Earlier this week a married friend and I were discussing online dating or perhaps I should say “profiling.” She was remarking on how many friends she and her husband had tried to assist in making profiles that might actually get them noticed, including not posting that picture with the chubby arm or noting that one’s favorite pastime is drinking beer.
Not that she was advocating for dishonesty, mind you. But perhaps you should let the guy see the chubby arm after he’s smitten enough with you that he thinks your triceps look like Michelle Obama’s or let the girl know how much you like beer after she’s discovered it’s not accompanied by nightly, obsessive football watching.
But apart from the apparent trickiness of creating just the right profile is weeding through the profiles of all those guys who want to take you out (precisely because you kept your jiggly triceps to yourself when so many others didn’t). Thus, with the careful input of my friends, I’ve come up with a basic dating guide for women that will hopefully help you weed out the studs from the duds before you waste precious hours of your life dating a guy who kisses you as if he’s probing for a gold tooth:
The Egoist: He’s not always easy to spot on first glance, though he’s invariably immaculately dressed, drives a luxury car, and will send you lots of pictures of himself without any prompting or acknowledgement from you that you really care to see them. (He might even send you a few of his car.) He just assumes you’re into him because, after all, how could you not be? He’s smart, handsome, funny, and maybe even rich. He is convinced that the only thing he needs to complete his persona is an equally smart, funny, and beautiful woman. This is the type of man who wants “a complicated woman without complications,” as a good friend of mine describes it. Of course, no such thing exists, and once he discovers this, he bolts. Another thing that will send him packing faster than you can say “no, I’m not having sex with you tonight” is your questioning of his arguments or your failure to be enamored with his intelligence.
What to do with this guy: Ditch him as fast you can. I don’t care how handsome he is or if he pays for dinner every time you go out. The kind of woman he really wants is one who salivates over him constantly and believes he is always right. And unless you’re willing to play the exhausting game of suppressing your thoughts when they don’t agree with his, this will be a highly unsatisfying relationship. Not to mention the fact that he’s likely so self-absorbed, he is sadly clueless on how to kiss a woman in a way that will make her want to see him again anyway.
The Hobbyist: This guy is a hopeless romantic and obviously so from the get-go in most cases. He never tires of you, is the only date type who will look you in the eye for more than five seconds at a time, and who tells you how stunningly beautiful you are on the first date. He’s so into you that it sometimes sends the red flags up, so much has the coolness of most men trained us to believe that anyone who seems to adore us must be crazy. He will call you just as he says, will never stand you up, and will even go a little berserk if he goes too long without hearing from you. You have become, as another friend of mine explains, “his newest hobby.” And the major plus here: he really, really knows how to kiss, among other things.
What to do with this guy: Sometimes it can be a little hard to tell “the hobbyist” from the “the stalker,” but give him a chance as long as he’s not staking out your workplace. See if you can’t let your cynical mind adjust to the idea that maybe you actually are worthy of some serious admiration. Because this rare type is the only one who is not going to leave you guessing 24/7. He’s far too honest and romantic to play games. And he’s probably the only one of the five types of dates who won’t be scared off if you talk to him the way you do your girlfriends.
The Quiet Man: This is the toughest date you will ever go on. He may smile a lot and be enjoying every minute of looking at your lovely face, but he doesn’t say a word, at least not unless you ask him a question. And then his answer is likely cursory. He’s just not the chatting type, and talking about himself to a complete stranger makes him nervous as hell, all the more if the stranger is beautiful. He would actually be quite content to just walk quietly with you along the beach or sit with your hand in his in the movie theater, and while that may not sound so bad, keep in mind his quiet nature probably extends into the bedroom, too. He’s unlikely to be very assertive: translation—conventional and dull.
What to do with this guy: Before you dismiss the “Quiet Man” as hopeless, recognize that he can be trained. It is possible to make him open up and lose his inhibitions, but you have to be willing to invest some major time. If you’re patient, giving, and willing to ease him into intimacy gently, you could help this guy find his inner “hobbyist.”
The Joker: No doubt about it, this one can be loads of fun. He makes you laugh. He knows how to have a good time. And he seems pretty comfortable in his own skin. He’s also not usually threatened (at least not very much) by a woman who shares those qualities (unlike the “Egoist”). However, keep in mind that his fun-loving behavior could be covering up some feelings of inadequacy. He will be a tough nut to crack if you want him to whisper sweet nothings in your ear some day. That’s way outside his comfort zone. He’d rather just give you a laughing orgasm.
What to do with this guy: Again, patience is the order of the day here if you think he’s worth it. Enjoy his “hanging out with the guys” type of camaraderie, and recognize that this type, kind of like “the hobbyist,” is likely more willing to accept you as you are because, well, let’s face it, you’re pretty darn funny when you’re not trying to be perfect. He can be coaxed into a deeper level of interaction once you establish trust with him. How do you do that? Keep laughing at his jokes, but never laugh at those rare moments of soul baring.
Mr. Hopeless: This is the guy who is late to pick you up, fails to change into a clean shirt, and forgets to open the car door for you on the first date. He’s not really comfortable with himself; therefore, he’s not really comfortable with you either. And, on top of that, he has maybe two interests outside his job: one of which is playing Frisbee with his dog. These are the men that a friend of mine likes to advise “go to the library and read a book or take up roller skating. Just please do something to make yourself interesting.”
What to do with this guy: Unless you are suffering from low self-esteem yourself, run fast and hard. Dating this type can feel like pulling teeth on a whole different scale from that of the “Quiet Man.” No amount of questioning is going to get you to any depth here. Because even if he has depth, he’s not confident enough in himself to share it. And don’t worry, you won’t have to let him down easy. He’ll never call you. He’s too scared.