Dating is all about giving people a chance, peering past superficialities such as appearance or mannerisms or quirks in order to see the person underneath. Because superficialities don’t matter — compatibility and chemistry do.
Unfortunately, the early stages of dating are rife with land mines in terms of turn-offs and pet peeves. When you barely know someone, and you’ve only got a few emails or texts to go off of, it’s hard to not judge a guy on his ill-advised use of font.
The following is a list of pet peeves that, while not break-up worthy necessarily, certainly don’t do a lot for a guy upfront.
Sexist? Yes. Small-minded? Certainly.
But also…sort of true!
I recently tried to set up one of my guy friends with one of my girl friends. I’d talked him up to her, and she seemed totally game to meet him, so I did an email intro. ["Jack, meet Jane. Jane, this is Jack. You two work in film, and are insanely opinionated when it comes to the Criterion Collection. You should meet!"]. My guy friend wrote her the coolest, smoothest response suggesting they get a drink — except for some reason he wrote it in the ‘Notes’ section of his phone, so the message got sent in Comic Sans.
She didn’t reply to his invitation, and honestly, I can’t really blame her. Woe to the guy who tries to woo in anything other than Helvetica. (Times New Roman at worst.)
A few years ago, Joe Berkowitz wrote an excellent defense of male useage of emoticons (“Mr. Darcy Might Have LOL’d.”) Which, yes, men have just as much right to use a winky face than women, we can agree on that. But a face made up of punctuation marks is not suave, is not sexy, is certainly not articulate.
So, sure, Mr. Darcy might have LOL’d or :-D’d, but, my guess is, Elizabeth Bennet would not have been impressed.
3. Exclamation Points
In terms of gender, the world is an unfair place. Women come off as bitches if they’re confident and forthcoming in the workplace. And men come off as effeminate if they wear scarves or use too many exclamation points.
But until there’s a female president and an equal number of men and women Fortune 500 members, I’m gonna go ahead and wince a little every time a guy says “See you soon!!” instead of “See you soon.”
4. Leaving Voicemails
Why make me dial in my voice mail and listen to a 30 second ramble from you when the information could no doubt be more succinctly relayed via text?
And please don’t ever, ever, leave me a voicemail just to inform me that “you called,” and that you’ll “try me back later.” I could have gathered as much from seeing your name under “Missed Calls”!
5. Calling Me, In General
Here are the people with whom I like to converse on the telephone: My Dad. My friend Molly. My Grandmother. Some relatives. That’s it.
Everyone else — everyone else! — communicates with me via text and GChat. Including my mother. So if we just started dating — or even worse, are not really dating, but rather setting up a date, do not not not call me and make me go through the slight panic of seeing your number flash across my screen, begging for my immediate attention, forcing me to excuse myself from wherever I am and go outside and talk to you when we could so easily do this via text message. And if you’re just calling to chat? We can do that on the date.
(Once I was at work, and it was like, 11, and my phone rang and it was this guy I’d gone on like, two dates with. So thinking it must be some kind of emergency because why else would a human call me at 11 o’clock on a work day, I answered the phone. And he said, “Heyyyy. Just on my lunch break so I thought I’d call.” And I was like, oh this is not going to work. This is not going to work at all.)