"When I work with singles on their profiles, I find that they are often unaware that some of the words they have used in their essays can actually be turn-offs to potential dates," she said.
Carle made two good suggestions: Don't use terms of endearment "too soon," and don't overwhelm potential dates with your thirst.
Carle continued to give other examples of the ways men repel women online, but most of the problems sounded like they were rooted in misogyny rather than word choice.
For example, Carle advises men against "words that reveal how you objectify women." Using a "real-life" example, she wrote:
When Carl saw Lois online, he wrote her an email that said, “You are so beautiful, I’d like to drape you on my arm.” Lois replied with: “What? You have me confused with a sweater.” Carl defended himself, explaining that what he was trying to say “came out wrong” — but he didn’t attempt to explain what he did mean originally. Making a bad outreach attempt even worse, Carl said, “Let’s have dinner. Even if it doesn’t work out, I’ll still pay.” Now with this missive, Carl had attempted to buy himself some superficial love for the cheap price of a meal. Women don’t want to feel like an ornament to be displayed and fed, so naturally, Lois never responded.
In this case, instead of suggesting that Carl use different words, maybe he should examine his intent behind both of his objectifying statements. Or maybe Carl should just delete his Tinder and read up on some feminist theory.
This goes hand-in-hand with other advice Carle gave, including telling men not to use "words that challenge her choices in life" or "words that imply a woman should keep her mouth shut."
If you come off as if you want a woman to keep her mouth shut, there might be a deep-seated reason for that. In that case, it shouldn't be about word choice on your dating profile—it should be about respect and basic human decency.
Ditto goes for Carle's advice to avoid "words that suggest you have a short fuse." Her real-life example was about a man named Robert:
Karen received an introductory message from Robert via an online dating site. After reading his profile, she thought he seemed nice but dull, so she didn’t reply—but Robert wouldn’t give up. He sent Karen another message, saying, “Hi, Blondie. I sent you a message. Still waiting to hear from you. Be a sport and answer back.” Karen gagged on this guy’s crass familiarity. “Blondie?” she thought, still ignoring him. Robert sent a third message—but this time, he extended his fangs: “What’s the matter, Blondie? Not good enough for you? You don’t know what you’re missing. At your age, you shouldn’t be so finicky. Your loss, Sweetheart.” Karen finally did respond after that—by blocking Robert permanently.
If you're a person with a temper like Robert's, you might want to examine why you're angry.
A 2014 University of Queensland study found that “hostile attitudes were not uncommon among men who felt ‘sexually entitled’ to women.” No man is entitled to a woman's attention, and none should turn into a disrespectful sass factory when they don't get what they want. This isn't an issue of Robert's word choice, but his attitude towards women.
Therapy is a good option. Read some bell hooks. Don't be a Robert.
Overall, Carle's guidance focused more on helping men get dates by manipulating their public images rather than finding a compatible, healthy match. Guys (and everyone dating online): Just be yourself. If that honesty leads to rejection because your problematic attitudes are revealed, change yourself—not just the wording on your OkCupid profile.
Carle did not immediately respond to NTRSCTN's request for comment.