Name: Back in the Game
Comment: I’ve been divorced for almost a year and decided to try online dating. Out of the 20 or so messages I receive a week at least 50% are from men that are nowhere close to my specified preference. I get several messages from men of races other than I typically date. Is it considered inappropriate to write in my profile that I prefer to date men of a specific race?
Comment: I have a line in my OKCupid profile that states that I prefer to meet someone slender or petite who shares my interest in outdoor activities and who is fit like me. At least a few times a week I receive emails from women who either reprimand me for being shallow or who try to educate me in some way. I took the line out of my profile. The emails that lectured me where then replaced with messages from women who were chubby to obese but chose “average” or “curvy” as their body types. Women have similar deal breakers in their profiles. Do they receive these kinds of nasty messages? Is there a way to say what I am looking for so that I don’t get so many unwanted messages?
Okay. Let’s reply to each letter individually and then address the situation as a whole.
First, BITG, I wouldn’t recommend putting a disclaimer in your profile stating you prefer men of a certain race. While I don’t think it makes you racist, I do think going so far as to write that sort of disclaimer out will make you look…close minded. Not only that, but publishing such a requirement is akin to waving a red flag in front of a bull. People will email you just to piss you off or annoy you because they will find what you say offensive. I believe Match allows you to select the race of the men you prefer to date. That is enough. You don’t have to go further than that. If people choose to ignore that, that’s on them.
Simply delete the messages and block the senders. I happen to think that most men skim the profiles anyway. You’re lucky if they get all the way to the bottom. I think men read the body of the profiles not to determine if their are mutual interests, but to see if there are any red flags. If the picture and the age and body type work, they’ll reply. My personal belief is that the actual text doesn’t really matter. That doesn’t mean people shouldn’t make the effort, of course. They should. But I think a lot of women try way too hard to make themselves sound engaging and fun and breezy and then end up being perceived in the exact opposite way. They say too much. 300 words is a good cap. Keep it short and sweet. Tell the man how you’re going to better his life. Paint yourself as a fun date. Don’t think ten steps ahead. Most men use online dating sites to get dates, not find mates.
As for you Kevin, I’m going to give you similar advice. Going out of your way to basically say “no fatties” makes you look mean spirited. What isn’t clear to me is whether or not you are simply only attracted to slender women OR you assume that women who aren’t slender/petite aren’t “healthy.” If it’s the former, then you can’t help what you are attracted to, and no it doesn’t make you “weight-ist.” But if your preference is based on the assumption that anybody over XXX pounds can’t be active, then I think you are being short-sighted. You may be being perceived (and possibly rightly so) as ignorant.(Note: If BITG refuses to date men of certain races based on stereotypes and biases and not simply on attraction then she, too, is being ignorant.) If a woman demonstrates in her profile and photos that she leads a healthy or active lifestyle, it’s really not up to you to determine if she’s healthy or not. Include a disclaimer and, like with BITG, you’re going to encourage the women with chips on their shoulders to respond. You’ve offended them, just like BITG has offended the men that aren’t of her preferred race.
Their resentment is neither your nor BITG’s responsibility or problem. No doubt they have their own deal breakers and must haves. They’re just pissed that they are being excluded from your pool of candidates. They have no problem excluding others from theirs.
Do women receive messages like this? Oh yeah. I’m sure the women in our audience could share their stories.
People on those sites are always trying to shame or guilt others in to giving them a chance. It reeks of desperation and bitterness. But that’s what happens when you are on the receiving end of constant rejection. You get angry. That’s why you shouldn’t reply to those people that don’t fit your specified criteria.Just don’t engage. Of course, people could avoid the constant rejection if they would only adjust their expectations and broaden their horizons. Since we can only control ourselves, the best approach is to say nothing instead of hoping against hope the other person will handle the rejection with dignity.
Then there are the people who write you and admit that they know they aren’t what you are looking for but just had to tell you how great your profile is. Again, it’s a last ditch effort to get a response. Even those messages should be ignored. More often than not, it’s a trap. Respond and they will try to sway you and take that response as a sign of some kind of defeat.They are more interested in being right than being happy. They are going to get what they want no matter what. Avoid.
Bottom line…don’t reply unless you’re interested. On some sites that might get you flagged as being one of those really selective responders. So be it. I think that’s better than being flagged as someone who responds often. I typically avoided those people. Sure, I probably pre-judged a few guys who actually did reply to people with a polite no thank you every time they got an email from someone that wasn’t for them. But I’m also sure that I ended up avoiding a lot sport fuckers. The people who went out with anyone just to get laid. So be it. I’m fine with that.
The only people who complain about such a “cold” approach are the ones frequently being rejected. At some point, those people have to learn that the choice not to reply is now one of those social rules we have come to embrace in dating. After a certain point, people have to learn to accept these rules. Especially because it’s the refusal to abide by these rules that is keeping them single.
This is why most men pay for the dates and most women won’t have sex til date three. They are social rules. We follow them not because we want to, but because not following those rules so often leads to chaos and confusion.