Advice

Miss Information

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Have a question? Email erin@nerve.com. Letters may be edited for length, content and clarity.

Dear Miss Information,
A friend of mine said that you only get three true loves. After you’ve had your three — and I have — you’re done, and no one will ever have that spark for you again. I didn’t think much of it, but in the past few months my dates and hook-ups have all lacked that spark. Am I crazy for believing this? Fourscore


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Dear Fourscore,
We can draw all sorts of conclusions about our lives. Some are based on fact: it is dark in my apartment; it is dark because I didn’t pay the electric bill; I can’t watch Golden Girls repeats; I’m sad that I can’t watch Golden Girls repeats. I can accept these facts and get off my tuckus and pay the light bill, or I can do nothing and conclude that the universe doesn’t want me to be one with Blanche, Dorothy, Rose, and Sophia.
Now let’s look at your situation: you’ve had some relationships; they didn’t work out; a lot of relationships don’t work out; it can be difficult to meet people. You can keep grinding away, or you can give up based on some offhand remark made by a friend with a passing interest in numerology.
Fear is what’s lurking behind these dating superstitions. We don’t understand love. That scares the crap out of us, so we try to make sense out of it with artificial constructs that give it meaning — The Rules, The Game, He’s Not That Into You, and so on. Use these all you want. They’re a great help to a lot of people. Just try not to take any one as gospel. Ultimately, it’s a little of you, a little of the universe. You owe it to yourself to keep tinkering with the recipe.

 

Dear Miss Information,

My dating profile has been active for years. Literally. Guys will hotlist me and look at my profile over and over, but they rarely reply to my emails. My profile name is [redacted]. Any tips? Noble Sort

Dear Noble Sort,
The transgressions I spotted in your profile are ones I’ve seen on many an online dating site.
1) You use far! too! many! exclamation! points! in your profile. Enthusiasm is good, but show some grammatical restraint. One or two is acceptable. More than that, and you sound like you doodle unicorns when you’re not worshipping Zac Efron and snorting Sudafed.
2) Stop bringing up your family. In your profile, you answer eleven questions. Grandma & co. show up four times. Unless I have an incest fetish, I don’t want to be thinking about your kinfolk when I’m taking the first steps toward doing the dirty. It’s just not right.
3) Six pictures and I still can’t get a good look at your face. Quite an accomplishment. You want to post shots that are both visually interesting and flattering, and there’s a way to do that without taking an super-duper close-up under fluorescents. Lock yourself in a room and take shot after shot on your cell phone/digital camera/what have you. Take at least fifty, and I’m sure you’ll find one that doesn’t make you nauseous.
4) I have a big problem with females who use the word "sassy." It reminds me of Cathy cartoons and chain-email forwards my mother sends me about Coca-Cola dissolving your teeth and Bill Gates giving everyone a C-note. In fact, it’s No. 1 of my Unfuckable Five — dealbreaker terms that people use in online personals. Here’s the complete list, both male and female editions. If you kids have any of these on your profiles, do a purge right now:
Unfuckable Five: Girls
1. "Sassy"
2. "High-maintenance" "Hi, I’m a bitch masquerading as a cutesy stereotype!"
3. "Fun-loving" As opposed to fun-hating. Way to differentiate yourself.
4. "Sweet" zzzzzzzzzzzz. Like they told you in English 101, "Show, don’t tell."
5. Cat references in user handles MizSexyKitty, purrfectgirl_76, etc. This is weird and cloying. Keep it up and I’m going to spay you and make you poop in a box.
Unfuckable Five: Guys
1. "Mr. Right" No. Don’t do it. Just. Don’t.
2. "Generous" You sound like you’re either trying to pay someone to go out with you (i.e., hire a hooker) or brag about your money. It’s better if you anchor it with something "Generous with my time," or "Generous with my affection."
3. "Cultured" If you were, you wouldn’t have to say it.
4. "Gentleman" See "sweet" above.
5. "Bad boy" Hey, you wouldn’t happen to know Ms. Sassy, would you? Just checking. You’re either a cheater or someone has a court order against you.
Readers, what are your Unfuckable Five?

 
 

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