I have to admit up front that while I started living up to this particular theory a couple of years ago, it wasn’t a formal theory as such until a wise person brought it to my attention.
You have to scare them off.
But wait, isn’t the entire-fucking-point of dating, especially online dating, to entice someone and garner their interest? To stand out from the masses of damaged-goods as a bright, shiny, perfect specimen of datability?
Well sure, but unless you’re authentically being yourself, in all your charmingly weird glory, you will not actually accomplish this goal by putting on a grand show. Oh, sure, everything will be nice dinners and scintillating conversation, flowers and lights-off sex, but after a while, you realize that dating takes way too much effort. The problem is two-fold. First, you’ve put up a contrived front of fabulosity that must be maintained, lest you disappoint your new beau. Second, and the real crux of the problem, is that the beau you’ve attracted is the kind of person your pretend self wants, and probably isn’t right for the you that’s been suppressed.
Take heed – this shit is important. You won’t end up with someone you’ll actually like.
So I say, scare them off. Are you afraid that your, shall we say, slightly off sense of humor will be off putting? Do NOT hide that! Put it out there, or you’ll spend your time censoring yourself and making up excuses for why you laugh every time his Mom says she prefers taking the back way in.
Is farting the upper echelon of humor for you? Try locking the car windows and letting out a hot wave of death to see what happens. Sure, most people will flee, and maybe relaunch their last meal, but that one special someone will water your eyes with her own brand.
The point is quality over quantity. Your search for love may take longer this way, but it will be far more likely to end well.
I’ll give an example of scare-them-off in action. My very first date arranged online was a nice, but uneventful dinner. The guy seemed reasonably intelligent, but the conversation, while not forced or awkward, was limited to bland small talk. By the end of the meal, I was on the fence as to whether or not I’d try a second date. Then he offered to walk me to my car. We stopped at my little hatchback, and he stammered, “that’s your car?” while eyeing the bloody hand prints on the rear windshield.
“Why yes,” I replied. Sensing his nervousness, I tried to reassure him. “I put them up at Halloween.”
“But, it’s July.” He seemed distressed. “And you have a small child.”
“Oh, she won’t let me take them down. She got very upset when I said I needed to clean the window.”
He quickly shook my hand and murmured something about being in touch. We never did go on a second date. I might have wasted more time on getting to know him, but his reaction to my very mildly morbid decor told me everything I needed to know. It just wouldn’t work.