Monday, June 10, 2013

Lost in Translation

As I've mentioned before, I've been a member of,, okcupid, and eharmony (though not all at the same time, of course). So I've looked at hundreds of profiles, which also means I've seen hundreds of pictures of shirtless guys in their bathrooms.

Although some guys put a lot of thought and effort into making their profiles sound informative, interesting, and thoughtful, a lot of guys put the same lines on their pages, which makes me feel like I'm reading the same profile again and again. (I wish I could send them "feedback" like "It's really not necessary to include your sixth-grade picture in your profile," and "You should put more than three lines in your summary, because your shirtless pictures don't really tell me much about you, except for the fact that you are very hairy.")

Here are some examples:

"I'm tired of the bar scene, which is why I signed up for this online dating membership."

What they could be saying: I really don't like going to bars anymore, unless someone else offers to buy the next round of drinks.

"I'm looking for a woman who's fit and leads an active lifestyle."

What they could be saying: I'm looking for a woman who's thin and works out a lot. The only things on her body that should be big are her chest and her booty.

"I'm looking for a serious relationship."

What they could be saying: My mother keeps asking me when I'm going to get married. (To which I say, "Me too! I think that every person over the age of thirty has a relative asking them when they're going to get married.")

What they could also be saying: On the other hand, if you bring up the topic of marriage before I bring it up, I will lose your phone number.

"I recently read [insert scholarly-sounding title here], which is now one of my favorite books."

What they could be saying: I really did read that book, but I also like to read magazines with pictures of women with big chests on the covers.

"I'm looking for a woman with a sense of humor."

What they could be saying: I'm looking for a woman who thinks my friends are funny, even when they start making fart jokes.

"I want someone who is independent."

What they could be saying: I want someone who doesn't expect me to pick up the check every time we go on a date.

"I want someone who leads an adventurous lifestyle and likes to spend time outdoors."

What they could be saying: I REALLY want someone who's thin.

On the other hand, some guys are a little too honest. On another dating site I was on, some guys actually specified that they didn't want to date anyone who was overweight; one guy wrote that he didn't want to date anyone who weighed more than 140 pounds. Another guy wrote, "If I pick you up and carry you, I hope you won't break my back!"

But here is one that I just saw on a few days ago:
I'm just on here for all you guys out there who are talking to [name redacted] that she is not telling the truth whatsoever. She just got out of a three and a half year relationship yesterday. She's a liar and if you go out with her you will find that out first hand. She does smoke and she never wants kids or marriage. She doesn't volunteer or go to wine tastings or work out 3 to 4 times a week or go hiking or yoga or volleyball. She is looking for nothing then going out on a date. How do I know this well let's just say I share a lease with her still.

It isn't easy to write a description of yourself or what you're looking for. And of course, I'm sure that women use cliches in their profiles too; I think I was guilty of using a few when I first joined an online dating site. This time I tried to make my profile sound like one of my blog posts, so that the guys who saw it would get a better sense of what I'm really like. But sometimes I think that they're only looking at my pictures, because several of the guys who have e-mailed me (rather than "winked") asked me questions that were already answered in my profile.

A guy recently started e-mailing me, and we've been messaging each other over the past few days. He said he's moving to Chicago next month, which means I won't get to meet him for a few weeks. I hope I do get to meet him, though, and I hope that he doesn't pull a disappearing act like the last guy. I'm starting to think that he will, though, because I haven't heard from him since Friday.

I also hope that I meet someone special soon, so that I don't have to look at any more pictures of shirtless guys in their bathrooms. You'd think that would actually be a pleasant experience. You'd THINK, right?

What about you? Even if you've never tried online dating before, do you think that most people are honest in their profiles?  Do you think it's better to conceal certain facts about yourself, at least at first, such as the fact that your biological clock is ticking louder and louder? (I may or may not be describing myself, though the fact that I'm 32 makes it kind of obvious.)


  1. You're so kind to say "what they could be saying" instead of what they're probably saying.

    I wonder what online dating looks like from the guys' POV. Maybe they write half the stuff they write because they were burned on their end too. Your one example shows that some of these women are up to no good too.

    1. Hi Theresa,
      I wonder if that woman who was described in that guy's profile came across what he wrote about her; I'd be furious if anyone did that to me. She shouldn't be lying about herself, though. I've never been good at lying, which is why I would never be good at playing cards.
      I've read articles on online dating written by men for men. Interestingly enough, they don't usually say anything about disappearing acts. I wish they would, though; I wish they'd tell men not to lead women on like that.

  2. The "I'm looking for a woman who is independent" sounds like "has money because I'm broke"

    1. Hi Karen,
      Hahahaha! You could be right. I wouldn't have a problem picking up the check on some of the dates, as long as it wasn't every date.

  3. Hope you meet soon!! No, i think profiles are embellished a bit.

    1. Hi Tammy,
      Thanks! I hope I meet someone soon too. That guy I mentioned in this post pulled a disappearing act, sighhh... I wish I could just meet a nice guy I truly like (and who truly likes me) who will stick around.

  4. I think profiles represent what the person thinks you should know rather than what you really want to know. Which is why I would probably stink at finding guys to date online. There's a lot to be said about looking someone in the eye.
    I hope you meet the one you've been emailing!

    1. Hi Emily,
      I wish I could find out more about what I want to know about these guys, like how they feel about working mothers and how they would react if I had to cancel a date once in a while because of work. But of course, that's not first date conversation, and it's definitely not the kind of thing I talk about when exchanging e-mails.
      I don't think I'll meet that guy I was e-mailing. He sent me two e-mails and then disappeared. It's so frustrating that this keeps happening!

  5. I really enjoyed this post. I have a girlfriend from college who met her husband online. I'm not sure which site. Anyway, I know she mentioned how hard it was. A lot of the guys she met hadn't been honest about themselves in their profiles.

    Maybe folks write their profiles for who they want to be or how they want to be perceived.

    Good luck. I hope you meet Mr. Right soon.

    1. Hi Kari (or is it Kari Marie?),
      Thanks! There are a lot of success stories, which have given me hope. But so far none the dates I've gone on have worked out. It's true that a lot of guys aren't honest about who they are in their profiles. I once went on a date with a guy who was significantly older than he looked in his profile pictures (though he claimed to be younger). He's not the only one who lied about his age; I've seen several profiles where guys claim to be younger than they actually are, but their pictures say otherwise. Maybe they look older, but most people don't look ten or fifteen years older than they actually are.

  6. I haven't been on one of those sites before, but I do know people who have met their spouses on one! Good luck. It's hard to find someone worth your time and affection, no matter where you're looking, I think. :) But it'll happen.

    1. Hi Rachel,
      Thanks! I hope it does happen for me. I also hope that it'll happen soon, because I don't want to join another dating site. But I still might end up joining another one at this point, if doesn't work out.

  7. I love the guy who explained about his ex! I'd date him, he sounds great. I do wonder why guys like to show off their bodies, when they aren't show-offable though!

    1. Hi Annalisa,
      I think that guy who bad-mouthed his ex didn't realize that most guys aren't even going to read what he wrote about her; his profile is going to be viewed by women, not men.
      I'm not sure why guys like to show off their bodies, though I will admit that there are some women who are the same way, except I haven't seen their profiles.

  8. Lol your translations are hilarious.

    Yeah, I think people lie in their profiles. It's sort of like omitting certain things about yourself on your first date. Except one step further. :-)

    1. Hi Misha,
      I have to admit that I didn't reveal certain facts about myself in my profile, such as the fact that I like music by Taylor Swift and Britney Spears. I think it'd be funny to wear a shirt with Britney Spears or Taylor Swift's picture on it on the first date and see how the guy reacts. (Not that I would ever actually do that, but still.)