There’s a lot of anger in Internet dating, and I get it to a point — it can be really frustrating when you feel like you’re trying and you still haven’t found your person. But, my dear daters, this should be hard. Finding love isn’t meant to be a walk in the park (finding sex can be, though — that’s why they invented Craigslist). Love and romance are trial and error. And on sites like OkCupid and Match.com, there’s a whole lot of error.
Even though we all get frustrated with online dating, only a few of us respond by lashing out at people in our same boat. Some do it preemptively in their profiles, making rude comments that raise giant red flags. This guy's online dating profile is less a “profile about me” and more a “profile in insanity”:
To all you dumba$$ Guys out there that think they can win back their women, guess what… you can’t. the b!tches love to inflict pain. when was the last time you saw a responsible woman? I mean really. And your grandmother doesn’t count. Since the pill came out women the world round have been causing he11. sexual revolution my a$$. when one man was with one woman and parents were a team was when we actually got sh!t done. We built skyscrapers and monuments and great things why? because every dumba$$ wasn’t trying to chase down every piece of ass walking by and men didn’t waste their time trying to keep the one… guess what ladies you ask for equality and really all you’re doing is lowering yourselves to the level of dogs. sleeping around and lifting your tails like b!tche$ in heat. all you single mothers have no right to complainyour raising your kids by your selves because your standards aren’t realistic. I blame disney. it’s true. there is no prince charming. and stop screaming abuse. social workers were invented during the third reich. yea that’s right. modern social doctrine was first practiced by nazi’s. They were the first to take children to re-education camps. and don’t get me started on women and their poor judgement. when was the last time any girl you knew stayed with a genuinely good guy. what women want is a guy that holds their interest and that means it’s not mister sane and stable. then they complain. i’m sure I have more to say but I have to go to class and teach all your dumba$$ children yea that’s right I’m a teacher and let me tell you duluth, you’re screwing up…..
I’m not sure what I find the most concerning: that he thinks women need to stop reporting abuse and social workers who intercede on behalf of domestic violence victims are Nazis; that he thinks women who have sex are dogs; or that he’s a teacher who uses dollar signs in place of the letter S and doesn’t seem to grasp basic spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
Why are you on an Internet dating site, Mr. He-Man Woman-Hater? Don’t get me wrong, I understand why you are single and will probably be forever alone, posting angry missives on remote corners of Reddit and wondering why even the clerk at the grocery store seems totally creeped out by you. But I don’t understand why in the world you would try to date women if you think that they’re low-class dogs and if you think sex with women is like screwing a pooch.
Not all men make their issues clear in their profiles. Some save their random verbal assaults for the messages they send you. Like this guy, who hates Halloween because as a straight man he just cannot stand it when women wear skimpy clothes in public:
Just…why? Why take the time to send an unsolicited message to a stranger calling them a small-titted uggo, causing them to be rude right back?
The downright rude opening message is sadly not an anomaly, but even more common is the message that escalates into aggression. Of course, it takes two to tango, and I have a no-response rule for anyone I’m not interested in; but there are some folks who send normal enough messages back and are hit with the dick stick. Like this lady, who I imagine replied for funsies and ended up being right that the dude was a total creep:
I like how her two choices are “a straight forward honest man” (sends unsolicited messages to strangers on the Internet asking for sex) or a “fake polite liar” (does not solicit Internet strangers for sex, may even talk to women for reasons other than getting laid in the next six minutes).
One nice thing about online dating is that if someone seems like a jerk, or even if you aren’t particularly attracted to them, you can just ignore ‘em. And one nice thing about writing this column and the attendant website is that I get all kinds of submissions from people who don’t take the easy route, and instead engage crazies. Here, for example:
Now, this message is indeed out of context, and if the submitter in fact responded to a completely benign message by saying, “You are not attractive enough for me,” then that is totally unnecessary and not very nice. But I suspect that instead she said something along the lines of, “Thanks for the message, but you’re not really my type and I don’t think we have much in common.” Not a necessary response, but not one that merits a Level Ten Melt-Down either.
Online daters try to beat back the crazy in a lot of ways. I personally think it’s smart to avoid anyone who sounds hostile or angry or bitter in their dating profile — if that’s what they’re putting out when they’re trying to woo you, just imagine what they’re really like. And once we know a person’s name, a lot of us Google around, either to get intel or to make sure that we aren’t going on a date with Jack the Ripper.
Googling someone before you’ve met them, though, can come across as slightly creepy — so you’ve gotta be a little stealth about it. Don’t friend them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter if you’ve never met, and avoid sites that give away really personal and potentially stalker-worthy details, like where they work or their home address. And if you get caught creeping, apologize.
In other words, don’t be this guy, who left Internet footprints all over a lady’s social media profiles and then acted like a baby when she brought it up:
Yeah, that’d be me - apparently I did look at your linkedin. Like I said, I don’t even remember looking at it - it must have been pretty spectacularly exciting, not.
So… you think I’m stalking you?
I love this assumption that women make that all men are assholes, and the way the assume that they’re so great that they’re worth me even spending 2 minutes googling. It’s sad and hilarious at the same time and says things to me about their level of self-importance and confidence. You got 2 minutes of googling - that means you were interesting enough for me to spend 2 minutes on. That’s not very common, you should be flattered. Instead you go into paranoia-mode. Whatever.
* I can’t remember where LinkedIn said you worked, since I can’t even remember looking at the profile. Like I already said.
* Even if I could remember, why would I care where you work? I was interested in what you do, but I couldn’t care less who you do it for. Hell, I don’t care who *I* work for!
* Security and privacy is one of my things. Tracking down hackers online is part of my what I do. If I was stalking you I would have done it properly and logged out of linkedin before I viewed your profile - you wouldn’t have known about it. And I wouldn’t have bothered with linkedin - I’d very likely have your home address and phone number by now if I had put the slightest effort into any type of stalking. I’ve never stalked anybody, though I have tracked down people who have attacked my servers.
* The thing I love most is the flat-out implication/accusation that I’m a liar. I’m not. If you can manage to take off your “some guy hurt me once, so all men are full of shit” filter-goggles for a couple of minutes, try re-reading my previous message. Yeah. Is your response insulting, much?
Yeah, so, thanks for the vote of confidence in mankind. And don’t worry about having the common decency to respond to my still-outstanding question - common decency is only valued by weirdo stalker guys, apparently, and the invitation is withdrawn now anyway.
Receiving a perfectly normal “Uh…did you track down my real name and place of employment after we exchanged a few messages on Match?” does not merit responding with, “GOD I don’t even CARE about you and by the way I could have tracked down your home address JUST FYI and also I would not even spend TWO MINUTES on you even though I just spent at least 20 writing this message GOODBYE.” Unless you are a slightly psychotic Internet stalker, in which case, maybe you should let it all out. The people who avoid meeting you will be all the better for it.
The A(n)nals of Online Dating is a weekly column about How We Date Now, from the proprietor of the website of the same name, showing off the best of the worst internet dating has to offer.
Illustration by Cara Vandermey