How not to date online – learning by (bad) example

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I’ve been writing about online dating for a long time and to be perfectly honest, sometimes I get bored. After all, much of it is about the same topics, albeit rehashed and paraphrased to make things more interesting. I often wonder whether there’s still a need in today’s dating world to write about dating profiles, first message writing and other such basics. But time and time again I conclude that these are still important things to cover. After all, it seems that there are plenty of people out there for whom such information is important.

Take this article, for example. TLDR: guy goes on Tinder “to find love”, fails to secure date, gets female friend to help him with his profile, secures date with hot model, is disappointed by her flippant attitude and behaviour and concludes that LA is not suitable for finding love.

So can we take this story and learn from it about common dating mistakes? Let’s take a look at what happened here.

The article was written by said guy, hence an obvious bias towards blaming the girl. But let’s break down what the guy did first.

Signing up to Tinder to find a serious relationship

I personally know people who fell in love on Tinder and I’m sure many others do, too. Ultimately, though, Tinder is a hook up app. Its very nature makes it the perfect app for shallow encounters. It’s much easier to sign up to than more serious dating sites, which makes it perfect for when someone’s freshly broken up and needs to rebound. In fact, the girl this guy is slating did just that – signed up immediately after a breakup to make herself feel better. So while it’s fine to look for love on Tinder, you should also accept the fact that many people on there might not be looking for what you are.

Having  a dating profile that’s an idealised representation of yourself

I often advise men in particular to get female friends to help write their dating profile, but there is such a thing as aiming too high. If a profile sounds like someone who’s not you and you turn up to the date, expect some disappointment. As I’ve not seen either the before or after version of this guy’s profile, I can’t comment on any particular problems, but the fact that he got no action with his own profile and got a lingerie model contacting him for sex after his profile makeover (only to be quickly disappointed when she met him) makes me think there was a lot there that could be seen as unwittingly misleading or just plain wrong.

Going on a date with a model and being surprised that she’s high maintenance

I mean, seriously, are you 12? She’s a model, she’s in LA. There is no such thing as effortlessly done up. Not if you’re expect your date to look perfect, anyway. Most models obsess about their looks because they have to. Their looks are their livelihood and they have to look good 24/7 to maintain their personal brand. Models are also likely to be very driven and committed to their work, which is what it takes to be a successful model in LA. If that’s not something you can deal with, then date someone who’s not a model or an actress or any high profile profession.

Being surprised when your date doesn’t think you match up with your idealised profile

Many people lie in their dating profiles, but it’s a risk you take that is likely to blow up in your face. If you’re 2 inches shorter than you said you were or 15 pounds heavier, then yeah, you may end up disappointing your date.

Giving up on an entire city full of people because of one bad date

LA is huge. There are millions of women in LA. There are millions of women in LA who are not models and didn’t just break up with their boyfriends. Go find them instead of bitching about this one lady.

All in all, this guy made a few bad dating mistakes and paid the price for them. But is the woman involved completely guilt free? Of course not. Let’s see what her issues are.

Going on dates immediately after a major breakup

Was the guy so different than his profile or was she simply not really interested because she still had feelings for her ex? It’s all well and good to sign up to a dating site and start contacting people so you can get over someone, but the person on the other side has feelings too. Would this guy have replied to this girl had he known her to be so freshly broken up? Probably, because she’s an underwear model. But at least he’d have known what he was getting himself into. By omitting this important fact from her profile, she was effectively lying too. It’s best to work out your own feelings about your emotional state without bouncing them off other people who could get hurt in the process.

Not respecting her date’s time

This guy drove a long way to meet her. She kept him waiting for ages beyond their agreed time, which is rude. OK, so she didn’t know he’d made a long journey because he hadn’t told her, but you shouldn’t take the piss anyway. He might be disposable to you, but he’s a person with feelings and his time is valuable.

Being flippant after having rejected the guy

In spite of the guy taking offence, there’s actually nothing wrong with letting a date know straight away that you are not interested. I’m not going to say that you should do it every time out of respect for the person’s feelings, because as a woman I know that sometimes you just don’t feel safe rejecting someone outright, or you feel that it would create an unpleasant situation with the other person acting all offended and rude. Still, if someone is brave enough to simply say “thanks, but no thanks”, we should applaud it rather than criticise them. This girl, however, went the extra mile, if we believe the guy. First, she practically started talking about his shortcomings (why? Unless the guy is demanding to know them and you feel obliged, just leave it at “no thanks”). Then, she asked him questions about dating on Tinder. Seriously, tact is a virtue when you’ve just rejected a guy. You’re not friends. You didn’t just “friendzone” him because you don’t fancy him. You just rejected him, so why would he want to hear about guys you do want to date and how to get them?

Honestly, neither side comes off well in this story at all. Let’s not be dicks to each other, OK?

Have you had any dating disasters you’d like other people to learn from? Feel free to comment below.




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