So, I was getting ready to post a new ramblerant in the “dating” category in the next few weeks, but recently I happened to stumble upon this article describing 20 things to stop doing on dating apps in 2020.  The article itself was very well thought out, though definitely skewed to the female gripe angle — not that I disagree with anything that was written, nor do I think the author was trying to come off as “angry female,” she was just writing from her perspective, and for the most part, caught some universal gripes that pretty much all of us have, regardless of gender.  That said, I thought I should interject my perspective, as a person who spent a few years experimenting with every dating site I could find with the reckless abandon of a detoxing Keith Richards bored and locked in a janitor’s closet on a lazy Sunday afternoon. So, here are a few more things we need to stop doing on dating apps in 2020, or why I won’t be going back to dating apps in 2020. Spoiler alert, dating sites really are “a last-ditch resort for desperate loners” … change my mind.  

1. Wrong Attitude / Wrong App

Let’s start off with an obvious one.  Not all of these dating apps, Tinder in particular, are designed to help you find that one special person you will spend the rest of your life with.  I know this will come as a surprise to a lot of ladies out there, but when Tinder was first developed, it was subtly intended to be, shall we say, the “Uber equivalent” to its parent company, Match.com.  Apparently, however, this intended business plan was a bit too subtle (or not communicated to) most females, who were shocked to find there is a lot of demand for casual sex on the Internet.  Rather than become an “order your own date rape” service, they decided to attempt to legitimize it with the whole “love connection” angle.  The end result is a confused app where half the people think it’s “free Match.com” and the other half think it’s the 2012 equivalent of The Circuit from Logan’s Run.

At the risk of picking on Tinder for being misunderstood, let me also point out there are apparently a number of you who need to get the clue that you’re not going to bag a millionaire husband on AshleyMadison, atheists aren’t really welcome on ChristianMingle, that guy on Gk2Gk is going to be really horked off with you if don’t know the proper call and response to the Klingon mating ritual, and believe it or not, most guys on SilverSingles are actually looking to date people their own age, not get a bill from you at the end of the month.

2. Better looking beestie

Worse than those who use their “before meth picture” in their profile, the other one that chaps my ass is the person who uses is the tired old trick where four out of five of their profile pics feature them posing with their much hotter best friend in the hopes that the guy is too lazy to scroll down to the last one of “just them” before swiping right.  Okay, I’ll admit it probably does work to get you a few swipes, but in most instances, I’m willing to bet a) they assume you’re offering up a threesome, or b) they’re going to hit you up for your friend’s contact info.  Enough with the bait and switch already.

3. Travel

This one may be just my hangup, but when I see your main profile picture is you on the deck of a yacht, you doing that cute “look I’m holding the Eiffel Tower in the palm of my hand” trick, or you standing on some clifftop in Burma mimicking the giant Buddha statue on the temple behind you, I’m instantly filing you into one of three categories.

1) The girl who is going to bore me all night with tales of how, “In Europe, the food is much better, the lifestyle is so much freer, and the men are all hung like horses compared to you knuckle-dragging, old-Spice wearing, American capitalist pig-dogs who overcook your pasta and think Frank’s Hot Sauce is a gourmet ingredient.

2) The girl who is obviously accustomed to a much more lavish lifestyle than I can ever afford.  Yeah, I’d love to travel the world with you, but in my experience, you jet-setter girls always order the lobster and never go dutch or (heaven forbid) pick up the check. So, I’m never going to be able to afford my plane ticket and date you.

3) The girl whose PhotoShop skills are far superior to mine, which intimidates me, so we cannot be friends.

4. Athleticism

This one’s definitely just me, I’ll admit, but I was struggling to come up with ten things, so I’m adding it in.  If your profile photo is you crossing a marathon finish line or holding up a trophy for killing three people in a blood sport arena (okay, maybe it was a karate tournament, I don’t know I didn’t read your profile), or you dangling 500 feet in the air by one hand from the face of a cliff, yeah, I’ll admit, I’m scared of you.  However, unlike most of my mouth-breathing gender, I realize I’m definitely not what you’re looking for, and in fact, I’m probably exactly what you’re trying to scare off.  I just wanted you to know that it’s working.  By that same token, I know some of you who do this, so quit bitching you can’t meet a guy who shares your interest online.  Those really buff guys who base jump or cliff dive or whatever don’t need to use dating sites.  Wouldn’t you be better off just asking the guy on the cliff next to you out for coffee when you reach the summit?  Why are you even online looking anyway?

5. Saying You’re Sarcastic

A little game I like to play called “Sarcasm or Dyslexia?”

Ugh, okay, this one is big with me.  It should be obvious but apparently, it isn’t, because I see it far too often.  Why do some people feel obligated to state that they are sarcastic in their profile, even though there is absolutely nothing else in their ultra-dry list of personal stats to back this up?  I especially like the ones who go all next level and add something like “… so get used to it” or “… if this is a problem, swipe left,” like oh, sarcastic and a badass?  Are you saying there are guys who didn’t know the depth of your irony until they were so deep in a relationship with you that they were forced to break off the engagement when they learned they couldn’t change your acidulous ways?  Seriously, don’t waste the sentence; just lead with a sarcastic remark.

Similarly, but not as egregious, are people who are obviously ginger, based on their profile pictures, but still feel the need to add a few sentences about being ginger in their profile as well.  And it’s just redheads.  You never see blondes or brunettes doing this.  Is this some sort of genetic disposition?

6. Being a Walking Contradiction

Another one that gets me, mostly because I can’t abide cognitive dissonance, and I’m not sure of the actual intent, is the abundance of profiles that make no sense when taken at face value.  “I’m 100% tomgirl, but I like to put on a dress and be treated like a lady with flowers and dancing.” “I’m active, athletic, and health-conscious.  My ideal evening is cuddling on the couch watching Netflix with a case of beer and a pizza.”  Oh and my particular favorite, “I’m a liberated woman, so spare me your chauvinistic, chivalrous attempts to pick up the check, just because you make 47 cents more on the dollar than I do. Anyway, I’m looking for a man who always opens the door for a lady and will be ready to defend her honor with a silk glove and drawn sword if any man should say anything unbecoming around her.”  I assume these are just people who don’t want to rule anyone out, but it makes my brain hurt trying to plan a first date and, frankly, just screams, “You had best get used to being wrong all the time.”

7. Subtexting

This one was kind of covered in the other article, under giving long lists of things you’re not looking for, but in my experience, it’s far more sinister.  It seems there is a large segment of ladies, recently divorced or at least broken up from a significant relationship, who use their dating profiles to get one last jab in at their exes, who they must assume are stalking them on the dating site.  Some of you could save a lot of time if your profile consisted of you, holding a bloody ax, and a list of reasons your relationship didn’t work out instead of the thinly-veiled “I’m sick of beer-swilling neanderthals who leave the toilet seat up, spend all evening on the phone with their mother, never put their socks in the laundry hamper, oh, and guys named Dave that ghost you right after sleeping with you! I know you’re reading this, Dave, you’re scum!”

8. Focus on the Topic at Hand

Another quick nope from me.  Now, apparently, there’s a big thing about girls making fun of guys who post pictures of themselves holding fish.  (I didn’t know about this, but I’m glad I haven’t ever caught a fish in my life now.)  With us guys, it’s the puppies and the kids.  We don’t so much care that you have a dog.  Most guys like dogs, even that little effeminate rat dog you’re holding … in every picture … and will no doubt have in your handbag when we go on our first date.  Also the kids.  Yes, it’s good to know that you have kids.  I, myself, usually include one action photo of my daughter and me in my profile.  In my case it’s a nice, subtle way of indicating that I’m reasonably respectful of women, as I created one of my own. Also that I am capable of producing offspring more attractive than myself, indicating I pair well and/or have superior recessive genetic traits despite my own setbacks in the attractiveness department.  Finally, it gives a good general impression of her age, mental disposition, and independence without me having to give her academic, medical, and social history for three paragraphs in a dating profile.  Note the important part of that sentence: didn’t have to.  Your profile doesn’t need to be a novel explaining how the kid’s father hasn’t been around since he lost that high-stakes game of “just the tip” and how you’re struggling to raise three kids on your own, having been disowned by your parents for having children out of wedlock (punctuated with “…  if this is a problem, swipe left …”).  Oh, and any parent knows the kids always come first, so explicitly pointing out that your priorities are “children, Jesus, family, dog, career, then you” is probably understood, but not strictly something you should quantify.  Makes us guys feel kinda unimportant.

9. Stalking

Yes, we realize there is no privacy on the Internet anymore.  Thanks to Google image search, TinEye, an abundance of social media sites, and a few other bobs and bits out there, you can pretty much figure out who anyone is, even if they put very little information in their profiles, and can have an entire history and background check drawn up before you speak to them for the first time.  Knowing this, I will note that I was on record well in advance of their launch that Facebook (who, let’s face it, has never really been a staunch guardian of your personal information anyway) doing a dating app is a colossally bad idea.  

That said, of course, I tried it anyway … very briefly.  

Putting aside the fact that most of the female profiles on there aren’t real people to begin with (please, musician friends, quit friending fake profiles … these would be the stupidly attractive teenagers in lingerie who have 2000 men from all over the world, and zero females, in their friends list … they’re not fans of yours … they’re porn bots), could they have made a service any more conducive to stalking?  I swear I have had multiple people message me on Facebook saying something to the effect of, “Hi, I swiped right on your profile in Facebook Dating, but since you didn’t swipe back, I started to think maybe you haven’t checked it in a while, so when the app said we were both friends with Bob, I went to his friends list and put in your first name and boom there you were, so I clicked on your name and read your profile, which had links to where you work and what your hobbies are, and I thought, ‘Hey, he sounds really cool, but he didn’t swipe right on me, so maybe I should message him and see if he just wasn’t interested or just didn’t notice I swiped on him,’ anyway, hit me up for coffee some time, or if you don’t check messages that often, maybe I’ll see if Bob has your phone number and call you.  Anyway, talk to you soon!”

For the record, this behavior is bad, even when the girl does it.  Please, stop.  

10. Drama

Notice how I disengage the first time you imply you want money? It should have been a hint!

Somewhat tying together and expanding on a couple of the previous items is the general tendency for people on dating sites to just way too forthcoming with information and personal requests. Common examples of this are, “I’m 49, and I swore to myself I would be married by 50 at any cost, and if I’m still single at 50, then I’m going to slit my wrists and die alone in the bathtub.”  (Okay, technically this wasn’t in the profile, but it was in the first email exchange I had with a woman I met on Match.com.)  Also, “I’m a regional manager at a successful financial planning firm.  I should have made vice president by now, but my employers are all chauvanistic pigs who only promote men with families who work 70 hours a week and give large sums of money to the corporate charity walk, which screws me twice because I’m a single mother of two.” Oh, and please don’t give me the sob story about your divorce lawyers charging you an arm and a leg, then hit me up for money … at least until we’ve actually been on a date … maybe not even then?