An Open Letter



Dear Men on Dating Sites,

Hi. I’m Janna. I’m a thirty-something single mom. I’m intelligent, easy-going, kind and all sorts of other things, I like simple romance and evenings in, but wait! That’s not why we’re here.

See, as one who spends a little time on websites devoted to dating, I have come to some conclusions that must be shared. With you, men, because it’s you at the other end of my profile.

So let’s get to it, shall we? Here’s my advice to you, as you navigate this world wide web of women.

Pictures: You have got to upload at least four or five photos of yourself, dude, only one is unacceptable, and the discernment with which you should choose the shots to include is not rocket science. Is it a clear photo of your face at an attractive angle, your overall physical appearance, and/or an action shot of you doing something you love and which defines you? Swell, use it. If it’s a blurry or at-a-distance photo, don’t use it, what’s the point? There’s already enough mystery to this whole thing. If you’re not fully clothed, don’t use it, because I’m looking for a man, not a piece of meat. If there’s a toilet in the background (seriously?), don’t use it, or if it’s clear you’re in a public restroom, don’t use it. If you’re making a gawd-awful face that is not indicative of your everyday expression, don’t use it, because you ain’t pretty that way. Selfie in the mirror? Good golly. Don’t. use. it. Aren’t you supposed to be, like, a grown-up?

Photo Buddies: That attractive woman with her arm around you, the one you didn’t identify? Is she a friend, your sister, a lover? If you don’t explain her, you’re not doing yourself any favors. Someone like me is going to dismiss you. Same when you’ve clearly cut a woman out of the picture, but her hair is draped across your shoulder, or her lips are still planted on your cheek. Do you really have no solo photos of yourself? Or are you trying to prove how popular you are with the ladies? Because your “single” status just became questionable.



Communication: I put time and effort into composing my profile, because while I’m just as okay with remaining single as I am finding a connection, I take this process seriously. If you haven’t taken the time to read my words and determine what kind of person I am, and what I’m not interested in—which is directly stated—do not message me with a booty call, or a flirtatious term of endearment, thinking I will swoon at your macho feet. That’s not how I roll. Plus it’s not macho.

Relationship Status: Oh sweet niblets, you’re separated? Well then, the rest doesn’t matter. You might be a swell fellow, but I’m not about to jump into that. Why are you here again? Don’t you have some amends to make or emotions to process or something?

First Date Suggestion: Don’t say “It’ll be a surprise” or “Let me work out all the details” because that’s not cute and spontaneous, that’s creepy. None of us wants to wind up in the trunk of your car and carried across the state line, or dragged into your cellar-slash-dungeon, but that’s exactly what we’re imagining when you aren’t straightforward with a plan.

Kids: I might be a mom, but I’m also a woman. I want to get to know you as a man, not as someone who exploits whatever kids you’re pictured with for the sake of pulling my heartstrings. If you’re a dad, I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt that you’re a good one—if I even think about it at this point—so there’s no need to sell me on it. When that perfect little girl appears in all ten shots you’ve uploaded, it’s clear you don’t value her privacy, and that you’re overcompensating for something. Maybe just mention she’s the light of your life in that profile of yours, m’kay, pumpkin?

This is it, men. Truly. It’s this stuff that will determine whether a quality woman even says hello. So why don’t you go have another crack at it? You’ll thank me later.


Janna, a really great catch with standards


About Janna

writer, editor, marketing assistant, resume consultant, mom, wannabe philosopher, advocate, and possibilitarian / you can call me Janna

Posted on September 4, 2013, in Blog Posts and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. Love this post, Janna. I interviewed a friend for a book who online dates. I left thanking the Lord I was happily married. I don’t envy you in your quest. I hope your suggestions are taken to heart!

  2. Well said, Janna!! I’m glad your have a great sense of humor to buffer you during the on-line dating process. 🙂

  3. A very dear friend of mine has recently started her stroll down eharmony… she showed me how it works and walked me through it, I think she wanted my blessing… Anyway, I am glad you have written this, I got the feeling that the men on there, not all but many, don’t notice the competition… They can be quite full of themselves which makes me wonder if they are willing to give a little in a relationship… I admire you for giving it a try knowing that it may not bring the results you want though it will make you an expert in profiling…. Great post, good luck, Alexandra

    • So right, Alexandra. From my perch it seems like most men have pretty solid assumptions and jump in without thinking about their approach. Pfft! Thanks. 🙂

  4. Hi Janna! I have a close friend who was doing the eHarmony or some such organization for quite a while and she had similar “odd” experiences. And when she tried to take her profile off she had a helluva time doing that, had to call them, yada yada. She has stories! Oh man. I admire you that you’re willing to give it a try yet you have strict guidelines which is good. I’m sure you’ll be able to write a novella about your experiences.

    • I hope it does inform my writing! There have been some note-worthy experiences, that’s for sure. 🙂

  5. Okay… changing my profiles. I have seventeen of them, so it may take a while…

  6. Oh my goodness, Janna, this is priceless! My oldest son does the online dating thing. I’ll have to send him your “profile rules”. Hopefully he’s not creeping any one out or scaring them. 🙂 Stay safe!!!

  7. FUN. Can’t wait to see how my kids enter the dating world!!

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