Dear readers, we have something we would to like to confess. We're former online daters, and we don't care who knows it.
Oh, stop giggling and side-eying us over our shady web-dating past. It was a rough time on the dating scene, and we were desperate for a date that existed outside of a sea full of bros and hipsters, so we went to extremes. We're still cool, we promise!
We've learned our lesson about the hazards of online love, though. Where IRL dating may be full of some 30k millionaires and die hard Aggie fans, the Internet stirs up its own interesting cast of creatures. And it's thanks to these Internet Lotharios below that we're off the Interwebs and onto a life of solitude and cats. Lots and lots of cats.
The Disturbed Poet Nothing says huge warning signs like receiving an overbearing, slightly disturbing piece of literary work before you've even exchanged names. And yet this guy insists on the creepy poem strategy again and again, to no avail. It won't work on you, it won't work on the next woman, or even the woman ten profiles from now because it's like, bordering on restraining order creepy. Oh, and it's also just really crappy poetry.
His poem, which always equates to the literary genius of something like, "Roses are red/Violets are blue/Little do you know/I'm watching you," is meant to be a token of gratitude for your ethereal beauty, a beauty that he's studied in earnest, ever since your profile popped up with the hopeful little message of "Match!", but it's all for naught.
The crappy poetry does not make your clothes fall off with lust for your online admirer; it just makes you draw the drapes and shudder at the thought of this moustachioed man peering through your window instead.
The "Please Hold My Baggage While I Cry Hysterically" Dude You kinda feel bad for this guy at first. It's not every day that a man is open and brutally honest with his feelings, and his heartbreak is kind of endearing. He's been dealt a rough hand. First his wife leaves him for his boss, and then that crazed hooker in Reno stole his cash and his dog, and now all he's got is his OkCupid subscription and the clothes on his back. Oh, and you know this all in the first five minutes, cause he's the king of Internet oversharing.
You quickly realize that you can either jump ship from this messaging madness or risk becoming another notch in his baggage belt, because every single person he's interacted with over his adult years is a source of misery for this dude.
So you do the prudent thing and hit "block," quickly forgetting that he ever existed. He didn't forget, though. Nope. You'll go down in Internet infamy, cause he'll add you to the list of people who broke his heart, and he'll cry about your lost Internet love to the next person unfortunate enough to have clicked enough boxes in common. And the next. And the next.
The Written Dry-Humper Oh, this guy is just literally the sleaziest thing you'd find in a bar, only in a new, technologically-improved Internet version! He's the guy who starts things off well -- the one who seems genuinely interested in more than just your girl-junk -- and he even seems, dare I say, normal. And it makes sense when he starts to talk about how much he wants to get to know you.
But then it becomes how he wants to know you, know you. He then sends you the word-version of someone salivating on your cleavage while slipping a roofie in your drink. He just wants to take care of you, cause a woman as fine as you needs some of that special care, and only he can give it to you. Oh, and he'll give it to you reaaaaaaal good, baby.
Yuck. He is the verbal equivalent of someone dry-humping your leg in a bar, and you just don't want to deal with the dry-cleaning bill for those expensive linen pants.
The Phallus-Photo Fanatic I mean, what can really be said about this dude? He sends you unsolicited dick pics within 2.54 seconds of your profile landing in his inbox. It's as if he seriously thinks that someone, somewhere has won the freakin' Internet dating lottery by spamming the world with pictures of his miniature, and he might too. But he won't, cause gross.
Here's the deal, dudes who are reading this. Never in the history of man has that worked to seal the deal with a woman. No one wants to be on the receiving end of your unsolicited amateur porn pic. It won't work, and it probably never will, so unless we specifically request a picture of your crotch monster, do not send it. Ever. Especially on Internet dating sites. Or really just ever.
The Freaky Fetishist This is the type of guy who never even attempts to play "normal." He's the one who makes it clear upfront what he's looking for. He's got you as a captive audience, and he wants you to help a brother out with something. He's got a fetish itch that needs to be scratched, and if you're listening, he's begging. And we're not talking about a little bit of BDSM here, either.
This is the guy who wants a current pic of you -- easy enough -- but he'd like you to tailor it to him. Could you dress up as a furry, but leave your hair in pigtails and wear Christian Louboutin pumps while standing on the bumper of a '67 Mustang GT? No, not a regular old Mustang. A GT, damn it! How's he supposed to know if you're a match if you won't just comply with one measly pic?
Mr. Type A Deal-Breaker He's got a list. He likes lists. He makes lists for his lists, and if you don't meet every requirement on his list, he's not wasting his time on you.
Are you under 110 lbs, over 5'7, and a member of one of the three ethnic groups he's approved? Are you in your last semester of a graduate degree, or do you currently hold a post-grad degree and a job? Does that job only force you to work every other Tuesday of every other month? If the answer is a no, it's a done deal. He's not got time for anyone who doesn't fit his requirements. He has a reputation to uphold, and the house won't clean itself while your education and job take precedence.
Don't worry, though. He does have like, one or two areas where he's a bit malleable. If your shoe size is somewhere between an 8 and a 9, he'll take you. But he's deducting half a point for it.
The "Don't Mind Me, I'm Just Looking for a Sparring Partner" Guy This guy is so jaded that even his opening profile quote is some glass half-empty garbage about how he loathes you, and he doesn't even know you. That's cause he knows how you are. Women are all the same. They're all the same.
If you make the mistake of acknowledging that he exists, you'll regret it. You'll regret it big time, because you'll be dragged into a verbal boxing ring where there are no winners. He's hell-bent on giving you the tongue-lashing you deserve -- you know, cause you're a woman and all. Damn your boobs and your intellect; you're still a woman.
The "Just Add Water Cause We're an Insta-Couple" Dude Oh, he's a super sweet guy, and there's really not much wrong with him, as far as you can tell. There's no weird come-ons or strange hangups, and he has a decent career and a couple of dogs that he adores. He seems pretty great all around. There's just one problem, though. He's a clinger.
You guys haven't even met in real life and he's already talking about how much he'd like you to meet his parents...and his children...and his ex-wife. He's so excited about having a woman's touch around the house, and he wants your opinion on decorating since he's got no clue how things are supposed to be arranged. He's invited you to dinner with his ex, too -- it's a weekly ritual where she brings her husband -- and he'd like to bring his future wife.
Seems sweet, till it clicks that the future wife is you, and then it quickly jumps into overbearing and you run far, far away from that wicked computer screen.
Mr. 80 Beers Too Many Much like the clinger, this guy seems really great at first. He has a huge group of friends -- which means he's probably not an axe murderer -- and he's the most social person on earth. It doesn't even bother you that most of his friends look like they're still going to frat parties, because he's also gainfully employed (which now seems like a big deal, thanks to the strange world of online dating), and is much older than they are. He's a shining star on the Internet dating scene, and you're hoping for a match made in Interwebs heaven.
That hope is smashed to tiny little shards, though, when he starts revealing his other side a few emails in. He's already drunk-emailed you more times than you can count, and now he's sending you toilet-selfies and the one his friend took while he was passed out on the sidewalk on a Tuesday. He's more than a little concerned that you don't immediately answer his drunken emails at 3 a.m. on a Sunday. He just wants to know you're there for him.
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Don't be there for him. You'll be cleaning up his drunken bile for the rest of your days if you take the bait.
He Who Only Posts Douchey Photos This guy is thoroughly confused on how to attract women, both online and in fo' real life. He is kind of like a vapid peacock, spreading his feathers and emitting a loud squawk to get your attention, only his feathers are hardly of the shiny, colorful sort. They're instead feathers of the more flexed-muscle type.
In not only his profile pic, but also every douchey photo he sends, he's flexing, shirtless, and inexplicably wearing sunglasses indoors. He's surrounded by a counter full of hair gel and Axe body spray, and you spy some really girly products alongside his Axe body wash in the filthy shower behind him.
It's for those reasons you begin to believe he actually buys into the idea of Axe getting him some random elevator lovin', and you shut those Internet doors with the quickness, well before he can jump on for the ride up. Smart move. Nothing is more awkward than an elevator ride with that guy.