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Date Bait: Pictures

If you’ve done any surfing on any dating website at all, admit it, you look at the pictures first. If you haven’t, don’t – you can’t unsee it. We all like to say we’re not shallow and that the person him/herself is more important than the appearance but we know we’re lying to ourselves. And it doesn’t make us shallow, it makes us realistic.

Subconsciously we want to date someone at least at the same “level” of attractiveness, for lack of a better term. Ideally someone with the same interests…and a soul. The pictures can reveal that certain “je ne sais quoi”: the handlebar mustache; the mountain summit; the proud marathon finish moment; the joy while holding the grand babies, bringing in the big bass/trout/tuna/shark, etc.

One or two selfies on your profile is great. If all you have are selfies to post, that’s just sad. Ask a friend to take your picture. If you don’t have a friend perhaps you should start there before dating. It’s a challenge figuring out which pictures to post. Fortunately, I have friends who take great pictures (thank you Debbie Pickering and Dave Teubner). If you’re posting an older picture, please date it. I recently went on a date with a man who clearly looked waaaay older than represented.

Look at the pictures as illustrative of your profile. I love the Patriots and my amazing little shi tzu-poodle; the pictures of me at Gillette Stadium and me with Dobbie are prominently featured in addition to a few other just plain old pictures.

So, here’s a few pet peeves in the photo department:

  • Motorcycles everywhere – If you love motorcycles, a photo of your Fat Boy is cool. If all of your pictures are of your bike, you may be perceived as one dimensional.
  • Hats – I am a fan of the hat in a big way. I love wearing them and I like a man in a hat. If you’re wearing a hat in every picture, it’s hard to tell if you’re a die hard Patriots fan or if you are camouflaging a bald pate (just own it, bald is sexy), a hideous comb over, or some oddly shaped protrusion that looks like a broken finger.
  • The one armed photo – The only decent picture you can find of yourself is of you and the ex so you grab the scissors (old school) and/or crop the crap out of it. This is a dual offense: the photo is most likely old (the baby blue tuxedo is a dead giveaway) and there are no solo pictures of you – refer to no friends/sad above.
  • Fishing – Great hobby/great profession particularly since I come from a fishing town where fish are serious business. But there must be other prized moments that don’t include you, a set of dead eyes and gills. On the viewer end, we read this as “OMG, I don’t want to be a fish wife”.
  • Bathroom mirror selfies – Resist the urge to post these. They are not as flattering as you think and there is something horribly unappealing about seeing your toilet or dirty bathtub in the background.  Speaking of which,
  • Beware the background – A sink full of dirty dishes, trash and empty beer cans on the floor, dirty laundry, the hole in your wall (yup, seen them all) say more than any words.

Dating advice? Cautionary tale? You decide.

image#dating #onlinedating #datingprofiles #badphotochoices

 

 

 

You Lost Me at “GPS on My Wife’s Car”

Yes, I heard this. On a date. A very rare second, and now final, date. Oddly preceded by, “I’m probably revealing too much but…”. Why yes, yes you are, and I’m happy you did.

Ironically, the first date was after a sexual and domestic violence seminar at which I listened to a woman talk about being stalked by her ex-husband.  My date, I’ll call him, Terry,  was a nice, successful IT professional, fairly recently divorced. Smart, successful, humorous, devoted to his kids. The first date was iced tea and chatting about our lives and what brought us to our date – yes, online dating. Nice guy. No sparks but good conversation. Actually, didn’t think I’d hear from him again. No harm, no foul.

The next day Terry texted and asked to go to dinner. OK, maybe I missed something. I was going out of town for a week so we planned to meet when I returned. Dinner at a place I’d been to before (always a prerequisite), just outside of town midway between our homes. Much better conversation than the first outing, better energy. Until THAT. As much as us divorced folks like to say we’re not going to talk about the exes, it always comes up. We want to make sure that there is no possibility of going back. The greater danger is our inability to move forward.

Marriages don’t immediately combust. The deteriation is slow, gradual, mostly painful, and in the end liberating, with a soupçon of regret and/or anger. We try to move on quickly. In the short term we think we’re there. The farther out we get we knew we weren’t then. A year makes a difference…unless there is a GPS involved.

For Terry, his wife admitted to 2 affairs and instead of taking her at her word that she was a cheater and calling it quits, he needed to catch her. And he did. Because he put a GPS under her car. He caught her “in the clinches” in the back seat of that car. And then he waited for her to divorce him. His point in telling me the story was that his older son needed a car and “she stuck it in (my) face by giving him that car”.

I’m a nice guy, I’m smart, I’m educated, I’m funny, I work hard,  I love my kids, but don’t ever go somewhere where I can’t find you. Did I mention angry?

#dating #baddates #onlinedating #relationshipviolence #stalking

Don’t Take This the Wrong Way But…

Oh no, you didn’t…inhale really hard and suck the words back in…reverse, reverse…Control Z…something…please. There is no good that will come of this beginning. Ever.

Let’s start with the words themselves. “Don’t” or do not – starting with a negative right out of the gate. Then we have “wrong” – another negative. And then there’s the “But”; a conjunction, a joiner, BUT in a phrase like this, a joiner of two not so good things.

The speaker (allegedly) means no harm but the phrase establishes a position of judgement, of superiority, as in, “I have such amazing (pick the word of your choice) insight/perspective/education/style/beauty/talent/knowledge/fortune/finances, I’m going to tell you how to fix your little old flawed self”. Oh, oh, thank you soooo much.

The recipient (target) hears the wind up. “Don’t take this the wrong way but…” and is immediately on the defensive trying to figure out which of their terribly personal foibles has been the subject of scrutiny. Every adolescent insecurity bubbles to the surface, setting your teeth on edge, bringing back the odd eye twitch you overcame in college, the “here we go” eye roll and that little ache between your eyebrows. You want to hang up the phone, walk out of the room, close your eyes and ears, and start humming.

As the fight or flight response gears up, the pitch is made and it has to compete with the sound of pounding in your ears because of the elevated blood pressure that so kindly wreaks havoc on your heart. Oh, yeah, I’m really open to hearing this and I’m sure I’ll absorb every single word and change myself immediately and irrevocably.

Unless your, “Don’t take this the wrong way but…” is followed by:

  • …you’re the kindest person I’ve ever met;
  • …you have the most amazing insight;
  • …you have a beautiful voice;

…use a different phrase. Or better yet, resist the urge to speak at all.

#dontsayit #saynothing “donttakethisthewrongway #relationships #friendship

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