Dating Red Flag 101: Beware The Person Who Showers You With Compliments

Name: GI_JANEsinglemingle

Comment: So over the last few years I’ve been really working on myself, and now I am getting dates with men I like.

However, I’m seeing a new pattern now, almost all the guys I end up likeing end up disappearing on me fairly early in the dating process. Usually after date 2 or 3, but some after the first date (which I’m the one ending because they seem to want to make it last forever).

These men compliment me on looking better than my photos, and tell me about all the disappointments they have had with other women and how I’m so different. How I’m more attractive than my photos and easy to talk.

Now then why do these guys dissapear and more importantly, what is this saying about me since this happens to me so often?
Age: 29
City: Midwest
State: Midwest

The red flag here is all of the compliments. I have commented many times that compliments from strangers, specifically effusive comments about looks, are usually disingenuous.  These guys are saying all these wonderful things to you because either a) they’re socially awkward and think that the way to get a woman to like them is to tell her she’s pretty or b) they’re trying to lull her into a false sense of security.

Also a red flag is when they tell you how different you are from other women. They’re playing into the stereotype that all women get a thrill hearing they’ve somehow one upped another woman.

These men that faded were probably just after sex. When they didn’t get it (or once they did) they fell off the planet. Either that or they were just looking for someone with whom they could commiserate with or who might understand their loneliness and frustration.

I want you to think about what a statement like, ‘You look prettier than your photos” implies. To me, a “compliment” like that says, “I wasn’t all that sure you were attractive/thought you were okay/wasn’t all that attracted to you but figured what the hell.” It’s a backhanded compliment. As people here have said before, you really want to try to avoid situations where you’re out with someone who is lukewarm about you. If somebody says something like this to you again, without any kind of provocation from you, then take that as a sign that they’re possibly out with you because they didn’t have many other options or consider the date a throw away.

People who unload about their negative dating experiences, on a date no less, really should be avoided at all costs. Not only is it bad form but it hints at a discontent with dating and the opposite sex.

The Fade is a staple of online dating, though. You must understand that. It can happen at any time. That’s why you can’t apply or give too much credit to someone who showers you with compliments. You can’t get invested in that kind of attention because it’s not real.

Something else to consider is that your photos or profile give off a certain vibe, one that draws in the guys that are looking to pull one over on you. When I was looking through women’s profiles last week, I came across a number of profiles where the woman posted pictures of her all taken manually in some way. All of the photos were of her in her apartment.  I know that Zoosk recently released survey data saying that women with selfies and with photos taken inside their home get more responses. I wanted to offer a possible alternate theory as to why.

I think that the profiles of women where they have selfies and snaps of them in their apartments make them appear isolated and lonely. I know that when I see a man’s profile and it’s a bunch of selfies of him in his apartment, my first thought is whether or not he has any friends. There’s something off about someone who doesn’t have at least 2 photos where it was clear somebody else took the picture.

While I think selfies are perfectly acceptable now, they HAVE to be amongst photos where you’re out and about and not sitting in your apartment taking shot after shot. There are apps now that you can download that have a timer so that you can pose for a photo and make it look like you had a friend take the picture.

The men you’re meeting, Jane, all sound like sad sacks. If your photos are mostly one of you in your home taking pictures of yourself without a number of others out socially or not taken by anyone else to balance that out, that could be why you keep encounter guys like this.

Here are some more of the Stats from the Zoosk survey.

  • You’ll get a 203% bump in your incoming messages average if your photo has a full body shot, regardless of your gender
  • Women get 60% more messages if their profile pictures were taken indoors
  • Men get 19% more messages if their profile pictures were taken outdoors
  • Selfies get women 4% more messages, and lower men’s incoming average by 8%
  • Man or woman, posing with animals lowers your average by 53% and posing with your friends lowers your average by 42%
  • “Divorce” and “separate” up men’s incoming messages by 52%, and mention of their children get a 7% bump
  • Women’s incoming messages reduce by 7% for mentioning the same words

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43 Responses to “Dating Red Flag 101: Beware The Person Who Showers You With Compliments”

  1. John Says:

    I would prefer to see photos of a girl out and about as opposed to the selfie shots. But in the age of so many deal breakers (skimpy profile, list of guy requirements, etc)- too many selfies doesn’t seem like a big deal.

    • GI_JANE Says:

      OP Here,

      Moxie: I guess I never really saw the “comparison or complaining of other women/compliments” as a red flag. It seemed like these guys expected me to look worse them my photo’s because most women they met were either

      a)75 + lbs heavier
      b)Much older looking in real life
      c) Had lots of baggage (like drugs, kids they didn’t admit in profile etc.)

      For the most part these men seemed all unpolished and seeking a commitment.

      1. They all kiss me at the end of the night
      2. I have to end the date bc they say they’re having a good time
      3. Don’t try to push for sex, indicate.
      4. Indicate other future dates
      5. Body language, leaning in seeming interested in what I have to say

      So if these things don’t indicate interest, then what does? I’m often surprised to not here from these guys despite me reading all the blogs and honing skills are super accurate.

      Also, ANOTHER POINT I should make is these men often talk about a crazy ex and all the things they put up with while dating her. I can’t help but compare it to myself because I am so accommodating and nice and lend an ear. You would think the man would pick the easier to get along with women but I feel like they leave me at the drop of a hat, I’ve even been left for for other women they met a few days ago.

      What do all these men have in common? Me. Whatever I’m doing is not 100 percent working. Something is definitely off about me or my assessment of things.

      • Nicole (the OP) Says:

        Jane, I agree, the things you listed seem like clear signs that a guy is interested. So maybe the problem is what happens AFTER the date?
        In another reply you mentioned “also I end up contacting them a day or two after the date to say hi.” Personally, I try to text a thank you – for dinner, if they paid, or just for taking the time to meet me – as soon as I get home from a date. I say “try” because more than half the time, there’s a thanks-for-meeting-me text from the guy waiting by the time I get home. Maybe these guys read even a day between a date and a text as a sign you’re less than interested, or busy with other options. Could be a big deal to a guy who’s really looking for something serious.

        Another thought… If a guy spends a significant chunk of your date talking about his previous dates or his crazy ex, not a good sign. He either has nothing else to talk about, or he’s bitter and just wants someone to vent to. We all have our dating horror stories, and sometimes they come up naturally in conversation, but too much talk about disappointments is a downer. I’d try to change the subject gracefully when the conversation heads that way and find something fun to talk about. Gives you a chance to weed out the guys who really do just want someone to listen to them complain.

        • Nicole (the OP) Says:

          Oops, sorry, not the OP, still had that screen name from another post!

          • GI_JANE Says:

            Good points Nicole.

            I’m also thinking it’s one of these other things

            1. Maybe I’m just not as attractive as the other girls their dating

            2. I drink a few drinks before the date and it kicks in say 45 mins into the date, so I’m not on as good of behavior and start being too honest.

            3. Because these men are indicating so much interest after say the first hour I get comfortable and feel I can do little to ruin it and again get too honest.

            But we are talking dates that are lasting 3 – 6 hours that I’m ending. They seem interested the whole time.

          • Nicole Says:

            Jane, I do the “too honest” thing too. Usually without the help of any drinks, lol. I feel like TMI girl on dates.
            It’s possible the guy has a great time and then decides later that something you said bothers him enough not to contact you again. Especially if he was drinking, too, maybe stuff that seemed funny or appropriate at the time doesn’t seem that way once he sobers up. But I doubt that’s what happening every time.
            Honestly it sounds like you are just meeting a bunch of dudes with issues. If they’re talking about psycho exes or how almost every woman they meet is a mess… That’s odd. (I’ve had guys tell me about their ex drama, but it’s usually way later, people are usually on good behavior / trying to act positive on first or second dates.)
            I’m sure some of these guys do just meet somebody else – but others may be looking for drama and “crazy girls” and lose interest in you because you’re nice and normal! People are really, really weird sometimes…

        • LostSailor Says:

          Personally, I try to text a thank you – for dinner, if they paid, or just for taking the time to meet me – as soon as I get home from a date.

          It’s just the polite thing to do and most guys appreciate it. I recently went on a couple of dates with a woman I was a bit on the fence about. I dropped her after not receiving any acknowledgment after each date. It was just enough to tip the scales to “not worth the trouble.”

          • Yvonne Says:

            Just out of curiosity, did she thank you at the end of the date? When you asked her out on the second date, did she mention the first date, tell you that she enjoyed herself, or thank you again?

          • Nicole Says:

            Yvonne, I can’t speak for Lost Sailor, but here’s my 2 cents…
            The end-of-the-date thank you is something most of us do automatically – which kind of removes any real meaning from it. It demonstrates you have decent manners, but it’s not a real indication of interest. Just like I don’t think it means anything when a guy ends a date with “it was great to meet you” or whatever – because what else is he going to say? The follow-up contact seems like a much clearer way to show you are interested in seeing someone again.

          • Yvonne Says:

            Sorry, Nicole, but I disagree. There’s the cursory, rushed thank-you, and there’s the genuine thank-you, which includes telling someone that you had a great time. If a man is interested, he’s going to indicate it at the end of the date. If I feel the same, I’m going to be sure to tell him so. In fact, most of the time, a man who wants to see me again, tells me so at the end of the date. So it’s not just me indicating interest, it’s him also, and generally, men take the lead in this if they want to see you again. In LostSailor’s case, it sounds like both parties were “on the fence”.

          • LostSailor Says:

            @Yvonne: Yes, she said thanks as we were leaving the restaurant/bar. But no follow up. Usually I get a “thank you, had a great time” text either later that night or the next morning. Not in this case. When I suggested the second date, no, she did not reference the first. It may be that she’s relatively new in NYC from the left coast and said she was fairly new to online dating, so perhaps it was just inexperience. But neither of us are spring chickens, so to speak, so I would have expected more.

            I agree with Nicole that the “thank you for paying for drinks, dinner” as you’re leaving a venue is just common courtesy; it’s the follow-up that shows interest more clearly.

            Both dates were perfectly pleasant, lasting nearly 3 hours each, conversation never lagged, but there was no real chemistry at all, which is why I was “on the fence.” But I did email her to that effect instead of doing the fade this time, and we had a perfectly polite brief email exchange where she said she appreciated the email, etc. I gathered that she was on the fence, too, so Yvonne is right about that one.

            Much better date last night, already set up again for next week, and an out-of-town “friend” visiting this weekend. And I thought the holidays were hectic…

          • Yvonne Says:

            LS, thanks for the follow-up. FYI, a number of dating advisers for women advise them NOT to send a thank-you text after the first date. I’m not saying I agree or disagree, but the thinking is that it’s perceived as pursuit by the man. Here’s one example:

            I would like to think that when it does feel right, neither party ends up having to over-think this stuff too much. Good luck with your new dates…

          • LostSailor Says:


            To paraphrase the video: So, men appreciate the text, but men want to pursue and want that “butterflies in the stomach” feeling wondering if you’re interested, and since the thank you text after a date shows you’re interested, you should never do it.

            Rachel Greewald is an idiot.

            Essentially, she’s repackaging “The Rules” with a thin veneer of pseudo “scientific” BS. From her website, she did 1,000 (A THOUSAND!) interviews with men and “extracted unabashedly honest and raw details,” and then applied her Harvard MBA (HARVARD!!) smarts to tease out the hidden meanings behind what men say they want in order to tell women how to “keep the ball in [her] court” so “then [she} can do the selecting rather than wondering if [he’ll] call.”

            But Greenwald is an avaricious idiot. She’s selling books and private consultations (local matchmaking, online profile review, custom “dating plans”, etc, to micro-manage every aspect of your dating life). She also has “bootcamps” to teach others how to become successful dating coaches (though apparently not in the last year and a half or so).

            She’s a big fan of the Exit Interview(tm), becuase a make-work idea to justify having an HR department as taught at Harvard (HARVARD!!) is just the thing for the dating world. She will (for an appropriate fee) call up to three of your exes (1 or 2 dates only, please) to get the real skinny on you. She doesn’t believe the “no chemistry” thing, that’s just an excuse, apparently. There’s always some hidden thing a woman did wrong that she can change to manipulate a man into dating her and Rachel will tell you what those are.

            As far as I can tell, she is the direct equivalent of a Pick-Up-Artist (PUA) impressario for women. It’s a money-extracting scam in both cases.

            So, with that insight, let’s look at her advice in that video posted above and translate it correctly: “I’ve talked to a lot of men and interpreted their responses through a filter of how women think men think, so though men say they appreicate the after-date text or email, since women want to be pursued and look for that “butterflies in the stomach” feeling, men must want that, too, so disregard what they say and assume that by not showing interest you’ll present a “challenge” that will just make them work harder to win your interest.”

            Sorry, I stand by the fact that by not sending the very innocuous and short after-date text or email doesn’t make a woman seem mysteriously alluring and a challenge for a man to “win,” it just makes a woman seem rude and lukewarm.

          • LostSailor Says:

            Sorry for two long comments, but this Rachel Greenwood person is someone who I wouldn’t necessarily turn to for advice for the average dater. This from a lengthy profile on her from a site (since she’s based in Denver)

            It only confirms that she’s in it primarily for the money. I could just say that she’s appeared on Oprah! and rest my case, but there are some good quotes here:

            Today, she says, she is offered more business than most of her Colorado matchmaking peers, though she rejects roughly 80 percent of those inquiries.

            I wonder why the high rejection rate? Hmmm. Cherry-picking? Well, it’s good for business.

            “Rachel is an amazing businesswoman,” says Jaime Richards, one of Greenwald’s most recent disciples. “She doesn’t even bother with anything that isn’t profitable.”

            Which is also good for business.

            Strategic matchmaking is an expensive process, and even in these tough times, people do not hesitate to pay thousands of dollars for the right modern-day yenta.

            A profitable business at that.

            “When you’re faced emotionally with loss all around you — loss of finances — all you want is love,” Greenwald explains. “People are not going to Starbucks to spend $4, but they’re spending $10,000 on a matchmaker.

            A very profitable business.

            [Time magazine] also reported that in 2009, the matchmaking industry was one of the Council of Better Business Bureaus’ top industries for complaints by consumers.

            Even if it’s unsuccessful in finding mates for clients.

            she admits she is “incredibly expensive” — her date coaching can cost as much as $2,000 to $5,000 a day.

            But the real cash is not in matchmaking itself, it’s in “teaching” others on how to make easy money by becoming a matchmaker: In order for Greenwald to tutor you as a matchmaker, however, you must pay, in full and up front, the “very pricey” [non-refundable] fee for the intensive two-day workshop….Both days last nine hours, during which none of the five students (maximum) leaves the room; lunch is delivered.

            That sounds suspiciously like other charlatan self-help seminars that rely on isolation to indoctrinate the rubes students.

            “It’s an incredibly flexible profession,” she notes. “There’s no degree requirement and no start-up costs as long as you own a laptop.”

            Anyone can do it! Earn $$$$ working from home in your spare time!! Where have I heard that before?

            After class, she’ll donate her rejected business requests to the matchmakers that she has nurtured. (Matchmakers can also purchase clients from each other if they think some are better suited for another customer.)

            Just don’t tell the marks clients that you’re working in a modified multi-level market scam scheme.

            (One of Greenwald’s wealthier clients, a billionaire from Texas, once flew her to him on a private jet. For such occasions, Greenwald exercises a buyout option, through which clients can pay more to purchase 100 percent of her time for an agreed-upon span.)

            What is it about the very rich that makes them gullible to these things?

            For matchmaking, Richards [a Greenwald student] helps wealthy men in their forties through sixties find women who are twenty years younger and a ten out of ten. “Tens don’t really exist,” Greenwald says. “But nines do.”

            Ah, that’s it. Finding hot young women for middle-age and elderly wealthy men, women who will love them as walking wallets and inheritances soul-mates.

            Examples of “coaching women” include having a client fly from NY to Denver, a “comfortable hotel,” professional hair and make-up, a “required” purchase of an approved push-up bra, professional photography session for a profile photo, and couseling sessions: “All of this work takes time and expertise, and Greenwald encourages the matchmakers she trains to charge heavily for them. Some [rubes] clients do not even trust matchmakers who do not approach the expensive end of the scale, she points out.

            Greenwald claims to have over 800 client marriages (her own clients or her ponzi partners’ isn’t clear) and of course never discusses the failures. I’m sure she’s helped arrange marriages, but I question how successful they are being based on manipulation and avarice.

            At least Moxie gives great advice and only charges for personalized parts of it. She might want to rethink that…

        • Nicole Says:

          Yvonne, that video was interesting, I never thought men would see a thank-you text as pursuit. Hmmm. I do agree men like to take the lead – like I said, about half of guys have sent a text or email by the time I get home. A couple of other thoughts …

          1) I probably do a MORE effusive thank-you at the end of a date if I know there’s not going to be another date. Some obvious reason we’d never be compatible has come up (he’s super religious or wants kids in the next year, usually) but the guy is still sweet and funny throughout the date and he refuses to let me split the check. So, I’m sincerely appreciative. Maybe I’m sending mixed signals by being nice, I do get asked out again by a lot of these guys and think WHY???

          2) most men say “text me and let me know you made it home safe”, so the thank you text does double duty there. (I don’t get to leave work for lunch, so these are evening dates, it’s usually dark, and I’m driving home.) Would seem weird to not follow up in that situation, I think.

          And yes, I would hope if both people are genuinely into each other, none of this matters!

          • Yvonne Says:

            Nicole, I think if a man specifically asks you to let him know you got home okay, then I would respond. I would also take that as a sign that of interest, and would think more highly of him for showing concern for my safety. The reverse is true for a man who didn’t seem concerned about my safety getting home.

            In the first case, yes, these men may read your effusiveness as a sign of interest, especially if they are hoping you like them.

          • Yvonne Says:

            @LS. I do respect your opinion. However, Greenwald was just one of a number of dating coaches I have found who shared her belief about not sending a thank-you text or email. Right or wrong, that seems to be the majority opinion. I posted her video because she pretty much sums up what all of the advisers had to say.

            I will say that when there is a doubt as to whether or not a man is interested after a first date, and I’ve gone ahead and followed up with a thank-you, I generally hear nothing or receive a polite message back, but little else.

          • Nicole Says:

            Yvonne, it’s funny, I’ve had the opposite experience. If I text a thank you, the guy has always responded by asking me out again, usually immediately. Now, it could be he appreciates the thank you, or it could be he thinks I’m super into and he’ll get sex on the next date, who knows.
            I’ve only had a few dates where I didn’t hear from the guy that night or text him myself. Never heard from those guys. Again, reasons are unclear. Did they also think the date was so-so and not worth following up? Or did they read my silence as disinterest, and that’s why they never called?
            We could obviously drive ourselves crazy with this one. I think just do what feels comfortable. A guy who’s really interested will almost always follow up, whether we text first or not.

            @LS – if I paid $8k and the most helpful thing I got for it was a push-up bra, I would be a million kinds of pissed-off.
            But now I know why all those guys my dad’s age message me on OKC, they paid good money to hear that women are lining up to be trophy wives!

  2. D. Says:

    I don’t necessarily think that every guy is consciously bullshitting women to get them into bed. But, the end result — that one should take effusive compliments with a grain of salt — is the same.

    That kind of behavior can come from several other causes, too. A guy who’s had shitty luck in dating may view you as the long-awaited solution to his dating woes, and therefore the compliments are more an expression of his relief at being “done” with his search. Right up until he figures out that you aren’t the right girl, however, and he decides to move on.

    Likewise, they can be an expression of insecurity and concern that you’ll disappear on them, and are employed — consciously or unconsciously — as a means of getting you to just stick around while they get to know you…until they decide they aren’t interested.

    Mostly, though, I tend to think that some people just….say shit. They genuinely feel what they feel in the moment, and are excited, but express it poorly. Instead of saying “Man, I am having so much fun!” they say “I can’t wait for you to come to Thanksgiving next year.” Or they heap compliments on you. Then the moment passes…and they don’t feel that way anymore. Guys experience this too — women who initially seem really interested, then say they don’t see it working out when the guy asks them out again two days later. Sometimes, people just say shit. There’s no intentional manipulation involved.

    In the last analysis, the reason why this person is saying this stuff doesn’t really matter. Just adjust your behavior accordingly and remain cautious. People can be effusive with their compliments and it can still work out…but that’ll only happen in time and as they get to know you. Or they can be effusive with compliments, and then evaporate.

    It’s not necessarily a sign of doom and gloom, nor is it even necessarily untrue what they’re saying. You may genuinely look better in real life than in your pics. It doesn’t necessarily mean they thought you looked like a cave troll in the pics, but think you’re fair-to-middling in person. They may have thought you looked good, and think you look even better in person.

    But either way, a compliment is just words. Nice words, sure, but still just words. Particularly early on, you can’t take it as a guarantee of any sort, and the compliment shouldn’t dictate your behavior, either way.

    • Nicole Says:

      “people just… say shit.”
      Yes, absolutely. I’m guilty of this myself. Most of us are socialized from an early age to be polite. I had a great time, I loved the restaurant, your kids are adorable, I can’t wait to see you again… I’ve say all of these on dates all the time. Sometimes I mean it, sometimes I’m just saying it because it feels like what I’m supposed to say in the moment. It’s bad, I know that.

      The compliments probably don’t mean much one way or the other, but I agree with Moxie that comparing you to other women is a red flag. Now, maybe the dude HAS dated a bunch of crazy chicks (but what would that say about him?) Far more likely in my opinion is that the women he’s met have had reasonable expectations (ie commit to an exclusive relationship) and the guy can’t/ won’t do those things. “You’re not like other women” sounds like bait to do some mutual trashing of women… And that sets up the “But I thought you were different!” argument if you do date him long enough to develop expectations.

      On “the fade” … I have quit fading on guys. My New Years resolution that I started early (mid-December). I was faded on for the first time by a guy I thought was interested, and it stung. So now, even if we’ve only exchanged an email or two, you’ll get at least a quick message from me before I quit responding. It’s actually been great, all the guys have said thank you for letting them know and we wished each other well. Who knows, these men probably think I’m ridiculous, but at least I feel better.

      • D. Says:

        On the “comparisons to other women” thing, again I think it’s highly contextual, and ultimately is kinda neutral. Could be a ploy, could be genuine. Could be driven by him having awful taste in women, could be from bad luck, could be he only just got himself sorted out but is ready now. You won’t really know until you date him and figure this stuff out in context. But this is more of why the words are kinda meaningless. He might say “You’re different from all the rest,” but the significance of that statement is unclear just from the statement alone. That’s why you shouldn’t be wowed by him saying it, but that’s also why I think you shouldn’t necessarily head for the hills if he does say it.

        On “the Fade,” I always gauged it by (A) what had happened previously, and (B) what was going on currently. If I’d previously sent some REALLY strong signals, and then suddenly changed my tune, yeah, a call was usually warranted.

        On the other hand, if we hadn’t talked to each other in a month and neither of us was reaching out to each other, in spite of having had some nice dates previously…is it really necessary to call someone and say “Hey, I just wanted to give you a call to let you know that I’m not gonna give you a call again.” I think in that situation, no message is a pretty clear message. I mean, probably about 80% of the time, it’s a nice thing to do, even if it’s not necessary in every situation, but some circumstances, it’s not only pointless but can be kind of insulting.

        • Nicole Says:

          D, I completely agree. Once I start messaging someone, it’s usually an every day back and forth at the beginning. I used to just not reply sometimes after a few messages … The fade. But almost always the guy would send a “hey just checking in… Did you get my email / text?” the next day. Lately I’ve just decided it’s rude (or maybe just not my style?) to leave that hanging and hope he gets the hint.

          I’ve never actually experienced the kind of mutual fade you described, where nobody contacts the other for weeks. If I wasn’t hearing from someone most days, I would assume he’s lost interest. That’s what happened with the one guy in December – he went from emailing every day to once a week, even though I’d send a couple funny check-in emails in between.

          But yeah, I don’t see any point in explaining yourself if the other person isn’t still contacting you.

          • C Says:

            You’ve probably never experienced the mutual fade because you are a hot marathon runner :-). In all seriousness, usually its a case of both parties being lukewarm. Say a guy you are lukewarm on but see potential in asks you out. You agree to see if feelings might develop. After a few dates, you’re feelings havent chang. He senses your ambivalence or recognizes his own ambivalence and just stops asking you out. Pretty common.

          • Nicole Says:

            C, lol, I would give anything for the mutual fade!
            As far as I can tell, the guys who are ambivalent about me just continue to date me out of boredom. Or the hope of sex, more likely. Leaving it up to me to play psychic and determine which of them actually might want a relationship with me … And end things with the others before I get too invested. One thing I have learned is that guys will date you for hundreds of reasons that have nothing to do with actual liking you or finding you attractive.
            I think the guys I’m meeting (mostly divorced dads in their mid 30s to mid 40s) don’t date much. Having a actual date is a BIG DEAL to them – and my saying no thanks to a second or third date because I just wasn’t feeling any chemistry confuses them no end. Dallas is a great city, but the dating scene here is nothing like what I hear everybody describing in NY and Boston.

    • C Says:

      This is so true and really explains a lot.

      I’ve been on both sides of this and its really confusing when you are on the receiving end. I was also the fader on a really nice guy not too long ago. I met him in real life and thought he was cute until I got closer and saw that he looked kind of old. He asked me out and I decided to give it a chance. We had a great time. He was smart,athletic and had exactly the personality I was looking for but his hobbies were kind of boring to me and truth was he just looked old for his age. I agreed to a second date but then went out of town for a few weeks. Every time he would text me, I would reply with enthusiasm. When i got back to town, I didnt reach out to him though. I was just never sure about him and in the interum, I met guys I was more sure about. There was nothing maliscious or duplicitous behind my enthusiasm for him. I liked him, I just wasnt ever certain if I was attracted enough to him. If I had met him a year earlier during my dry spell, I would have had more time for him….then who knows?!

      OP might be just meeting lots of guys who are good at building chemistry with women but as is typical with online dating, most encounters simply go nowhere.

  3. fuzzilla Says:

    Compliments too soon feel unearned for a reason. I mean, nothing wrong with, “You look great” on a first date or something like that – it’s the effusive part that’s the red flag. Judge men (or women) by their actions, not their words.

  4. Yvonne Says:

    I’m going to throw out another suggestion: screening. Does she exchange a few emails before meeting? Maybe a phone chat? Or does she agree to meet right away? If a man is willing to put in a little more time up front before meeting, that’s a good way to screen for signs of genuine interest, compatibility, and seriousness about dating (as opposed to just looking for easy sex).

    • D. Says:

      Honestly, it won’t tell you that much more. Just that he’s willing to jump through one or two more hoops on the front end…which doesn’t tell you anything further. Maybe that means he’s a gentleman, maybe that means he’s desperate and is willing to do menial tasks for the possibility of sex. You won’t know based purely on his willingness to call you on the phone instead of instantly meet. And the flipside is that by erecting various barriers, you may end up screening out otherwise decent people.

      The way I see it, there’s basically two places where you engage in screening:

      1. Online, initially. Who you decide to email — either proactively, or to whom you respond — is one version of screening.

      2. In person. Maybe you have a phone call to set up the date, but otherwise, just meet the person and figure it out on the fly.

      If your online screening is reasonably effective, you can weed out a lot of the duds without ever wasting any effort (well, other than reading their profiles/emails). Past that, it probably comes down to chemistry anyway, and you can only really tell that in person.

      • C Says:

        i agree. Most people wont know if they are interested in you until they meet you and/or spend some time getting to know you.

        Dragging out the preliminary email phase just means he is willing to be patient/jump through extra hoops but says nothing of his feelings when you actually meet.

      • Yvonne Says:

        But my point is that if a man is just looking for sex or something really casual, he’s more likely to fade after a date or two if he doesn’t get it easily, whether there is chemistry or not. He’s also not likely to want to put in much time or effort before actually meeting. “Screening” isn’t about “erecting barriers”, or making someone “jump through hoops”, but if the OP is looking for a relationship, she may find it useful in weeding out the guys who have a different agenda.

        • C Says:

          You have an interesting point and your method may work in some cases and may backfire in others I would think. Most people with online dating experience learn not to get invested before they meet someone regardless of their relationship goal. I would argue that someone who is just looking for a hookup and is completely uninvested may or may not flinch at having to send a few extra emails while a different guy who is relationship minded may see barriers to meeting as game playing or you trying to string him along.

          I realize there is a gender role difference at play, but if I suggest a meeting to a guy and he tells me he ‘isnt ready yet’, I immediately stop taking him seriously because I consider a reluctance to meet as suspiscious.

          As for taking things slow once you meet, I would agree with that. Usually a guy who is in it for ‘the easy lay’ will fade if you make him wait. But not every guy looking for casual sex is only willing to pursue only if its ‘easy’. As a friend of mine put it, you can put up with anybody for 3 dates if you *know* its going to get you laid. Not every guy can easily just get it from some other girl so he may stick around if he hasnt gotten laid in a while and you seem promising.

          Personally, i like the taking things slow approach because it gives me time to get to know the guy. To me, what a guy says and does over time is the most telling element about a mans intentions. However, even thats not a fool proof plan. I’ve dated a guy who acted like ‘a boyfriend’ because he knew thats the game he had to play to get casual sex on a regular basis but those guys are farther and fewer between.

          • Yvonne Says:

            No strategy is foolproof, of course, but in my experience, guys who haven’t been serious about me wanted to put in as little effort as possible, both before and/or after meeting. I’ve never had a man who was really interested in me think I was stringing him along by wanting to chat on the phone before meeting, as long as I’ve explained to him that it makes me more comfortable. Also, after meeting, no surprise, the not-serious always want to do something that is last-minute and requires as little planning as possible.

    • GI_JANE Says:

      Yvonne, D, and C:

      1. My experience with the screening process is this. It is great to exchange a few e-mails, I make sure the guys profile doesn’t have any red flags and often ask what are they looking for if it’s not indicated easily.

      2. But online screening can only work so much.

      3. If I wait say several weeks to meet a man, the outcome doesn’t necessarily change, he is who is he in real life and I will find out. The men wanting to talk forever don’t actually have intentions of meeting.

  5. noquay Says:

    Had one of these last summer. Dude decided to drive three hours to see me on the spur of the moment (red flag 1), said the photo thing; actually I DO look better IRL because I don’t photograph worth a damn no matter who takes the picture. He however, clearly had magically gained some 30 pounds since his allegedly recent pics. He immediately stammered an apology about it and promised to start dieting right away (red flag 3). Very socially awkward dude who clearly thought he was gonna get sex because he decided to drive 3 hours with little advance warning just to see lil old Noquay- he did not. He evaporated which saved me the hassle of turning him down. Jane, this kinda thing happens all the time, probably more so in your age group. If you do get good men on occasion, it’s an issue with the guys, as there are a lot of sad sacks on line. If this is all you’re getting, then get some other photos taken. The selfies can be self-defeating (pun intended) if the background looks messy, cheap, or was taken through the bathroom mirror which a lot of guys seem to do. No one wants to see your toilet.

  6. LostSailor Says:

    I completely agree with Moxie’s assessment. Too many compliments early on are trying to impress and are usually insincere. But the real red flags are telling Jane she’s different from “other” women and better looking than her photos. The biggest red flag in my book, however, is a guy talking about all the disappointments they’ve had with other women. Epic. Fail.

    It’s probably just social awkwardness or maybe it’s the midwest, I don’t know. But it’s fairly clueless behavior. I’m pretty up-front that I’m divorced (and happy to see it gives me a 54% bump) but almost never talk about it on a date, especially an early date; some women ask about it, but I merely say that it was all very amicable (it is) and change the subject. Even when talking about events or travel that I did with my ex, I only use the first person pronouns. I can understand that some guys may want to paint their current date as “different” than those “other” women, but I don’t want my date thinking about me and other women, I want her thinking about me with her.

    But more to the point, Jane asks why these guys disappear so quickly and so often. I don’t think there’s enough information to go on here. It’s possible she’s not screening well enough, but she says that she likes the guys she’s getting dates with. She’s apparently put in the work to make herself more physically attractive, so that’s probably not the main issue here. So I’d have to question her conversation and behavior on the dates. If she really is “easy to talk with” then it must be something else.

    I don’t have answers, only questions. What is Jane doing to indicate her interest in these men. Good conversation is a start, but not necessarily sufficient for signalling interest. Even on a first date with a woman I know I’m not interested in, I can give good conversation for an hour or so.

    Maybe it’s just the guys. Maybe they’re sad-sacks. Maybe they’re a little socially awkward. Maybe not. Can’t tell from the letter.

    But as to The Fade, yes, it’s ubiquitous. I’ve never taken it personally when done to me, because it’s usually women I’m on the fence about. And, of course, I’ve done it, too. Not apologizing.

    • GI_JANE Says:

      How do I indicate interest? Well, I try to throw a compliment their way here and there. I actually kiss them back at the end of the date, also I end up contacting them a day or two after the date to say hi. If I hear nothing I try texting them again another time or some holiday.

      The ones I like usually respond by saying “thanks, me too” some generic one liners, but nothing that would indicate seeing me again.

  7. Mark Says:

    Seems to be a pretty good analysis by Moxie and other.

    If guys are pulling a vanishing act after a date or two then it seems that either they were looking for a quick roll in the hay or just were not feeling that attraction/chemistry element after meeting you in person. I’m inclined to say that if they are overly complimentary about a lot or otherwise gratuitous, then I’m inclined to say it was the former. especially if they start mentioning their ‘disapointments’ with other women that you mention. Not totally certain, but it’s probably a good guess.

    Why do men fade? Probably for the same reasons that women do. It’s often seen as an easy way out. Others see it as a non confrontational way to say that they just are not interested. Still others see it as being polite. Is that right or wrong? It seems that many people do it and it’s increasingly common By the same token people also have had it done to them. So I suppose in the end that it really doesn’t matter.

    You can’t really avoid it. But you might minimize it by honing your screening skills of potential dates.

    Good luck and hope things get better.

  8. jane Says:

    Maybe Im an anomaly in this day and age but I dont take a lot of photos when Im out with friends, it just doesnt seem to happen where we stop and think to take a photo of ourselves, and the RARE time I have – I dont find them to be flattering ones or show my face clearly. So no, other than vacation photos that arent always the most recent, I dont have a lot of photos taken by other people to use on dating websites. Does that make me sad and lonely? I hope not.

    • LostSailor Says:

      I dont have a lot of photos taken by other people to use on dating websites. Does that make me sad and lonely? I hope not.

      I have a lot of friends, I’m very social, and while there are some photos of me that friends have shared, almost none are suitable for using in online dating. I have no selfies on my profile, but it’s hard, especially for a guy, to get good photos.

      We use the best we can…

    • GI_JANE Says:

      I have the same issue Jane and Lost Sailor.

      But the thing I find is, most women my age are taking a billion photos everywhere they go, probably for attention whoring purposes so they can pick the one or 2 flattering ones. I on the other hand don’t get out much period. Moxie suggested a professional photographer in another e-mail and I will definitely especially seeing how wonderful and natural hers turned out.

  9. ATWYSingle Says:

    Re: Greenwald

    She has been married for close to 15 years and has no first hand experience with dating in a digital age, or really of online dating. She’s done exceptionally well with her books, though. Her “he doesn’t really want that text, he just thinks he does” stuff is nonsense. Never, ever, EVER trust someone who says, “Well, I’ve interviewed or spoken to hundreds of men so I know what they really want.” For starters, it’s usually a lie. It’s no different than the, “I’ve fixed up all my friends and somebody told me I should be a matchmaker/dating coach” tripe. Nope. They say a money making opportunity. That’s really it.

    As for her claim that she helps 50 year old men find hot babes, let me let you in on a secret. Here’s what they do: they find models and actresses who are looking to make extra money. I’ve watched a matchmaker hold an open call for female clients and they all were models. These guys aren’t looking for partners. They’re looking for trophy dates.

    The fact is, writing about dating doesn’t really pay da bills, know what I’m saying? People like Greenwald and all the others who publish books are looking to become personalities of some kind. That’s where the money is. Coaching can do a modest business, but it rarely every can support someone completely. In fact, most dating based businesses make little revenue. The people who run these image consluting, dating expert, matchmaker organizations are usually trust funders living off supplementary income.

    To make money off something like this, you have to WORK. Not do press, not show up at events and jerk off other people in this niche. Work. I find myself going down a rabbit hole every time I see a tweet from “experts” here in NY talking about their latest press mention, book deal or posting photos of their appearance at some smaltzy bar or event. Then I remember that I’m on a totally different path. My path isn’t as glamorous, but I can support myself and don’t have to constantly remind people I exist by telling them.

  10. ATWYSingle Says:

    At least Moxie gives great advice and only charges for personalized parts of it. She might want to rethink that…

    The reason why I can charge an affordable rate is because I make it up in volume. And I don’t write people’s profiles. It’s dishonest. Nobody will ever capture your voice with a couple of phone calls. That’s what people want to hear. They want to hear your voice in their profiles. They want to hear a person, not a resume or perfectly crafted bio. Online dating is already so removed and anonymous that having someone write your profile for you is just one step from having a computer write it for you. Most dating coaches just take information they read somewhere else and repurpose it and repackage it as their own. You’re basically paying them for someone else’s insights.

  11. elli Says:

    omg!!this is Crazy!!! Im an attracruve, fitmama , i take pix of myself. *°im not on “dating sites”. HOWEVER, this article boils me! Ppl shouldnt be judged on who is in pix. half or more than 1/2 ppl.on FAKEBOOK POSTING PIX! soo, are u saying to look desirable i have to snap pix w my gfs n post to look amazingly wanted?!sorry, i can handle my own. im 40, not 20 going clubs &taking pics w. bunch friends. too busy being FABULOUS, a mom, n i have my handsful to be on line dating. soo u singles on line*°DO U !keep it real. ull be okay. n if u can eat clean+workout+stop going online seeking guidance. build the relationship w. urself. n btw*°*my mist BEAUTIFUL pix are me alone. it doesnt mean im lonely, crazy, introvert. XOXO,

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