Monday, July 21, 2008
Online Dating Tip #2 - The List of Demands
One of the DW’s favorite scenes from Caddyshack is when spoiled Spaulding Smails approaches the snack stand saying “I want a hamburger, no a cheeseburger. I want a hot dog. I want a…” I want, I want, I want. Judge Smails barks back, “You'll get nothing and like it!”
A dude is likely to feel like Judge Smails when your profile reads like a list of demands. Too much “I want” and by the end it feels like you’re asking for a 6’-3” ripped rich poet freewheeling pragmatic dancer sensitive confident humble athletic leader listener techy woodsy fashionista take-charge chill-out angel-winged comedian reader traveler grounded racecardriver nobelprizewinning private peopleperson animalloving capitalistvolunteering takecareofyou respectyourindependence everyday joe. Or, at least, those are the dudes you’ll consider. And dudes, therefore, say to the screen, “You’ll get nothing and like it!” And they click forward to see if the next woman can handle a mere mortal.
Now, the DW is assuming that the List Of Demands strategy is a way to try to weed out all those second and third rate chump dudes who waste your time by wildly overrating themselves. The problem with that is that it’s only the chump dudes with a grossly inflated sense of self who will Not be deterred by the LOD. You ask for a dude who sh^ts gold bullion, it’s the chumps who step forward and say, “How big a pile, baby?” Any dude with a capacity for reasonable self-assessment is going to see the LOD and think one of the following:
1. Yipes! I’m not good enough!
2. Whoa! Clearly this chick thinks she’s the Queen of England. Good luck finding David Beckham on Nerve.com, your Highness!
3. Someone has been on a thousand dates as is a wee bit testy. Run away! Run away!
See, your average dude is pretty sensitive to anything he perceives as p%ssywhip-esque. So, it’s more off putting than you would suspect for a dude to feel bossed around or dictated to by someone he hasn’t even met yet. Beware terms like “You should be” or “I need” and, most of all, the nails on chalkboard, “I deserve”. Again, fairly or not, the fact is this kind of phrasing is going to come across as nagging or pestering or precious- and if your typed profile comes off like that, a dude is going to assume those traits will only be amplified in real life.
Remember, a dude doesn’t know about your 17 other sh#t-tastic dates that led you to the LOD style profile and, frankly, isn’t interested to know about them because they have penises and you and other penises is not the kind of thing to bring up, well, pretty much ever. The dude only knows what comes across as he reads. And he’s reading "I want a cheeseburger, I want a hot dog, I want french fries..."