Adventures in Online Dating

 Photo Credit: Brett Jordan.Licensed CC-BY.

Photo Credit: Brett Jordan.
Licensed CC-BY.


I abandoned online dating a few years ago when I moved back to my home city of Seattle. It was an all right way to meet people when I was in a new city or living abroad, but generally online dating in Seattle has been a huge failure for me. Anyone who spends an hour scrolling through profile pictures on OK Cupid or PoF can tell you that internet dating is pretty shallow. There’s tons of shirtless guys standing at an angle to make their abs look flatter than they are taking the ubiquitous bathroom-mirror selfie on a flip phone. You keep scrolling and eventually it becomes pretty clear what to look for and what to avoid. I recently reactivated my profile on OK Cupid, but this time instead of wading through all the toads searching for a prince, I’m going to categorize all the toads so that other women don’t have to.

Here you go, Ladies:

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Extreme Sports Novice guy: You can’t see his face, but you see a clear shot of him shredding the bunny slope in his matching black helmet, parka and pants roaring at the snow like he’s Paul Muadib and he’s just conquered Shai-Hulud. Or maybe he’s wearing an aerodynamic carbon fiber helmet and a pair of Oaklys on his brand new carbon-fiber triathlon bike he bought last week, taking her for a test spin around Green Lake. Maybe he’s posted a really sweet shot of his back as he tries to assail the first 30′ of the rock climbing wall at the downtown REI. But you know who I’m talking about. His primary goal is to prove he’s athletic…or at least trying to be.

  • The good things he’s trying to tell you: I have leisure time and I have money to pay for these expensive activities. I’m healthy, or trying to be healthier. I’m adventuresome–well, a little adventuresome–and willing to try new things to expand my horizon.
  • The bad things he might be telling you: I’m insecure about my appearance / I have been living an unhealthy lifestyle / am dissatisfied with my life, but here’s the proof that I’m making progress in changing all that!

My Car/Motorcyle is My Life Guy: He’s that guy that’s–you guessed it–posing with his car, usually crouched low so you get a clear shot of his rims. Sometimes he’s throwing a hand sign. Sometimes he’s wearing a baseball hat with a flat brim advertising his favorite sports team. Sometimes he’s wearing sunglasses to give him that extra bad boy feel. Then again, he might be that guy astride his road-hog or cross country touring motorcycle–usually he’s not wearing a helmet, or motorcycle leathers because he’s a rebel or, he’s watched one too many 80s rock videos and doesn’t need a helmet and leathers because those are for pussies.

  • The good things he might be telling you : I have money for all this stuff, I am secure in my finances. I am exciting which means I’m interesting.
  • The bad things he might be telling you : I’m a loner, it’s just me, my bike/car and the road. I’m a risk taker with my personal safety and I might take risks with yours as well. My bike/car is an extension of myself, you can come along for the ride, but I’m driving, I’ll make the important decisions in the relationship and if you don’t like them, you can leave.

You-Don’t-Need-to-See-My-Face-Guy: Yeah, you know the one. He clearly hits the gym a lot and he’s proud of his body, so proud he doesn’t want anything to distract you from admiring his physique, like his smile, or his eyes…or maybe he’s just afraid that his girlfriend(s) will recognize him.

  • The good things he might be telling you: He works out. A lot. He’s probably healthy and probably has good stamina. He eats well and has leisure time to work out.
  • The bad things he’s telling you: He doesn’t want to be easily recognized at a glance. Why? It could be because he has a girlfriend(s) already and is looking to get some action on the side, or for an upgrade. He might be insecure about his short comings, which leads to over-compensation in other areas.

Mr. I’m-Just-Looking-To-See-What’s-Out-There: Anyone who says they’re in a committed, monogamous relationship and yet is on a dating site should be viewed with suspicion.

  • The good stuff he’s telling you: If he contacts you, he’s telling you he think’s you’re hotter or better than whatever he’s got at home, or at least good enough to be a distraction, so take it as a compliment if you must — a really scummy backhanded compliment.
  • The bad stuff he’s telling you : Pretty much anything that he says is coming from a bad place. Best just to delete his emails or post them and his picture on craigslist in the Lost and Found section under the heading: FOUND, 1 ASSHOLE, ARE YOU MISSING YOURS?

I Am A Dog Guy: He’s that guy that posts a picture of his dog as his profile picture rather than himself. Sure that dog is really cute, the guy who takes care of him must be awesome, right?

  • The good stuff he’s telling you: He’s responsible enough to take care of a pet, feed it, keep it groomed and take it out for regular walks. Pets are stand-ins for children. He’s showing you he’s good father material.
  • The bad stuff he’s telling you: No really, I’m actually a dog. I’m really loving and loyal, but by dog standards, not human standards. If I go chasing a squirrel, it doesn’t mean I don’t love you. Also, don’t leave me alone too long, I’ll make a mess in your apartment.

I’m Totally WASTED in this Picture Guy: He’s sitting there at the table with his friends and it’s clearly boys night, the table is littered with empty bottles/shot-glasses/tumblers/pint glasses and you’re doing the mental math. Yep, he’s a drinker, he wants you to know that before you even know his name. Why?

  • The good stuff he’s trying to tell you: I like to party and I know how to have fun.
  • The bad stuff he’s telling you: I have a drinking problem, whether it’s full blown alcoholism or occasional binge drinking. Because I have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol, I probably have unhealthy relationships elsewhere in my life, and if you date me, so will you.

I’m in a Metal Band and Worship The Devil Guy: He’s the one with the long hair, unkempt beard making a scary face into his webcam.

  • The good stuff he’s trying to tell you: I like music and I don’t care what other people think.
  • The bad stuff he’s communicating to you: I’m probably not real big on personal hygiene, have a crappy job (or two) which I hate, but I’m just doing it until my metal band gets off the ground. Did I mention I play bass? Yea, I play bass and it’s fucking rad man. I probably love to drink, but only when I can afford to, which is rare. If I’m not living in my parent’s basement–or as I like to call it, the DUNGEON OF SOLITUDE–I probably live with my band mates in a really shitty apartment/house in a part of town where every block has at least 1 registered sex offender and everybody drives a van with no windows, because we’re all in bands…well except for the serial rapists. Did I mention I’m a huge downer and have no problem complaining to you about how life sucks and we should all just fucking kill ourselves, but would please come over, do my laundry, make me a grilled cheese sandwich and validate my life while I watch some Gore Porn to get ideas for an album cover?