Sunday, April 6, 2014

How Online Dating is Like Real Estate

What's that you say?
Internet dating language is like real estate?

For a number of years now, we have been approached with many unsolicited suggestions to give the world of online dating a try.

We have also been accosted by many over the years who have a case of "is the grass greener" syndrome, curious to hear what life is like "on the other side".  We have nothing to say to these peeps other than just like anyone else's life, it can be suckier than yours or awesomer than yours, or both from time to time.  Find your own way, is all we're saying.

In the meantime, for those who have been curious about what it's like "out there", our conclusion is that this process takes what may otherwise be level-headed rather intelligent people with common sense, and turns them into narrow-minded nitwits without minds of their own.

Allow us to paint a not-so-flattering picture of what awaits those eager to try it, or the many of you that have asked for a glimpse into this world so elusive to all of you that are already partnered up.

As a service to you all, we conducted some competitive reconnaissance (read: scoured through dozens and dozens of male and female profiles) and came up with a list of the most common cliches one must avoid at all costs. Nothing says "unoriginal" and "lazy" quite like these:
  • I love New York and taking advantage of everything the city has to offer.
  • I love to travel.
  • I love finding new restaurants. 
  • I love the outdoors and am always active. (Oh peeps. Be especially wary of the "always active" one as it is clearly a lie for those living in New York City)
  • I’m tired of playing games.
  • I’m looking for my partner in crime. (Really? Are we all on a mission to rob banks here?)

And so on and so forth.  We have purposely listed them in bullet point format, so as to hit home the point of just how boring these statements are.

Now, one would think this would be a fairly obvious mistake to avoid when writing about oneself, however based on the number of offenses we saw this is clearly not the case.  These phrases are used verbatim, over and over, to the point where seeing again them makes us cringe. One starts to wonder whether these sites offer some added program whereby if you send them some extra cash with your pics they have write your profile for you.

Though overuse of boring cliches are the most common offense we've seen, other rampant profile tactics include lying about your weight, age, height, and/or salary.

Is there no one authentic out there or are people just afraid to reveal their true selves?  Do people not think about whether or not they are setting up unrealistic expectations?  We often wonder whether this alone is the cause behind the common complaint we frequently hear from people that so many dates past that first meeting.

For example, is the 60 yr old retired guy really surprised when the woman expecting a 30-yr old bodybuilder doesn't want to see him again?  How can people not think ahead like this?  Then again, since the sanity of anyone using any of the above tactics must be seriously questioned, perhaps it is unfair to assume that any logical thinking occurs in this process.

For those of you eager to see a little more for yourselves, we invite you to play "interpret that profile"!
It's easy. If you are familiar with reading between the lines in real estate ads, you are ready to play.

You see, in real estate, “charming, intimate two bedroom with exposed brick” translates to “closet sized, unrenovated one bedroom with an unfinished wall.”

Similarly, on dating sites, “Responsible, approachable, youthful looking guy with stable job who loves to travel” is often code for “short, at least fifteen years older than you, afraid of change, and only vacations with his mother.”

See how this works?

To really bring this lesson home, we suggest you try it for yourself.

“Fun-loving, great with kids, always knows the best places to go out!”

Translation:  ________________________________________________

(Good job! If you answered “unemployed, looking for a sugar mama and drinks like a fish,” you’re right!) 

So there you have it peeps.  A brief lesson on the the world of online dating profiles.  And to friends of ours who may be on these sites, since we love and respect you we'd like it keep it that way, so if you've done any of the above if you could keep it to yourself that'd be swell.  

And in the meantime, if you're looking for yet more sneak peeks into this elusive world, this here flowchart isn't far off the mark and may even provide a chuckle or two.

Yes, we said chuckle. Get over it.