Tag Archives: online

My Online Profile

Dating sites, except for Nerve.com, which is undergoing major changes, are not designed for edgy people. PerfectMatch, Match, eHarmony, and Chemistry are all about aspects of personality and character that only come out through romance. They don’t address the fundamentals of what it’s like to live together, except on a superficial level, such as how well a room is kept.

On one site, I got a lot of messages. I was proud of my profile. It was written in male-speak with no more than two lines per topic, titles, and concision. (I’m female.) And it painted a pretty accurate picture of myself down to my MBTI type. Met two guys from that site, both of whom are great guys. But I wasn’t attracted. (I like serious, logical guys who come across as arrogant but really aren’t.)

But tonight…

I accidentally texted the wrong person. Was trying to message my neighbor but the text went to a guy with the same name who was from this dating site. The guy got upset. Irrationally.

I knew from this guy’s profile that he used Evan Marc Katz’s method for online dating from the way his profile was written and the style of pictures. I also know this because of the timing this guy had in responding to my messages. It was textbook. But of course, I didn’t mention anything. It looks great and reads well, but I know this method. So, of course I was guarded.

Needless to say, I was totally turned off. Not only from this guy, but from online dating – again.

Anyway, I’ve been seeing someone I met at a birthday party, and things are going well, so checking out is no big loss. But as a writer and one having quite a few men hoping I will reciprocate interest, I decided to share exactly what was on my mind on my profile.

The following is what I wrote on it:

Not hanging out here much longer.

When you text someone, “Hope the [job] went well. Have a great week.” How should a person respond? Should she (he)? How would you respond? Well, someone who I never met face to face got upset because when that text arrived on my phone, the job was still going on. Didn’t know how to respond. By the time the job was over at 3:30 in the morning, do you think the first thing I wanted to do was respond? Nor did I remember to respond when I had to wake up to go to work in the morning.

Who hurt you?

In spite of whatever reason you can’t approach an attractive woman and start up a conversation, learn to do it. Just say, “Hi.” Because a virtual dating life is a joke.

Heal yourself.

Stop getting upset about trivial things and realize that people are guarded. There is too much hurt in the world, too much abuse. Men and women hurt each other because they are emotionally immature. And people are immature because they don’t heal themselves.

Nurture yourself.

Figure out how to break the patterns of your own resentment. Love exists. But the more you blame others for your own misery, the less likely you will find it. You have to love yourself before you are capable of loving someone else.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

Can you put your name in place of the “love”?

Good luck.

So, maybe I should have texted back “Thanks”. But the guy seemed off, like he had some insecurities that were sure to come out at unforeseen moments, so I was unsure about responding. Then I just forgot about him.

People mistakenly text the wrong person all the time. As one who had done so, albeit to someone with more issues than Occupy Wall Street, the reaction is undeserved.

Until someone comes up with a better online dating forum, I’m offline and getting outside. Or maybe the thing with the birthday party guy will work out.

Your Online Persona

With online dating becoming more and more popular, a personal profile is ever-more important in making a first impression. We already know that a good picture makes a difference, but what about what you write about yourself?

The last thing you want to say is, “I don’t like talking about myself.” Everyone hopes you’re not egocentric, but to say something like this is a lazy attempt at false humility. I mean false because, although it’s a well-meaning statement, deep down you know it has nothing to do with talking about yourself and everything to do with putting your best foot forward.

It takes time and effort to decide how you want to present yourself, since there are many different ways to express yourself in writing. If you’re a talented or skilled writer, you could eloquently describe yourself Kerouac-style. But most people don’t want to read memoirs online. Some people make lists of adjectives to describe themselves, but they don’t always reveal personality. For example, I could say, “I’m confident.” But then when you meet me you think I’m obnoxious. Ultimately, however you decide to describe yourself, make it your goal to be transparent and show who you really are. Nobody wants to go face-to-face and be thrown off by an insincere description.

If you use a list, try to paint a picture for the reader that makes you unique. Adding something you like (or don’t like)– for example, an activity– will make the picture more clear. “Down-to-earth, quiet, warm, easygoing, who reads the paper at the corner café every Sunday morning.” The clearer an image you can provide, the more likely you will attract someone like-minded.

Don’t be afraid to mention something about you that you think people won’t like. What one person doesn’t like, another person does. “I don’t like small talk,” gives the reader a certain impression about your intelligence, or arrogance. Why attract people who won’t get along with you?

You can use statements about what you like to do to say a lot about yourself. For example: “My favorite thing to do at bars is walk up to complete strangers and ask them what they think about the price of milk.” I’m totally making this up, but if it were a real profile statement, it says a number of things. It indicates that I go to bars, and I probably drink. I can walk up to strangers and talk to them; I have confidence. Asking them about the price of milk, as silly as it is, shows that I like to have fun. Since it’s my favorite thing to do at bars, it tells you that I like using pickup lines and that I might not be very creative. It’s a dorky statement, but I think you get my point.

Probably the most popular and easiest thing to do in profiles is to say what you like or what interests you. But mention at least several things or be more specific. If “travel” is listed as your only interest, you’re not saying much, since a lot of people like travel. What kind of travel? Backpacking? Cruises? 747s? Hitchhiking? Luxury hotels? The more things you say you like, the more interesting you will be to the reader.

You don’t want to say things like, “I will make you laugh.” There’s a chance you won’t. But if you’re funny and can show your personality in your profile, you might make the reader laugh. “People say I’m funny,” will make the reader wonder, “What kind of people think you’re funny?” Rather, make fun of yourself. “I put my foot in my mouth at the worst times.”

Here are some questions to help you come up with ways to make your profile show who you are:

  • What gets you excited?
  • What is fun to you?
  • What do you enjoy most for leisure (besides sex, guys)?
  • What are your 3 best and 3 worst qualities?
  • How would you describe your personal style?
  • How do your friends see you?
  • What song, type of music, or band moves you most?
  • What makes you laugh, or cry?

The more specific you get in your profile, the clearer a picture you give about who you are, and the more approachable you will be. But be aware that saying too much might turn people away. I try to keep my descriptors down to no more than 12 qualities and sentences. That way, I provide a brief introduction while giving enough information for the reader to see me. I always write the most important things I want people to know about me, and I give a peek of my worst.

If you still have trouble coming up with an attractive profile, Evan Marc Katz has a service at e-cyrano.com where you can get your online profile a professional makeover. It’s a good way to get more people to respond to your profile if you’re willing to pay a fee.

In another blog, I’ll talk a bit about what you can tell about someone’s personality based on how they write their profiles and how you can make your personality shine.

Beware the online dating diarist

As a guy, online dating offers nothing more than yet another way you need to learn to approach girls. This is supposed to be easier, in theory, because you’re not in the same place at the same time. The fact of the matter is that online dating works largely the same way that real life dating works: if you’re the guy, you need to approach her. And there’s so many possible partners on a site that you end up sending out a lot of “hi there” emails and getting very few responses. But every once in a while, you get a response, do a sanity check of their profile to refresh your memory as to whether she fell into the “super hot” or “cute” categories, and start an email conversation. You think things are going well and you actually have a chance of not just meeting this girl, but dating her. There’s only one problem. She’s an online dating diarist.

You anxiously await her next email, and it reads:

Hey Zack,

Boy did I have a busy day! Work was crazy today. When I arrived, my boss already had ten things for me to do. I really like her, but she’s so disorganized. Oh well, I suppose that’s why she needs me, right? I spent most of the morning helping her arrange everything just the way she likes it so she can look good in front of the execs. For lunch we went to California Pizza Kitchen…god I love the salads there. I know, I know, it’s a pizza place but I get a salad. I don’t care, they’re sooooooooo good!

The afternoon was really busy as well as we had clients coming in from out of town. There were meetings all afternoon to try to finalize this deal. After work, me and the girls went out for happy hour and Sarah got totally wasted. I’ve told her so many times to watch it when she’s out with colleagues, but she’s a party girl, so what can I do?

Well, that’s about it. I hope your day went well.

Upon first reading this you may be thinking, “what’s wrong with it?” What’s wrong is that this isn’t an email to me, it’s an entry in her diary. Remember those high school girls with diaries? They don’t keep diaries anymore, they write emails.

If you’re communicating with someone on an online dating site, that means you don’t know them. You must get to know them in order to decide if they are worth the time of meeting in person. Online dating diarists do everything in their power to feed you the most mundane and useless information about themselves as possible. Don’t get me wrong, they don’t know that this is what they’re doing, but it’s the fastest way in the world to ensure that nothing will ever come of the communication.

Now, I’m not a fan of online dating in general (for reasons I’ll discuss at a later point), and this type of behavior just validates my beliefs. The first few emails of an online dating discussion need to be devoted towards getting to know the other person. Ask questions, don’t tell stories unless they answer a question, and skip the day or weekend rundown of your activities.

If you’re a guy and you’re now virtually involved with an online dating diarist, you have three options. The first is to ignore everything that she says and ask interesting questions such as “What did you want to be when you were a little girl?” and “If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would that be?” Chances are she’ll answer the questions, and if you’ve snapped her from her spell, she’ll ask some in return. If she doesn’t ask any questions after answering yours, chances are she’s going to slip back into her diary mode after the next email.

This leads you to the second option: suggest meeting in person. Sometimes people just don’t know how to communicate through writing. They may have a hard time figuring out what to say because they have too much time to think about it. Suggest meeting for a coffee and see if she is any easier to communicate with in person.

Your third option is, of course, to end the communication. Online dating, ideally, is about meeting a large amount of people in a short amount of time and with minimum effort. If you’re putting effort into holding up a “relationship” with someone you haven’t met, then you’re just not doing online dating right. Politely say that you don’t believe things will work out and wish her the best. You may or may not get a response, but either way, don’t write to her again. Just move on.

If you’re a girl and you’re an online dating diarist, the easiest way to snap out of your behavior is to start asking him questions. Don’t provide a narrative, this is a two-party conversation. Give the guy something to converse with you about. Short stories are okay, but they have to have a point or lead up to a question. For example, a story about your nephew could be followed up by the question, “do you have any small children in your family?” Or, as with the guy, just say you’d like to meet for coffee and talk in person.

Online dating is really no easier than dating in real life, it’s just replacing verbal and in-person communication with visual, text communication. Text communication isn’t easy for everyone, so you’ll tend to run into the online dating diarist at least once or twice during any online dating encounters. Just beware, and good luck!