Let’s face it. Online dating is like wading through a knee-deep cesspool of unidentified objects and lukewarm debris. You don’t like the idea of wandering this foreign swamp on your own, but bars are hopeless and speed dating has proven to be a complete flunk, so you pull up your pant legs, swallow your pride, and keep on searching for technologically savvy and ever online Mr. Right. You meet a cute, bearded specimen in a shallow pool and think your luck is shaping up for the better, but he turns out to be overly clingy and his stutter (although endearing at first) is turning out to be a fixed feature and not the nervous hesitation you thought. You bid your adieus, accept that your pants are going to get soaked, and keep right on hunting, this time a little deeper.
Your friends told you to approach online dating like a treasure hunt. Sure, there are a lot of false leads, misleads and clues along the way, but they ultimately lead to the prized bounty. You spot a finely chiseled, athletic lad swimming through the rubble so you call out to him. You up your game and whistle your admiration and wave your arms, but it’s hopeless; this guy is way more focused on his defined abs and pecs than helping you find your way out of this contaminated muck. Back to square one.
Before you get too defeated, and to help you in your hunt for finding a suitable mate, here are the 15 types of men you meet when online dating.
15 The Artistic Hipster
He’s probably wearing a button-up plaid long sleeve and sporting an expertly groomed mustache in his profile picture. The artistic hipster isn’t too hard to pinpoint and that’s exactly what he wants. His faux ruggedness makes him more alluring than he is, and that stack of wood in the background was definitely not chopped by him, like the photo might have you believe. He’s a man of clichés, and while he’s desperately trying to stand out and be original, the truth is, he’s just trying too hard. You can appreciate his stylized scenic shots and love for Jack Kerouac, but don’t be too surprised when you learn his supposed love for literature and prose is purely for show. If you’re looking for a woodsy outdoorsman who has the muscle to take care of you and the worthy words to woo you, you might be better off joining your local firearm safety club.
14 The Smooth-Talking Charmer
You’ll recognize the smooth-talking charmer from your first introductory exchanges. This man wastes no time on patient build-up and anticipatory word foreplay. He is all flattery and compliments, straight from the get-go. First he’ll tell you he knew you were the one from the moment he saw your profile. Really!? You begrudgingly filled out the mandatory fields just so you could browse the website, and slapped up a selfie that you took while out for your morning dog walk. He tells you you’re beautiful, intelligent and funny, without knowing your background or education, and you haven’t even cracked a joke yet (and you’ve got plenty)! If you’re looking for unoriginal and lackluster admiration, then this smooth talker is your man. Anything you do will be applause-worthy and you’ll never have to worry about whether his claims are authentic or not because you’ll know ahead of time that everything is BS.
13 The Hopeless Romantic
Say hello to this modern day Shakespeare, ladies. The hopeless romantic may appear idealistic and appealing in the internet dating world, but be prepared for the eventual onslaught of sonnets, soliloquies and ballads, all written in your honor. He may come on strong, and this sensitive man, although impulsive and forward, is for real. This timeless man lives in a world of outdated charm, flexing his literary, love-fueled wit and impressive range of vocabulary. If you’re looking for a partner with whom to watch all your favorite romantic comedies while you bask fireside, this is your man! The hopeless romantic is sure to shower you with praise, bouquets of red roses and chocolates, and sweet (perhaps borderline creepy) handwritten notes. Nothing is too cheesy for this dating type, and rest assured that this gentleman will always open your door, draw back your chair and place his jacket over top any puddles obstructing your walking path.
12 The Serial Dater
The serial dater has all the right lines and knows how to drop them at exactly the right moment. He’s funny, interesting and smart, and seamlessly responds to all your messages and queries without a hitch. There is smooth and then there’s too smooth. How does he know exactly what to say at exactly the right moment? Well, because this isn’t this cowboy’s first rodeo. He’s not only messaging you, but a bevy of other online beauties, and he’s laying all the right lines on all the candidates. He might make you feel special and unique enough, until you realize that this serial dater has been around the internet dating block a few too many times. If you’re looking for something casual and utterly unoriginal, then the serial dater is the guy for you! Warning, must be willing to share because this one isn’t looking to settle down anytime soon.
11 The Too-Good-To-Be-True
He’s everything you want him to be on paper -- sweet enough to meet your mother, bad boy enough with his leather jacket and motorcycle license, academic with his business degree, and well-traveled, his page boasting adventures to all your top travel spots (hello Thailand and Nepal). His profile picture is humble yet handsome, your exchanges are engaging, he makes you laugh, and he might just be the perfect jet-setting companion. The too-good-to-be-true type appears to be your ideal mate and perfect match, but before you throw caution to the wind and book any international flights, take the time to get to know this idyllic lover a little more. Sometimes, once you get to know a person, there’s a little more rust and engine issues than you originally thought. Perhaps he is the guy for you, but be patient and ensure you are getting to know his true colors first.
10 The Deceptive Older Guy
If you’re celebrating the fact that you’ve finally found the old soul you’ve been searching for (but in your age bracket), your merriment may be premature. Ladies, beware the deceptive older guy who claims to be the same age as you, but in reality is a lonely man in his fifties, lurking behind his computer screen. This older man hides his identity behind a Shutterstock photo of a devilishly dapper young man. His profile is deceivingly contemporary and hip, as he has spent hours scouring social media feeds to keep up to date. Don’t be conned by his claims of "just getting back from the gym" or "just saw the best underground concert last night." This middle-aged mongrel’s extent of physical activity is sporting sweatpants and headphones and slinging six packs of beer. Your best bet is to throw a few contemporary trivia queries his way to see if he is who he says he is.
9 The Authentic Unlucky In Love
Don’t be thrown by this guy’s apparently awful dating track record. Yes, he seems to have a high number of breakups and fall-outs for his young age, but this type just so happens to have experienced some serious misfortune in the romance department (and maybe it’s not his fault)! Sure, his desire for love and relationship his fueled his search and led him to some unsuccessful experiences, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t want to give love another shot. The authentic unlucky in love man is still eager to find the one, so give him a chance before you judge him solely on his bad breakup count. He may seem a little hesitant and distant at first, but that’s only because he is trying his best to protect himself from further heartbreak. Give him the chance to show you his heart, and you might not want to give it back!
8 The So Not Over His Ex
He’s newly back to the dating scene after exiting a five-year relationship, but he swears he’s over his ex-girlfriend and ready to fall head over heels for the right girl. So why is his ex featured on his online dating profile picture, and why does he casually slip her name into conversations with you? If you haven’t clued in already, he’s so not over his ex, and this man is not one on whom you want to waste your time. Breakups can be devastating and difficult, there’s no taking that away from him, but this newly single man needs the time and space to properly heal before he starts dating again. He’s looking for a rebound and not a real relationship. If you’re looking to drown your sorrows in a pint and share tales of past love, this dude might make a wonderful companion, but not a romantic partner -- unless you truly love hearing about his ex, that is!
7 The Single Dad
It’s hard to find a single photo of this man on his own! The single dad’s profile is crawling with selfies of him and his adorable daughter, and while it is endearingly cute, you wouldn’t mind a solo shot of him without his (littler) other half. He includes her cute little catch phrases in his profile description and caters all his interests to his proud daddy lifestyle. Be prepared for some serious third-wheeling because his daughter is going to be involved in every outing, date and adventure you two plan on taking together. While he might meet all your requirements in the romance department, time snuggling on your own is hard to come by, and unfortunately, you aren’t always going to be his number one. This guy is a family man and while he is looking to add to his dynamic duo, he can’t always give you the time and attention you desire.
6 The Escape Artist
Here today, gone tomorrow? In the internet dating world, this guy is your modern-day Houdini. He charms and romances you, makes you laugh with his sarcastic wit, excites you with plans of future dates and outings with you, and then disappears without a trace, leaving you with a cloud of smoke and questioning whether it was all a dream. The truth is that it is a dream and one that will never come to fruition because this escape artist loves the chase and that’s about it. He’s interested until you are, and then it’s his time to move on to the next specimen. The escape artist finds his thrill in the hunt and in the art of seduction. Maybe he truly does desire romance and connection, but it also scares the crap out of him, and he’s not going to be ready for commitment, attachment and stability anytime soon. He’ll run for the hills at the mention of "couple," "commitment" or "monogamy."
5 The Funny Guy
Knock, Knock! You’ll know this guy when you hear him. You’ll probably be able to spot him from his introductory lines. Mr. Funny cracks jokes a mile a minute. Sure, you have a wicked sense of humor, but before you plan a date with someone, there are a few casual things you’d like to know: Does he have a job? Does he like dogs? Is he an ax murderer? Humor is a wonderful thing, but if someone is constantly clowning around and never serious about anything, he might be working hard to conceal something. Sarcasm is a serious safety blanket and while it might not seem it, he could be hiding some major insecurities under there. Perhaps he’s using humor as a tool to evade some tough questions. A sense of humor is important, but there’s a time and place. Sometimes all you want is a sincere response without a punchline.
4 The Desperate Dude
The English bloke you started chatting with last week is good looking enough, temperately funny and strangely agreeable. He wrote back within one minute of your initial poke and since you started chatting, he hasn’t skipped a beat. You appreciate his mutual interest, but he’s a little too keen. This eager suitor appears to be the perfect online match and his hobbies and interests seem to be catered exactly to yours -- or so he claims. What you need to know is that this dude is likely compliant not out of synchronicity, but out of desperation. Whatever the reason -- age, bad breakup history, loneliness -- this man doesn’t want you, he wants a relationship. Obviously, he recognizes your amazing personality (how could he not?), but he’s in it more for the status than the compatability factor. Despite your continued lack of responses and engagement, he continues to message you in the one-sided dialogue. He doesn’t seem to take a hint.
3 The Long-Distance Romancer
The long-distance lover is a devoted man of many swoon-worthy words. Over online communication, he professes his interest and eagerness to meet you. While he isn’t in your area code, he soothes your concerns of the distance, repeatedly telling you that one day you’ll be able to physically be together. In the meantime, your patience is growing thin and you’re tired of messaging this (sigh) attractive gentleman who doesn’t seem to be hopping into his car (or on a plane) anytime soon. This guy isn’t bothered by the distance because it protects him from all the things that scare him -- that you won’t like him in person, that his personality extends about as far as the keyboard, that in person he’s a poor communicator. If your online suitor keeps playing the "one day" game, it might be time to swipe left and keep on trucking in your search for love.
2 The Workaholic
If the word "career" is the only noun listed under his profile interests, proceed with caution. While smart, motivated and passionate are attractive attributes, this career-driven cutie is sadly never going to have time for you. He’s looking for a relationship to satisfy his mother’s annoying queries of when he’s going to get married, and not for his personal gains. He claims he’s married to his career but looking for a woman to complete his happy picture. While he engages in written dialogue and shows general interest, he is sometimes unresponsive and never seems to have a free night to take you out to dinner. He seems to work every day of the week. When you do chat, all he talks about is his work. When you ask thought-provoking questions outside of the realm of career paths, he always leads you right back to discussing his next big project. You’ll eventually tire of his excuses and accept that you deserve more than this workhorse, so why waste your time?
1 The Gym Jock
His pictures show an eye-appealing specimen with bronzed biceps and chiseled features, but doesn’t he have any photos of his face? His profile is made up of half-clothed, from the neck down selfies that suspiciously look like they were taken in the gym bathroom. His interests don’t seem to extend further than dead-lifting, muscle gains and protein shakes. You’re all for self-care and healthy maintenance, but this is a little ridiculous. The problem with the gym jock is that his body is the only thing he has going for him and he probably has ridiculously high standards for you as well (take it as a compliment). Yeah, he works a nine to five job that keeps him satisfied, but besides that, it’s all locker room talk. If you’re looking to talk muscle definition and never tire of hearing how much he can bench press, then this is the sweaty guy for you.