I was having a read of this great article from The Good Men Project (really great website) and it got me thinking about what makes me stop looking at someone’s profile with online dating. It can be something very small or that if it was real life I wouldn’t mind so much. I do this for two reasons.
1. On the internet I exercise more caution. If someone on a dating site or in message makes a joke that comes of creepy, even if it’s not that bad or if spoken in the right way it could be alright, thats it. Done.
2. In profiles we get to market ourselves, we can choose exactly what we show and what we don’t. So if someone is showing me a picture of them at a party with one of those beer funnels, it gives me the impression this is an important part of them, the essence of them. Which would be a no. I really really like a drink but I wouldn’t use a picture of me drinking as a first impression to a romantic match. So if people are including things I don’t like in their profile, even if in some sort of context it might be ok, no. Because I don’t have that context.
So here is a list of things that, for me personally make me skip over a dating profile.
1. ‘Looking for a genuine person who can except me for me’.
These words, especially ‘looking for a genuine person’ suggest recent, unresolved heartbreak. I think its kind of a given we want to meet someone who is excepting and loving of who we are and who tries to share their thoughts and feelings. If it’s super important to you that you meet someone like this I would go for ‘ Looking for an open and loving person’. Comes of a bit less angsty.
2. ANY kind of angst.
I’m not interested in anyone who talks about how much bad luck they have with dating, who says their life is ‘boring’, or talks about any personal issues at all in there profile. Maybe health conditions would be ok if it was relevant to how the person was describing themselves. I have a lot of room of acceptance of personal issues in my relationships, both with friends and romantic. But like I said, you choose what is in your profile and I don’t want your defining points to be your problems. I prefer to get to know someone and let any kind of problem comes up naturally.
3. Ticking they like to do EVERYTHING.
If you like movies then say what kind and names some favourites, apply to anything else you tick that you really enjoy. I know it’s hard, I have a lot of interests and I like movies far more than I like cooking, but will still tick both as an interest. However I would go on to say what movies I like, but not to mention anything about cooking. If I see a profile I like who is really into making sushi, I would message them and go into greater detail about my smaller interest. Ticking everything leaves me the dark as to what that person really likes, so I’d advise being minimal with the ticking or explain more in a profile.
4. Ticking/writing nothing.
I have literally seen profiles on sites intended for dating (as apposed to hook ups) that have no interests ticked and the profile description just says something like ‘I’m shy’. All I really have to go off that is a profile picture and even if I think someone is really good looking I don’t want to start talking to them and realise we have nothing in common.
5. Any signs of lad behaviour.
Sorry this one is just for guys. Anything that suggests lad behaviour, drunk pictures certain types of clothes, use of the word ‘banter’. I know that in context these things are fine, but like said, no context, no contact.
6. A profile picture that looks like they don’t want to be on the site.
A miserable/uninterested/aloof profile picture is really off putting. I think the safest bet is to smile, you might think your coming of as cool but it might not be the case.
A note on messages –
Message someone who is way way younger than you.
Message someone just saying ‘hi’.
Message someone with sexual content as the first message.
Introduce yourself in a friendly way.
Ask one or two questions that show you have read their profile.
Write a few sentences about yourself.
My advice for making a profile is look at your finished product, clear your mind and look at it from the point of view of someone who knows nothing else about you. How does it come across to you? How does it make you look? Are the jokes funny or creepy? Are you cool or uninterested? Does this profile give a general sense of who I am? And keep it short. I barely read enough as it is, I’m not going to trawl through the life story of a stranger 😛
I’m no longer really interested in internet dating, not because of all the problems that come with it (see Bye Felipe). Just because I think my relationship failures come from going for the same kind of person, and because online dating is so deliberate you can look for exactly who you want, so I tend to go for ‘the same again’. And I would like to meet people different from my normal ‘type’ and I think the real world is better at randomly throwing people at me.