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Dating Profile Recipe For Disaster: Seeking "Sarcastic"

In Cool Hand Luke, a 1967 movie with Paul Newman, this famous line is uttered several times:  "What we've got here is (a) failure to communicate." The Gurus believe that's the main problem with most online dating profiles.  The intent is good, but the lines of communication are faulty.  Nowhere is this better demonstrated than the following request that we see all the time:

I like cats, boating, and downhill skiing.  I'm looking for someone who is sarcastic.

What Sarcasm Means

Really?  Wow.  Let's look at the word sarcasm, which comes from the Greek sarkasmos, meaning "to tear flesh, bite the lips in rage, sneer."

Rephrase your dating profile and see how that works:

I like cats, boating, and downhill skiing.  I am looking for a man who tears flesh, bites his lips in rage, and sneers.

Of course, we exaggerate a bit.  Original meanings do change through usage.  But even in its changed modern sense, sarcasm is a mighty powerful, black, and ugly quality.  True sarcasm isn't sitting back and drily commenting on dopey TV shows.  Sarcasm is hard, mean, nasty.

Why Seeking Sarcasm is Bad

Sarcasm will eventually get turned in your direction.  One day it's snide remarks about a popular singer; the next day it's about your hair or way of walking.  Sarcasm is not a quality you want to seek in another person.

It's almost (but not quite) as dangerous as saying, right out there, "I want someone who is a player" or "I want someone who will verbally abuse me."

Wit, Perhaps?

We believe that most profile writers mean something along the lines of dry or urbane wit.

If you want something stronger, go for cynical sense of humor or even sardonic humor.

Another good possibility, shown in the profile above, is dark sense of humor.

When To Tell The Kids You're Dating

Q: "Single Mom needs advice...how to help children accept boyfriend?"