logistics of making plans naturally fall to me. This is fine, and most of the time I prefer it that way (again, bossy older child). But I also absolutely love when someone else takes the reigns for a bit. Love.

Between my excitement over dudes doing the planning and my excitement over cutting down on senseless messaging before meeting in person, I was sold. I signed up for HowAboutWe (which I will henceforth refer to as HAW), since it was “free to try”.

air quote rdj

“Free to try” is the favorite term of most online dating sites, with the exception of Okc (the cheap single 20-something’s dream). Basically, you sign up for the site and quickly discover that in order to do pretty much anything besides creep on the home page, you need to fork over actual money. And yet, even with your low level security clearance that gives you access to little more than their blog (responsible for groundbreaking journalism such as this) the site proceeds to bombard you with 1,500 daily emails about your “matches” (who you aren’t allowed to contact until you provide them with your credit card card number).

Here’s a sample of what’s been hitting my inbox at least once a day since I signed up:

how about we

Okay. As you can see, those are three fairly normal, innocuous date suggestions. Totally vague, yes, but they basically make sense.

More often than not though, there’s at least one dude in the mix who has managed to miss the site’s concept completely:

how about we hello  how about we options how about we doggi how about we yup

Sure, I’ve seen some decent answers:

how about we good

Simple. Specific. Involving alcohol. Not bad.

But for every date idea I’ve come across that’s half decent, there are countless that fall into either of the following categories:

1. Uncomfortable/creepy

how about we webcam

(Actually worried for the welfare of that child in the picture. Are you okay, kid?)

2. Nonsensical/Insane

how about we insane  how about we mayo

Due to the underwhelming nature of these prospects, combined with my proclivity to be distrustful of dating sites that cost money following The Great Match.com Debacle of 2013, I decided not to spring for the paid membership to HAW. I feel good about my decision, or at least I did until I stumbled upon one dude’s answer while doing research for this post:

how about we gin blossoms

Be still my heart. I’ve loved the Gin Blossoms (unironically) since preteen S first heard Hey Jealousy on Y100 all those years ago. (True story: senior year of high school, a friend and I made the wise decision to memorize the lyrics instead of study for our AP Calculus final. How did that work out for us? FANFUCKINGTASTICALLY. We’re both successful adults, and we both know every word to one of the sweetest 90s jams of all time).

What I’m saying is, I get this person. And I’d totally date this person. The question is, would I fork over a membership to this seemingly shitty dating site just to message him? The cheapo in me says hell no, although a Gin Blossoms themed wedding would be pretty epic. All that long flowing hair and loose fitting button downs, just in time for fall…

What do you think, dear readers? Has anyone out there tried HAW for real? Am I missing out?