Internet Dating 102: The Profile.
If you've decided to try Internet dating and managed to answer all the annoying tick box questions devised by Mismatch, Cacophony, Oy Vey Date, et al, you're ready to begin writing your profile. This can be a daunting task, if you let it. The following are general tips gleaned from my personal experiences to make profile writing less painful and, hopefully, more successful:
Know yourself. This isn’t just a cliché. Be clear about who you are and what you want. Have you ever sat in a restaurant, vacantly staring at a menu, unable to make a decision? Maddening, isn't it? Know your tastes and what satisfies you. It helps the process immensely. By the way, if you answer the question, "What kind of person do you hope to meet?" with, "I want to meet 'the one.' I don't know. I'll know it when I see it," congratulations, you've just made my head explode (please read my post, "The One Myth.")
Be original. I've read and skimmed thousands of profiles. Please, please, please, no matter what else you write, do NOT use the following statements:
- "I love to laugh." I’m sure it’s true, but think about it. Who doesn't love to laugh? If you must write this, you should also include the equally blindingly obvious phrase, "I love to breathe oxygen."
- "As comfortable in jeans as in formal attire" (a tux for men; the ever popular black dress for women). This is trite, and, most of the time untrue. Boxers and a tee-shirt are always more comfortable than an underwire bra and high heels.
- "I enjoy romantic, candlelit dinners and long walks on the beach." Yes, but how often do you do this, even when you're in a relationship? It sounds like you're trying too hard to have a Nora Ephron moment.
- "I love my family and friends." Most healthy, well-adjusted adults do.
- "I work hard and play hard." Are you writing an Internet profile or a deodorant commercial?
- "I'm a special person who enjoys the finer things in life." ATTENTION GENTLEMEN READERS, this is code for high maintenance with a capital "H" and a capital "M" (i.e., Hide Money).
- "I enjoy all that the city has to offer." This statement is rampant in NYC profiles. There's nothing wrong with it, per se, it's just that everyone uses it and you're trying to be original, remember?
Think about what makes you unique, what separates you from the herd, and then sum it up. If you can't think of anything, ask your friends how they'd describe you. The following are additional rules of thumb to keep in mind as you write your profile:
TMI vs. NEI. Too much information or not enough information; how do you know the difference? A profile should provide potential dates and mates with a snapshot of your personality. Give them a taste; don’t give away the farm. Save things like, "serial killers run in my family," for after the engagement's been announced. Definitely share what's most important to you and about you.
Keep it real. If you don’t actually enjoy activities like going to museums or sporting events, don't write that you do. If you’re 5'9, don’t write you’re 6'0. If you're 165 lbs., don't write that you're 110 lbs. The truth always comes out (usually at first sight) and then you're not likely to make it to date number 2, which brings me to…
The photo, but you’ll have to check back with PeopleLove / Dating in a couple days for those "pearls.". Meanwhile, relax and try to have fun with it.