Here’s How You’re Cock Blocking Yourself Out of Dates

There are various counter-intuitive things that people do that they think helps them weed out the flakes or faders that BLOCK2actually keep them dateless. Between reading dozens of dating profiles every week to reading countless articles about dating, I’ve been enable to identify some common roadblocks that people throw up that impede their ability to develop potential relationships.

You wait to reply to a text or email - The days of playing it cool or hard to get are over. As I said recently, if having a simple email conversation with you involves a series of staggered messages with several hour gaps between, don’t be surprised if people flake on you repeatedly. Everybody knows that most people have access to the internet 24/7. There’s no excuse for a severely delayed response. The online dating process moves far too quickly for people to hang back and think someone will just wait for them to get back to them.

You post photos of yourself with your friends on your dating profile – The harder you make it for someone to figure out what you look like, the less likely it is they will contact or reply to you. It amazes me how many people use a picture of themselves with their friends as their primary profile photo. Crop that shit, people. There should be no confusion as to who you are. If you cause me more seconds than necessary to identify you, I’m out.

Your primary photo isn’t compelling - You have to remember that those pictures are shrunk down to tiny thumbnails when they appear in searches. Do not think you’re being clever or mysterious by posting cropped or obstructed pictures of your body parts. Nobody cares enough about you to click through, and if they do it will be to mock you. See the pics of me below? That’s how tiny that photo will be. My dress is red and pops off the page, I’m turned straight towards the camera, and boobs. The black dress is up against a white background so the outline of my body is visible. That picture needs to grab people’s attention.

redmemetestingtinder

You give people access to your world before meeting them – Try to avoid giving people you’ve just met online (but not offline yet) access to your digital universe. That includes Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. OkCupid allows people to link their Instagram to their profile. I advise people against connecting their profiles to any social media platform. People have a bad habit of creating back stories for people based on stupid memes and photos. (I do it, but I’m more perceptive than most and am usually right.) I have a suspicion that this is a big reason why Tinder is fading out, too. If you share mutual friends and don’t have your pages setting set to private, Tinder Matches can easily find you and go through your updates and postings. One work around is to create a Facebook profile strictly for Tinder, Hinge, and Happn and nothing else. Granted,  you don’t even need to reveal your full name to someone for them to be able to piece key words together  or reverse image search your photos to find you. Should someone come back at you and reveal they found this social media page or something on Google, take that as a red flag and abort the mission. Only socially tone deaf people let you know that they did that.

You lay your cards on the table too soon -  My personal belief is that asking people what they are looking for in initial email conversations or on the first or second date sets a very bad tone. The reality is that many people are still trying to gauge whether or not there’s any compatibility. So, while they might be looking for a relationship, they might not want to say that to someone they’re still feeling out. They don’t want to lock themselves into anything prematurely. And then there are still others who will say exactly what they think the other person wants to hear in order to grease the wheels. Personally, I’m suspect of anybody who is in relationship mode by the first or second date or who addresses or treats me like a girlfriend that soon. There’s something off about that.

You go to events designed to meet people with a group of friends – Dear God in heaven, don’t do this. It’s one thing to go to a party with your pals. It’s another thing to go to an event geared towards singles with a posse of people. Not only does that make approaching you intimidating, you run the risk of that person you like also liking your friend. I see this with speeddating all the time. Women sign up in groups. Inevitably, either none of the men choose any of them because they see potential conflict down the road or the guys pick several or all of them. News flash: You and your friends are not going to be okay with all of you dating the same guy.

You won’t lie in your profile –  God dammit, people. Lie. Just lie. Fudge your age, fudge your zip code to be one that’s more populated, fudge your age, whatever. You can explain in your profile why you made the adjustments and come clean there if you like. Do what you have to do to get the traffic to your profile. Anybody who doesn’t understand why you’re doing that or who wants to stand on principle is looking for a reason to reject you anyway, so forget about them.

You’re too honest in general – Contrary to popular belief, lying is acceptable as long as it isn’t grossly misleading or done to be malicious. Dating involves faking it to some degree. Suck it up and stop clinging to the moral high ground and clutching your pearls. You don’t have to make up a whole fake history. Wait until things are consistent and settled before coming clean. If someone asks you a question that makes you uncomfortable, politely deflect or offer something vague and move on. Do not get stuck in that moment.

You try to be everything to everybody - Whether it’s in simple conversation at a party or in your profile, people have a tendency to try too hard to be liked. That’s why so many people avoid being too specific or descriptive about who they are in their About Me summary. A lot of people come off sounding like a caricature of what they think makes them an attractive match, and they do that by playing it safe. You’re fun, you love to laugh, you love your friends and family, etc. Yawn. Not everybody is going to like you..and that’s okay. You don’t always have to be on. I see this more often in women’s profiles than men’s. Women are conditioned to be pleasers. Fuck that noise. You are who you are, and as long as you know how to present yourself in an attractive and available and approachable way, the people who like people like you will like you.

You’re too open about your flaws or things you think make you difficult to date – You are under no obligation to tell people anything you don’t want to. The only exception is that if that revelation is something they need to know, like that you have a sexually transmitted disease. Unless the information somehow compromises your date’s health or safety, keep it to yourself in the beginning. As we discussed last week with the Virgin post, her problem wasn’t that she was a virgin but that she was announcing that she was a virgin and therefore didn’t plan on having sex. News like that or anything that reveals uncomfortable vulnerabilities will only serve to make people back off. There’s no need to show all your warts right away. We’re all adults and can make our own informed decisions. Stop seeing things like mental illness or lack of experience as hurdles and just embrace them. They make up part of you, not all of you. We’ve all got ‘em.

You mistake innocuous moments for milestones and make assumptions- When you’re eager to get into a relationship, it’s common to project what you want things to be on to a situation. For example, you and someone you’re dating agree to meet up at a bar or party where they are hanging out with their friends and then head off to your date. That isn’t necessarily “meeting their friends.” Gestures like good morning texts and compliments and a Saturday night date simply do not mean what they used to mean. Do not based your perception of the progress of a relationship on gestures.

You don’t learn from your mistakes - I’ve written about how it’s commonplace for people to go on a series of first dates or have a number of short-lived flings for a long time without getting into a relationship. Part of the reason dating has become so uber freakin’ complicated is that people simply are not progressing past the early stages of dating and therefore are not garnering any productive dating experience. There’s a reason why more and more people seem so stunted and clueless when it comes to relationships. That reason is that they keep doing the same thing over and over and aren’t re-tracing their steps to see where things took a bad turn. When you start to notice a pattern, you have to step back and try to look at things objectively so you can identify the commonalities. 90% of the time, that commonality is you.

You continuously shoot out of your league – I’ve talked this one into the ground. If people keep flaking on you, or you can’t seem to get any responses on a dating site,  or you repeatedly encounter unavailable people, you’re shooting out of your league. Full stop. That’s all she wrote.

You think first dates are about impressing you and not vice versa - A lot of people walk into that first date assuming that they’re the prize and therefore their date should prove why he or she are worth they’re time. You’re both on probation at that point. The expectation is that each of you will demonstrate why you’re someone worth getting to know.

 

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60 Responses to “Here’s How You’re Cock Blocking Yourself Out of Dates”

  1. Kyra Says:

    Mostly good advice Moxie, a lot of it really resonated, but I just don’t feel comfortable with lying.

    I don’t “truthbomb” as some other readers have said, but I just can’t put down something in my profile that’s factually incorrect.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 40 Thumb down 2

  2. Jim Says:

    You forgot dogs. Please, women, stop posting photos of tiny dogs. They’re not cute (and I love dogs); they’re barely better than putting up photos of your stuffed animals. And they make guys wonder if you will always be chaperoned by a tiny wriggling furball in your purse. If your profile says you like dogs, that’s enough. If you make it to a date, say, “I have a dog.” But a photo of Fifi in a sweater is a turnoff.
    Moxie, your photos are hot. You’ve definitely studied this whole thing and got it down to a science. A heavenly body doesn’t hurt. Oh, and, uh, sound advice, too.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 20

    • Kyra Says:

      I have two collies (and this is a hypothetical because i need to post new photos…) but, if I were to put up a full body picture of me at the park with my dogs, would that really be a bad thing? It shows I’m active and like to have fun outdoors – isn’t that a better photo than posting a bathroom selfie?

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 13 Thumb down 7

      • Nicole Says:

        I had two pictures of me with my dogs on my profile and if it scared some people off, it attracted plenty of others. I think people who advise against mentioning pets in a dating profile are taking their own personal preference and assuming everyone feels the same way. I skipped any guy who had a picture or a mention of a motorcycle – but I get that plenty of women love bikes, so I wouldn’t tell anyone to avoid talking about it just because I personally was put off by it.

        Like Moxie wrote, you can’t please everybody.

        Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 6

        • Bill Says:

          Just my opinion…

          One, perhaps two, pictures of you and your dog, cat, horse, etc. is a good thing in my opinion. I’m an animal lover and those pictures would be pluses for me.

          IMO, it’s also a good thing even if it turns someone off, for someone who might have allergies, for example, to know ahead of time to take a Zyrtec before a date or to just skip your profile altogether. How many times have we heard the story, “He won’t move in useless I get rid of my cat! Help!” Sheesh!

          Red flags for me are having your pet prominently displayed in EVERY SINGLE PICTURE of you or pictures with only the pet in them, no you. Lol!

          Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 0

          • Kyra Says:

            Okay, that’s fair.

            Also, I know some people who are afraid of dogs and don’t think anything of me saying “I have 2 big collies” and then freak out when they come over. Said they wouldn’t have come if they knew the dogs were that big. At least a picture if referential to size and what you’re getting into.

            It shouldn’t be more than one photo, and definitely not of the pet alone, I fully agree.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

      • ATWYSingle Says:

        If the photos are of you and are clear and you’re not flinging a frisbee or in action somehow, the photos are fine. One photo of a dog – any kind of dog – is fine. Multiple pics of dogs and I’m going to assume your dog is your omigoawd whole life! and I’ll avoid.

        I’m not sure why people think “action shots” work. Nobody wants to look at you up at bat at softball or swinging a golf club or on a bike or running a marathon or doing yoga on the beach. Keep it simple. Post pictures where people can see you clearly, where you’re not posed at weird angles or in motion, and aren’t hiding behind a prop. So easy, yet people continue to screw that up.

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

        • Kyra Says:

          Thanks for the response Moxie. Keeping it simple seems to be the best bet. :)

          I just think for the most part people would like to see that you do leave your house, right?

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

        • mindstar Says:

          One reason why people post action shots is to provide proof of what they’re saying in their profile.

          Ex. “I love to bake” accompanied by a picture of them making a pie or “I’m fit and enjoy working out” and they have a picture of them exercising.

          It also shows they have interests/hobbies.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

          • Noquay Says:

            Exactly. I run a small organic farm, am very active, live at high altitude. My pix show who I am, the environment I live in and yep, on occasion, my large dogs. I try hard and portray myself as who I actually am, mainly because my main issue on line is that a lot of men portray themselves as being healthier than they really are and this has led to a lot of wasted driving on my part, ruined day trips and can be dangerous if a date cannot handle being at altitude.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

      • HammersAndNails Says:

        point 1: I love dogs. I’d absolutely give a woman with a dog extra points if its big enough to play frisbee. That being said, guys will take note of how much harder your dogs will make a weekend getaway.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

      • HammersAndNails Says:

        point 2: guys love bathroom selfies. This is another example of genders not being able to see from the other perspective.

        A bathroom selfie is a fantastic shot. you see what a woman really looks like in good lighting and a non ridiculous angle with nothing hidden. Thats exactly why guys take topless bathroom selfies. It’s what we want to see, so we assume women would like the same thing. Smart men know women don’t so we don’t, but that’s the reason guys post them.

        Women need to have the same respect for mens preferences and must post a straight up shot of their figure. with no tricks, lighting issues, angles, crap held in front of you, loose clothing, puffy clothing, angles, a table, a dog, a friend… etc.

        The female equivalent of the male bathroom selfie is the quirky shot. The one where a woman is intentionally looking unattractive with her tongue sticking out, or a fake mustache stuck on, ironic duckface, or whatever else women posts that’s obviously unattractive to show how oh so quirky and “funny” they are.

        Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 4

        • HammersAndNails Says:

          you know what.. I said smart men, but I guess I meant experienced men, because for the life of me I still have no idea what ladies find so unappealing about it. It’s truth in advertising. Ladies know ALL about trying to hide and fudge the truth with pictures, so I would assume they would at least on some level respect the opposite… clearly that assumption would be very very wrong.

          Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 5

          • Noquay Says:

            Bathroom selfies give the impression that you have no one that can take a picture for you, you cannot afford professional photos, and generally haven’t much of a life. As we are more body conscious and observant, we chix can generally suss out a guys body despite his being fully clothed. Arms, face, chin, neck, legs are also going to reveal whether a dude is in good shape or not, ditto for pix of women.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

            • HammersAndNails Says:

              Ladies are certainly not more body observant. Maybe just a bit less particular? I earlier referred to shirtless bathroom selfies, apparently the most hated of all, but either way.

              “give the impression that you have no one that can take a picture for you”

              Men don’t often take pictures of other men. I had an issue because I didn’t like how I looked in most of the pictures I pulled from Facebook. After way too long it finally occurred to me that almost all the pictures were taken by women who are typically about a foot shorter than I am, which is why all the pictures looked weird/bad.

              I also doubt very much that most men even consider professional photographer, regardless of expense. I’d actually be embarrassed if a woman commented on my hypothetical professionally taken photo’s. It seems a bit foppish and vain for a man to hire a photographer. I mean I understand why it’s probably a fantastic idea, but that being said I’m still a bit uncomfortable with it.

              *I’m not defending the bathroom selfie.* I am not a stubborn man. Women hate it. Don’t do it. Got it. Done and done. I was just saying that I never quite got the why.

              If women are under the impression that men take photos of men like women take photos of women, I could certainly see how a woman could think that a man who needs to resort to selfies has no friends. That makes sense. In my experience, you can have a ton of solid guy friends and still end up with few pictures, and even fewer still without a beer in your hand.

              Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

              • mindstar Says:

                “Men don’t often take pictures of other men.”

                Exactly. When a group of men are together it is EXTREMELY unlikely that they will be whipping out their cellphones and snapping pictures of each other. We’re just not wired that way.

                This is ever more true for men who are 40+.

                Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

              • Julie Says:

                Thats a good question.

                I think most women would love to see a selfie of you wearing your best business suit in a parking lot. They wouldnt think you had no friends but rather that you were looking good and wanted to capture the moment….because thats how we think.

                The bathroom selfie doesnt come across that way. They come across as cheap, low effort somewhat inappropriate shots that are associated with all of those shirtless overly sexual bathroom pics. No one wants to see a picture of you with your toilet and bath towel in the background. Additionally, the lighting is actually quite poor. Its bright but its not flattering. At best it comes across as you not giving a damn about how you present yourself. At worst you remind us of all of those rediculous shirtless bathroom pics we’ve seen.

                Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

                • Ishtar Says:

                  It is totally inappropriate! It feels like crossing a boundary to me, showing some place personal and private before we’ve even met.

                  Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

                • Julie Says:

                  I didnt realize that you were refering to the shirtless pics, just general bathroom pics. Ok, shirtless pics are bad because women arent generally seduced by overt sexual advertisement unless she is already interested in a guy. Its as cheeseball and shows the same lack of social skills as a woman trying to seduce you with an opening message describing her professional success.

                  Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

                  • Ishtar Says:

                    No, I’m referring to the bathroom, alright. I don’t need to see anybody’s bathroom before I’ve even met them.

                    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

                    • Julie Says:

                      Nicole mentioned “naked torso” so I thought I misread HNM’s question. I totally agree with you. The last thing I want to see is some strangers nasty bathroom.

                      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

                    • James Wu Says:

                      I’m a guy and I’m reference women who take bathroom selfies: I guess I’m the only one who dislikes bathroom selfies because a picture taken in the bathroom. I find it so disgusting to see a toilet in a picture of someone I am first seeing for the first time. Even if the toilet is in the corner of the picture. I know I’m being extreme here, but I think to myself, whoa that person must not have much self respect to have a toilet in their profile picture.

                      I find selfies done in public bathrooms are even more gross. People have gone to the bathroom in there.

                      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

                    • Joey Giraud Says:

                      James, that seems a little fussy.

                      You could be missing out on the love of your life because she made a naive mistake.

                      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

              • Noquay Says:

                Um, don’t men have sisters, female friends?!

                Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

          • Nicole Says:

            My problem with the bathroom selfies was usually the bathroom itself… Wet towels, grimy shower curtain, toothpaste smeared on the faucet, countertop cluttered with axe body spray, toilet in the background with an empty roll where the paper should be.

            I agree this is the ultimate case of men and women not “getting” each other. I guess a guy would be looking at every inch of a woman’s body and evaluating it? I glanced at the naked torso, which registered only as either “fine” or “ew”, and then looked at the background for clues to how the guy lived. The rare bathroom selfie that featured a clean, nice bathroom actually made me more interested in the guy.

            Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

            • HammersAndNails Says:

              Gave me a little chuckle that you glance over the guy but go over every inch of his bathroom. :)

              Yes, guys have very strong preferences for the details of a woman’s figure and proportions. Not so much her towels.

              Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

        • ATWYSingle Says:

          Nobody should be taking bathroom selfies. If a person doesn’t know how to take a normal selfie without using a mirror or doesnt know how to use the timer function on their phone, they’re not terribly bright. Bathroom selfies don’t just scream lonely loser, they say out of touch. They also say “the rest of my apartment is a dump.”

          The idea that men don’t take pictures of other men is also a fallacy unless all your male friends are raging homophobes who think it’s “gay” to take pics of other dudes. everybody takes pictures now a days. Social media wouldn’t exist if that weren’t the case.

          Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 5

          • Ishtar Says:

            I liked your message in the sidebar regarding this – exactly! When I see ‘bathroom’, I immediately think of bodily functions and toilets. Which in turn causes aversion on my part, because no one wants to think of that, especially in conjunction with someone they may find attractive.

            It’s especially bad when it’s obvious when that person has not cleaned the toilet in a while. Gross. On the flip side, thanks for letting me know beforehand that you are a gross person.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

            • HammersAndNails Says:

              What an unexpected reply.

              I’m a 35 and most guys I know don’t have Instagram.The ones that do are poon hounds there for only one reason. As soon as Facebook became too mainstream to post anything funny on many guys dropped off. I’ve never tweeted. Snapchat is not nearly the smorgasbord of nudes I was led to believe and I’d have no real problem uninstalling it. I’ve had a smartphone since Nokia was the new hotness. I have computers and laptops and tablets. I have a 55 inch computer in the living room. I have less then 5 post a year on Facebook outside my car groups.

              You are seriously telling me that most of the men you date post on social media even monthly? Maybe it’s true that as teens and twenties have stopped using it, olds have picked it up.

              “Hey Dave. Nice shirt! Is that new? Go stand by the fountain and let me get a few pictures”

              Is really a conversation you really can see your straight male friends having? Really? Calling it homophobia is wrong enough that I’m not going to bother arguing. It’s not done. Period.

              Group shots? Maybe, but most men hate those useless “Sherlock holmes which one is her” group shots terrible women post…

              Sure people can take all those absurdly angled selfies shots without a mirror but the mirror facilitates straight on honesty. Yes a camera timer fixes this issue and should be used by non-idiots. Agreed.

              Agreed that no man should be posting bathroom shots under any circumstances. For girls it doesn’t really matter and a bathroom shot is better then no honest shot.

              Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 6

              • Ishtar Says:

                Huh? What are you talking about? I don’t have Instagram and I rarely take selfies. Which is why I expect men to not have bathroom pics.

                Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

              • Ishtar Says:

                Also, don’t you have any photographer friends? FYI my female friends and I are not constantly taking selfies either. If I want a nice headshot or full body shot I’ll bust out my DSLR and a friend or family member to take a picture.

                Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

                • HammersAndNails Says:

                  Every photographer friend I would ask is a woman. Even if I knew a guy was a wedding photographer I wouldn’t ask him. If I knew a guy who loved photography for fun, I’d ask him, but I don’t know one.

                  Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

                  • K Says:

                    My male friends in 35-40 category aren’t on facebook a ton nor have a lot of pics. But when we are out they just get in pictures. I always have pictures of them from my birthday party etc. I’m sure they use those and you can crop out. I have even just taken a solo shot of them and said here now you’ll have a good picture for your profile:). It’s just about competition. If all guys online had bathroom selfies, I’d think okay I’ll pick the cutest with a non-gross bathroom. Instead there are tons of guys who somehow managed to get normal pictures (one head shot, maybe from a work picture and then group pics with friends/family work for me). So the bathroom guys get ignored. I’ve swapped profiles with male friends and given them my critique. They’ve done the same and I actually pulled one pic that I thought looked great in (female friends thought I looked amaze), but the guys thought it looked uptight. That’s my market so I removed it. As you are aware the selfies are looked upon poorly at least it puts you ahead of the guys who have no idea/or don’t care.

                    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

                  • Ishtar Says:

                    You…have issues. That’s all I can say. What’s wrong with a male wedding photographer? And why would you not ask your female friends to take photographs?

                    Your comments make no sense whatsoever. You jumped in immediately with the social media stuff which was just…what? Not all women are social media fiends – actually, none of my female friends and I care much about social media or taking selfies.

                    I mean, don’t you need decent photos for work? For LinkedIn? I bet you don’t use bathroom selfies for that? A dating profile is similar, it’s like a resumé. It’s about selling yourself, showing yourself in the best possible light.

                    It does not have to be this difficult.

                    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3

                    • HammersAndNails Says:

                      My fault, that reply was to atwysingle when she said everyone uses social media.

                      Talk about spiraling wildly out of control. I have actually already managed to get some pictures together without a bathroom, so I’m good. My question was actually well answered. Women find the bathroom a private or gross place, or the particular bathroom is actually gross. That makes sense.

                      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

              • ATWYSingle Says:

                A mirror offers straight on honesty? As opposed to..just a regular picture? If anything, mirrors distort images. As for lighting, speaking of not knowing how the other gender thinks or acts, when we apply makeup it’s not usually done in bright light because it skews how the make up looks and leads to women putting on too much or too little.

                Wanting someone to take a picture of you somewhere is considered normal nowadays, whether you’re a male or a female. Several of my guy friends and male followers are on Instagram. They might not be posting selfie after selfie, but they do post pictures of themselves out and about or appear to have people take photos of them. Even omigod people shorter than them.

                Even if I knew a guy was a wedding photographer I wouldn’t ask him.

                Right. Because you’re a homophobe with internalized issues about what constitutes masculinity. You’re welcome.

                Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 5

                • HammersAndNails Says:

                  If you stand with normal good posture, have a person a foot shorter take a photo. The angle is unflattering. Maybe there is a way to dip my head alluringly. I’ll try it and get back to you.

                  I didn’t say there was a thousand suns in there. I said it was “not dim” and was typical light colored and plain. You are saying bathroom light is deliberately not too bright or too dim? So “good” light then? Glad we agree.

                  Eh… issues on masculinity? Eh whatever you say doc. This isn’t necessarily untrue, but it’s certainly widespread. There are ups and downs to the, admittedly somewhat narrow, American masculine ideal and in general I think the ups are well worth the downs. It’s odd that you think masculinity is only defined in the context of homosexuality vs heterosexuality.

                  Knock yourself out attacking my sexuality or openness towards others, but imho that’s both terribly cliche and not very impressive on your part.

                  Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 5

                  • ATWYSingle Says:

                    If you stand with normal good posture, have a person a foot shorter take a photo

                    Nobody a foot shorter than you is taking your picture. Nobody. Are you 6’4″? Probably not. They might be 3-5 inches shorter, but that’s it. And they have arms so they can hold the camera up. Somehow, plenty of guys manage to get pictures of themselves while out with guy friends or snap pictures of themselves out and about.

                    I couldn’t give less of a fuck what you find impressive. You’re just another dude who has an answer and excuse for everything and speaks for all men when really you’re just speaking for yourself and the people you run with.

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                    • HammersAndNails Says:

                      6’3. Yes they have arms… If I’d asked, I’m sure they would have held it up. My bad. That’s a million miles away from anything I was saying, but carry on just jumping all over weird details. That’s not going to put snapshots on Facebook when guys hang out.

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        • Ishtar Says:

          Since when is bathroom lighting ‘good lighting’? Good light is daylight.

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          • HammersAndNails Says:

            Notice how above, moxie gave an example of how a figure stands out against a plain light background? Most bathrooms are plain and lightly colored. Also they tend to be lit well enough to do makeup etc, so not dim.

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      • Fyodor Says:

        You should include pictures of your collies. Many men are concerned about falling into wells and being unable to communicate their predicament to potential rescuers.

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  3. Nicole Says:

    This is an awesome list – the only suggestion I question is the one about not being upfront about wanting a long term relationship. I agree that putting pressure on someone or assuming you’re a couple after two dates is a bad idea, but there’s a difference between “I’d like to be in a relationship” and “I’d like to be in a relationship with you, right now”.

    I did the thing everyone says not to do and asked the guys I dated why they joined okcupid. Most said something about just wanting to get out and meet people. There was a lot of “not looking for anything serious” and “don’t have time for a relationship right now”. Others said they were tired of being single and wanted to find someone. Those were the guys I went out with again. The fact that both of us were actively looking for something long term never felt (to me anyway) like it automatically made us a couple. It was just nice to know that we had the same mindset and if we did hit it off, we’d both be open to a serious relationship.

    I’m pretty sure “wants an exclusive relationship” is the default setting for most women, so guys can probably assume that any girl who goes out with them would be open to something long term if there’s chemistry and compatibility. But there are a lot of men online who just want to get laid or date casually. If you’re a woman looking for something more than that, you either have to be proactive about it or accept that you’ll have lots of those short lived flings Moxie mentioned.

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    • Snowflake Says:

      Aren’t you contradicting yourself when in the first para you say “…but there’s a difference between “I’d like to be in a relationship” and “I’d like to be in a relationship with you, right now”” and then in the last para you also say “I’m pretty sure “wants an exclusive relationship” is the default setting for most women, so guys can probably assume that any girl who goes out with them would be open to something long term…”

      In my own current dating experience, I avoid saying anything at all and just let the chips fall where they may. Typically I prefer to use social cues and critical thinking to read a person/situation. I don’t need to ask the obvious, a person will give away their intent quite easily.

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      • Nicole Says:

        The end of that quote is the important part … “open to something long term IF there’s chemistry and compatibility”. I can want a long term relationship in the abstract without necessarily knowing yet if I want one with some random guy sitting next to me on a date.

        I went out with plenty of guys and we were both interested in long term relationships – but it turned out, not with each other. After a few dates there was no real “click” so we moved on.

        I get what you’re saying about social cues… I just hated waiting four or five dates to find out that a guy wasn’t looking for a relationship at all. If a guy just wasn’t that into me (or I wasn’t that into him) then I was able to shrug it off stay positive and keep looking. But realizing a month in that some dude wasn’t interested in something long term under any circumstances, no matter how well we hit it off… That always made me feel like I’d wasted my time.

        It’s funny, the biggest thing I have learned from a couple years of reading this column is that I was horrible at dating. I did everything wrong and I’m every guy’s worst nightmare. But I never had trouble meeting people, getting dates, or finding guys who wanted relationships. I don’t know what that says, maybe that the world of dating and relationships is truly random and nonsensical.

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        • Julie Says:

          I think a large portion of daters isnt all that savvy and either hits it off with equally un-savvy daters or people who like you enough to be understanding.

          I wish we could pick it all up from reading social cues but we arent all that experienced or savvy. I still cringe at the time one guy on what I thought was a great first date that ended with him asking me if he could see me again (win,right?!!) told me he had lived in LA before and would probably move back in a few months for professional reasons. Being a clueless idiot, my reaction was “What a coincidence! I’ve lived in LA before too and wouldnt be opposed to moving back either.” Took me something like 1.5-2 months of wasted time and emotional energy before I finally realized I was being strung along. We remained on friendly terms and and it wasnt until I read this column that I finally realized I should stop asking him how his plan to move to LA was progressing.

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          • Nicole Says:

            Exactly! I think the thing that gets forgotten sometimes by regular readers of this column is that most people don’t read dating blogs or advice sites. They just kind of stumble around the dating world, doing what comes naturally, and most of them eventually meet someone despite all their mistakes.

            I find the game theory aspects of dating fascinating, and I do think lists like this help maximize profile views and first messages. But on the other hand, it’s easy to start overthinking dating and make it unessecarily complicated. Once you get beyond that initial contact, it’s really just about the unique chemistry between two people. Trying to analyze every move can create more problems than it solves, because most people you date don’t have some well thought out strategy. They’re just out there trying to have fun and find someone.

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  4. John Says:

    Moxie says:
    “There’s a reason why more and more people seem so stunted and clueless when it comes to relationships. That reason is that they keep doing the same thing over and over and aren’t re-tracing their steps to see where things took a bad turn. ”

    The reason is because the people that do this don’t really want to be in a relationship- even though they say they do. When someone does things that go against their stated goal, that stated goal is a bunch of bullshit. Half the people on dating sites don’t want relationships because they don’t do the things to foster being in one. If you deliberately sabotage things, then you don’t want to be in one.

    Just like if you ask anyone who is out of shape if they want to be in shape. They say yes they do. But they wont eat right and will not exercise. But they want a good body. Yeah right. Same thing with online dating. If you say you want a relationship but do all the things Moxie warns against, then you don’t really want to be in a relationship.

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  5. AnnieNonymous Says:

    You know, I think people on either extreme of “I really want to date right now now now” or “I don’t want to date at all” need to knock it the fuck off. It makes it harder for normal, healthy people to have a semi-open conversation without laying out a bunch of caveats and disclaimers. The reality is that most people would rather be in a stable relationship (that provides regular sex) with someone they really like. Those people who “don’t want to date”? A lot of them end up dating anyway, when they find someone who makes it easy for them. And the ones who genuinely never ever want to date, even when sex is on the table?? You’ll know soon enough, and they’ll be single for the rest of their lives. So really, there’s no need to act like “I want a relationship” is a huge unique thing to confess. It’s something everyone wants, however realistic their expectations are.

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  6. Joey Giraud Says:

    On the lying thing; a lot of early dating is enjoying a fantasy, and most adults know that the fantasy won’t last. So why be a killjoy and blurt out ugly realities before the other is ready to get real?

    Also, obsessively honest people are often inflexible, uptight or very insecure.

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    • HammersAndNails Says:

      “obsessively honest people” is a term only a pathological liar would come up with.

      Every big time liar I’ve met thinks everyone lies. It’s the same way the cheating partner gets suspicious of the honest partner. They know they do it, so they know the other party could do it. This is not reality. Most people tell few falsehoods on a regular basis and a small minority lie on a very regular basis.

      Sure. people sugarcoat and try to be diplomatic, maybe even omit some things, but most people really don’t lie all that much. I’m always shocked how many people will glibly say A to friend X when friend Y can hear the obvious falsehoods, just because friend Y doesn’t have a personal interest in the lie. I only have to catch about two self serving lies before I never believe a word out of someones mouth again.

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      • Selena Says:

        *“obsessively honest people” is a term only a pathological liar would come up with.*

        Yes.

        I once had a pathologically lying lover who when called on his lies said he really wasn’t lying, it was “optimism”. Um hmm. Always felt like lies to me.

        Lying to strangers on an internet dating site no doubt has some element of optimism to it. ( Or opportunism?) Can’t help wondering though what happens when all those ‘little’ lies are revealed.

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      • Joey Giraud Says:

        “obsessively honest people” is a term only a pathological liar would come up with?

        You’re very, very naive.

        In my experience, such naivety is a luxury afforded only to the unambitious or those with inherited wealth.

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    • bbdawg Says:

      There are lies and there a lies…for example lying about being divorced when you’re not, lying about not having children when you do (both of which I have experienced), lying about your age by 10 years when it’s visible on photographs you are not the age you claim to be. These are lies. The type of lies that are hard to recover from. The reality is that telling THAT big a lie just says that you just want validation from women and nothing else. There are white lies and there is blatant misrepresentation.

      Shaving off a few years among other smaller lies are not a big deal.

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      • mindstar Says:

        “Shaving off a few years among other smaller lies are not a big deal.”

        Fine. Now where do you draw the line?

        Is it OK to shave off a few years and add a few inches in height while also dropping off a few extra pounds?

        How about saying you live in Manhattan when you actually live in Brooklyn or Queens? Or Hell even if you actually live in Weehawken (which happened to me once).

        Or claiming to have an college degree when you don’t?

        What may be a small lie to you may be a great lie to someone else.

        And how do you address the impression of low self-esteem and insecurity which you’ve created once your lies are discovered?

        I’ve seen many profiles where women state they’ve shaved off a few years so they’ll appear in more searches. Would they be fine with a man who added a few inches to his height for the same reason?

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        • AC Says:

          Agreed. For example, I met a woman last May who listed herself as 46 in her profile. When we met, she admitted she was 48 and would be 49 in September. a few months ago, I came across her profile again and she’s now listing herself as 44. My point:

          When does it end? For the women who say this is okay, my question is how would you feel if the situation were reversed?

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  7. Matt Says:

    “You won’t lie in your profile”
    “You’re too honest in general”

    Honesty is the best policy. Period. It’s bad enough that dating sites now feel it’s okay to lie as long as they justify it with “It’s for science!”. As far as dating goes, I will not lie, and I will not tolerate being lied too. I will not compromise my morals for a little action.

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  8. AC Says:

    About fudging your age:

    If you’re 43 but say you’re 41 that’s one thing. If you’re 49 and list yourself as 44 (with no disclaimer) that’s something totally different. Some will argue that you shouldn’t lie about your age at all, you are what you are. I happen to agree with this. At the same time, I can understand why some might fudge a little to appear in more searches.The point I’m trying to make is there is a huge difference between A white lie and flat out deception.

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  9. Hopefully far away Says:

    I’m (not really) sorry, but “Lie”? Don’t “shoot out of your league”?

    Why don’t you just add “Hunch when you stand” and “Chew with your mouth open” because, y’ know, why even try?

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