Dating: one of the worst experiences in a woman's life. We all do it, and those of us who lean toward the hetero side of the sexuality spectrum find ourselves trying to meet eligible men, which is one of most frustrating and futile quests a person can undertake. It's sort of like panning for gold or searching for that one sock that went missing at the laundromat two weeks ago. Sure, you might find it, but more likely than not you're wasting valuable time that would be better spent eating pizza rolls, watching Netflix, and preparing to adopt the 900 cats that will keep you company in your old age. Now that we all live on the Internet, it makes sense that dating websites are the new singles bars: Ok Cupid, Plenty of Fish, Coffee Meets Bagel, Bumble, FetLife, Tinder, etc. It's a wild world, and luckily for you all, I've taken one for the team and identified the nine most common troglodytes you'll bump into should you choose this method of interviewing potential boyfriend material. Enjoy the ride. And pour a glass of wine for your girl. I need one after talking to all these shitty dudes. Here they are in no particular order:
The guy who wants to be friends
“I’m just looking for friends, and you’re very pretty.”
“Please, give me a chance. I want to be friends first.”
“Why won’t you be my friend?”
It’s awful when someone is pushy about going on a date or having sex, but it’s downright bizarre to have someone pester the dickens out of you because they want you for a “friend.” Make no mistake, these guys want a lot more than friendship, but they have somehow internalized the idea that a woman will be more receptive to dating if it occurs under the guise of platonic interaction. We're all familiar with the "Nice Guy" phenomenon, so I won't delve into that here (plus, that always seems so much more covert). For some reason, there’s a huge number of foreign men who seem to think that the word “friend” means “sex partner.” Plenty of Americans use this tactic too, but it’s a disproportionate number of men from other countries speaking English as a second language who use “friend” as a magic incantation to convince a woman to give him the time of day. Frankly, I blame our movies and other narrative media. The hero-gets-the-girl trope is older than Methuselah's shit, not to mention the fact that the plot of almost every rom-com in existence is "Boy likes girl, girl doesn't notice boy, boy buddies up to her and shows her that all the other boys are unworthy, boy gets girl." If you're learning about American culture and relying on our media to help you figure out how to approach American women, you'll think we're all childlike simpletons that need male kindness forcefully shoved down our throats in order to make cognizant relationship decisions. That by no means lets these men off the hook, but I do feel some measure of sympathy. Unfortunately, thanks to Bill Cosby, the word “friend” is now pretty fucking terrifying when uttered by someone who’s trying to get into your pants. No thank you!
The guy who doubts your authenticity.
“You seem too cool to be real.”
“Are you as cool as you pretend to be?”
“I want see if you’re as cool as your profile suggests.”
Okay, what’s with that challenging tone? Is this another form of negging? I don’t have to prove myself to you, stranger. If you think I’m cool, cool. Let’s hang out. If you don’t think I’m cool, just move on. If you think I’m cool but you’re too cool to tell me so, you’re trying too hard, and that is most decidedly uncool. It’s truly weird how many guys come at me with this “think you’re so smart and tough, huh?” attitude. I’m just a woman minding her own business. Presumably these guys want to go out with me. What do they think is going to happen when they challenge my authenticity? Why would I meet someone who is openly skeptical of my personality? Like, “Oh shit, this rando from the Internet doubts my coolness! I better go out with him to make sure he believes I really do like David Lynch movies!” Sorry, but that will never happen. What will happen is I will delete your message and never think about it again, unless I’m writing a blog post about how lame it is. I am not so insecure that I feel the need to prove myself to strange men who spend upwards of 12 hours a day sitting in front of their Xboxes.
Also, I’m not even going to go into what exactly they mean by “cool.” I’m assuming they mean the stuff I like (the coolness of which is definitely open to debate).
It’s really anybody’s guess. If they mean I’m aloof and nihilistic, and really, really into leather jackets, then they’re 100% correct. Somehow, I don’t think that’s what they mean.
The guy who strikes out and then strikes back…months later
“Hey whore, did you ever meet anyone on here?”
“It must suck to have such low self-esteem.”
“Too bad you’re such a cunt, we could have had something.”
Okay, so most women are pretty familiar with negging and the particular kind of rage that men exhibit when they’ve been rejected (ByeFelipe), but there’s also delayed rage, and that really boils my noodles. There have been dozens of hopeful suitors who sent me a couple of messages, failed to interest me, disappeared for a few months, and then reappeared with a random insult out of the blue. Most of the time, I don’t even remember the original conversation. I just recognize that it’s someone I’ve spoken to before, and the tone of the message reeks of the hurtest butt that has ever been hurt. They also tend to roll in around 2 AM, and as we all know, 2 AM is that dreaded time of night when the slings and arrows we dodge in daily life plague us most. This is the scariest kind of message. I’m having a hard time making jokes about it, because a hostile stranger obsessing over you is really damn unnerving. I don’t think I need to point out that women are stalked, raped, and murdered by disgruntled men all the time; or that exchanging just a couple of messages with a woman on social media is one of the lowest tiers of social interaction. I mean, I could kind of understand if we’d gone on a few dates and built some level of rapport. It would still be a dick move to send me a nasty message months later, but it wouldn’t be a psychotic dick move. Maybe these dudes are just bored. Maybe they’re trolls. Maybe they’re completely unfit for society. Who knows? That’s just one of the games of roulette you play when you sign up to a dating site!
The guy with a kid
“My daughter is my life.”
“I have a wonderful son who always comes first.”
“Nothing means more to me than my children, NOTHING.”
Now, maybe I don’t get it because I’m not a parent, but it seems to me that there are a whole lot of single fathers out there who think any potential date is scheming to become an evil stepmother who leads their children to a gingerbread house in a haunted forest. Some of these overprotective fathers go so far in describing their devotion to their brood that it sounds like they’re actively trying to dissuade women from contacting them. Like “I’ve already procreated! You are all useless to me! There is only so much love and affection in my heart, and my offspring are already receiving every bit of it! Don’t even try it, she-devil. Just don’t even try to get me to care about you!” Jesus, why are you attempting to meet someone then? Go shove your swizzle stick into a glory hole and remove the human element of sexuality entirely. Yeah, the person on the other side of the wall probably has a Tom Selleck mustache, and you might not be jazzed about that, but at least they won’t get any ideas about stealing attention from your precious kid. The tragedy of this guy is that responsible single dads are totally sexy. They’ve proven that they can unselfishly provide for another human being and they wield the ever-coveted dad bod. There’s a lot going for them. Why do so many shoot themselves in the foot by jealously guarding the bonds they have with their kids? This isn’t even about protecting them from potential predators; it’s about sending the message that no other relationship could possibly mean as much to them. Sorry dude, but that sounds like a big fat waste of my time and energy.
The guy who posts gross body shots and no face pics
Listen, I might be crazy, but for me, the face is the part of the body most likely to attract me. I know, I know. You think six inches is a crazy big wang that every potential girlfriend needs to see right away, but you might be surprised to learn that the face is actually a greater tool of seduction than your mediocre physique. FetLife in particular is notorious for this. People on FetLife are reluctant to post photos of their faces, and that’s something I totally get. What I don’t get is why those same people have no qualms whatsoever about taking high res photos of their naughty bits against a background of dirty sheets. Does that make it harder for someone to identify you? Yes. Does that make it easier for someone to be utterly disgusted by your nudity? Also yes. I’m not trying to body-shame anybody here, because lord knows I’m no supermodel, but unless you are truly an Adonis, you should leave your clothes on until someone wants to rip them off. Bad skin, back hair, man boobs, uneven limbs, stretch marks, weird teeth, and unimpressive genitals are perfectly acceptable… in context. If I’m looking at a whole person, and I’m already attracted to that person, then their so-called flaws don’t bother me at all. If I have to see those flaws outside the context of attraction, I take gulp of whiskey to chase the images out of my brain. You don’t want to lead with that information is what I'm saying. You want to lead with your best features. Your beautiful blue eyes? Your lustrous hair? Your sparkling personality? Your sharp wit? Your ability to mix pancake batter while driving down the freeway at 90 miles an hour steering the car with your knees? Hell, anything but your giblets! Even if you do have an objectively great body, bodies are still too generic-looking to elicit much of a response. I’ve received about a hundred messages from guys with the same basic build and skin tone, and their pictures are the exact same naked mirror selfie with the head cut off. It literally looks as though one man is contacting me through different profiles.
The guy who wants to date a literal dog
“I swiped right for your dog”
“My dog is cooler than you”
“I probably won’t like you as much as I like my/your dog”
Similar to those single dads who loudly proclaim that their kid is more important than any woman he might date is the guy who claims the same of his dog. This particular weirdo is most commonly found on Tinder. Whether I run into this a lot because I live in a city of people obsessed with dogs or there are just a lot of dudes secretly in love with their canine companions is a mystery. It’s truly ridiculous how many men think that dog > you is an equation that will lead to romance. I see this all the time. About one in twenty profiles I come across makes some mention of how rad dogs are and how not-rad I probably am. While I’m tempted to file this under negging too, most of the time it sounds like a completely misguided attempt to be funny and charming, and a sneaky way to convey empathy. Like these guys want you to think “Oh, look how much he loves dogs! What a sweet person he must be! So much better than those robotic, unfeeling, sociopathic cat owners!” I’m sorry to inform you, that is not what we think. Implying that we have to compete with an animal for your affection is a creepy, assholish thing to do. What I actually think when I see this is “Oh, he wants to fuck a dog. That’s too bad.”
Listen, I have a dog. His name is Falkor and he helps me fight The Nothing. He is my best friend. He sleeps next to me every night, and occasionally I think that sharing my bed with him is better than sharing it with a human man (there is less farting and drooling, for instance, and I never wake up with a giant boner pressed against my butt), but I would never give the impression that my dog is a stand-in for my boyfriend, even as a joke. At best, that would come across as bitchy (heh, see what I did there?), and at worst I’d seem like a woman with a really unhealthy attachment to her pets. And hey, I get it: you’re a sensitive guy who cares about animals. You and your furry buddy are thick as thieves. I relate! But like…aren’t you trying to find a romantic connection on this here Internet? Tinder exists for two reasons: finding dates and finding hookups. If either of those scenarios involves you wondering if your dog couldn’t better fill the void than the woman you matched with, you do not belong on Tinder. You do not even belong on FetLife. You belong on zoophilia boards that I’m not brave enough to check out even for the sake of writing something funny.
If you swiped right for my dog, I will never, ever allow you to meet him. Creep.
The guy who insists you come to his neighborhood
“I’m in the Southeast part of the city. Let’s check out a place near there.”
"Let's grab a drink at ____. That's where I hang out."
"Sorry, but I don't know what's near you."
I live in medium-sized city of half a million people. It’s about 15 miles wide and there’s a big ol’ river bisecting it. Navigating it isn't a huge hassle, but you’d think so by trying to date dudes from the Internet. Nobody wants to go outside their comfort zones. In fact, the last time a guy suggested going on a date equidistant to both our ’hoods I ended up seeing him for four months. That's how rare it is, and that’s how much it impressed me that he was willing to put forth the tiniest bit of effort to meet me. Tinder is a wasteland. You have a kiss a lot of frogs before you find a prince/princess, and it makes sense to invest as little as possible in a date with a frog. I mean, the slime? The fly-eating? Gross! Traveling four to ten miles for that is madness. Why stray more than a few blocks away from your apartment? Because, numb-nuts, it’s rude as fuck to insist somebody drive or bus all the way across town just to slurp some overpriced espresso with you, especially when they’re probably going to be as disappointed as you are. Have you ever considered the possibility that you're the frog? The stakes are exactly as high for your date, so why do you expect her to inconvenience herself while you kick back like an entitled prick? Just as you don’t want to waste precious time and effort pursuing a dead-end, neither do I. You want me join you for Sunday brunch at a pretentious hipster cafe downtown? Okay, answer me this: After spending 20 minutes in the car, will there be an affordable place for me to park? Oh, you don’t know because you live within walking distance and you’re completely unconcerned with things that don't affect you? Congratulations, you’re a fucking douche canoe. I’d feel differently if these invitations included a caveat like “Hey, I know this is a bit of a trek for you, but there’s a great place in my neighborhood I’d love to show you. If you don’t mind the commute, I think you’d really dig it.” Man, if you said that to me, I’d run every red light and stop sign between here and there to reach your sexy, considerate ass as soon as possible. And if you pick up the check too? Top form, my good man, top form. Too bad the vast majority of online Romeos are too lazy to perform even the most basic of courtship rituals (or use Google Maps). You suck.
The guy who is desperate for sex
It’s hard to come up with quotes for this one because they’re all over the place. Pick-up lines and icebreaker messages are highly variable. They’re like a rainbow of awkwardness and shame. Desperate guys are annoying for a lot of reasons, but the biggest kicker for me is that they don’t seem to give one single, lonely crap about what I’m looking for. There's nothing wrong with being horny. In fact, I get horny sometimes too. Imagine! When seeking sex partners and significant others, we all have preferences. If you find someone with similar preferences, you might get somewhere. Nothing is more embarrassing than full-fledged adults trying to act sexy and failing. If middle school hadn’t already completely desensitized me to humiliation, FetLife would be a torture chamber of fremdschämen. I mean, it’s bad enough when someone neglects to read my Ok Cupid profile, but when a 60-year-old dom who identifies as a “daddy” messages me to ask me if I like daddies when my profile explicitly states “I am not into daddies,” then my forehead slapping escalates to whiplash-inducing velocity. Because it’s never just a friendly “Hey, are you interested in grabbing some coffee?” type of message. It’s always a sexual proposal laden with as much clit-tingling charm that person can muster. It falls completely flat because I’m de facto uninterested, and that’s never a fun thing to say to someone. And don’t think that more respectable dating sites aren’t fraught with the same idiots. On Ok Cupid, many of my questions are deal-breakers, i.e. I won’t even consider someone who would “strongly prefer” to date someone of their own race, or someone who thinks that global warming is a hoax. You’ve got to have standards, people. One of the most telling signs that a guy is looking to get horizontal with anything that will let him is that he won’t bother to even narrow his search to women who might actually be interested in his dong. He’ll message women who have absolutely nothing in common with him and act like they’re soulmates. Copy and paste is a tool he uses often. If I had a dime for every militantly conservative, confederate flag waving anti-feminist who told me he liked my profile and thought we'd make a good match, I’d have enough money to fund a queer pinko commie revolution of the most glorious magnitude.
The guy who acts innocent and offended when you call him out on his bigotry
“Well, look at you making assumptions!”
“Unlike you, I don’t judge people before getting to know them.”
“You don’t even know me. I’m nothing like that. You're ignorant.”
So, when one of those confederate flag waving anti-feminists makes the dire mistake of messaging me, I always make sure to let him know exactly why I’m rejecting him. I’m hoping that maybe he’ll wise up in the future and actually read someone’s profile before opening a dialogue, or that he’ll suddenly feel so enlightened by my rejection that he’ll swim over to the hot gay interracial party boat of liberalism. Win-win situation, right? Because I don’t take too kindly to people thinking that homosexuality is evil or that it’s okay to call women sluts, I don’t use the most delicate language during these exchanges. Depending on how much of a bigot the person is, I might say something pretty harsh, like, “I’m not interested in gun-loving, God-loving, anti-choice, anti-welfare, homophobic racists who believe that women have an obligation to keep their legs shaved. Learn how to read, you illiterate fuck!” And in almost 100% of cases, the guy in question acts surprised and reprimands me for “making assumptions” about his character and “judging” him without getting to know him first. It’s stupefying. Is there a non-racist reason to vocalize a strong negative bias against a certain race of people? Is it somehow not sexist to say that men should be head of their households or that a woman who’s slept with 100 people is a bad person? Believing that gay people shouldn’t be allowed to marry or have children is just “something you were raised to believe?” Oh, well then! I guess you’re pretty groovy after all. Excuse the fuck out of me for taking it the wrong way. Look dude, I don’t have to make assumptions about the fucked up shit you believe, because you’ve proudly outed yourself. You volunteered that information. It’s all right there on your profile! I didn’t take anything out of context; I simply reiterated things you admitted to. I guess they think that because they couldn’t be bothered to read my profile, I must be similarly lazy/incapable. A few of them are just obviously backpedaling because they want to talk their way out of the horrible first impression they’ve made so they can maybe still bone me. Weirdly, I have more respect for that type of asshole than the asshole who thinks he just doesn’t have to take responsibility for hating people. Like, “How dare you think I’m a bigot just because I told you I was a bigot! Don’t you ever give people the benefit of the doubt? This is why feminists are such terrible people! They’re so judgmental!” Yep. You just keep telling yourself that while you jack off with your Cheeto fingers, Brohaim. I’ll be over here going on real dates with real people. Eventually.