I am the idiot in question. I am also an online dating veteran. With these two credentials, I offer the following guidelines in the hope of increasing the success of online daters, thereby increasing love and understanding between and among the sexes. (I have no experience with same-sex dating, Not That There's Anything Wrong With That. However, I suspect that many of the guidelines below would apply no matter whom one is looking to date online):
1. If you do not post a photo with your profile, men will assume you are ugly. Or fat. Or both. If you are that shy, you have no business engaging in online dating, where pride is the first casualty.
2. If your only photos are with sunglasses on, men will assume you have one eye. Or three. Some number other than two.
3. If you post a photo with you and a really hot girlfriend who is hotter than you, men will contact you with the message "who's your friend?"
4. If your profile photo is the one photo of you, taken in a certain kind of light, that looks really great, but looks nothing like you, men will be utterly disappointed when they meet you. Trust me, your sparkling personality will not win them over.
5. If your profile photos were taken more than five years and thirty pounds ago, see #4.
6. When it comes to body type, men will assume that you are following the "rule of 1," meaning that you will list a body type one category better than your true body type. For example, "Slender" means athletic, "Athletic" means average, "Average" means a bit overweight, "Curvy" means quite a bit overweight, and "A few pounds overweight," well, let's not touch that one.
7. If you are over 35 years old, men will assume that you are following the "rule of 2," meaning that your stated age is two years younger than your real age. They will be correct in their assumption. They will counterbalance this rule by searching for women up to an age that is two years less than the true maximum age they want to search for.
8. If your profile text includes repeated declension of pronouns, nouns and verbs ("I seeking most wonderful love man for giving me best life"), rather than assuming that you are test-marketing titles for the Borat sequel, prospective daters will assume that you are a Russian mail-order bride. They will be correct in their assumption.
9. If your profile contains a laundry list of things you do not like, prospective daters will assume that you are a picky and negative person. They will be correct in that assumption.
10. If you get to a first date with someone and spend the date stating all the things you do not like, and why, see #9.
11. If you post pictures of yourself in lingerie and stilletto heels, hanging onto a stripper pole, and your profile states that you want to be taken seriously for your mind, men will assume that you are sending a mixed message. They will be correct in that assumption. However, this will not be a problem, because no man will have read your profile text. You will get lots of hits.
12. If your profile lists every country you have ever been to, and the list reads like the U.N. roster, men will be intimidated and will think that you have trouble sitting still.
13. If you write in your profile that you "can go from jeans and hiking boots to a little black dress and strappy sandals in 15 minutes," men will assume that you do not take showers.
1. See #1 above.
2. See #2 above.
3. See #3 above.
4. See #4 above.
5. See #5 above, substituting "thirty thousand hairs" for "thirty pounds."
6. If you post photos with your hand on a status symbol, such as a Bentley Continental GT, a Ducati 1098 or Scarlett Johanssen, women will assume you are a cheeseball. They will be correct in their assumption.
7. If you are 54 years old and are searching for women ages 18-25, women will assume you are a cheeseball. They will be correct in their assumption.
8. When it comes to body type, women will assume that you follow the "rule of 1" explained in # 6 above. For men, "Slender" means athletic, "Athletic" means average, "Average" means flabby, and "A few pounds overweight" means huge pot belly ready to have a heart attack at any moment while shouting "da Bears!" 9. If you are under 6 feet tall, women will assume that you follow the "rule of 2," meaning that your stated height is two inches taller than your true height. They will be correct in their assumption. They will counterbalance this rule by searching for men at a listed minimum height that is two inches taller than the real minimum height they want to search for.