It’s finally happened. After a month of online dating, I’ve received my first message containing the words “gorgeous,” “love” and “darling.” These three words, as far as I am concerned, should never, ever comprise an initial greeting unless you’re a teenaged Italian boy trying to coax an American tourist into your uncle’s restaurant.
(And even then, I still prefer the words tossed my direction by a Belgian restaurateur earlier this summer: “Beautiful girls! Come here! I will give you my heart… on a stake. To grill. With chicken and potatoes.” Now that’s a great line).
If you’re a grown man, however, trawling the waters of Match.com, you should not—I repeat, you should NOT—use the words “gorgeous,” “love” and “darling” in your first communiqué. Outside the context of an Italian restaurant (or say, a monogamous relationship of at least a few months) these words should never be spoken. These words, in this context, comprise a veritable trifecta of doom.
I really wish I could go through this man’s message line by ludicrous line, word by misspelled word—or better yet, just copy and paste the entire mess!—but being the “darling” that I am, I’m going to grant our man a bit of mercy and, for the sake of our common humanity, I shall resist the urge to upbraid him publically for his woefully misguided attempts at wooing Yours Truly.
But it’s such an awfully strong urge to resist! And maybe he’s not even a really person. Maybe his message was just an unfortunate bit of spam mail. He didn’t bother to address me by name but rather “Hey gorgeous.” This means that in theory, he could have sent this message to hundreds, even thousands, of women! And everyone knows that when a guy stops calling you by your name and starts calling you by generic terms of endearment it’s because he’s either forgotten your name (or never knew it to begin with) or because he doesn’t want to mix up your name with those of the other girls he’s playing.
Either way, it does not bode well.
And either way, a message that contains the word “amazing” three times (in succession) does not bode well. Nor am I terribly keen on the fact he mentions the word “God” on four separate occasions within a 250-word epistle (although, to be fair, context clues would suggest he meant to say “gold” the third time). And just so we’re clear, God does not grant “road maps” to the souls of “gorgeous” women so you might as well stop asking.
In theory, the love letter is a beautiful thing. I’ve got an entire box of them tucked away in my closet and even though I don’t cry when I read them anymore (I’ve made major progress over the past few years in the “stop doing stupid things” department), I imagine that I’ll never throw them away. This match.com Facebook message, however, I can’t wait to delete.
I know I’m not really one to talk when it comes to spelling and punctuation but for goodness sakes: proofread! Especially if you’re going to go through all the trouble of finding me on match.com, reading my profile, figuring out my last name (by virtue of the fact that my profile includes the name of my blog and my blog includes a link to my website) and then attempting to friend me on Facebook—as opposed to just paying the subscription fee to join match.com and sending me match.com emails like a normal person—then have some self respect. Proofread your first message to the woman you hope will be the mother of your children. Is that really too much to ask?
Evidently it is.
(And by the way, he didn’t actually say “gorgeous,” “love” and “darling.” His endearments of choice were way worse but because I’m attempting to avoid embarrassing the men I write about— and since who knows, his note might have been a genuine, heartfelt love letter (in which case the unfortunate bloke deserves a bit of respect)—you’ll just have to accept that I’m “gisting” again and that these are unfortunately mere synonyms.)