Our twenty-first-century rogue tells you how to separate the online-dating keepers from the man-eaters.
Illustration by Celia Calle
I recently started online dating after getting dumped by my girlfriend of a few years. I’m amazed by how easy it is to pick up girls and bag them on the first night out. I guess I shouldn’t be that surprised, since I’m sane, creative (I’m a published poet), I work out (I’ve been told I look like a buff Kurt Cobain), and I ride a motorcycle. But I am surprised that these girls seem to be in it mostly for dick. We go on a few dates and everything is awesome—so much so that I find myself asking them how they feel about being exclusive. Keep in mind, I’m not pressuring them, just asking. Invariably, they stop returning my calls after the “going steady” conversation. I’m a little confused. I thought most girls like a guy who’s willing to commit. What am I doing wrong?
When it comes to girls you meet online, it’s safe to assume they’re anglers. There are two types—the ones on the catch-and-release program, and the ones who show up with a cooler of ice, ready to take home the first catch that meets their requirements. You, my friend, have encountered catch-and-releasers. They reel you in for pleasure, then return you to the dating pool. A catch-and-releaser is usually coming off a bad relationship, or having some sort of crisis, or she finally lost those 20 pounds and wants to slut it up. Maybe her parents just split after her old man had a fling and suddenly she’s anti-relationship. Whatever the reason, she’s livin’ it up and givin’ it up. Nailing this kind of girl is easy, but nailing her down is another thing. She’s probably seeing a half dozen dudes at once, surfing a wave of ego validation; she’s not looking to lie on the sand next to you, no matter how good you look shirtless.
Another thing: If a girl is online to bounce back (or be banged back) from a bad relationship, and she sees a guy who works out and has a Harley, she’s expecting a ride on the open highway, not a dark trip down the tunnel of love. If you want to weed out some of the catch-and-releasers, don’t advertise the bike. Hype up your poetry instead. No woman ever used a man for his iambic pentameter.