Jared Freid (@jtrain56) is a comedian and one of the “Bros” at HeTexted.com. HeTexted is a site where girls can get advice on the texts they receive from guys. Every Thursday on PostGradProblems Jared will answer one of the questions from his HeTexted mailbag. These are real questions from real girls visiting the site each day. If you have any of your own dating questions go to www.HeTexted.com and ask Jared or any of the other Bros that fit your particular situation.
Q: I met a guy over a year ago on Facebook. We’ve been chatting on (Facebook) and even met up a few times. I just feel like we are stalled. Sometimes the Facebook conversations will restart but we always go down the same cycle of talking on Facebook, meeting up, hooking up, then nothing. How do I change the cycle? Will this ever change with him?
A: If I was a girl looking to meet a guy, I’d probably have some sort of list of ways I’d want to meet him. A fix-up would be around the top of that list. Somewhere in the middle, I’d have Internet dating–that’s not a knock to Internet dating. It just ranks behind meeting someone naturally while your headphones are off (like the cavemen once did) or being thought of as the perfect future divorce for a friend. Somewhere near the bottom of the list, just below meeting someone at a Donald Sterling “All White” party, would be through Facebook.
I stay away from Facebook as much as possible when it comes to dating. Becoming friends on Facebook before there’s enough time to get to know each other is like bringing the moms into the picture too soon. She starts saying things about you that you’re aren’t ready for her to know. She pulls out embarrassing pictures. She even has a random friend on speaker who comments at some point with an off-color racist joke. Now you’re left with a prospective mate drawing her own conclusions based on the things you can’t control. Sure, that #TBT little kid picture is cute, but if a guy sees that on a girl’s Facebook and he doesn’t know her that well, he wonders if he really wants to get to know the girl whose family dressed her kind of slutty at age five.
I’m talking a few dates in. This doesn’t even include the guy who decided it was a good idea to “make a move” over Facebook–that guy didn’t just come across your picture randomly. He didn’t throw a message out there the minute he saw you, but he might have wanted to. You came up in a mutual friend’s birthday picture. He went to your page. He used every skill his SAT tutor ever taught him to unlock more pictures. He wrote a message. Then he deleted that message. Then he thought of poking. Then he remembered how creepy that is. Then he looked at the friends you spent your last birthday with. He felt confident he hadn’t drunkenly made out with any of them. He then wrote that message again and finally sent it because he’s “pretty sure we met somewhere along the line and you’re totally cute and I know this is kind of creepy, but did you go to Maryland?” even though he already knows all of this information.
Sure, he’s making an effort to reach out and he thinks you’re cute, but that gets in the way of the real point. You two have someone in common who he could have asked for your number and he didn’t. He could have taken the confident route. He could have asked what your deal was and had one referral to back up his “not creepy” claim. But he didn’t. You might be saying, “Isn’t that what Tinder is?” I’d say yes, but Tinder is a dating application. Everyone’s intentions are written in the description. You’re never on Tinder thinking you’re talking to someone because maybe he or she’s looking for a new friend. If you are, you have much bigger issues.
At the beginning of this column, I ranked the ways to meet. The fix-up is a really great way to meet someone, because there’s a lot more responsibility. The guy has to do it right or else he’s not only disappointed you, but he’s also disappointed the friend who put it all together. He knows that from the beginning, which is why things normally move slower and the whole thing isn’t about sex. The issue I have with the guy approaching a girl on Facebook is that he has the chance to cast himself in a fix-up. He didn’t. If you two message over Facebook and you meet up late at night and things don’t work out, then at least he got to see your Halloween pictures and he doesn’t look like a jerk to his friend. This girl should move on, and every girl should be as critical on a guy approaching her on Facebook as they are on a guy approaching them on Craigslist.