Why You Don’t Have A Girlfriend

As I mentioned in my blog post “The Purpose,” I think relationships are the most important things you can build in life.  Therefore, I write a lot about them.  Going through my drafts this weekend, I discovered quite a large back-log of posts about romantic relationships in particular.  With Valentine’s Day coming up and all, I figured I’d break a few out and polish them up – so you might notice a similar theme over the next few weeks…just a heads up!

(I was also originally going to call this “Why I Don’t Have A Boyfriend” like normal – only now I have one!)

I have a confession to make.  Prior to meeting Captain America, I was on a dating website.  I won’t go into any details about which one or how it worked, but I will say that within 15 minutes of signing up and perusing matches, it became clear why 90% of the people were there.  And after having conversations with some of them, it was even more apparent.

So, for all of you folks out there, sitting at home in front of the computer, wondering why you’re still single this February – here are a few tips.  Just a note: although it comes across as mostly directed at guys, much of what I mention is equally applicable for the ladies – but since this is my blog I’ll write how I want to dang nabbit! :P

Why You Don't Have a Girlfriend

– First and foremost: If you can’t be bothered to read, or at least skim through, someone’s profile – don’t bother starting a conversation.  You’re clearly not that interested in what they have to say already, and your lack of interest will be immediately apparent when you ask a question they’ve already answered.  Also, if it’s obvious that you only messaged someone because you think they’re attractive – well, that’s why you’re single.

– Use pictures of your face: The reason you don’t have a girlfriend is because you’re wearing a darth vader mask in every picture…need I say more?

– Sex doesn’t actually sell:  Is every picture you post one of you with your shirt off?  If you feel the need to flaunt how hot you are, or constantly talk about your sexual escapades, nothing will turn someone off faster.

– USE. PUNCTUATION:  Odd, I know, because I just used it incorrectly there by making everything all capitals – but seriously.  If someone’s first impression of you is going to be based off a message you send them on the internet, and every word is misspelled, you can bet they won’t be responding.  Those red squiggly lines are called spell check. Use it!

– Don’t over-share: And save sharing those things that you’re worried people are going to judge you on, for the first (or second, or third!) date, when you have a chance to explain.  Don’t just throw things out there willy-nilly that are hard to digest. Most people won’t respond well to certain admissions without understanding the context.

– If you’re still turned down: At the end of the day, be respectful with your responses.  If your automatic reaction is to write back and insult the person, or even try to argue with their decision, you will only compound their belief that they made the right choice in denying you – and that’s why you’re single.

***

Obviously, basically everything I just said is irrelevant if you understand the concept of making a good first impression.  Unfortunately, I’ve recently discovered that not very many people do – at least not very many 20-somethings.

What it really comes down to is this: self-expression is very important – and realistically, a good first impression can’t be made unless you’re able to express your personality.  But it’s still an infinitely better reflection of that personality if you manage to follow some basic rules on etiquette and personal interaction along the way.

Have you ever tried online dating?  Do you have any interesting stories to share with the class?  What tips do you have for people trying to make a good first impression, in general?

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12 thoughts on “Why You Don’t Have A Girlfriend

  1. I tried online dating when I was in college, which earned me a stalker–yikes! A decade later, I was willing to give it another go. I signed up on a couple of sites only to discover that every single person responding made each of the mistakes you’ve described above.

    The biggest mistake was that I, in my late 20s, had set clear age boundaries both in the age range field and my ad. I’ve done one relationship with a guy nearly old enough to be my dad; I wasn’t interested in a repeat. But wouldn’t you know, every single person replying fell way outside my age range. This meant I did not reply to a single person, because they weren’t actually replying to me–just to what they perceived as a random opportunity . . .

    I wanted quality, not quantity, but the folks who shoot out a template response to everyone would be hard pressed to truthfully say the same.

    • Oh boy! Yeah, I would definitely take some time off after gaining a stalker! Nothing quite so serious happened to me, but I was informed by someone that he absolutely had to meet me and was going to fly across the country to make that happen, even after I (politely) turned him down. Needless to say, I was a little freaked out…

      And seriously – what is with the folks who pay no attention to the “looking for” sections of someone’s profile? I, too, had SO many people outside my age range sending me messages – even people who were already in relationships. Those types of messages aren’t even worth responses, since you’ve already shown too interested in what you want and your needs to even bother learning about the other persons…which is basically the worst mindset you could have when starting a relationship, especially a long-term one!

      I can’t decide if this comes from the fact that people honestly just don’t know what they want, or if it’s because by the time some people turn to the internet, they’ve adopted a “screw it” attitude and end up taking the sloppy approach because they feel the situation is already hopeless.

  2. I met my wife in 1999 on ICQ, which was not a dating service but more like a chat room. I think many guys there were looking to hit a home run but I had some good conversations with women by simply trying to to get on base if you know what I mean.

    I think If you are looking for a long term relationship you need to be honest from the start and always practice selflessness as best you can.

    • You bring up SUCH good points. And your advice about long-term relationships is gold.

      Perhaps all of these people going for the “home run” first, do so as a sort of defense mechanism? Maybe they figure that if they get turned down that way, it will be less personal than if someone were to turn them down after an honest conversation. That’s really the only explanation I can come up with!

      I love hearing that you and your wife met online and it was a success for you, I hope you have many more years of happiness ahead :)

  3. Never used a dating line or site… been married for 39 years and should anything happen to my wife I would probably choose to remain single… not many women would put up with my cr..p

  4. Pingback: How to impress someone on a first date? - Mr Nagger's Cartoons

  5. Met my wife on a dating site. That didn’t turn out too well. I was on a couple others for a while after the divorce, but I realized I really was no longer interesting in going through that process of a new relationship. Been there many times, and I’m tired of the whole thing. Being single is just so much easier.

    • Seriously, the new relationship process is NOT fun or easy. There are just so many things you have to find out about the person…and a bunch of little “tests” to pass (Do we agree on x? Can you handle y?). It’s actually rather exhausting.

      And of course, it doesn’t just stop once the relationship “honeymoon” phase has worn of either – you just get a different set of challenges!

      • Exhausting, but also exciting and worthwhile. I’ve just done it enough time for it to have lost any meaning. The equation also changes as you age. There’s less payoff and more baggage.

        I’ve been there, I’ve done that, for the most part it was all pretty wonderful. But anymore… it’s just too much effort to start fresh. I’m at the point where I’m supposed to be enjoying a decades-old relationship, long-time friends and my own growing family. Square one… well, you wanna talk exhausting!

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