So, for a short period of time, I’ve had a profile on online dating site OK Cupid. I’m not going to write about my experiences except to say that I have been lucky enough to meet some wonderful women. From talking to those women, though, I came to understand that their experience on OK Cupid is very different from that of the average guy—and not in a good way. In fact, their experience can be frustrating, angering, and downright terrifying. I thought I’d write about some of what I’ve learned from them in the hopes of, well, making their experience a little more pleasant and a little less what the fuck.
See, the problem is with us, guys. Not all of us but some of us. Some of us suck. A lot. Now, if you are one of those guys, the guys who suck, this is for you—and for the women you frustrate, anger and terrify (note: if you are convinced that you are not one of those guys, then you almost certainly are one of those guys).
They owe you nothing
First—and this applies to your entire dating life, on and offline—understand, know, and accept that no woman owes you a damn thing. All those women you may want to date? They owe you nothing. Nothing. No. Thing. And that goes times infinity for sex. Accept that—that no woman ever, anywhere, owes you sex for anything—and you’re already ahead of the curve. The only woman who could possibly be defined as owing you sex is a prostitute, and you would’ve paid her (very well, I’d hope), and I would argue that even she doesn’t owe you sex, that if all she did was punch you in the mouth and walk away with your cash you would’ve gotten exactly what you deserve—maybe even more than you deserve since she actually touched you.
But let’s pretend you’re smart enough to assume that none of the women on OK Cupid are prostitutes, this means that they do not and never will owe you sex. In fact, they don’t even owe you a response to one of your messages. Sounds harsh? It isn’t. It’s reality. If there’s one thing online dating has done, it’s finally grant women the indisputable right to act as gatekeepers of themselves. They get to decide how, when or if they will interact with you. No matter how polite, how nice, how charming you think you are, they still owe you nothing. They have all the power. Does it suck to have an entire group of people, a whole freaking gender hold an inordinate amount of power over an important part of your life? Yes it does. Welcome to every damn day in the average woman’s life, mudder fugger. Now quit whining and know that you still have a huge advantage.
See, these women are using an online dating service, which means that, by definition, they are at least somewhat open to going on dates. That takes a huge chunk of uncertainty out of the game. Now, all you have to do is give them a reason to grant you the privilege of a date. How do you do that? Glad you asked.
Don’t turn her off with your photo
I’ve heard from more than one woman that a shirtless profile photo is an immediate deal breaker. In fact, a few women I’ve spoken to have said that they promptly hide any profile that includes a shirtless photo. Understand that the hide button on OK Cupid is a female user’s best friend. They click that thing like it gives them pleasure. Don’t give them a reason to. Put a shirt on. You just lost a bunch of weight and wanna let all the ladies know about it? Congrats. Put a shirt on. You go to the gym six times a week and wanna let all the ladies know about it? Good for you. Put a shirt on. You think your naked manboobs are funny and endearing? They’re horrifying. Put a shirt on.
Just look at these two photos and guess which of the accompanying profiles most women would elect to visit:
The first one? Really? Sorry. I’d put my money on the adult-sized toddler up there. Any day. At least he seems to know how to dress himself in polite company.
Don’t list “lovemaking” or “massages” as something you’re good at
I’m still shocked that I actually have to write about this. Honestly shocked. A woman once showed me one such profile. The dude had listed both massages and lovemaking as two of the things he was good at. I laughed. Then she showed me another one. And another. Then a different woman told me about another. And another. Then I saw one in which the guy had listed lovemaking twice (his list was, like, twenty-eight items long). I wasn’t laughing anymore. Seriously, I don’t even have to deal with that scary shit and it pisses me off.
I know, women all love massages and backrubs and footrubs and all of that, but when you throw it out there it just comes off creepy as, well, a sneak massage. And you’re proud of your lovemaking skills? That’s great. Here’s an idea: show don’t tell. At an appropriate time. After you’ve been given the go ahead. Loud and freaking clear. Okay? Okay.
Just stop creeping her out. You might think listing massages as a skill speaks of your sensitive, nurturing side, but no matter who you are or what you look like, the woman is now picturing this:
Don’t waste her time
This next part will clear up a lot of the confusion among men on OK Cupid. See, as a man, you can expect to get, maybe, one message a day. From what I gather, if you’re getting four or five messages a day, you’re doing very well. Women, though, can expect to get between ten and twenty messages a day. So while for you receiving a message is a special treat, for her it might’ve actually become a chore. This is especially true when you consider that many of the messages she receives will be creepy, rude, or pictures of dicks. I wish I were kidding. I really, really wish I were kidding.
Now the above is good and bad. It’s good because, with only a modicum of effort, you can come off better than the douchebags and penis-peddlers who’ve contacted her on any given day. So just by not being creepy or batshit insane, you’ve beaten out maybe as much as a third of those men who’ve sent her a message. It’s bad because, even if we were to knock off a third of her messages, that’s still upwards of a dozen messages.
It’s not to say that the competition will end you, it’s just that you might be message eleven of twelve (not counting the creeps), and she was sick of this shit after four. So when your turn does come around, do you really want to waste it with something like “Hi, how are you?” She’s just sifted through two requests for pictures of her feet, three descriptions of violent sexual acts, and one close-up jpeg of human testicles, do you really want an honest answer to that question? No you don’t.
If she doesn’t answer your message, don’t write again. Move on. Maybe she’ll reply later, once she’s gotten over all the scrotums, or maybe she’s just not interested. Too bad. You have no say in it and, nope, she owes you no explanation or reason. But maybe you were boring.
Next to being creepy and/or offensive (they often go hand-in-hand), the worst possible thing you can do is be boring. How do you avoid being boring? I can’t answer that. But avoiding boring questions is usually a safe bet. You could try referring in some way to her profile, after actually reading it, which leads us to . . .
Read her profile
Just read it. Pay attention, then use it as a means to not be boring. Studies have shown that women who participated in a conversation with a man who asked several questions about her later rated the man as more charming and interesting, even though he may have not said a single thing about himself, meaning the women knew nothing about him . . . except that he came off charming and interesting. Reading her profile is the equivalent to asking questions about her and—here’s the truly important part—being genuinely interested in her answers.
Don’t challenge her
Challenging a woman on the skills she listed is not cute or funny. She doesn’t know you and you don’t know her, so if she listed “hockey goal tending” as something she’s good at, don’t send her a message saying she couldn’t handle your slap shot. You might think it comes off roguish and charming, but to her you’re just another chauvinist.
Again, always assume that every one of these women receives at least a dozen messages a day, and further assume that a sad portion of those are offensive. So yes, these women are on the defensive. Understandably and legitimately so. They aren’t necessarily looking for a reason to ignore you, but they’ll take whatever reason you give them. So don’t give them any. If your message contains even a hint of douchebaggery, you’re done. It’s not cruelty or arrogance on their part, it’s just plain self-preservation. When you go out on a date, you fear rejection. When she goes out on a date, she fears physical violence. So what you might see as harmless teasing, she sees as a red flag.
And, hell, why wouldn’t she write you off for that? She’ll have twelve more messages in her inbox within twenty-four hours, and maybe one, just one will be respectful of and interested in her stated abilities.
Use proper spelling, punctuation and grammar
I can hear you already: “Aw, man, women get away with bad writing all the time!” Yup, that’s true. I can attest to that. Want that to stop? Fine. Do not message or respond to any women who don’t use proper spelling and grammar. Even the hot ones. Now, get all the other men on OK Cupid to follow your lead. Impossible? Well, the ladies have managed to organize in just that fashion, so tough testies for you. Deal with it. Show yourself, her, and the English language respect and you’ll not only come off as a higher class of man, you’ll attract a higher class of women.
Stop, stop, stop whining about the “Friend Zone”
You’re such a nice, sweet, caring guy but no matter how much you listen to women, do kind things for them, and otherwise allow them to walk all over you, they still end up with the bad boy, the better looking guy, the richer guy. Women are all just shallow and don’t actually know what they want. If only one of them would give you a chance, but they just keep shoving you into the Friend Zone. Right? Aw, yeah, I feel you, dude, I’ve been there . . . In high school. Then a funny thing happened: I grew the living blue fuck up. I suggest you do the same.
Here’s what happened. I stopped thinking of it as being placed into the Friend Zone, stopped calling it the Friend Zone altogether, and realized that, holy shit, I just made a new friend. And—bonus!—this new friend is a woman. Do you really feel you have too many friends? How about female friends? Got too many of those? Yeah? You’re a dick, because you clearly don’t appreciate whatever friends you have (and, I agree, you do have too many friends, ’cause you don’t deserve them).
Guys complain about the Friend Zone for two reasons and two reasons only. They didn’t have the guts to make a move when they should have and let the opportunity pass them by, but can’t accept it so they blame the woman for unfairly “downgrading” them to friend; and they didn’t learn that very first point I made, that no woman owes him a goddamn thing, and especially not sex. When you complain about being relegated to the Friend Zone, you’re really just complaining that, despite all the nice things you did for her, this woman isn’t jumping gratefully into your bed. And that’s bullshit—and gross.
You know what she’s done for you in return for all those nice—i.e. friendly—things you did for her? She’s accepted to be your friend. Do you know how freaking wonderful a female friend can be to a straight single guy? All those questions I can’t answer? They can. All this information I’ve had to give you? They could’ve told you all of this, if you’d only asked. A good female friend will be glad to look over your profile before you make it live. She might even look over a message you were planning to send. She’ll give you advice no guy ever could. That’s freaking gold. That’s the terrible, horrible Friend Zone.
Cherish the Friend Zone, and articles like this one will become completely useless to you.