I promise you; this post is hilarious. But I have to say some stuff first. Sorry, but not sorry enough not to do it.
This post is 90% images.
When I started saving all these ridiculous images from online dating sites, I was happily coupled and not at all searching for a date online. I was trolling for Blog Fodder, man, and the fishing was good.
Too good, actually; I have over 425 images from Bumble and Tinder to try to write about. Ooooof.
I put it off, and I put it off. Each time I browsed the depressing, lifeless sea of desperate, hopeful faces, I thought, “I am so glad I’m not actually trying to find a date, holy cow. There but for the grace of God go I.”
Cue #2020: A novel coronavirus, race riots, a Presidency in shambles, a country on the brink of collapse, murder hornets, vampire penis leeches, coke boars, Bubonic squirrels… the screenplay writers for this season should be sacked.
Also, I lost my job in early June, and, last week, broke up with my partner of just over two years, because WHY NOT, 2020? Come at me, Year! (Ok, please stop coming at me now.) As a final “screw you, eDar,” I will be turning 50 in almost exactly a month.
As the Cowboy and I slouch off in differing directions, searching for the next romantic adventure, I find myself turning to Bumble and to Tinder with … some sincerity.
I do not like online dating. I loathe and despise it because of everything written here. It feels contrived and stupid and awful and I hate it.
I also have no real way of meeting anyone another way, because of the aforementioned pandemic. Fuck.
Alright, fine. Away we go – how bad could it really be?
This bad. This bad is how bad it could really be:
While I’m not crazy about the term “pansexual” (because “pan” until recently included animals, inanimate objects – you know, everything, as the word itself implies, and that is not me, this is too long a parenthetical phrase so let me begin again.)
While I’m not fond of “pansexual” as a self-descriptor, it’s about as accurate as anything. I am attracted to the entirety of a person, irrespective of age, gender identity, race, religion, height, weight, education, financial success, et cetera. The only requirement is a connection of one form or another. While trolling the various dating apps, however, I focused on men – chiefly because most of the women and non-binary folks have the common sense God gave a duck and don’t post irretrievably stupid things. Generally. Not exclusively.
Many of the men on these apps write literally nothing about themselves – nothing! They put up photos (such as those of Josea above, showing how diverse he is) and boom, that’s it – come on, ladies! Come and get it!
Not this lady. I don’t care how physically attractive I might find a person, I’m not swiping right if there is zero context. Take Supreme Commander Scott, 50:
SC Scott clearly has some diverse interests here, and he can spell “Neurosomatic.” However, that is literally all we know about SC Scott. He might be a hot guy carrying a surfboard on a horse whilst riding on the beach, but that’s not enough. A feast for the eyes does not a connection make.
Which is not to say I won’t linger a moment and just enjoy a little nibble of the proffered fare.
Or pause and boggle at the sheer physical prowess here and there:
One could be forgiven for surmising that a person who says nothing in their profile may not be best known for communication. At the other end of the spectrum, where I live and breathe myself, we have Paul, 52, who may be extending a bit too much intimate knowledge right off the bat:
As an added plus, his photo was a piece of gray fabric draped along a wall, mostly in shadow. Deep.
A rare variant here: Zero words, but Flava-Flav!!
He was a quiet boy, kept to himself, always paid the rent on time…
Some men strive to show what good providers they are. All we know about John, for example, is that, sometime in the last 48 years, he once held a dead fish:
LOOK AT ALL THE DEAD THINGS I COLLECTED:
Lawrence is trying a less bloody approach:
Some seem to find safety in numbers, and give absolutely no clue which person they are in a group shot. Scott, given the diversity of the people here… just give us a little clue.
Another common sort of chap on these things is the Too Sad to Try Guy: He posts an obviously horrible photo that could not be less flattering, and then say something like this:
Welcome to your self-fulfilling prophecy, Greg, 49! Holy crap, man, take off the Crocs, put on some adult pants, and get out there, buddy! Believe!
Some are more aggressive in this stance than others:
A variant of this subspecies is Still Trying Guy. STG is typically not your classically handsome fellow, and writes something like this:
Now John’s a decent-looking guy, but he’s seen some shit on Bumble.
The Overly Wacky Guy. The OWG has more confidence than the TStTG, but he’s still shrouded in insecurities and self-doubt. He tries to hide this in plain sight by doing gratuitously over-the-top things in his photos, either by making funny faces or wearing gigantic bow ties or performing on-stage in a musical. Like, you can really glean a lot about what kind of dude this is, right? Just from one photo?
Perhaps this way, when rejected, they can console themselves that it was the gag, not they themselves, that drove the ladies away. They just don’t get his sense of humor, they’re not for him.
Bryan starts great with the first responder photo, but then begins to go off the rails. Mostly about his teeth.
Others choose to open strongly, GET IT RIGHT OUT THERE:
Occasionally, it’s just them making an ostensibly enchanting weirdo face, perhaps leading the fairer sex to muse, “I bet he’s fun to be with,” or to wonder, “what hilarious times will we have?”
As for me, that face makes me wonder, “Are you going to eat that puppy?”
Oh! People do wear scarves like that… inside… sometimes…
On the other side of the spectrum, we have the men who are so confident they give no fucks whatsoever about what their photos might show them doing. Check out Eric, who rides a motorcycle and knows his way around a sewing machine – holla! This is completely fantastic:
Then, there’s The Too Good to be True: A fantastically gorgeous person with amazing photos and solid text that writes back and seems engaging… until they find out you’re not a.) a movie producer, b.) a prospective fitness client, or c.) a professional photographer. This guy was quite sweet, but obviously trolling for clientele, not dates, and, certainly, not dates with me:
In additional to being basically Adonis, he writes and acts. Be well, Bpet.
One thing discerning women look for in a dating profile is what the gentleman’s home looks like. For example, we like to make sure all of the drawers are open to different degrees, that the miter saw is right at the foot of the bed, that the couch cushions are on top of the dresser, and that the bed is a jumbled mess of roadside-sale blankets. HOLY SHIT, YOU GUYS: JACKPOT!!!
Next, we have Brendan Fraser in a role that will surprise you (or not:)
I mean, seriously now, Ulgor, are you really putting your best Neanderthal ridge forward here? I super dig your attempt to be really expressive about what you do after work, though; your people were always so good at the pictograms. It looks like in your spare time, you enjoy the ocean, coloring, hunting small birds, and foraging for nuts, grains, fruits, and berries.
Some people claim they don’t see color, others are apparently actual paint chips (paint chips 5600 miles outside my search parameters, too, no less:)
Some cannot be classified. Nay, they defy explanation or even comprehension:
Philip, 46, doesn’t want children, has a graduate degree, enjoys sunglasses, and once let a woman pick something off his shoulder while he was on a boat. That is all we know.
Then… then we have the unfortunate souls who both seem to be trying and failing, and looking accidentally ridiculous whilst so doing. This is where I go straight to Hell, not passing “Go,” for being a terrible, shitty person (at least for the sake of appearances for this blog.)
Here is a gentleman I like to call, “Bold Choice Nigel:”
Nigel is very comfortable with his body, and that’s healthy and wonderful. Good job! I struggle on this front, and I’m not even amphibious!
This guy is just the happiest little dude: SO EXCITE!
Joseph, this is not your dental exam, hon…
Hang on a moment, please; I need to take this call from the Neiman Marcus catalog:
Hey, once you’re off the phone, could you let this guy call the 70’s back?
It’s utterly fascinating to me, what we choose to put out there about ourselves, the things we consider important or obvious, the rationale as to why a given photo would be enticing. I am wildly uncomfortable with photos of myself, but some of these folks seem entirely at ease. Amazing.
Speaking of “comfortable with themselves,” there are the confident few who just put it right out there, no beating around the bush:
Every now and then, one of the gratuitously weird ones catches my eye. Let’s look at , for example:
Leaping across an unknown expanse in tutu and striped tube socks, and being alarmed in pink nail polish on a boat!!! Shut up, take my money, and tell me your tale, my good man.
Sir, your date is so drunk, my vision is blurred:
This guy is fresh off the set of “Narcos:”
Despite his tags, I have a very difficult time believing this guy doesn’t get high:
Sometimes, I just want to date their hobbies and Instagram feeds: Firearms, dogs, Jeeps… a fingertip…
Animals are common subjects and companions in photos, as we love to show how very dateable we are! We will love your critter(s)! Dogs, cats, of course, the odd horse now and then, and… an unusual number of chickens.
The odd snake…
The occasional GIANT SQUINTY RAT DOG…
Kittehs outside the home is a whole sub-genre:
As is “look at me carrying my dog:”
And whatever the fuck is going on here:
A scant few profiles are actually alarming:
So, punch-me-in-the-face guy is a MILE away. How comforting and convenient: I’m in striking distance.
WHY DO YOU GUYS WANT TO PUNCH ME?! Why is this a thing?
YOU STAY THE FUCK AWAY FROM ME, SHHH-JAMES. Who told you this was a good idea? How is this anything other than creepy as hell?
Mo takes a more subdued approach to creepy terror: Just two eyes in the darkness:
Ever wonder what it would be like to be pecked to death by the eagle from the Muppets? I bet Peter could really help with that.
“Dude, you can totally see my penis if I hold my shorts like this!” I feel like this guy is so fixated on his junk, he doesn’t notice the rest of the photo.
Jeff loves food:
If we observe the photo, it’s possible to think Jeff may not have experienced much diverse “food” in his life.
Likewise, Bernard could use some horizon expansion:
This guy works out so much, his face flexes:
Some are quite particular in their search parameters:
I have a hard enough time trying to find someone who rides a motorcycle; finding a woman who can operate a forklift has got to be worse. We’ll just overlook the “and look pretty” part.
At times, the photos just don’t match the text:
Some of them make me murderously angry and I want to swipe right just to infiltrate their worlds and tell them what shit people they are.
The Charmer thinks he knows all the right answers, but in truth, he only knows the cliches (hork:)
I’ll swipe right on about one out of every maybe 30-40 profiles. I go back and forth between looking at all the photos first or reading the text before looking at the photos. I was about to swipe right on this guy:
He had everything going for him, but then…
Oh dear… all the skull rings, and also… I believe you may have misread the prompt, perhaps?
His last photo NOPED him right out the door:
Bonus points if you can tell me why, very specifically.
About one profile out of every 100 really gets me interested, really makes me take notice and think in addition to swiping right.
“We will vacation in the south of France,” I murmured as I tried to come up with a clever opener. “Our friends will throw us yacht parties on anniversaries and we’ll ride horses through Scotland together.”
Or, OR, we will completely and utterly fail to hit it off or find anything to talk about. Yep.
That’s the rub; all that sorting and swiping and flashes of hope all going up in smoke within the first few messages, more times than not.
I can only swipe back and forth for so long on any given day before I want to jump off the roof, so my dating app days are definitely numbered, but I do vow to toss more of these up here from time to time. 🙂