Not Married, But Attached

I know I’ve written many times before about the weird and wild world of online dating. I’ve written about the “stranger danger” Spidey sense that hits when you decide to meet a stranger in person for the first time. I’ve written about the unflattering photos of men way past their prime flaunting their topless torsos when they really shouldn’t be (in fact, no one should be). I thought I’d seen everything. I thought there was nothing else shocking left. Oh, how utterly naïve of me. The Internet has come through, yet again, and shown me that just when I think I’ve seen it all, there’s another new whacked-out layer to discover.

We all pretty much know the basics of how online dating works, right? You write some things about yourself. You post some of your best pictures. You scroll through other people’s profiles. You swap emails. If you find someone you get along with, you meet and see where it goes from there. Pretty simple.

Recently, I was going through the motions. I was scrolling through the available men out there. I saw a man who seemed to be not a serial killer and decided to check him out. His profile was pretty normal (which is not the case a shockingly high number of times), so I move to the pictures. Picture #1, fine. Picture #2, fine. Then I get to picture #3. It’s a photo of him, at his wedding, feeding cake to his bride. There are plenty of couples who have profiles looking for a third person to add to the relationship. It’s not really for me – I don’t play well with others — but I have no problem with that. To each their own, I say. Every relationship is different. I just didn’t remember reading anything in this guy’s profile saying he and his wife were looking for someone.

So, I read his profile again.

It becomes very clear to me after another read-through that this guy is NOT married. At all. He is definitely single, as in divorced. The woman in that picture is his ex-wife. That’s when the bizarreness hit a whole new level. He actually posted a picture from his wedding—probably the happiest day of his life at that point—to a DATING SITE! I know it’s good to provide pictures showing that you know how to have fun, and yes, it sure looks like he’s having a friggin’ blast, but why in the world did he think it was a good idea to use a friggin’ wedding photo to attract other women??? Is it to prove his lack of a fear of commitment? To show he cleans up well in a tux? I almost messaged him just to ask if he could guide me through his thought process when he was choosing pictures to use…I mean, I’m really curious.

Maybe, just maybe, in his warped perception of determining what women want, he thinks that by showing that he has the ability to commit and look good in a tux, he’ll seem more desirable. If that’s the case he is sorely mistaken. All it shows me is that he is clearly still attached to his ex. Or, has no sense. Either way, it’s a no go.

I didn’t think this was something I would ever have to advise, but as a general rule of online dating, whether male or female, I don’t care how great the lighting was or how flattering the pose, DON’T use pictures from a time you legally bound your life to another person. Guess what…it’s a turn off.  I can’t be alone in this way of thinking, right?

Mature Professional Man

What can I say about the world of dating? Times they are a-changing. Whilst perusing the often hysterically funny Craigslist advertisements one day, an ad featuring the headline ‘Mature Professional Man’ grabbed my attention. I clicked on the ad, you know, just curious, hoping not to find my husband using this online name. I suppose I expected a well-dressed middle-aged man in a suit, perhaps with golf clubs in hand, ready to take his date to a ritzy country club. Perhaps a rugged hiker with a twinkle in his eye kneeling down next to his golden retriever puppy or, god forbid, a photo of him standing next to the business he started from the ground up.

Click — it is a picture of his penis. Not sure what it says about me, but I was instantly taken back to a Seinfeld episode with Elaine declaring: “He. Took. It. Out.”

Mature? Professional? Well, maybe he’s a professional (although a professional what I don’t know), but he’s certainly not mature. What made it even worse (or funnier depending on your viewpoint) is it was a serious ad. There was no “Ah-ha, gotcha!” moment. This man was genuinely earnest in his quest for a suitable mate. And all the while you’re reading about his more mundane and appropriate attributes, you’re faced with an up close view of his penis. I mean, I suppose he thought it was important.

I guess that old book from years ago entitled “Everything Men Know About Women” featuring entirely blank pages is spot on: Men do not know what women want. It’s definitely not a close up shot of your bait and tackle. I thought this was something that could go without saying but I guess in this day and age a woman has to specifically mention things like this. Do men really believe that all of us women are sex-crazed nymphomaniacs obsessed with viewing grainy, blurry pictures of men’s packages?

woman screaming

just so we’re clear, here is the typical reaction you get

To my knowledge, there has never been a romance novel written where a woman saw a picture of a man’s penis and instantly fell in love and knew that was the man she just had to marry. Sorry guys, but most women seeking a romantic encounter and perhaps even a long-term relationship with someone they meet online, a photograph of his penis is not the first thing they want to see. A picture of his bank account maybe…. You failed, MPM.

So Mature Professional Man, let me make this easy for you (it’s okay to take notes):  1) Women want men who treat them well. This should be a no-brainer but after MPM messed everything up I can’t make any assumptions about what guys understand. 2) Women want chivalrous and smart men. 3) Maybe most important for those of you wondering why your online dating career hasn’t taken off yet; Any woman worth dating is not going to send you a message because you have a nice penis. But then again, what Mature Professional Man worth dating puts an ad like this on Craigslist?

Call me old-fashioned. Who knows, maybe I’m wrong (wouldn’t be the first time). Perhaps one day we will live in a society where women choose their lifelong companions based on penis shapes and dimensions. It may become trendy for women to carry specialized tape measures with them. When they meet a nice man they can use it to say, “Sorry, but before we go any farther I’m going to need to measure you.” and reaches into his zipper without anyone on the street paying any mind at all. Just another girl-meets-boy encounter. These tape measures could be carried on the hip in a fashion-accessorized, blinged-out holster and have voice notifications and alert ringtones made by Nokia or Samsung.

Surely this is not the most outrageous prediction one could make about the future of society. There have been worse prophesies. And worse inventions. Watch, I just gave someone an excellent idea and years from now I’ll be kicking myself for not patenting the damn thing.

Many so-called reality TV shows have already started down this road. Shows such as Millionaire Matchmaker, The Cougar, Momma’s Boys, Temptation Island, The Bachelor, and The Bachelorette illustrate how real-life romance isn’t cutting it anymore. Romance, it seems, has been unseated and replaced by more base and dubious motives, most of which are far removed from the traditional concept of love. Society is clamoring for more drama, more sex, more prizes, more to win, and more to lose if it doesn’t work out. Romance is turning into a competition not an act of love. While these TV shows might be moderately amusing, they portray a perverted view of “reality” as far removed from real reality as Barbara Walter’s ego is.

Okay, I’ve got a fantastic, sure-fire hot property, and I’m pitching it to the network honchos first thing Monday morning: Get ready for the newest, hottest, dating drama coming this fall! Get heated up and tune in for (wait for it) … Penis Wars! — Ladies, get your fashion-accessorized tape measures ready, because there’s sure to be some amazing things to measure here on Penis Wars! Sound absurd?

Well, who could have predicted that Naked and Afraid would ever see the light of day? Wait a second … Did you say ‘naked’? As in naked nudity? Oh, right. Nudity sells itself. It was Hogan’s Heroes and F-Troop I was thinking of that would have been hard sells to the network brass.

Listen up, guys — and you especially, MPM — if you take away nothing else from this entry you will still have been served well by heeding this one piece of advice: Stop posting pictures of your penis! Present yourself with a little bit of class. Dust off what remains of the etiquette your mothers taught you and flaunt for us (just to be totally clear, not your penises). We want to see that indomitable, innate charm rise to the surface. There’s no woman out there that will look at your profile and turn her head in disgust because you showed her your chivalrous behavior. Show your junk and you run that risk more times that you would like to think. So, just be a gentleman. I know you can do it. Oh, a nice shirt and tie doesn’t hurt either!