The other day I was cruising through my friend Layla’s dating apps she had downloaded onto her phone and was rendered absolutely horrified at what I saw. Everyone she interacted with was coming across as a surefire f*ckgirl. (If you’re unsure what a f*ckgirl is, read this.)
At first, I felt overcome with fear for the future of dating. And then came the downpour of shame. Looking at all the f*ckgirl behavior scattered across Tinder was like looking into a mirror. And girl, I didn’t like what I saw. For I too have acted like a bonafide asshole on the dating apps myself. Many, many times. I shudder over my behavior just like I shudder over yours.
But it’s time we, as a lesbian collective, get our shit together. Otherwise, we’re all resigning to a lifetime of snuggling with our adult cats whilst drooling over Angelina Jolie in the movie Gia, again, fiercely wishing we had actual sex lives and lustful passion like that in our own sad existences. Come on, queer babes. We Can Do Better. I know we can.
So here are 10 vehemently researched signs that you’re reading as wholly unlikeable and rude on the dating apps. Let’s fix this problem so you can fall in love and piss off all those Republicans who think your gay AF love isn’t real or valid.
1. You’re being too demanding about your physical “type.”
This is my number one pet peeve in the entirety of the queer digital dating stratosphere. I thought cis straight dudes had shallow standards when it comes to dating… until I threw myself into the wild and wonderful world of lesbian dating apps.
In real life, if you were to EVER say to a person, “I’m only into high femmes, 5’5 and under, with a slim-thick build, WHO ARE BRUNETTES, NO BLONDES, NO BUTCHES” that person would (rightfully) think you’re a scumbag. They wouldn’t dare set you up with anyone they cared for, as you would read as surface-oriented and bitchy. And let’s be honest, you wouldn’t say that out loud. But you would type it, wouldn’t you?
Why do we think it’s OK to treat people differently on the internet than we do in real life? (Spoiler alert: It’s not!)
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve swiped left on an extremely attractive, interesting looking woman because she was too demanding about her physical type in her dating profile. Even if I happened to fit her ridiculous criteria, I will swipe her out of my life and never look back.
Because it’s rude. It hurts the feelings of people who don’t match your definition of “hot.” Have some manners, baby. You can tell by a person’s dating profiles if she’s your physical “type” or not, you don’t need to bark it into your profile, as if you have ten thousand women pounding down your door begging you to date them, and you need to filter out ones that don’t fit your (narrow) mold of what’s attractive. I have steam oozing out of my ears just thinking about it!
Also, if you can’t see the beauty in all the colors of the rainbow, you need to step outside your comfort zone and get some air.
2. You’re way too self-congratulatory.
I’m all about taking pride in our natural gifts the goddesses have bestowed us with, but we don’t need to write a paragraph detailing how wildly successful we are and how we spend all of our free time volunteering. A sentence or two is perfectly fine.
But when a person pens long-winded ramblings of self-praise on a dating site; it reads as *grossly* insecure. It shows you’ve got something you’re desperate to prove to the outside world because your core is crumbling inside you, and validation from strangers is the only thing that’s keeping you going. It shows a lack of humor in yourself. No one sane wants to date someone who can’t laugh at themselves.
Try being vulnerable, instead. A girl who can confess she isn’t perfect and has embraced her flaws? Now that’s sexy.
3. You have more than one professional photograph.
I have committed this mortal sin before, darlings, and I deeply regret it. In fact, my current wife didn’t believe I was even real because I was one of those toolbags that had an actor’s headshot as my profile picture, and I hate myself (and suffer from incessant cringe pangs).
It’s OK to toss one professional photograph into the mix, but don’t lead with it, and don’t ever use more than one. People will either think they’re being catfished or assume you’re desperate. They’ll think you’re an out of work actor auditioning for the role of the “future girlfriend.”
Those professional pictures you’ve acquired are gorgeous and glossy, and I’m sure you spent heaps of money getting your hair done, so why not use them? Because dating isn’t a job interview or an audition or a performance. It’s real f*cking life. And we want to see you in the thick of your very real, beautiful, messy life. Post a picture of yourself mid-laugh captured by your best friend on her iPhone. That’s what will make us swoon. Realness is hot in this overly-edited day and age (more on that later).
Take it from someone whose great love almost didn’t swipe for her because she thought I was a catfish, princess, desperate-as-hell bitch. She only swiped for me because she saw that we had Stonewall Inn co-owner Stacy Lentz as a mutual friend. (Which is why we chose Lentz to officiate our wedding).
4. Your photos are GROSSLY Photoshopped.
We’ve all made this mistake. We’ve all drunkenly over-FaceTuned our photographs, posted them to Instagram and woken up teeming with embarrassment and horror when we looked at our feeds and saw that we edited so intensely that our noses have been airbrushed into nothingness.
Instagram is one thing, but please, please, please don’t do this on dating apps. FaceTune is a wild epidemic destroying our generation. It’s OK to have some redness in your cheeks; in fact, it makes you look healthy. It’s OK to have a little darkness resting beneath the eyes; it looks sexy and mysterious and shows that you work hard. It’s OK to not have a perfectly CINCHED waist, there are enough Kylie Jenners in this world. It’s OK to have a crease in your forehead; no one wants to date someone who looks 14.
Here’s the main issue with over-Photoshopping your pictures on dating apps; it’s akin to getting fillers injected into your face too young. Do you know those people who are so over-injected that it actually ages them? You think, “Damn, if they need THAT much Botox they must be old as f*ck!” And then you find out the girl is, like, 23.
When you over-airbrush it looks like you’re overcompensating. And there’s simply no need for that. You’re gorgeously sexy as you are. Purr.
5. Your first messages are either bitchy or apathetic.
“Writer? Is that, like, an actual job?” A super hot girl I matched with once messaged me, as her pickup line.
“That’s rude.” I retorted back.
“I was totally kidding!” she responded.
You know what? You don’t know me well enough to joke about shit like that, honey. Remember: This stranger you’re chatting with can’t see the twinkle permeating out of your eyes and the sweet smile plastered across your face when you make a bitchy joke. So don’t. Stay away from sarcasm at first too. It reads as inherently defensive.
Be authentic. Ask a genuine question. Be… kind.
Also, can you babes quit it with the one-goddamn-word answers? I understand that we all came of age in the era of Paris Hilton, when apathy was at the height of fashion, but guess what? It’s not 2003 anymore. We’re not teenagers anymore. We’re grown-ass adults, and grown-ass adults give thoughtful answers when pressed with a question from a potential date, and ask another question back to… get this… keep the conversation moving. It’s known IRL circles as the “art of conversation.”
It’s an easy art to master. I swear to Tegan and Sara.
6. You spend several days before responding back to someone you’re engaging with.
You don’t need to be ultra thirsty and respond back right away to a message. You don’t need to be all crazy and manically check your Tinder when you’re busy crunching numbers at your demanding job or having a much-needed dinner with a dear friend.
Going weeks and weeks without replying to a woman, and then suddenly out of nowhere casually replying with zero acknowledgment that you blew the conversation off for two weeks… reads as entitled and completely un-self-aware. Two giant red flags in a potential partner.
Note: Those who flock to you particularly enthusiastically when you’re acting like a dismissive, flighty jerk are insecure entities using you to work through their deeply rooted abandonment issues. I’ve been on both sides of this game, and it’s wholly unhealthy, trust me. A sane person who has done work on themselves is the kind of person you want to date, right? And those healthy people won’t put up with this kind of shit. Only the issue-riddled who don’t respect themselves will. Now ask yourself: Is that what you’re looking for? If so, click out of this article and get some therapy. I say that not out of judgment; I say it out of big-sisterly love.
7. You’re too picky about what you DO want.
“I am A WRITER who makes a LUCRATIVE CAREER writing, and I’m looking for someone who also makes a LUCRATIVE CAREER. You must be down to watch sports with me on Sundays but also go to high-brow events with me during the week. Scorpios to the front!”
Gag me with an iPhone, gently, please. Even if I had the most lucrative career on the planet, and you were sexier than Bette Porter (my biggest crush), I would not swipe in your favor. You’re coming across way too strong, and… what? You won’t date a girl who doesn’t want to watch sports with you on a Sunday? Codependent much?
8. You’re pouting in every single photograph.
Every time I went on dates back in my online flirting days, after a few glasses of wine, the woman would inevitably end up saying to me; “Wow, you’re so nice. I didn’t expect that.” I would be baffled. Why would they think I wasn’t nice? I am the queen of motherf*cking nice.
And then I reviewed my photographs. In every single one of my pictures, I was pouting and looking miserably into the distance. Which made me look like a spoiled ungrateful bitch who was sharp-tongued and nasty.
Does every picture have to be smiling? No. (I look hot frowning too, I get it.) But don’t be a pouty Kate Moss in every picture.
9. You have celebrities in your pictures.
Unless that celebrity is your best friend in real life, please, please, PLEASE don’t do this. Just don’t. Nobody wants to date a starf*cker. Even in LA that shit is scummy (especially in LA).
So delete that picture of you and that chick from The Real L Word knocking back a shot at The Dinah and replace it with a picture of you with your actual friend. I promise you, a potential date won’t be impressed that you met a celebutante once. (Unless she’s 19. And you don’t want to date a 19-year-old unless you’re 19. And if that’s the case, please ignore my advice and post a picture of yourself with a celesbian!)
She’ll be worried you’re overly caught-up in the glitter and lead with your ego if you celeb post. Starf*ckers live life with their ego hanging out of their pants. And the ego is one fragile little swarmy twerp that can easily be knocked down. Energy vampires will notice your weakness and target you.
And we all know what energy vampires do, right? They suck your blood out of your body and render you a lifeless sack of bones.
10. You’re posing with children that aren’t yours.
You love your niece, and I love that you love your niece. It’s sweet. But a child’s face doesn’t belong on Tinder, honey. It doesn’t belong on OkCupid, or Bumble, or Her, or whatever else you kids are using these days.
Don’t use a perfectly innocent little kid as lesbian dating bait. These waters are full of sharks.
Also, it’s simply in poor taste, darling. It’s bad energy. It’s generally off-putting and looks as if you’re pawning off a helpless child for a hookup. Which is, well, gross.