Clementine Ford: The 7 Types Of Men You'll Meet Dating Online
Somewhere towards the middle of last year, I found myself re-entering the lawless, swampish hellscape of online dating.
My last viewing of this hackneyed comedy of errors had taken place almost a decade earlier, but I found that nothing much had changed in the reboot: Same players, same tired storylines. Worse jokes, probably. The exact same level of adoration for The Office (UK). Still too many electric keyboards.
To be clear, I wasn’t looking for a relationship, just a temporary reprieve from the existential crisis of living in a world doomed to perish under the weight of catastrophic climate change, plus maybe a feel up under my shirt. You know, the usual things.
But my short foray back into the sludge of orchestrated meet-suits has reminded me of what I already knew: that much like there being seven days of the week, seven plotlines and seven stages of grief, there are also only seven types of basic heterosexual cisgender man. Here they are, in no particular order:
1. The Joker
This guy can be anywhere between 19 years old and 53 but age is just a number baby. He loves a laugh and people who don’t take themselves too seriously. Good banter is a must! Don’t worry if you’re not sophisticated enough to get his jokes, because he’ll definitely crack up in the middle of telling them so you know what’s supposed to be funny and what isn’t. He refers to his friends as ‘the lads’. They are the ones pictured in exactly the same pose (10 arms thrust around each other, one hand clutching a beer) in 90 percent of his photographs. Until the moment you turned up at the pub you suggested, you still weren’t properly clear on which one was him. He found his mattress on the side of the road, and he will never make you cum.
“Hi, I’m a guy on Hinge! I love Seinfeld and The Office (UK) and I know the best spot in town for tacos. Love banter and people who don’t take themselves too seriously! Here’s a photo of me drinking beer out of my mate’s shoe.”
2. The Gym Guy
Listen, before a ton of guys email me to scream that I could probably actually do with working out some more (f*ck u by the way, come back to me when you’ve pushed a 3.5kg football out of your butt), OBVIOUSLY I think it is fine to go to the gym and do ‘exercising’. I like gym stuff! I like hiking! I can do 10 toe push-ups, right down parallel to the floor and everything! I’m going to a barre class tonight! I bet you can’t do that! But guys, gym talk is boring as f*ck. I don’t need to know that you spend nine days a week ‘working out’. I know that already, because every photo you have is of you standing in front of a mirror flexing your muscles.
“What’s up beautiful? I’m looking for a woman who takes care of herself and likes to take care of her man too. You should NOT contact me if you’re not into fitness. I’m not into sleep-ins. I would rather get up and go for a run and then relax together with a short black."
3. The Aussie Bloke
At first glance, this guy could seem like The Larrikin. And it’s true that they do have a lot of overlaps, mainly in their Netflix watch queue. But there are some subtle differences. For example, The Larrikin is more likely to sport a giant pair of novelty sunglasses in at least one of his pictures (possibly three) while the Aussie Bloke favours a pair of classic meth dealer shades slung around the back of his neck or cradled on the brim of his baseball cap. The Aussie Bloke loves AFL and considers this one of the most important and interesting things to know about him.
"Hey gorgeous. I'm just an average guy who loves his footy (go Bombers!) and his beer. I’m looking for a lady to spoil and to snuggle on the couch with. Let's debate if pineapple belongs on pizza!"
4. The Drainer
You’ll know The Drainer the instant you stumble across him. His profile is just a list of all the things he doesn’t like in women, from the amount of time we spend in the bathroom to whether or not we have tattoos or have dated ‘a lot of men’. He’s very clear about what he will and will not tolerate, but offers nothing of his own appearance or personality beyond one half-lit photograph of him sporting a neatly trimmed goatee and then four more seemingly identical shots of the same picture but with very slightly different poses. Don’t worry, because even if your own profile explicitly violates every single one of his rigorous deal-breakers, he will still definitely message you.
“Let’s get this straight: You should NOT contact me if you have tattoos, smoke, drink alcohol, have slept with more than five men, swear, are taller than 5'7", live in a share house, aren’t interested in having children (or have kids already), don’t go to the gym, take selfies, are ‘feminist’ or have short hair. No time-wasters please.”
5. The Conversationalist
His profile has barely any information on it, except for his height (lie), age (lie) and his job (lie).
“Not really into answering these questions, if you want to know anything just ask.”
6. The Thinker
He’s left-leaning, into cooking and nature walks, prefers Netflix over nightclubs and would rather read a good book than pollute his brain with reality television. He loves a good debate and is fond of playing Devil’s Advocate to ‘see what makes people tick’. He’ll share with you a very long list of literary writers whose books he claims to enjoy, and you’ll notice none of them are women. The only thing he cares more about than Camus and Joyce is music, and he guarantees you he knows more about that than you do. He is overly competitive about everything. Some time into your first date, he’ll let you know he’s into non-monogamy and he thinks this fact will blow your mind.
“Smart, compassionate man available for dates, dinners and intellectual conversations. Let’s go see some live music and talk about the state of the world over tapas and wine. Taller than you in heels (because apparently that matters). Not my kid in the picture.”
7. Your Perfect Match
Just kidding! He doesn’t exist.