Evan had an interesting post today. A woman wrote in asking why she was hearing from so many men that were the opposite of what she’s looking for.
In the last couple of years I’ve met a lot of guys, online and offline. I haven’t found the person yet, but I’ve learned something about men: they have a lot of faith in themselves. And here’s my question: how come guys always, always, always think they are the PERFECT match for you, without any self-awareness?
If you click through to the original article, what you’ll see is a list of examples from the woman who submitted the letter. I happen to agree with Evan that these men that the woman is meeting don’t much care what her criteria is. Some of the guys just want to go out and have sex and have no intention of taking it further. Others, though, believe that they bring other things to the table. Things that, to them, are important. There’s also a teeny tiny sub-section of people on these sites who know darn right well that they aren’t what the other person is looking for. They see that person as a personal challenge.
You, my dear Evan, get the idea, but they don’t. Why do they always think they’re perfect for you? I know it when I’m not someone’s type! If I see that a guy is looking for this nurturing, low maintenance girl in her 20s I don’t lose my time, I’m not that girl. But men don’t, men will always try to convince you not to be “rigid”, when what’s happening here is that he’s not your type, you know it but he doesn’t stop for half a second to think about it.
Is it a biological reason? Social? Sexual?
It sounds to me like the woman from the letter is looking for a carbon copy of herself. Too bad most men don’t think the same way.There’s a whole other group of men who are reading her apparently very stringent criteria and ignoring her. They don’t place the same level of importance on the same things she does. Most men aren’t looking for a Protestant single woman with a Master’s Degree who is cultured, speaks several languages and is a bit of a stick in the mud and likes to stay home. Most men aren’t that rigid.If they find her attractive and pleasant, they’ll date her at least once. That’s the difference. Men will give something a go because their criteria, for the most part, is pretty shallow. The other difference is that most men can determine rather quickly whether or not a woman is their type. They’ve decided by the end of the date if a woman is serious dating material or casual dating material. Many women tend to romanticize the date and the guy, thereby sticking around longer than they should and ignoring red flags.
If men are telling this woman that she’s not being flexible enough, she should listen to them. Sure, some are trying to beat her down so she’ll go out with them.But I’d bet just as many are genuinely trying to help her. She’ll ignore them, of course, because all her friends have told her “she can do better.” You know how we say that men use the word “intimidating” when they really mean “unlikeable?” Well, ” you’re too rigid” is just code for “they’re out of your league” and “that person doesn’t exist.”
What Evan doesn’t suggest is that maybe this woman can’t pull what she thinks she can pull. It’s taboo to do so. As I’ve said before, I honestly believe that what truly bugs woman about getting emails from men that don’t interest them is that they are confronted with the reality of their situation. The guys they want have so many options that they don’t need to email her. The guys who don’t have options are throwing anything to the wall trying to get something to stick. It’s annoying, for sure. But Evan gives good advice when he says that she needs to build up a tolerance to this sort of thing. This is the nature of online dating. People delude themselves and think they’re far more engaging and attractive than they actually are.
I always try to impress upon my profile review clients that they shouldn’t be too specific when describing their ideal match. If you’re too specific, you will weed out a ton of people who think they don’t fit what you’re looking for. They also might assume that you’re one of those people whose persnickety attitude about their “ideal match” is exactly why they’re single. Those people get labeled high maintenance.
I also suggest that they choose – very carefully – which details of their personality and lifestyle they choose to share. If religion is a deal breaker, then you should really be on a site or attend groups or activities that are organized for strictly for that faith. To be perfectly blunt, if you’re very religious, online dating just isn’t for you. Not the mainstream sites, any way. Same advice applies if your partner’s education really, really matters. Find a site that caters to that crowd. Sorry, but you’re not going to find a practicing Protestant with a Masters Degree on Match or OKCupid. There’s probably, like, five. James Bond types are not cruising EHarmony, either. You may wish to set your sites a bit…lower. Successful online dating requires people to pare down their “must haves” to the bare essentials. You simply can not expect online dating to be even moderately successful for you if your idea of your perfect match is too specific.
After a certain point, if you’re “never” meeting anybody that suits you, it’s time to head back to the drawing board. I know it’s not PC to say this, but time to consider the dreaded “settling.” There just comes a point in all of our single lives where re-evaluation is required.