Bullish Life: Online Dating Tips From Professionals and Happy People

  • Stop saying, “I am equally comfortable in an evening gown and in sweats.” Men don’t care what you’re wearing.
  • One man added, “Equivocating in general just makes it look like you’re too eager to please. I like this one thing, and also its complete opposite! There’s no point even writing that.”
  • No more skydiving photos. They look silly and don’t show any of your attractive features. Why are all women showing off their skydiving?!

One man remarked that, while action shots in general were silly and unattractive, one woman had posted a very clever photo of herself getting out of a canoe; she knew it showed that she had a great ass. But, in general, canoes are not a selling point.

Don’t Leave Mankind a Worse Place Than You Found It

And yes, I do mean “man”-kind.

If you had to message dozens of dudes, most of whom didn’t write you back at all, and then ended up on fairly frequent dates with men who, due to a desire to avoid awkwardness and confrontation, pretend they’re more interested than they really are and then just ignore all your followup texts for a second date, you might be driven literally insane.

So, obviously, that’s what men deal with. Some of them aren’t bothered at all (fun numbers game!), but some of them find it soul-destroying.

I’ve been a good citizen (I hope) with frequent use of lines like, “I don’t think we’re a match, but good luck in your search!”

In extreme situations — a smart, clever guy who I am just not attracted to in the least is really trying to persuade me to go out with him — I’ve even dropped, “Hey, you are obviously a high-quality guy, but I’m really at the point in life where I’m looking for THE ONE, and I don’t think you’re him, even though you sound really cool. Good luck in your search!”

I’ve never once had a guy reply, “No, I’m totally him!” (Ha!)

In fact, most men are taken aback (intimidated, impressed?) by a woman who doesn’t think “I’m cool, you’re cool” is a good enough reason to hang out. For that matter, most men are taken aback by a woman who doesn’t “hang out.” (See Bullish Life: Achieve Goals and Glory By Recreating Like a Total F*cking Badass.)

Gentlewomanly Dating

Technology, when well-designed by human beings, can be an excellent force in crafting a gentlewomanly life.

Online dating can keep creeps and idiots compartmentalized; you can shut your laptop on them and they go away!

And online dating can allow you to get direct answers to important questions (“How long should you date someone before getting engaged?”, for instance) before being swayed by alcohol, devilish grins, and witty jokes. (I’m sorry, but Brooklyn is full of men who had no luck with girls in high school and have since realized that literary references can get them laid, and their newfound power has turned them into assholes. I call this type “The McSweeney’s Player.”)

I’ve met very few women who are able to completely put aside romance and sex for years at a stretch while working on their goals, even as such women sometimes recommend this course of action for others. So, I think it’s actually pretty important in a conversation about productivity, achievement, and career design to talk about how to run our romantic lives well, so that we move towards what we want without derailing the other things we want in life.

Send in your questions to bullish@thegloss.com or follow on Twitter @jendziura. See a Bullish archive here.

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    • Jennifer Wright

      “Drunk On Magic Marker Fumes And Playing Fuck, Marry, Kill” is going to be TheGloss’s new tagline. Thanks for this.

    • G

      “Lazy second and third messages, though, indicate a guy who’s probably also too lazy to hold himself up on his arms during sex and will just flop around on top of you like a dying tuna.”

      So. Good.

    • GuysKeepScore.com

      “No more skydiving photos. They look silly and don’t show any of your attractive features. Why are all women showing off their skydiving?!”

      Couldn’t have said it better myself.

    • Amy

      Re: the sweats/dress thing, I can’t tell you how many dudes’ profiles I’ve read that include some version of “I love a girl who’s just as comfortable in a t-shirt and jeans as she is in a sexy dress and heels.” I wonder if ladies have started repeating it in their profiles, in response?

      I don’t have anything like that in my profile because 1) jeans are WAY more comfortable than heels, so I don’t want to give anyone false hope, and 2) it’s obnoxious. Of COURSE men want a woman who is a tomboy and a sex kitten. We all want the whole package! I would like a lumberjack who listens to Joni Mitchell, but I’m not holding my breath.

    • Tania

      I think my biggest problem with OKCupid, specifically, is that it tells people how often you respond, and someone told me mine said “replies selectively.”

      Which is entirely unfair. I looked through my inbox after someone mentioned that, and I replied to 90% of first messages that were either polite or implied they had at least read my profile. I assume it counts replying to subsequent messages in its algorithm, guys who messaged me back after I said (nicely) that I didn’t think we’d work out together.

      Which led to me getting maybe one message every few days, often by someone telling me that I shouldn’t care about spelling and grammar because it doesn’t matter anyway, man, we’re all going to die so we mite as wel not caer abt splin.

      So I gave up in frustration.

    • Riley

      “…I do mind when guys have smaller hands and feet than me. That’s just creepy.” Yes! Why is that so skeevy? I actually like short guys (great ergonomics for kissing standing up), particularly if they have broad shoulders, but tiny hands always freak me out.

    • Joann

      I would add one thing – don’t make too many comments about physical appearance. Personally I don’t like to be treated like a doll.