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Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Online Dating - Things That Make You Go Hmm

**EDITOR’S NOTE - This is a revision of a previous draft of this article, which I have updated after it was brought to my attention that there was some confusion regarding my position on this issue. -AS

Here is a woman’s profile I happened to stumble across. Read this one closely - there’s a LOT going on here.

The art of online dating involves honing conversational and social skills within a very grey area, but there are ways to make the person you are dating, believe the words from your mouth are sweet like honey. "Talk to a man about himself and he will listen for hours." And he was right.

The secret to having a man's undivided attention is to ask him open-ended questions about his interests, and then seem completely fascinated by what he tells you. Ask him questions about what he tells you; do not merely sit there with nothing to contribute. A good conversationalist would also ask you questions about yourself as well, as he'll want to get to know you better. And even though you may feel so comfortable with someone you met online, certain topics remain taboo. These include your ex-boyfriends, health problems and daily grind. Try to keep the conversation flowing, stroking his ego and maintaining your air of mysticism. He'll be hanging at your every word.
Yes, this is an ACTUAL profile (copied, in its entirety, word for word).

Although she does hit on some of the basics for keeping a conversation going with someone you just met (asking open-ended questions, following up on topics he/she brings up, asking questions about your date, and avoiding topics such as exes, health problems and so on), she does so in a grossly misguided way. Some of these skills (channeled properly) are covered in our article on The First Meeting.

Needless to say, the author of this profile is an example of someone you want to stay far, far away from. It amazes me that someone would put their name (and picture!) alongside this profile in their search for a date, but at least it reminds the rest of us that there are some weirdos out there (both male and female), and we need to be alert so that we can avoid wasting our time, money and emotional energy with someone that is not right for us.

Alexander Stone and Stephen David
Copyright 2007 - Approach Dynamics / Online Dating Edge


But that's just me... said...

I don't think this is a great example of "female perspective" - you think all women think like this? Sure some tips are helpful ie "ask open-ended questions" but you could find such tips in an article that doesn't promote the notion that you should ACT interested by asking questions and ACT fascinated. If you ARE genuinely interested you will want to know about the person and the questions will come naturally. I would be cautious of any dating advice that instructs you to "seem" fascinated or "seem" ANYTHING. If you are making yourself SEEM a certain way you are being FAKE and well let's face it, fake people kind of suck.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you. Fake people suck. One of my great pleasures in life is watching a woman's reaction to my answer when I am asked what I do for a living (‘Kidney model' and ‘I fill Twinkies' are my latest responses). This profile is absolutely NOT representative of an emotionally healthy woman's perspective on dating, and I have revised the article to more accurately reflect my position on this issue. My apologies for the confusion. My point is that asking open-ended questions, following up on topics he/she brings up, asking questions about your date, and avoiding topics such as exes, health problems and so on are good ways to keep a conversation going with someone you just met. A mentor of mine put it best. "Keep it light, keep it funny, no heavy subjects, no putdowns and no negatives." Hey, some people still need to hear the basics every once in a while. But you don't do these things for the purpose of manipulating someone into 'hanging on your every word' - you do them because you are genuinely interested in getting to know them better. It's a shame that this woman has such low self-esteem that she feels (and openly admits, in writing no less!) she has to use these conversation skills to ‘seem' interested and to "stroke his ego and [maintain her] air of mysticism."