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What Are Your Online Dating Pet Peeves?

I asked my Instagram followers what their biggest online dating pet peeves were. Here are a few responses and my explanations.

People who only want to talk when they’re lonely or bored.

Unfortunately, dating apps have become a haven for avoidants and attention seekers. Swiping allows them to pretend they’re actively trying to meet someone and putting themselves out there without actually doing it. The longer these types spend on the apps, the more dependent they become on the surge of dopamine they get every time they make a match. That’s one of the reasons dating app users rarely stop after making just one or two matches. They want another hit of dopamine. That high is especially comforting to people who are newly single or recently experienced a breakup. Another growing epidemic is those people who use dating apps with the explicit intention of posting about their experiences on social media. There’s a reason why you see the same creators have the same exact dating app problems over and over and over again. It’s because a) they’re completely emotionally unavailable and b) it’s in their best interest to experience fail after fail because people are more interested in watching someone (especially a woman) fail than succeed. More interest means more engagement.

Guys who describe themselves as Alpha Males. That usually means controlling.

If a man or woman describes themselves as an Alpha, run. The terms Alpha and Beta Male are most commonly used in red pill/manosphere parts of the internet. That alone should tell you the term is a red flag. This person is right. Alpha is often interchangeable with aggressive, controlling and obnoxious. As an aside, also a red flag is people who identify with or call themselves the real-life version of immature/toxic/emotionally unavailable television characters ie Dan Humphrey, Don Draper, Samantha Jones, or - god forbid - Carrie Bradshaw.

Men messaging me first, I reply, then I never hear from them again

There are countless reasons for this that have nothing to do with you. The most likely explanation is they matched with you but only read your bio and viewed your photos after you two matched. Maybe you had a dog and they’re allergic or you’re a carnivore and they’re vegan. The next likely reason is they matched with you, thought you were great, but continued swiping until they accrued a handful of matches. Remember that dopamine surge I mentioned earlier? That high is similar to the kind we experience if we do drugs. People sometimes binge on that high, accrue a bunch if matches, then crash leaving them mentally drained. There’s also the possibility they went on a swiping spree and responded to the first person that messaged them. (Kind of the dating app version of sending a mass text to multiple people.) More often than not, the reason they don’t reply is that there is a fundamental incompatibility that has nothing to do with you or how you present.

When they state they’re easy-going. What does that mean? Simple tastes? Lazy?

I think it’s both. Easy-going implies they have no strong feelings about anything and can be easily persuaded. There’s another term for that: Wishy-washy. And another: Boring. I also think these terms are used by men to convey that they are not aggressive any way.

What are your online dating pet peeves? Share them on my Substack.

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