Male Call: 15 Dating Terms That Officially Make You A Cliché


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By James Roberts

Sorry ladies, but if you’ve got any of these code words in your online dating profile, you’ve officially entered the Cliché Zone.


  1. “Drama-free.” Along with “no drama” this is probably the #1 cliché dominating dating sites these days. You rarely hear, “Gosh I wish I had a little more drama in my life!”
  2. “No one-night stands” and “No hook-ups.” Ok, we get it, you’re inundated with cheesy solicitations, but as with all such notifications, it’s a terrible way of fending off the bad guys. Either the men don’t see themselves this way or are simply going to lie. Either way it’s like posting a sign at your picnic: “No ants allowed.”
  3. “Friends first.” As with #2, hardly any guy comes right out and says, “Oh, let’s be lovers first and then see if we can be friends!” Ladies, we know what you’re getting at, but disclaimers don’t weed out the players, or, as you like to call them, “serial daters.”
  4. “Love to laugh.” Please point out someone who doesn’t. And more to the point, when are you going to bring the funny?
  5. “Family and friends.” There ought to be a dating site shortcut key for this tired phrase — maybe CTRL-X.
  6. “Shy at first.” From what we hear, this actually used to be one of the telltale signs of a scammer on Craig’s List.
  7. “No baggage.” What a dull life you’ve had.
  8. “Comfortable in jeans and t-shirt or little black dress.” Soooooo early 2000s. By the way, if you Google those exact words you’ll get more than 6 million results. Now how special do you feel?
  9. “No scammers.” Why not just add “no pickpockets”? That’ll keep ‘em away!
  10. “Move on…” As in “If you [insert bad habit or desire for one-night-stand]…move on.” No need for shooing; you’re not the Dating Police. Just announce your pointless “no scammers/no baggage” policy and let ‘em shuffle off on their own.
  11. “Must have chemistry.” Gal Code for “attraction” — a term used to avoid sounding like you’re just interested in a person’s looks.
  12. “Partner in crime.” This was pretty clever 20 years ago…suggesting a sort of Hepburn-Finney Two for the Road love of adventure, sneaking snacks into a movie theatre, jaywalking — but it’s obvious you’re just copying phrases from other dating profiles.
  13. “Midwest values.” No one has any idea what this means…but you. It sounds sort of home-spunnie and “genuine,” maybe patriotic and prairie church-going. But does it mean the guy has to pay for everything…or just hold doors for you?
  14. “Looking for my last first date.” Time to start plagiarizing a better class of dating profile.
  15. “Honest to a fault” – half humble brag, half delusion. Anytime you have to add “to a fault,” you’ve left the Cliché Zone and entered the Totally Annoying Zone.

All this is not to say that guys don’t have their share of code words and clichés. But we’ve got to move on, shed our T-shirt for a tux and polish our Harley because we’re so laid back and good at giving massages.

Got a favorite male cliché? Send it along.

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Photo credit: Internet Archive Book Images via

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