Before I had downloaded my first dating app, I knew I would encounter some less than desirable people. That’s a risk you take with dating in general, but especially on a dating app where you could encounter literally anyone. I had also watched my fair share of Catfish.
Catfish did not prepare me for the total lack of social etiquette that follows talking to and/or meeting someone from a dating app. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve thought: what would your mother think?!
So, from me to you, here are some commandments of basic communication when talking to/meeting someone online. All commandments are based off of things that have actually happened to me. (Yes, really.)
1. Thou shalt not open with a sexual comment.
Also, thou shalt not react horribly when your comment is rejected. If a woman is looking for a hook up – inappropriate message away. You do you. But if a woman specifies she is not looking for a hook up…please don’t. No one ever has said or will say, “Well, son, I met your dad online – I knew he was the one after his first words to me were a compliment on my blowies.”
2. Thou shalt not start with mansplaining.
Listen, dude, no woman is on a dating app for your advice on dating as a single mom or posting more solo pictures. It’s not charming. If I want your advice, I’ll ask for it – which will never happen unless I’ve known you for at least 10 years.
3. Thou shalt not try to date other people in your match’s pictures.
I know my friends/sisters are beautiful. Duh. But somehow not charming to start a conversation already making a back up plan for things not working out. Also, if I don’t like you enough for it to not work out…my beautiful friends/sisters have already heard about all of your negative traits and don’t like you, either.
4. Thou shalt keep a less than traditional fetish to yourself until you actually know someone.
No screen shots for this one. You’re welcome. I’ve had messages asking to be dominated, to dominate me, one dude talked about wanting to touch my feet (which if you know me at all, you know that’s my nightmare). I think my favorite one recently was where a guy told me he worked at a dildo factory. Not just any dildo factory, but one called Bad Dragon. Google at your own risk, but if you’d like to save your eyeballs – it’s a website where you can buy sex toys based on mythical creatures. I’m sorry, if you’re into a rubber dragon peen – it’s gonna be a no from me.
5. Thou shalt not overshare.
Obviously, when you’re getting to know someone – you want to tell them the important things. If there’s a crazy negative thing in your past, I will want to know about it…eventually. Please learn what is and isn’t appropriate to tell someone upon meeting them for the first time. If you were expelled from high school for bringing explosives…not appropriate conversation for a first meeting, unless you want me to know you will potentially murder me. If you were a former meth addict and dealer…not appropriate conversation for a first meeting, unless you are using a dating app to find a new dealer/deal-ee. (Okay I guess the word would be “buyer”, but I like “deal-ee”)
6. Thou shalt not treat your match like they’re already your exclusive significant other upon your first meeting.
We are literally strangers. Even if we’ve been talking for weeks/months…we have not even seen each other in person until now, so I am not your girlfriend. Trying to take a selfie with me to send to your parent on our first meeting is not appropriate, and your parent should be concerned.
7. Thou shalt not make negative comments about the fact that your match is a parent.
Thanks for the compliment that you’d take me seriously as a potential mate if I did not have a child. Really, tell me more about how much you wouldn’t date someone who’s a parent. Not everyone wants to date a parent – and that’s totally fine. Making rude comments – not fine. I want to send these kind of things to their mothers SO BAD. She should have grounded your ass more as a kid.
8. Really, don’t overshare.
If we’re meeting, I do want to get to know you. I really do. However, I really believe you have to put your more unsavory facts out there in phases. It’s not being dishonest, it’s just making sure someone is interested and likes you before you say something crazy. For example, saying you were involved in a drug related shooting and insisting that I feel the BBs (bee bees?) left under your skin is maybe not great. Also telling me you almost killed someone (literally, on purpose)…not. great.
9. Thou shalt tell thy date if you notice they may be having an allergic reaction to something.
I could post the picture that goes along with this story, but I won’t for now. Suffice it to say that I looked like Will Smith in Hitch and did not know until I caught my reflection across the room. “I thought your lip looked a little weird…” YEAH. A LITTLE.
10. Thou shalt not FaceTime unannounced after you get a phone number.
Really, it’s just rude. I’m vain enough to need a minute to make sure I don’t look crazy. Also, if you try to do this in the middle of the afternoon on a week day – you’re not allowed to get mad that I don’t answer because I AM AT WORK.
If these 10 are too much to keep track of, just try to interact in a way that wouldn’t embarrass your mother/grandmother. Because if you think I’m not crazy enough to find your mom on social media and send her some of this stuff…you are sorely mistaken.