I’m a burger. Eat me.

Ahhhh… Internet dating. Once the last resort for losers, now an accepted, common way for normal people to meet other normal people. It’s been over a dozen years since I’ve last had a dating profile, but running dating sites since then, I’ve kept in the loop.

It’s changed since then, but not much. The biggest complaint is still from men, complaining that their profiles and messages get ignored. Getting to know some of these guys through my forum, sometimes, I scratch my head and think, “WHY has no one scooped up this dude?!” But for the most part, they’re just not projecting their personality in their profile or message.

Too many guys try to be safe with their profiles, and try to appeal to as many women as possible. As a result, they appeal to no one. Sure, they call them “profiles” now, but it’s still a personal ad. Ad. Short for advertisement. You have to make your ad stand out. Wendy’s doesn’t put out a commercial saying, “I’m a burger. Eat me.” They tell you why you want to eat that burger. They most famously told you how they have more meat than the competition, in the “Where’s the beef?” ads. They know the appeal of bacon, bacon and more bacon. They understand that their customers want flavor.

Women want flavor, too. Granted, we don’t really want to know – at least not right away – that you’re packing more meat than the next guy, but we want to know what sets you apart from the rest of the dudes. We want to know what makes you tick. We want to get a feel of what it’s like to talk to you, to go on a date with you.

Lots of times, not always, but lots of times, women get bombarded with messages when they post an ad. It wasn’t unusual for me to get a hundred messages in the first few days of posting an ad.

Even if I’d wanted to, I couldn’t write back to everyone. I tried, at first. I really did. That was back in the days of free sites, and the site I used didn’t require someone to even register to send a message, so things might be different now. Now, with registration and often a credit card required, there’s less anonymity, so there’s probably less freaks and perverts than there was then. Yeesh. I sure hope so.

For simplicity’s sake, let’s say I got a hundred messages. Of those, maybe 5% were sex-crazed weirdos of some sort, either the wackjobs (no pun intended) who got off sending dirty messages, or married guys looking for flings. Another 5% lived really far away. I’m not opposed to a long distance relationship, but Sri Lanka is a long, long way from Pennsylvania. And I don’t think I could even find it on a map. About 5% sent form letters to every single woman on the site. You’d know this because you got the same message from them multiple times, and so did your best friend, and your sister, and her best friend, and so on and so on. Oh, gee. I feel so special now that I got your generic message. And maybe 5% sent something well-written, funny, interesting and informative. An honestly? Just using proper grammar, punctuation, and complete sentences is sometimes all it takes to get into that category. In other words, dont rite lik ur sendin a txt.

That left 80% that were just drop. dead. boring. Stuff like. “I liked your profile. Write me back.” Why? Who are you? What did you like about me? Now, if he has a spectacular profile, that might be okay, but for the most part, they’re as dry and bland as a piece of cardboard.

Like I said, I wanted, initially, to write back to everyone… at least everyone who wasn’t offensive. But I’d get a message like that, hit “reply” and … draw a complete blank. Me. At a loss for words. That’s not right. I’m at over 600 words right now in this post. It’s peculiar for me to not know what to say. So I’d procrastinate… close the message, switch over to one that was interesting, and write to him instead. The next day, the same thing would happen, but I’d have more of the same sort of messages in the old inbox, plus a few good ones. Then a week would pass. Then two. Then three. Then… ah, screw it. What’s the point of even writing back now?! “Hi! Remember me? You wrote me one line a month ago.”

I grouped all those guys together in my mind as “the boring ones.” And I’m sure they weren’t boring. I’m sure they were all perfectly nice gentlemen. They just weren’t good at expressing themselves in words. Some of them might have been trying to play it safe, and not mention things they enjoy, like video games or sci-fi, because chicks aren’t supposed to like those things. Some are just putting the minimal amount of effort into it. Some of them think that online dating is like going to the Wendy’s drive-thru, where you can just order what you want, not realizing they have to be both the customer and the ad exec in this situation.

Don’t be one of those guys. Be interesting. Show your flavor. But please, don’t show us the beef. There’s time for that later.

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Updated: November 19, 2013 — 3:54 pm

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