Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time for another edition of Read Between the Lines, aka “When He Says___, He Really Means ___.”
Whether you’re on Tinder or eHarmony (and they’re not that different after all, in case you missed my series on the complete scam I not-so-lovingly call “eHarm”), when reading online dating profiles, you need to shovel through the same mountain of hyperbolic bullshit to find the truth of what the man is actually saying about himself.
When he fills in the statement “I typically spend my leisure time . . .” with “hosting and making dinner, watching movies and going to special events,” he wants you to Netflix and chill while you hope he’ll take you to a special event one day. He never will. Unless your idea of a “special event” is trying to watch a movie on a guy’s couch while being groped until you give in and let him fuck you or get up and leave, don’t bother with this dude.
Men don’t just mislead us with words. Photos can be deceptive too, without ever being Photoshopped. If he’s got a hat on in every picture, it mean’s he’s balding. Don’t be a dummy, honey. And he doesn’t have a clean, smooth, sexy bald head either, or he wouldn’t need to cover it up. He’s got some kind of fringe/combover/suddenly Trump’s hair doesn’t look so horrendous situation going on up top. But if you don’t mind having sex with a man who’s naked except for his baseball cap or knit hat, you’re fine.
Some men use a bait and switch photo to hook your interest. When his first picture is of Trevi Fountain, a tropical island or a stunning sunset, 1) He’s ugly, 2) He has herpes or 3) Both. When I was on eHarm, I saw a profile under my “What if?” matches in which the first photo was of an open-air amphitheater in Italy with Aida being performed onstage, complete with white horses and captioned “This is what the money’s for.” He’d also unfathomably filled in “most important quality I’m looking for…” with “I have herpes. Never had any symptoms.” I was grateful I didn’t have to risk herpes for a trip to Italy because I’d already seen Aida at the Baths of Caracalla with my mom and sister when I was 16. When eHarm filed this charmer under “What if,” I didn’t expect the full question to be “What if I get herpes?”
Once you wade through the posted and texted BS and minefield of misleading photos, you still need to be able to decode men in person on the actual date. When he says, “I like to keep things spontaneous,” after asking if and when he’s going to see you again, he will have you hold Saturday for him, text you intermittently during the week, text you Saturday afternoon to ask “wassup” (unfortunately, otherwise seemingly grown men still continue to use this travesty of an approximation of a word), and then never follow through with an actual plan.
Never save your Saturday night – or Friday night, or any valuable window of time for that matter – for a man who likes to “keep things spontaneous.” This only means he won’t commit to seeing you until the last possible second, at which point he can be completely certain that another, more attractive option is not going to become available to him.
And for God’s sake, ladies, if he does contact you at the last possible second, be busy.
I’ll take a bubble bath and a generous pour of Zinfandel over Netflix and chilling, herpes or being strung along any night of the week.