If you have been online dating for any length of time, it’s quite likely that at one point or another you have been made uncomfortable by conversations from “creepy” men.
For many female online daters, creeps are an unfortunate reality that can make the experience far less pleasurable. Just like those high school zits that pop up on the day of the prom, these guys pop up at the least opportune moment and never seem to want to leave.
They can harass or even be abusive and are always in your face with explicit messages. Perhaps worst of all, they often do not know when to simply give up when you don’t want them to contact you anymore (if ever).
What Motivates Creepy Guys?
There are lots of reasons why a man chooses to display “creepy” behavior online when he wouldn’t do in real life.
For some, the power of anonymity emboldens them to say and do things that they wouldn’t do in the “real world,” like sending sexually explicit pictures of certain parts of their anatomy. Some men utilize behavior known as trolling, where they do their best to anger or upset others (in this case you) because they get a kick out of the reaction. And for some men, desperation may lead them to exhibit creepy behavior online because of their overzealous and unwanted attempts to woo you.
Creeps are so offensive that many women abandon online dating altogether, as it’s simply too stressful to log on only to be harassed or abused.
Thankfully, you don’t have to suffer this fate. There are ways in which you can greatly reduce the amount of creeps that contact you. Here are five simple tips for eliminating creeps from your profile.
1. Watch What You Are (Or Aren’t) Wearing
What you wear and how you display yourself is a big determinant on how much attention that you’ll get from creeps.
Photos of you in revealing clothing will be far more likely to get creepy responses (Mariana experienced this). Because men are visually oriented, any type of suggestive photo will inevitably send the creepy guys into a frenzy.
While this is certainly not a justification for anyone sending offensive messages, by posting tasteful shots that aren’t overtly sexual, you will be far less likely to receive rude or uncomfortable messages and pictures.
2. Use Profile Photos to Screen Out Creeps
One great way to keep creeps out is by screening them using their pictures. Guys with no photos are an immediate red flag, and the best thing to do is to avoid them altogether. The fact that they don’t have photos should be an immediate no go as many creeps are emboldened by anonymity.
If there is some sort of photo filter on the dating site you use, use it to ensure that only those with photos can contact you. Another helpful photo-related tip is to use them as a method of screening out the good from the bad and the ugly. Men with shirts off or posing with flashy cars often quickly show themselves to be creeps as well.
3. Use Profile Tools
Most online dating sites have great tools that enable you to limit the people who can either see your profile or contact you. This is another useful method of limiting the amount of creeps who can message you.
You can do things such as limit the radius that people can contact you (thus limiting the long distance creeps who you’ll never meet) or even the age range of those contacting you. Some also include photo restrictions, which weeds out the anonymous creeps. Have a good look at your profile settings in order to limit the creeps that might want to contact you.
4. Don’t Respond
While there are many differing opinions on this topic (here’s Tom’s), if you don’t like a guy who sends you a message, the best thing to do is to simply not respond.
Why? Because for some men, any response (even a negative one) can be interpreted as a display of interest. The very fact that you are engaging a man in conversation can make him think that if he continues trying, he’ll eventually win you over. For other men, a negative response gives them reason to abuse or curse you for turning them down. These are usually trolls, and the best thing to do is just ignore them.
For both of these groups, a response simply fuels the fire. By ignoring them, they will often take the hint and leave you alone.
5. Block and Report
The best thing to do to those who have shown inappropriate, over the top or harassing behavior is to block them from viewing your profile and then report them to the administrators.
Blocking him, of course, will mean that he cannot contact you any longer, so you will not receive any more offensive messages. By reporting him, you will also make it possible that his profile is banned from the entire site. This ensures that he can’t access the site any longer and also that he will not be able to harass other users like he has you.
Save Yourself From Creeps
By following the above tips, you can decrease — and in some cases eliminate — the amount of creeps contacting and talking to you. Follow these tips and you can say bye bye to creeps and hello to a happy and fulfilling dating experience. Good luck!