Before social media took over our lives, dating was very different. When two people meet for the first time in real life, the conversation rarely revolves about sexual preferences, for example. But the anonymity of the Internet allows that and more.
I joined OKCupid a year ago, basically to remind myself that after breaking up with a great love, there could still be hope to find that perfect someone again. In some ways, I can say that it did the trick. At least on the screen, I was able to find many profiles that meet the intellectual, emotional, and physical characteristics that might make a man I could love.
But alongside that, and the ego boost of having interesting men telling me that they found me interesting too, I discovered a whole Universe of people with little people skills, men who have no idea of how to talk to a woman; sometimes Big Bang Theory style, but sometimes not because they were geeky or nerdy, just because they seemed too desperate to be able to think straight.
From an anthropological standpoint, I have been really interested in reading the wackiest messages I received, and even talking to the men a little, to see if they were for real. Because OKC asks so many questions about sexual preferences, ethics, and what not, the possibilities for research on the platform are endless.
While I haven’t written my academic research piece on online dating as yet, I decided I needed to share some of the craziest messages I have received with the world, in case the search remains fruitless and someone needs an explanation when I finally give up on dating altogether.
1. Aren’t you Tired of Walking Alone? Marry Me!
So, nobody wants to walk alone, right? Mr. Ahmad (not his real name, but close), a little mustached man from the United Arab Emirates, in an impeccable Armani suit, thought no better than to introduce himself to me by referring to the discomfort associated with walking on one’s own and the necessity of “holding each other’s hand.” Not knowing very well how to respond to the marriage proposal included in his first message, I never got around to sending a reply.
2. Want a Free Vacation? Come Have Sex with Me.
In the case of Arslan (all names have been changed to give the boys a chance if they should ever message you on OKC..), the problem was not the message, but the profile. Arslan said something to me like, “hey, gorgeous,” one of those super creative and engaging messages boys are often inclined to sending my way. When I went to look at his profile, the initial “about me” section read, “Want a free vacation on a beach in Turkey? All you have to do is pay for your plane ticket.” So, apparently, anyone willing to shack up with Arslan on a beach in Turkey (surely an enticing destination), could get free room and board. I am still considering the offer.
3. Sexually Submissive?
So, maybe I am, maybe I’m not. But what I do know is I never want someone to ask that question before saying hello. Is that only me?
4. You a Virgin?
Before telling you about this particular character (let’s call him Arun), I have to explain a little bit about my profile. It says very clearly that I equally appreciate the physical and the intellectual, and it offers several details about just how important a fulfilling, mind-blowing sex life is for me.
So, I’m quietly having dinner with a friend from London and my phone beeps with a message from Arun, who says he’s interested in knowing me better. He is a student at some Ivy League University, which may be a good sign as to his intellectual worth (or not). My friend, who knows all about the “sexually submissive” message tells me, “see, there are some normal men out there for you!”
But then I get home and look at Arun’s profile. I always go to “Unacceptable answers” first, which shows you whatever they said that you are completely against, because I want to be able to disqualify candidates fast. So, I find that Arun prefers to date a virgin.
I am puzzled as to why he is talking to me in the first place. After a long argument about me wanting an equal and he preferring to teach the woman about sex (double yikes), I tell him that we are incompatible, and he replies, “so, what can I do if I want to fuck/make love to a girl who thinks we are incompatible.” I begged Arun to talk to some female friends in order to learn how to talk to a woman. I seriously doubt he will. Needless to say, anyone who puts that slash where he put it has a minus one million chance of ever dating me.
5. How’s Your Monday/Sunday/Tuesday/Thursday… Ad Nauseam
OK, this one’s not wacky, but it is one of the most annoying things I ever receive. Consider that my profile mentions that I am writer, that I am into Borges and Max Frisch, Shakespeare and Keats, stuff like that, and I clearly state that I am attracted to minds. Is “how’s your Monday” really the best thing you can come up with to attract an intellectual?
Also, how is a Monday different from a Wednesday? I just don’t get it. If I had to make a statistic of most frequent messages, “how’s your FILL IN THE BLANK” would be right up there. To me, what it says is the person in question has nothing interesting to say and that is the best they could come up with. I don’t want a Shakespeare sonnet, but some effort and creativity would be nice.
6. Go on, Say Yes, You Know You Want to
I receive many variations of this. People assuming a great deal, before even mentioning why there might be a connection between us, and just talking like we are both aware of some truth that I never received a memo about.
“I don’t know what the question is,” I once replied to a “Say Yes” from a guy who looked like my grandpa. And speaking of that, an awareness of how we might look in a picture together, i.e. would people think we are grandpa and granddaugther, is REALLY something to be desired.
7. Hey Sexy, Wanna Play Board Games with Me All Night?
I recently received a “Hey sexy” message from a boy who described himself as someone who loves “playing video games, board games, and binging on Netflix.” That was at the top of his profile, so, one might assume it’s really important to him. My question is, “what on Earth does this guy need a sexy woman for?” If he had taken the time to read my profile, he would know that my only reason for binging on Netflix is not having someone special to do something more interesting with, and that I wouldn’t be caught dead playing a video game. A very basic theory is that men just look at photos and never read your profile before writing to you. A more complex theory would be that most people do not take the time to learn who they are before they begin the hunt.
8. Your Hat Is the Same Color as Mine, It Must Be True Love!
There are many variations of this; establishing total compatibility based on a random fact. Just today, I received a message saying, “I had to write you when I saw that one of your pictures was dated on my birthday.”
9. How Can You Be an Empath and an Atheist?
I can’t explain this one, but I did get it recently. I just don’t understand the connection. Perhaps it means that only people who believe in god can give a dime about their fellow humans? I’m really at a loss.
The truth is I commonly get questions of this type, meant as some weird form of small talk. “How are you a humanist?” “If we went to dinner, what would you order?” It would seem that sometimes, on OKC, randomness rules and logic is out to lunch.
10. You Seem Nice But Are Your Boobs Real?
This is from one of my favorite messages ever. This cute 20-something boy, younger than me, sent me a message with a bunch of very direct questions:
“Will you be faithful?
Will my family like you?
Are you bright and employed?
Are you funny?
Are your breasts real?
Are you completely shaved?
Are you easily frazzled?
Will we look appropriate and classy together… and will we be stable?
If that offends you… sorry!”
My favorite ones were the one about the boobs and, “will my family like you?”
There surely was one guy who didn’t like to leave anything to the imagination. I wonder why he assumed I might be offended…
In case you are reading this, cute 20-something, they’re real, and they are spectacular.
(If you get the Seinfeld ref, please, by all means, OKC me!)