Today we’re going to be talking about Do’s and Don’ts of Online Profiles for the Ladies.
But don’t get too comfortable, guys – there’s stuff in here for you, too.
I am far from perfect; because of that, I’ve had to learn some lessons in the areas of Male Hunting & Fishing. I’d like to share these lessons with others, if only to spare them further pain (see? I’m nice.). Some of these lessons came from my own extensive field research and others were learned from work with others. And, of course, there are just some things that scream “Run away! RUN AWAAAAAY!!” and require no background experience.
For help with my dissertation on Do’s and Don’ts, I had my friend and former Online Dating Diaries cohort Luke to offer his insight into the dramatic world of Online Profiles. His tips will be in bold italics.
So on with the show –
1. Do put some thought into your headline.
“Don’t use a headline that says, “OMG, look here!! im hott! lol!” because that’s just stupid.”
Here’s a tip – if it’s a saying that’s been on the back of people’s cars or stuck onto their backpacks since you were in high school, it’s not cool anymore. Any type of saying that can also be found on paper-weight rocks or inspirational posters are also gag-inducing. I have waxed on and off about guys’ profiles being cliché, but girls, you are soooo much worse when it comes to this shit.
If you have a hard time coming up with something random, sarcastic, or clever, pull a line from a favorite, obscure song because it will make you look hip and creative, or pull a line from an old cheesy song and pray that it comes off as ironic and/or fun. Or you could just use “I need to get laid now”, a recommendation from my friend Katy. You will so score with that one.
2. Don’t state the obvious.
* “I enjoy a night out as much as a night in, cuddling on the couch with someone special.”
First of all, saying that you enjoy a night out as much as you enjoy a night in is like saying that you like to breathe air, and also enjoy drinking water. This does not set you apart. Almost all people enjoy going out sometimes but are also okay with staying in sometimes. It’s called variety. It’s called life. It’s called, “every day is different.” If you are an incurable homebody who never wants to go out or a highly social person who’s almost never at home, then that’s something you should mention.
I also just kind of have a thing about people talking about cuddling, much like I have a thing about the word “panties” – if LL Cool J says it, awesome, but if anyone else does, I get the heebie-jeebies. But that’s just me.
* “I’m looking for a guy who knows how to spoil a girl and make her feel special.”
This also reads as: I’m a high-maintenance princess who will suck your bank account dry and will basically never do anything great for you, ever.
Every girl likes to feel special. I don’t know any girl in the history of the human race who didn’t (even secretly) want to be swept off her feet. But honestly, when you state this as one of your criteria, it makes you sound whiny and needy, like those girls who won’t talk to their boyfriends for a week because he didn’t pick up on their hint about how Lisa at work got roses from her boyfriend last week.
Girls, spoil yourselves and make yourselves feel special. Stop looking to other people to give you those things. If a man sees how well you treat yourself, he will rise up to the challenge.
Also, something else I noticed – tons of girls’ profiles insist that their date “knows how to treat a girl”, but I have yet to see a profile that states they know how to treat a man. It should go both ways.
3. Don’t be vague.
There is one profile I read where she stated absolutely nothing specific about herself – she wasn’t a big reader, songs didn’t put her in the mood, she didn’t lie, she gets humbled every day – then, when it came to talk about what she was looking for, she stated “someone who has similar goals and values in life.” Like, being boring? Like refusing to answer a question with a detailed answer? Super.
But….at the same time…
4. Do keep it light.
You might be thinking, “But Amber, what was it exactly that made you want to post about what we are sure will be an invaluable source of wisdom that we will be able to use for the rest of our lives, and what is even more important, a non-sleep-inducing distraction from work?” Why, thank you for asking! It was a particular girls’ profile…
Even from the tiny pictures that appear in the search results, you could tell right away that this girl was beautiful – the kind that makes you wonder how you’re ever going to get to make out with any guy with her around. After staring at her picture for about five minutes, I scrolled down to read her profile.
Basically, from what I can gather, I know that she reads self-help books, she spends Mondays and Wednesdays with her psychologist, she thinks she resembles Camryn Manheim even though she’s only 103 lbs, and songs that talk about sleeping with body pillows make her sad. Which brings us to our next point:
5. Don’t talk about your weekly sessions with your counselor.
Personally, I think everyone could do with a little regular therapy. However, this is not something that I would want to hear about on the first date with a guy, which is kinda-sorta what these profiles are like. Guys often think of the worse-case scenarios when it comes to dating a girl – no one wants to envision an empty bottle of pills on your nightstand after he forgets to call you on Tuesday night. This is something best saved for when you start to get serious with someone, and he has had a chance to see that you’re going to therapy to help you become a more balanced, emotionally healthy person – not because you were ordered by the state to do so.
6. Don’t post “Is it possible to fall in love again?” or anything remotely related in your headline.
Women, if you have been hurt before in a relationship, join the club. So has everyone else. However, feeling the need to talk, at length, in your profile about the asshole who cheated on you at least twenty times is not going to get the guys to come a-runnin’. There are a few guys out there who would gladly show you that not all men are assholes, but if they suspect there’s pressure on them to heal all your hurts – they are going to run screaming down the street.
I could go on and on about this topic…but I won’t. All I will say is that if you are still hurt from your past relationship, resolve that first before jumping into a new one. Rebounds are talked about with negative connotations for a reason.
Which brings us to our next tip –
7. No mentions of ex-boyfriends. ANYWHERE.
Here’s what Luke had to say –“Don’t use pictures with guys in them. We’re going to assume that they are ex-boyfriends whom you’re still in love with even though they cheated on you with your best friend’s mom. Especially if they’re wearing white baseball caps.”
Guys, this goes for you, too, but you have a little more room for forgiveness since we know that usually the only time you have pictures of yourselves dressed up and looking nice is when you had to go to a party or wedding with your ex-girlfriend and she forced you to smile for numerous snapshots. But dude, she’s probably burned all her copies of those pictures in a “healing round-circle fire” by now, so you probably should to.
Basically, any mention of an ex is just poor form. There’s really not any good reason to mention an ex, so just don’t do it.
Extra-Credit Don’t: When I read a profile that goes on and on about what they don’t want in a match – “I don’t want someone who never wants to go out, or someone who has a lot of drama in their life or whose favorite hobby is shopping” – I know that you’re actually talking about your ex and all the things that you now loathe about them. So stop doing that. Remember: Positive. Positive. People love pooositive.
8. “Don’t list your favorite book as Cosmo. Unless your favorite book really is Cosmo. In which case, call me, okay?”
Luke’s number is 867-5309.
9. Don’t write “Oh, these pictures are from Christmas of last year (I still have ten pounds more to go!)”.
First of all, if a guy says “I’d date her only if she lost 10 more pounds”, trust – he’s not the kind of guy you’d want to date anyway. Second, mentioning your weight anywhere in your profile is just poor form – it makes you seem shallow, and it gives the impression that you’re unhappy with yourself and obsessed with your weight. Unless, of course, you have Big-Beautiful-Woman pride and are backing it up by stating proudly stating that you’ve got a little more lovin’ to give than the average girl. If that’s the case, sing on ladyfriend, because the world needs a few more like you.
10. Do be honest about your size in your stats.
As Lukey-Luke said:“Do fill in your weight. If you don’t, we’re going to assume you’re pushing 2 bills…Oh but it’s okay to lie about your weight, though. We’re totally stupid about stuff like that.“
Back in the day, the ol’ sites had you actually list out your weight. As in, state your number, like on your license. Thus, it was probably one of the biggest things a girl agonized over when it came to her profile. These days things are a bit easier – most sites have grown wise to the fact that it might be easier to put weight into categories such as “thin”, “average”, “curvy”, etc.
But the general rule hasn’t changed: Suck it up and be accurate about your weight. Yes, guys who mention that they only want to date a ” cute, petite, tiny girl” are probably not going to message you if you describe yourself as a voluptuous woman of model height…but these guys are usually total douchebags who deserve every unhappiness they get, so I’m totally fine if they inadvertently miss out on a fine piece like yourself.
But, most of all, please be accurate about this to protect y’ownself. It would break my heart for any girl to show up on a date and see That Look in a man’s eyes because she misrepresented herself and he was pissed/irritated/turned off by it. There are guys out there who are going to want you for you. But they’re not going to be able to find you if you’re too busy trying to be someone you’re not.
And since we’re on the subject, men…when writing up for what you’re looking for, very few girls with a healthy self-esteem are going to go after you if you list your dates’ weight requirements as “90-120 lbs.” Even if I was that skinny, I still wouldn’t go for you because you’re dumb and will obviously give me death looks when I’m stuffing my face with Cheetos after a hard week. If you really want to impress a girl here, don’t talk about a girl’s body at all. I know what you’re thinking – but Amber, then hundreds of incredibly unattractive girls will message me if I don’t explicitly state that attraction is important and lay out exactly what I’m physically attracted to!
See how stupid you sound?
11. Don’t list “being in jail” as your most humbling moment.
Again, kids, these are all true stories.
12. Abstain from demonstrating your high school Spanish.
Please, for the love of god – don’t use any foreign language anywhere in your profile. Unless it’s something that foreign-language-retarded people like me can understand from watching Taco Bell or Olive Garden commercials, it just looks pretentious and it’s irritating. I appreciate people who have a strong grasp on foreign languages, but demonstrate that in your profile some other way, such as simply stating “I can speak a foreign language.”
13. Don’t state “I am not going to try to sell myself.” in your profile.
First of all, Online Personal profiles are basically advertisements – and what are those advertisements selling? You. No one wants to come off as cocky or conceited, but look at your profile as akin to a job interview – why should someone want to date you? Bottom line, people are reading your profile to find out whether you would be a great potential date. If you can’t convince them of that, they’re going to move on.
And that, essentially, brings me to my point – be yourself, with a little added glow. Everyone is looking for something different, but the top three things men have listed as most attractive in a girl (taken from a Cosmo poll) are confidence, intelligence, and humor. Use your intelligence to find out what makes you special. Become confident in that, and then add a little humor along the way. In doing so, you can guarantee that your profile won’t come off as boring, scary, or cheesy.
Still want some help? I’ve got your back.