A significantly over 40-something Phoenix-based writer, author of On Being Eight Again and The Tao of Coyote. Divorced with no children, he has been exploring the dating scene and collecting tales of woe for many years.

The Male Call Advisory Board™ has been busy compiling the clichés and grievances that have piled up on our complaint desk (it’s a pretty big desk!) over the year. Although some of these have been dealt with, we thought it might be a good time to re-cap.

wrapping up
Love to laugh? Share your sense of humor — show, don't tell.

Online photo no-no’s

  1. No two people in the first pic (unless one of them is an infant). We know you gals like to have your daughter with you, as though to say, “Guess which one is me!” but it’s just confusing to guys
  2. No infants in the first pic (see how we did that?). The problem here is that it’s not 100% clear if it’s really your infant or maybe a toddler who lives with you. Either way…no.
  3. No grumpy face in the first pic. Although we’re told (quite rightly) that men shouldn’t go around saying “Hey, you should smile more,” the rules are different for online dating sites. Here you should be smiling or perhaps just have an interesting expression—quizzical? curious? enticing? professional? These are all OK, but the grumpy face just looks like you never bothered to check your look before leaving the…well, wherever you’re leaving from.
  4. No “feet at the beach” including “pool legs” and “pool toes.” It’s getting to be a tiresome visual cliché.
  5. No sideways pix. We could understand if it was still 1998 and you were figuring out how to update your Geocities or Myspace page. But really ladies, you haven’t figured out how to use a basic photo program by now? (Or just as bad: you never checked your profile to see how it looks? And finally...
  6. Do have some consistency of your look. We know ladies have different looks for different days and occasions, good and bad hair days, hair color changes, hair style changes. That’s all good, but a guy wants to believe it’s essentially the same woman, not some sort of Twilight shapeshifter who metamorphizes from a Frog Princess to Allison Gross (the folk ballad) from the first to last pix.

Language no no’s

  1. We know you don’t like drama — but what kind of life is really “drama-free”? It’d be like saying “Hey, let’s watch a movie…but I don’t want any drama in it.”
  2. We know you don’t like scammers: no need to tell us that. It’s like saying “No thieves please.”
  3. We know you “love to laugh” — so show us a pic of you laughing or wait…here’s an idea: say something amusing in your profile.
  4. We know you don’t want hook-ups, FWB, ONS (look it up, guys) — even if you actually do. Obviously, the guys are overloading you with improper solicitations, so, you guys…cut it out!
  5. And while you’re at it, guys: take off your sunglasses. This seems to be a hot button —a nd not in the good sense — with the ladies.
  6. Finally, a few other cliches that we can do without: “looking for my last first date,” “partner in crime” (do you mean, like, holding up a convenience store…or just skinny dipping?), “chemistry” (strictly gal-code that seems to mean “attraction” but means almost nothing to men), “Midwest values” and did we mention “love to laugh”?

Need a guy’s perspective? Email jrobertpenn@aol.com. For more words, ideas and whimsy, visit jveeds.wordpress.com.

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