The Private Man

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Online Profile Codewords Used By Bossy and Domineering Women

I’ve already covered the concept of the strong and independent woman, here.

In an effort to avoid bossy and domineering women for a long term relationship, men should be on the lookout for the codewords of the women with those unpleasant traits. If any of the codewords are used when a woman describes herself in her online dating profile, be extremely careful.

There is a bonus in that the codewords can often be used to spot an entitlement princess.

Here is the list:

  • Strong and Independent
  • Sassy
  • Headstrong
  • Opinionated
  • Feisty
  • Willful
  • Bold
  • Demanding
  • Ambitious
  • Hard charging
  • Sarcastic
  • Assertive
  • Aggressive
  • A handful
  • Difficult
  • Challenging
  • Tough
  • Smart-aleck
  • Uncompromising
  • Won’t “settle”
  • Usually gets what she wants
  • Competitive
  • Outspoken

It is important to note that many of these words and phrases are applied to men in a far more positive light. Most of these words and phrases describe successful alpha men. If a woman is applying these words to herself, she perceives herself herself as having masculine characteristics. It’s like saying “I have a penis” in an online dating profile.

While a bossy and domineering woman might be fun for something short term or for an alpha man’s harem, these women are extremely bad for a long term relationship because frankly, they’re too damned difficult to put up with for any length of time. After 40 years old, such characteristics become very difficult to de-program, regardless of Game applied.

I do realize that some guys are looking to be let the woman take the lead in a relationship and so they actively seek out bossy and domineering women. I can only take pity on those guys.

There is a vicious social expectation feedback loop that too many men fall into. Bossy and domineering women have become the expected characteristics for women (thanks feminism!). So, men feel (unnecessarily) that they somehow must be attracted to such women. Then, in an effort to attract men, feminine women feel they must become bossy and domineering.

For the rest of us, if we’re honest with ourselves, we seek the feminine. Bossy and domineering is simply not feminine. It’s repellent and ugly. Reject those type of women for long term relationships. They are only good for the short term or for the harem.

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75 thoughts on “Online Profile Codewords Used By Bossy and Domineering Women

  1. knepper on said:

    Yet isn’t it amazing how many of these self-described independent women will mention in their profiles that they are looking for a man who will open doors for them, a real ‘old-fashioned’ gentleman, etc. I want to scream, ‘well, which is it? You can’t have it both ways!’

    • Yes, they think they can have it both ways.

      • I’m honestly confused why not. I do want a gentleman, and I am sweet and warm, but… I am also assertive, ambitious and sarcastic (not mean or aggressive, but sarcastic). I like looking feminine and taking that role (in fact, a marriage like that is a dream of mine), but I also like being smart and hard-working. From my experience, men actually like those things, because I’m smart enough to be more than arm candy, and I can and want to take care of myself. Don’t those things make me the opposite of an entitlement princess? I’m certainly not bossy and domineering, I just want to do the best I can and have many successes in life, that’s all. And I can have a sarcastic sense of humor. 😛

      • Assertive, ambitious, and sarcastic are words that typically describe masculine characteristics. Accentuate your sweetness and warmth, back away from the sarcasm (especially in public). Replace assertiveness with resolve. Replace ambition with goal-setting. While the words all might seem the same to you, an intelligent man of quality will understand the connotations of your original wording.

        One more thing, if you intend to be successful in your career and work your way up the ladder, research hypergamy and apex fallacy.

        You’re welcome.

      • DC Phil on said:

        What sarcasm means to me:

      • “I find sarcasm attractive” – said no man ever.

    • For me, it’s a simple enough thing. We have sexes for a reason and it’s natural for men to want in a women what men are not. The masculine seeks the feminine. If a woman doesn’t want to be dominated, or she wants to dominate, she should be a lesbian. Unfortunately, there are far too many willing, sniveling betas out there to keep them housed and clothed, all while enduring the onslaught of their verbal diarrhea.

    • If they’re so strong and independent, why are more of them attending university, rather than discovering things on their own?

  2. Morghan on said:

    Any tips for searching out potential females that are genuinely strong rather than self-important entitled pains in the arse?

    I do want a strong woman who can give me a run for my money. Someone who can hunt, dress a kill, carry a heavy pack, and fight like a demon when required. By that I mean in defense of her family, not random attacks on people who are only threatening her pride. I’m looking for a woman that can take care of herself, but has the honesty, honor, responsibility and a sense of accountability for their actions.

    The problem being that those that come off as strong usually aren’t. They draw their power from double standards and general bullshit behaviors that would never be excused in a man. They attack men, but hide behind the abuse industry when one of them chooses to defend themselves. They lie, cheat, steal, have abortions in secret and then leave when they decide that they need to “find themselves” regardless of who (the children mostly) it hurts.

    Is it a fantasy to even hope for one who fits that profile?

    • I can spout the usual platitudes about “there is always someone” but given the state of things, that is false hope. Emotional pornography is thoroughly evil.

      Do you really want a genuinely “strong” woman? Such an adjective is almost always applied to men.

    • Paige on said:

      Some women are more testosterone-influenced than others. I definitely am as well as my sister. Do keep in mind that even tough women tend to get way more girly and emotional when pregnant or with young children.

      It is a trade-off though. My sister can dress her own kill but she is extremely bossy and easily angered. On the good side she is extremely loyal and I don’t think she would get a divorce for anything less than habitual cheating or barbarous abuse.

      Dating a genuinely “strong” woman is a bit like dating a man in the sense that you can expect similar flaws. They have higher sex drives but they also have a harder time staying faithful and are more likely to be career-obsessed.

    • I don’t understand why a man would want a woman who has a killer instinct and enjoys hunting, fighting and is “genuinely strong.” That’s indicative of some serious testosterone, and there are more lesbians like this than straight women.

      When my father-in-law was teaching me to shoot a gun, I was terrified. It’s a useful skill for sure, but you’re better off finding a feminine woman who’s open to such things and teaching her yourself. You demonstrate alpha qualities as well.

      I have known a few very outdoorsy women who are into backpacking, mountain climbing, hiking, etc. But these women are already surrounded by men with similar interests and have no dearth of male attention. They are also the exception to the rule, and most of them still aren’t into fighting like a man.

    • Trey N. Toluene on said:

      I do want a strong woman who can give me a run for my money. Someone who can hunt, dress a kill, carry a heavy pack, and fight like a demon when required. By that I mean in defense of her family, not random attacks on people who are only threatening her pride. I’m looking for a woman that can take care of herself, but has the honesty, honor, responsibility and a sense of accountability for their actions.

      That describes a man. Why would a man want a man for a wife? It just sounds like you need some friends.

    • You can probably find such a lady who is/was in the Army or Marines.

    • I’m a woman (31) and enjoy outdoors-y activities. I’m passionate that the food I prepare in my kitchen be whole and nutritious, not some nutrient-lacking junk that comes from a factory farm. I reached out to my friends to teach me how to gather, fish, and hunt and dress my own game so that I could provide for my household. I enjoy hiking, backpacking, rock climbing, and horseback riding. I taught myself how to change the spark-plugs in my car because if one drives a vehicle, one should know how to troubleshoot it, and what needs to be done to keep it in top performance. (I cringe when both men & women ignore the first sign of car trouble in hopes that it will “go away.”)

      On the flip side, others would likely describe me as nice (I genuinely can’t think of the last time I was mean to anyone. No one is worth being mean to. If they don’t make you happy, then good gravy, just ignore them), smart (I used to teach HS math), and moderately feminine. I feel just as comfortable in dresses and skirts as I do in Carhartts working on my car. I own an astonishing collection of 4″ stilettos, but they sit on the same shoe rack as my Asolo boots. I don’t dress “girly,” but most days I dress nicely for the office (including accessories… earrings do so much to dress up an appearance!).

      What I’m trying to say is that with moderation in all things, one can have their feminine partner who also enjoys “non-feminine” activities. Similarly, men who enjoy “feminine” activities can be appreciated for their honesty… Both are doing what makes them happy, and living a true and genuine life is the sign of a healthy individual. My partner likes to say, “Yes, that’s the love of my life… and she can both lash together a tripod AND win pageants.” (True story… I think that’s why he likes saying it, heh heh.)

      As for the keywords list, again… all things in moderation. Dating profiles, like resumes, are not the time to throw out adjectives. If I were filling one out (which I’m not, I’m happily in a LTR), I wouldn’t say “strong” I would say, “I enjoy lots of physical activities, so to stay at the top of my game, I learn new sports and practice them often. This year it was both ballet and Olympic weight-lifting.”

      Instead of “bold” or “independent,” I might say, “I like adventure and when I was younger, packed up everything I owned and moved 3,000 away, knowing no one, to spend a summer teaching 12 year old girls how to ride a horse, rock climb, survive in the wilderness, and to guide them on an 8-day trip through the BWCA.”

      Instead of “ambitious” and “demanding,” I would say “I’m working towards a few goals and am looking for someone who will complement my ambitions. In the next year, I’m training to run my first adventure race, as well as learning to sew. In the next 5 years, I’m hoping to start my own business, write a novel, and go back to school to learn something new. I tend to be very demanding of myself and my time and hope my partner and I can set and accomplish goals together.”

      I’m tough in that I certainly don’t back down when I cross paths with a bear and her cub. I’m competitive in that I enjoy winning at trivia night at the bar, but am perfectly happy if I don’t even come close. I’m feisty in that I don’t typically sit on the couch, but rather plan fun activities and meet new people. I’m outspoken and not shy in that I’m constantly enrolling in new classes and learning new things with no trouble meeting others. I’m uncompromising in that there are certain characteristics that are unacceptable in my mate (lying, aggression, not liking my big 90# dog).

      Blah, blah, blah… you get the idea. 🙂

      These descriptive words, in and of themselves, aren’t bad. It’s all about context. My advice to you… if you meet a woman you like, ask her if she would like to join you on the activities you enjoy (hunting, backpacking, etc). A lot of women haven’t had the opportunity to learn these things because it’s “not very lady-like.” I’m willing to bet, however, more women would love to learn these new things if they had a partner they could trust teaching them.

      Second, it’s only mild, but if you’re speaking about women in front of women, my mother always taught me it’s impolite to say “females.” That tends to be an adjective, whereas woman/lady/gal/etc are all nouns. We are more than just our parts, you know. 😉

      Third, the last part of your statement seems rather angry, which is understandable. But treating all women as ticking time bombs who will just dick you over at the first opportunity attracts the wrong kind of women. If you’re with someone whose behavior wouldn’t be acceptable with a man, don’t tolerate it with her, either. If a woman attacks you, heck, if ANYONE attacks you, walk away and leave. It’s pretty rare that you hear of a man being so brutally attacked he can’t get away without brute force. If a woman lies, cheats, or steals… LEAVE. If you are not a liar, cheater, or thief, then you deserve better. I’m very clear in my relationships… one lie, and I’m gone. The foundation of a solid relationship is based on honesty and transparency. If that ceases to exist, the whole thing is at risk of tumbling down.

      Generally, these types of women are likely to end relationships… so don’t get involved with them from the start. One lie, and it’s over.

      Yes, you (and the other posters) are right… finding your “dream” woman is going to take a bit of effort on your part. But it’s really a numbers game. It’s like hockey… goals aren’t made by passing the damn puck. They’re made when players try. If a player averages 50 SOG to get 1 goal, then they need to make 49 attempts before that elusive reason for high-fiving random strangers hits the net. (I can’t be the only hockey fan here, right?) If your potential perfect mate is 1 in 500 women, well, get crackin’! You have a lot of women to meet and reject before you get to number 500. She’s out there… you’ve just gotta wade through a whole lot of noes before you get the yes. Good luck! 🙂

      • All that and a hockey fan? You have a very lucky partner.

        As far as the rest goes I haven’t given up, but definitely started evaluating people more thouroughly. Definitely trying to remember that NAWALT, I know quite a few who aren’t, but they’re all married or in long-lasting LTRs. Being in my early 30s is an issue there as well, the line “All the good ones are taken.” comes to mind.

        I will say that if I had been attacked before we had a kid I would have thrown her out in an instant, but what can you do when you know that the deck will be stacked against and your kid you if you walk out?

      • Check your hockey analogy again.The best goals are made by passing the puck.

  3. Days of Broken Arrows on said:

    Hahaha. Funny stuff, but very true.

    I want to add one to your list: caffeinated. I’ve seen women use this description and from what I gather, it’s a euphemism for women who are loud, hyped-up and a handful. Who wants a woman who is like a hyperactive child?

  4. Damn shame. They are all code words for “I’m a bitch and you’re just going to have to deal with it.”

    I have quite the taste for strong women in the true sense of the word, who can actually get real sh** done. I want a woman such that I don’t have to compensate for her lack of agency or courage.

  5. imnobody on said:

    I couldn’t agree more. Strong, independent, high-testosterone women are a pain in the ass. Give me femenine women everytime.

  6. Ha! Actually the top 1/3 of your list, I could easily use to self describe. Such a shame that these words are assumed as code, when they’re used with truthful intentions by many. Rather than a sign of bitchdom, it’s a sign of a balanced individual.

    Personally, I prefer chivalrous treatment, and reciprocate—it’s a sign of respect. Don’t see how mutually respectful treatment amongst two people is unreasonable. Unless one of the individuals has some serious issues with insecurity, which your article is definitely projecting.

    Thanks for the laugh!

    • Note to self, avoid this person.

      So… you take on masculine characteristics while accepting chivalry.

      I really doubt you reciprocate.

      You dominate for the purposes of selfishly taking as most bossy and domineering women do.

      Oh… and nice try regarding the shaming language….”serious issues of insecurity”.

      That’s a logical fallacy of the ad hominem and when you use it, you lose the argument. See ya in the funny papers.

      Here are some lessons in logical fallacies:

      This is the Manosphere, you’d better step up to the plate regarding logic and reason or you will be breezily brushed aside.

  7. Women make lousy men.

    What women fail to realize is that men could completely and thoroughly dominate them if we chose, but out of politeness we choose not to.

    There is no room left in their lives after all the space has been taken up by their enormous but brittle egos.

    Make no mistake, there is no ego more fragile than that of a woman.

    • I’ve long said ego is to men what pride and vanity are to woman. Men project too much.

      Some qualities are universally attainable and desirable and therefore need not be restricted to one gender.

  8. Resource11 with her ‘thanks for the laugh’ comment is clearly not laughing.

    Little note for you lady: You sassy attitude is not intimidating – it is more like body odor, something distasteful. I can “handle” bad BO when I am trapped someplace and must endure it, but as soon as I can get away from the stinking individual, I will do so.

    Funny, though; they never scream after me “You wimp – you can’t handle my strong body odor!”

  9. Anonymous on said:

    I have a Russian friend on the internet. His wife does just about everything in the house. He eats microwaved food about two or three times a year only, she cooks for him every day, and even digs the potatoes when he is in work. He said that Russian women will queue up to marry a westerner and get out of Russia.

    Anyone know how much a flight to Moscow costs?

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  12. What is your opinion on sarcasm? Because I am riddled with it and it’s simply too far engrained in my personality to change at this point. Do I have ANY hope at all at someone who is “normal”? (I realize that you do not have a crystal ball or anything, but I really value a stranger’s point of view because they don’t have to hold back.

    • Many of the guys here don’t like sarcasm in a women. That includes me. I find sarcasm to be poor crutch when trying to be funny. It also interferes with clear communication.

      The only thing you have to change is your ability to think before you speak. Practice that and you’ll find the sarcasm reduced quite naturally. You simply need to work on your brain to mouth filter

      • DC Phil on said:

        I don’t find the need for anyone to be sarcastic. When I was younger, the term carried a negative connotation, and was used in order to put someone down.

        Indeed, the root of the word is the Greek word meaning “to tear flesh.”

  13. This one thing I’ve noticed with women (I’m a women too).

    If you’re super sweet, warm, and catering to others, some men may call you a doormat, exploit you and call you a wimp.

    If you stand up for yourself and be assertive, you are too masculine.

    So, which one is it? You can’t win either way.

    • This is a very good question and worthy of its own blog post. The short answer is this, it’s always good to stick with feminine behaviors and appearance to attract masculine men.

      Some men will indeed call you a doormat or wimp (“wimp”, by the way, is an insult almost universally applied to men, interesting choice of words on your part) or exploit you. The men with the insults are just beta guys who fell for the bullshit social expectation that women must be strong and independent. The guys who are exploitative are the real assholes.

      • Privateman-The man who did say to me was ironically an unhealthy and bitter ex. Another recent boyfriend told me “You’re too nice. Start being angry and give people what they deserve.” (he was referring to people that step on my boundaries).

        I think I would like to aim for something in the middle.We women make the mistake of being too passive or downright in your face nasty. The best approach IMO is to be gracious and dignified, but don’t let people harm you or take advantage of you. You can stand up for yourself without being aggressive.

  14. Another weird thing I’ve noticed is that I’ve had some men online say that I type very “manly”, but these are men from my culture. My culture is notorious for expecting women to be subservient.

    Offline, I’m told that I appear really nice, vibrant and soft. Some people have even said I’m too nice or timid. It’s really hard to know how people perceive me when I get such mixed messages.

    • MY gf is VERY nice and sweet but if she has been unfairly treated she will stand up for herself. That seems to be about right.

      I think the operative word is nice, and, also, to be curious about the state of other people–to care about others. If you are not that nice and only talking about yourself (self-absorbed), I would say that is not as feminine for most men as being nice and caring of others.

    • “My culture is notorious for expecting women to be subservient.”
      Are you sure you’re not saying that because
      … your culture expects you to live up to the opinion of men that YOU think are below your attention?

      It seems that the cultures “notorious for NOT expecting women to be subservient”
      … are cultures that hold that the only behaviour women should aspire to,
      are what makes them attractive, to the few men at the top of the social hierarchy.
      Which neatly explains sluts and cuckoldresses.

  15. My culture is notorious for expecting women to be subservient.

    Your culture is the most gender realist of all.

    Even the white Western types will say that about Indian culture.

  16. ^The man who told me “You’re a wimp. You can’t stand up for yourself or say no. No wonder people walk all over you.” was an Indian man. From non-Indian men (Europeans and Americans), I’ve gotten positive feedback about my character and presentation.

    There are unfair practices towards women and children in Indian culture, but I would rather not get into that. This just isn’t the place to explain.I will tell you it breaks my heart to see how Indian culture treats child sexual abuse victims and females that are raped (damaged goods syndrome). The family and gender expectations of Indian culture is why many victims keep silent and let the perpetrator get away with their actions.

  17. Also TFH-I wonder if you know that Indian moms are known for coddling their adult sons. There’s so much talk about alpha and beta males on these blogs. Do you think a mama’s boy is an alpha or a beta?

  18. I think, by reading some of these comments, people tend to confuse betas with omegas.

  19. I think in general it’s a wise idea to avoid those who self-describe anywhere in an online dating profile. First, they’re violating the show-don’t-tell rule. Second, there’s probably an immensely good chance that they do not in fact display the characteristics they describe.

    After all, someone who describes themselves as “assertive” in a dating profile is probably not assertive: they are either passive and in denial, or aggressive and in possession of a very high opinion of themselves. I think the connotations that we glean from this writing aren’t because true assertiveness is unattractive in women, for example, but because the word is a red flag for another kind of behavior.

    In my mind, a truly assertive person is one who can peaceably debate the merits of a deeply held belief. They would give counter-arguments due consideration, but wouldn’t cave simply because someone else was pushing them to. That, at least, is a life skill I wish more people had!

  20. Some Guy on said:

    This site is great. I meet about half the women I date online. You guys should see how many manly women there are in the DC area! Place attracts them from all around the country. It’s bad …

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  22. I’d like to add the adjective “badass” to this list.
    I dated a girl once and she often described her friends or idols as being badass. That word became synonymous with “cunt” for me.

  23. I would like to add “blunt” and “lacks a filter”. This usually means the woman says inappropriate and/or rude things often and expects no repercussions for it.

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  28. I get that many of words you mention do denote a bossy woman, but independent and strong? I’m a very feminine kind of girl that definitely takes care of my man, but I’m also independent and strong.. as in not dependent on my man or my relationships for happiness and possess personal strength and know who I am and who I am not. I’m not stuck on myself and consider myself to be a constant work in progress. I strive to grow and learn always. I’m not afraid to be alone. I’m not afraid to go on adventures by myself, so.. I do consider myself to be strong and independent, but many people who know me would also say I’m a push-over (the exact opposite of bossy) because I will do absolutely anything for those I love, I’m not stuck in my ways, and I do not boss anyone around or tell anyone what to do. I’m not looking for someone to complete me or save me or expect those things from me. On the other hand, I think a sign of a good relationship is when you can challenge each other to grow and learn from each other without telling each other what to do or forcing your ideals on them.. I don’t know, I’m probably not explaining correctly, but in my mind relationships, like life, are about balance. My guy friends, ex-boyfriends, and men who are interested in me always say my independence, adventurous spirit, and personal strength are my strengths and the things they love best about me. Wouldn’t you want a woman who is independent, has more to life than you or her relationship with you (meaning the relationship isn’t her entire world, she has her own interests, and the relationship is just the cherry on top that makes her smile?), and has the strength to fight for you when you need it (because everyone needs someone in their corner sometimes) and the personal strength to overcome the obstacles that life throws at her? I can only speak for myself, but personally, I look for men who are independent and strong, but also compassionate, open-minded, and gentle.. and who can appreciate and recognize those things in me.

      • LOL.. it’s all semantics.. and these are words, qualities, not “feminine” or “masculine.” You assign them a gender, but they are not gender specific. To each their own.. we all have our own opinions, neither right or wrong, just opinions..

      • and just BTW.. the connotations behind words vary greatly with everyone depending on their unique life experiences and upbringing.

      • Of course… but know your audience. And the human experience is surprisingly common. We’re not all special snowflakes.

      • Nope, but we all have own unique fingerprints 😉

        What do I know.. I don’t date online and sounds like you’ve done a lot of it. I prefer to connect with people in person. I prefer phone calls to text or email.. idk, I guess I’m old fashioned that way. I do find your perception of feminity and masculinty interesting though.

      • @Jen – if you don’t date online – then why are you so defensive about the codewords? The reason this post is true, is that it is true. Are there exceptions? Of course. And the exceptional would be wise to use different words…

      • LOL.. I find it interesting you perceive my comments as defensive. I understand this is a truth for you, but that doesn’t make it a universal truth. As I’ve said, we all have opinions..

      • @Jen – Absolutely defensive – you spent a rather lengthy post and several followups defending how you’re S & I but not at allllll like the stereotypes.

        We all know about stereotypes – that they exist for a reason – and that they’re not universal. We also know those who protest the most are often the most smack dab dead in the middle of the bell curve.

        Then again, since you don’t deign to go online, you’ve nothing to worry about, right?

      • LOL.. this does keep me entertained during an otherwise dull day at work. Think what you want, it’s your right to do so. You’re absolutely right that I have nothing to worry about 🙂

      • ‘cuz you’re strong and independent! I’m betting sassssssssy too.

      • Nope, I don’t have anything to worry about because I’m happy with myself, don’t have a problem finding dates or friends or boyfriends, and don’t date online. 🙂

      • Jen, you object to TPM’s quite accurate explanation of how words like “strong” and “independent” are perceived by men when used in a woman’s online profiles, yet you’ve never used online dating. Your objections are belied by the collective experience of thousands of men who have tried online dating that the use of these words in a woman’s online profile usually denote a woman who is indeed bossy and domineering. And, as TPM notes, usually not a good prospect for a long-term relationship.

        You also have to understand the context in which these words are used: in a profile supposedly designed to describe a woman in a way that will be attractive to men. Actually, most women tend to write profiles that they think are going to be attractive to men because that’s what they find attractive in men. The thinking goes that if this is what they find attractive in men, then, of course, men will want someone with similar qualities. Unfortunately, they’re wrong; the profiles they write would be better at attracting women.

        You say you can take care of yourself and have inner strength to pursue your own interests. That’s great, but it’s also kind of a baseline of a well-adjusted human being. If you are meeting a man or perhaps on a first date, would you describe yourself to that man as being “strong and independent”? Probably not. Mainly because those qualities should be apparent in your manner and demeanor. It would be kind of odd and off-putting to use those words to describe yourself. The same thing applies online.

        That’s the context you’re missing…

      • That makes sense and I suppose its a different world that I really know nothing about. I find the dynamics somewhat interesting though. I guess that’s why I don’t date online… I think it would be really hard to sort through the reality of person through written word – that’s hard enough even face-to-face. Most people aren’t wordsmiths, so it seems they would likely describe themselves by how others have described them, which may not be accurate, or through use of attributes they admire, which they might not actually possess. I would hope, and it seems you would too, that men and women online would describe themselves as there really are and not in such a way to necessarily attract men/women.. afterall, whats the point in using the “correct” words to describe yourself if you aren’t really that and the person you were hoping to attract just loses interest as soon as they find out who you really are – which is bound to happen sooner or later.

        I wouldn’t walk up to a guy and say I’m independent and strong, but I wouldn’t say I’m sweet or friendly either. I don’t describe myself at all actually, because in person you really don’t need to. You talk about work, hobbies, likes/dislikes, but not personal attributes… at least I never have. It seems to me that you really only need to talk about personal attributes in an online profile because you are missing that personal element where someone can see or sense those things about you through the way you carry yourself and the things you say. I have friends who do use online dating services, which is how I came across the article – she showed it to me. You are all right that I’m out of my element, so I probably shouldn’t have said anything at all. Honestly, and with the least amount of judgement possible, it just seemed a bit shortsighted to automatically write someone off as masculine or bossy based on the use of a particular word… but I suppose that’s just what you have to do when dating online… IDK.. personally, I see independence as a positive thing, regardless of gender, and aggressiveness as a negative, regardless of gender, but that’s my viewpoint and nothing more. I can’t and don’t wish to speak for anyone else.

        Hey, I always say, whatever you are, there is someone out there that is attracted to it. Some men like bossy women, some men like doormats, some men like big women, some like small, some women like a guy they can boss around, others wanna be told what to do… to each their own.. hope you all find what you’re looking for. As for me, I’ll keep finding dates doing the things I love, where I’m sure to meet men who like the same things. If nothing else, this just proved to me that online dating is not for me :).

      • Most women write about themselves as their female friends would describe them, which is usually a mistake. I don’t describe myself much at all in my online profile–which I haven’t actually used in a while; it should be a supplement to finding dates off-line–but have crafted it to be interesting and amusing. And of course I embody both of those characteristics.

        The salient point your friends need to realize is shorter is usually better. I use the analogy that an online profile is like a resume and is designed for one thing: to get the interview. That doesn’t mean she should write a profile like a resume, but instead write it to be interesting enough to interest a man to contact her. Then get off-line as soon as possible. There are a lot of time-wasters out there and anyone unwilling to meet for an hour over a drink or coffee should be ditched. Move on.

        And if you decide to test the online waters, Private Man can help create a profile that will land you a hot hunk. Actually, he has a post on it that’s been road tested by women:

  29. Schmarmy McDiego on said:

    Strange that you interpret ‘Strong and Indepenent’ so negatively – here in San Diego It is one of the most often used phrases that guys use to describe the woman they are looking for. Perhaps it depends on the part of the country/state in which you live.

  30. Pingback: Women’s PoF Profile Headlines – The Good, The Boring, The Bad | The Private Man

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  32. The only 2 on that list that even remotely describe my personality are S&I and Ambitious. Other than that, most of those terms have moderate-extremely negative connotations in my mind. I wouldn’t date a man who uses *any* of them.

    Who would want a guy who’s Uncompromising…and therefore unable to care about the needs of his partner? Aggressive…no thanks, got experience with that trait from my father and stepfather. Difficult or Challenging…nope, I’d be looking for someone to relax around, not someone who keeps me on my toes when it’s just the 2 of us. Outspoken and Opinionated…nice try, but those are codewords for a man/woman who is unable to question their beliefs or empathize with a different viewpoint.

    So on, so forth. Descriptors such as Kind, Go-getter, Frugal, Enjoy the small things, Career-oriented, Not PC, Good sense of humor, or Empathetic are good qualities to have…They are ones I and my FwB embody, and ones I’d look for in a new FwB, were I searching for one.

    A question for you, PM (also, hope you’re doing well!): You give what is likely incredibly good advice for men and women who are doing the online dating scene. Much of it probably translates well into real dating too, most notably for those who naturally conform to gender roles. Yet for those who don’t, should they lie?
    If a man isn’t Ambitious or Assertive in the workplace and would prefer to become a stay at home dad…shouldn’t he put that in his profile so as to not waste time dating women who want to be SAHMs? Likewise, if a woman isn’t feminine whatsoever…should she write her profile as though she is, only to disappoint her dates when her true personality comes out? This is something that has always confused me about online dating, the tendency for men and women to post what they think the opposite sex might want/does want to hear, even if it doesn’t describe them at all!

  33. Most people do not want a bossy domineering person for a partner. I am a woman, I do not like that in a man either and I steer clear of profiles of men like that so I agree with the advice on designing an appealing profile, if it is really reflective of who you are.

    I notice with online dating profiles many men will post that they want a partner who enjoys outdoor activities or who is independent (i.e. won’t need any financial support). I don’t see any profiles where men are looking for a feminine woman to take care of them and stay home. I personally like more feminine activities but I get the impression that is not interesting to most men. It seems like they want a female buddy that likes the stuff they like.

    I also see a double standard where there are men who want a feminine woman who will cook and clean but they also expect her to work outside the home. Like anything, I know there are exceptions, but most families cannot afford to have only one person bringing in an income.

    I think it is fair to say that now, with the range of behaviors that are considered socially acceptable for men or women, dating and relationships are challenging for everyone.

  34. Pingback: Unleash The Neg! | The Private Man

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