The only online dating app that existed in 2009 was “websites.” There were posts on OkCupid that provided guidance. This is similar to the advice on how you can talk to people online that’s regularly published today.

The final post of the aughts published in September 2009 offers tips on how to start a message. The majority of these tips are still valid today. While online dating has changed a lot over the past decade, the way people communicate romantic interest is largely the same. These insights were based on OkCupid’s analysis of messages sent through its interface. They are not a guideline on how to get a date but reflect how people communicated in 2009. The majority of the advice can be applied today and is still valid: “Be literate,” “bring up particular interests,” “avoid physical compliments” but one tip stands out. “Rule 5″: If you are a man, be self-effacing,” it reads. “Awkward, sorry. I’m sorry. And probably all made male messages more successful… Real-world dating advice often tells men to be more confident but hemming little online works well. This tip seems to be the precursor to the Soft boy era, which dominated most of the 2010s.

Although the Soft boy, a fuckboy who talks about his feelings and wears beanie essentially, was not formally documented until the mid-decade, his cultural predecessors were plentiful at the beginning. 500 days of summer was one of the most successful rom-com in 2009. It introduced us to Tom (Joseph Gordon Levitt), who is a man who wears sweater vests and draws on walls. He also cries when the girl doesn’t like him. The O.C. introduced us to Seth Cohen, a hottie that fucks and listens to Bright Eyes. In the early aughts, many people fell for Jim Carrey’s portrayal of Joel, in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. This was a man who was both “soft” and “just depressed.”

Soft Boy Fashion Shop as a popular trend in the 2010s. The Soft boy was a popular alternative to openly brutal behavior and using men purely for sex. They recognized the importance of emotions being used to attract people. Also, they used unfirm language to make them appear less confident and more in need of validation. The definitive essay about Softboydom was published by Medium in 2015. It read: “The Fuckboy is puzzled that you were upset when you forgot to text him for three days and then sent ‘what’ at his last call. Although he knows that this behavior is cruel and selfish, he still wants to get laid. He feels shame. He feels shame.

In the second half of the decade, there was an inevitable backlash. The shocking reaction to Kristen Roupenian’s ” cat person” in the New Yorker showed how common this troubled, middling type was. Roupenian wrote that the man was constantly stroking her hair, trailing light kisses down his shoulder, and acting as if he had forgotten that he had thrown her around like a porno ten minutes before. “Then, outright, he started to talk about his feelings for me.” Perhaps he had been dating her, or maybe matched with him through an app. The 2009 OKCupid suggestion is to “hem and haw” now with new 2019 eyes, which are familiar with the Soft boy, Cat Person guy, the female feminist wolf dressed in sheep’s clothes, and all other bad-man species that have been identified over the past decade. “Hemming, hawing” is not a red, flag online, but it is a red flag; A bumbling, unconfident-seeming male isn’t necessarily good 1.

It is hard to imagine a Soft boy in the wild in 2020. The type has been so extensively researched, no one can be one in the new decade. Anyone who used the OkCupid tip of “self-effacing” in 2009 would almost certainly be identified as a particular “type” and not necessarily a successful or good one. “Sorry if you’re awkward, but you seem cute, maybe we should have a drink sometime ” is the message that the OkCupid tip recommends sending. It would send chills down the 2019 educated spine. This kind of “aw shucks”, equivocating was common in the years following everybody learned about pickup artistry. But now, it’s a gimmick everyone sees through. There are probably new ones that aren’t yet exposed and excavated online. Cycling is the best way to approach potential dates, but it’s not always easy to conceal your intentions behind the pleasant language.



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