Great Expectations: Online Dating Profile Put-Offs

Posted by Judy Johnson On Sunday, 20 February 2011 03:00
Having recently dipped my toe back into the rather cool - icy even - pool of internet dating, I found myself wondering whether this now common way of finding a date is turning us into more critical singletons, with expectations that are far too high. 

With shows like Take Me Out getting me fired up (just check the Twitter feed - sorry to my dear followers), about both the men and women on it, it's all too easy to dismiss someone almost instantaneously because of a less than perfect first impression. Not as tall as you'd like? Lights out.  Lives with his mum? Blackout. Dresses his puppy in little outfits? Bit weird. Likes to dress as a woman and sing? Well, that might be pushing it. 

Back in the day (and this isn't even that far back, for me anyway), you used to see someone, get to know someone and see where it went. Now, in a dating world where it's harder to find a date and anyone and everyone is online in some shape or form, we're getting snappier and stricter with our judgements. And it's not just that we can find them online - even after a first date we can Google them, Facebook stalk them, find them on Twitter or on their blog and see what makes them tick before making a decision, without so much as sending them a message to say thanks for the drink.

With this immediate approval or disapproval in mind, we online daters seem to be looking for Mr or Mrs Perfect - and nothing less will do. I'm hardly in a position to be fussy, that much is clear - and I'm trying to be quite open minded online, putting age differences and usual type aside when browsing. But flicking through some profiles on a site recently left me feeling really rather inadequate (and then, when my senses kicked in, just disappointed) because I wasn't sure I could meet the 'would like to meet' criteria of most of these men. Are we so used to getting the right stuff in just a few clicks that we expect dating to be the same? The top profile put-offs for me so far have been:
  • Wanting a girl who is really happy, because you are super positive and upbeat.  I don't know about you, but I can't stand people who walk around with permanent smiles on their faces. In fact I am pretty suspicious of them. What's so wrong with being the one to make a slightly-less-than-happy girl happy? After all, is that not what we're all looking for? Know your audience.
  • Wanting a girl who is 'open to trying new things'. Well what does that mean? Are you going to make me sky dive on our first date? Force-feed me curry even though it makes me sick? Or are you just kinky as hell? Either way, I don't want to make a promise I can't keep. I will try what I want, with or without a date. 
  • Writing specifically that you are after a good-looking girl. No, 'someone who makes me laugh', no 'I happen to like brunettes', just pure and simple you want someone who looks good. To make that announcement you should look something along the lines of Brad Pitt back in his earlier years yourself, or George Clooney who everyone  loves - because otherwise, you're just a shallow and average man who doesn't get that even the best looking people in the world aren't everyone's cup of tea. And with that assumption, you are not mine.

So guys, (and girls) - can I make a suggestion? Rather than describe in detail the absolute ideal of the person you are looking for, perhaps make it a little more open to, you know, real people. Cheryl Cole (or enter perfect woman/man here) isn't going to be looking for you on there, but the One might be - don't make them click off in the first second just because they're scared of heights or not a fan of Indian food. You at least want them to be interested enough for them to try and Google you...


3 Response to " Great Expectations: Online Dating Profile Put-Offs "

  1. Your first paragraph is bang on.

    Incidentally, I met MrLippie online, and, on paper he was entirely wrong for me, not tall enough, lived in the wrong city, too sporty, didn't resemble Hugh Jackman ... etc. I'd seen his profile on the website and dismissed him out of hand. He looked nice enough, but ... meh.

    But when he got in touch, his emails were funny and personable (so difficult to get that balance, sometimes) and we seemed to have the same sense of humour, so I agreed to meet him.

    Our first date was ... ok. I left thinking that he was nice, but I wasn't sure "the spark" was there, but the date was good enough that I agreed to meet him again.

    We've been together ever since - and this is our fifth year together. It's not always perfect, mind, but we rub along nicely enough. Most of the time!

    I guess I mean that even unpromising starts can be the beginning of something lovely, and, as long as the guy doesn't actively turn your stomach (either online or in the flesh) it's always worth keeping on keeping on.

    One thing I discovered in my year of internet dating was that when it's wrong you know (generally) within about 30 seconds of meeting. However, when it's right, you might need a little longer to figure it out.

    Not sure any of this will help, but good luck!


  2. Judy Said,

    Thank you, that is good to know! I am just really put off contacting anyone first (which is scary enough already) because simply by reading their profile I am already feeling rejected. I suppose

    I am guilty of it too though - I've had a few messages through which I won't even pay the subscription to read because the dealbreaker for me is height - being 5'10 means I need someone tall!

    I think because it's all online and we're actively searching for someone we are being too specific with what we want... hopefully I will find someone who just wants to give people a try like I do... fingers crossed!


  3. Katy Said,

    "What's so wrong with being the one to make a slightly-less-than-happy girl happy? After all, is that not what we're all looking for? Know your audience."

    I totally love this observation. You could run an online dating advert school on this line alone. This is EXACTLY the point - if we were all gloriously happy with ourselves we wouldn't be looking for anything/anyone else.

    I've always been the slightly less than happy girl! The 'happy ones' always make me suspicious! :p



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