Mixed Messages

Advice
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Imagine you see this while you’re perusing online dating profiles: “I’m ultimately looking for a long-term relationship, but I’m fine with something that is lower-pressure, too. I’m cool with whatever, no expectations or demands.” How would you interpret that statement?

Some might think that the writer of that profile was looking for an attachment-free hookup, a one-night stand. “No expectations or demands” is interpreted to mean “no expectations that this will go anywhere or demands on your time or emotions.” In fact, this is probably the more common interpretation of this statement; most readers will assume that’s what the author means when they’re “cool with whatever.”

However, there’s another possible meaning behind that statement - that instead of feeling the pressure to date and get into a physical relationship, the author is fine with friendship. “No expectations or demands” is meant physically. It’s definitely a less common interpretation, and actually there’s even a third option: that the author is including both possibilities and literally are open to relationships in any form. In this instance, however, “friendship instead of dating” was actually what the author meant when they wrote it! Imagine their surprise when most of the messages they received dealt with one-night stands!

It just goes to show that even the most carefully worded profile can suffer from blind spots. If you’re receiving indications that something isn’t adding up, don’t be afraid to call in friends or family for a second opinion and an extra set of eyes. Perhaps if the author in question had run their profile past someone else, this ambiguous statement would have been caught early on. There’s no need to over-proofread your profile, but if things aren’t going your way, it might help to ask yourself: are you sending the messages you think you are?