Recently, I re-joined the online dating site, OKCupid. This is not my first foray into online dating.
My first experience with online dating was in 2001, when I was talked into trying JDate, a site for meeting fellow Jews. It was fun and I enjoyed how easy it was to meet people to date. I decided at around the same time to join match.com, too.
Each dating service has its own vibe and culture, but across the board, over the past seventeen years, in every area of the continental U.S. in which I’ve lived, I’ve found the same types of guys time and time again. There might be more of one type than another depending on which online dating service one is using, but all of them are always there.
1. The Fragile Ego
The guy we hear about and fear the most is the “Bye Felipe” contender. He’s the one who will respond with rage if you reject his advances. He’s pretty upfront about who he is; he wants to set up an in-person meeting within 2-3 messages or will start making comments about your body or sex very quickly. Avoiding him isn’t difficult.
Thankfully, he’s far more rare than one might think, given how frequently he’s talked about.
2. Casual Sex Seeker
This guy isn’t a jerk, in my experience. He wants a hookup, but doesn’t feel entitled to one. He’ll also ask questions about your body and sexual preferences, or straight out ask you for sex, within his first 2-3 communications. Unlike the Fragile Ego, though, there’s some chance he might be a pretty respectful dude. If rejected, he’ll be cool with it and will move on. You might feel like you’ve been slimed if he’s been particularly gross with his comments, though.
3. The Cheater
This is the guy who doesn’t have any photos of himself that show his face and probably hasn’t written much in his profile. He’s likely maintaining a low profile because he doesn’t want his wife or girlfriend to find out he’s on the site.
4. The Lazy Dater
This is the other guy who doesn’t have any photos of himself and hasn’t filled out his profile. He might be very new to the site, but I think it’s telling when someone starts approaching women before doing the online equivalent of showering and getting dressed. He hasn’t made any effort to make himself look nice for you, and odds are good that’s a pattern for him.
5. The Liar
This guy has written a novel about himself in his profile and sounds fantastic, but when you look at his photos there are a few that seem like a normal dude and a few others that show a straight up hottie. Upon closer examination, you can tell the pics of the hottie have been pulled from other profiles or websites. Sometimes they’ll even have the frame from a snapchat or another website showing, which I always find hilarious.
6. The Wife-Seeker
(Disclaimer: My description of the Wife-Seeker is a little rage-filled. This is the guy who bugs me the most.)
These are the guys that make me feel like they are looking for a mail-order-bride. You’re a thing in a catalog and he’s looking to buy.
He likely sees women as “things” or possessions, and his primary goal on a dating site is to find one of his own. If you meet up with him and go out a few times, he’ll likely want to become exclusive very quickly.
This is the guy who is so excited about you that his messages are exploding with exclamation points and emojis. He thinks everything you say is amazing. He wants to know everything about you… not because he actually cares about you, but because he wants to know what you might be able to provide to him.
“People can become infatuated with each other very quickly which is fine. But if someone starts showering you with so much love and attention too quickly, you have to question their pacing and their judgement. This person doesn’t know you. What exactly is missing from their life that they are throwing themselves into a romantic attachment so quickly without having time to assess fully who you are.”
–What Are The Signs Of Love Bombing? 7 Behaviors To Watch Out For, According To Experts
Laken Howard, Bustle
7. The Non-Monogamist
To be fair, this isn’t really a type. The Non-Monogamist can also be any other of the types listed here. He’s unlikely to be a Wife-Seeker, though, because he’s already married or in a stable partnership.
He and his partner openly date and have romantic relationships outside of the one they have with each other.
If non-monogamy isn’t something you’ve seen occur in a healthy, open way before, I highly recommend this lovely article from the NY Times. It’s a sweet story, and an accurate representation of open relationships as I’ve witnessed them.
When you’re looking for a monogamous long-term relationship, obviously a Non-Monogamist isn’t going to be for you. When you’re casually dating and want to meet and go out with nice people who aren’t going to want a serious long-term relationship with you, a Non-Monogamist might be your guy.
8. The Blissfully Boring Ones
These guys are my favorites. These are the guys who don’t have anything notable about them. They might even seem kind of bland. They aren’t exceptionally attractive or unattractive. Their profiles show they read, watch movies, do activities, eat food. The messages they send are polite and they don’t over-use exclamation points or emojis. They respond to communications in a timely manner. They are reasonably interested in getting to know you, and their questions are appropriate in their level of intimacy given that they haven’t met you yet. They share normal information about themselves easily.
There is absolutely nothing exciting about them. They’re just… nice.
If you get together with a Blissfully Boring it’s possible there won’t be a spark right away, but you might enjoy the time you spend with them. They’re the ones who are most likely to be secure in themselves, grounded, and mature.
Except for the Fragile Ego guy, none of these types are all that problematic (and he’s been easy to block and report on every platform I’ve used).
If there isn’t interest with someone, it’s easy to move on. If there is, it’s easy to explore it a little before committing to meeting in person. If there’s a desire to meet in person, it’s easy enough to set up meeting for coffee sometime.
Note that the Wife-Seeker will be super excited about getting that coffee with you, though. After three days of chatting with a guy, I made plans with him on a Friday to meet up on a Tuesday. He suddenly started messaging me with, “Good morning, sweetheart,” and “Goodnight, my dearest,” every day, and pressuring me to answer deeply intimate questions about myself, my past, what I’m looking for in a relationship, etc.
Questions for you:
– Do these types ring true for you, based on your online dating experiences?
– Have I left out any types?
– Can anyone provide any input as to whether the types hold true regardless of gender?
– Similarly, do the types hold true regardless of year of birth? Are these specific to guys around my age (42)?
– Would anyone be interested in an opinion piece about the culture/vibe of each of the dating services I’ve used through the years?