Dating, Judging and Labels

Quite some time ago when I was still using Twitter and other social media sites, I posted a tweet that was something to the effect of

“Being a gamer or loving food aren’t traits, and they’re red flags in dating profiles to me. Be someone!”

That’s a pretty provocative comment really, and it received quite a few likes but also some scorn – mainly, that me “judging people for their hobbies” is a red flag.

Whatever, really, because it as usual went over the broader context of what I was talking about, and it was in reference to the fact that these things aren’t “traits”. Calling yourself a foodie or a gamer really isn’t interesting whatsoever – everyone is a foodie or a gamer on some level – including me. Hell I’d argue especially me, because much of the time I’m playing and reviewing new games or exploring different cafes with my girlfriend. Just look at my damn steam profile.

I mean jesus christ, I have three PSPs and four PlayStation 3’s – because reasons. I used to review games for websites and have literally thousands of them, alongside very rare collector’s editions of several games, the Witcher series and WoW coming to mind. Not to mention thousands of hours in Quake 3 and UT, as well as entering tournaments in my younger years. You’re also not hardcore unless you play traditional rogue-likes. Fight me.

Trust me, I really don’t care whether someone games or not – it’s been something that is a daily in my life for pretty much as long as I can remember. I know my shit and I am a total dork when it comes to gaming.

But again, it’s not something I speak about much or care for when dating, and it’s because barring some of the interesting adventures I’ve been on when I was freelancing, gaming isn’t really something that engages people much in a conversation.

It’s just not interesting and doesn’t really say much about someone. It’s likewise the same thing with people who put political affiliations in their bio. Left, right, centre, upper left corner slight-85 degree angle right wing sausage whatever the fuck, I don’t care.

And the reason I don’t is because again, it says nothing barring giving me a label that I can deduce some things from – which is basically begging the question but with humans. Oh, it says “liberal”, that must mean they believe in X, Y, Z. NEXT. It tells me nothing about you, except that you are attached to a name. Great, do you have a personality outside of that or are you just a flag pole with a name on it? Fuck off, how is any of this remotely useful on dates except telling me that I’ll be in for political speeches?

It goes into the whole labels thing I talk about often – I really don’t care what you call yourself. What stories do you have to tell me? What bizarre quirks and adventures can you tell me about? Are you interesting? Or do you like Netflix? I like Netflix too, but so does everyone else I’ve met.

Think of it this way – which is more interesting, a person who you go out with, nods their head in agreement with everything you say and has everything in common with you after ticking off the check list, or someone who is mysterious in some way and has a push-pull dynamic with you? Do you want a mirror, or do you want polarity? Do you want some conflict in there and playfulness? I’m pretty sure you do, and it makes for good sex.

Tension is important in dating. I argue there always needs to be emotional and sexual tension, and much of that has to do with differences in interests, opinions, political affiliations and whatever-the-fuck. I’ve dated women who are pretty at odds with me on pretty big issues, but I damn well had fun going out with them and learned more about what I liked and didn’t like, because I was physically attracted to them, and they enjoyed the conflict I brought to the table – I’m playful and like to provoke people a little. It gets the emotions running and the senses flaring. Hey holy shit this person is slightly annoying/fun/exciting! Being a bit of a dick head sometimes is good. Keep in mind, most of this commentary is coming from my own experiences and from a male point of view. So this is more for da boiz.

Gaming, netflix, food, etc really don’t cut it. They’re things you do, that’s great, but I also do things, and I’m pretty sure (no, I’m sure, from experience) that talking about my achievements in a video game are not going to get me anywhere on a date.

Be somebody, and when I say that, have interesting stories to tell – about your life, the things you’ve done in it, ambitions, etc. And please, play and tease, too. Dates are supposed to be fun, not fucking job interviews. Stop being so risk-averse.

And I think that really sums up why I don’t like these labels in dating profiles. It’s a checklist summary of people and takes away much of the humanity. There’s a lot more fun and tension in meeting people for real, shaking their hand and getting to know them. There’s curiosity, questioning, prodding and most of all, tension. There’s risk involved, because you no longer have your safety checklists.

Online dating largely takes the risky evaluations away, and it tends to make shit boring.

So, no – I don’t care if someone is a gamer, demorepubliberatarianistovic or whatever. You do you, but that’s not gonna be the thing that gets you laid.


Tired old man rants on blog for money


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