As many of us have learned, online dating is a very different animal from meeting a prospective date in person. Rather than a "come hither" stare from across the bar, it's that first e-mail that can make or break your chances of romance. Many of us fall flat on our faces when it comes to this first entree.
That's why a writer under the assumed name of Ouiser Boudreaux decided to create The A(n)nals of Online Dating -- a site in which readers can post the worst online dating emails they've received to have them scored and critiqued by Boudreaux.
"You're not approaching someone in person, so there isn't that immediate rejection, which makes people a lot bolder and makes them say things they would not say face to face," Boudreaux explains of the epidemic of awkward emails. "Another part of the problem is that it's a bunch of people who are lonely and drunk at 3 a.m. and sending out messages."
Through the course of her work, Boudreaux has identified a few gaffes that repeatedly crop up in the submissions she gets. She outlined the worst offenses for us.
People who complain about dating
"Mostly [it's men who] complain 'all women are shallow b--es. None of them like nice guys like me. They all want to date a--holes,'" she explains. "If you're putting that on your online dating profile, it's no mystery as to why nobody wants to date you. You seem like a miserable, angry, crotchety man."
People who use tips from the old VH1 show, "The Pickup Artist"
"These dudes have tactics they use to pick up women in bars and they try to translate those tactics online," Boudreaux says. "One of the tactics is to go up to a woman and say something that's vaguely insulting, which doesn't really work as well on the Internet. You just kind of sound like a dick. They call it 'negging.'"
People who think racial fetishes are flattering
"I get a lot of racial fetishizing submissions -- especially from Asian women who get [notes] from white guys saying 'I would love to know an Asian woman. I just love exotic Asian beauty," Boudreaux laments. "Nothing about their personalities or interests or anything, just, 'Oh, I see that you're Asian. Let's meet.'"