According a study by popular online dating site Match.com, one in five relationships are starting on the internet these days. That means you’re definitely not the only one who is too lazy to walk down the street and hit the bar or go to your friend’s party and mingle. What’s the point? Especially when you’re just a few clicks away from browsing through a virtual catalog of eligible singles. Sure, there’s the chance that 25-year-old stewardess you’ve been messaging for a month turns out to be a 43-year-old man who lives with in a basement with his cats, but that’s the kind of story that’ll help you break the ice with your next virtual fling. You’re not to blame for not being able to tell from reading their profile— everybody writes pretty much the same thing (and you were probably too busy looking at all the photos.) We’ve taken it upon ourselves to decode these common dating profile claims, in an attempt to prepare you for what’s in store, should you decide to meet up with someone in the real world.
Who doesn’t love fun? It seems like an obvious statement to make, seeing as you’d probably have second thoughts about dating anyone who doesn’t like to have a good time. But what if your prospective date has some very unconventional views as to what constitutes a fun activity? There are two distinct varieties of horrible turns this can take. One of them ends up with you nursing a black eye and a bloody nose in a back alley in Tijuana after losing the majority of your life’s savings on the roulette wheel in Vegas. The other finds you trying to slip out the back door as quietly as possible after an extremely tiring evening of helping your date with their scale model of the Eiffel Tower built entirely from toothpicks that ended in both of you falling asleep on separate couches. Conversely, your fun-living prospective partner might just like to get really drunk and listen to loud music. If that’s the case, just bring some earplugs and count your blessings.
The term ‘easy-going’ seems to have become synonymous with people who are up for anything and won’t freak out if things don’t work out quite the way they expect. This doesn’t exactly mean that you can take a walk on the beach, push your partner into an oncoming wave and then expect a second date, but they might still text you for a couple of days (sexting if you’re really lucky.) But now that we think about it, we remember a few people we knew in college who were the epitome of ‘easy-going.’ They were really into jam bands, had a rather large collection of glassware and usually had several towels stuffed into the crack under their door and a box fan in the window providing some much needed ventilation. These guys were usually down for just about anything, whether that was falling asleep trying to watch all three Lord of the Rings movies in succession or driving through Taco Bell for some late night snacks. Yep, that ‘easy-going’ date of yours might just be a total stoner. Just to be sure, get their opinion on the Grateful Dead before agreeing to meet, and maybe invest in some Febreze.
3. A good sense of humor
This is a touchy area, to say the least. Everybody wants to think that they’re up for a laugh, but what makes one person chuckle might elicit groans of disgust from another. The most potentially problematic permutation of this frequent claim is the individual who believes that they’re a comedic genius. Your first date with this sort of person will likely be an open mic comedy night, where you’ll be forced to watch them go onstage and try to elicit any sort of vaguely positive reaction from a crowd that has been baited with cheap drinks. Although it may pain you to do so, you’ll be forced to politely laugh at their jokes. The night will take a turn for the worse when, emboldened by your apparent encouragement, your online acquaintance will break out some of their edgier material, managing to offend half the people in attendance. Once the boos start, it would be in your best interest to be halfway to the door. Sniff out misguided comedic aspirations before they become an issue, or the only yucks you’ll be having will be at your own expense.
4. Down to Earth
The worst thing about this commonly bandied about phrase is that it’s very difficult to discern what it actually means. Sometimes, individuals will use it in order to paint themselves as very realistic and easy to get along with. More often, you’ve found someone with a vested interest in appearing to be someone they aren’t. Once you recognized this false modesty, you can’t help but wonder what else they might be hiding. It might be something as innocent as an intense obsession with the popular online video game World of Warcraft. Simply getting this individual out of their basement and into the sunlight should make them realize that the real world is exponentially more exciting that slaying orcs for digital trinkets. Conversely, if the first date involves driving out into the woods for what appears to be a make-out session but turns out making you an accomplice in the burial of a suspiciously body-shaped parcel that happened to be in trunk, you might have found someone more down to Earth (and coincidentally, down with apparent manslaughter) than you previously bargained for.