Let’s be honest, online dating can be daunting. We’re essentially taking everything that makes us unique and multidimensional, and boiling it down into a few sentences in an html field, a pithy headline and a pixelated smile. And then sacrificing ourselves at the altar of other people’s judgement.
Speaking of other people’s judgement, allow me to jump on the pile! Here are Seven Online Dating Profile Headlines You Should Never, Ever Use.
*“Work hard, play hard.” Unoriginal, party of one, your table is ready.
*Any mention of a spirit animal. Does anyone even understand what this hippie bullshit means? Congratulations, you and my mom’s Deepak Chopra-reading, post-menopausal friend who wears too much turquoise jewelry now have this in common.
*Referring to yourself as a poet, Renaissance Man, or anything else that conjures images of you in a turtleneck. Turtleneck introspection in general is not sexy. Also, you sound like a D-bag.
*“Live, laugh, love.” Do you really have to remind yourself of that? Might as well say “Eat, breathe, blink.”
*“I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany.” No disrespect to Ron Burgundy, but once 1 out of every 5 dudes uses a line, its humor diminishes.
*“Carpe Diem,” “YOLO,” or anything of the sort. Really? Maybe pick another inspirational quote from your Successories collection.
*“I can’t believe I’m on here,” slash “I’ll try anything once.” Do you really want to say you’ll try anything once? What about sweat lodges? Or black tar heroin? PS ladies, this also smacks of sexual innuendo. Good luck with all the creeper comments you’ve just invited.
When it comes to approaching someone you’re interested in – whether it be at a bar, the gym, the supermarket, whatever – all I have to say is, “I’m so glad I’m not a dude.”
Yes, the art of the approach is a delicate one, gentlemen, and plainly put – it sucks to be you. True, Miss Wingman has schooled you more than once on how to execute this maneuver within certain situations, but it wouldn’t hurt to clue you in to what’s going on in our heads while you’re sweating it out. Consider it a play-by-play analysis, boys – though I suppose I should apologize for the title. It’s not that we’re judging you, per say, it’s more like dissecting. Or…no, wait, info gathering. No…
Oh hell, fine. We’re judging you. And if you’re smart, you’ll beat us at our own game.
The zero hour (i.e. the moment we realize you’re beelining in our direction): There’s an initial second of panic on our end. “Sh*t, is he looking at me? Do I want him to be? How do I look? Do I have anything in my teeth?” and a host of other female neuroses. So don’t worry, you’re not the only one holding your breath. Incidentally, we’re also probably checking to see if your friends are hotter than you, so you might want to leave the Bradley Cooper types at home, bro.
Then we size you up, from the top down. I know it’s harsh, but hey – no one ever said broads weren’t superficial.
Before you even start speaking: We’re looking at your hair – is it combed? Your shirt – is it tucked in and belted? Does it have a wrestling logo on it? (No Tap Out, please.) Is it shiny and tight? Revealing too much chest hair? Hopefully none of the above. Next is your shoes – are they regulation guy footwear? Or something offensive, like Crocs, white dress shoes, mandals (Merrells are the devil), or (gasp!) SWIMS? It might seem ridiculous that girls pay attention to such things, but we do.
When it comes to your appearance, we’re really just looking for clues into who you are, it’s as simple as that. And we’re hoping that who you are isn’t a guy who just robbed an Old Navy.
We’re also checking out your physique (hey, if you can do it so can we), your smile (it’s disarming, and way better than looking nervous), and what you have in your hand – a man’s drink says a lot about him, after all.
In the first 30 seconds: We’re listening to what you say. And if I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: no pick up lines, guys. A simple “Hi, I’m _____” will do. Don’t ask us if we know you from somewhere, just tell us who you are and that you wanted to come introduce yourself. A simple “I noticed you” is enough to flatter us – leave the Barney Stinson game at home.
But you still have to have a follow up move, right? So use your resources. If you’re at a bar, offer to buy us a drink (um, not if we have a full one in our hands though, so pay attention.) If you’re at a party, ask how she knows the host. In the park? See if she wants to join your game of frisbee, or use your dog (or hers) to break the ice.
Don’t over-think this part, fellas. You talk to dozens of people every day, just be yourself. And if you’re really struggling, ask us questions – it keeps the pressure to be interesting off of you, and it tells you whether or not you even want to continue talking to this girl anyway.
In the first five minutes: We’re watching your body language. Are you respecting our personal space? Engaging our friends in the conversation? Making eye contact? All of these are a huge thumbs up. If you seem uptight, or worse – check out girls over our shoulder – don’t be surprised if things go south. Another thing we’re praying to avoid? Standing downwind of bad breath, or hearing you any egregious grammatical errors. We’re not expecting you to be Hemingway, but we’re hoping you have at least an 8th grade education.
In the first 10 minutes: If you get that far, and that’s a big “if,” you’re doing well. At this point, if she hasn’t run you off or suddenly had to pee (read: escape to the ladies room or “find her friends”), then you’ve got a solid chance. Remember, women know within the first 10 minutes of meeting you whether or not we’d sleep with you. It’s hardly scientific, but it’s true.
From this point on, the game is yours to lose – meaning, you can really only eff it up if you do something rude or socially awkward. And like I said, if you’ve made it that far without bungling it, chances are strong that you won’t. So it’s a safe bet that we’re wondering when you’re going to ask us for our digits, and hoping that you do. Now is the time to ask when you can see us again. And if you’ve read the tea leaves right, she’ll probably oblige.
Whether you choose to stick it out beyond this point, or make a tasteful exit is up to you, gentlemen. It’s not a bad thing to leave us wanting more. Just remember that even though we may be sizing you up, doesn’t mean we’re not hoping you like what you see, too. And if you have a rough take off or a bumpy landing, no worries. Just call for back up – that’s what wingmen are for.
Flirting. It’s a delicate art. When done correctly, it can be playful and intriguing. But, when done poorly, it can come off as creepy, uncomfortable, or resemble a Tourettes-like seizure in a public place. And which side of the line you land on, I’m afraid, is entirely up to you.
That’s why I’ve come to your rescue, single men of the world, to streamline a potentially awkward process. It’s been brought to my attention that there’s a new trend that’s being touted as “the future of flirting,” but God help us all if that’s true. I haven’t seen anything this cheesy since Velveeta in the blue box was introduced.
Suffice it to say, boys, that if I were a guy and some woman did this to me, I’d think she was a few colors shy of a full Crayola box. Or the type of chick who watches a lot of Lifetime Television for Women.
Either way, run.
So what’s all the fuss about? There’s a company called FlipMe that allows women to order a set of small cards to pass along to any men with whom they’d like to flirt. The cards have silly phrases on them, like “The night just took a turn…” or “I’m playing easy to get.” Or even the ridiculously obvious, “You’re being hit on” card, for the dude who doesn’t quite grasp subtlety yet.
Each card comes with a unique code on it that allows the recipient to visit the site, log in and view the woman’s profile, which she’s set up prior to the exchange. Then, hypothetically, she can either contact him or not – though it’s not entirely clear what the man is supposed to do once he’s viewed her page.
FlipMe describes itself as being your “go-to gal pal” and making things mysterious and fun. That might be the case, I suppose… if the people who’re flirting are in the 7th grade.
Here’s the thing, men: A lot of times, women think we’re being cute and coy, and you guys either A) don’t agree and are horrified or B) don’t pick up on it, and it’s entirely lost on you. So utilizing a service which is essentially the adult equivalent of passing some stranger a note in class that says, “Do you like me? Check one box. YES___ or NO ___” is a little juvenile, no?
I totally understand why, from a safety stand point, a woman would be hesitant to give out her business card or personal information. That’s a concern that you men rarely think about, but is often in the back of our heads (a result of watching too many “48 Hours Mysteries” and “Dateline,” no doubt). But there are other ways to get someone’s attention, and then you can decide if they seem “safe” enough to exchange biographical information later.
But, they require that you actually have a conversation, and not just that you drop a purple, swirly card in front of them and then dash for the door while the guy is still trying to process what the hell just happened.
I’m all for initiating contact if you notice someone you find attractive, especially someone that you seemingly might never run into again barring a twist of fate. Think about it – how many times have you been on a subway, or paying for your morning coffee, or in line at the bank and you’ve spotted someone cute that you’d like to get to know? But do you talk to them? Walk over and introduce yourself? Smile and hope they smile back?
No. Most of the time, you just steal a few glances and then let them walk out of your life forever. Like a wuss. Like a coward. Like a scaredy cat (thanks for bringing that phrase back, RW, it’s awesomely under-utilized).
So what should you do, you ask? Well for starters, smile at us. And hold eye contact for a few seconds. Not in a creepy, now-we-have-to-go-find-security-and-ask-for-help kind of way, but in a “Yes, I noticed you, and I think you’re cute” kind of way. I say this all the time – whether it’s in the grocery store, a book store, at the gym, etc etc etc, smiling is one of the most disarming things people can do. We should all use it more often.
Then, if she smiles back, casually make your way over to where she is – but don’t beeline right for her. Maintain a healthy, arm’s length distance away so that you show her that you respect her personal space. Then – and this is the real shocker, boys – just say “hi.” If you’re feeling especially brave, you can quickly follow it up with, “I’m _____ (so and so),” but only if you’re feeling crazy that day.
Name introductions, who would’ve thought, right? Such a novel approach, but simple and non-threatening…which should be your aim in such instances.
After that, you can come up with a million things to say based on the environment you’re in (refer to Miss Wingman’s suggestions if you’re at a loss). Or, it can be something as multi-purpose as, “I don’t mean to bother you, I just noticed you and wanted to come say hello.” Right away you’ve told us that you not only have self-awareness (and recognize that a cold approach is unconventional), but also that you’re flattering us, and that you’ve removed the onus from of us in reaching out.
I don’t envy dudes for having to take the social bullet for us all the time, but in the end it just comes down to this: You’re men, it’s your job. Take a deep breath and seize the opportunity when it arises. Confidence is sexy, it’ll liven up your boring day, and you might meet someone new as a result. Plus, if you don’t, no one will ever sack up and meet each other organically ever again. It’ll be all fix ups and online profiles (which are great for my literary purposes, but far less exciting and spontaneous for all of you).
Or if not, some foolish and impressionable women will be forced to pass you a silly card, enticing you to some sort of romantic scavenger hunt, where the prize at the end may or may not be her vajayjay. Awesome. But, if you don’t have time or tolerance for that type of BS, take my advice and just come say hello. You may still come away with some digits in the end, but at least this time they’ll be the right kind.
They say good things come to those who wait. And, if you’re a diehard Miss Wingman fan, then you’ve been waiting a pretty long time for another edition of “Pick Up Pointers.” We’ve delved into the world of The Approach at the gym differently before, and also within the grocery store aisles. But this time, I suggest you put down the produce and pick up a spongy floor mat, because yoga class is where it’s at, boys.
I’ll admit, I’ve never been a fan of yoga myself, (Miss Wingman prefers to wail on a heavy bag. Namaste, my ass) but last night my sore muscles drove me into the land of trippy music and cleansing breaths. Apart from the fact that the workout itself is beneficial to everyone, if you can get past the bizarre meditations (I don’t do “zen,” apologies to my Yogi friends), there’s another obvious bonus to taking a class: The women.
Men of the world, I’m sure common sense dictates that you’ve thought of this before, but allow me to emphasize how RIDICULOUSLY STACKED those classes are with women – hot women – wearing tight clothing, and doing bendy things.
I felt euphoric, like I’d found the promised land for guys. Much like the time I found a bar overflowing with a sea of dudes watching hoops at the Garden, or stumbled upon a good after-work spot in the finance district (so that’s where you’ve all been hiding…) Hitting the mother lode is fun, especially if I can spin it in your favor.
If you don’t need any further convincing, allow me to help you navigate the proper way to approach a woman in yoga class. Here are The Do’s and Don’ts of Fitness Flirting:
Do: Hit up a class in a normal gym, not a yoga-only spot. Why? Because there’s a difference between seeming like you just want to try out this yoga thing, and appearing that you’re either A) Mr. Sensitive Ponytail Man B) blatantly creeping on women or C) of questionable sexual orientation. Regular gym yoga classes are harmless and could just have landed you there out of sheer curiosity (hey, it’s plausible enough).
Don’t: Go the Bikram yoga route (read: hot yoga). Why? Because the only thing less sexy than having your own sweat pour off of your body is having someone else’s sweat drip on you. Plus, it’s a little hard to work up your charm when you feel like you’re breathing through a cocktail straw.
Do: Wait until before or after the class to chat up any cute women you spot. They’re pretty serious about the whole silence/mood music/soothing lighting thing, and you wouldn’t want her to think you have no sense of self-awareness. Etiquette is key.
Don’t: Stare. Yes, many of the poses involve putting your ass in the air or spreading your legs far apart, but that doesn’t give you license to skeeve us out (Down Dog, anyone?). Be crafty in the quick glances that you steal. Kind of like how you check out our cleavage when we’re “not looking.” Remember – eyes on your own paper, boys.
Do: Casually establish why you’re in the class in the first place, if you feel self-conscious about it. Asking the girl on the next mat over if she likes the workout because you “have this sports injury in my back that I’m trying to fix, and someone suggested trying yoga,” isn’t a bad idea. Sure, it’s lying, but it’s the little white kind. You have my permission.
Don’t: Be too good at it. If we wanted to date a guy who was Gumby-flexible or could hold a difficult pose indefinitely, we’d date a principal dancer in the New York City Ballet. There’s a difference between being open-minded enough to try yoga, and chipping away at your masculinity. Walk that line at your own risk.
Do: Be adorably clumsy – which probably won’t be intentional. You’ll likely have a hard time with yoga at first anyway. Watching the few guys in the class around me struggle to keep their balance was endearing, actually. And it gives you a good excuse to chat a girl up afterward if you catch her chuckling.
Asking for pointers or making a joke about how much your skills are lacking is a harmless way to get our attention. Just don’t ask her if she can do that thing with her legs in other places, too – unless you want to hear her tell you to “Nama-stay away.” Far less amusing, boys.
Also, Do: Take care of your feet. Yoga involves being barefoot, and nothing will kill your game faster than if she looks over and sees your mangled, gnarly man-hooves. You don’t have to go full pedicure, but for the love of God at least trim the nails.
And finally, Don’t: Be afraid to say nothing at all. If you can tolerate a few weeks of going to the same class (you might actually like it), you’ll develop enough of a rapport or familiarity with the people in it to strike up a conversation with them elsewhere. If you’re too shy or just don’t feel confident that you’ll say the right thing, try just putting your mat in close proximity to hers for a few classes, so she gets to recognize your face.
But be mindful of personal space, don’t crowd the poor girl. Then, if you want to chat her up at the water fountain or arrange an “accidental” run in arriving at or leaving the gym, you can use the “Hey aren’t you in that yoga class?” line without sounding like a D-bag. It’s a slow strategy, but still effective.
But all of this is to say that it should, theoretically, offer you the opportunity to showcase your personality and allow her the chance to get to know you. Once you’ve got our attention, it’s up to you to be yourself (which is charming, I assume) and let things play out naturally. Pick up tactics only work if they’re only used to get your foot in the door, not to guide the whole process.
So go ahead – bust out your best spandex (please don’t), take some deep breaths, and don’t forget to limber up, boys. If you do this right and get lucky, you just might need it.
It’s good to be back, Wingman faithful. It’s been a minute since our last ODHSOTW. Sorry for the acronym, chalk it up to Friday laziness. My California adventures threw a monkey wrench into things, but now we’re back on course.
Today I offer you a bit of a different spin on this feature. It’s not so much an online dating horror story, but rather a regular dating horror story. No…make that THE WORST STORY I’VE EVER HEARD. For real, you’ll agree once you read it.
This particular tale was sent to me by a friend who “read this and thought of me” and for some reason (which, in hindsight, I don’t think can be good) suggested it for the site. So, now I’m passing it along to horrify share with all of you. I know it’s a long read, but please don’t let that deter you. Or the nauseatingly graphic details the writer includes throughout (I’ll never look at eggplants again the same way). Seriously, it’s like a car accident – once you get involved, you can’t avert your eyes.
My only commentary about this story is that I will never, ever complain about all of the unfair anatomical problems women endure ever again. After reading this, you men win. Hands down. If this ever happened to you or someone you know, may God have mercy on your soul.
Also – and here’s where the spoiler alert comes in, so stop reading if you haven’t clicked on the story yet – I’m genuinely sad that they didn’t end up together. I guess it just goes to show that even though people usually use sex to avoid real intimacy, if you take that out of the equation and are forced to get to know one another, you may not be any better off in the end. Either that or the minute he said he might be moving, all she heard was “You are potentially going to break my heart” so she closed up shop and moved on. As women have a tendency to do.
In any case, read this on your lunch break. Read it on the commute home. Whatever. Just brace yourself first, this one will stick with you.