I'M NOT PICKY, I JUST HAVE STANDARDS.
I have a fair share of dating disaster/failed relationship stories — partly why I started this blog in the first place! Various groups of my friends seem to think I'm quite picky and high maintenance. However, I'm inclined to disagree... here's why.
In terms of qualities and characteristics, I don’t ask for much. Just someone who is capable of being honest, can hold a good conversation, has a sense of humour, respectful and has direction in life. For some reason though in today’s society, even those five things can be a challenge to find in one person. For those who are unfamiliar or new to the online dating scene, I want to give a bit of detail on how I filter out the weirdos from the “normal” ones. But before I get into that, I want to give some context on why I decided to flock over to dating apps... Of course (like the majority of people) I would prefer to meet someone in real life. It enables you to cut through the bullshit, see if you have chemistry right away and figure out if you’re attracted to the person. However, as I get older, I find that there isn’t much opportunity to meet someone in the traditional way (i.e. social events, a night out), reasons being:
My circle of friends are mostly married with kids now so getting dolled up and going to clubs/bars/lounges are a thing of the past. Besides I literally can't handle staying up until late! I'm yawning by 10pm! 🥱
In addition to this, the type of guys approaching me at these places were usually pretty sleazy. It's the same horrendous kind that have the audacity to toot their horn at you, ask for your number when they’re parked up in their cars or stopped at traffic lights.
Social gatherings – these happen once in a while but it’s likely that I’d be familiar with everyone there already.
Meeting people at work… okay while I'm not a big fan of mixing business with pleasure but I don't rule it out. I met one of my exes through work to be fair, it didn’t last (clearly) but truthfully, looking for a guy is the last thing on my mind when I'm in the office.
Meeting people through friends – yeah this still happens but I find it kind of cringe when my friends try to play matchmaker.
So anyway, a couple years back, with a lot of convincing from my old work colleagues, I finally gave into the peer pressure and created a few accounts across 4 dating apps.
Tinder – which didn't last very long
Plenty of Fish – so horrific!
OKCupid – great for blog fodder.
Bumble – meh, guys look good but not much substance.
Since it was unfamiliar territory, I asked my colleagues (a bunch of young lads) how it all worked. Apparently the best way to find “hot chicks” was to continuously swipe right on everyone, then filter down afterwards. I guess you need to approach it differently when you're not after hot chicks right?
I don't have many females friends who use dating apps (I can see why!) so I had to figure out my own filtering style. Starting with photos, I’ve listed out the things that make me instantly swipe left:
USING ONE PHOTO (EVEN IF IT’S A GOOD ONE) I can’t trust that. I need more.
MYSTERIOUS PHOTOS ie. wearing sunglasses in every photo. Blurry photos.
HALF NAKED/GYM POSERS/AB SHOTS No thanks.
THROWING UP GANG SIGNS No thanks.
PHOTOS OF PRIZED POSESSIONS Cars, properties, gadgets… *yawn*
"WTF" PHOTOS ie. guys dressed up in gimp outfits and shit like that
SOMEONE I RECOGNISE FROM SCHOOL/WORK Omg.
And that’s the first stage of filtering out of the way. The second stage focuses on the substance. Hre are the things I find rather off-putting or consider deal breakers:
CHEESY QUOTES/STATEMENTS ie. “Live laugh love.” or “I’m looking for my partner in crime.”
NO BIO/MINIMAL EFFORT “Ask and find out.” – Laziness. Lack of effort. I despise it.
THIS KINDA STUFF… “Hookups”, “I’m only here for the weekend”, “Want to have fun”, “I’m very kinky and need a submissive woman”
WEIRD NAMES ie. Rubber Alien, FootSlave
“HAVE KIDS” Sorry, dealbreaker for me.
“ENTREPRENEUR” OR “SELF EMPLOYED” Look I fully respect anyone that genuinely has their own business and built it from the ground up. The “dreamers” however… this is just a cover up for bumming around.
SUBSTANCE ABUSE I’m not judging, do your thing but it’s a deal breaker for me.
So there's my two stages of filtering. It’s much easier to be cut throat when you know what you want and don’t want. The only thing left after second stage is to figure out whether these “normal” people are genuine or putting on a facade! At this point (hopefully!) a conversation would have started and that’s when the third stage of filtering kicks in… it’s a bit tricky as you don't want to be too judgemental. Getting the balance between playing detective (aka. interrogating them) and enjoying the chat is important! You don’t want to kill the vibe with a nice person who's making an effort to impress! I tend not to stalk people on Facebook/Instagram/LinkedIn (unless my intuition tells me I need to)... but also know a lot of people do this in general! Personally my advice is to just enjoy getting to know each other, go out on dates, have fun, don’t set any expectations but also:
Don’t ever neglect that intuition!
Be aware of red flags!
Don’t lower your standards out of desperation/fear of loneliness!