What Not to Do When Online Dating

Ah, the warm glow of on-screem romance

Dear real_man_4_u,

Great to hear from you! I have to admit, I was a little hesitant to join the online dating community after my friend met the “The One” online and he turned out not to be a 35-year-old hedge-fund manager/smooth-jazz lover like his profile said. Personally, I would have given him the benefit of the doubt: What’s 20 years and a few fraudulent checks where great love is concerned? 

First, thanks for keeping your message short and sweet; I’m a busy girl and don’t have time to read all these emails from men who want to know about my interests, pursuits, and passions. Those two words you wrote, “Ur HOtt!!,” really say it all and didn’t delay me in getting to my spin class, which I appreciate, as I’m sure you do, since you indicate in your profile that “fatties need not apply.” 

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By the way, your photos are fantastic! That one of you with your shirt off posing in the bathroom mirror is super-creative and speaks to a soul whose depths have yet to be adequately plumbed. Plus, the low, dingy light really throws your face tattoo into relief. “Lady Killer”—is that the name of the band you’re head-banging to in the rest of your photos? (I love the arts, too!) 

Thanks for including a list of turn-offs in your profile. It makes it a lot easier to steer our conversation, and, that way, there are no surprises later on in our relationship! Even with literature, politics, vegetables, and sobriety off the table, we still have plenty to discuss, like your “pro” stance on dog fighting. Or your thoughts on whether “No” means “No” all the time. “Sometimes it’s a ‘Yes’ that needs a nudge”…I bet you have some great stories to go with that one! I’d love to hear them; maybe you could drop me a line while I’m at work, or, as you call it, while I’m being “a raging Commie feminist.”

Speaking of jobs, how are things going in your Ted Nugent fan forum? Moderating an entire message board on the Nuge must take time; I don’t know how you find time to “crush it” with your band. And you’re right—living in your parents’ basement at 40 is a smart way to “flip a big ol’ bird at The Man.” Although, yes, it’s a bummer when your mom doesn’t make spaghetti the way you like it, with ketchup. 

But to get back to your original message—I have to admit, it made me blush. What can I say? A sentiment like that reinforces my self-esteem in a way that my upbringing, education, career, and other relationships really can’t. Plus, it adds a little mystery to our interactions. By “HOtt!!” did you mean dateable, or merely attractive? Are you looking to meet at a coffeehouse and get to know each other better over a dark roast and conversation? Will we look back at that message years from now and try to explain its significance to our grandchildren as they play around our feet? Trying to intuit your intentions from those two sweet words has me swinging from one end of the emotional spectrum to the other, which, of course, I love to do.

I should wrap this up. Sorry to ramble on for so long, real_man_4_u (I know, I know, you don’t like “crazy chicks who talk your ear off”), but I couldn’t help myself. It’s like what you said in your profile about shopping for oversized backyard trampolines: “When you’ve found the one, you just know.”

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Hoping for two more words,


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