Online dating. The assumption that anyone who goes through the trouble of signing up, creating a profile, uploading pictures, and in some cases, paying a fee, said person is interested in making connections. With another person. As in, a fellow human being. And since none of us mere homo sapiens would ever be admitted to Professor X’s School for the Gifted for having telepathic powers, we need to communicate.
After swiping left on matches that turned me off because of bad photos and even worse profiles, a lucky few get me to swipe right either because there’s a small glimmer of hope that we can hit it off, or I swipe right in the same non-thinking, sleep-deprived haze as when I click “add to cart” after a sponsored ad convinces me I need that thing that otherwise never crossed my mind. Later, I’m forced to unmatch because fresh eyes reveal that I would not want to be seen in public with this man, nor would I want to look up into that face while in the throes of passion. Yeah, that sounds shallow, but let’s not pretend that physical attraction doesn’t matter. I developed a rule: if I have to talk myself into finding the good, it’s a no.
Once the potentials make it through the hoops of a decent profile and decent pictures, we move on to the communication phase. That’s when the hope of finding the love of my life once again begins to diminish. More often than not, this phase feels like pulling teeth or watching paint dry. Here now, I present to you an incomplete list of pet peeves I encounter during the communication phase of app dating.
- Just writing “Hi” or “Hey”
- Emoji(s) only/overusing emojis/incorrect use of emojis. Why is there a random muscle flex?
- Liking my photo, but not commenting. A verbal compliment would be nice.
- Answering my questions, but not volunteering any further information or elaborating. If the answer is “no, you’re not a native New Yorker” must I really ask where you’re from? Can’t you just tell me?
- Yes or no answers.
- Cherry picking which questions to answer
- Not asking me questions about myself
- Asking broad, open-ended questions like “how are you?”
- Asking me: “what do you want to know?”
- Stating: tell me about yourself
- Asking me questions that are answered in my profile
- Not asking my (real) name
- Assigning me a random nickname
- Addressing me as Queen, Black Queen, Sis, Sister, Hun, Honey, Luv, or Love. Sir, we just met. Actually, not even.
- Spelling my name incorrectly
- Refusing to share real name. Your mama didn’t name you “J” or “Jazz.” What.Is.Your.Name?
- Becoming Pen Pals, whether we continue to message on the app, or only text post-app
- Never moving the communication offline
- Long response times (nearly a week, not just a few days)
- Becoming impatient when I don’t answer right away
- Not answering at all if I reach out first
- Ghosting after brief, or worse, longer communication. Just say you lost interest and want to move on.
- Popping back up after a long silence
- Writing in all caps
- Writing in all lowercase letters
- No punctuation
- Incorrect use of your and you’re; they’re, there and their; to, too, two; our and are
- Writing “i” when it should be “I”
- Bad grammar
- Typos all over the place
- General lack of interest
Those are some of the issues while still communicating on the app. Leaving the app doesn’t mean moving into real world, in-person interactions. Oh no, silly rabbit, there’s the dance of number exchanging and the bullshit that comes with that.
- He asks for my number but never calls
- After exchanging numbers for an initial phone call, he sends a text instead
- Asking for more pics. No. Just no.
- Asking the same questions we already covered during the emailing phase and/or my profile
- Awkward silences
- Never letting me get a word in edgewise
- Hits me with the “I’ll call you back” or “I’ll call you later” but it never happens
- Distracted during the phone call (video games, TV, cooking)
- Calling from the bathroom
- First phone call is at an inappropriate time of night
- Text comes through early in the morning (5 or 6 AM)
- Too much time spent talking about an ex
- Unsolicited dick pics. Yes, really. It’s happened. More than once.
- Use of profanity. I’m not a prude, but chill with the F-bombs, dude.
- Overtly sexual comments. How’d we get here? There was no segue for that. I don’t know you.
- Asking to come over before having a first date
- Inviting himself over as a first date
- Never making solid plans to meet in real life
- Ghosting. Yes, I listed it already, but it bears repeating
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