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Old 01-19-2006, 12:49 AM   #1
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online dating updates--help please!

Hi everyone,

I've been pretty sick detoxing myself from various meds I've had to take for chronic pain and thus retreating from the world, but I'm finally feeling better and ready to be dating regularly again as well as back here...sorry for abandoning you guys for a while there! Anyway, I think my profile has to be retooled, because I am getting way too many barely coherent replies from guys who are nothing like what I'm looking for (often religious, conservative, uneducated, military, etc.) telling me that I'm looking for the wrong thing. This response that I got earlier today does a great job of conveying what I say I want and what I'm getting instead, though this guy is particularly intelligent and well-spoken compared to a lot of the guys that have been writing telling me that I'm wrong not to be religious, etc.

So here's that email:


"Ok, really this is no way to start an email. I'm going to go George Costanza style and just do everything against my better judgement.

First, let me say that you're easily the most attractive woman I've seen on **********. (remember, I'm going costanza here).

So, what got my goat was this:

"I am a firmly committed athiest who is only attracted to men I respect intellectually. So if you think for yourself, relying on reason, logic, and science rather than religion, I'd love to talk more with you and get to know you better :-)."

Reason? Logic? Listen. You have about as much proof of the nonexistance of God as Pat Robertson has of his/her/its existance. You are equally irrational in your beliefs (only as they relate to the existence of a diety) as a Christian, Muslim, Jew, whatever. I insist that point.

I say that the most rational position is that of "agnostic." There's no way to know, one way or another. That's what I say. I'd like to hear any retort you may have.

Myers-Briggs: I'm an I-something. That's all that I remember. Like you, I'm quite sociable, it just wears me down and I need a little quietude now and then to recharge.

Back to "firmly committed athiest." I admire the hell out of that. Don't get me wrong.

According to your profile, I'm about 2 inches shorter than spec (5'10"). Other than that, we might really get along well."


I don't see why I am doing anything wrong in seeking out men over six feet tall who view religion and hardcore conservatism as unconvincing. I haven't had trouble coming across men who do fit what I'm looking for as far as intelligence, education, politics, religion, and looks are concerned, but I think I need to alter what I've said about the kind of ideological outlook I have and am seeking, because I'm getting way too many emails from guys looking to challenge my positions and convince me that they're a good match for me despite not being anything close to what I state that I'm looking for. Any advice? I don't know what I'm doing wrong; I've been advised here that it's best and most polite to reply to everyone, but when I do that, I seem to end up arguing/challenged again. I’d really like to make whatever changes are necessary to my profile to end up with the guys I want and to get the rest to leave me alone as best I can. I think part of it is my profile being too long and wordy and therefore guys are not bothering to read it and instead responding solely based on my pictures. But something else is going on too, and any help at all that anyone can offer would be extremely appreciated.

 
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Old 01-19-2006, 12:53 AM   #2
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Re: online dating updates--help please!

I guess if I'm asking for help attracting the kind of guys I'm looking for and seeking advice as to where I'm currently going wrong, it would be useful if you all could see my profile as it is now...in lieu of that, which I don't think I can link, here is the bulk of it (what I said in response to "About Me and What I'm Looking For"):

While an intelligent, open, and curious mind and an honest and kind personality are the two biggest things I look for in a guy, I also like men who are tall, athletic, funny, and a little shy or reserved (even a little nerdy). My favorite activities are tennis and cooking, and I've been perfecting my skills at both since I was a little girl. My friends say I know more random information and make tastier food than anyone else they know…so while I’m not the girl for you if you like girls that stay really skinny by eating a lot of salads, if you like quirky girls who are love to indulge in pleasurable sensory experiences like delicious meals, who are sometimes relaxed and sometimes wild, we’ll probably get along well. I’m laid back when it comes to dating and spending time on my appearance...while I like to be pampered and pamper others when it comes to pleasure and relaxation, I'm not high maintenance when it comes to wanting attention or materialistic things. Personality wise, I consider myself very independent, fun-loving, and open-minded. I’m an INTJ on the Myers Briggs test, which I think represents an impressively accurate assessment of my personality…if anyone has taken it and doesn’t mind sharing their results, I’d be fascinated to see how you guys have scored! I tend to be pretty introverted by nature, but sociable when I am around people, and I am absolutely obsessed with the Phila******a Eagles and other Philly sports teams. I also enjoy music and watching and/or playing most other sports and games (golf, poker, blackjack, bowling, foosball, pool, hockey, etc.). To relax, I take bubble baths, read just about anything--I especially love politics and history, and take long walks, or hang out watching TV and movies. I'm not interested in religious or conservative guys, but am otherwise open-minded about getting to know almost anyone. Money and looks don't matter much to me as long as I feel like we could get along well and have fun together...

 
Old 01-19-2006, 03:56 AM   #3
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Re: online dating updates--help please!

Stacy, I don't have much advice for you but, in my opinion, this is probably why you're running into a wall. When you're searching for other atheists, you eliminate 90% of the men out there. And of the 10% of the population who are atheists, it's likely that many of those will not be tall, highly educated, etc.

 
Old 01-19-2006, 04:26 AM   #4
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Re: online dating updates--help please!

Hi there HIT,

How have you been doing lately? I hope all is well with your son and wish you well on the dating front; I also want to thank you for your input, with which I totally agree. I've actually been quite surprised at how many guys I've come across that have the qualities I want (or at least lack the qualities I can't abide)...that part of online dating has gone well. The problem is that something about my profile is making a lot of other guys feel the need to attack my views and insist that I am being foolish in overlooking them. My current profile and the approach I've adopted, which involves responding to almost all of the emails I receive whether I'm interested in the guy or not, just doesn't seem to be working efficiently. Can you guys help me figure out how I might avoid guys who feel the need to challenge me without alienating or losing interest from men who do fit the criteria I'm looking for? I'm getting pretty sick of guys trying to convert me, preach to me, tell me I'm going to hell, or that I'm a fool for not supporting the current presidential administration, all the while failing to demonstrate basic competance when it comes to spelling, grammar, and common decency? I know I can come across as abrasive and that many people don't like me, which has always been true and is okay, because I'm used to clicking with a relatively small percentage of people. I don't mind people disagreeing with me and condemning me, but if there is any way to reduce the volume of mail from these religious and conservative men without compromising the attention I get from guys I want to pursue, I'd be extremely grateful for any tips. Thanks everyone!

PS--For instance, I recently wrote a polite reply to one guy stating that I didn't think we were compatible in numerous important areas as mentioned in my profile, then received an angry, profanity-laced response telling me how dumb I was for passing up such a chance at true love, so now I don't know if I should reply at all to the guys I don't want to talk to, except they seem to send me hostile messages no matter what I do...

Last edited by Veronica_Mars; 01-19-2006 at 04:33 AM.

 
Old 01-19-2006, 05:22 AM   #5
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Re: online dating updates--help please!

My son and I are doing well - thanks for asking. While it would be nice to go out with a man on Saturday nights, right now I'm enjoying the freedom of NOT having to cook a big dinner on Saturday night and sit around with a dull guy. My son and I get along very well and I enjoy time with him.

Back to you. Maybe try re-wording your ad every couple weeks to see what works best. Perhaps instead of emphasizing that you're a hard core atheist, simply request "no religious enthusiasts" or something like that. Would it bother you if a man had his own religious beliefs but didn't try to convert you? For example, I'm a Christian, but I'll still drink and have sex, I don't preach to people, and I pray privately. Would a man like that bother you?
Personally, if I'd see an ad and the person wasn't my type, I would just pass it by. I don't know why they feel the need to be nasty to you.

 
Old 01-19-2006, 09:34 AM   #6
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Re: online dating updates--help please!

Hey Stacy - hope you're feeling better, wheewww! I know you've had a hard time of late.

I have to agree with HIT. I think men are attracted to challenge, and many might think they can change or "tame" you when you state something in your profile so forcefully. Maybe a more light wording like "liberal, democrat, not religous, looking for like-minded etc etc" Unfortunately, you're pretty!! So I think men will want to reply to you hoping for a hit no matter what you put in your profile. But it's just going to be a weeding out process. Sorry, I probably wasn't much help, but hang in there! And I don't know if I would even bother to reply to the ones who aren't good matches to you. Is there any way you can block them so as not to even get any more emails from them? I don't know about you, but geez Louise, that could ruin my whole day to get an email from a total stranger filled with rankor and profanity and anger at me just for being me! That stinks, and no one should have to deal with that.

 
Old 01-19-2006, 04:26 PM   #7
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Re: online dating updates--help please!

Hi Veronica, it's good to see you back . Seems like whenever you turn up missing it's due to your pain - I start to worry about ya!

You know, there are always going to be those situations where you just can't win whichever way you go. The same people who complain about people who "aren't even polite enough to respond with a not interested email" will be the same people who complain when someone they aren't interested in responds to them, which they will, of course, choose to ignore, because "obviously they didn't read their profile" .

If it were me, I simply wouldn't reply back to that email. If you are getting harsh responses for trying to be polite, just stop responding. It's not like you didn't try.
Because I share your religious views with you, I think that e-mail was a bit bold, and I'm not sure I'd even have a response to it.
They're always going to be the ones that try to convert you. That's what happens to me.

But if you feel your profile is attracting the guys you want to attract, I'd leave it. Because no matter what it says, there will always be the ones who just don't read or think they can "convert" you or whatever it is.
So other than taking HIT's advice of slightly altering certain points one at a time and seeing how the reponses change, I don't think there is another way of getting only the responses you want. Human nature just doesn't let things be that easy, does it?

 
Old 01-19-2006, 06:54 PM   #8
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Re: online dating updates--help please!

Hi everyone! It is so great to hear from you...it means so much to me to have friends like you who provide such helpful, supportive, and best of all, consistent advice. I don't mean to get gushy, but I do want to let you know how much I appreciate your replies on this and all my other rambling, slightly frantic sounding "online dating updates." LOL, well, hopefully I get some points for consistency?

In any event, as always, you all made perfect sense and all your points rang true for me. It really is, unfortunately, impossible to please everyone or to get a uniform response from a group of different people to any one idea or action. I am definitely pleased with a number of the guys I've had write and been able to meet in person, and so in the scheme of things, I know I shouldn't be too stressed or negative about online dating. Unfortunately, I've been too sick for the last month to go on any real life dates, but I've finally turned the corner and am back to normal after detoxing from one of my meds, and I'm planning hopefully a few dates for this weekend and next week with some guys who have kept in touch with me patiently for quite some time. A few are from a mainstream dating site, where I'm also chatting with some new guys who have contacted me now that I've reactivated my profile just recently, and one who looks really cute went to my college, which pretty much guarantees that he's really smart, liberal, and nonreligious . He sounds super sexy on the phone message he left and he's been really nice about me disappearing on him for weeks at a time while I've struggled with my pain and everything, plus I met him on a different site, one where people network with friends, fellow alumni, colleagues, relatives, family, etc. that isn't specifically for dating. It feels really exciting to be a normal person again and feel good enough to go out on the weekends and not have to endlessly put off these guys who I'm deep down inside dying to meet and date just like any healthy young single woman. I can't help but have my hopes up about a few of them who have really impressed me...so all is definitely good in terms of finding potential partners who fit the criteria I'm looking for. I'm just a bit down about all the hostile messages I've received both as initial contacts and as replies to my polite letdowns, but I'm probably extra sensitive lately since I've been tired, sick, and haven't had much outside social contact.

But I think that you guys are totally right that these disappointing messages are unavoidable to a certain extent--no matter where you go and what you say, there are always those who will want to impose their religion on you, feel the need to lecture and scold me, or just plain not bother to read even one word of my profile. That's just part of online dating, and I guess I don't mind considering the positive side of it...HIT and Lisa, thank you for the excellent advice regarding my profile. I really think the idea of changing one piece of it at a time, then gauging the effects of that change before proceeding, is an ideal and very smart plan, which I definitely plan to put into effect ASAP. It's actually exactly the kind of "plan" I was looking for when it came to (slightly) retooling my profile...I think it will allow me to attract even more guys who fit what I'm looking for while hopefully also gradually reducing the number of non-compatible guys who feel compelled to write something didactic, hostile, or condescending. The thing is, I’m pretty firm in my religious convictions, or lack thereof, and I wouldn’t want to get serious with anyone who actively believed in an organized religion, which I know both drastically limits the pool of available dates and makes me a target for bitter religious men who are evidentially really frustrated with being rejected and can’t resist the opportunity to take it out on an atheist woman. Does anyone have any ideas as to how I can express that I’m not looking for a religious guy without attracting such hostility in return? There are about half a dozen guys who seem to be pretty fanatical about various religions who have either reamed me out verbally or stalked me online for some time…

Hiya, you are so right in your reply…despite what I’ve always said about not being particularly sensitive or concerned with what people think of me, which is fortunately generally true, it does smart a bit to be torn apart by someone who seems to hate me without knowing me at all. I trust your advice completely Hiya, and actually you are the one person I know who is religious that I would be intellectually attracted to if you were a man…so maybe I should be a little less rigid in what I’m searching for when it comes to religion. Hmm, flexibility is a concept I should probably give more of a chance to than I have thus far…but I absolutely can’t compromise on politics! Hopefully you understand, Hiya, that I’d have to throw up before hopping into bed with an anti-choice Republican, lol!! I never used to understood why women would sometimes say that their female friends made them wish they were lesbians until I encountered you ladies (how’s that for an odd compliment?), but then I’ve never come across such a wise, insightful, charming, loving, and beautiful group of women before! Fortunately, I am sexually still 100% straight, so at least I’m not further cutting down on the pool of available dates by seeking out only gay women…so I’m grateful for small favors, and for your wonderful support and advice, as always…lots of love and hugs, Stacy

 
Old 01-19-2006, 08:16 PM   #9
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Re: online dating updates--help please!

I think your WAY to picky to be honest and a lot of guys will be turned off by that, I know I would. I think most guys would feel like they would have to live up to your expectations of them and that could cause issues.

But just put down in your profile the kind of guy you want and make it clear. I myself never reply to women who are not looking for a guy like myself, but some guys don't read profiles. So if you get messages from guys who you don't like just don't reply and maybe add them to your ignore list if you have one on the personals site you are using.

 
Old 01-20-2006, 08:17 AM   #10
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Re: online dating updates--help please!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Veronica_Mars
Hiya, you are so right in your reply…despite what I’ve always said about not being particularly sensitive or concerned with what people think of me, which is fortunately generally true, it does smart a bit to be torn apart by someone who seems to hate me without knowing me at all. I trust your advice completely Hiya, and actually you are the one person I know who is religious that I would be intellectually attracted to if you were a man…so maybe I should be a little less rigid in what I’m searching for when it comes to religion.
Ummm, thanks, I think?... j/k! No, I get where you're coming from. it ain't easy, for sure, and I think that's why I've really pretty much given up by now. I'm not even equally yoked with myself, so how can I be equally yoked with anyone else??!! But I don't think spirituality or even some sort of view or concept of God would automatically exclude a guy from your dating pool. Of course, if you find a guy who is a liberal Christian, I'd want you to send him on to me!!! But politics and religion do seem to be tied so closely together for so many people. My ex's religious beliefs and his good heart were the things I loved most about him, but the way he expressed it through his politics, like actually voting for a racist nutjob like Pat Buchanan because "he's the only one who has the guts to be pro-life" . NOt that I'm really gung ho pro choice, I just think it's naive the think making it illegal will make it go away. But he said it was all a result of women's selfishness, and that made me mad and made me fight harder forthe other side, which made him dig his heels in even deeper on the other side, etc etc and before long, I think we were both saying ridiculous things we didn't even mean just to "win." No, I learned my lesson from that whole experience. I couldn't be in a serious relationship with anyone who would actually support Bush or come down on me for not supporting him, but like my religious friend, who scolded and chastised me for not being gung ho Bush because of "what the bible says about serving your masters, meaning employers, leaders, and your President." Hmm...funny, when Clinton was in office, the president was an elected public servant who deserved to be drawn and quartered for Bosnia, a war that no Republican supported, they all bad-mouthed publically, etc. Anyway, I don't blame you, it's hard. The trick to a long lasting relationship is deep compatibility and shared views on such things. I don't think a religious view necessarily will preclude a guy from you, but it may not be easy as you can see. I wish I had some better advice for you as to how to keep the fanatics and zealots away. I've never heard of such a thing. Maybe not mentioning anything at all about religion, maybe just being much more subtle, like, "Favorite Movie: Brokeback Mountain..." Seriously though, maybe just not mentioning it, or at least not so strongly?

 
Old 01-20-2006, 08:38 AM   #11
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Re: online dating updates--help please!

I agree with Hiya that you should tone down the "anti-religion" stance. It seems your bold statement is actually attracting the kind of people you don't want, as some people will jump at the chance for a debate. Try saying you're non-religious, liberal, etc., and see if that doesn't cut down on the adverse replies.

 
Old 01-20-2006, 10:58 AM   #12
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Re: online dating updates--help please!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hangin in There
I agree with Hiya that you should tone down the "anti-religion" stance. It seems your bold statement is actually attracting the kind of people you don't want, as some people will jump at the chance for a debate. Try saying you're non-religious, liberal, etc., and see if that doesn't cut down on the adverse replies.
I agree. The more neutral wording will do the trick, I think!

 
Old 01-21-2006, 12:43 AM   #13
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Re: online dating updates--help please!

I am going to give that a try and hopefully it will help, though I'm still not at all sure that I could date a man who believed in an organized religion. I just don't really respect that on an intellectual level, and while I think there are a few really wise, open-minded, and accepting religious people, they seem like a tiny minority. Today I realized that a guy I was going to meet who I'd clicked with was not only a conservative republican but was also a vegan who didn't drink, all of which are major turn-offs in my view, so he's off the list. I just could never ever sleep with a man who didn't believe in women's reproductive freedom and right to choose--men who think otherwise just completely nauseate me. Maybe this is too picky, but I did meet a really cute, smart liberal atheist on a date to see Syriana tonight! So far, I'm surprised at how many men have met what I freely admit is very stringent criteria...I thought I'd have a lot more trouble finding potential partners, but so far, and I've been online dating on and off for about six months, I've been extremely pleased with the selection and met a lot of great guys. There are several more I'm still planning on meeting in person, so I will keep you guys posted, and in the meantime, I'll take your advice and experiment with making small changes to my profile, one at a time...thanks again, everyone!

 
Old 01-21-2006, 01:23 AM   #14
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Re: online dating updates--help please!

Weel, VM, I'd wish you luck, but you clearly don't need it! You never seem to lack for quality male company, you lucky stiff! I'm glad you told us you look like Veronica Mars. For some reason, I was thinking you had really curly hair! Don't know why really, that's just what popped into my head!

 
Old 01-21-2006, 01:46 AM   #15
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Re: online dating updates--help please!

Thanks Hiya! That's funny to imagine me with curly hair--I always forget that not all of you have seen my online profile! It's always interesting to see how our mental images that we've formed of those we've never seen compare to the reality...the few HB posters I've been lucky enough to see pictures of looked pretty close to what I expect and were all quite lovely, especially my honorary big sis Sophia! I like to think we look a bit alike, and yes, both in terms of my looks and personality, a bunch of people have commented on my uncanny resemblance to Veronica Mars, which I take as a compliment . I love that show and think she's great, but that's probably because she's seriously like an alter ego and long lost sister of mine...do you like that show, Hiya? It doesn't surprise me that you'd have discovered a smart, savvy show with a strong female protagonist--I hope enough other people like VM to keep it on the air! Anyway, thanks a lot for your advice and best wishes, Hiya...I always love to hear from you, and I really hope you've been doing well lately. How are things in Hiyaland these days, by the way? I miss your threads!

 
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