best of craigslist > new york > Why you're still single
Originally Posted: 2005-01-18 7:40pm

Why you're still single

I placed a personal ad (Looking for a committed, child-free relationship – 34) for the first (and last) time on CL and was surprised about how many responses I received. And then, after a few weeks of reading, surprised at the sheer cluelessness of most of my respondents. Many guys were lacking in the common sense and good breeding departments. So, to help these guys out and, of course, for entertainment purposes, here’s my list as to why I didn’t want to meet you or why there wasn’t a second date:

You’re illiterate. OK, you’re probably not, but you may as well be. Gross spelling errors, caveman-like sentence structure (“You cute! Me interested!”), using “u” for “you” (only Prince can get away with that), and/or using all caps (why are you yelling at me?) are all major turn-offs. No, you don’t need to be a great author, but when you’re trying to make a good impression using the written word, be at least adequate at writing. And this is crucial if you’re white collar! Don’t tell me you’re a college-educated professional and then use the wrong form of you’re/your, for god’s sake. Brush up on your grammar. Understand how contractions work. And spell-check is your friend. Use it.

Your photo is unflattering. I can’t for the life of me understand why someone would send a crappy photo of himself to a prospective date. What’s not crappy, you ask? No sunglasses, no wife-beaters, no red eyes, no “here’s me drunk at a party,” no “here’s me with the ex at a wedding,” no using the bathroom mirror to take a self portrait, no out-of-focus shots, no too-far-away shots, no creepy beefcake. Don’t you want a woman to think “cute” and not “ick?” Here’s a litmus test: if you think your mother would shudder or ask, “who’s that?” if she saw that photo, don’t send it! Grab a friend and have him or her take a picture of you facing the camera, upright, with nice clothes on, outside or in a tidy room (yes! I can see what’s in the background too!). See? Easy.

You’re waaaay out of shape. I know that isn’t PC. And I know I’m no Williams sister, either. Plus, I don’t even mind if a guy’s got a little gut (hell, I prefer a little meat). A “little” is maybe 10 to 20 pounds more than you should be. Not 50, not 85. I don’t want to hook up with a heart attack waiting to happen. Also? Not sexy. If you waddle, shop at big and large stores, and get asked to play Santa at the company party, turn off the freaking computer, put down your fork and take a walk. Look—online, you’re competing against good-looking gym rats. Yeah, maybe the gym rat has the personality of road kill, and you’re the funniest thing since Steve Martin, but if you want to meet someone online, where your personality isn’t the first thing someone notices, lose the weight.

You mistake tactlessness for honesty. I’m all for being honest about what you want in a relationship, about what type of person you’re looking for, about your relationship status, about your job, etc. But you’re not being honest if you tell me what a loser your friend is, or that your kitchen smells bad, or what a horrible day you had at work, or all about your post-nasal drip; you’re being tasteless. Would you go up to a stranger on the street and whine and bitch about your life? Be positive; be polite. Speaking of which…

You’re rude. Call when you say you’re going to call. Return her call within a reasonable time (one or two days). Don’t call after 10 pm unless she said it was OK. Say “please” and “thank you.” Don’t swear excessively. Don’t say you’re interested when you’re not. Don’t tell her you’re well hung. Don’t be late. Don’t disappear off the face of the earth if you’re no longer interested. Don’t tell her all about your conspiracy theories, or how you toilet trained your cat. Don’t break up with her with an e-mail. Don’t “playfully” punch her in the arm. Don’t order her food for her. Don’t call her “baby” before you’ve even met her. Don’t take phone calls in the middle of a date. Don’t ask her out at the last minute. Don’t tell her what a great lay your ex was. Don’t date if you’re not single. Don’t drum your fingers and look out of the window when she’s talking. Don’t assume she’ll split the check with you; ask first, before the meal! Be modest. Smile. Dress like you’re going on a date, not like you’re going to mow your yard. Pick up an issue of Cargo if you have no idea what I’m talking about. Shave. Be an interesting conversationalist. Walk her to her car. Help her with her coat. Pay her one sincere compliment during a date; don’t go on and on about how pretty she is. She won’t be flattered; she’ll think you’re a moron who can’t hold a conversation.

If you can’t remember all that, keep this in mind: this is someone you want to impress. Act accordingly! Isn’t that what dating is about?



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