The Serenity Prayer for Online Daters

Name: Rosie
Age: 36
Question: Hi Moxie

In the past week, I’ve had a few dates where the person has revealed a huge dealbreaker, such as dishonesty, drug use, or a major health or lifestlye issue they are not willing to address.

Date 1:

Advertised himself as 45 years old, with pictures of a himself in his mid to late 40’s.  In real life, he looked 65 and had children close to my age, very old fashioned mannerisms, and talked mostly about his health problems.  He went to the bathroom five times (enlarged prostate).  When he hugged me goodbye, rubbed my back and told me I was his “beautiful soulmate” I physically cringed.

Date 2:

Revealed during the date that he smoked cigarettes and the “other stuff” even though his profile stated he was a non-smoker.  His smoking has gotten him hospitalized several times because he has chronic and severe asthma.  I have mild asthma and was recovering from a chest infection and asked him not to smoke in front of me.  He agreed, but 30 minutes later lit up… twice.

Date 3:

At 48 years of age, is planning to release his first record despite having no experience in music, being unable to play an instrument, sing, write music or lyrics.  He plans on singing the tunes over the telephone to music company in another country, who will produce a digital master.  He will hire professionals to do the artwork, and have ten thousand CDs printed.  His janitor job does not provide enough money to finance this venture, and his credit is not good enough to borrow from the bank, so he is going to borrow money from a local lender.


A number of men I’m communicating with online make plans to call at a certain time, then don’t call.  Then they say they will call the next day, but don’t call.  Or they arrange a date then cancel 24 hours or less before the date, or “disappear” while arranging a time and date.  And worst is the man who asks for a date on a certain day, then says he will call or text on the day of the date to finalize arrangements but cancels hours or minutes before the date.

All of the above real scenarios are dealbreakers for me.  How can I vet the men I agree to date more carefully?   I’d love to hear your thoughts and get your readers’ input.


Hmm…this really is a parade of losers. I’m not sure there is any way to eradicate any chance you’ll ever meet a guy like this again, though. But I’ll take a stab at tips to help you prevent meeting too many of such kinds of people.

Give Me The Serenity to Accept The Things I Can Not Change

Yes, I just quoted The Serenity Prayer. The first thing you need to do is understand that having the occasional bad date or meeting someone who looks nothing like their photos or who isn’t completely honest is a staple part of online dating. Appropriate your expectations. Some people are deluded or don’t have an accurate perception of how they look. You need to accept that.

Give Me The Courage To Change The Things I Can

This starts with paying closer attention to the details that the person provides. Here are my basic rules of thumb:

1. I wouldn’t meet any man that didn’t have at least 3 photos on his profile. The photos all had to be clear shots of his full face and at least one full body shot. The pictures also could not be grainy or look outdated/hazy in any way. Only one photo? No dice. They also all need to be from different points. Not the same session. No distance shots, no profile shots, no shots with sunglasses or hats. Basically, no hiding.

2. No shabby dressers/photos of them in slovenly looking/dark apartments - Sounds like a no brainer but you’d be surprised. People pose in poor lighting for a reason.

3. Pay attention to their skin tone/hair/weight – You can tell the difference between someone healthy and unhealthy. A pasty/yellow tinged skin tone is an absolute no no for me. As is any admission to frequent drinking or drug use beyond pot. And even that I try to avoid if I can.

4. No references to having made mistakes “like everybody else” or not being perfect - Jesus, just post your criminal record if you’re going to say that.

5. No oversharers - These men you’ve dated all show signs of classic oversharing and lacking in self-awareness. I will guarantee you they showed glimpses of this in their profiles.

6. No pipe dreamers – Sorry, but if some guy is in his late thirties to forties and he’s still plugging away at being a musician, artist or actor, I bail. That is, unless he states out right that he makes a living at said profession. I don’t care how pissy some of you get – dating someone who is still struggling to establish himself at a career at that age is self-involved and irresponsible. They won’t be able to make a relationship any form of a priority. Plus they’re usually unstable in some way.

7. No creepy/off vibes - How any of these men didn’t trip off some trigger within you is beyond me. There’s no way these buffoons are able to present themselves well in their profiles. No way.  Avoid guys that make you go, “Meh.”

Give Me The Wisdom to Know The Difference

Here’s where you come in. We all have had the occasional bad date. But that seems to be the norm for you. Your radar is way, way off. You need to learn how to pick up on signs of ambivalence and moderate interest.

1. Get rid of the phone step – There. That was easy. I will bet many of these men are ditching you strictly because you are requesting a phone call.

2. Don’t accept vague plans - If a guy says he’ll follow up with you to “finalize” plans, he’s moderately interested at best or exploring other options. Try to get him to confirm plans in the very conversation where you agree to meet. If he’s not willing to do that, detach. If he says he’ll follow up tell him that’s fine and cut bait.

3. Be proactive - You’re leaving way too much up to the man. You need to take a bit more control here. Get a list of places together that are no more than 20-30 minutes away from you so you can offer up locations/meeting spots. Be prepared. Know your schedule. Suggest a specific night and time and location. The next day, don’t wait for them to follow up. You do it. Some of these situations could simply be a lack of communication or similar disconnect.

4. Don’t engage anybody that takes too long to respond without offering a viable excuse. Once that dialogue begins, it shouldn’t be staggered over a few days. If they’re not replying in a timely fashion, or they drop out of a conversation, they’re simply not interested enough. Move on.

2-4 emails over 48 hours, make the date, meet. That’s it. Anything else is a waste of time.

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48 Responses to “The Serenity Prayer for Online Daters”

  1. Rosie Says:


    Thanks for your reply. The tips are very useful!

    Just wanted to expand on a few things:

    I agree that I’m going on dates with the wrong men, but it’s not like quality men are contacting me AND following through to make and stick to dates.

    In the past, I’ve rejected men whose profiles, photos and messages felt a bit “off” and ended up with absolutely no dates.

    I’m slim, well-dressed, attractive and focussed my profile on fun things I like to do (rather than my career and education) in order to sound more fun and approachable. I suspect that my age and ethnicity (I’m black) means that I’m not getting quality men, as quality men have so many options in the dating market place.

    The men who flake out are giving me their phone numbers and saying “call / text me”, so I give them my number then they say they’ll call. I’m not sure how else to respond if they give me their phone number.

    Speaking on the phone has been really helpful for me, as I’ve been able to weed out men from cultures that don’t respect women. Some of them get possessive, and start questioning me with things like “why are you single” “when was your last relationship” “who are you seeing on the site” just after saying hello. On Saturday, I spoke to a man who got very angry when I asked him what he did for a living (he questioned me about my career so I just said “and what about you?” I certainly don’t want to meet someone like this in person!

    I used your template that you published a few days ago for contacting potential dates, but when I’m proactive and get to asking a man out, he always flakes.

    I’m not contacting 6’4″ doctors or bankers who look like models, but ordinary guys (aged 36 to 48) who seem interesting and attractive to me. Perhaps they think they can do better than me, but it doesn’t make sense for me to email men whose photos and profiles I find unattractive.

    BTW, I’m using which seems to have a lot of activity, but much lower quality men.

    On quality paid websites or even OKC, I get very few views, 60+ year old men contacting me, or ignored when I am proactive and contact average men.

    Thanks for listening. Your site has been a lifeline in this online dating craziness!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

    • Jamie Says:

      You’re still doing the phone calling, so you’re not really following the program. It is counterintuitive, but in practice I’ve found that Moxie is right: the less talk before meeting, the better. Some of these dudes want to spend an hour on the phone, which in the past made me think they were interested; then after a few of those I realized, no, they’re just bored that night. The tipoff is if they want to talk for a long time on a Monday or Tuesday night, and at no point during the conversation are definite plans made for either a short meeting on Wed. or Thurs, or a longer meeting at the weekend. If nothing else, it’s an hour of your life that you didn’t waste. Plus, it’s great to see some writing from them, because you are obviously literate, and if they email you, then you know that they are too, whereas their profile may have been proofread by someone else.

      I’m 49 and not slender at all, and still sometimes get dates (though not nearly as many as you, I’m sure) and sometimes even get treated well on them. Just keep looking on the days you feel up to it.

      BTW I like Moxie’s photo rules. Another in that category (though the opposite of hiding) is: no shirtless pictures. Too much information. A giant wavy red flag.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  2. Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

    In the past, I’ve rejected men whose profiles, photos and messages felt a bit “off” and ended up with absolutely no dates.

    So which would you prefer? A bunch of dates with losers or no dates? You just answered your own question – you’re going out with anybody that shows interests just to have dates.

    POF? There’s you’re second problem. That site is an absolute waste of time and draws the dregs of humanity. Get off that site.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 27 Thumb down 1

    • The D-man Says:

      you’re going out with anybody that shows interests just to have dates.

      She already says she’s rejecting people, so this is ipso facto not true. Rather, she’s not filtering aggressively enough.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

      • Rosie Says:

        Moxie and D-man, you’re both right. I’ve been using because it results in dates AND I’ve been talking myself into going out on dates with men who are “off” because previous experience showed that when I set standards for whom I go out with, I don’t get any dates.

        So now I’ve got to go back to filtering aggressively enough, and work out how to market myself so that a sane, age-appropriate, available man on one of the quality sites will take a genuine interest in me.

        Thanks again.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

    • Brad Says:

      The macro ideas (new site, new approach) don’t seem to be getting through. Lets try the micro approach, starting with:

      Date 1:
      Advertised himself as 45 years old, with pictures of a himself in his mid to late 40′s. In real life, he looked 65 and had children close to my age, very old fashioned mannerisms, and talked mostly about his health problems. He went to the bathroom five times (enlarged prostate). When he hugged me goodbye, rubbed my back and told me I was his “beautiful soulmate” I physically cringed.

      OK, in 1999 I paid $1k for a Sony mid-tier digital. And no pictures from that Sony would look like an entry-level quality camera now. If you’re genuinely saying this guy’s pics were from 1992, they would be grainy & scanned. Or were they photoshopped? Don’t post his profile name on the board, but send it privately to Moxie, lets see what sets off her alarm bells.

      We get the idea that the date was a disaster, but tell us about his profile. And your correspondence, and the phone call. Start from the beginning – did you contact him? End with date night – what were you expecting going in?

      From there we can probably give you better advice.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

      • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

        Agreed. Rosie please send me the usernames of these guys.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

    • Howard Says:

      POF is free, but is it really, when you end up wasting time? The funny thing is that guys say the same thing about the women at POF. I had a profile I left up at POF, even though I never checked the site. I got an email about messages at POF. So I said what the heck, “let me check the messages.”

      The first unsolicited message was from a woman who contacted me to say that a word I used in my profile was not a real word, and that she was an English teacher. So I sent her the link to Merriam Webster showing it was a real word accepted in current usage. She then insisted otherwise. I guess her strategy was to embarrass me into meeting her. Well, that was enough for me, no wonder our kids can’t learn anything.

      The other unsolicited message was from an attractive woman that seemed nice enough. I met her. Within 10 minutes of meeting her, she asked me if I ever cheated on my wife when I was married. Like she expects a guy to say, yes. She then told me later that she was surprised that an educated guy like me, raised my kids in NYC and not the suburbs. Well that was the end of that. Don’t know any guy who has the temerity of telling a woman how she raised her kids within minutes of meeting her.

      And that is POF for you. Guess I should have taken down the profile. If a woman wants to do online dating, maybe she should do one of the better sites. I don’t even know what those are anymore, because I tend to stay away from online dating. Maybe Moxie can give you some suggestions. There is also meeting people offline. Speed dating, Lock and key, meetups and getting involved in activities where you meet people with similar interests. Especially consider the ones lots of guys are involved in, like running, biking, martial arts, weight training, seminars men are interested in, etc. Another good angle is for a woman to become an organizer in some activity that atrtracts a lot of men. That way, she doesn’t even have to do that activity, but gets to come into contact with lots of guys from a favorable position.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

      • RT Says:

        Never say never…I just went to a beautiful 3 day destination wedding last weekend where the couple met on POF. I’d say leave your profile on a few sites to maximize opportunities, but maybe focus on 1-2 paid sites like E-Harmony and Match. Online dating, much like offline dating, is also a numbers game.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  3. Deen Says:

    I totally sympathize. You guys have to understand, dating is INCREDIBLY hard as a black woman. And when you’re educated and successful, it’s even harder, because your needs and wants are different. Sometimes, you feel like you have to take what you can get. I’ve tried online dating (Match, eHarmony, OKC) and the responses are always sketchy. There’s the way too old (15-20 years older but “I’m told I look younger”), the “married but looking for something on the side”, the “I’ve never dated a black woman before and want to see what it’s like” and so on.

    I’ve been dating, but mainly single for the last 4 years, yet I’m hit on almost everyday. However, the quality of these men are lacking, these are guys I wouldn’t have dated even in the early stages of my dating life. Dating out of my race isn’t an issue and it’s not that my “standards” are impossible; I want a nice smile, sane partner, stable (emotionally, financially, mentally) and open to the possibility of a family someday. What I get are men who are looking for ‘something on the side’, something quick or men who are very closed-minded. Even the professional men I meet aren’t looking for anything serious. I haven’t done much online dating within the last year and I’ve all but given up on dating entirely.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 3

    • Jamie Says:

      It’s pretty funny… As an older educated white woman, I get the same offers… a really hot friend, almost 20 years my junior and with a serious girlfriend his age, asked me more than once for “some fun” and when I asked why he was bothering with me when he had his hot young girl, he said “I’ve never had sex iwht an older woman and I want to see what it’s like.”

      Oh please, spare me the fun.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

    • Howard Says:

      “it’s not that my “standards” are impossible”

      They may be impossible when you are looking in the places that you looking.

      “(emotionally, financially, mentally)”

      Well there is the unspoken. Do you even need to mention financially. It speaks volumes.

      Tales of woe such as yours get us nowhere when it comes to dating. It’s really like looking for a job. We have to be upbeat for the next interview, in spite of alll the rejection and time out of work.

      Now, most guys are generally ok with the way things are. Sure they would wish a few things to change. In many cases, they may not be totally happy, but still generally ok. With women, there seems to be a great deal of disatisfaction out there. We could spend a good while expounding on that but the call to action still sits out there. It is the most disaffected party that has to push for meaningful change, and embrace change.

      How was it that Albert Einstein defined insanity? “Doing things the same way and expecting a different outcome”

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 6

  4. DrivingMeNutes Says:

    Reality is based on your own actual experience, not fairy tales or stories told by your friends. If your expectations of men were realistic, and your standards not “impossible” then the application of your standards would result in a real, live “acceptable” human being appearing in your life. If, however, the application of your standards or filters results in “no dates” it means your standards, regardless of how you characterize them here, are not realistic for you because, in your experience, they’ve led to no results. Might that be a painful thing to confront? Yes. But, the only question really is whether you want the relationship bad enough to set realistic expectations based on what you offer. For some, the answer is no whether they admit it or not, and they remain alone.

    I agree with some of Moxie’s suggestions above but most people around here don’t have the luxury of disposing of potential dates because they are physically imperfect, have bad skin, are older, overweight or have health issues. My suggestion is to relax those standards sinceI just don’t see the emphasis on physicality as productive towards a relationship of substance. Its chasing fantasy and most people don’t live up to the physical standards they set for others anyway.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 10

    • Rosie Says:

      DrivingMeNuts, my understanding of your comment is that I need to relax my standards, as I probably don’t offer anything equal to the standards that I originally set for myself.

      And when I relaxed my standards and got dates, I got to date a liar who was so old that I physically cringed at his touch, a drug user who showed no regard for my health, a janitor with pipe dreams that will lead to him getting into trouble with loan sharks, and I spoke to various men who scared me on the phone.

      I compared myself to friends who have nice partners, and don’t think that what I have to offer is so bad that should end up with these fellows.

      However, your comment has made me think that perhaps I’m not marketing myself well enough. Perhaps hiring a stylist and taking some new, hip photos for my profile, and talking about a few of the upscale activities and hobbies I have might strike a chord with a decent guy.

      What do you think?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

      • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

        And when I relaxed my standards and got dates, I got to date a liar who was so old that I physically cringed at his touch, a drug user who showed no regard for my health, a janitor with pipe dreams that will lead to him getting into trouble with loan sharks, and I spoke to various men who scared me on the phone.

        And all of that comes back to you. You can belittle these men all you like. Doesn’t change the fact that you picked them.

        You’re also grossly exaggerating these situations. Some dude who smokes pot is not a”drug user,” And the guy taking out a loan isn’t necessarily getting it from “loan sharks.” You’re being overly dramatic to make a point. You’re trying to demonstrate how you’re soooo flexible and not at all picky, but the fact is, you are too picky because you’re telling yourself you can do better when you probably can’t. If you’re not getting any dates, then you obviously aren’t measuring up to the other women on these sites or your profile is off putting or you’re sitting back and waiting for the men to contact you, which isn’t going to happen. Listening to you here, I’m going to guess the problem is an inaccurate self-perception and the tone of your profile. I have reviewed about 40 women’s profiles in the past 6 weeks and I’d say MAYBE 3-5 were passable. The rest were all full of bravado and sarcasm and heightened self-importance.

        A stylist isn’t the remedy. And the guys don’t care about your upscale activities. If anything that will make things worse. Just concentrate on not sounding like someone who is impossible to please.

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 8

        • Rosie Says:

          Thanks for your insights Moxie. I guess my response to DrivingMeNuts was a little dramatic, but I still believe that cannabis is a drug, and the lenders the janitor described were local people who made informal loans at very high interest rates.

          My profile states that I want to date a health-consicous non-smoker, so I’ll take a look at my profile and delete anything else that makes me look difficult to please.

          I really appreciate all the effort you’re putting into helping me out.

          Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 1

          • Howard Says:

            That’s the right attitude. Changing the online profile will help. Guys like me got really tired of reading the non-negotiables, disclaimers, baggage, and self-importance, so we got off online dating. But remember the online profile you had, still reflected your attitude and who you are. You may also want to do some soul searching too while you are changing that profile. In life, nothing stays the same. Much as what we call, “that’s just us” is just as contrived, just waiting for a life changing event for us to abandon it.

            It is always interesting how many people gamble with a lottery ticket or in a casino, but refuse to gamble even a little at life where it really counts. I am not suggesting jumping out of a plane with a parachute, but looking inside yourself and the way you communicate. And we are not talking about lowering standards here. This is where people get confused when change and evolution is suggested.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  5. Craig Says:

    It’s been documented in a study by OK Cupd that black women have the lowest reponse rate of all people studied. So Rosie is correct in theorizing that her ethnicity and gender play a large role in her struggles online. However, that is not to be used as a crutch, as there is a lid for every pot. Indeed since her ethnicity/gender is something she can never change, it means Rosie (and “Deen”) just has to double her efforts to find success. Any single woman should take control of her destiny by pursuing the men that she wants. The days of waiting for the best quality men to hit on you are over. Roise seems to have taken this step, so that’s a start. Make a goal to contact at least 10 people a week, but more is better. Cast a wider net and you’ll land a bigger fish.

    The next thing to do is ditch Plenty of Fish. The free sites do not draw quality people who are really invested in meeting someone. The old idiom “nothing ventured, nothing gained” applies to free dating web sites. I had the best luck with In terms of selection, quality, and open-mindedness of the subscribers, that site is the best in my opinion. You could also try EHarmony, but because that site is run by Christian Evangelical nutjobs who pick and choose who’s worthy enough to be on their site (as well as choosing your mates for you), I’m weary of that one. Lastly, you have to remember that dating is a game of averages, be it online or off. The more dates you go on, the better your odds of finding someone. The best of us are going to have a lot of bad dates, get blwon off, encounter flakes, or people that misrepresent themselves. It’s par for the course. You have to expect that no how many filters you try to put up, grow a thick skin, and keep on dating as many people as you can. You have nothing to lose and someone will pan out sooner or later. It took me 10 years to find someone online – and I’m the six foot tall big city lawyer every woman supposedly wanted. Happy hunting!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 3

    • Rosie Says:

      Craig, your advice has been really encouraging. Thank you so much!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

      • Nathan Says:

        I actually have had much better luck on Ok Cupid than on Match or other paid sites. None of my friends and family who were on Match or EHarmony had much luck either. However,I totally agree about POF. Unlike Cupid, there is no incentive to put any effort into the profiles. Too many were a pic
        and a generic sentence or two.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

    • uesider Says:

      I concur with Plenty of Fish- haven’t met someone worthwhile in about forever. I do use Ok Cupid. However, the key is to meet more people. There are loads of meetups and other events in the city that draw singles just out having fun. Isn’t that how people usually meet? Why do we put 80% of our effort in something that yields 20% of the relationships?

      As a man, virtually every time I go to one of these things (and I have a group of my own as well) I get phone numbers. Go out and meet more people, go to events doing things you like to do, and you have a great chance to meet someone that meets your standards.

      Online dating is a computer game. Take it too seriously at your own peril.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  6. LT Says:

    I am a black woman in my 40’s and I think that on-line sites seem harder (not impossible but harder) to meet quality men and for some of the reasons that Rosie stated. Maybe the men are too old, too creepy or just looking for a one-time thing but with that said that can also happen with men you meet off-line. I think the important this is that while you are trying online dating (free and paid sites) you also need to put yourself out there “off-line”. I’m sure you’ve heard it before but join groups and do activities that you enjoy and also hang out with your couple friends because sooner or later there may be a single guy in the group that you hit it off with. I think the most important thing is to just be open to meeting new people. I’m actually dating someone that I met walking down the street. Do I think that happens all the time, no but I have plenty of friends that say they don’t even look straight ahead when they are walking but I do since there are so many people (men) walking in NYC, I might as well keep my head up and my eyes open – you never know!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

    • Howard Says:

      I liked your bit about dating the guy you met walking down the street. Too many women dis men they meet in person then run home to play their computer game called online dating.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  7. Selena Says:

    It’s columns like these that make me wonder why people keep at online dating beyond initial curiosity. I mean, you have to PAY most of these sites to make it possible to meet the people you meet – is it fun enough to keep meeting this way rather than through friends? Or your local watering hole/sport/gym?

    There was a point I was curious about online dating – way to meet people you never would otherwise, yeah, yeah – but the more I read about online dating, the worse it sounds as a way to actually meet someone one might actually like, forget about love. So I ask…how many of you reading this forum have felt online dating to be beneficial? Something more enjoyable, than not? Something you would honestly recommend?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

    • Crotch Rocket Says:

      That might make a good Ask Moxie question for another day. However, this post is about Rosie, not you.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 4

      • Selena Says:

        Rosie’s post illustrates the impression I’ve gotten from reading many comments on this blog and others like it – online dating sites aren’t as wonderful for meeting potential romantic partners as they are marketed to be.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

    • Craig Says:

      I met my wife online on There was zero possibility of us meeting otherwise. Suffice it to say, I find online dating beneficial.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  8. Nathan Says:

    Selena, I have had some success with online dating. It’s definitely not my preferred method anymore, but I do think it’s possible to find a good partner online. But you know, a lot of folks take it way too damn seriously, while others are so casual about it that they barely move beyond glorified chat room status. The only thing you can really do is be honest about who you are and what you want, keep intelligent boundaries, and let the rest go. All these made up rules are exhausting to try and sort through, and all this placing people into categories based on a few paragraphs and a photo is foolishness. In the end, you’re just making a guess about someone, and until you go out with them, you’ll never really know for sure. Almost no one escapes dating a few really screwed up people, no matter how well you screen. So just accept it, and move on. There’s no point in wasting endless time dissecting the story you have about someones character when you never plan to see them again anyway.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  9. Selena Says:

    You put it all in perspective Nathan. Good job. :)

    What I’ve liked about meeting people *off line*, is that I already know a little something about them from the start, (45 yr. old’s do not look 65 for example), (smokers will duck outside at some point is another) and decide on that basis whether or not I want to go out with them in the first place. I’m a little mystified as to why “blind dating” has become popular, and truly, I wonder if it is as popular as it is sometimes made out to be.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  10. Don Draper Says:

    Quoted from the OK Cupid blog –

    “Men don’t write black women back. Or rather, they write them back far less often than they should. Black women reply the most, yet get by far the fewest replies. Essentially every race—including other blacks—singles them out for the cold shoulder.”

    What black women fail to appreciate is that just because they have risen from the ghetto to get an education and all that comes from being middle class, their black and white male social counterparts still do not view them as desirable.

    The OP is already ahead of many other black women as she appears to be literate, and claims to be slender, well dressed and employed. I am assuming she also does not have multiple children by different fathers, which is a bonus.

    On the other hand, the OP believes she offers the same as her friends and other women on the site, and her mistake is that she fails to take into account that what she offers is not of value, so becomes dissatisfied with the men she is able to attract.

    Bragging about your “fab” lifestyle and fashions will present an undesirable high maintenance image. As Moxie said “a stylist isn’t the remedy. And the guys don’t care about your upscale activities. If anything that will make things worse.”

    It has been implied in a few of the comments, and putting it plainly, the OP cannot afford to be as picky as women of other races. If serious about securing a relationship, she cannot think of her suitors as a “parade of losers” and the “dregs of humanity” but rather “what she can get given everything she has to offer”.

    In her postion, dating the janitor and using her resources and knowledge to assist him in his education and training could result in a mutually beneficial relationship.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 4 Thumb down 30

    • fuzzilla Says:

      “Accept that you’re worth less” is pretty terrible/offensive advice, “Don Draper.”

      Aren’t there dating sites specifically for blacks? How are they? I know OP is open to dating other races, but a niche dating site would remove the “rejected for her race” part from the equation. Try a bunch of sites and get a feel for their demographics/vibe. I never tried POF, but what I’ve heard is in line with what Moxie said.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

    • dimplz Says:

      You do realize that not all black women are from the ghetto, right? In fact, you should probably look up where the term “ghetto” originated. Methinks the janitor is not the only one in desperate need of an education.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 0

  11. Speed Says:

    Don Draper wrote, “The OP is already ahead of many other black women as she appears to be literate, and claims to be slender, well dressed and employed. I am assuming she also does not have multiple children by different fathers, which is a bonus.”

    Not sure what you meant by this, especially as a black male myself. It might apply to significant percentage of women in an urban ghetto. Then again it might also apply to those in a trailer park. That sort of pathology is endemic across the lower socioeconomic ranks of America, and not race-specific.

    Trying to do some sort of “My Fair Lady” training of a janitor is also not a good idea. It’s insulting to the guy, because it indicates his job is not worthy.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 2

  12. Don Draper Says:

    You may well say that my advice is terrible and offensive but I speak the truth that many other commenters are skirting around. No one on a dating site is going to tell the OP that she has a nice profile but they are looking for a woman of a different race.

    The OP is not getting dates on good websites but IS getting dates on Plenty Of Fish. This is the right site for her, she just needs to adjust her expectations on what she can realistically achieve. I’m not the only one here who has suggested this.

    The OP admits that she cannot do better than the janitor and the two men who misrepresented their profiles (the old gentleman and the inconsiderate smoker). No one is suggesting she should date someone she finds unattractive or whose lifestyle is unacceptable but the janitor seems an okay person but misguided about achieving his ambitions.

    Since the OP mentioned the janitor’s job but did not say what the other men did, SHE is implying that his job is not worthy. I am simply meeting her halfway and addressing her concerns.

    The OP may well have many desirable qualities but her race negates any desirable qualities a quality black or white man is looking for. There are laws in place that protect her from being discriminated against in the workplace, but in the dating marketplace her true value in society is shown.

    She may find it difficult at first to relate to the janitor but since she must be able to relate to the unemployed underachievers in her family and community, she will find a way to relate to the janitor. It would be a good opportunity for her to improve this gentleman’s prospects while securing a partner for herself.

    I seriously doubt that contacting desirable black or white men online will result in serious dates. The OP has attempted to do so in the past and it is apparent that these gentlemen are out of her league. Similarly a dating site for blacks will contain a disproportionate amount of ex cons, “playas” and “gangstas”. Since she has worked somewhat for her achievements by taking advantage of affirmative action programs, these types are not in her league but blue collar workers would welcome the improved lifestyle that she can offer.

    The advice to do offline activities may give quality men the chance to observe her in a low pressure environment. If the OP is classy and ladylike and not as masculine as the average black woman one of them may ask her out. It is a long shot, but she can join clubs in between online dating.

    OP Ignore the fairy tales and face the painful truth. Your standards are way too high. Be grateful that any man with a job is willing to date you and work with that.

    You’re welcome.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 2 Thumb down 26

    • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

      Is this real life???

      Her value in society is shown????

      Stop. Just stop. Between this and the comments last week one gguy wrote suggesting that the man whose gf cheated on him “kill her and make it look like an accident” I’m completely wiped out. Just stop.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

    • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

      Also, no, this is not the previous Don Draper.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

    • Rosie Says:

      @Don Draper – I appreciate the efforts you’ve made to write detailed comments to address the issue. It’s hard to take anything you say seriously when there are so many hateful references in your advice.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1

  13. Crotch Rocket Says:

    All of the above real scenarios are dealbreakers for me. How can I vet the men I agree to date more carefully?
    I have a hard time believing that you didn’t have some idea, in the back of your mind, that there was something wrong with these guys before you met them in person.

    When I was having bad date after bad date, I needed to recognize the only constant in that pattern was me. It took me a while to admit that I knew most of those women weren’t likely to be good matches and I went out with them anyway because I thought they were attractive enough to make up for obvious deficiencies (insert your own “but he’s X” here), because I was desperate for a date, or both.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 2

    • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

      what she should consider is that she actually wants a man like this because they make her feel better abouut herself. I don’t say that to be cutting. I genuinely think she is attracted to men like this because they’re such messes she feels more together and in control.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 3 Thumb down 9

      • dimplz Says:

        I think she’s going out with them because they are the ones biting the most. The problem with the men she’s going out with and people like Don Draper is that they are all assuming because she’s black, she’s going to go out with any black man. The idea is absurd, because do all white women go out with any white man who asks them out? Um, no. They go out with men, probably who are of the same race as they, but they go out with them because they are matched in interests, goals, and education. Educated people stick with educated people. You always try to find someone who is similar to you, right down to the style of dress you prefer. That’s what made DD’s comments sound so ignorant. They are based on an idea he has of a black woman: a “masculine” woman who is unsexy and unattractive. Well, maybe he’s been watching too many movies and not observing people in the actual world.
        The issue with Rosie is one that any person with a lot of education is going to experience. I’ll do you one better. Even a very religious woman with NO education would have the same problem. Why? Because you are part of a smaller population the more educated you become, the more religious you become, the more specialized you become. In order to be appealing to more people, you have to become more open-minded too. It might seem silly to you that a janitor has these pipe dreams, but if he was this janitor, you’d be wrong for judging him.
        No one is telling you you have to date every man who asks you out, but if you have an advanced degree, it behooves you to be more open to the men you date. Look for someone who matches your values and intellect, and don’t look so much at the job title and degrees. I say this as a PR woman with an MA. Even my Greek bf has a BA, and his parents paid for his education. Degrees and job titles aren’t everything.

        Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  14. Arbee Says:

    Don’t wipe out entire categories of things, like ditching free dating sites. I have a good friend who met her husband on Yahoo personals, which I would never use because it seems to attract a very low caliber of men. But she weeded out a ton of them, had a lot of bad dates, and eventually found the right guy for her. They have been married for 6 years already. And my last boss met her husband on OK-Cupid and they now have a kid, and a friend of mine met his girlfriend on Plenty of Fish and they have been together for 3 years so far.

    You can meet anyone anywhere, even on lousy sites. The issue is not about the sites. Online dating is just very time-consuming with little reward. I hate it myself – I find many men to use it when they are bored or lonely and they are active then, but they lose steam when it comes to following through. But the people I know who have had success were willing to deal with a lot of jerks and losers and to put in a lot of time and effort. But it paid off for all of them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  15. VJ Says:

    Let’s take this down to reality. Those OK Cupid Trends DD cited are what they found from valid & standard statistical analysis using very large sample sizes. Nothing more, nothing less. Still as Arbee notes above, it’s an amazingly popular way to meet, and more & more couples in LTRs seem to be doing so successfully today, somewhere between 25-30% couples say they ‘met online’. How many met on which particular ‘dating site’ remains to be seen, but it’s still pretty popular now.

    Demographic trends are already telling us that by 2020, most younger women will earn at least as much or more, as the men they choose to date & marry. Many newer marriages & relationships are there now. This has to do with the tremendous skew of women now getting more college degrees than men.

    So practically what might this mean? It means that with regards to higher educational attainment, women may have to be slightly less demanding of similar standards that they might have wanted to once uphold. It may well mean that you’re better educated than hubby/bf, and that’s just fine & ‘it works for you’. Sometimes that’ll be fine for a while, sometimes it’ll be a constant struggle. But the fact remains that if you’re looking at especially a similarly aged younger guy? Women are now outpacing men for college graduation rates by about 10% or better in most ‘markets’ & regions. That adds up quickly, and indeed has. Seemingly unbeknownst to much of the female population somehow!

    So again the perennial question of why are ‘good men’ or ‘quality men’ hard to find? Well many reasons, but Yes, one reason is that perhaps you’re constantly trying to match your education with his, and that’s now a shrinking market, and in some populations, (Blacks & Latinos) that’s increasingly harder to do. Fewer men in those populations complete college, (for whatever reason), and hence are ultimately ‘screened out’ by many women seeking mates. Needlessly too. In prior generations, many women never got degrees, or later went back to obtain them/finish them, and this was mostly just fine with hubby. Sure there was bound to be some tension with this arrangement, but much of the time? It was a ladder into the middle class for many, many women and their families, and they welcomed it.

    I know many upstanding black families in my town where the husband was out earned all his life by his wife. One in particular, his wife was a Doc, and he a municipal employee, and she likely out earned him by better than 2:1 if not 3&4:1 for much of their marriage. Still they raised some fine & successful kids and had a strong marriage. Sadly when we buried him early, almost the entire town came out to send him off. He was well known and respected for the job he did & who he was, a proud & valuable member of our community.

    So the bottom line as always is to decide on what you truly want. Do you want to be in a lasting relationship where you’re loved, admired & respected? Or would you rather try and hold out for the fuller ‘check list’ of options on that special model that may or may not ever grace your doorstep? It is ultimately all about choices. Is that good, honest, decent, loyal, kind & hardworking bloke in front of you ‘good enough’ for your purposes, or do you require the proverbial ‘Ivy League’ pedigree? (Again this may not be Rosie’s problem, but it is a general one). If you’re just looking for a short term fling or ‘some thing’ you can’t quite define? Then perhaps ignoring character or essential decency, humor and industry in favor of more flashy traits (good dancer, nice dresser, sharp style, always smells good perhaps) will do for now. It really depends on what you want & what you seek and how long you imagine it might endure.

    There are plenty of good guys out there. I know plenty of them. Sadly for some of them, some of what they were selling by way of durability and above average decency was never quite in demand. Like the quiet stoic Norwegian bachelor farmers of the upper Midwest, they’re not all mythical, they were mostly hard at work while the rest of the world was looking the other way. Now they’re just older and unmarried.

    But the bottom line remains that for many myriad reasons, it’s much more difficult for black women too, and that’s something the stats will back up also. Reality is hard to ignore. Cheers & Good Luck, ‘VJ’

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    • fuzzilla Says:

      >Let’s take this down to reality. Those OK Cupid Trends DD cited are what they found from valid & standard statistical analysis using very large sample sizes. Nothing more, nothing less.<

      Yes, this is true, I've read the same studies myself. I myself advised that maybe OKCupid isn't the best market for her, if that's the case (though she never said she tried it). However…did you really not see what was offensive? "Don Draper" (ha, he wishes) kept going on and on making assumptions about Rosie's life and family and how "her race negates her positive qualities" and concluding with "be grateful any man with a job wants to date you." He deserves to be called out on that shit.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

    • VJ Says:

      More data here Via Slate:
      “Women as Primary Breadwinner? Black Women Know All About It”
      By J. Bryan Lowder | Posted Thursday, April 5, 2012, at 2:50 PM

      “Because of the limited economic prospects for black men, black women are likely to be both primary caregivers and primary breadwinners in our families”.

      Cheers, ‘VJ’

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  16. The Private Man Says:

    Online dating is a process and a time consuming one, at that. Women tend to be more passive about it and that fits into the traditional dating 1.0 model where a man is expected to approach and take the lead in the courtship process.

    Online dating is an opportunity for the woman to be more pro-active. The challenge to overcome is that the more attractive (looks, humor, intellect, affluence, etc.) guys tend to get all the attention online and are subsequently taken off the market relatively quickly or acquire a “soft harem” of women who simply share him unknowingly.

    As well, the large numbers of male profiles (and most are hopelessly similar and mediocre) create a shopping cart mentality in which it becomes far too easy to look for a reason to reject a guy because there is always another profile to see.

    To overcome this mentality, it’s important to find something positive in every male profile. That doesn’t mean sending them an email, it just means finding one thing good about the guy. It’s a good exercise and works quite well out in the real world, as well.

    It comes down to this: If you want to find more good men, it’s necessary to find more good in all men.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 2

  17. Kurt Says:

    Why is she complaining about the guy in the third date? Didn’t she already know he was a 48-year-old janitor before she met him? I bet that if she had really thought things through beforehand, that alone would have been a deal-breaker.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  18. Larry fine Says:

    “6. No pipe dreamers – Sorry, but if some guy is in his late thirties to forties and he’s still plugging away at being a musician, artist or actor, I bail. That is, unless he states out right that he makes a living at said profession. I don’t care how pissy some of you get – dating someone who is still struggling to establish himself at a career at that age is self-involved and irresponsible. They won’t be able to make a relationship any form of a priority. Plus they’re usually unstable in some way.”

    This comment is so hurtful and o e of the reasons why i shy away from online dating. Judgements like these anger me. You have no idea of what struggle means. You have no idea what commitment means. What passion means. Its just all about the material. This is what makes me hate western women. It also explains to me why vincent gogh was a man. Why so many of the worlds greatest innovations came from men. Sometimes a ‘pipedream’ is worth chasing as it may, just may change the world. History is a story of men who contributed to the world in innovation and creativity. Things that a women lack respect of. To degrade a man for chasing a dream and to condemn him for his effort. By far is one of the most pathetic things anyone can do. May he be a loser in your eyes but he never settled for anything less than his passion. May he die broke and alone. Yet he died chasing a dream. What greater courage can a man have than to forever be true to himself despite all things. That he would sacrifice everything on a hope and dream. I do not expect you to understand. Something as great as art is clearly above your head. You see value only in the material. Passion has no value in your eyes. Western women, american women in particular are absolute scum. That is one reason why they rank so lowly in the world. Their views on men at its base level are the most degrading. They value nothing about men other than the material. As a man you must fit this mold of what they deem as acceptable. You must have a certain kind of job, car and more or you will be cast as ‘creepy’ or unfit to ever be accepted for qnything. Men do not even have the right to be themselves. Is there any place more oppressive and sexist as this? It is easy to see how men like hitler and others were loved and enabled. Its because of women. They value what they think a man should be and damn any man whohas the courage to be himself.

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