An open letter to the boys of okcupid/the internet at large

Dear boys of Okcupid,

I address you as boys because you have not, thus far, proven yourselves to be men. I have had enough disgusting and wildly inappropriate messages to give up on dating. Indeed, I’ve had enough of them to give up on men in general. I have not given up. I have, instead, chosen to write this neat little primer for you. Here are a few (very) basic rules:

  1. Do not address my breasts. You will not be meeting them.

Let’s put it all out there: they’re fabulous.

They’re pretty fantastic.

As a matter of fact, I have yet to get a negative review on them.

But here’s the thing about breasts, guys: they’re not sentient beings. They do not get up and walk around on their own. They do not wander around at night when I’m not paying attention. So, maybe for a change, instead of commenting on them, you could address their owner. You know, since I do, in fact, control them.

I don’t send you messages about how fantastic your balls are (and as a matter of fact, I’d rather not see them. No really. Please, no pictures)… and I don’t appreciate being thought of as a compendium of parts any more than you do.

Guess what?

I’m a whole person!

There are legs attached.

And arms.

And a face.

I like to think that I have nice eyes.

And a more or less functioning brain.

I don’t appreciate being thought of as an assortment of parts, and I get the feeling you wouldn’t either. Have a little respect. Next time, maybe try addressing the owner/possessor of the breasts… you might get a little farther.

  1. Keep your shirt on.

As much as I want you to like me for more than what’s under my shirt, I would like to appreciate you for more than what’s under yours. Call me old fashioned, but I’m the kind of person who feels that seeing a person half-naked should be reserved until after you know each other’s names, at the very least.

I understand that a lot of people use dating sites almost exclusively for hook-ups – I get it. I really do. But I’d still advise you to keep it covered. No matter how nice the goods are, they can wait. And I guarantee you there will never be a girl who rejects you because you don’t have a shirtless photo.

And as for those of you super-special guys who have a headless shirtless photo – I have two words for you: Grow up.

  1. I want to see you.

Yup.

That’s right.

You.

I want to see you.

Just you.

Not your friends.

Not your dog.

Not your ex-girlfriend.

Not your sister.

Or that one girl that you met at that one bar that one time.

Your dating profile should be about you. I should not have to sift through five different group pictures of you and your friends, staring at them like some sort of twisted game of where’s waldo, trying to figure out which one you are.

The point of profile pictures, ostensibly, is to show me what you look like – not to show me how popular you are, or how cute the girls you dated in the past are, or how adorable your dog is. And if I have to sift through multiple photos, just trying to pick you out, CSI-style, odds are, I’m just going to pass.

And, on the subject of the dreaded seflie…. I think selfies are fine. They show what you look like, which is the point, after all, and you don’t always have someone around to take a picture of you….

But can we stop with the bathroom selfies?

I’m sure the rest of your house is lovely. I’m sure you have wonderful taste and a plush, inviting couch (or futon… whatever)….

But your bathroom is still ugly.

Yes, you. Your bathroom.

Because bathrooms, no matter how nice…. are still ugly. Yours included.

I’d like to see you… and not in the place where you pee.

The fact of the matter is, you don’t need a mirror to take a picture of yourself. If I can manage a picture of myself with my crappy camera phone, so can you. I have faith in you. You have the technology. Use it!

Things a bathroom selfie says about you:

  1. You have a bathroom. This is good. It means, should we ever meet and get to know each other, I won’t end up having to use an outhouse, or going around the corner to the gas station.
  2. You lack the creativity/initiative to take a picture anywhere else, or to have a friend/family member/pet with opposable thumbs take a picture of you in normal, decent surroundings. Or possibly that you just don’t give a crap about the way you look in your profile picture (pun intended).
  1. Use your words.

Or rather, use my words. And by my words, I mean real words, spelled correctly and hopefully in the form of complete sentences. I assume, if you’re taking the trouble to send someone a message, you must have some level of interest in them… but apparently, you don’t have enough interest to use correct spelling, grammar or even real words.

“HEY GURL U WAN FUK?” is worse than insulting, and I can’t imagine that it’s ever gotten anybody what they wanted.

If someone is worth sending a message to, then it’s worth using real words, in complete sentences, in order to send them that message. I don’t imagine “Hello. How are you?” takes much longer to type out than “HEY. NICE BOOBS.” And it probably stands a better chance of success.

What’s that you say?

You just want to hook up?

You don’t care how I’m doing?

Yeah. I get that.

But here’s the thing: even a hook-up is a relationship.

I know. I just blew your mind, right?

It’s a transitory relationship. And certainly one that’s over quickly. But it’s still a relationship. Any time you have a social interaction with another human being, you have a relationship.

And, yes, by that definition, you do have a relationship with the cute barista at Starbucks. You’re welcome.

Online dating has made it increasingly simple and easy to contact other humans of the opposite sex – but you shouldn’t let the ease of that let you forget that there is a human on the other end of the interaction.

She’s a real live person, guys. And she deserves to be treated with respect, no matter how fleeting your interaction.

She deserves your respect. And she deserves a complete sentence. Preferably with punctuation. One that doesn’t talk about her boobs.

My general philosophy on this sort of thing is that if you can’t spell it, you shouldn’t have it. If, for example, you can’t spell simple words like ‘woman’ or ‘breasts’ or perhaps ‘please’ … then perhaps you need to reexamine your life strategy and maybe pick up a book.

Guess what?

Women like sex too. Women don’t always want relationships. And some of us might even be cool with an occasional one night stand. But that doesn’t mean we’re going to respond to some asshole who sends us a one-word message at two in the morning. Which brings me to my final point…..

  1. Learn to take no for an answer.

The internet has yet to entirely take the sting out of rejection. Actually, I don’t think rejection will ever really lose its sting, whether that rejection is via email, text message or even simple silence.

There are countless examples of tinder/okcupid interactions, on a plethora of blogs, where a guy will message a girl, with a simple greeting or a compliment. And when she either says no or declines to answer, things turn ugly really quickly. Women get called bitches and whores and sluts. We get called ugly and stupid and useless and worse… all for having the audacity to reject someone whose attention we didn’t ask for in the first place.

If you get rejected in person, you usually have the decency to walk away. I don’t know why the internet somehow makes it any different, or makes you think you’re entitled to a response.

If you sent her a message and she’s not responding, it’s because she doesn’t want to.

It’s not because she’s shy.

It’s not because she’s a bitch.

It’s because she is a thinking, living, breathing human being who took a look at your message and decided, for whatever reason, that you’re not for her.

You don’t have a right to a response. You certainly don’t have the right to demand a response. And you really don’t have the right to be an asshole to someone just because they don’t want to be with you.

******

These rules are not a complete guide, but they’re a start.

A good general rule: consider the message you’re sending.

Imagine someone sending that message to your mother or your sister.

How does that make you feel?

The girl you’re sending a message to is someone’s sister. She’s someone’s daughter. And she’s someone’s friend.

She’s a real person and not just a hole for you to stick your dick in.

And she deserves your respect.

Thanks.

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