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Unsent Letters: Online Dating Edition


As I’ve mentioned before, I’m pretty happy being single. I got divorced more than 3 years ago and haven’t really dated other than a few disasters – I’ve learned that it’s just not worth the hassle. That said, every now and then I like to check out the online dating world just to make sure Bradley Cooper’s twin hasn’t moved into a neighboring town.

I don’t know why I’m drawn to online dating sites, because I never walk away feeling better about my life. Yet every 6 months or so, like clockwork, I find myself digging my login information out of the email account I use for junk mail and signing in to see what’s changed (hint: nothing) since the last time I looked.

Friday night I decided to reactivate my account on Plenty of Fish, which I’ve decided is pretty much the dark alley of online dating. For POF, I use a random profile picture that I found via Google Image Search – you can never see anything on these sites without setting up a stupid profile, and I’ll be darned if the creepers on there are going to see my real picture. I don’t really feel bad about that since I don’t contact anyone; it’s not like I’m actually using the account to find dates.

Anyway, I activated the account, laughed at a few of the more hilarious “matches” I got, and called it a night. Then on Saturday I decided to look again. My fake persona had 219 unread messages. In less than 24 hours.


Here’s the thing. While my pseudo POF account has some accurate info (my age, height, location, etc.), the profile itself is completely empty except for a message that states,

Obviously none of you actually read these things, because otherwise you’d see that I haven’t filled out my profile beyond what POF absolutely requires. I only set up this account to look around and I’m not interested in talking to anyone or going on actual dates.

I feel like that’s written in plain English. Yet I received 219 messages. Why did this happen? Because when it comes to online dating, guys don’t look at a single thing beyond the profile picture. I guess my mistake was choosing a picture of a girl that men would find attractive. And let me just say that the messages – yes, I read them all – were great indicators of the high quality men available in my area. (In case you didn’t know, that was sarcasm.)

A special shout out to the clueless, annoying, and sometimes frightening men who inspired this unsent letter.


Dear Men Who Use Online Dating Sites,

Hi! My name is Andrea. I’m 30 years old, self employed, reasonably intelligent, and free of major physical deformities. However, you wouldn’t know that because you don’t take the time to read anything on any woman’s profile. Oh, and there’s the part where I don’t post my real picture because all of you are disturbing and scary and I don’t want to be brutally murdered.

There appears to be some confusion regarding what is and isn’t okay when you’re communicating with someone online. I thought I’d put together some tips that will not only help you, but women everywhere who are exhausted from the effort of looking for something that doesn’t seem to exist.

To the men who message women saying things like “sup?” or “hey there” – Is that how you introduce yourself to a woman in real life? You can’t muster enough energy for complete sentences or ANYTHING about yourself? If you’re wondering why you’re still single, this might be a good starting point.

To the men who cannot spell or punctuate – An online dating profile is like a resume. As such, I ignore messages from men who can’t be bothered to run spellcheck because it shows me that you don’t care enough to make an effort. Then again, I applaud you for letting me know upfront that you’re not the kind of guy I’d want to hang out with or date.

To the men who use stupid pictures – Women do not want to see you without a shirt. Women also do not want to see what your bathroom looks like. Further, we do not want to see you throwing gang signs, posing all emo with hair in your face, holding a guitar or puppy, hugging some other girl, or sitting atop an ATV/monster truck/speed boat/motorcycle. Is it unreasonable to think you should ask someone to take a photo of you that is well lit, normal, and shows us what you actually look like? (Sidebar: I know some women use stupid pictures, too. But that doesn’t mean you have to stoop to their level unless they’re the type of woman you’re after.)

To the men who say, “Want to know more? Just ask!” – Obviously we want to know more or we wouldn’t be looking at your profile. To me, that’s a cop-out. “Oh, I know, I’ll just let the women do all the work! That way they’ll see what life with me would be like.”

To the men who say disgusting things – If the first thing you say to a woman involves her boobs, her level of “hotness,” or your desire to sleep with her, you’re doing it wrong. That is all.

To the men who aren’t idiots and don’t do any of these things – I’ve heard you exist but I have no proof. Please send evidence – just look for the girl on POF with a super fake-looking profile picture. 😉 (Sidebar: I realize that sounds hypocritical. That’s the joke.)


andrea signature


  1. I met my current boyfriend on okcupid and one of my good friends met his fiancé on that site as well. I know my boyfriend read my profile before he emailed me because his email referenced specifics that I had written. I am lucky and found one of the “good” ones. From my experience for every 10 men i met on a dating site, 1 was goos and 9 were duds. LOL I have not heard one good thing about POF so I never tried it. My best friend is back to dating and we get a good laugh at the stuff guys email her. I would suggest trying or when/If you want to start dating again using online means. you have to weed out the bad but it was worth it for me.

  2. I love everything about this post. Everything. Note to self: stay away from pof.

  3. Funny post, the letter is spot on with how people act online. Maybe there is a respectable dating site online with better contenders and bigger spell check buttons.

  4. HS @ Our Debt Blog says

    Still trying to see where I would fit in LOL

    You are a wonderful person Andrea, what matters is that you're happy.


  5. I haven't tried online dating but was thinking about going that route. Now I think I'll just think about it some more. Thanks for the heads up, Andrea!

  6. I think online dating and other online website bring out the best and worst in people. Fortunately, I am in a long and happy (44 years) marriage. I don't think I would ever use online dating (seriously)! I would resort to the old fashioned way of meeting people with similar interests. I would join groups of people who do the things I like to do. It might be a bicycling club, museum, community center temple/church groups or non profit organizations.

  7. I also love everything about this post!

  8. “To the men who message women saying things like “sup?” or “hey there” Is that how you introduce yourself to a woman in real life?” – Yes, indeed this is how men I encounter in real life “introduce” themselves to me!

    To be fair, this doesn’t happen that often, but maybe once every 6 weeks or so I’ll be waiting for the bus and some random dude will walk up and say “sup” and call me some mildly degrading name. I can only imagine the volume of these messages online, though! I don’t blame you for not wanting to put your actual picture up, there are a lot of crazies out there!

  9. As a veteran of many dating sites, this cracks me up! This is so spot on in so many ways. The superficiality and dumbness of so many men eager to sleep with anything with a vagina just wore me out and made me give up years ago.

    Thanks for this! Really hilarious.

  10. Oh my… LOL
    All I can say is… can I borrow that picture??


    I've been on Christian Mingle for a couple weeks…. It's ok. Not spectacular… I honestly can't recommend paying full price for the membership. I caught it on one of their "sales", so only paid $10 a month. The freebie membership is a waste of time unless you just want to surf around and look at profiles- you can't actually communicate with anyone with a freebie membership.

    I've met a couple nice guys, a couple duds. Haven't gone on any dates yet, but then I'm using my real picture LOL so that could be why.

    A tip- watch out for those guys who can't spell, especially if they ask for your e-mail or phone number right off the bat and are very persistent about it. Sometimes, on CM they'll say their account is about to expire but they want to keep in touch with you. Those are scammers and if you correspond with them long enough, they'll suddenly have a son/daughter/elderly mother who's stranded in England/Nigeria/NortheastEgypt, and want you to send them $$$ to rescue them from their peril.

    Pretty sure they're the same ones who run the Nigerian Lotto I keep winning…

    Good luck. It's a rough world out there. Sometimes I think we're better off single.

  11. Thank you for the dose of humor! I needed it today. So far, I've only tried a trial membership on 1 site and that was enough for me. Not ever doing that again. lol

  12. You should just date a blogger – as a group we're chronic OVERsharers, and you already shared your picture and details with the world. Some single blogger will help you build your publishing empire (and be a good date too, eh?).

    So, you just admitted to Catfishing? I'll inform MTV.

  13. studentdebtsurvivor says

    My current boss is always telling me about her online dating. She recently was talking to someone she thought was really sweet and "respectable" then he asked for a photo. She sent one and he sent back a photo if his business. That ended there relationship before it started.

  14. alwayshungry4 says

    I met my bf online – I met him through a paid site, and think it tends to have a higher quality group of men. My best friend met his wife on POF, though, and they're both "normal" and highly successful, so sometimes it works out. 🙂

  15. Hahahaha…love this post. S'up….seriously?!

  16. Oh Andrea..u just made my day! Hysterical and can be true of many. But don't discount one that may be perfect for u. I met my ex boyfriend online and we had a great relationship,no regrets. But in the end God had someone else for me.

  17. Very funny stuff, Andrea. The best part about it is these 219 men ACTUALLY think those "sup" or trash talk will actually ATTRACT a woman…

  18. purpleeggplant2013 says

    Thank you for creating this masterful summation of online dating. I can't tell you how many times I've had to fend of cretins, creepers, and pervs before even getting a chance to notice if they've read my damn profile. I recall very clearly stating that I had a child in my profile in more than one place only to have guy "surprise face" followed by awkward conversation about how he had a friend with a kid once (kind of like knowing some one with cancer once – before he died).

    I did eventually meet my husband on Lavalife but finding him amidst a sea "sups" and "how r u" was a journey of epic proportions.

    Stay gold, lady.

  19. Hahaha! This is awesome. Some of my close friends are single and also seem to fill out a profile every 6 months or so on random dating sites. And they also get the stupid emails from stupid people. If I was single again, I think I would try Yahoo Meetup Groups, Events and Adventures, or eHarmoney's paid membership since I know it worked for 5 couples we know…but yeah, you have to weed out the crud to find the real men/women.

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