A Case of Mistaken Identity

Dating Profile Mistaken Identity

A funny thing happened on the way to meeting Mr. Possible Right.  I unintentionally crushed on someone else in Mr. Possible’s Tinder profile.  How did this happen? Men, pay attention, and learn some best practices for dating photos.

It was a good beginning. Mr. Possible super-liked me and made the first text move. There was nothing extraordinary in his opening but no red flags either. He wanted to know where I lived, a fair question given the number of geographic mismatches one encounters on dating apps.

As I reviewed his profile, I had to quell my overly suspicious mind, a side effect of being online too long and encountering too many guys who misrepresent themselves.  So what if he went to a relatively obscure university in New Zealand. Perhaps he’s from Middle Earth. I decided to continue communication and hope for the best. After all, I liked what he wrote in his profile and judged him attractive, although I wasn’t sure how recent his photos were.

We volleyed briefly about our respective locations and heights. As a tall woman, I always ask a man his height.

In the spirit of starting a new topic of conversation, I asked Mr. Possible to write a caption for any of his photos. He responded by captioning all of them and then (bonus points) asked about mine.

I read the captions and wondered about Mr. Possible’s use of “me” rather than “my” in captions mentioning his grandson.  Perhaps he was from New Zealand, Australia, or the UK.

Grandson1

As I went back and forth between the captions and the photos, I suddenly realized that Mr. Possible was not who I thought he was. I really did LOL (a rare use of this hated acronym).

Read my response to find out what happened.

Well, this is pretty funny.  Apparently I’ve been crushing on your grandson. Only one man’s face is visible in the first picture and since your profile has 3 photos of the same man, I assumed this man was you.  You have to appreciate that men put photos from just about every stage of life on Tinder – from babyhood on up – and often do not post current photos. And they often misrepresent their age.  Perhaps you can post another full body shot of you.  As for me, the 2nd photo is from the…(redacted in the interest of anonymity).

As I wrote my reply to Mr. Possible, I considered that he might take offense at my response.  But in typical Nadia fashion, I decided to forge ahead anyway.  I couldn’t help myself and I wrote the truth. I thought he was the younger guy.  There was apparently only one visible image of the real Mr. Possible, a head and shoulder shot of a white-haired guy (not nearly as cute as his grandson).  And the real Mr. Possible looked much older than his stated age of 59. His grandson could easily be 59.

As expected, the next time I opened Tinder I found that Mr. Possible had unmatched me.

Just to calm down any readers who might be leaping to the wrong conclusion. I don’t care to date someone two or three decades younger than me (although men do it all the time).  I would and have gone out with men who are 10-12 years younger, but I’m not looking for someone’s grandson.

I don’t think Mr. Possible was deliberately trying to misrepresent himself. I think he was clueless about dating profile photos.

For all the Mr. Possibles who could use a refresher on dating profile photos, here are some best practices:

*Make sure you are the only person in your main profile photo and clearly caption photos with other people.

*Don’t include photos with members of the opposite sex – unless they are relatives – and then, clearly state their relationship to you.

*It goes without saying, though I’m saying it: No photos of you and your recently caught fish, freshly killed deer, or your gun collection.

*To ensure that your photos work on a dating site, view your profile as it appears online AND on your phone. Not all photo formats and sizes work on apps and mobile sites.  If your photo does not comply with the app’s requirements, your head may be inadvertently cropped out (as it was in Mr. Possible’s primary photo, leaving only his grandson visible).

And, gentlemen, if you’re going to post a photo with a younger, hotter man who happens to be your grandson, at least provide a caption.

Until next time, happy dating or not dating.

XXXOOO

Nadia

Resources:

Get A Professional Photo

Online Dating Photo Shoot

Random Rants, Observations, and Questions

woman screaming blog pix

This year, I’m not in a mood to write a sarcastic singles holiday letter but I feel a need to vent, observe, and comment on the current dating scene.

Let’s chow down on some one pot kale and quinoa pilaf while indulging in an end of the year wrap up.

*Is it sad that I recognize the screen names of some of the online guys that I frequently pass by on my way to bigger, better matches? When one of the “passed overs” sends me a message, a wink, or favorites me I don’t even need to open up the dating site. I already know who it is. They and I have been online too long.

*I realize that when a dating site sends you a match based on who you have previously interacted with, it’s really their version of computer “cookies:”

Hey, Nadia, we saw you browsing and you put OneHotGuy in your cart but didn’t check out. It’s not too late but perhaps you’d like AbsLikeSteel instead. Click through to his profile. 

*What is the motivation behind a guy’s frequent expressions of interest without following up? So many of them send “canned” dating site generated comments but never write a personal email.

I used to think it was a guy’s way of bookmarking me or testing me to see if I was interested. But these types of interactions never go anywhere and I continue to wonder what motivates these men.

*How can catfishers and identity thieves be so stupid? I can identify them with one eye closed…a professional photo of a very attractive man dressed to the 10s and an uncommonly spelled name, e.g., Micheal.

*How do you gracefully stop communicating with a guy after you ask him to post or send an additional picture and the one he sends confirms your suspicions that you could not stand to kiss him. I find that a lot of guys have one poor quality headshot (or half a headshot) and no full body pictures. Some ignore my request for more photos or make a silly excuse why they can’t send any. Others send a bad selfie or an obviously old photo, which gives me enough info to know there is no attraction.

The last time a guy sent me a selfie I waited a couple of days and said I had met someone and wanted to see where it would go but the real reason is that I had zero attraction to the guy. Is there a better explanation that is also kind?

*I hate Zoosk’s Carousel feature in which you scroll through photos of men. The problem? No profile or basic information is visible. All you get is a photo and the guy’s age. Inevitably most of the matches that result don’t work. A typical match might be a smoker who lives 300 miles away and is separated – hitting three of my deal-breakers. I know guys on Tinder and Bumble don’t always have profiles but some of them do and sometimes you’ll at least see a location, where a guy works, and where he went to school.

OurTime has a feature similar to Carousel but it allows you to see a man’s profile before deciding if you want to meet.

*What if you ended a first date by rating the person and sharing that assessment — like what you do at the end of a Lyft ride?

Here’s what the dating sites and apps could add to the phone interface:

On a scale of 1 to 5, how would you rate your date’s

*Attentiveness and engagement

*Profile accuracy

*Cleanliness/grooming/manners

*Chemistry with you

Would you go out with this person again?

You and your date answer the questions and you immediately see each other’s responses. No awkward wondering, does he/she like me?

*When a guy says he’s a simple man, is he saying he’s unsophisticated, foolish or mentally impaired or does he mean he’s able to find happiness in the smaller things in life. Hard to know. So many of the men I encounter appear to fit the first definition.

*I have noticed that guys who appreciate antiques, old cars, 70s music, etc. tend to not be so picky about dating a woman of a certain age. One could say they like the classics.

Do any of these resonate with you? What are your rants, observations, and questions?

Until next week, happy dating or not dating.

XXXOOO

Nadia

I Wish I’d Said or Written…

blog pix I wish I'd said

How many situations have you been in that called for a swift verbal kick to the other party’s butt but you were too stunned or tired to think of a retort?

Join me in some tasty and easy shrimp scampi while I stroll down a memory lane populated by bad first dates, bad dating profiles and profile photos, and bad dating email exchanges. Let’s feast upon the things I wish I’d said or written or even just flat out initiated based on the situation. Color me snarky.

When for the third time, an online match decided there was yet another deal breaker in our potential romance, I wish I’d written:

I’m looking for someone who looks for dealmakers…not breakers. Perhaps you should revise your profile to say no carpe diem.

When a first date put his phone on the table, face up, crossed his arms, and began a monologue about his boring job after reviewing his recent surgeries and other medical issues, I wish I’d said:

I can appreciate your enthusiasm for your job and the challenges posed by surgery, however, this conversation feels very one sided and I prefer to table discussions about health and medical issues until after a first meeting.

When a man wrote in the About me section of his profile, “Taller slender white female with athletic body” but left the About the one I’m looking for section blank, I wish I’d written:

If you’re a tall female, you really should change your photo to reflect that. Or perhaps you need to proofread your profile?

When I told a guy he was too far away to consider and he wrote:

August 10 10 24 pm I do travel

I wish I’d written: Say what? 

When I read a guy’s Tinder profile and it said:

sensitive parts August 10 10 15

I wish we had matched. I would have written:

I just had to say yes to such an intelligent and sensitive guy.

When I found another carefully written and edited profile:

August 4 8 21 God fearing lady

I wish I’d written: I can appreciate your religiosity, however, I’m looking for a typo fearing man rather than a God fearing lady.

When a man on Match wrote to me “Your tag name is interesting. Does it relate to the country,” I wish that, instead of ignoring him,

I’d written back to say: What country? My screen name is pretty self explanatory in terms of what it relates to. What did you like in my profile? 

When I browsed through a man’s profile photos and noticed all of them showed him with his arm around a woman, I wish I’d written:

If that’s your sister in three of your photos, you should say so.

When I read a guy’s profile and it stipulated he only wants to meet women 35 to 45, I wish I had written to him:

I see I’m too old for you based on your age preferences. However, I’m still 5 years younger than you.

When I found yet another profile of a soldier with a gun, I wish I’d written:

Is that an AK47 in your pix? Then, I’d insert a peace sign emoji.

When a man’s profile photo showed him shirtless in bathing trunks with scuba gear, one leg up in a pin-up pose (judge for yourself), I wish I’d referenced the glamour shot in my message. Oh wait, I did.

scuba glamour shot 2

scuba glamour shot response

Send me your recent retorts! Snarkiness loves company.

Until next week, happy dating or not dating.

XXXOOO

Nadia

 

 

 

A Single Gal’s Friday

blox pix woman vacuuming

It’s Friday about 1 p.m. and I’m cleaning the house in between giving myself both a manicure and a pedicure (the clear polish I’m using signals low anticipation of my date tonight). The mani-pedi specifics determine the level of interest I’m feeling for a pending first date.

Clear polish indicates the lowest level of excitement (unless I’m in a clear polish phase). A salon mani indicates a relatively high level of interest and a salon mani-pedi combo is the equivalent of …well, let’s just say my hormones are geared up. Men, don’t worry, this post isn’t all about manicures.

Sit down and have some of Jose Andrés’ gazpacho while we analyze Friday’s timeline.

Let’s back up from the mani-pedi/house cleaning frenzy to the day’s beginning:

6:00 a.m.: I make coffee and read the Times on my iPad. I’m distracted from the latest Administration fiasco by wondering whether Mr. D, the guy I’m supposed to meet that evening, will confirm our date or fade away. Our last communication was 3 days ago so I’m not sure of the status. As you may recall, I’ve been burned before.

9:20 a.m.: Showered and dressed, I’m packing up my stuff for the gym when my phone beeps that I have an email. Yes, it’s Mr. D, confirming our 5 p.m. date and saying he’s looking forward to meeting me. E-mail has been our primary form of communication. We haven’t spoken on the phone though we have exchanged cell numbers. I no longer require a pre-date phone call and, as it turns out, it wouldn’t have made a difference in the outcome.

9:45 a.m.: Working out – it’s cardio day and I’m taking a little break from swimming to give my arms a rest so I pound away on the low impact cardio machine while listening to tunes on RockMyRun.

10:45 a.m.: Run errands, none of them relevant to the dating life. No meet cutes to report but a yummy taste of fresh bread from the local bread store.

11:30 a.m.: Back home for a lunch of that gazpacho.

Let’s return to the cleaning/home nail salon activities. Here’s the deal with cleaning my house before a first date. Although I have never brought someone to my home at the end of a first date/meeting, lately I’ve been cleaning my house “just in case.” Just in case I meet someone who stirs up so much mutual chemistry that we must end our evening at my house. So I vacuum, clean the bathrooms, hide any evidence of my blog, and turn on my bedroom’s ambient lighting (eclectic electric lamps and candles). Somehow this exercise, even though I know it’s likely futile, makes me feel better – like there’s a possibility of romance and sex and who knows what else.

The reality is, since my divorce, first dates haven’t led to this outcome…but one never knows and I think I may be at a place (and at an age), where the pluses of such an encounter might just outweigh the potential minuses.

3:00 p.m.: I shower, reapply my makeup, and totally change my planned outfit for this evening – opting for black jeggings and a silky top (more casual than my original choice of a black skirt/blouse combo).

Mr. D suggested I choose our meeting place. I picked a laid back bar/restaurant. I try to mix up first date locations for the wait staff’s sake as well as my own. I base the choice of a casual or more formal venue on my sense of what might work best with a particular man (of course I have to like the place too).

4:45 p.m.: It’s raining like crazy as I drive to our date – slight butterflies, but mostly trying to maintain hope that this, my 100th give-or-take first date, will be a good one.

5:00 p.m.: I pull into the parking lot – right on time. Before I open the door, Mr. D calls me on my Google Voice number. Our first conversation – and it’s to tell me he’ll be 15 minutes late since he forgot his phone and had to return home to get it. Sigh. I tell him I’ll meet him inside. At least he doesn’t have a thick accent from his home state of New Jersey.

5:15 p.m.: It’s still pouring rain and I’m sitting in the last booth by the bar. I’m drinking a happy hour white wine, checking my phone for any updates from Mr. D, and looking at every single male who walks in the door. There’s a man who looks 80. That better may not be him! Phew, he keeps walking.

5:30 pm.: Okay, he’s now officially 30 minutes late and I’m trying to be calm. The waitress, sensing my frustration, tells me that rain and flooding are impacting traffic. I take another sip of pinot grigio, respond to a text from my brother, and note that there’s absolutely no one of interest sitting at the bar.

5:36 p.m.: I see a man enter the front door. He’s unattractive, definitely not 6′, walks rather stiffly, and appears to be wearing a “company” work shirt.  Oh, good, he’s leaving…wait, he’s taking out his cell phone to make a call. Yep, my phone is ringing. I tell Mr. D where I am (he apparently doesn’t text as I had sent him a text with my whereabouts) and he lumbers over to the booth.

Sigh. I would never have guessed that the man before me is the same one I’ve been communicating with on OurTime. Ladies, and gentlemen, I’m sure you have faced this situation before. You try to hide your utter disappointment at the disconnect between someone’s profile photos and the flesh and bone person in front of you. You have two choices: make the best of the situation or be a total bitch/dick, make an excuse and leave immediately. I try to make the best of it and stay for at least 30 minutes. I can talk to most anyone for 30-45 minutes. I draw on my journalism training and ask questions.

Mr. D is at least a nice man and makes an effort to get to know me. I stay for almost an hour (remember I waited 30+ minutes for him) but decline a second drink or any food. Side note: I’ve learned to not order food in these situations. Inevitably, the conversation stalls and you still have to eat/wait for the bill, etc. Mr. D plans on having another beer. He refuses my offer to pay for my wine and stands up to shake my hand (!) as I prepare to leave. Our height disparity is clear. “You’re tall!” he says. Yes, I think, as I remember that his profile promises a man who’s a full 2 inches taller than me.

6:45 p.m.: Home. Eating a sandwich made with bread from the bread store, and glad I don’t have to eat with Mr. D.

8:30 p.m. Looks like a Netflix night. It’s the premiere of The Incredible Jessica James and I’m loving the opening scene with actress Jessica Williams being brutally honest with a first Tinder date. Nothing like a funny movie to help soothe your disappointed heart.

9:30 p.m. My phone beeps with an email from Mr. D. (He definitely doesn’t text.) He writes that he enjoyed meeting me and hopes to see me again. I’ll email him tomorrow to say: I enjoyed meeting you too but, sorry, I don’t think we’re a match. At this moment, I’m more interested in what happens to Jessica.

Until next week, happy dating or not dating.

XXXOOO

Nadia

May Rant about Dating

blog post angry face for may 7

 

I keep giving guys a break. Perhaps the sparkling wit absent from their written correspondence will manifest in a real life interaction. Maybe they will look better in person than they do in their profile photos. I’m sure the 1-hour geographic distance will be inconsequential if we have chemistry.

Why do I force these issues? I don’t want to be so picky that I never find anyone. I do, however, refuse to compromise on what’s really important to me in a partner…so I only suffer illusions or delusions for a limited timeframe.

There are some guys that don’t deserve even a short break. Lately I’ve been feeling generally annoyed at bad or inappropriate profiles and photos. Swipe with me, click on profiles with me, and you’ll see what I mean. Fuel up first on some baked red snapper.

Examples from my dating files:

The word-less profile:

*A picture of an armed soldier sandwiched between two photos of a guitar-filled wall

*A “shadow” photo – literally a picture of someone’s shadow.

Sapiosexual ad nauseum:

May 7 blog sapiosexual

Mocking education and career:

*Graduated from University of Hard Knocks

*Works at: Director of Everything

Consider joining a religion-focused dating site: 

“I am a man with a fear of God….All I want in a woman is someone….who…has a fear of God too.”

God's Hands

 

Photo misses:

*Ten photos- nine of them are of a woman

*Bondage toys

Silly for silly’s sake:

 

May 7 blog silly 

 

 

 Fetish friendly

May 7 blog fetish

A man with a farm or wild animal 

*Cuddling with a tiger, rubbing noses with a llama (love animals just not these pictures)

LinkedIn not

*His profile reads like a resume or a biography by a historian and sometimes so does his first message:

May 7 blog linkedin 1

Profile example:May 7 blog linkedin 2

Extra credit for cleanliness and good housekeeping

May 7 blog cleanliness

So many more examples…Sigh. Okay, end of rant.

Until next week, happy dating or not dating.

XXXOOO

Nadia

Last 2016 Rant about Dating

blog-pix-angry-geese

I’m feeling the holiday blues this week. It’s manageable and I’ll shake it off soon enough…but in the meantime (oops, at first I wrote mantime), it might be therapeutic to do a little ranting.

It’s always good to eat comfort food when you’re ranting. Try this lighter version of macaroni and cheese.

Top Complaints of 2016:

Men who cancel a first date within hours of the designated day/time and only when prompted by an email or text.

The backstory: This happened recently. I hadn’t heard from Mr. D in 3 days so I texted him to confirm our date. Mr. D replied by email to say he needed to cancel because of his work schedule and maybe we could try again after the holidays. Feeling fed up, I decided not to respond and blocked his number. Of course, he was on OurTime at the moment our date was supposed to happen. For whatever reason, he changed his mind about wanting to meet me.

Today I was scrolling through profiles on another site and one of the guys had the same profile word for word as Mr. D. One or both of them is a liar.

Men who swipe Yes on a “swiping app” such as Tinder or Bumble but then delete me right after we match.  

The backstory: I’m pretty sure these are the guys who respond solely to a woman’s photo. My theory is that once we match, they take a closer look, see my age, and unmatch me.

Men who view me daily but never contact me. 

The backstory: What IS this backstory? You tell me. Are they just playing? It’s annoying because you think someone likes you. Really, it’s just teasing. 

Men who view me daily, finally contact me, send an email or two and THEN disappear. Sometimes they start viewing me again months later. 

The backstory: Teasing, just like the guys who never email. These men don’t really want to meet anyone. Perhaps they have been castrated. 

Men whose main photo shows them posing with a gun: 

The backstory: WTF! WTF! I guess they hope to attract female NRA members. 

Men whose main profile pix is with Mom…or the main profile pix is just Mom.    

The backstory: I’m not sure of the message when it’s coming from a 60 year old man. Is he trying to show he has strong family bonds, that he has good genes, that he’s a Mama’s boy? 

Men whose main profile photo is with their children….or the photo is just the kids. 

The backstory: First of all, it’s a bad idea to put photos of your children on a dating site. These men may want to show that you get a “package deal” but you can put that info in a profile. 

Men who excel in the digital tease 

The backstory:

As Jessica Bennett reports in the New York Times, if you date in the digital age you may have encountered a breadcrumber: “They communicate via sporadic noncommittal, but repeated messages — or breadcrumbs — that are just enough to keep you wondering but not enough to seal the deal (whatever that deal may be).”

I went out with a guy like this. One date followed by sporadic emails every 3 weeks, including one to wish me “Happy Thanksgiving, dear.” He’ll probably contact me on Christmas day. I think my reply will be to send him a link to the Times article.

Men with poor hygiene (oral and full body). 

The backstory:

I’ve been ranting about this all year. Nothing new to add but I wanted to note it for the record.

Not knowing whether your gut is right.  

The backstory:

Remember Elizabeth in Pride and Prejudice? At first her gut told her to reject Mr. Darcy…. but then she gets new information about him and realizes her gut was wrong and that she loves him.

Sometimes, like Elizabeth, my gut is wrong. However, I believe the old saying that the body doesn’t lie. If you feel something is wrong, it usually is.

Until next week, happy ranting, dating or not dating.

XXXOOO

Nadia