You might be a very nice guy, dating site man, but I will never know. You’ve put me off from the very beginning by calling me baby, or demanding my phone number, or asking if you can come to my workplace or my house. I don’t even know you, dating site man. You’re just a nameless stranger sending me messages. I don’t share my personal information with people I don’t know. And I’d really rather you not call me baby or any other endearment until we know each other pretty damn well.
You might be a very nice guy, but sometimes your messages are…unintelligible. I have to read them three or four times to make sense of them. And even then I sometimes have to send back a reply that says, “Sorry, I don’t know what you mean.”
You might be a very nice guy, but when we meet for the first time, it’s like pulling teeth to engage you in conversation. I ask a question, you give a two or three word answer, and then you fall silent, looking at me expectantly. I shift nervously in my seat, wracking my brain for another question. I finally come up with one, and we start the whole dance again. And later, once you’re back behind the safety of your phone or computer, you have the nerve to tell me that the date felt like “a job interview.” Are you kidding me? If I hadn’t asked you questions, the entire date would have passed in awkward silence.
You might be a very nice guy, but you communicated with me for a while, then we met for a date, we communicated some more, and then you…disappeared. My subsequent messages to you went unanswered.
Sadly, there’s every possibility that you are a very nice guy, but I will never know. You have operated under a completely different set of rules than those that humans typically use when they are getting to know each other. In other areas of my life no one calls me baby within minutes of meeting me. No one sits in silence as I try and talk to them. No one asks out of the blue if they can come to my house. No one drops off the face of the earth after weeks of engaging with me. These things are unnerving, off-putting, and baffling to me. And when I’m unnerved, put off, and baffled, then I cannot be open to your charms, your appeal, or your potential because my mind is occupied with trying to figure out what the hell is going on.
And I’ll bet you don’t operate under these rules in other areas of your life either. You don’t call the grocery store checker “baby,” ask a new co-worker if you can come over to her house, ignore your neighbor’s attempts to converse with you, or disappear after spending weeks getting to know a new friend, do you? I didn’t think so.
So why do you think it’s okay to behave this way on a dating site? Why are the rules of human engagement somehow different just because you’re on a dating site?
I do want to get to know you. I do want to like you. I really do. But you’re not being real. Be real, dating site man. Treat me the same way you’d treat the grocery store checker, a co-worker, your neighbor, a friend. Be kind. Be respectful. Be charming. Be funny. Relax. Smile. Engage. Breathe. Laugh. Be REAL. PLEASE be real. I want to know you, dating site man. I want to like you. But you are not making it easy.