Oh the Men You’ll Meet! An Online Dating Field Guide


Whether you’re the nature type or the metro type, a wide range of male specimens can be found online. (Illustration By Ai Elo/The Observer)


Whether you’re the nature type or the metro type, a wide range of male specimens can be found online. (Illustration By Ai Elo/The Observer)

If you choose to enter the world of online dating, you should know that certain real-world etiquette does not translate into HTML format. The dot-com domain is the bar; the user profile is the pick-up line. With the help of Wi-Fi, judgment of a potential mate comes down to the second of a click.

In a desperate battle to stand out amongst the masses, men update their dating site profiles in the hopes that you’ll notice them.  These rare mammals are hybrids: projecting one personality on your laptop and living another in the day-to-day jungle of New York City. Which is the “real” him? To find out you’ll have to date them, but we’ll make the field guide to bring with you.

The Techie
User Name: PhilioTechnus
Descriptors: The Techie may be a tough one to spot. He, like you, is sitting at a computer. The only difference? He doesn’t move from his. And perhaps, he couldn’t if he tried (the various Ethernet cables and charger wires may trip him). It’s actually very normal to have all your profile pictures be of yourself. However, it is not normal if they are all taken on Photobooth (with headphones on). The Techie gives a new meaning to being “turned on.”
Habitat: His swivel-y chair.
Expert Discussion: The Techie has affinity for all things USB cord capable. Is this love created out of sheer nerd factor or loneliness? Whether the former or latter reason is less pathetic, experts have yet to decide. We say give the guy a try and see if he likes you enough to put down his game controller.
Safety Disclaimer: Get your monthly check-up for epilepsy before the date. He might want to play his new laser video game with you as a “night-cap.”


The Good-Life Guy
User Name: BuenosDiasMuchachas
Descriptors: The Good-Life Guy believes the sunset is best enjoyed with three shots of tequila. He also thought the Old Spice guy commercial (“The Man Your Man Could Smell Like”) was a public service announcement, not an advertisement. He took notes. His pictures include him with sunglasses on, playing a saxophone, riding a motorcycle, holding Thai beer, in Thailand, back in sunglasses.
Habitat: Any mammal that compensates this much lives with a lot of women (and by women, we mean his mother and sisters).
Expert Discussion: Don’t. Treat him like the Grinch: keep away with a 10 ft. pole. Unless, of course… he is an investment banker. Which in that case, all traits of douche-baggery are completely warranted and backed by a six-figure salary. So what if he still lives with his mom? You weren’t planning on sleeping over.
A Real Quote from an Anonymous Good-Life Guy: “I am the warmth of the sun on a beach in summer. I am your mother’s love for you, only stronger. I am the bubbling laughter of really good-looking babies.”
Safety Disclaimer: Don’t take him somewhere too dark, what with the sunglasses and all. Warn him beforehand if you are seasick, sensitive to musk/oak scents, allergic to shell-fish or have a fear of flying. Chances are the first date will include an activity to induce all four.


The Plagiarist
User Name: Sanscopyrightist
Descriptors: He sent you a message, twice. Don’t think that’s weird? Well how about if I told you it was the same message. This guy makes copy and paste an art form. Uninterested in quality, this breed finds that quantity works just as well. Who has time to write personal messages anyway? He hopes that the more messages he bombards you with, the more time you’ll give him (you’ve got to at least admire the persistence). In the end, he’s right. You will take the time to message him back: LEAVE ME ALONE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!
Habitat:  A Chinatown knockoff handbag store or StubHub offices. Who needs the real thing when you could get a fake?
Expert Discussion: Mimic his ritual. Copy and paste his message back! Imitation is the highest form of flattery.


The Nature Guy
Username: Dirtmaximus
Descriptors: I spy with my little eye a Nalgene bottle. Do a quick profile scan for the words “outdoors,” “organic” or “Brooklyn Botanical Garden.” One or more keywords found? He’s a Dirtmaximus. Eco-friendly, he got his buddy to take pictures of him riding his bike, descending in skydive, ascending a mountain and pitching a tent (no pun intended).
Habitat: Probably a very, very small apartment. No wonder he likes nature so much.
How to Capture Him: Stop your romantic walk in the park (the only space of green in New York City) to pick up a discarded cigarette box or wrapper. Throw it out. He’ll swoon at the fact that you too care about the environment.
Disclaimer: Dating could be potentially fatal if you have seasonal allergies. Hopefully your feet are calloused enough for tree-climbing and you don’t believe in killing cockroaches (“bugs have feelings too”). You can kiss Doritos goodbye—they’re not fair trade organic.