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In Defense Of “Taking Myself Too Seriously” On Dating Apps

Let me live!

by Allison Goldberg
Luis Velasco/Stocksy

I’ve swiped on so many faces, I think it’s given me that condition where I can’t recognize them anymore. But while I can’t recognize faces, I can identify *ssholes. And for the past year, I’ve noticed that way too many cisgender, heterosexual men’s dating profiles say the same thing: “I’m looking for a girl who doesn’t take herself too seriously.” To which I say, if you want an empty-headed lady, there are blow-up dolls for that, sirs.

Now look, I get it. Sort of. I don’t want to date a brobot who’s never heard of a cheat day. If your perfect Sunday, regardless of your gender, includes a morning 5K, some casual spreadsheeting, and re-reading One Hundred Years of Solitude, I’d like you to take yourself a bit less seriously.

I have several dilemmas with men writing this on their profiles, though. First of all, half of these men call themselves feminists. Asking women not to take themselves so seriously and then calling yourself a feminist is a bit like saying you’re a vegan and then slamming a burger.

Taking women seriously is pretty much baseline feminism. There are countless articles and books about the real need for women to be taken seriously, about the egregious gaps in our socio-political understanding of the entire world because we haven’t taken women seriously, and there are regular protests globally because women’s rights continue to be an afterthought.

In other words, we’re kinda out here working tirelessly to be taken seriously. And then I sign on to Bumble, and every dude’s profile is looking for the opposite.

The other half of men who write this aren’t taking themselves too seriously, and it feels like maybe they just want a woman who won’t notice. Allow me to share some very real profiles I have come across on Hinge, in which the men choose a prompt and then write absolute nonsense after it. “The one thing I’d love to know about you is cook.” “A random fact I love is spicy food.” “Which is more important to you loyalty.” (Was he so high he just forgot to write another option? No shade if you’re high right now. It’s legal in many states.) Let me please reiterate that you get to choose your prompts and then write your own answers. This is like writing a test and then failing that test immediately afterward.

If I’m not taking myself seriously, I’m definitely not going to take you seriously, either.

It’s one thing not to take life too seriously, but it’s quite another to ask a woman not to take herself too seriously. Why would you want that? Is it so we can’t get annoyed when it takes you three days to text back? Is it so we have no choice but to play it cool when we learn that you watch Joe Rogan in an incognito tab, or when we find a well-worn copy of Tateism: The Philosophy of Andrew Tate on your bedside table? What exactly are you asking us not to take seriously?

If a man doesn’t want me to take myself seriously, I’m going to lean in hard. Personal hygiene is very time-consuming, serious business. Waxing, bleaching, deodorant? No thank you! Same with exercise, which has never made much sense to me anyway. Weight lifting appears to be picking up heavy objects and then putting them back down in the same exact place. I think you should at least be able to put them down in a new place and let the next person go on a little scavenger hunt. Anyway, the point is, I will not be putting time and energy into the gym, nor our dates.

And if I’m not taking myself seriously, I’m definitely not going to take you seriously, either. Oh, you’re a graphic designer? So, what, you move some shapes around and write in pretty fonts? That’s cute. You’re launching an app? Did mommy and daddy fund that? (Probably.) What adorable little hobbies you have! Oh, is this offensive? Don’t be so emotional, dude!

And where does the relationship go from here? You want to be exclusive? I don’t know, that sounds pretty serious, and I think I might like to bang other people. You want me to meet your family? Maybe I’ll ask your mother if I should take anything she says seriously. Oh, you want to move in together? OK, but I’m probably not going to pay bills or fix anything, and I’m going to take all your favorite hoodies and hide them forever. I’m just so silly and not serious! And if you want to get married, I’m not planning any of it, and I might not even show up. Doesn’t that just sound like your dream come true?

Take yourself seriously, ladies, and expect the same of the people you date. (Though I still support y’all dating in goblin mode, and, no, I don’t think these things are mutually exclusive.) A man who takes you seriously is going to support your side hustle, bring you soup when you’re sick, and maybe even do TikTok challenges with you, because sometimes jokes are very serious business. He’ll send you weird memes based on conversations you had, he’ll know how to ask a follow-up question, and he’ll be pissed on your behalf about that one co-worker who keeps restating your ideas as his own. I think we all know what that guy’s profile probably says.