The difference between a guy who is nice and a Nice Guy(tm).

Since I’ve recently rejoined the wild, wacky world of online dating, this thing here is like the best thing ever. We have commentary from Laurie Penny at the New Statesmen, Katie Baker and Hugo Schwyzer at Jezebel. The attitude which the Tumblr seeks to highlight and critique is summed up, thus, in the blog description:

hello i’m nice i’m such a nice guy i do not understand why girls don’t like me it must be because i’m too nice yes that is definitely it there couldn’t possibly be another reason oh man maybe i should just become an asshole to stop myself being friendzoned i’m so nice i’m sick of all these fucking bitches choosing assholes over me they’re so shallow the stupid whores

Many of the profiles she posts are about that coherent, too.

If you notice that it’s rather contradictory to complain about the nerve of women to choose men other than you, while calling yourself a “nice guy,” then you’ve hit on the central thesis of the blog.

While I don’t claim to read the blogger’s mind, I’m fairly sure the intent is not to say that all the self-oblivious losers go to OKC. I think the reason it’s called Nice Guys of OKCupid rather than Nice Guys of Online Dating is that OKC a) allows us to search random profiles, and b) provides such handy information to illustrate the disconnect between a guy who is a genuinely nice person and the capitalized Nice Guy.

Contrary to some assumptions, when you see feminists railing against Nice Guy Syndrome and the many inanities of self-proclaimed Nice Guys, we are not shaming men for acting like nice people. The point is that guys with this attitude are actually not nice people. If you think a non-sexual friendship with a woman is a waste of time, and that women owe you sex because you act like a friend to them, you are not a guy who is nice. The whole idea of the “friend zone” is insulting and abusive to women.

If you are a truly nice person, you won’t have to label yourself as such. Your niceness will show up in your profile. It will be apparent in the way you answer questions such as “Do you feel there are any circumstances in which a person is obligated to have sex with you?” Nice people are the ones who treat their fellow human beings with kindness because it’s the right thing to do.

Online dating gives abusers plenty of rope.

I found this…gem, of a profile, on OKCupid. Let’s see what the man has to say!

Hello, charming lady! :^)

Let’s get down to business: I’m ready to settle down, get married and start a family after much hard work to achieve financial independence and stability which had left me precious little time to find the life partner I’ve been seeking.

Yes, I meet many women, and my friends continually show me would-be eligible (?) candidates; many are truly desperate. Unfortunately so far, they’ve come saddled with distorted views of reality, stupid beliefs, and a litany of character flaws such as: fickle, close-minded, unfair, unreasonable, overly selfish, bloated ego, insatiable, emotionally unstable, or financially irresponsible.

Hence they cluelessly showed up shamelessly overloaded with baggage I don’t have nor need, such as overweight, with pets or children, debt, poor health or mental illness and/or on meds, unfit, ADD, fake (fill in the gap), professional, familial and/or inter-personal issues, over-estimating their fertility, etc. You get the point: still wonder why most of these “me, me, me, now, now, now” types end up 40-year old dried-up old maids? Duh! lol! ;^P

So I decided to give this a fair shot. Show me a quality match: also without vices such as drinking, smoking, cheating, drugs, gambling, addictions to their FB or gizmos, etc., yet sincere, sensible, no-nonsense, easy-going, and low-maintenance! Those are traits older folks tell me our current generation lacks. :^) Or need I order a tall, slender blonde Eastern-European mail-order bride? Don’t laugh: some friends did well that way… others simply say women ARE baggage that, like anything that Floats (boats), Flies (planes), or F…. (women), is better rented than bought! ;^)

[…]

I excell at sifting through scams. Unlike so many folks who think they are “educated” (read: brainwashed into being pickpocketed by political elites and their true constituents), I don’t fall for it, as I understand fully well how dysfunctional the system is, and the costs it entails for gullible folks: let them pay!

[…]

I SPEND A LOT OF TIME THINKING ABOUT…

catering to the needs and wishes of my better half if/when I have one. Also, what made modern American life so toxic to family life and marriage? They say that currently half – and decreasing – of us adults no longer live in nuclear families.

[…]

YOU SHOULD MESSAGE ME IF…

You have the confidence that you have what it takes: commitment, integrity, and readiness to discuss further.
Hope this didn’t sound like a preliminary job interview letter, lol?!
An please be tall, as in at least 5’10”, and – of course – slender: I’ve picked up enough lil’ shrimpies at bars and clubs whenever I’ve felt like it! ;^p
Thank you for reading my profile, and best luck to you! ttys(oon)!

Woe is me, I’m too short, too flabby, too drunk and too mentally interesting to have this guy’s babies!

I don’t need to sit here and tell you everything that’s awful about this guy’s attitude, do I? If it seems like he would be kind of unpleasant to live with, that’s because he’s an abusive, misogynist sack of shit who views women as fuck-toys and baby ovens rather than human beings with lives of their own.

The fabulous thing about seeing his profile is this: guys like him exist everywhere, and they pursue women in all venues, but they don’t usually walk around with the word “ABUSER” stamped on their foreheads. It’s not difficult for intelligent, discerning women to end up with horrible men in their lives because they don’t seem horrible at first. Online dating, however, gives people the chance to show just how disgusting they are before you even talk to them for the first time, and we can see, some of them gleefully accept the rope and hang themselves with it. The freedom of an online dating profile allows abusers to expose themselves as the toxic goods they are, better than if Lisbeth Salander paid them a visit with her tattoo gun in hand.

Another mathematical formula for online dating!

Amanda Marcotte has weighed in on the recent kerfluffle over Alyssa Bereznak’s rather mean-spirited article on having a couple of dates with Jon Finkel. There’s nothing I can add to the uproar that hasn’t been said already, but this part got my attention:

As for #3: I don’t think Bereznak is wrong that a guy who doesn’t reveal something like a deep interest in Magic and an entire social circle built around Magic on his profile is doing something stupid.  Here’s the “but”, though.  Rebecca is right to say that you don’t have to put everything up front when you’re on the dating market.  If you have other interests you explore that are more likely to seem attractive, putting those forward instead of the others is just human nature.  I agree with Rebecca on this.  Still, you have to balance that with truthfulness and an unwillingness to waste someone’s time.  If you list a bunch of interests, they really should be important interests to you.  It’s not cool to portray yourself as a good companion for concerts and weekends at the museum if in fact you spend most of your time playing Magic with your Magic friends.  There’s probably some mathematical formula that can indicate when it’s fair to drop an interest off your profile to juice it up a little, and when you spend enough time on it that you have to disclose.  We don’t really know if Finkel falls above or below this line, for what it’s worth.  Maybe Bereznak is exaggerating how much time he spends on Magic, maybe she isn’t.

Still, the worst that happens when you conceal such a big part of yourself on a dating profile is that you waste a few hours of someone’s time.  Not nice, but not the end of the world, and certainly not such a bad thing to do that you deserve to be shamed for it in a public forum.  The person you’re often hurting the most is yourself if you find that you are routinely making dates with people who, when they find out more about you, are turned off.  I haven’t got experience in putting an online dating profile up, but I do a lot of social networking, and my feeling is the more upfront you are, the less bullshit and time-wasting you generally have to put up with.  My feeling is that if you’d lead with it to find friends, then you should lead with it to find dates.  The one exception, of course, is sexual interests.  But even then, you’re probably better off leading with it.  Sure, you’ll eliminate people who just aren’t into that thing you’re big into, but so what?  That just means less dates where you’re sitting across from someone wondering how quickly you can break it off without being rude.

Since I am a strong believer in the doctrine of not wasting someone’s time in dating, I am totally on-board with this. Let’s put aside the specifics of Jon Finkel, and let’s forget about the morals of Alyssa Bereznak’s pearl-clutching and geek-shaming. This is for general usage. In the limited space you have in an online dating profile, which of your interests should you disclose?

H = 2/3 [S(1R,.2F) + T(3D;2EM) + .5F]

S= Space: If your hobby takes up at least 1 room OR, if you live in a small place that can’t be distinctly divided into rooms, at least 20% of the square footage in your abode.

T= Time: If your hobby keeps you occupied for a non-negotiable 3 weekdays per week OR at least 2 weekends per month.

F= Friends: If you met at least half of your closest friends through this hobby.

If at least 2 out of 3 of those conditions apply, then Hell Yes, you need to put that hobby in your profile. Put that sucker up front.

Someone is overly enamored of the sound of his own voice

Brian Moylan at Gawker just posted this godawful breakup email, though I disagree that it’s the “most annoying online dating email ever.” I’ve put up with worse than this:

Dear [MissLonelyhearts],

Thanks for an interesting 3 dates. I spent the weekend thinking about you and me and have decided that I’m not interested in pursuing “us” any longer.

I had a great time on our second date. You did a great job in planning that night. Thank you again! I really enjoyed meeting your friends on Friday night and they were great to talk to.

Personally, I’m not a big fan of when people just disappear, fall off the map or suddenly stop calling without a reason, so I figured I’d say a few things.

I don’t think we’re a good match and after looking at us on Cupid again, neither does Cupid. We’re a 35% match on ethics questions and 52% on lifestyle questions. And I think the lifestyle issue is the bigger one. I think Cupid’s matching system works best if the user answers more questions. I noticed you only answered 92 questions—so I’d recommend answering more. Cupid was founded by Harvard math majors, so I have confidence in their match algorithm.

I feel like I’m adaptable to almost any situation and get along with all kinds of people. You have told me multiple times that there are people you flat out don’t think you have anything in common with nor want to talk to—like the people at my friend’s party. I can’t date someone who doesn’t feel comfortable navigating through and thriving in the diverse social environments that I always find myself in. I feel like especially in a city like New York EVERYONE has something in common just by virtue of living in the biggest city in the US. Also most people aren’t from here, so that’s always something to talk about. My profile says it all when I talk about the various music and situations that I love. I also love crowds.

I also seem to have a lot more energy than you. I think I work longer hours, party much more, go out more, sleep less and probably exercise more than you. Plus I’m older. I love spending time relaxing on the couch, but I also love to dance every week. It would be ideal to find a partner to share these things with.

Lastly, on our first date you told me that I talk a lot but that you didn’t feel like I talked enough about the “real me.” You asked me if I ever open up to girls on dates. On our third date I told you all about my parents and I feel like instead of just listening to me and/or trying to see things from a different perspective, you basically just told me what “I should be doing” and essentially what I was doing was “wrong.” As in I should be calling my mom every day and not speaking poorly of my father. How are you going to ask someone to open up and then chastise them for doing so? I didn’t think that was very cool at all.

I highly recommend that you move to San Francisco once you are done with New York. It’s got a large tech culture which is great for design. The cafe culture in SF is much more European style than New York—thus there are more cafes and more people working from cafes. I think SF may be better suited for your pace of life.

Montauk is the place that I recommended that you take your father. I know you mentioned that he likes to take the train, but I highly recommend not taking the train there if not spending a lot of money is important to you. Montauk is pretty rural and small town (but spread out) thus there is not much public transportation. Taxis there are very expensive and not very convenient if you want to go to more than 1 beach or location. It’s not very walkable from the train station. Thus I recommend driving. The drive out there is beautiful. I took a date there last year and she loved it. I would definitely bring a change of clothes. It’s super casual during the day (surf/beach attire) and it gets fancy at night at the restaurants and bars.

I wish you the best in your dating and other pursuits and it’s a small world, so I imagine I’ll run into you again somewhere on this planet.

Ciao,

OompaLoompa

So then Moylan asks:

But where does the blame lie? Sure, OompaLoompa’s “I think I work longer hours, party much more, go out more, sleep less and probably exercise more than you. Plus I’m older,” shtick is totally obnoxious. But if what he says is true about that she criticized the way he treats his parents on date three, then maybe it makes sense why he’s dumping her.

And boy is he dumping her! But at least he’s nice and courteous enough to help her plan a visit with her father, no? So, who do you think is wrong in this situation? Is it OompaLoompa for being a type-A jackass or MissLonelyhearts for being lazy, judgmental, and mean?

I disagree. I don’t think MissLonelyhearts is lazy, judgmental or mean; she may very well all those things and worse, but that is not evident from OompaLoompa’s email. What’s is apparent from his criticisms of her is that she’s an introvert, while he’s an extrovert who doesn’t know what it means to be an introvert.

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People like this actually exist

As my cousin Butt said, I decided to spend the weekend doing authorly duties, in this case attending to the editing of my first novel. In my second novel (yes I have completed two), there’s an episode in online dating that leads to a really bad first meetup. It’s bad enough that the protagonist comes home afterward and vents her spleen on her roommate in ALL CAPS. (In case you’re wondering, the roommate does kind of bring it on herself.) But even that wasn’t quite as bad as this:

We went to dinner and he told me if I wanted him to pay I better not order anything over ten bucks. Then he spent the rest of the date railing against politics, the government, and talking about how women didn’t know their place anymore. After dinner he told me that if I wanted to stay out he would have to spend the night at my place. This was the first date, and I was a live in nanny. I told him no, and he was like fine, you can spend the night at my house. I told him no, and he just got up and left without paying the bill. I had to call my employer to come pick me up.
My take on it is: if you don’t want to pay for dinner, then…don’t. Tell your date you intend to go Dutch. But if you’re not willing to pay for her dinner (or even if you’re not willing to pay for an entree over $10) then you’ve got no business complaining about how women don’t know their place. Not that making such a complaint in front of your date isn’t a huge Creep Red Flag anyway, but come on, guys, recognize the trade-offs at work here. Rights and responsibilities, and all that. (I won’t even bother commenting on what kind of sociopath expects to spend the night on the first date. I assume that part goes without saying.)

It is a new mathematical formula for online dating!

Via Jezebel, who honestly thinks this is a good idea?

“I’m looking for a creative and well-written person to help me with online dating,” says one ad on a freelance jobs search engine. “I’ve set up a Match.com profile, but don’t have the time to tend to it. I’m hoping to pay someone to write emails to girls on my behalf.” In this case, the romantic merely wants his hired gun to procure the “dates” – it’s unclear whether or not he’s supposed to, y’know, pretend to be the guy and make him sound smart/romantic/invested in the process.

The formula is as follows:

C < D

Where C equals the investment in time required for corresponding with potential dating partners, and D equals the amount of time involved in actually dating.

In other words…

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And while I’m still here:

Dude who has been stalking my online dating profile for months:

I know what you’re doing. Yes, I still log onto the site on a regular basis. No, I am not looking at your profile.

You’re not cute. You weren’t even cute at the beginning. Now you’re just creepy. Go find another victim and fuck off.

Race, dating, and lazy-ass statistics

Race relations AND online dating? TNC is making me absurdly excited today.

After sharing OKCupid’s report on racial preferences among its users, he lends us some perspective:

Look, I deeply suspect that, on a national level, there are an unfortunate number of people who think black women are less attractive then women of other races. The remnants of white supremacy are not just economic, they are cultural. I also think that’s less true today then it was twenty years ago.

But that said, I think that people passing this data around need to be really careful about using this study to draw inferences about the dating world of black women. One significant problem is that, as any black person will tell you, when black folks date online they don’t go to OKcupid. They go to blacksingles. They go to soulsingles. Or if they’re truly high post, they go to EliteNoire. (Dig the sensuous piano riffs and candelabra.)

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Three Strikes and You’re Out–now find another profile.

I would like to propose a new rule of etiquette for online dating.

We will call it the Second Response Three Strikes rule. The principle is fairly simple. When you’re looking for prospects on a dating website, there is only so far you will get through persistence.

When you try contacting someone for the first time, I say: one attempt at a first response is enough. You send a message, and the other user will either reply, or not. There’s no reason to try more than once.

Then, let’s say your prospect answers a message, or two, or a handful. When you’re waiting for a later response, that’s when the Three Strikes rule applies. We will use the following equation:

F=3a(x+k)

a is an attempt at communication: a PM, IM, or whatever other means are available on the website you use.  x is the longest interval of time that the user in question has taken to answer any of your messages, and k is any number greater than 0. F, therefore, is a failure to connect.

In plain English: if you make 3 attempts at communication since you last heard from this person, each followed by a reasonable amount of time, you should not expect to hear from the user anymore and should therefore quit stalking his/her profile and move on.

(Honestly, some people make me wonder: “How many times do I have to ignore you?!”)