I’ve been playing a little game with online dating: it’s called the word cloud. Basically, you just notice the frequency of words used in profiles and you can get a very general view on the person who sits behind his computer.
An example? One guy I met online mentioned several times in the things he loves the word wine (wine & cheese, wine with friends, wine tasting, …). This really stands out in his profile. I haven’t met him in real life, but I bet he would immediately order a bottle of wine if we got out together. And drink all of it.
Another one used the word sad several times in his description. “Life is sad, people are sad,…” and his moniker on the dating site is really depressing too “Aloneinmymind”. He doesn’t smile on his profile picture (in fact, few men smile on their profile picture, they all look like serial killers).
This shows how easy it is to know someone, just by reading his signs.
This is also true when you meet the person in real life. Here, the interaction is even easier. We can instantly know if we’re with the right person or not. If we don’t feel comfortable, this is the sign there may be a problem.
The use of words here is also important. For instance, during each of my dates, I tried to tell to my date a personal and sad experience, but not too much, just to see his reaction. An example? When I got car-jacked earlier this year, I told that to one of my dates. He said I should have been more cautious. I didn’t pursue the date after that. Another one replied to me he wasn’t a ophtalmologist when I said my eyes were a bit sore after a day of work. I didn’t pursue the date after that either.
Worse, one of my friends told me she had a date when the guy was constantly bringing her down. He criticized her job (“Do you need any qualification for that? Anyone could apply” he said), he criticized her for having a yorkshire (“a stupid dog”), and he said that she shouldn’t take a dessert after their dinner. Luckily for my friend, she refused to go on a second date with him.
We should all pay attention to the choice of words. The signs of an unhealthy relationship already show in the few words we exchange for the first time. Or the lack of it…