I have been a member of a popular online dating service for a little over a year now, and I have to say that, overall, I'm pleasantly surprised by the quality of men I've met online. While I haven't yet met "the one," I remain hopeful that eventually, I will.
Yet despite my generally positive experiences, I have come across a few (hundred) profiles that completely baffle me in a these-men-clearly-were-not-raised-with-sisters-and-can't-possibly-have-any-female-friends sort of way. Like the man who thought that selecting the username "Undertaker" was a good idea, or the guy who shot his photos in a room that clearly screamed "locked residential facility." Or, the childless man who expressed his deep desire to meet a woman with young children (preferably boys).
One of my all-time favorites though was the man who spent half his profile narrative writing about how he was still deeply in love with his ex-wife, but since she wouldn't take him back, he was forced to find love online (yay us!).
Some of these profiles represent random oddities, the one-in-a-hundred profile with an eyebrow-raising narrative or a few gasp-worthy photographs. These profiles can actually be a wonderful source of entertainment, particularly if wine is involved. But what I find somewhat troubling are some rather disturbing trends I've noted in many men's profiles who seem to be quite normal otherwise.
I do empathize, really. Many of us are dating novices, jumping back into the dating pool after years (sometimes decades) of marriage and child-rearing. We're all winging it to a certain extent, unsure of what the other sex is looking for, or how to get their attention. But these gaffes are so obvious that I think it's time someone opens a dialogue and asks the important question: Why? No really, why?
I'm not the only one noticing these trends. Often, when I get together with my single girlfriends the subject of some men's online dating profiles is raised with a collective "what in the world were they thinking??" From time to time I've looked past these profile peculiarities and gone out with some of these men because I sensed they were really nice guys. And let's just say that I wasn't surprised when they shared their frustrations with online dating - of rarely receiving emails from women, of their emails often going unanswered.
I wanted to grab these men by their shoulders, and give them a robust (albeit friendly) shake, while sharing my suspicions about their errant marketing techniques. But I have always resisted the temptation to do so out of a fear of appearing rude and ill-mannered.
So instead, I've decided to blog about it! And without further adieu, here is some friendly advice for all of my middle-aged brothers who are trying to find love online and not having much success. This advice should be placed under the broad umbrella of Know Your Audience:
Okay, that's it for now. I hope you find these helpful hints useful. Next week I'll post my advice for women. Here's a hint: Avoid usernames with the words sexy, vixen, pouty, kisser, or kitten in them, unless you're trying to attract men who want to bang you in their mother's basement and never call you again.
I'm an educator, author, blogger, artist and mom. I came up with the idea of my Aging Naked blog when I hit 50 and my need to be more transparent and authentic overcame my fear of being more transparent and authentic. I'm on a journey, and love the idea of it being a collective one, so let me know if you're here, and feel free share your thoughts and experiences in the comments.
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