Kimeu Boynton is my significant other and guest blogger. Enjoy his thoughts on online dating mistakes from a man's perspective and then see "Dating Profile Mistakes Men Make" for my perspective.
Using online dating sites to meet someone special can be both a fun-filled experience and an eye opening adventure. I met my significant other via a very popular online dating site and it seems as if we were meant for each other from the very beginning. Our profiles were nearly identical and we were bluntly honest about what we wanted and what we expected in a relationship partner. The experience allowed us to be real. I never had to wonder about anything with her. The interesting thing for me was that after nearly six months online, hundreds of matches and a few dates, it was clear that most people were not completely honest with themselves, much less with their potential matches. People use these sites to portray themselves in the best possible light, but some fall short. Here are a few of the issues I have with how people portray themselves:
1. Why is there some other person in your profile pic?
I don't care if it is your cousin (yeah I believe that, cause all cousins hug up on each other that way), your little brother or your pastor, your profile pic and all other pics should be of just you. I will assume you know other people, because you live on planet earth. Why is it necessary to share them with the whole online dating community? And do these people know that you have pics of them on a dating site?
2. Why are there twenty pics of you with your kids?
Not sure why this bothers me, but as a father, I really wouldn't want my personal family photos to be seen by people I don't personally know. On top of that, you're dating. Part of the etiquette of dating is that you shouldn't introduce your children to an individual that you are not serious with. In a way, you're introducing your children to a bunch of people you don't know. Now granted, they’re just pictures, but leave some mystery for your potential partner. If you want a potential mate to know you have kids, put in your profile.
3. It's 2012; stop taking provocative pics, glamour shots and pics in front of your brand new Lexus.
I was always attracted to people who used regular natural photos, party shots, office shots and the like. I was usually turned off when I saw a pic that was seemingly posed and the subject was wearing (or barely wearing) something out of the Fredrick's of Hollywood catalog. It almost seemed a bit too risqué for someone I didn't know. Likewise, using a glamour shot photo just seemed too 1995 for me. It reminded me of all the girls on senior picture day, with too much makeup, over exaggerated smiles and that cheesy plastic rose.
Lastly, when are people going to stop posing for pics in front of shiny luxury cars. I don't know if it’s yours or your dad's. Either way, that's not why I would be interested in meeting you. Being that shallow only works after meeting someone in a bar and then immediately walking outside to scope out the parking lot. Maybe I should have posed in front of a 1985 Toyota Cressida just for kicks.
4. Be careful what you say in your profile, because it may come back to haunt you.
The biggest turn off for me was the woman who used either one of the following phrases in her intro/profile:
(a) My children are my world and no one comes between me and them...
(b) My children are my life and anybody wishing to date me needs to understand this...
Okay ladies, newsflash, we get it. We are all men, born of a woman. Our mothers, for the most part, were dedicated care givers. This is common sense. However, it sounds as if you're giving us a warning: Stay back, beware of kids --- you will never be as important as they are. That makes us envision a future with you where when the time comes to be real (aka use discipline) with your child, we can see you stepping in and saying, "Hey wait, that's my child." And now your child is using that statement to their advantage and manipulating the relationship between us. Tell us you're a mother and leave it at that. You will have earned our respect without scaring us off.
5. When we start to communicate, answer all of the questions we ask, both honestly and completely.
The world of online dating is filled with people wishing to recreate themselves after bad divorces, breakups and time off from the dating world. I believe that because some have the shield of the internet to hide behind, honesty isn't always the first priority. When you are posed with a question and you fail to answer it outright or your answer somehow conflicts with something else you've said or your profile information, then I will assume you're hiding something. Maybe you have a good reason for doing so, but a red flag has been raised at this point. If I'm interested, I will probably probe a bit, but in reality, I will probably assume that everything else about you in fake or superficial in some way. Be honest and truthful and you won't have to worry about others drawing their own conclusions about you.
6. If you aren't interested in relocating, don't set up your search parameters beyond the city you live in.
When I first started using an online dating site, I was recently divorced and I figured I would be willing to move to another state or city, as long it was within a two to three hour drive of my kids' home. However, I was amazed by the number of matches or interested women who lived in other parts of the country. After communicating with them via email or telephone, it was clear to me that they had no intention of moving. I was baffled at their selfishness and their belief that they were more important. If you have no plans of leaving Trenton, NJ, then don't search for people in Los Angeles, CA or Seattle, WA. You're putting out false intentions and your lack of compromise will eventually show itself.
©2012 Kimeu Boynton
Make sure you check out Dating Mistakes Men Make for Kristen's perspective.