Things You Should Never Admit In a Dating Profile..Or Maybe Ever

When it comes to dating, there are certain confessions that people really should to themselves.

I can remember reading a man’s profile once and came across something that gave me pause. He answered the question “Are you an honorable person” by saying that he wasn’t an honorable person int he past but was “working on it.”

Oooooh. Dish, girlfriend. Intrigued by his “refreshing honesty” I emailed him and asked him what he meant by that statement. Of course he answered because, well, why else would he admit that in his dating profile? He said that he had cheated on pretty much every woman he’s ever dated. But he was committed to changing.

Oh. Well then.

When people make shocking admissions like this, be it in a profile or in conversation, it’s usually strategic. Sometimes they’re conscious and aware of what they are doing. Other times…not so much.

Here are some things you should reveal with caution. Or maybe not at all.

1. That one time, in band camp? - Yeah, leave those wild nights when you were in college or that time you pulled a train in the past. Sadly, thanks to advancements in technology, some young people’s bad decisions can haunt them all over the internet. The co-ed porn niche is extremely popular. Personally, it skeeves me out, because you just know those kids aren’t thinking clearly or are trusting the wrong people. Your experiences as you explored and expressed your sexuality are yours. Those choices might have made perfect sense to you and you might feel totally comfortable with them, but people will judge you.   There are, of course, people out there who are not intimidated by such stories. At the very least, practice good judgment. You know what will make you sound shady or might imply that you have poor judgment. That’s the stuff you keep to yourself. You’re not obligated to share glimpses of your sexual history with your new partner. Nor do you owe anyone an explanation for your choices.

2. That you’ve been dumped/friend zoned a lot - Nobody wants to date someone that they know is constantly being tossed back into the water. You don’t want to plant seeds of doubt into anybody’s mind about your ability to function in a relationship. Nor do you want to make yourself sound unattractive. We want people who are desired by others. Remember that.

3. That a former employer was arrested/investigated/fled the country – A confession like this should come only when you and the other person have developed a baseline and a sense of each other’s character. Often times, an employee is oblivious to the shady dealings of their employer. But just as often, they are very aware of the illegal and nefarious activities that go on in that corner office.

4. That you cheated - Here’s the thing about hooking up with people with girlfriends or boyfriends. By doing so, they are telling you they don’t care what you think of them. In fact, they don’t really care about you at all most of the time. I know women LOVE to ask probing questions so that they can build faux intimacy with a man. If someone admits to infidelity or some other questionable behavior, don’t automatically assume that that kind of honesty is a positive thing.  Some people are actually proud of being a douchebag.

5. That you were abused in some way- Again, this is something that should only be revealed once true intimacy and trust has been established. It sucks, but many people hear such things and immediately assume that survivor is damaged in some way. It’s a scary thing to admit, but it’s also unsettling to hear, as it makes you wonder how such abuse affected their relationship and interpersonal skills.

6. That you haven’t had a relationship in a long time - Sorry, kids, but this question is a total trap. Lie. Lie your face off if you’ve been out of a relationship for more than a couple years. Better yet, don’t ask this question. If you do, don’t judge. The new reality now, thanks to online dating,  is that many if not most people have a spotty relationship history. The ‘”new normal” so to speak is to date someone for a handful of months here and there. Just because someone hasn’t been in a long term committed relationship in a few years is no longer a reflection on their ability to be in a long term relationship. Lots of people now are perfectly content with casually dating. By choice. Again, welcome to the “new normal.”

7. That you haven’t had sex in a long time – I know. You think it makes you sound discerning. But, let;s face it, people will wonder why you couldn’t get any for the last 9 months. Getting sex is far too easy nowadays. If you haven’t had sex in awhile, either you couldn’t find anybody to have sex with you, don’t have a solid sex drive, or have sexual hang ups. At least that is what many people will assume. On the same note, keep the fact that you just got laid a few recently to yourself as well. Here’s a good rule of thumb. Don’t talk about your sex life at all unless you’re in trusted company.

8. That you’re a recovering addict - We all assume, if someone says they never drink, that they are either a recovering alcoholic or a health nut. Sadly, people have preconceived ideas about recovery and sobriety and addiction. This is something you only reveal when you feel comfortable and know you won’t be shamed or judged. Always make your sobriety a priority.

9. That you’re a frequent drug or alcohol user - Keep the frequency in which you drink, smoke or take drugs to yourself. If you wouldn’t be public about that sort of thing on Facebook, you probably shouldn’t be putting it in a dating profile or revealing it to random strangers you meet.

10. That you had a messy break-up/divorce – Talk about foreshadowing. Keep any and all relationship/divorce drama off the table. Like, for good.

11. That you have a physical or mental illness of some kind – A close friend suffers from a manageable condition. He doesn’t typically tell anyone until he feels things are getting consistent or “serious.” Illness makes us appear weak. Unfortunately, many people are ignorant to most diseases and stigmas are alive and well. This is a revelation that should only come once trust and comfort is established.

12. That you’re unemployed - There are crafty ways to make it clear you are not steadily employed without telling people you don’t have a job. You can say you’re exploring a new field and are lucky to have the flexibility to do so. At our He Said/She Said event the other night, one man made it very clear would never date someone who didn’t have a job. Any job. He didn’t care if the person was supporting themselves through a savings or inheritance. They must, have. a . job. I;m not sure most people are that stringent. Though some are, apparently.

Anything else?


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69 Responses to “Things You Should Never Admit In a Dating Profile..Or Maybe Ever”

  1. offensivedan Says:

    1) Umm, that you like to meet people or that you like to communicate with available social media. i.e. facebook. That just tells me you are a timewaster.

    2)Also, that you expect perfect grammar when being written to.

    3) Stating in your profile that you only date within your race. For example, the most horrible profile I ahve read ws from a woman who stated she did not date guidos, darkies etc.

    4) Writing about God or Jesus in your profile and how the man you meet must have a relationship with same.

    5)Stating you are really busy.

    6) My kids come first, but I think I can fit someone in.

  2. Mark "The Shark" Park-Clarkson III Says:

    7. That you haven’t had sex in a long time Getting sex is far too easy nowadays ?? , Please !! “Easy” ?? For whom ?? A lot of women assume…because
    they can get attention/sex at a drop of a hat…that the same holds true for men.
    It does not; unless he is a celebrity,out of this world good-looking or wealthy/
    high status. Tons of men go months,years without dating or intimacy of any

    That being said,I agree with your other points.I wouldn’t necessarily lie but
    I wouldn’t be too forthcoming with certain information either.

    • Rick Says:

      I agree completely.

      Moxie’s points are right; the point of your profile is salesmanship. Some people are good at it, some not. The key isn’t being dishonest, but highlighting your plus and ignoring or at least not volunteering your minuses. As the saying goes, stop telling her you aren’t good enough; let her figure that out on her own.

      But you’re absolutely right about frequency of sex and relationships. When I read stuff like that hear I can only shake my head. She very clearly does not live in the same world as many of us (I do not mean that as an insult, I mean it literally). Frequency is a function of opportunity, and if you don’t live in a large city and work in heavily male dominated industries, opportunity is at a minimum.

      Statements like that here often leave me feeling like the message, most probably unintended, is if you aren’t perfect or can’t appear perfect, don’t try. As often as not, I leave this site wondering if the point is to improve people’s on-line dating experience or to discourage them from trying. I’m glad I have a close network of female friends who regularly remind me that women aren’t as hypercritically judgmental around here as they seem to be in New York. Maybe that’s why all the women around here are married.

    • A to the F Says:

      Sex is exceedingly easy. It’s called “last call”

  3. Dark Sarcasm Says:

    Women, do not:
    1) Refer to yourself as ‘baby’, ‘princess’, ‘spoiled’, ‘goddess’, etc
    2. Act as if someone pointed a gun at your head and forced you to create an online profile. ‘I can’t believe I’m doing this’ ‘My friend made me try this’ ‘I’m reluctant to try online dating, but giving it a shot’. You’re wasting my time already.
    3. Go on and on about all the expensive trips you go on. This causes me to pause. Are you online looking for a date or a sugar daddy.
    4. Make your profile a long rant about what you DON’T want. High maintenance warning!
    5. Answer the ‘income requirements’ question. Just because offers it, that doesn’t mean you should use it. When I come across a teacher that wants someone who earns a seven figure salary, I keep it movin’

    Forgive me if I double dipped, I’m at work and kind if booking through. :)

    • Alex G. Says:

      3. Go on and on about all the expensive trips you go on. This causes me to pause. Are you online looking for a date or a sugar daddy.

      I want to double-emphasize that most men really hate the bragging-about-travel stuff. Just stop it already. I would like to date a woman who may be easy to please because she has not been everywhere and done everything. And the travel-bug stuff makes you come across as expensive and high-maintenance.

      • Eliza Says:

        What is a woman genuinely is curious about exploring the world, and is able to get away for a week or two – AND has paid for her own trips? Geez! Talk about insecure or presumptuous.
        Get a spine. Just because a person is well-travelled, or has seen other countries and enjoys other cultures, doesn’t mean they are “high maintenance”…get a brain and be somewhat open-minded and less judgmental. wow.

    • ISOf16 Says:

      I have seen way too many #2. And have had ladies even admit they are only online with their ad because there daughter, son or friend said they have to find a man. As the saying goes… I find those women a “waste of skin” for being so stupid, and not having the backbone to tell their daughter, son……. to mind their own business.

  4. offensivedan Says:

    1) Not looking to play games. (Total B/S-everyone plays games)
    2) Looking for a nice, honest man. (Okay, so now that you are 35 or older you have decided that the this is what you want? Cmon, total b/s)
    3) Too many pics of you partying or on a boat,
    4) Writing your profile in ALL CAPS.
    5)If you are looking to hook up, don’t contat me.
    6)I want a man to challenge me. (Okay, after I get off of work I have to think of new ways to entertain you.)

  5. Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

    Everybody is missing the point of this post. This isn’t about all the dumb, innocuous things people say in profiles. This is about the revelations that can prevent someone from contacting you or going out with you again.

  6. Ashley Says:

    I agree with all the from the OP. Generally stay away from negativity, in my opinion. It is assumed everyone has some kind of personal baggage or messy past, but if I wouldn’t put it on a job application, I wouldn’t put it on my dating profile.

  7. Jada Says:

    I think there is a bit of overlap between 4 and 10 that needs to be specifically addressed. Don’t mention how your ex cheated on you. People who have been cheated on often display such a victim mentality and refuse to aknowledge how they contributed to the break down of their relationship in any way. It’s always 100% the cheaters fault. They also come across as distrustful and suspicious and angry. Don’t go into specifics as to why you broke up. It didn’t work out, you wish them well, that’s all that needs to be said at least in the early stages of dating.

  8. Lalalatte Says:

    In regards to #11. I agree with Moxie’s assessment that you should wait until things are consistent or “serious” but as soon as you both feel things have reached that point let you new partner know what you’re dealing with. As an ex of someone with mental illness who waited 3 months to disclose his illness I think he waited purposefully until I was invested in the relationship so it would be harder for me to just walk away. Had I been told a month or six weeks in I doubt I would have chosen the same path with him. In a nutshell if you’re sick be forthright and upfront as soon as you’re comfortable, it’s courteous to your new partner and it’s good for you not to hide a significant part of who you are from someone you might have a real chance at a future with.

    • Alex G. Says:

      If you liked him enough after three months that you didn’t notice anything about him in regard to his mental illness that bothered you, then what is the issue? Good for him for not telling you until three months into the relationship, because he just proved to you that it is barely an issue and you got to like him for who he is. I suppose it really depends on the specific circumstances.

  9. dimplz Says:

    You seem to have a lot of them covered (especially ones I hadn’t seen). From what I remember, because I am a visual person, I liked looking at pictures. Even if they weren’t attractive to me, the pictures said a lot about the person. I think the ones who had no picture, regardless of an intriguing profile, would not get a second glance. I wanted to see a clear picture of the person, full body, one closeup, and a few of them doing things (not posing but golfing, dancing, boating, whatever their interests were) and not with another female in the picture (unless it was captioned that it was his sister). There are so many profiles to look through, that if I didn’t see those things, I would keep it moving. I remember one guy asking me to give him feedback on his profile, and I told him that he was in a picture with like 9 other guys (so it was far away) and I couldn’t see his face clearly. Sure, it was a hasty decision, but if you really want to know the truth, that’s how people like me look at profiles.

    • The D-man Says:

      I really don’t get this “not with another female” business. I mean, yes, I get it enough to not do it, but it’s always seemed like an arbitrary thing to me.

      I suppose women lump it in with good/bad judgement, but the larger issue in my opinion is that it’s the woman who’s judging the man without knowing the first thing about him. Is it an insecurity thing?

      • Dimplz Says:

        I just think a man should be able to find a picture of himself without another woman. It’s not because I think they shouldn’t know women. It would be hard if you were out trying to meet someone and you had a single girl with you, even if she was acting as your wingwoman. Would other women even look at you if the girl is there with you? In pictures, people usually pose with an arm around the other person. The picture is a moment frozen in time, so all that person has to go on is your picture with another woman. Also, is it fair to the woman to have her picture on a dating site? You’re the one looking, not her.

        Picture a single woman at a bar with her male friend. She has her arm around him, and she’s looking at you. Do you think she’s available? That’s how I interpret the pictures. People often use props to hide in pictures. They carry their dogs or children to hide. You should be able to find or take a few pictures where it’s just you. Not carrying anything, not pointing at anything, not surrounded by friends or other distracting figures. Just you. That’s who you’re bringing to the table.

        • The D-man Says:

          Actually, I’ve found that wingwomen are extremely helpful when out on the town. She can help you open conversations and it’s social proof for her to be with you. She can then quickly disqualify herself by mentioning her boyfriend or husband who’s not there, or how you’ve been good friends since back in the day etc.

          In any case, on a dating site, I’m ipso facto there to meet people, so it’s not at all like a bar where you have mix of singles and couples.

          Can I find another picture of me? Sure, but if I have good picture of me that happens to include a woman, I don’t see the harm.

          Again, I don’t do this because I’ve learned the “rules.” But they are still just arbitrary — that is, women’s — rules, not a reflection of actual reality.

  10. LostSailor Says:

    Are you trying to say that listing my Federal convictions and penchant for “Furry” conventions are a mistake?

  11. Barnett Says:

    I found your approach to establishing a relationship with a new partner interesting…

    I agree that if anyone has been abused in the past it may be a good idea ti not reveal that information or any other ‘secrets’ that may affect the 1st impression on the person your dating. But 1 thing I do disagree on is lying to avoid revealing information.

    1st off lying while in any relationship is a cause for disaster. Plus, you do not need to lie if you do not want to reveal confidential information at the moment, for you can simply just say you rather not talk about that subject at that time.

    • Alex G. Says:

      Saying that you don’t want to talk about something will make someone wonder about you and what else you may be hiding. I suppose it’s honest and truthful but it’s a recipe for disaster.

      Speaking for myself, if someone asks me a very personal question that could be a trap such as “have you cheated on a woman?”, I answer it very truthfully even though I have. I feel I don’t have anything to hide. Maybe she should not have asked that, but it’s just my style, to just be truthful, open, and honest about everything, despite the consequences. Then I know that she will like me for me, and I don’t feel that I have anything to hide. I am aware that most people do not feel the same way about this.

      I believe another approach is to call her out on such a question and tell her that she really should not be asking that at this stage in dating. But of course don’t mention all these questions in a dating profile. Answer them sometime down the road.

      • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

        Maybe she should not have asked that, but it’s just my style, to just be truthful, open, and honest about everything, despite the consequences.

        And that’s why you’re single.

        Sorry, but if you know that your “style” is partly responsible for why you don’t have more dating success and you keep doing it, then you don’t really want a relationship.

        I honestly don’t get it. If you know something doesn’t work, why keep doing it? Is it because people like to believe that the “right” person will accept them warts and all? Because they won’t. That “right” person is not going to accept you “warts and all.”

        There’s no place for altruism in dating. Only pragmatism.

        • dimplz Says:

          “Is it because people like to believe that the “right” person will accept them warts and all? Because they won’t. That “right” person is not going to accept you “warts and all.””

          Yes, that’s why. I’m not sure why people thing they won’t have to change things to allow another person in. Your life works for you now because you’re alone, but of course it will change when someone else comes in? Isn’t change what you want? If you don’t want change, why would you seek someone? Just the act of seeking someone or something new is a step towards change. And of course, it will change you. That’s usually a good thing.

        • Alex G. Says:

          Actually, I’m not single at the moment and am with a woman who values openness. It DOES work for the sort of woman I am looking for, and for the ones who are scared off, they likely weren’t my type anyway. And yes, the right woman accepts me, warts and all, because I know that I have a lot to offer and nothing to hide.

          Again, I am aware that being exceptionally open is not most people’s style and most people are turned off by things. I think it is important to talk about these taboo things in the right light to demonstrate a certain sense of maturity and sensitivity to others, and that is the approach that I take.

          • Alex G. Says:

            I want to emphasize that I don’t volunteer personal taboo information because I do know better. But if she asks, yes, I answer truthfully.

          • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

            She doesn’t value your “openness. ” she thinks its a reflection of her importance. In her mind, you’re so open with her because she’s different. Only she’s not. You’re open like that with everybody.

            • dimplz Says:

              I see where you’re going with this, because if my boyfriend were open and honest with everyone, I would have a problem with it. People ask me personal questions about my boyfriend and although I can be honest, I’m not open about that. That information is not just my business, it’s “our” business, and because I’m not the type to divulge it and I KNOW he wouldn’t want that to be divulged I don’t answer. You can be honest and you can have privacy. Not everyone deserves or needs to know your personal life.

              Alex, you might find that your gf may not be ok with you saying certain things she wants kept between the two of you, and that’s ok. I accept a lot of things about my bf, but I don’t have to be ok with everything about him. That’s ridiculous. No one is ok with EVERYTHING about their partner. Everyone does something that irks the other person. I may not bitch about it, but that doesn’t mean I’m ok with it.

              /side rant not directed to anyone in particular unless you think you’ve got no room for improvement:

              Anyway, I’m tired of people who act like children do today with every little poop they take is magic. You’re an adult; not everything you do is rainbows and cupcakes. You need to learn to accept that you’re not the amazing person everyone says you are. You’re like everyone else, you annoy people, you don’t do everything right, and yes, your shit does stink.

              • Alex G. Says:

                The level of disclosure that I have with an intimate partner/girlfriend is not the same level of disclosure that I have with friends or even my family. So no, I am not open like that with everybody and I do realize what needs to be kept private. Yet, I still believe in absolute openness in anyone who I am dating and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Again, I realize that most of the rest of the world disagrees. I am NOT secret about anything with my partner.

            • The D-man Says:

              So what? She may value that he’s a good dancer too.

        • Trisha Says:

          Is there a statute of limitations for that question (have you “ever” cheated)? Say you are at least 40 and did cheat on someone at 21 but never did afterwards (and have had other LTRs since). I would find it hard to lie about it if I was directly asked but I would have an elevator speech prepared to minimize the impact of the answer. Or, am Moxie states, just still lie? Does this mean just in the initial stages of dating or ever (if asked on down the road)?

          • Selena Says:

            In the initial stages of dating, I’d consider the question itself impertinent and question the social skills of the person asking. Exchanging “confessions” I feel should come later after you’ve become close.

        • Eliza Says:

          wow..can we say “cynical”? Such a shame, you are convinced people are that judgmental.
          Everybody knows…or rather anyone reasonable and mature knows that nobody is perfect. And love = acceptance. But whatever. Everyone is entitled to their own perspectives…as warped as they may be.

  12. Mark Says:

    I think I would add #15 to the list.

    “But there is no #15″ you might say.

    Hate to say it, but there is a #15. But no one will ever admit it. Not to anyone.. Not ever.

    Sorry, but I thought I would lighten things up. Just a tad.

  13. Steve From the City Next Door Says:

    A lady told me on a first date that her “#1 goal is not to become a crack ho like [her] mom.” Then told me how she hoped to get situated such that she could take care of her younger siblings because they don’t have much family and are special needs.

    Also that you can’t wait to get pregnant.

    Number #11 is tricky…you don’t want to do it first off, but you can’t wait too long either. I had that happen to me….lady was not telling me she had mental issues…it came out when she had some other issues such that she couldn’t take the medication – it felt like she was trying to trip me – and she actually admitted her plan was to get me hooked before revealing the truth.

    • Eliza Says:

      To Steve. Actually, I would prefer someone be honest from the start by letting me know they are meds…especially if they have depression. Sorry–but I find it’s deceptive to hide that. And with other mental illnesses such as schizophrenia…the person may flip out, or harm you if they miss a pill, or have some episode. I find that today, more and more people are on some type of meds. So, when and if someone would reveal something like that to me, it wouldn’t suprise me a bit.

  14. fuzzilla Says:

    #8 – Is there some kind of rule that you *have* to disclose this as part of the A.A./N.A. program? Common sense says it’s a bit much for a first date and that you should know and own your triggers without making them the other person’s problem. You’d need to disclose it at some point if things are going anywhere. I dunno, I’ve been on plenty of dates where the dude was just bursting to tell me about hitting rock bottom and his neglectful dad and selling acid at Grateful Dead shows, seemingly proud as a kittycat showing off a dead bird. (Hmm, that must be it, they like the idea that their struggles make them heroes in some kind of epic drama).

    Anyway, my nonsense aside, I was just curious if there were some kind of “official” dating rules for people in recovery.

    • Amy Says:

      Rules, no. There’s a general reluctance to date “normies,” because some people don’t understand or judge you for going to meetings etc. I’ve been sober almost five years and when I date I just say I don’t drink. No one asks why, really, and no one cares (unless they are struggling with the issue themselves). I suppose if things went on for a while — one or two months? — it would be obvious that I’d have to explain why certain days/times are off-limits (when I have my regular meetings), but I don’t generally become attached at the hip to men I’m dating, so it’s easy to keep some things to myself.

      I think the overall tenor of this post in general (and the “being in recovery” thing in particular) is that you shouldn’t feel a need to vomit your entire history upon someone either in a dating profile or within first meeting someone. The first few dates should be getting to know someone in terms of their general approach to life, their personality, etc. I’m not interested in hearing why someone got divorced, what specific emotional issues they have, or that they visit a napropath every Tuesday for a chronic sinus condition…that stuff may or may not come out later, but on a first/second/third date it’s just a turnoff. I feel the same way about my sobriety: all someone needs to know is that I don’t drink or use drugs. Why poison the well by getting specific and/or sharing crazy stories? That’s not who I am anymore, so why would I get into it when just getting to know someone?

      • fuzzilla Says:

        Thanks. That sounds entirely sensible. I had a really awful experience last time I dated someone in recovery (but then I think he had a serious personality disorder goin’ on aside from that).

      • Eliza Says:

        yes. Amy makes sense. I am not recovery, however, I personally don’t like to drink, perhaps because I am the daughter of someone who went through recovery? And also just don’t crave alcohol or find it enjoyable…and it seems it’s very hard to find men out there that don’t drink, or suggest going for a drink on date 1, 2 or 3. And if you don’t drink with them? Some men don’t find it enjoyable. Perhaps I am dating the wrong men. I just find that society today is very fixated on getting intoxicated or drinking to be social…when I can have a blast and be social without drinking at all.

    • Crotch Rocket Says:

      Is there some kind of rule that you *have* to disclose this as part of the A.A./N.A. program?
      The book Alcoholics Anonymous suggests telling your family, friends and employer that you’ve quit drinking and why. OTOH, that book was written in the 1930s and clearly assumes that all alcoholics are married; it doesn’t even consider that they might be single, nor does it address dating in recovery. Society has changed quite a lot since then, but they steadfastly refuse to update the book in any way–not even to fix poor grammar or outdated vocabulary, much less things of actual significance.

      Common sense says it’s a bit much for a first date
      I agree. If you don’t want to drink today (and AA says to deal with one day at a time), just say so. IMHO, you don’t owe a relative stranger any sort of explanation–but others may disagree.

      you should know and own your triggers without making them the other person’s problem.
      For better or worse, that is not how AA works (or, in the case of 97% of people who try it, doesn’t work).

      You’d need to disclose it at some point if things are going anywhere.
      The other person will eventually figure it out, so the real question is what and how much to disclose when, not if, they ask. And the program has no official answer to that beyond the general advice to be “honest”.

      I was just curious if there were some kind of “official” dating rules for people in recovery.
      AA/NA are reluctant to make any sort of official rules, since alcoholics/addicts tend to be the type of people that will make a point of violating the rules just because they’re there.

      FWIW, it is generally accepted that members should not start any new relationships until they’re sober for at least a year. Shrinks usually recommend the same thing after any major life change.

      • fuzzilla Says:

        Thanks, CR, that’s very interesting. Particularly the bit about how old the handbook is, the assumption that members are married and that they’re so loathe to change the official “rule book.”

        >>you should know and own your triggers without making them the other person’s problem.

        For better or worse, that is not how AA works (or, in the case of 97% of people who try it, doesn’t work).<<

        What do you mean? People in recovery are incapable of owning their triggers without making it the other person's problem..? That they need to be in safe environments where there just are no triggers…?

        • Crotch Rocket Says:

          What do you mean? People in recovery are incapable of owning their triggers without making it the other person’s problem..? That they need to be in safe environments where there just are no triggers…?
          No; Twelve Step programs reject the entire concept of triggers.

          The basis of AA (and all its copycats) is that you need to have a “spiritual experience”, which is accomplished through prayer, going to meetings, confession, making amends, etc. and that as a result of this, God will remove your “obsession” with alcohol. In fact, the book specifically states that, as long as you keep yourself “spiritually fit”, you can to go to bars, have alcohol at home, etc., and God will keep you safe and sober.

          Notice the direct parallel to fundamentalist groups today who think you can “pray away the gay”. Their central belief is that sin (eg. alcoholism, homosexuality, etc.) is a disease that only God can cure.

          • fuzzilla Says:

            Ah. So you don’t believe this, you’re just explaining the A.A. concept. Now it makes a little more sense to me why people scoff at the God angle (I’ve always felt like “y’know what? Just do what you gotta do to get sober. Just substitute the God stuff with meditation or something”). “God will keep you safe in a bar” sounds like pretty dangerous advice/magical thinking, to put it mildly.

            The guy in recovery I dated expected me to make all these allowances for him and not drink in his presence. Which might have maybe been tolerable if he’d actually directly communicated this to me (instead he bitched behind my back to my friend about how he “just couldn’t believe” I drank in front of him at a party. Sorry, dude, but that’s what I do at parties. Your issues are not mine. Deal with it. Again – personality disorder, I sure don’t want to lump everyone in recovery in with him).

            • fuzzilla Says:

              Also he led me to believe he was totally fine with being around people who were drinking. There was a fucking keg at *his own birthday party* for Christ’s sake (no, he did not partake himself). He not only did not communicate that he was so sensitive about the drinking habits of his date, he in fact gave off the exact opposite impression that he was all laid back and Kool and the Gang about the whole thing. (I mean, whatevs, doesn’t matter, putting a lid on the topic).

              • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

                One of my closest friends has been sober almost 30 years. When we go to dinner or get together, he doesn’t care if I drink. He has only communicated ONE boundary – please do not get drunk around him or contact him when I’ve had too much to drink. Even though he’s ok with me drinking around him, I don’t do it for the same reason I would never smoke around my father, who had asthma. It’s a personal choice, and I don’t think if I did drink around my friend he’d judge me for it.

                So, I’m going to wager that this guy of yours wasn’t bothered that you were drinking in front of him, but was concerned that you couldn’t not drink when you were around him.

                Sorry, dude, but that’s what I do at parties. Your issues are not mine. Deal with it.

                And that is why he dumped you. That right there. That attitude of “whatevs. that’s your problem, not mine.” THAT’S why he ditched you, hon. Not because you “drank in front of him.” Because you probably displayed that sort of dismissiveness towards his sobriety. Alcoholism is a disease. It’s not a conscious choice.

                • fuzzilla Says:

                  >And that is why he dumped you. That right there.<

                  No, *I* dumped *him* because he was extremely immature, couldn't breathe without criticizing someone and had truly scary anger management issues (for instance he got so angry at the vet's office that he screamed at me over the phone about how he was gonna jump over the counter and "strangle these people." I assumed he was joking, but it wasn't a funny joke, and the people at the vet's were probably like "um, WTF? Who is this lunatic? Get him the fuck outta here." What did the vet do wrong? They took a little longer than he thought they should).

                  Fear that I came off flip and dismissive in my first comment? And that's why I left my second comment.

                • fuzzilla Says:

                  >Sorry, dude, but that’s what I do at parties. Your issues are not mine. Deal with it.<

                  These are also the words of someone who had a long string of codependent relationships with people who *did* try to make their problems mine, drained me dry emotionally, tried to make me their therapist, etc. Maybe they sound a little amplified and harsh, and maybe I only say them in private and not to the person's face, but the sentiment and the deliberate boundary drawing are very necessary.

                  • fuzzilla Says:

                    My anger wasn’t so much about “how dare he keep me from my booze ‘cuz I’m just such a party girl, how dare he try to dictate my behavior.” I was angry that he said one thing and did another and it made me feel really fucked with.

                    I thought I was following “the rules” he set down, but no, he’d find some way to twist the situation around to make me wrong and bad. He always would, no matter what the situation, no matter who was around him. It was always someone else who was wrong and bad and making his life miserable, never him, and yet who’s the common denominator in his life?

                    OK, I’ll shut up now.

                • fuzzilla Says:

                  I think your friend’s request is reasonable. Your friend also respectfully communicated this reasonable request to you; if that had been the case, I would have no problem respecting those wishes (which was what I tried to convey with my backup comment).

                  It wasn’t that I’m a big lush, it’s that the guy was a personality disordered train wreck, alcohol issues or no.

                • Miixxy Says:

                  *Alcoholism is a disease. It’s not a conscious choice.*

                  sure, but being adult about it – choosing not to drink, not to put your issues on other people, manage your own recovery – all adult choices.

                  i grew up with an alcoholic and its as much a disease as the person allows it to be.

              • Selena Says:

                If the fellow was new in recovery he might be more sensitive about people drinking around him than he let on. Especially a potential girlfriend – someone he would be spending alot of time with if the relationship developed.

            • Crotch Rocket Says:

              “God will keep you safe in a bar” sounds like pretty dangerous advice/magical thinking, to put it mildly.
              That’s my opinion of all organized religion, including AA. OTOH, I’ve known many AAers who are great people and who the program is obviously working for. As with any other large group, there’s all sorts.

              The guy in recovery I dated expected me to make all these allowances for him and not drink in his presence.
              If so, then I would argue he’s not really in recovery. That’s not unusual; many people become even more miserable when they stop drinking (which won’t last) because they’re unwilling to address the underlying issues that caused their excessive drinking. AAers call this a “dry drunk”.

              • fuzzilla Says:

                >If so, then I would argue he’s not really in recovery. That’s not unusual; many people become even more miserable when they stop drinking (which won’t last) because they’re unwilling to address the underlying issues that caused their excessive drinking. AAers call this a “dry drunk”.<

                Exactly. He knew how to jump through the hoops of changing a specific behavior, but good Lord, he's the very definition of "dry drunk." All those feelings that used to be masked by booze pushed outward and he had no clue to what to do with them.

      • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

        but they steadfastly refuse to update the book in any way–not even to fix poor grammar or outdated vocabulary, much less things of actual significance.

        The basis of AA (and all its copycats) is that you need to have a “spiritual experience”, which is accomplished through prayer, going to meetings, confession, making amends, etc. and that as a result of this, God will remove your “obsession” with alcohol.

        The focus on a higher power is to drive home the fact that an addict is not in control of that addiction. Yes, that was the original basis for AA. But that’s not what is taught or discussed in meetings now. They do not teach that God will take away the addiction. They teach that people are powerless to their addiction and should look towards some sort of spiritual source in order to gain strength to help battle the addiction.

        • Crotch Rocket Says:

          that’s not what is taught or discussed in meetings now.
          If not, then those meetings aren’t really AA, regardless of what they may call themselves.

          But, rather than continue to argue the point, I’ll stop here and return to the original question, which is whether one should state they’re in recovery in a dating profile. IMHO, one shouldn’t; however, if there’s a profile question about how much you drink, that would be a good one to answer. IOW, don’t make a big deal about it, but be honest when asked. That goes for many things, not just sobriety.

          • fuzzilla Says:

            I know OKCupid has that whole checklist thing on the right hand side – height, weight, income, education, body type, career, pets, kids (have/want/don’t want), etc. “Drinks” is one of the items. People put “socially,” “moderately,” “not at all.” You can also leave one or any of these blank. That seems like a no-nonsense way to bring it up without going into a whole long story about it.

  15. VJ Says:

    Well the ground is pretty much covered here. But some quick hits:

    1.) Convictions for serious felonies. (Unless already in prison & writing from there).

    2.) Any ‘brushes with the law’ that involved violence.

    3.) Any LTR that involved either 1 or 2 or Both. Or that you’re in the witness protection program & lonely.

    4,) That time in the Army/Navy/Marines/Coat Guard when you killed a man/men (& somehow say/view this with some obvious relish & delight).

    5.) Otherwise bragging on some service in the services. ‘I’m a retired Marine Col.’ might & should cover it.

    6.) That you’ve been badly hurt/sorely used in a prior relationship and now seem to bear a grudge against men/women. Always a beaut.

    7.) That you can & do ‘swing both ways’ and other slightly ‘outre’ sexual desires/orientations. (Save it for the specialist publications or areas).

    8.) That you’re suddenly ‘exploring your sexuality’ and finally feee(!) to do everything you’ve dreamed of. No this is really not the place to try and go for some consciousness raising. (See #7 too). No points for this being true either, sorry!

    9.) Imply in so many words that your dog/cat/horse etc. is much more important to you than any other ‘human’ relationship.

    10.) Imply or suggest that no man/women has ever been able to satisfy you. This might be a dare few take.

    11.) Ditto for the suggestion of that ‘you’re very sexual/’sensual’. We’ll go ahead and add 25LBS to your profile right away.

    12.) Using cute euphemisms for ‘crazy’ or otherwise ‘mentally deficient’. ‘A bit scattered brained’. ‘Vivacious and carefree’/’Happy go lucky’/’Needing an anchor to my life’ etc. Secondary behavioral clues vital here.

    13.) That you’re kinda sorta semi employed. This month. (Applies now to somewhere between 1/4-1/3 of the adult population).

    Baker’s dozen. Cheers, ‘VJ’

  16. Alan Says:

    Moxie’s post to some degree just illustrates why on-line dating can be a fool’s errand if you live in a high density area and there are other ways to get out and meet people.

    • Alex G. Says:

      I have found that dating online is more effective then more traditional ways of meeting people to date, and many people now prefer it to “letting it just happen.”

  17. LostSailor Says:

    An online dating profile is not different than a resume you’d send to a prospective employer, it’s just aimed at a different target. The goal is the same: to land the in-person interview…

  18. Ellen Says:

    This was rejected by Match when I tried to put it on my profile…

    1) Bathroom photos look like mug shots. Public bathrooms, worse. 2) Love the references to last fall suggesting your profile needs an update, however, you have been active within 24 hrs. I went out with one guy that “just got back from Greece” two and a half years ago. 3) Ten pictures of your dog, one shot of you. 4) I looked good in 2003. I am guessing you did too since you still use the photo. Show us how cute you look now. Don’t use a datestamped photo if older than a year or two. 5) Looking for a “serious” relationship when you are 35 with a range of 18-49. Really? 6) You state you are 28 and your profile says 35 and your opening line in your e-mail to me is, “I am a 32 year old….”. I am not going to guess, just wonder. 7) Don’t wink. Okay, maybe if we are across the wine bar and you are trapped among friends… A smile and eye contact never hurt either. 8) Spare the opening statement: FEELING AWKWARD TALKING ABOUT YOURSELF. 9) I am not interested in 55 year old men from Seattle. Nor the 89 year old from Boston. 10) Love your cropping! I love the hair standing next to you in your photo. 11) If all else fails with your pics, act like a tourist and have a tourist take your photo. This is NY afterall. 12) I am never going to exchange more than a couple of e-mails without meeting. Save the book for a book. Hope this helps!

    • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

      It was rejected because it makes you sound nasty. I get why people have all these disclaimers. I do. But by communicating them you end up coming off bitter and unlikeable.

  19. fuzzilla Says:

    >Ok. As long as you’re, like, over it an stuff. Jesus.<

    Well, people do get defensive when you make incorrect assumptions about them. But point taken.

    • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

      Was the point taken? Because I think if the point were truly taken, you wouldn’t have responded at all.

  20. Eliza Says:

    Better yet…don’t “trust” anybody–with ANY personal details whatsoever about your life…ever. What if you are choosing not to have casual sex, because you do want a LTR, and are not just looking to screw some random guy. Doesn’t mean you are frigid at all….you can masturbate, use a toy, etc. Yes, it’s easy to f#$)*)*ck someone, but some people don’t like to take chances with strangers. So just because you haven’t “gotten laid in a while” doesn’t make someone less desirable or less sexual. Geez…talk about being narrow-minded and cynical. Wow. Yes, there are certain details one should keep to themselves…but if you meet someone trustworthy and are comfortable confiding certain truths about yourself, you should be able to communicate openly and honestly about who you are…that is, eventually. Now, if you are only looking for one night stands…why even bother giving that person your real name. if that’s your thing. Bravo for you.

  21. Eliza Says:

    Yes. add #13: That you have “never done this before”! Please people. Save it. Don’t come across as though you never heard of internet dating, or have never been on any dating website–especially if you are in your 30’s or 40’s! Don’t insult people’s intelligence. And in the rare instances that you may have never been on a website…no need to claim you have never ever done this before. There is no sin in going on-line to date. We have all been there, and it doesn’t make you a bad person. There’s no longer a stigma attached to meeting someone online. People barely talk to each other anymore…all they do is text, IM or email each other. So, yes, it’s no surprise that meeting someone online is more common in the last 5-10 years. Chat rooms and internet dating has been around for at least 20 years. So save that ridiculous BS speech about never having been on a website. Or how your friends pressured you into creating a profile. It only gives the illusion that you don’t make up your own mind, and that you are sitting on your brain and are easily persuaded by your friends…which is pathetic.
    Grow up and own up to who you are, and “your” decisions.

  22. EnTAOwed Says:

    There are some things that it is reasonable to be reserved about, but it is not better or more fair to folks to never reveal anything that some may interpret badly or reduce your “chances”. Not only is it good to sometimes disqualify folks who cannot handle who you are or do not prefer it, it can be secure & healthy. If someone does “swing both ways”, & is looking for a LTR, should that not be in there? Is not trying to rope in the most possible people in itself desperate & leads to dishonesty?

    Open & fair minded folks will tend to comprehend something like not having a LTR in a while. I know a bunch of healthy woman who are in this category, & head cases who are in many. As stated above & all the “like” comments affirm, men & woman can also go for a while without finding a sexual partner-especially if they do not only want a 1 night stand, & want at least a reasonable degree of attraction.

    The guys above are right that it is not easy even to find a lover for most. Well, easier if you will sleep with anyone, but most, say, are not attracted to the obese. If you happen top be, it will be easier for you, since they have a hard time finding partners.

    There are many things above that are warning signs. But there are others that do not just SOUND bitter & narrow minded prejudices, they are. Something like Vivacious and carefree’/’Happy go lucky’ does not in itself show one is mentally ill, that judgement itself is alarming.

    Do not lie. That will rebound many potential ways, & sets up a bad precedent in a potential relationship. Some facts can be presented more appealingly, & others not shared right away. But if you want to be real & value more than just “catching” someone, you must have the cojones to share things sometime that some folks will not be able to handle.

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