Hi XXXXXTreeofLife,

It’s been a few days since you first showed up on my list of potential matches, and at first I wondered if maybe we’d hit it off. It seems we have some things in common, and the selection of pictures you included on your profile page caught my attention with a nice range of activities and attractive poses. That said, after receiving your email, I feel we may not be as suited to each other as I originally thought, and thus decline your invitation to explore this relationship further.

You started off well. You complimented my height, my penchant for physical fitness, and interest in the fine arts. However, when you suggested that, “as an English teacher, [I] should really use commas more effectively,” you lost me.

Questioning everything I had written, I returned to my profile page to assess which commas you deemed “ineffective.” Here’s what I found. The first paragraph of my personal statement is ten sentences and includes twelve commas. All of the commas are used correctly as they apply to the rules of introductory phrases, items in a sequence or list, compound sentences, and offsetting interjections.

The second paragraph is considerably shorter and includes just three commas. These commas are also used correctly as they apply to the rules of complex sentences. When you went on to suggest that, “[I] started well but got lazy at the end,” I assumed you were talking about my final paragraph. Now it occurs to me you may have been talking about my lists of makes/breaks that follow my final thoughts. This is a benefit of the doubt I’d be willing to give you if said item was anything more than a bulleted list of topics that, consequently, do not use, or require, a single comma.

To what extent you thought correcting my grammatical errors would win my heart, I’m not sure, but I don’t typically consider grammatical criticism a fail-safe icebreaker. Perhaps your social ineptitude is the reason you’ve had to resort to online dating in the first place. No doubt my passive aggressiveness is the reason I’m here.

Better luck next time,
Kate (RunnerGirlXXXXX)