Online or offline, there are many games people play with the opposite sex. It is so tiresome—so high school—so inane! There’s a reason we don’t allow our children to date—they don’t possess the maturity necessary to have a balanced relationship. So what’s our excuse then? We’re grown-ass adults, so why do we act like my neighbor’s whiney seven year-old? Let’s take a look at what I consider the five most cowardly behaviors of cyber- dating.
1.) Lashing out when an expression of interest is declined or not responded to
- He sends you a “wink”
- You skim his profile
- You don’t take action
- He sends you a message to the effect of, “U hav a grt smile.”
- You read it and don’t reply because you shouldn’t have been looking at messages while at work, and will deal with it later (or not—because he really hasn’t made a sincere effort)
- He waits 5 to 43 minutes before sending a second message to the effect of, “U bitches r all the same. No wonder ur single. Bitch!”
- He sends you a message, “OMG! You are soooo beautiful! I’m sure you get a lot of messages, but I read your profile and really think we’d have a great connection. Would love to hear from you.”
- You read it
- You look at his profile and recognize some glaring non-negotiables about him
- You reply with, “Thanks so much for your message and kind words. After reading your profile, I just don’t think we’d be a match. Thank you again for taking the time to reach out to me. Good luck in your search!”
- He replies with, “You f*ing catfish are all the same. I hope you f*ing get what you deserve you ugly whore!”
Is it just me, or did either of those scenarios warrant a cyber-tongue-lashing like that?
“C’mon Veronica! Gimme a break! People don’t actually react like that. You’re just making this up for entertainment value.”
Umm. No, actually… you are wrong. That does happen—and far too regularly, I might add.
- Men: Get it together! Women tend to get handfuls of messages a day; please stop acting like wounded 7-year-olds when someone doesn’t jump at your advances. (Insert image of little boy stomping his feet until his face turns purple as his revolt to get the Transformer toy he wants.)Thankfully, those kinds of reactions have probably saved many women from finding themselves chopped up, and tossed in a dumpster at the back of Paco’s Burrito Bar.
- Women: I know you receive a barrage of messages from men each day, but please make a concerted effort to reply to them—especially if they’ve made an effort to write something substantial to you. (As opposed to the ever-so-popular, “Yer hot! DTF?”) I had a few standard replies saved in a notepad, which I copied and pasted to save myself time; but I always strived to remain courteous to everyone who made an effort. 98% of the time, they would reply to with sincere gratitude for taking the time to reply to them.
2.) Disappearing mid-conversation
The conversation has been flowing for a couple days/hours and his/her last message to you is, “Hey, I’ve gotta run, but let’s pick up again tomorrow night, okay?” Excitedly, you agree because you two are really cyber-clicking. The next evening comes and goes and he/she doesn’t reply to your message of, “Good morning! I missed you last night. Hope everything’s okay. Ping me when you get a chance.”
Insert the sound of crickets.
He/she either never replies or their profile disappears.
3.) Disappearing after agreeing to a date to meet
It’s been almost a week of great conversations, and you mutually decide to meet at XYZ location in a couple days. You agree to confirm a time the day before. When you don’t hear from him/her, you go to send him/her a message but his/her profile is gone.
My advice for #2 & #3:
- Have the courtesy to send that person a message and let them know that you’ve either: a) had a change of heart; or b) you’ve met someone you’d like to get to know better. We all know that the name of the game is to talk to more than one person at once, so just do the right thing instead of tucking tail. It’s not like they know where you live or work and will be lying in wait with boiled bunnies for your doorstep.
4.) Lashing out when asked to see a photo
On one occasion, a faceless individual contacted me on the messenger app of my preferred dating site, and I told him outright that I was not entertaining any more prospects at that time (not because he didn’t have a photo, but because I was already actively communicating with three potential suitors). He was very understanding, but we chatted as cyber-friends. He became a very good friend and we’d talk all the time—no weirdness at all. We decided to meet for coffee one day after work—no romance intended—just buddies. Well, I gotta tell you, his appearance was very off-putting to me—so much so, that I really couldn’t understand how he got so much “play” with so many women. I won’t go into details, but it wasn’t as simple as him not being attractive, he was just someone who I would never, ever be attracted to—no matter how much I loved his heart.
We are wired this way—especially men. Men are very visual. If looks weren’t important, why would the majority of God’s male creatures be more attractive than the females? Male peacocks and ducks can’t slap on some cologne, tight jeans, and a shiny shirt, so if they don’t appeal visually to the female, the species would die out due to lack of “play.”
- Men and women: Don’t pull a bloody jack-in-the-box with your photo and then get offended if you’re not received well. Find a way to take an appealing-yet-not-slutty/cheesy photo of yourself to share with them privately (and please tidy up your bathroom if that’s where the selfie is going to take place). If you hate your double chin, but know that your eyes and smile will enrapture your love interest, then find a way to photograph yourself in a flattering way. Don’ t just show up at the date and cause the dude an unnecessary freak-out because you are the spitting image of his fourth-grade teacher who smelled like citronella mixed with hops, and he just can’t stomach the thought of seeing you in a Victoria’s Secret bejewelled bustier, never mind banging you with the lights on.
- Men and women: If the connection is strong, but the face might not be exactly what you hoped it would be, keep in mind that, when you fall in love with the heart, the love of the physical may follow. If, after a semi-brief period, you just don’t feel the vibrations—then move on. But don’t rule them out because they aren’t the redhead that you’d hope they’d be.
5.) Breaking up via text
Raise your hand if you’re guilty of this. I am semi-guilty of this offence. Yes—I am a coward. I broke it off to a man I was involved with via lengthy email. I really needed to ensure that I expressed my feelings to him eloquently (and we hadn’t really spoken in almost a week). Maybe it was wrong, but his reply was equally heartfelt and appreciated, so I felt that I approached it properly.
I’m sure the vast majority of us are guilty of this offense, but, just because you met online, doesn’t mean you should break up cyberly. If you are blind-siding someone who you know thinks your relationship is going well (and you two have mutually enjoyed your time together), why wouldn’t you have the courtesy to at least pick up the phone?
Furthermore… do not do it while they are at work or at their niece’s dance recital! Whether it’s a cowardly text or email (or brave phone call), wait until they are home so the state of shock can run its course on their own time—not at the expense of their employer or extended family.
I’ve always said, “A company that can successfully marry high-tech with high-touch, will surely be a success.” Well, that also applies in the relationship department. In this cyber-world of love, let’s all do our best to find a happy medium of high-tech and high-touch. Even though we have been sucked into this crazy high-tech world, we are still human… let’s go back to treating each other that way.