Happy Thursday. It’s George Michael’s birthday. Take a moment to honor it, please.
When you’re done, read this letter about online dating and all of its crappiness.
Q: I’m trying to understand the online dating mentality. I will admit that I have tried a couple of different sites and they all have some good and some bad features. Currently I am on plenty of fish (POF) and eharmony (fyi – I do not recommend eharmony. I have already canceled my subscription) and I’m a little frustrated with the women on these sites. I’m guessing that my frustrations would apply to both sides (men and women) but I only interact with the ladies so I can’t speak to that.
Let me first say that 99% of all the profiles say they are looking for a nice guy who can make them laugh and isn’t looking for a one night stand. My favorite line is “Serial daters need not apply” (no love for poor Captain Crunch). Now, I will not claim to be perfect and I understand that my situation (38, Divorced, 3 kids) isn’t for everyone. So knowing that, I try to limit my contact with women who I feel would accept me and all that comes with me. Also (and I’m not trying to brag but) I am a nice guy, that will make you laugh and I’m not looking for a one night stand.
Having the background I want to understand the mindset of the ladies. I have sent several emails out in the past several months while I have been on POF and my responses have been “Sorry you live too far away” or NOTHING. First off, I know the too far away is typically a nice way to say, not interested. I get it. But for the one or two ladies who have said that and meant it, are you kidding me? Doesn’t “love” have no boundaries? Should it be considered a little flattering if I am reaching out to you despite the fact that I may have to drive an hour to see you (and yes, I would expect that it would be my responsibility, at first, to come to you)? I will say that while it is sort of frustrating to get this response it is better than nothing at all!
Now before I get yelled at by all the ladies, I understand that you are not going to email everyone back. And I would expect if the guy is emailing you inappropriately, then you should just delete it and move on. But I always take the time to read your profile before sending anything and incorporate what you said into my introduction. That way, you can clearly see that I have taken the time to actually read your profile. I didn’t just look at your picture and email. Shouldn’t that kind of effort deserve some sort of response? Yes, it is hard to say “Sorry I don’t feel that spark with you” and it may seem harsh, but sitting there wondering if you are interested and then just assuming your not isn’t any better or less harsh. For you, yes. For me, No.
So ladies, what is the deal? Do you really want a nice guy? How can I let you know that I am? Can a nice guy like myself find someone online? What are you looking for in that initial email that will put me over the top?
-- NiceGuy, Scituate, MA
A: NG, my advice:
Have a close friend look at your profile. For all you know, you’ve spelled something wrong. Maybe it's your photo that is less than flattering. Get a good, honest review of how you’re putting yourself out there.
Know that the online dating world is about what looks good on paper. Don't stop pursuing options in the real world just because you're online. Your personality, your chivalry … these are qualities that are easier to show off in real life. Don’t rule out real-life women as you date in the Matrix.
Online dating is about quantity. There are pages and pages of little faces to choose from, and many people behave as though their options are limited. It’s not very nice, but there’s not much you can do about it. Try to thicken up that skin of yours.
Women (and I don’t speak for all of them, but I think I speak for most) do want a nice guy. They’re not lying when they say they don’t want the Cap'n Crunch nonsense.
All you need is one good one. Just keep trying.
Readers? Are women lying when they say they want a nice guy? Is the kids thing the issue? Think there’s something wrong with his profile? Is it better to reject online than to ignore? Share here. Read yesterday’s chat here.
Also, a while back, I wrote about a very expensive service that teaches men to pick up women. I happen to know that the service is coming back to Boston this weekend. If you happen to see a bunch of guys trying out pick-up lines, they're probably in boot camp. Enjoy the show.