Chick On a Date

adventures in online and offline dating

Online Dating’s Code Words

on October 14, 2012

It’s been quite a while since my last post. Rest assured, dear friends, that I have been continuing the awkward, painful dance that is online dating. No, I still haven’t found My Man, but I have met quite a few very nice guys and a few weirdos. I know it’s the weirdos you want to hear about — more about them soon.

I’ve become sensitive to la langue d’online over the past couple of years, and I figure it’s time someone posted the code words that appear often and what they really mean. I mean, it’s my obligation to help you navigate the deep dark waters of the dating ocean, right? So here you go.

When Men Write:

  • “easy going” – This actually means one of two things: 1) They are either so laid back they are nearly dead and their idea of a good time is watching seven episodes of Sons of Anarchy back to back; or 2) They have a mean streak a mile wide. This second “easy going” guy can be a little intense. This summer I went out once with a Federal Agent guy. Yeah, he said he was “easy going” in his profile. On this first date, he told me I was “flirting” with the bartender (I asked for a drink), he questioned me about the men in the room I thought were attractive, and he cornered our server to ask him whether he was just coming back to check on us or if he thought his date (me) was attractive. Be careful with those “easy going” guys; that’s all I’m going to say.
  • “athletic” build – This one rarely pans out. I did, however, have a recent meet-and-greet with a guy who almost fit the “athletic” moniker. He was just a little skinny, but he was probably the closest I’ve seen for a while. Most guys who say they are “athletic” looking have what appears to be a beer gut. I have no idea why that is, but I now associate the word “athletic” with “pudgy.”
  • “average” build – This means, almost always: Fat. Although, when you think about it, obesity rates in this country are, indeed, skyrocketing, so who am I to say they aren’t actually accurate in claiming “average” status?
  • “good dad” or “great father” – Both of these descriptions are usually followed by an explanation point, and they often appear quite early in the profile. What this detail means is often “I am overly concerned with everything my children do every moment of every day and I do not really have the time or the will to date but I sometimes think it would be nice to have sex with something other than my hand.” Not that a guy can’t be an excellent father and a wonderful partner; I truly believe those guys are out there. But the ones who balance the various aspects of their lives usually don’t go on and on about their kids or post 10 photos of their children on their dating profile.
  • “financially responsible” – I don’t know what this is code for, actually, but I have noticed that these guys often drive 10-year old rust buckets. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
  • “highly sensual” – Code for “pervert.” A couple months ago I was on a date wearing closed-toed shoes and the guy requested that I show him my toes. Um…okayyyy.

When Women Write*:

*Note: I don’t date women or peruse their profiles, but from talking with a LOT of disillusioned men over the years, this seems to be the consensus.

  • “easy going” – This often means she is a couch potato. She gets scared at the idea of doing anything that will raise a sweat on a date (or maybe ever). She’s sometimes (often, from what I hear) a bit of a pushover, and may be so lonely she’s willing to put up with a lot of shit from the men she dates. (Needless to say, my profile does NOT say I am “easy going.”)
  • “average” build – Apparently this often means “chubby” or “overweight.” In the spirit of full disclosure, I put “average” on my own profile, and I’ve had a number of men say I’m smaller than most women who say they are average. I’ve heard from quite a number of men that this is code for “I don’t take very good care of myself.”
  • “athletic” build – From what I’ve heard from a good number of guys, this means “I worked out once, about 10 years ago.” I bet it sucks if a woman really is athletic (with those muscly legs I wish I had) when most of these jaded gents think you are probably going to be hideous.
  • “curvy” build – Seems like this one means “big and beautiful.” So I’m not sure what BBW would actually be code for. The whole thing is rather confusing, isn’t it? I would actually put “curvy” on my own profile, since I think that description kind of fits me, but I bet I would get fewer guys looking at my profile (even with my pictures as evidence of what I actually look like). I always assumed “curvy” meant you had bigger boobs and a good-sized butt…not necessarily overweight…but I guess I’ve been mistaken.
  • “independent” – A couple men have mentioned that women who put this word in their profiles often have photos of themselves fishing or hunting or otherwise wearing camo. Maybe “independent” means “I can kick your ass.” This one confuses me.

There are a lot more words out there that seem to mean something other than the definition I’m familiar with. I’ve become fairly adept at figuring out who the crazies are and who seem to be relatively normal, but every now and then a freakball sneaks in. But if it wasn’t for those freakballs, I wouldn’t have nearly as much fodder for this blog, now would I?



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