I should probably have subtitled this blog What are you trying to accomplish? because that’s going to be the perpetual theme. Here we have what I categorize as primarily a virtue signaling profile. Some people feel like it’s more important to appear politically or culturally “good” than it is to be attractive or appealing (both physically or in terms of personality). The problem is that virtue signalling actually makes you less appealing, even subconsciously to people who would otherwise agree with you. Now, if we were talking about actual virtues (honesty, integrity, rationality, etc.), this wouldn’t be a bad thing. But with virtue signalers, it always seems to come down to two things – politics and feminism. Guess how appealing those topics are to most people? Let’s jump into it:
- Pronouns – Already we can see where this profile is headed. Never list your “preferred pronouns” (people in the real world instinctively view this as a sign of mental illness) and if you see someone who does, don’t bother with them. 99.98% of the population do not have gender dysphoria so when you start out with pronouns, it has nothing to do with that and everything to do with signaling, “I’m not one of those evil white supremacist Nazis!” Do you know who thinks in those terms? No one you would ever want to date.
- Astrology – Okay, this my be tough for some women to hear, but astrology is almost entirely a “woman thing”. And since it’s all nonsense (magic doesn’t exists, people), all this really does is tell men, “This is a dumb one.” It’s not a man-repellent per se, but it does set you up to be viewed by men as gullible or dim. And as such, you’ll be attracted all sorts of guys who will want to lie to you to get what they want (hint: it’s sex).
- Xanex – I honestly don’t know what you can draw from this other than that she may be dealing with anxiety issues. Or it could just be a joke. But if you’re going to joke, you have to be funny. Bad jokes in profiles are worse than no jokes at all. Don’t attempt it unless you know you’re good at it.
- Transphobic – Again we have a total virtue signal. The chances that she’s actually asking for help moving from complete strangers on a dating app are about zero. This is in here to let you know that not only is she pro-trans people, she also loves labeling things “transphobic”. This is known as “call out culture”, where people within the social justice bubble are more esteemed the more they “call out” supposed racism, sexism, and all kinds of “phobias”. Chances are, her roommate is guilty of the sin of thinking that men are men and women are women. But that’s all that’s needed to warrant an entire line in her dating profile.
- Black hearts – And finally we come to the pure, distilled virtue signal. One thing after another that all basically say “I’m the most good, caring, smart person in the world.” Make no mistake, there is no real “we” in that last line. This is all about her and it has essentially nothing to do with dating or trying to find a suitable partner.
The more you virtue signal, the less appealing you become. It’s just that simple. People that feel the need to do this are broadcasting that they are desperate for other people to validate them (either positively or negatively, it doesn’t matter so long as they aren’t ignored). They often have no idea what actual virtue is, mistaking it for passionate cause-support (which is common among young people, but not for good, rational reasons). So if you notice any of this grandstanding in your own profile, dial it back and remember the point of dating profiles – to attract good people.
Keeping in the theme of “what are you trying to accomplish?”, we have our first example of the hostile approach to online dating. There are a few things at play here. First, this person is automatically dealing with a strong self of entitlement (perhaps even narcissism). There’s a sense that the world owes her exactly what she wants and every time she is presented with someone that doesn’t fit that, it’s a huge hassle for her. “She’s super intelligent and doesn’t have time for any nonsense, you guys!”
Second, the point of online dating is to attract people with your profile. Many people (because of the above-mentioned entitlement) believe that it’s more important to filter people out than attract them. The problem with that approach is that you don’t just filter out the people you wouldn’t like; you also filter out anyone who would like to form a connection with a positive, welcoming human being (so, pretty much everyone except low-self-esteem masochists). So this is her chance to make a good first impression, and this woman chooses to sneer at nearly everyone. Let’s go through it:
- The first sentence isn’t even an intelligible sentence so let’s move on…
- Lists a few things right up front that tend to be red flags to most people, and then has the temerity to assume you don’t know what they mean and to go look it up (already we are hit with unearned condescension).
- “If you can’t comprehend that [then swipe left]” – the condescension builds. One thing you’ll notice about people in general: the less intelligent they are, the more intelligent they think they are (Dunning-Kruger effect).
- “No Trump supporters” – I’m going to get into this more in detail later, but suffice it to say, there are tons of people (especially women) on dating apps with this in their profile. In fact, the apps are flooded with them. Ever wonder why they aren’t getting picked by anyone?
- “Intelligent pothead preferred” – leaving aside what most might consider a contradiction there, we are still harping on “intelligence”. One begins to get the sense that this woman may have settled on “I’m smarter than most” as a coping mechanism to deal with the fact that no one wants to be around her or that people are constantly telling her facts that she doesn’t want to hear.
- And then finally, she hyperbolically berates literally everyone that reads her profile about their hygiene, acting like everyone’s nagging mom.
I wish that this profile was an outlier and that this level of entitled hostility was rare. Unfortunately, it’s not. And the ironic thing is that it’s most common with the women who are the least physically desirable to begin with (I didn’t include her picture because I’m already coming down pretty hard on her but trust me when I say…no). This is a sign of our current culture, where people are told that being fat is beautiful and being unpleasant means you’re a “queen”. Needless to say, if you’re a man, stay far away from any woman who even has a whiff of entitled hostility in her profile. At best, she’s just full of resentment and baggage from past relationships or a horrible childhood. At worst, she’s mentally ill. And if you’re a woman that thinks she might have let some bitterness seep into her profile, please go back and remove it. And then realize that finding good, authentic people to connect with is hard, and getting harder. The world doesn’t owe you a life partner (or even a “friends with benefits”) and the more bitter and resentful you are, the more likely you will just be alone until and unless you sort that out.
The first step when it comes to any endeavor is to ask, “What is my goal here?” It’s important in all areas of your life and just as important when creating an online dating profile. Most people blunder and fumble around emotionally, vaguely reminded that they are trying to attract a partner. But almost immediately, they lose sight of the goal and begin treating it like all kinds of other things – a place to vent their frustrations about past relationships, a place to virtue signal about their politics or social justice proclivities, or a place to aggressively berate the other people on the platform (or the platform itself).
Aside from avoiding those kinds of pitfalls, there’s the flip side of that coin – what if you’re not doing nearly enough to achieve your goal? As I mentioned in my intro blog post, I’m going to assume that the average person is trying to attract their ideal life partner, i.e. someone to marry and have children with. We will get to the former disasters later but to get us started, I’ll focus on the latter issue of not doing enough.
The above picture shows a woman who is quite pretty in the face (which, no doubt, she is banking on to do most of the work for her), but bland to the point of nearly-invisible in the text. Let’s go through it point by point:
World traveler – This explains nothing. Where in the world? Why those places? What do you get out of traveling? Is this your reality or an aspiration you’d like to achieve with a partner?
Lover of life – Commendable but vague. Which aspects of life? Why is your life lovable?
Lover of wine – Loving a particular kind of alcohol is not a personality trait. Unless you own a brewery or vineyard, you can take it as a given that everyone enjoys drinking on occasion. And if you are extremely into wine, talk more about it. This is akin to saying, “Lover of food”. Yeah, we all love food. We also love oxygen.
Lover of laughing – People laugh as a natural reflex from the moment they are born. It releases endorphins that make us feel good. The only way you aren’t a “lover of laughing” is if you are severely mentally ill.
Lover of dogs – I guess that’s slightly better because “dog lovers” are a more specific subset of people. Still pretty vague, however. Do you own a dog? Are you hoping a guy comes along with his own dog?
Lover of working out – Probably the best thing she “loves”, because at least it describes a lifestyle. You’ll notice that no where in here does she describe what she’s looking for, however. So while she may love working out, would she strongly desire a man to work out with her? Does she even care if the man is fit? We can assume probably, but we have no concrete way of knowing.
In DC for the week…let’s go out and have fun! – What does “fun” mean?! Does she want to hook up? Does she want to drink a ton of wine? Does she want to walk through a dog park? We have no way of knowing. There is no denying she is quite pretty (take my word for it), but if I had to guess, she’s been relying on her looks in place of a personality for most of her life. When she has the chance to describe herself and what she’s looking for, the words and sentences she uses may as well not exist. They are useless to the point of annoyance. She may as well have just said “I’m hot, you don’t really care what I talk about because look at me.” And that will absolutely work for her for a little while longer, especially if all she’s interested in is “fun”. But this is far from a profile that’s going to attract to the attention of a worthwhile man.
Before I dive into this new blog directly, I want to explain the purpose, the methods, and add some disclaimers (because I’m guaranteed to get tons of social media push-back on nearly every blog post, just you watch).
The aim of the Rational Dating Blog is to improve the chances that my readers find love – that is, long term romantic partnership. This will include, but not be limited to, examples of online profiles that do things really well and lots of profiles that do things extremely wrong (trust me, it’s a hellscape of awful profiles out there). I’ll also discuss certain trends that I notice, things to keep in mind when you start talking to people for the first time, great ways to break the ice, and even answering any questions I get from people (feel free to write in).
Now, the sticking point is that I’m going to offend people. Lots of people. On one level, that’s a good thing. People need to be challenged on wrong or ineffective ideas, as it’s the only way people can break free of their counter-productive patterns. I know that this won’t matter to the people who get defensive, but the goal is never to hurt anyone’s feelings; it’s always going to be “collateral damage”, but it’s never the point.
Another thing to consider is that I deal in generalities. All the time. And we all do, even if some of us refuse to admit it. It saddens me that I need to spell this out, but in today’s narcissistic, “You don’t know me!” culture, it must be said – in these generalized formats (blog, podcast, casual conversation) I usually have to speak to the average person, not the outliers. Of course, we all have idiosyncrasies that make us unique, but there’s a reason it’s called “the average”. Most people follow most common patterns in their lives. Yes, there are some submissive polyamorous men out there and some dominatrix asexual women, but they are few and far between. I’m sure I’ll address those outliers in time, but for the most part, I’m talking to John and Jane Average.
And who are John and Jane? Well, John wants to find a kind, sweet, nurturing, reasonably attractive woman to be the eventual mother of his children and committed partner through thick and thin. He wants someone he can count on to maintain a stable foundation from which to create a comforting home and loving family life. Jane, on the other hand, wants a rational, protective provider (does not preclude her having her own career), who acts as a stabilizing force to any emotional turmoil. She wants to know that her man is almost always right in his decision making, and has the will and ambition to turn his desires into reality for the two of them, as well as their eventual children.
These are just the broad strokes and the blog will get into great detail about John and Jane over time. But establishing this baseline is important to understanding the motivation that underlies the Rational Dating Blog. You may have your profile set up to maximize the pursuit of as much casual sex as you can handle. That’s fine, more power to you. I would argue that it’s still helpful to read this blog because that will get tiresome after a while, but it’s okay if lots of what I say here directly contradicts your approach. It’s meant to – snagging a good wife is a completely different mission than getting laid by a different woman every week.
Lastly, if you are an outlier (I certainly am), and you want personalized advice on how to achieve your romantic goals, please don’t hesitate to reach out and schedule a session. While some approaches to online dating are ineffective regardless of your goals, there are tons of people out there that simply want something different than the norm, and that’s great. I can definitely help you get what you want. And even if you are John or Jane Average, but you just want me to help lead you through making the perfect profile for you, I’m happy to help there as well. As much as I’m going to try to make this blog as universally informative as possible, nothing beats individualized attention and a profile tailor-made to maximize all of your strengths and fill in the gaps where, inevitably, you will be different than the average.
I hope you laugh at, ponder, get defensive at, grapple with your defensiveness from, learn from, and ultimately enjoy your time reading this blog. One way or another, it’s going to be a fun ride.