I made myself a few solemn vows after a few months of delving the pits of internet dating to find love, or at least a suitable plaything for the time being…
They end up coming to you, almost subconsiously; you find certain repeating patterns of interactions that wind up with wasted time in lacklustre conversations, or even better, ending in Dating Horror Stories.
The first rule that came to me, I’ve written about before;
1. ‘Hey, how are you?’ does not warrant a response.
The people who send these messaging don’t appear to be great at conversation, they don’t really have anything to say, they aren’t willing to make the effort to acknowledge the time you spent refining your dating profile, therefore, why bother replying? It’s basic social etiquette that the person initiating a conversation asks something to which the response is not going to be ‘Yep, fine. You?’
And always…ALWAYS the second question is…“Up to much?”
“Currently sat at home on the internet, on a dating site. Strangely. You?”
And so it goes.
2. Bare profile = barely responsive.
I can’t be arsed to try and make a conversation out of nothing. No one has ever felt compelled to respond to a message saying ‘Hey, how are you, what do you do for a living? What hobbies are you into? BTW I’m only interested in you based on your 312 profile pictures, especially that one of you posing with a drugged up tiger…’
Ignoring either Rule 1 or Rule 2 inevitably leads to;
3. If a decent conversation doesn’t start within a few messages, there’s no point in continuing.
I had an exchange that went something along the lines of;
Guy: “Hey, how are you? You have a dog, do you like animals?”
Soddinl: “Yep, love animals. How about you, do you have any pets?”
Guy: “Yeah my whole family loves animals.”
When I failed to respond, the guy pestered me a week or so later, questioning why I didn’t reply to his lack of further conversation.
Soddinl: “Well the last response wasn’t exactly much of a conversation starter.”
Guy: “I answered the question, what more do you want? lol”
At the beginning, there’s about a million questions someone could ask in the attempt to get to know you. An epic fail of not bothering to A. expand on the answer with further points of conversation and B. Return another question makes me wonder how disasterously awkward the date would be, should we meet…I could only imagine I’d have to drown out the agonising silence with a range of alcoholic beverages and have conversations in the loo with other, non socially inept total strangers to get through the awkward date tragedy, before I seize upon the first opportunity to haul arse out of there.
4. If he doesn’t message you, he’s just not that into you.
I’m making up the statistic here, but approximately 90% of the guys I messaged first either didn’t respond, or had polite but nondescript conversations with me because ‘Eh, why not?’. As a result the conversation fades quickly, there are longer intermissions between messages, and then poofgone. Time = wasted.
When a guy messages you however, you already know they’re interested…in your photo at least.
The men who messaged me first, they were really interested in impressing me in sweet, simple ways (buying the first round, taking me to a nice bar with good music, attempting good conversation, asking questions and responding appropriately etc.) for the most part at least.
There are exceptions to every rule, however. There was the guy who messaged me first, took me to a dive bar and made repeated jokes about my ‘balls’ and other transgender related chortles. I feel I should point out, I’m 5ft, curvaceous in mostly the right places and I am pretty certain I don’t grow designer stubble. Don’t get me wrong, I can take the piss out of myself like a pro, but the 5th mention of my imaginary balls, I had to refrain myself from making his balls imaginary…
I did coninue sending a few sporadic messages to men, one or two resulted in a date which weren’t too bad, but for the most part, the minimal results weren’t worth the effort. Sitting back and relaxing, letting the guys come to me and picking which ones I liked the look and sound of was my chosen path to a date.
5. Sexual innuendo before even a few basic minor flirtations are exchanged.
RUN. RUN AWAY. Block the fucker, change your phone number, move house, fake your own death…Seriously. Just no.
During my first few weeks on dating sites, before I began implementing rules 1 and 2, I got a lot of lotharios inviting themselves round to mine or inviting me round to theirs even before conversation basics were covered. That and a few deeply unneccessary prick pics. (Maybe they thought I might burst into The Sweetest Thing’s Penis Song…?)
One time I stupidly ignored my gut and let certain excessive innuendos slide before a meet…notice I say meet, rather than date; I had no sexual or romantic interest in the guy and made no hint that I was interested at all, no flirtations, no nothing…All I can say is, I’m glad we met in public, because even in that situation, he did not want to take no for an answer. I managed to get out of his grasp relieved that I only felt violated rather than actually being violated.
None of these guys seem to understand No, Sod Off or Cease and Desist orders. For your own safety, avoid.