Kerri Carpenter is a freelance writer living in Arlington, VA. She reads, cooks, runs and writes contemporary romance novels in her spare time. Her favorite things include the color blue, Star Wars, candy corn and watching The Real Housewives of New Jersey. You can find her blogging at www.waterworldmermaids.com or visit her on Twitter @QuestionKerri.
I don’t consider myself an expert in the art of online dating. But like most people my age, I’ve certainly set foot in the arena. I gotta say, my number of dates would probably be a lot higher if I could get past more profiles.
Let’s talk about this. Everybody has their likes and dislikes. If you claim you’re tall, like dogs and don’t outwardly appear to be a serial killer, you have my attention. I like that all of the information I generally ask a new person at a bar or dinner party is all on one convenient profile page as well as my accompanying iPhone app.
But… there are some profiles out there that need a little, um, work. So without further ado, here is my list of things that annoy me, turn me off and do not solicit the ever important “wink” in the online dating world. Guys, take note.
Some girls might really swoon when they see a guy holding a baby in one of their photos. For me, not so much. I mean, you’re holding a freaking baby. Where did it come from? Is it yours? Did you steal it? Is it the baby you had with a baby mama and now you have all kinds of baby mama drama and if we go on a date I’m going to have to deal with that too? What’s going on?
Quick fix: put a comment under the photo explaining said baby. “This is my adorable niece who I love to spoil.” Okay, now I’ll swoon.
Oh, you have a picture of you and a dog. I want a dog more than anything in the world! So if I see a photo of a dog on your profile I can’t even help myself. I immediately have daydreams of me and you, strolling hand-in-hand through the dog park on a lazy Saturday morning. I’m wearing something super cute that involves a decorative scarf and holding a pumpkin spice latte as multi-colored leaves fall around us while your adorably cute dog frolics in the grass.
Reality: I find out on the date that it’s not even your dog!!! Shameful. And I looked so cute in my fantasy outfit!
I like to stay in and I’m just as comfortable going out. I love to dress casually but look great in a tux. I’m a wine connoisseur and I drink beer every night. I’m a homebody and I love to travel. What you are, my friend, is indecisive and that’s annoying.
Do you know how many profiles I've read that feel like some kind of verbal ping pong match? I get it. What do I like to do on a Friday night? Depends. Sometimes I’m exhausted and stay in and other Friday nights I like to grab a couple drinks with friends. But believe it or not, I do possess some degree of decision-making ability. I can tell you what my favorite drink is, what I like to eat and my favorite movie. You should be able to do the same. You might be trying to impress me by listing anything and everything you think I might like, but just be yourself.
Lots of pictures with women
Clearly, you have learned nothing in your life. Do NOT post a bunch of pictures of you with your arms draped around various women – especially gorgeous women. This makes me feel:
b.) like you’re THAT guy who has tons of female friends and one of them is going to hate me because she’s secretly wanted to date you for the last 12 years and you refuse to notice her
c.) you know nothing about women.
Lots of pictures with men
Chances are, you want me to think you have lots of friends.
Chances are, I’ll think one of them is hotter than you.
I really, really, really love my mom
Ah, so you love your mom and talk about her and your super close relationship with her for three paragraphs. Back it up there, Norman Bates. Those three paragraphs just scared the crap out of me.
You have a cigarette hanging out of your mouth
“I love The Notebook!”
No, you don’t.
Be careful here, people. I might not “get” your costume, especially if you don’t put a comment under your photo. Maybe you were trying to be a character from Boogie Nights but I think you look like a perverted child molester.
Tricky. Proceed with caution.
Look at me – I’m naked!
Ah, so you took a shirtless photo of yourself. Presumptive much?
Landscape photos rock
When I browse through your photos, it’s to see what YOU look like. Not the Grand Canyon, some beach you visited for Spring Break ’99, Big Ben or your last hike in the Shenandoah’s. If I wanted to see these things, I could just go to Google images. That goes double for pictures of your car. BORING!
So there you have it. I know, it might seem like I’m being a little tough here. But trust me, take out the mom-graphs, nix the shirtless photos and stop lying about your neighbor’s dog and we might just be able to grab a drink or two. Let your crazy shine on the fourth or fifth date.
Unless, of course, you like to stay in but also go out because you’re a real homebody who travels all the time who loves to exercise but isn’t really athletic and you love red meat even though you’re a vegetarian….