In a recent Jezebel article called Dating Sites Encourage Men to Be Interesting, Women to Be Doormats, Lindy West writes: Women: be willing to change yourselves to make men like you. Men: Be yourself and the ladies will find you. West s money quote: Him, him, him. Make sure you listen to him!
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Ask him questions! He worked really hard on this date! And he s paying for it, apparently! You want him to feel great about the date, don t you? He deserves your UNDIVIDED ATTENTION.
West is reacting negatively to dating advice given to women on eHarmony. Pointers like: Anyone want to argue with that advice? Sounds vaguely familiar to the advice that I ve been giving for nearly ten years. Things like:
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Again, this is good advice to men. So if the advice to women is good and the advice to men is good, what seems to be the problem here? Well, what seems to drive the author crazy is that the advice to men and women is different. Let s think about why that would be. Hmmm 6.
Men and women ARE different. It s that 7. As such, giving men tools to stand out when actively approaching women makes sense, since they re far more likely to be ignored. And telling women to give guys a break especially men who aren t too marketing and online-dating savvy is also sensible advice. But acknowledging that would completely undermine the vitriol of the piece and the undercurrent of sexism that the author is looking to find.
So really, it doesn t matter that eHarmony is actually giving good advice that would be generally effective for most men and women. All that matters is that she got to be snarky about the patriarchy. It ll blow you away. Read the full Jezebel article. And feel free to share your thoughts below.
And before I close, I just wrote a newsletter about this concept as well. The gist of it is that, in my experience having written more online dating profiles (for better or worse) than anyone on the planet the most important thing you can express in a profile (whether you re a man or a woman) is what the READER gets out of dating you.