Tastefully Trendy

A life and fashion blog by Sarah Beth

Tag: gif

So Much Cooler Online

When I lived in Virginia Beach, my friends and I would spend many weekend nights watching New Girl, eating junk food and drinking wine, and making lists ad nauseam of the things men do wrong on their online dating profiles.  You could think we were lame, but if you thought about it just a little longer, I bet you’d actually be really jealous, because honestly, does anything sound more fun than the combination of things I just described?  I think not.

It wasn’t so much that we were making fun of any guys in particular – just the ways they presented themselves, many of which are extremely common among most profiles.  Here are a few examples.

1) The first three pictures are car/gym/bathroom mirror selfies.

2) The first three pictures are him wearing a ball cap and/or sunglasses.  (Everyone looks hotter in sunglasses.)

3) There is only one picture.  It was clearly taken about 10 years ago.  It is pixelated.

4) The next picture is his dog.  And the one after that.  The one after that is his truck or gun.

5) There will almost always be an action shot on the top of a mountain or water skiing.  These will always be from a very far distance.

6) Next, the picture with the girl cropped out (even worse when she isn’t.  Or even worse than that, as one of my friends encountered, when she isn’t and has a mustache and horns drawn on her head).

And last but CERTAINLY not least is my personal favorite: the group shots.  There have been countless times that I really have no idea what a guy looks like because all of his pictures are group shots (or, if he also included an individual photo, it falls into categories 2, 3, 4, or 5 above).  Inevitably in a group, the guy whose profile it is will be the least attractive person in the picture.  I cannot for the life of me figure this out.  Maybe guys don’t analyze their friends’ looks the same way girls do, but in my mind, when you’re trying to put your best foot forward, why would you want to put better looking feet out there with you?

When this happens, I often just ignore the guy’s profile and keep looking.  He may still be attractive.  I mean, in the grand scheme of things, if he’s a 9 and his friends are 10s, I’ll probably find a way to survive.  But, to me, it’s a deeper issue than that.  In a small way, I feel deceived by the picture, like it was a grab bag situation, and the guy was hoping I’d be okay with whatever came out, even if it wasn’t what I was expecting when I started.

I don’t like dishonesty.  If there is one thing I will not put up with it’s lying, and even things like dating profile pictures weigh into that. For this reason, I keep mine current.  I think it’s only fair for a guy to know exactly what he’s getting when he meets me, and I expect the same.  Plus, it boosts my confidence to know that he did see me as I am and still wanted a date, and it saves both of us a lot of awkwardness and embarrassment.

Fortunately, I’ve never gone out with a guy who really looked nothing like his pictures. I would say most had profile pictures that were a good 20 pounds ago (still think that’s lying, but whatever…), but none looked completely different.  However, I know this is a regular occurrence, as several guys have told me they were glad I actually looked like my pictures, and then proceeded to share their horror stories of women who showed up looking nothing like advertised.

And that’s the whole point.  Of course, we want to appear our most attractive whenever we’re embarking on a new dating venture – that’s why we wear makeup, buy well-fitting clothes, invest in cologne and perfume, etc.  But, it’s just not fair to try to lure someone under false pretenses by posting an younger/thinner/heavier/taller/shorter picture.  It’s setting you both up for disappointment, and since everyone wants to find someone to love them exactly for who they are, why start out from a deficit of mistrust and adjusted expectations?  Why not give yourself the best chance by presenting your best you – not a pretend you.

So, that’s my little online dating pep talk for the day – be you!  Pick the photos that make you feel the most confident and most like yourself – but pick the ones which will also represent you accurately, while still in the best light possible.  And if you don’t know what those are, ask your friends!  No one wants to be dating online, but everyone is, so don’t worry – your friends absolutely will not judge you for trying it, and most will probably be very eager to help!

Do any of you have “wow, that was not at all what I thought you looked like” stories?  Or, do you have other photo stereotypes to add to our list?  (We haven’t even talked about written content yet…I guess that will be another post).  Let’s swap craziness!

Why I’m Single Reason #78: The Media

I blame much of my dating issues on the media (that’s the trendy thing to do, anyway, right – blame everything on the media?)

But, seriously.  Think of the number of romcom’s, sitcoms,  pop and country songs, and novels where the bad boy just needs to be tamed by the love of a good woman.   It’s a super common theme.

Here are just a few of my favorites:

Hart of Dixie – Wade and Zoe.  His abs have caused him a lot of problems in the past, but now that he’s met Zoe, he’s a changed man.

New Girl – I love Nick and Jess.  And just Nick.  But, let’s be realistic.  He’s a lazy, 30-year old bum who has never lived up to his potential.  Somehow, though, a relationship with Jess will make everything work out fine in the end.

A Walk to Remember – Landon mocks the preacher’s daughter, then falls in love with her, and marries her despite the cancer which kills her a few months later.  So, they don’t quite live happily ever after, but her love still transformed him into a completely different person.

And so it goes.  I haven’t read 50 Shades, but I know that Christian Grey has deep psychological issues that fuel his fetishes; yet by the end of the trilogy, he and Anastasia Steele are married with children.  Happily ever after.  Even in Beauty and the Beast – our beloved childhood fairy tale – Belle’s love is enough to transform a beast into a kind, gentle, loving man.  (I’m not even going to talk about Stockholm syndrome right now.  Off-topic.)

Here’s the problem: THAT IS NOT REAL LIFE.  Sure, we can all find examples of someone who converted to another faith after having met their spouse, or point at Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban and how she helped him get sober.  But, as my favorite movie He’s Just Not That Into You so eloquently puts it, “they are the exception.  You are the rule” (author’s paraphrase).  Or, at least I am the rule.


I have tried so many times to missionary date – you know, dating someone who doesn’t have the same belief system as you in the hopes that they will come to see things as you do, and then you can live happily ever after.  I know that this doesn’t actually work.  It’s usually not their faith that is strengthened, but mine that is weakened – and with it, my convictions, attitudes, principles, etc.  But, being the eternal optimist/hopeless romantic/indoctrinated American female that I am, I secretly still have that hope that MY love will be that magic key to unlock all the good that has been hiding in the misunderstood, bad boy. I tend to date for potential, but you can’t do that. Potential may never be realized, and then you’re 6 months/3 years/a lifetime down the road, and in an unhealthy and poorly matched relationship because you thought that he would change.

Of course, I always say that I know I can’t change him – only God can.  But, still, I inflate my personal responsibility in the situation, thinking, “without me, though, how will he ever know God? Don’t I have an obligation to share Jesus with this guy, and maybe God will use me?”

Garbage.  I never verbalize these thoughts because I know they’re ridiculous, but they persist nonetheless.  Yes, God can use us in someone’s life – male or female – however He wants.  But, He doesn’t need us helping Him along by making out with some guy in an effort to show Jesus’ love.  I’ve read the Bible through a few times, and there is no recorded use of that particular conversion method in all of Scripture (possible exception: Hosea and Gomer, but that’s complicated).

Bottom line, we need to stop believing all of the fairy tales that culture is sending us and just avoid these entanglements in the first place (deep down, I think we know they’re not right for us, anyway).  Of course, I’m not saying give up on romantic dreams. TRUST me, I’m going to see Cinderella this weekend and am quite certain I will leave that theater full of romantic dreams.  But, let’s stop settling for less than God’s best for us under the guise of “helping” someone become who they were always meant to be. It’s not actually helping him, and it’s sure not helping us.

Have you ever tried missionary dating (or just dating the bad boy/girl that you thought would reform)?  How did it go for you?   Have you seen yourself influenced by the bad boy turned good philosophy, and has it had any actual affect on your view of relationships?  Let’s talk!

Oh, and for a little light-hearted satire on the issue, check out DatetoSave.com.  Hilarious stuff, folks.

Beating the odds

Falling into the category of “that would only happen to you, SB” is a story from very early in my dating life.  A guy that I’d really liked had recently unceremoniously dumped me for his long-time on-again, off-again girlfriend.   I wasn’t dealing with it very well, so when I learned that he and his roommate were going to a concert one Saturday night, I thought I would try to win tickets from the local radio station.  If I was successful, it would be a sign.

Let me pause and talk about what good luck I have winning tickets from the radio.  As an 8 year old, I won tickets to see the Gaithers (I don’t know why I wanted these tickets; I fall asleep at the concert.  But, I won them, and that was all that mattered).  Many years later, I won tickets to see Kenny Chesney.  So, on that cold night, when I went to the concert arena and basically walked up to the station and was handed two tickets, I was the only one who wasn’t really surprised.

With my best friend in tow, we hurriedly got ready and went back for the show.  Let me pause again and say that at this point in my life, I HATED concerts.  Or, at least, I thought I did.  My only real experiences with concerts was youth group conventions where everyone jumped around, and (as my dad likes to say), “mosh pitted.”  I’m outgoing, but I’m still fairly conservative in my expression.  So, I was literally only going to this show because this guy was going to be there.

When my friend and I found our seats, I texted the guy that I was there.  He was most shocked of all, and probably not all too happy that he now had to come clean and, actually, it wasn’t his roommate coming with him after all, but rather his girlfriend.  My heart sank, but not as much as it would when they walked in to the 10,000 person arena and found their (pre-assigned) seats – two rows in front, two seats down from me.   I could watch them together the whole 3 hours!

I wish I could tell you any of this story is an exaggeration.  I promise you it is not.  Fortunately for me, they were late and not super mushy, and my friend and I ended up having a great time (ironically, the guy she was interested in was also at that same concert; apparently, there wasn’t a whole lot else going on in town that night).  And, most important of all, I learned that I actually LOVE concerts!  I saw a very young Miranda Lambert as an opener that night, which was really fun (I don’t remember for sure, but I think she may have smashed her guitar), and I learned that adults don’t have to jump around.  You can actually be quite calm while enjoying live music.

So, all’s well that end’s well.  Despite my brilliant, but for some reason, failed effort to stalk a man into loving me, it was a successful evening, and while that guy and I never did get back together, we managed to overcome the awkwardness and become sort-of friends.

Has anything like that happened to you?  Do you have luck either with winning tickets or being assigned seats immediately behind your ex and his/her significant other?  What would you have done?!  Let me hear your thoughts!

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