When I dipped my toe into the online dating pool a few years ago, I had no idea there was a lingo, a way of describing oneself in a profile, which often bore little resemblance to the actual person. There seem to be a number of men and women who have learned this lingo -- who talk the talk without walking the walk.
And it can be very misleading to a novice.
I hope my interpretation -- my translation -- of what the words really mean in some profiles can help you avoid some of the more glaring misrepresentations you may find in your own online search for a friend, date, partner or at least give you a smile or a laugh.
But let me be clear that most people, just like you and me, write honestly about themselves with little attempt to appear as someone they are not. Most people online are genuine in their own search to find a mate.
Most, but not all. This is about those who are optimistically trying to appear as someone they're not. And I hope it's a help to you to ferret out these people who parrot phrases and words that they think you'd like to hear and that they think will make them irresistible to you.
Lots of guys include the phrase "I love moonlit walks on the beach" in their profiles. I don't know about you, but the guys in my life have never, not once, said "honey, let's go for a moonlit walk on the beach." More often, they'd say, "the game's on in 10 minutes."
Another example: if a guy says he likes "cuddling on the couch," he's talking about nothing but unbridled foreplay, sex; he really likes to have sex. But because he's maybe too shy or perhaps too savvy to be blunt, he searches for a word that he thinks a woman would like to hear, a word that will make her feel warm and fuzzy instead of hot and sweaty. He talks the talk.
Because most profiles are written in a genuine, maybe even honest tone, very few of them are specific about sex or its importance. So when I read one that's very specific about sex, it sure stands out!
I have a saying, "nothing counts until the first meet. Then it all counts or nothing counts" because the profiles, the emails, the instant messages, even the phone calls, can be false and can promote an image of a person in our minds that goes poof when we meet face to face.
People post old photos. People post photos of only their head and shoulders or photos taken from such a distance as to not reveal chronic facial flaws.
I know that we all want to make a good first impression and I also know that it's very difficult for lots of people to write, especially about themselves. I'm just not sure that excuses pulling out all the stops and using all the trite, romantic dating phrases you've ever heard when your idea of a great date is bowling with your buddies from work (or fill in something you don't like here).
So I'm hoping to expose these yay-sayers one day who think that by professing to romantic activities in their profile, you'll find them attractive enough to accept that they never ever do any of that stuff, as in, "I can't right now honey; the game's on."
However, my idea for this book has morphed into something larger than euphemisms. As I grazed through profile after profile, I discovered that every once in a while, there were profiles so outrageous, so overt, so over-the-top, that I couldn't help but save them.
Many of these of profiles are sexual, many are sexist, and all are eye-rolling, forehead-slapping funny. They're so outrageous that I couldn't resist. When the time comes for my next book, about these profiles, be prepared for my caustic comments, ok?
For many of these men, English is not their mother tongue. I decided early in the game that spelling and grammar wouldn't be a deciding factor to me and, honestly, many times it makes the profile even funnier!
And peppered through this little book are also some of my own experiences. Sigh. There are some really strange guys out there. I've been so fortunate to not have met anyone really weird, but boy have I met some odd people! I've also met a number of really nice men who just weren't a fit for me and I believe that while nice men are the majority of the population of dating websites, they don't make for very interesting reading. Or dating.
So fasten your seatbelt. One day soon there'll be a crash course in online dating lingo.