“…I thought I was Hitch, but realized I’m more like Online Dating’s B*tch.”
Since diving into the online dating world over five years ago, I’ve had my share of great experiences. I’m a “glass half-full” kind of guy, so in my previous posts for CoffeeMeetsBagel, I’ve tried to focus on the good that has come from my online experience.
When asked why I still believe in it by friends, I have a wide selection of examples to draw from – and I’ve shared them with you all too.
The subjects I’ve written about to-date here have all been positive:
- Making new and diverse friends – with interesting perspectives on life
- Happiness and what it means to make meaningful connections
- And even working “on the ground” at CoffeeMeetsBagel after a rough patch
- A relationship that lasted several years (12% of my life to be exact)
But recently I got back “on the market,” and reentered this crazy/fun/slightly-exhausting world again. I felt like hot shit, “Oh, this will be easy – I work at an online dating site, clearly I’m like the Hitch of online dating…”
Will, he’s Hitch.
I’m just Naive (and a scrawny white boy)
However, what this optimist hadn’t realized is there is a dark, ugly side of online dating that has appeared since I was last on the scene.
I am referring, of course, to the rise of “The Flake.”
The Context: Why has the Flake Thrived?
Back before CMB, Tinder, Insert-Techy-Name-Here — online dating wasn’t mainstream. As a result, people who turned to their desktops – (yes, this was back in the ice age of big hardware) – were genuinely interested in finding a relationship, however long or short term that might be.
I personally view this deluge of flakes as the single biggest threat to people taking this whole industry seriously – and while I write the following with a light heart and (hopefully) carefree tone – keep yourself in check next time you come across these monsters. Call them out – and don’t become one!
Flake #1: The “My BFF Jill Made Me This Profile” Flake
Genus: Indeniabilitas Drivesmethefuckcraziensis
Description/Habitat: You connect. (S)he looks cool, well-intentioned, and states that (s)he “find[s] this whole thing soooo awkward…” written throughout their profile. You swipe/click/poke/prod – they reciprocate, and then when it comes time to meet up, (s)he drops the bomb that they had no intention of actually meeting up – that “online dating is for losers and my BFF [presumably Jill] made me this profile for me as a joke.”
Ways to avoid: Look out for too-much focus on “online” – if they keep harping on it, then it’s likely they have some self-security issues. The irony of this type of flake is that they often claim that online dating is only for losers/weirdos – but then what does that make them – who claim to not be looking for something, but instead troll online dating sites for someone to talk to.
Flake #2: The “I May Actually Be Crazy” Flake
Genus: Brahyouina Boffovayohead
Description/Habitat: Something about this flake just reeled you in, like the catfish stories of old – sure, it crossed your mind this one was probably a little nutty, but you have a history of making poor life decisions (Andrew side-comment: my rebound from my first relationship was a lesbian — I’ve been there!) and you think this is living up to Robin Williams’ advice of “seizing the moment” and living for today.
Things can’t go that wrong, right?
Ways to Avoid: Look out for a date that shows up – wait,(s)he showed up! – with a couple other people with him/her claiming that (s)he “swears [they] told you that [she’s] polyamorous.” It’s happened to me. It’s scary. And you want to avoid that shit.
- Ask about histories, but don’t be detective.
- Google. Just, Google.
- If there are any suspicions, meet at a coffee shop within ear-shot of a police station. Or better yet, there’s a blocking mechanism for a reason in all apps….
Flake #3:The “Not-into-you-but-will-lead-you-on-because-I-avoid-conflict” Flake
Genus: Nacassistathinksa Yousalosahwonttellya
Description/Habitat: This isn’t unique to online dating. We’ve all been there – you think your crush is awesome, reciprocates your feelings…then you get that text. The next day. Saying “I had a really great time but…” — the three worst words in the dating world are B-U-T (that is, unless there’s another “T” after the last one)
Regarding this final flake, and as I close, I just want to leave you all with a little bit of advice, and a plea. There are many of us on here who are seeking something more than a hookup, an arm accessory, or expensed meal (on the ‘corporate account’ of the dude’s bank account). There are many people who put themselves out there emotionally through online dating – and if you keep burning them, well, they will eventually become jaded.
So more than anything, don’t ruin it for the rest of us. And please, Flake #3 – just own it. We’re all educated (yes, a disproportionate number of CMB users are highly, highly educated) so treat us like it, and don’t pull that kinda crap.
And with that, hope to see you on the app sometime, kiddos.
Enjoy this post? I sure as heck hope you did. Then be sure to check out our article about How to Stay Grounded When Online Dating.
About Coffee Meets Bagel (CMB): CMB is a free dating service that helps members make meaningful connections. It’s designed for busy singles who want to find something real with little or no effort.