Why Criticizing an Online Dating Profile Will Backfire
While I’m a fan of JDate and recommend the site to many Jewish singles that I create irresistible online dating profiles for, this recent introduction message from a man who actually liked a woman’s profile, broke multiple rules of netiquette.
What exactly did he do wrong?
He corrected what he believed was a grammatical error and took it one step further and took a screen-shot of the improper sentence and forwarded it to her in his introductory email.
Where was his dating etiquette? How could he not know he was making a huge dating mistake? First impressions do matter, so of course he blew any chance of meeting her. Should she give forgive him? Would you run the other way or laugh it off? Feel free to chime in with your comments.
Subject: Commented on your profile essay
While I believe you should use the “Spelling and Grammar” check on business and social emails, “aspires” was not incorrectly spelled and slipped through the cracks. If you look closely at his comment, ironically you’ll notice a few grammatical errors on his end as he typed “U” instead of the word” you” and “sayin” instead of “saying.” Was the pot calling the digital kettle black? Should you use slang and shorten words in an email if you’re not limited to 140 Characters on Twitter or 160 in a text message?
As an online dating expert and one who diligently preaches about first impressions and netiquette, he failed miserably.
Stunned by receiving this email from a potential suitor, the recipient decided she had four choices:
- Ignore him.
- Delete his email and possibly block his profile.
- Write back and laugh it off.
- Write back and let him know he was correct about one thing. He was indeed a jerk.
She chose option four and responded as follows:
Subject: Re: Commented on your profile essay
“While I appreciate a profile with perfect punctuation, I don’t believe an introduction email to someone whose profile you actually liked should start with a critique unless they’ve asked for one.”
“However, since punctuation and grammar are important to you, please note in your email to me, that the word “you” is spelled improperly as “U” and not y-o-u. Please note that there is no such word in the dictionary of “sayin.” The appropriate spelling of that word should have a “g” at the end of it and should be “saying.”
“However, you did spell the word jerk correctly.”
Was it too harsh of a reply? What would you have done?
Feeling completely embarrassed, the gentleman pursuer wrote a 300+ word apology letter, blaming his behavior on his father. Was it a red flag that he put the blame on his father or just a witty apology? She appreciated that he didn’t get defensive and a cyber flame war was not initiated.
“Thank you for your note and other than attempt to explain (not sure that’s possible), I apologize and am truly sorry for sending that note to you, truly. Jerk is correct and more than kind and again, rather than you simply dismissing this stupidity with no response, I can’t thank you enough for your words, thoughts and feelings in your response.”
“I’m sure you are familiar with the expression ‘like father, like son’, this is something my father would do, his intent was well meaning, but it came across rude and insensitive. I dubbed his stupidity to other family members as, ‘foot in mouth disease’. What possessed me to send this e-mail to you was sheer stupidity, for the life of me I can’t figure it out…just trying to do the right thing, in an ass backward manner.”
“Although you may not believe me…I am not a jerk. You’re correct in that I truly enjoyed and appreciated reading your profile, however, in attempting to be a good citizen, much the same as flashing my headlights to an oncoming car whose lights are off after sunset, I fell victim to my dad’s ‘foot in mouth disease’.”
“Yes, I had plans of reaching out to you tomorrow, in the hopes after reading my profile, you felt meeting one another made sense.”
“I’m so very upset, I felt I owed it to you to apologize as soon as I read your note.”
“I’m hoping you’ll find it in your heart to forgive me. Should you be receptive to starting over with one another, I’m messaging you for all the reasons you state within that portion of your profile, as well as your straightforwardness, ‘current’ age and beautiful ‘current ‘pictures.”
“Again, thank you for taking the time to send your note, which surely helps me from repeating this same jerky behavior.”
At the end of the digital day, critiquing someone’s dating profile will get you in the doghouse. Would you give him a second chance, or the opportunity at a first chance? Have you ever critiqued a stranger’s online dating profile? Have you ever done this same? Your comments are welcome.
Julie Spira is a leading online dating expert and the author of the bestseller, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online. She creates irresistible profiles for singles on the dating scene and helps singles ride off into the digital sunset by shortening their search. For more dating advice, sign up for our Weekly Flirt newsletter and like us at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert
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