Dating after college is hard. Like really hard. In the real world (yeah, spoiler alert, college is not the real world) There are no more classes where you can intellectually connect with someone during TA hours. Or wild house parties where you can meet your soul mate while doing keg stands. Or a cozy library where you can make eyes at a pretty stranger across the stacks. Instead, you have to be an adult and work 40 plus hours a week, commute, grocery shop, cook food, watch your favorite TV shows, go to the gym, take care of your pets or children or high maintenance friends, and be in bed by a decent hour because you are too damn old to survive on consistently getting 4-5 hours of sleep a night.
So, the real world has made me a huge advocate of internet dating. I got on OKCupid.com last January and have had a lot of fun. It can be a little overwhelming at times, but it’s a great way to meet like-minded, interesting, and attractive singles. And it’s FREE. As a new comer to the real world, I have limited funds, so anything free is automatically awesome.
Unfortunately, and you already know this if you have spent five minutes on OKC, there are a lot of creepers and trolls and bros and the such on there. These idiots, or as I like to call them, Internet Dating Failures (IDFs) can really sour the experience of online dating. You know you have been hit up by an IDF if you have received one of the following types of messages:
1) The direct message (i.e. Wanna bang?)
So, OKC has a setting where you can click and have it be known that you are interested in meeting others for casual sex. Now, I’m all about casual sex and being sluts as long as it is consensual, but I choose to not too click this option… and I still get at least 3 messages a month like this:
Ok, maybe this works for some people. Hell, maybe you, my dear reader, would be down to screw. But I’m not and I made that clear on my profile. It’s just idiotic to think that a person would be DTF even if they didn’t choose that setting. It’s also fairly disrespectful. Thanks, IDF, for not having the decency to scroll to the bottom of my profile to see what I’m interested in. Here’s a clue: it’s definitely NOT you.
2) The generic message
These are normally pretty harmless. What happens is an IDF will make a generic message that he/she thinks is awesome and then blast it out to anyone who fits their fancy. You can always tell because they say a blanket compliment like “you seem great” or “you’re hot.” Then they just talk about themselves, how you should message them, and how you two should meet.
I think of it as Internet Dating Spam. The thing is, I am a person. When I’m on OKC, I want to meet people who are interested in actually getting to know me as a person. The reason these messages are frustrating is because it doesn’t treat me, the person on the other end, like a human. It’s like I am just an inbox to fill. And that’s not ok.
I can’t deny, sometimes the IDFs get creative. I got this winner recently (sorry forgot to take a picture):
I’m sure you are as intelligent as you are cute but the only way to know that is in the real world through conversation. Let’s meet up and grab a bowl of cereal and have some stimulating conversation and see if we connect. Worst case we may become friends. Let me know when you are free to meet.
I do love me a bowl of cereal and I agree that conversation is the best way to get to know someone… THAT’S WHY I’M HERE! But I don’t know you and I’m sure as hell not going to message you to meet up with you. While you, Mr. IDF, may be thinking this about yourself…
I’m not thinking that. I’m thinking that it’s kind of crappy that you just sent me a stupid message and there are probably 20 other people who had to read it too. Not cool.
3) The lazy message
These are just dumb messages like “Hi,” “Hey Sexy,” or “Howdy.” Obviously, if that’s ALL the effort you’re going to make in your initial message, you are not worth my time.
Sometimes there is minimal effort and they will message “cute dog” yeah I know she’s cute… Not messaging you or “I like your short hair” yeah, me too… still not messaging you.
Nope. Still not messaging you. Why? Because I’m great. My profile is great – I spent about 2 hours or more on my profile. I even spellchecked it. If you aren’t going to put in the effort to message me, what does that say about the potential relationship we could have? It says nothing good!
So, yeah there are a lot of IDFs out there.
BUT, have faith! There are some awesome people on OKC. Their messages look like this:
1) They are not creepy. Just listen to your gut – if it sounds creepy, it’s creepy.
2) Their messages comment about something besides for your looks. Duh.
3) There are at least two, preferably three, things mentioned from your profile. It means that he/she put an effort in to reading about who you are.
4) The messenger made one connection between you and him/her, like, “I love that book. I read it in school and it totally changed my perspective on life.”
If you get something like this, maybe you should check out that person’s profile. They’re probably not an IDF. Who knows maybe you’ll want to message back 🙂 .
So these are my thoughts… what helps you screen online dating messages? How do you avoid the IDFs? And what’s the most ridiculous message you’ve ever gotten?!
PS: The amazing MissX coined “OKStupid.”