In the past week, I’ve had a few dates where the person has revealed a huge dealbreaker, such as dishonesty, drug use, or a major health or lifestlye issue they are not willing to address.
Advertised himself as 45 years old, with pictures of a himself in his mid to late 40′s. In real life, he looked 65 and had children close to my age, very old fashioned mannerisms, and talked mostly about his health problems. He went to the bathroom five times (enlarged prostate). When he hugged me goodbye, rubbed my back and told me I was his “beautiful soulmate” I physically cringed.
Revealed during the date that he smoked cigarettes and the “other stuff” even though his profile stated he was a non-smoker. His smoking has gotten him hospitalized several times because he has chronic and severe asthma. I have mild asthma and was recovering from a chest infection and asked him not to smoke in front of me. He agreed, but 30 minutes later lit up… twice.
At 48 years of age, is planning to release his first record despite having no experience in music, being unable to play an instrument, sing, write music or lyrics. He plans on singing the tunes over the telephone to music company in another country, who will produce a digital master. He will hire professionals to do the artwork, and have ten thousand CDs printed. His janitor job does not provide enough money to finance this venture, and his credit is not good enough to borrow from the bank, so he is going to borrow money from a local lender.
A number of men I’m communicating with online make plans to call at a certain time, then don’t call. Then they say they will call the next day, but don’t call. Or they arrange a date then cancel 24 hours or less before the date, or “disappear” while arranging a time and date. And worst is the man who asks for a date on a certain day, then says he will call or text on the day of the date to finalize arrangements but cancels hours or minutes before the date.
All of the above real scenarios are dealbreakers for me. How can I vet the men I agree to date more carefully? I’d love to hear your thoughts and get your readers’ input.
Hmm…this really is a parade of losers. I’m not sure there is any way to eradicate any chance you’ll ever meet a guy like this again, though. But I’ll take a stab at tips to help you prevent meeting too many of such kinds of people.
Give Me The Serenity to Accept The Things I Can Not Change
Yes, I just quoted The Serenity Prayer. The first thing you need to do is understand that having the occasional bad date or meeting someone who looks nothing like their photos or who isn’t completely honest is a staple part of online dating. Appropriate your expectations. Some people are deluded or don’t have an accurate perception of how they look. You need to accept that.
Give Me The Courage To Change The Things I Can
This starts with paying closer attention to the details that the person provides. Here are my basic rules of thumb:
1. I wouldn’t meet any man that didn’t have at least 3 photos on his profile. The photos all had to be clear shots of his full face and at least one full body shot. The pictures also could not be grainy or look outdated/hazy in any way. Only one photo? No dice. They also all need to be from different points. Not the same session. No distance shots, no profile shots, no shots with sunglasses or hats. Basically, no hiding.
2. No shabby dressers/photos of them in slovenly looking/dark apartments - Sounds like a no brainer but you’d be surprised. People pose in poor lighting for a reason.
3. Pay attention to their skin tone/hair/weight – You can tell the difference between someone healthy and unhealthy. A pasty/yellow tinged skin tone is an absolute no no for me. As is any admission to frequent drinking or drug use beyond pot. And even that I try to avoid if I can.
4. No references to having made mistakes “like everybody else” or not being perfect - Jesus, just post your criminal record if you’re going to say that.
5. No oversharers - These men you’ve dated all show signs of classic oversharing and lacking in self-awareness. I will guarantee you they showed glimpses of this in their profiles.
6. No pipe dreamers – Sorry, but if some guy is in his late thirties to forties and he’s still plugging away at being a musician, artist or actor, I bail. That is, unless he states out right that he makes a living at said profession. I don’t care how pissy some of you get – dating someone who is still struggling to establish himself at a career at that age is self-involved and irresponsible. They won’t be able to make a relationship any form of a priority. Plus they’re usually unstable in some way.
7. No creepy/off vibes - How any of these men didn’t trip off some trigger within you is beyond me. There’s no way these buffoons are able to present themselves well in their profiles. No way. Avoid guys that make you go, “Meh.”
Give Me The Wisdom to Know The Difference
Here’s where you come in. We all have had the occasional bad date. But that seems to be the norm for you. Your radar is way, way off. You need to learn how to pick up on signs of ambivalence and moderate interest.
1. Get rid of the phone step – There. That was easy. I will bet many of these men are ditching you strictly because you are requesting a phone call.
2. Don’t accept vague plans - If a guy says he’ll follow up with you to “finalize” plans, he’s moderately interested at best or exploring other options. Try to get him to confirm plans in the very conversation where you agree to meet. If he’s not willing to do that, detach. If he says he’ll follow up tell him that’s fine and cut bait.
3. Be proactive - You’re leaving way too much up to the man. You need to take a bit more control here. Get a list of places together that are no more than 20-30 minutes away from you so you can offer up locations/meeting spots. Be prepared. Know your schedule. Suggest a specific night and time and location. The next day, don’t wait for them to follow up. You do it. Some of these situations could simply be a lack of communication or similar disconnect.
4. Don’t engage anybody that takes too long to respond without offering a viable excuse. Once that dialogue begins, it shouldn’t be staggered over a few days. If they’re not replying in a timely fashion, or they drop out of a conversation, they’re simply not interested enough. Move on.
2-4 emails over 48 hours, make the date, meet. That’s it. Anything else is a waste of time.