Online dating codes: reading between the lines

March 10th, 2012

People are always saying that online dating is a lot like searching for a job. I agree. A dating profile, in a sense, is much like a CV and job ad rolled into one, even though nobody will expect you to include information about your past relationships or give references for exes (can you imagine how funny that would be?). Even if you’ve never tried online dating, you’re probably quite familiar with the job search and application process. Job ads have codes – things that any experienced job searcher would be able to see and immediately know what type of potential employer the job was posted by. Similarly, online dating also has codes and reading between the lines can save you a lot of time and hassle later.

What do I mean by codes? Well, if you were searching for a job and saw an ad that asked for a “hardworking person” who’s “not all about the money”, you’d probably suspect the job is badly paid and that the employer expects you to work long hours regardless. If you saw a job ad asking for a “high calibre candidate”, you’d know a significant amount of experience and expertise was required for the job.

Likewise, online dating has different types of codes that imply certain things about the person whose profile you’re looking at and the type of relationship they’re looking for.

Online dating codes that describe people

Words like curvy, BBW, cuddly, more to love, etc. are often used by overweight people to describe themselves, especially women. On the whole, those are pretty self explanatory.

Online dating codes that describe requirements

No strings attached

Looking for fun

Webcam chat

These are all code words for wanting casual sex (webcam chat more often than not means net sex). Sometimes it can actually mean the person is already attached but wants something on the side as well.

Online dating codes people give you without realising

Sometimes people will give away more than they intend, which I see as nature’s way of warning you off people who are blatantly not ready to date again.
Beware of any man going on about how he expects women to pay their own way and be financially independent (cheap) or anyone going on about how they hope you’ll “prove them wrong” about all men/women being bad (too much baggage).

What other interesting codes have you come across?

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Entry Filed under: Online Dating Tips

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Benton  |  March 15th, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    We wrote a dating book and a couple of the codes we embed in our own profiles are closely surrounding pictures.

    For instance, I have a photo of myself sleeping on a bench in an airport, and mention in the caption that all of the traveling I’ve done has helped my body adapt to all sorts of sleeping arrangements. To the visitor, they should take away that I am fun and love to do new things.

    There are also photos of me with children, which should give women a feeling I’m great with kids.

    Most of the coding we do is indirect, so visitors can draw their own conclusions. We run with the mantra that less is more, but that visitors need to know enough to decide if we’re attractive to them.

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