*I say guys because I speak only about my personal experience with online dating as a heterosexual woman. I’m sure there will be some overlap though, so comment below with your personal stories! We’d love to bask in the awkwardness with you.
The Copy & Paste
His message will go something like this: Hey! Saw your profile and you seem like an interesting person! I’d love to meet some time, send me a message and let’s chat.
All seems normal and well until you get to the end and it says: “Hope to chat soon, Ashley!” Who’s Ashley, you ask? Well, I’m at a loss as well, because my name is Danni. Oh yes, the copy & paste leaves lots of room for error if he is not careful! But, you have to admire his efficiency: cast your net wide and increase your chance at catching something someone, no?
The Perpetual Student
His message will read: Hello, my name is _________ and I see you live in Madrid. Me too. I need to practice my English. I’m preparing for the Proficiency exam. Maybe we can take a coffee some time and talk in English. I teach you Spanish too. Cheers, ____________.
He seems polite enough, and if you were offering exam prep classes, this would be great. Too bad you’re trying to find love, not an extra private class. I can’t for the life of me understand why so many Spaniards assume that we Americans/Brits/Aussies/Kiwis come here to speak English and not, say, learn Spanish? Ladies, don’t fall into that trap. This is not a conversation exchange. You are off of work and don’t have to teach Cambridge to earn that drink, girl. Stay strong. Send him a link to tusclasesparticulares, or send him your price for an hour’s work of conversation classes and keep scrolling. If it starts with, I need to practice my English, well, you know exactly where it’s headed.
Mr. Trip Advisor
Oh boy, I loved getting these messages the most because they were the most insulting to my travel integrity. His message will go a little something like: Hola! Welcome to Spain! Do you like? I’m a native Spanish speaker and know the city very well. Do you know Sol? Do you know the Plaza Mayor? I have a moto and I take you on a tour to eat our delicious tortilla de patatas. Do you try churros con chocolate? Tell me when you can meet and I show you.
Ok, sir, I understand that Madrid has a very large Erasmus and study abroad culture, but how about you ask me how long I’ve been here or what I like/don’t like before assuming I’ve never seen the Plaza Mayor. As comfy as your moto bike may be, I think I’d rather catch a free walking tour than have my date take me through the most touristy parts of the city while smiling from atop the highest of horses. I’m all for a cultural exchange, please, show me new places, but Sol? Plaza Mayor? Churros? I know enough to know that churros has two very different meanings, gent. Girls, if and only if, you’ve never seen Sol, then take this offer; however, go walking and not on his bike, yeah? Just to be safe.
Hola, qué tal guapa?
Yes, that’s all. Some times, they get really lazy and just write: Guapa! That is not a lot to go on at all, and honestly, I didn’t respond to those guys for two reasons: you’re probably a closet Copy & Paste, and because I like words… and I like conversing, and you took the time to do neither. Some times, when I was feeling sn arky, I’d respond with an ellipsis as if to say… and, what? If they responded with unwarranted hostility, I’d add something along the lines of: well, with such a flair for words and a captivating personality, I’m completely stumped as to why you, Mr. Kerouac-in-training, is single? Now, you don’t have to be as… colorful as I am with your responses. I come from the generation of text messaging, you know, before apps? And I genuinely feel rage when I get a message that says: “hey” because it reminds me of the days when those three letters cost 10 FREAKING CENTS. See? Rage. I’m working on it.
Some people do the most: Hi, I see that your Name is Danni and you’re from Chicago. I like your photos. In one of your photos your hair is straight, but in the one you posted 4 weeks ago, it’s curly. I really like the skirt you’re wearing in your default picture. Are you at _______ Bar? I think I recognize it. They have amazing croquetas and (This is where the math portion comes in. I told you he was an over-achiever) if you hang out at _________, listen to _________ and like the croquetas from ___________ there’s just no way that we won’t get on perfectly!
I understand doing your homework, but with insta-stalking and facebook creeping; there’s a thin line between making conversation about shared interests and basically telling someone about their hobbies and whereabouts before you’ve ever met them or said hello. I mean, it’s easy to get caught up looking at photos or reading a profile, but if you’re quoting a status from 2012, well, I think I’ll just back away slowly. I appreciate your enthusiasm, but I’ll have to pass on this one.
Bonus: The one that got away
You’re in Spain. You like adventure. You want spontaneity. You want passion. You want sexy. You want dangerous. You completely overlook the guy who in high school would have carried your books to class, or the guy who would walk behind you for 20 minutes just to step on the toilet paper stuck to your shoe.
His message is simple, and honest:
Hi, my name is _______________. I read your profile and it looks like we may have a lot in common. I’m really looking for a ________________(relationship, fling, what have you, either way he will be up-front about it) and a woman who is __________, __________. And __________ (because he knows what he wants and doesn’t make you guess). My profile is not so detailed, but I’d love to invite you out some time to fill in some of the gaps and get to know you a bit more. (Read: I have a life, and don’t spend 6 hours a night answering all these quiz questions). If you’d be interested in that (because naturally, he knows you have a choice) then let’s set something up. Talk soon, __________.
This is the one who always got away. This is the guy who opened the door for you, but you didn’t see because some man with Aladdin type hair just sashayed past you to hop on his moped. This guy (and this has nothing to do with his looks) is the one that most girls don’t look twice at because he lacks that “danger” or “risky” vibe. Well, too bad you’re a grown woman (go ahead, sing it like the Queen) and this time, he won’t get away.
Tune in for the last installment of Adventures in Online Dating! It’s pretty obvious who I chose, but you may want to hear about our first date, and what happened in the end! It involves an unexpected outburst about Justin Bieber followed by a healthy dose of side-eye.
Danni, Community Director at Las Morenas de España, is a twenty-something, Chicago native who currently resides in Madrid, Spain. She's a lover of language, words, and travel and has managed to combine all her passions through her work. In her free time, you can find her exploring the winding streets of Madrid, hunting down good flights deals, planning her next adventure and writing & researching for LMDES. Danni loves spicy food, natural hair, music and of course, her wonderful life partner. If you need to find her, she’s the girl with huge hair and her face buried in her Kindle.