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“If you think you can hold my attention” – Message me

So, since I started online dating, I have noticed that apparently a lot of women think that the best way to get a guy’s attention is to portray herself as “hard to catch”. I can’t really tell you how many times I’ve read variations of the line that became the title of this post. In fact, I read it so often tonight that it simply became the common sense title of what my thoughts were about!

Consider this “You should message me if” section I pulled at random (spelling is as it was in the profile):

“you’re able to hold a conversation that won’t bore me to tears..have a little bad ass in you. I’m not in to the whole boy scout thing sorry its a total turn off..are emotionally stable.. sounds like an odd thing to bring up but I’m new here and noticed a lot of mentally fucked people already lol…oh and if I don’t reply don’t start talking shit..remember we are strangers and I owe you nothing 🙂 and most importantly if you can deal with a sort of mouthy opinionated very strong willed chick..who at the same time is kind thoughtful loyal to a fault basically down right awesome lol”

Where to begin?

First, it says the reader is responsible to fulfill the profile owner’s expectations of “interesting” (even though there is NO way the reader could know that before hand from just a profile read). That’s a huge red flag for misplaced expectations that one partner is expected to keep the other partner entertained. Like a monkey… or a trained dog.

Second, it challenges the reader to “not be a boy scout” and “have a little bad ass in [them]”. Now, I’m not sure what the technical specs for a boy scout are nor what this woman thinks is bad ass, but she follows it up with “emotionally stable” so I’m guessing that whole “I’m looking for a bad boy” thing hasn’t worked too well so far.

Third, (and this I agree with), she establishes that she doesn’t owe anyone an answer. Though, I think her manner of talking is a bit of a turn-off. But that leads us to point four.

Fourth, (and she defines this as “most importantly”) she informs the reader that she is a “mouthy, opinionated, strong willed chick.” Now, I don’t know ANY man who says they want a “weak woman”. I’ve never heard of any man looking for that. But… I’ve heard a LOT of men say they don’t need the drama, hassle, and frustration of a mouthy, stubborn, jerk of a woman.

Now, I know she probably don’t see herself in those negative terms, but how she described herself gives that impression to a “T”.

The only man attracted to that type of description.. would be the exact kind she doesn’t want. The bad boy she likes.. who is actually a really bad person!

Ladies, from one guy (who happens to think of himself as nice with plenty of edge and a lot of maturity and stability) to you, don’t describe yourself this way. It sends all the wrong signals. It’s like the profiles that say they want a respectful, honest relationship based on who they are, not how they look… but all the pictures are seductive lingerie poses. Some things speak louder than others. Pictures speak louder about who you are and what type of person you are than nicely worded paragraphs. And certain key words and styles speak louder in terms you may not want them to be speaking.

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You have too many Bibles on your shelf! (for me to date you)

DISCLAIMER: This post isn’t meant to be complaining. It’s merely some musings and reflecting on past events I’ve experienced. Everything happens for a reason.

Now, most people who know me, know that I have books… lots and lots of books. Several bookshelfs of varying size adorn my living room… and they’re filled with all manner of reading material. There is a lot of fiction (probably about 50%) and there is a lot of nonfiction. In the non-fiction categories are books ranging from textbooks to self-help, do-it-yourself guides (for all sorts of topics) to many, many books on psychology, behavioral understanding, leadership, sales & marketing, and military history. And… yes… Bibles. And books about the Bible. And books about other religious texts and … the religious texts themselves. Because my bookshelves are a glimpse (incomplete, but informative) into the process of maturation for my thoughts and beliefs.

But none of those other books seem to gather as much attention as my Bibles.

I have always found that curious.

I have big Bibles.. and small Bibles (my daughter loves my small ones… she carts two or three of them around the house because they are “her size”… though she can’t read a darn thing in them). I have blue leather bound.. and maroon leather bound.. and brown leather bound… and hard back… and soft cover… All total I think I have around 5 or six Bibles.

Why so many? They tend to be given or collected over the years. And some are quite a bit more worn than others from use. Then again, some of my other books have seen similar use.

So when people come to my bookshelves… they don’t notice the classics or the poetry collection books (or several limerick collection books 😛 ) … no, they comment on the Bibles.

For those wondering.. yes, the title of this post was a direct quote from a woman I met and had several dates with who waited in my living room as I got ready to go out for an evening. It was to be our last date together and the quote was the reason she gave me at the close of the date for not being interested in proceeding further.

Few that I have met through online dating have taken the time to ask about my beliefs (religious or political) and I suppose that’s not surprising. But many have asked “Are you religious?” and it’s clear there will be a penalty if the answer is somehow “more” than they want to deal with.

It’s vogue to identify oneself as “spiritual” but not “religious” if one even admits to any beliefs at all. I think I see more “agnostics” or “atheists” than any other types on profiles.

It’s tough to feel that although you’re otherwise exactly what many women claim they want.. a stable, smart, established guy with maturity, character, understanding, and kindness… but none of that matters if your beliefs (or interests) are too “mismatched” (which.. means very different things to many people). I’m sure it works in reverse, in fact it must for many people.

It’s true that people need to find compatibility.. to “match up” in many areas at least to some degree. I’m convinced of that. But I’m curious to hear what you, dear readers, feel are the points that people need to match.. and how would you define a good match.

Leave comments below 🙂

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The burden of eternal optimism (in online dating)

I recently messaged a woman whom I had briefly conversed with some months ago and who had, apparently, taken a break in the meantime. The earlier conversation I felt was going well after several exchanges (she lived close, openly declared to have similar values and even religious affiliations which we discussed), and then she just… disappeared. That isn’t so unusual really. I’ve learned that people can disappear at any stage in this online dance. So I chalked it up life and moved on.

Now she showed up again. So I sent a short note of hello and she came back pretty quick with a message saying she had taken a break and was back.. though now working two jobs in addition to school. Busy! And.. she asked me how I was finding OKC…

Now, anyone who knows me well knows I’m very prone to giving honest answers to straight questions. It’s not always what people want to hear (and yes, trust me… I’m perceptive enough to often divine what someone is wanting to hear). And if you’ve read my blog or talked to me much… you know that the issue of “busy” … as in “too busy to be dating” is one I think of a lot. Both for myself and how it affects my interaction with others. So I told her very honestly that I have talked to a few, but hadn’t really met very many, and I felt the overarching reason was … time. Or, the lack thereof.

It’s been a few days and I’m still waiting for a reply. I know she’s read it (guess that reveals I paid for OKC, yah? Heh) so… I’m not holding out much hope for a second go around. She’s a catch… beautiful, smart, going places… there honestly could be any number of reasons why she might not want to continue talk to me.

But the thing that has weighed on my mind since I wrote her that response… and indeed has crept into my thoughts many times over the past year… is what hidden cost is there to being less than “perfectly happy” when we tell a prospective new person “how we are”? Surely, we are drawn to the confident, successful, happy people. Psychology confirms that. But all of life isn’t mountain tops… we all have valleys… concerns… disappointments… bad days. And… in the online world.. we choose whether to reveal.. or conceal.. those to others.

It’s tough to carry burdens.

It’s especially tough to carry burdens alone.

For those of us who are single and don’t have a good, close social support circle of friends and family (ahem… just moved here..) sometimes a listening ear is … worth more than gold. And… after all, in a relationship… don’t we WANT to hear what our partners are dealing with? To help carry their burdens as they, in turn, carry ours? I would hope so.

Again, I don’t know the reason for the non-response in this particular interaction. So dear mystery woman, if you read this, please don’t think I’m complaining. But this made me pause to think of how I treat others and am I giving them a few extra minutes of my time and concern if I hear of their less than stellar experiences? Do I consider them worthy of my empathy and concern… even if I am not leaning toward considering them in dating?

For me, dating has been a hugely reflective experience for me. Which… is good. I think we can all use that from time to time.

So from me to you, dear reader, a little bit of food for thought. And a prayer and hopes for more uplifting days than down in this journey we call “online dating”.

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*Poof* – The great disappearing act…. (Goodbyes, Part two)

Hello again dear reader, welcome back. Yes, yes I know… we’re still talking about that sad subject of the premature goodbyes… but this one I’m sure EVERYONE has experienced (and possibly done… )

So you’re talking to Mr./Ms. Gorgeous and … maybe you even get one date (or two) and even a little snog? A kiss? More?

Then the next day.. or two or three days… things are good till… you send that message or make that phone call.. and nothing.

No response.

Well, maybe they were busy. And you don’t want to be a suffocating crush soooo…

You wait a little bit and try again!

And still… nothing.

At this point, those of us who have been around a bit tend to drop it and let it go. But some will try one. more. time… “Hey, was it me? What did I do wrong?”

And if you haven’t asked it… you surely have wanted to.

This is always a big question mark… what causes someone to disappear?

Now, dear reader, in honesty… I’ve been the disappearing person. Oh yes, throw your tomatoes now. Go ahead. *splat* Yuck… ok, I probably deserved that.

But the truth is, it can happen for any number of reasons. Perhaps you get busy… work calls. Or you get deluged by first conversations starting up. Or family business comes up. Or… maybe you just don’t know how to easily and nicely wrap it up.

For me, the key when a person disappears is to remember that it’s never personal. They likely don’t mean to hurt my feelings and are probably feeling just as awkward about it as I am seeing it. Or perhaps it was unintended and they now feel too awkward to break the silence. Whatever it is, have grace about it, and move on with your search. It just wasn’t meant to be.

How do you deal with the “disappearing” act? Have you been to the one who disappears? Share your thoughts and comments!

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You’re really nice and we really get along great, but… (Goodbyes, part one)

I’ve been meaning to write about this topic for quite a while now. I suppose since it happened recently it’s been moved to the forefront of my thinking again, for better or for worse.

One of the great benefits of “online dating” is the sheer vastness of the amount of “potentials” there are for us to enjoy and peruse and convince ourselves that somewhere, someone “out there” is a perfect match… for us. It’s the promise that dating sites make… whether implied (OK Cupid – cupid has a site and he’s waiting to match you up!) or explicit (Christian Mingle – Find God’s match for you!). Each of the sites tries a little different approach to help the hopeful love-seeker on their quest to find someone who is not only interesting.. but interested! In them… that is. Take Match.com for example. What started as essentially an online “classifieds” concept has grown into one of the largest dating sites on the internet. Or eHarmony. com where it’s matching system is backed by an actual research lab of data focusing solely on the dynamics of internet relationships and dating! ChristianMingle.com claims to help those with specific religious beliefs find like-minded potential partners as do other population-specific sites like SingleParentMeet.com or OurTime.com (for senior daters). Or perhaps you just want something casual? Ayi.com (AYI = Are you interested?) is a site with an easy “I like you and you like me” profile matching system…. kind of like Tinder (a “dating” app… really more of a social connection app)… but with more information up front.

So what happens when you finally meet that really, really interesting someone?! Fast forward past the first few messages (and the nervous waiting for replies and hoping they don’t just poof – disappear… I’ll write about that later), and even the first one, two, or maybe even THREE in-person meets! YOU… find them ____________ (fascinating / beautiful / intriguing / awesome) and totally want it to continue. And maybe there was one or two things that popped up… a religious comment, or a political statement, or just a conversation that went a little awkward, but it wasn’t bad.. and .. then, you get this message (by text or email likely):

“Hey ______ (your name here), I just wanted to let you know that ________ (insert either generic or specific compliment here),  and I think we get along great, but (whoa… but… BUT?!?! And here is when you know it’s going downhill fast) I just don’t think we’re a good fit. I wish you all the best in your search (or some other equally “nice” but still final closing statement).”

And that’s it.

It’s done.

Over.

You want to ask… no .. SCREAM..”Why?!?”

But you don’t want to appear desperate.. or .. geez.. FEEL desperate (even if you do .. in fact… sometimes.. feel desperate.. for validation if not just some company). And so you swallow the lump and, if you can muster it, you write back something like:

“Hey _______ (their name here), I totally respect that. I wish you all the best too.”

And with that… that cool, interesting, charming, beautiful person… disappears from your life forever.

Perhaps their face still appears in your messages or “recent contacts” (though you don’t dare visit their profile again for fear of appearing stalkerish). And… it hurts.

Can I be just a little honest here?

I know, I know.. I’m a guy… guys are tough. Guys are supposed to be used to rejection (hell, we get it.. A LOT… even those of us who feel social, have a sense of humor, and people seem to like our smile). And … by the time we get to this stage of life, the realistic fact that out of the HUNDREDS of profiles we view, and perhaps the dozens of people we talk to.. and the handfuls of people we meet and get to know a bit more deeply… the overwhelming majority will still… must STILL… end with us going our separate ways.

That’s the breaks of online dating. And anyone engaging in it for very long realizes it. If they continue to use the services.. it’s essentially agreeing to the terms (not set by a website… but set by human interactional dynamics).

But it still hurts when it happens.

And … that’s ok. It’s ok to admit it.

Dating means we interact with people. Real people, with real feelings. And it’s helpful.. no.. needful.. to keep that in mind. There are few things more painful in life than another person who callously tramples our feelings and emotions as if they didn’t exist… or they didn’t care if they existed. And we should (hopefully) strive to be better than that in our own interactions.

The Golden Rule… is still Golden.

And if we’re honest.. it’s hard to do. We often don’t think in terms of how we’re treating others because we’re busying thinking of how we want to be treated.

So, this… to be very honest, though it is painful, this is one way I keep myself grounded in this online dating experience. I validate the pain I feel and I don’t deny that I feel it when it happens. And I try to keep from bringing someone else into that type of situation that might be painful for them.

Dear reader, how do you deal with the premature ending of a connection you hoped would continue? Leave your thoughts or comments. All are welcome.

 

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Guest Post Series

Guest Post: An open call for contributing writers

When I started this blog, I had a vision of it being more than just my own experiences. I wanted to offer the readers a myriad of views and experiences of people who are taking this relationship quest in online dating. Already a few of my closer friends have eagerly responded and offered their thoughts and for that I am extremely grateful.

So here’s an open call to any interested writer – Please feel free to submit an article for publication to Blupin123@gmail.com. Please include a name (or screenname) and any attribution you’d like. I’ll gladly publish it as long as it isn’t patently offensive in terms of language or tone. Feel free to share your experiences, thoughts, concerns, frustrations, hopes, dreams, or advice. It’s all welcome. And… thank you in advance.

Sincerely,

Blupin

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Guest Post Series

Guest Post: What is Normal?

For our second guest post, I’d like to welcome Tanya all the way from chilly Vancouver Island in Canada. Thoughts and ideas are her own, of course, but response is always welcomed.


The interesting thing about online dating is that there is no other medium in which we can so clearly spell out not only details we wish to share about ourselves but exactly what we are looking for in a potential partner.  Look at any dating site and you will find a cornucopia of diversity; men and women of various ages, stages, and walks of life all looking for different things in a mate. Here you must wade through the ½ page of adjectives listed to see if you qualify as a suitable prospect for that particular person (and yes “ ½ page” is an exaggeration but only moderately so).  It’s exhausting to constantly read through must-haves and please-don’ts to try to decipher if you measure up.  And you think there must be an easier way.

And then one day you see it:  a man’s profile without a mile-long list of qualifiers.  There is only one.  Just one rule.  Just one request.  Just one quality.  “Looking for a girl who’s…normal.”  And you think “Eureka!” (because really there just aren’t enough eureka-worthy moments in life) I am a normal girl! I look normal. I act normal. You know, other than a few minor quirks and peccadilloes I am a perfectly normal woman! (the use of words like ‘peccadilloes’ and a penchant for parenthetical asides notwithstanding)

This euphoric state is short-lived, however, when you begin to see more and more men’s profiles requesting the same: normal. Just looking for someone who’s normal. And some are quite adamant: Don’t message me if you’re not normal. Even in conversation with single male friends of mine I have heard the lamentation about the seemingly impossible quest of finding normal. I’m curious about the behaviour of the women these men have dated that was so left-of-centre as to cause the men to seek out normalcy. But of course this begs the question: what is normal?  The answer will be infinite and varied. Does it mean healthy and aesthetically acceptable? Someone without any baggage? Who doesn’t thrive on drama? Who is vegan and only wears natural fibre clothing?

The fact is normal is a fluid concept; a point on a continuum. Any given person will have their normal at any point on that continuum and anything left or right of it will be unacceptable.  But that also means that the continuum contains many points of normal. So the search for normal isn’t quite as cut and dried as we’d like to think. Normal comes in many shapes, sizes, sounds and smells. What is your normal?

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Guest Post: The Great Expectations… of online dating.

I have had the pleasure of making some good friends over the past year or so, and some them have their own blogs or are excellent writers and I have invited them to guest blog here. So without further ado, I would like to welcome Stephanie from http://unfoldinglovely.wordpress.com/.  Thoughts and ideas are her own of course and response is welcomed.


I’m coming clean. Putting it out for the whole social media world to know… I did the online dating “thing” in the last year. There it is. I subscribed for 6 months on Christian Mingle and reupped for another 6 months, but only chose to stick around for about a month of that before saying goodbye to all of it.

I’ll be honest… I’m a novice, naïve, no idea what I’m doing kinda dater. To say that I was “wet behind the ears” would be a complete understatement of my experience. And I went in with A LOT of expectations. Not only on the site to find my “perfect match” but on men to be who I thought and expected them to be.

Now, in fairness, I’m a woman writing from my own experiences and things that I’ve been able to witness and glean during my time in the online dating world.

Let’s tackle the first expectation… Holding the website accountable to finding my forever man. Really? Did I honestly, truly do that? I did. My guess is if you’ve tried the whole online dating thing too… you might have fallen into the mindset as well at least in the beginning. But, alas, it doesn’t work that way. In reality, it isn’t all that different that meeting men, say in a room full of only men. One may be the guy or maybe not. There are ZERO guarantees that me or you will find our forever online. Or in real life. Maybe not even on the moon. It just might not happen. Or it might. Who really knows? It takes TWO people, loving God (in my case since I’m a believer), and a willingness to spend a lifetime serving another person. Pretty simple. Right? Right. No. Not simple. Not even a little simple.

The second set of expectations was a little more difficult to weed through. Thankfully, I had really good marriages to witness in my life and some not so great ones. I feel like I really learned a lot in my singleness and I am grateful for this season! On one hand, I really knew what I wanted a marriage to look like, but when I was faced with the reality of it all… I had no idea what it would look like for ME.

In order to make it easier, I’ll break it down into smaller bits and expound on those things that I’ve learned. Again, to be fair, I’m sure that many men experienced many of these same things, but since I’m a woman, I’m using the gender pronoun that fits MY situation. I will be the last person to claim “all men this” or “all woman that” because we are just all too different.

Godliness – even on a Christian dating site, not everyone who claims to be Christian is Christian. Der. I learned about scammers, liars, and cheaters while navigating my first couple of weeks on the site. I *expected* that all men there were godly. Aside from the fakers, there are different “levels??” of spiritual maturity. I saw many woman slight men who were good, solid Christian men, but maybe they haven’t been believers “long enough” or on the first meet the man didn’t pray over the coffee and danish or maybe he only went to church sometimes.

Get a grip, women! First, if a man loves Jesus and is chasing after Him with his whole heart… I don’t care if he’s been a believer for 1 year or 111 years. We can’t measure someone’s ability to love well based on the length of their walk with Christ. Can we? I can’t. Secondly, it isn’t easy for everyone to pray in front of other people, especially not when we’ve only just met. It doesn’t mean the man isn’t a godly leader. It means he didn’t pray over the coffee. Who prays over their coffee anyway? I can’t pretend to know what it’s like to be a man or an introvert. I am a woman who was born and bred to chat, bond, love, and create relationships with other people. I LOVE going to church and being in community with other people. Hell, I like going to Walmart and being in community with other people. I LOVE PEOPLE. Not everyone has that same ability to bond with others or to interact freely with groups of people or new people. Shouldn’t we be after a man who loves to serve? He might do it in a church, he might do it in a soup kitchen, he might do it on Friday nights at high school football games. Going to church alone is hard. Really, really hard. Don’t write him off right away because he might not go to church as often as you expect him to. Take a chance. Ask him why. Try to understand his heart. There is so much lying under the surface that we don’t even care to find out about a man before we just cast him into the reject pile. You know, kinda like we don’t want them to do to us…

Looks – let’s just face it (haha.. get it? Face it??… eh, anyway), looks matter. They do. Two people have to have SOME level of attraction to each other. BUT, in my experience, I found myself quite smitten with someone who didn’t meet some of my looks “criteria” initially. But his mind and his heart won me over and soon, I saw him more and more attractive with every passing day until he was pretty much one of the finest things I ever laid my eyes on. If someone has a kind heart and one that is attractive to you, take some time, you just might find that you’re more physically attracted than you thought. And as far as the criteria is concerned, relax a little.. so what if he’s an inch shorter or a year older that you like… is it really that big a deal in the big scheme of things?

Understand that seeing someone in 3D will always be a little shocking initially. It’s like a flat photo just popped open! It’s a little bit weird and more so if you’ve been talking on the phone a lot or emailing a lot… we’ve created you in our heads and now you’re alive. It’s weird.

And everyone, men and women, full body shot photos are a must. No excuses.

The Great Pursuit Debate – In the Christian community, it’s become very *normal* for a woman to say, “I just want some to pursue me,” or “I want him to email me first so that I know he’s in pursuit of my heart.” Ugh. It almost makes me wanna gag? Why? Well, let’s go back to the being in a room full of men scenario… if I were in a room full of men and one or two or, let’s get crazy, and say five men caught my attention. I wouldn’t just stand there like a pillar in hopes that one might speak to me. I might actually have to say hi first. Or smile across the room. Or somehow let him know that it’s okay and it’s safe to move forward. In the online dating world, it might mean reading a profile I like and sending him and email. And, as a woman, I DO want to be pursued, but sheesh… I want the man I like to know that he’s also worth pursuing. With men being the pursuer ALL THE TIME, it means that he will bear the brunt of rejection ALL THE TIME. It also means that he is going to become very gun shy, very quickly. I get it… we want men to take the lead in a possible marriage, well some of us do…but sending an email doesn’t mean that he’s given up his man card and suddenly you’re ruling the whole relationship. It means you let him know you want to be pursued. It’s okay, ladies!

And men, I feel your pain. But please, once a woman takes that step, show her the same courtesy that you’d like to see shown to you. A gentle “no thank you” or a “heck yea!!” is good. And once you know it’s safe, please show some intentional interest in getting to know her. We all, men and women, want to know that our company is desired, or that we’re being sought after, or that someone is thinking about us. All of us want that.

Finally, say what you mean and mean what you say – The number of profiles I read during my online dating period is staggering. In the end, a good percentage of them were rubbish. Either the man wasn’t really ready to date, didn’t want to commit, didn’t have the time for a relationship, said one thing in the profile, but lived out something else entirely. Some people are very gifted with words. My heart is wooed by words. Just because a person writes something doesn’t make it so.

Ladies, if we say something about wanting honesty, communication, leadership, etc… and then when a man shows that – we freak out – it comes off as really confusing. If he’s moving too fast or too slow, talk to him. Tell him. We want communication ourselves, but when we run into issues, we run to our friends to talk about it. We should be talking to him. Maybe he doesn’t understand what you want or need. We can’t beg communication from them, but then stow away all of our thoughts that we should be communicating back.

Also, ladies and men, we’re on a dating site, we assume it means you want to find a relationship. Don’t get mad when we want one and you don’t. I mean, isn’t that what we’re all there for? I get it, go slow. Build a friendship. Blah blah blah. In the end, we are looking for a relationship with someone; we aren’t there to make friends. If a friendship happens, great. But please know that isn’t why we’re paying for a subscription to an online dating site.

Men, when you say that you look at a woman’s heart, and you want someone genuine, and someone who is going to love you… please don’t write her off if she’s not your exact picture of beauty. Mean what you say and say what you mean. I honestly had one man see me and leave. Truly. It really leaves a scar when women (speaking from my own experience) have to live up to a physical standard that is impossible.

That’s all I got. I mean, not really, but I’m already nearing 2,000 words for a guest post, I should probably call it quits for now.

If you’re an online dater, I hope that this has been helpful, but if you’re not, I hope I didn’t scare you away. It’s not easy dating, whether it’s in 3D or online. It’s all a little bit hard to navigate. To me, I love the idea of love and the hope in love being mine one day. Bring it on, cupid!

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“I told her I was a Pitbull” and other confessions of a Shih Tzu

Have you ever started a conversation with someone online and then found out that some things they said in their profile (like.. oh.. height… or weight) were just… false?

Now, deception can happen in many ways, some intentional and some not. I’ll cover the topic of what to share and when in another post. But in this one, I just want to focus on saying (or showing) one thing when the reality is different.

Some people choose 5 year old pictures because they “look just the same” (even though they’ve not gained 15-35 lbs.. or more). Some fudge their height by a few inches… because… it’s what’s on the inside that counts, right?

And, that’s true. It IS what is on the inside that counts. And dishonesty is not an outward physical characteristic… but an inward trait. And that’s the problem. Sure, we all have things about us that we know may not be positively received by those we want to be well-received by. We wish we were taller, more toned, had better jobs, and maybe even liked different music. But it is what it is. And if a person becomes attracted to a fictitious “us”.. then the reality is that they didn’t become attracted to us at all.

Truth… and honesty… is one of those things that are absolutely needed in a relationship of any sort… family, friends, significant others. So if you’d rather not have your audience judge you on an aspect, then save it for later. Not a big sports fan in a place where it seems like everyone IS? Then leave out sports entirely. Talk about what excites YOU! But don’t lie and act like you know or enjoy something you don’t. As they say, the truth will out. Oh, and height? Yeah, they’ll find out eventually as soon as you meet. Not the best time to discover the other person was untruthful.

Leaving topics for later discussion is ok. Inventing a story is not OK. And pictures… please make them current.

Gauging someone’s integrity starts from the moment you first encounter them.. and in online dating.. that’s when you read their profile the first time.

What are some examples you’ve encountered along your dating experiences that left you wondering about that other person’s honesty before things had really even started?

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Eww don’t be a pervert! But check out all my sexy pics….

There is something I’ve noticed … routinely… on many female profiles. Almost every profile I’ve read for a female includes some disclaimer saying something to the effect of – “Don’t message me for sex” or “I deserve to be treated with respect” or “Don’t be crude in your message” or “I’m not out for a hookup”, etc. You get the idea.

Oh, but then I stop over the pictures the lady provides for herself. Now, as a preface, we should note that in online dating, the person must individually choose each picture that will be publicly displayed on their profile. So that means for each picture shown, the same person who wrote the words of the profile.. also chose the pictures to go along with it.

So there should be no conflict, right? We’d naturally assume that the pictures would echo the same theme as the profile wording?

Oh, but that would be too simple. In the pictures we’ll find bathing suit pictures, clubbing pictures, raunchy selfies, even specifically sexually suggestive pictures (with captions in case we guys couldn’t fill in the blanks well enough ourselves)… all from a person claiming to want “Respect” and “Not to be contacted for hookups”.

I suppose this will catch some ire from the crowd that believes people should be able to dress and act any way they want and still be entitled to demand treatment they want.

For that crowd, I have one corollary example I’d like them to consider. I used to work as an HR Manager conducting interviews. Having also been a job searcher before, I know the lesson that, when going for an interview, “Dress like you want the job”. Sure, I had the FREEDOM to dress any way I wanted… I could go like a thug, or a hood rat, or even like I just got done working on the lawn. Would I get the job? Not likely… no matter how polished my skillset might be. In fact, based simply on how I was dressed, I would be treated a certain way. Now that I work in sales, I can relate first hand that I choose my clothes when meeting with clients SPECIFICALLY to build a desired relational environment. If I want it to be formal, I choose a suit. Relaxed and casual.. I opt for slacks and a polo or button-down with half-rolled sleeves. Simply put, while I have the freedom to wear whatever clothes I want (I could wear shorts and a t-shirt to meet with clients if I wanted…) I have NO RIGHT to demand that they accept me in a manner that is positive and conducive to what I want regardless of how I present myself. They own the right to their own opinion just as I own the right to my presentation. And if I want their favorable opinion, then I must take responsibility for my presentation in order to earn… yes… earn.. their favorable opinion. In business, we know this. We teach it and you can find any number of books on these principles in your local bookstore.

So back to dating (online or not). Why do people who clearly understand and exercise these principles in business relationships seem to throw it out the window for their online dating profile? These are not stupid people. If the rest of their profile is to be believed, they are educated professionals with often multiple degrees and professions ranging from teachers to high-powered executives of business. So why do they say one thing… and showcase sex through their pictures? And then complain when the people who respond… well… they respond to the message they receive. And the message is likely not the one of value and respect that the person hoped.

I’m a guy… I’m honest, I love sexy pictures. And I do evaluate potential matches based on physical attractiveness. But I look for people who in conflict with themselves. Often, it means there are other issues at play (They protest against drama? Likely they ARE the drama they hate). Just some thoughts to consider when constructing one’s profile. In online dating, we are all marketers… and our products are… us. So how are you presenting you?

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