What’s Wrong With These Online Dating Profiles?
From Match.com to JDate.com to OkCupid, one thing all online dating sites have in common are profiles that are absolutely dismal. It is rare to read a profile essay that is well-crafted, engaging, and describes the unique qualities of a person. It’s bad enough when someone posts photos that are unflattering, out-of-focus, or scanned from their driver’s license (No kidding. I actually saw a few of these. Nothing turns a woman on like a blurry photo with your state stamped over your face).
While good photos are the most critical aspect of an online dating profile, the next order of importance is your essay. If someone likes your pictures, they’re going to want to learn more about you. If your essay is filled with clichés, isn’t specific enough, or paints the wrong picture, you will probably lose the opportunity to connect with an amazing person. That’s why today I am illustrating what works and what doesn’t in online profile essays.
What’s Wrong With These Online Dating Profiles?
Let’s analyze the following actual online profile essays with a before and after.
1. Divorced man, 50 years old
Before: im easy going, down to earth. enjoy hanging out drinking coffee driving
What’s wrong? We don’t know much about this guy except that he writes run-on sentences and has a typo in the first word. Spell check anyone? He says nothing specific about himself except that he likes coffee (yawn), hanging out (double yawn) and driving (wow!). Words like easygoing and down-to-earth don’t say much about him as an individual. Here’s an example as to how he might open his essay.
After: I love traveling off-road to destinations unknown in my red convertible, top down, a cup of iced Columbian roast in my cup holder, ACDC blasting from my car speakers.
2. Divorced man, 53 years old
Before: Loves Sushi, Yankees and laying out by the pool in no particular order…Passionate about my family, reading good books, traveling and animals.
What’s wrong? This essay has complete sentences (yay!), is less generic, but still says very little about this guy. I’ve added specific details about him, such as what type of books he reads and what he likes to eat. The following is a much more effective opening to an essay.
After: On summer weekends, you’ll find me lounging poolside, reading the latest James Patterson novel. In the winter, I’m skiing or hiking most weekends, and warming up by the fire next to…you? I love spicy tuna sashimi, and would enjoy sipping saki with a special woman. My secret pleasure is eating a hot dog at a Yankees game or making a barbecue steak dinner with my three grown kids when they visit their dad.
3. Divorced woman, 47 years old
Before: I am single, confident, comfortable with my current life and would like to share it with someone else as well. I would like to meet a man who knows how to treat a woman.My career is important to me. But I do believe everything in life should be balanced and in moderation. My family and friends are important to me and I enjoy spending time with them.My ideal match is someone who enjoys life, family and friends, is socially responsible, enjoys the little things in life and loves to laugh.
What’s wrong? I am single? Why else would you be on this site? Don’t say things that are cliché, non-specific, or obvious. She’s confident? In essays, it’s important to show, don’t tell. Say something with confidence. I would like to meet a man who knows how to treat a woman. Be specific. Also sounds like this woman may have been treated poorly by a man in the past. At least, that’s how many men will read it, and think she’s too needy. NEXT! My career is important to me. Why? What do like about your career? You get the drift—be specific, interesting, and set yourself apart by stating what makes you unique.
After: I know what music I like, but please don’t ask me the names of any songs. One of my proudest accomplishments was illustrating two children’s books. It makes me very happy to see kids enjoying my books. I adore reading fiction, like the dating profiles of some people on Match.com and books by Alice Hoffman. My daily exercise includes walking my Alaskan Husky. If you’re a dog lover, you get extra points!
I get so much joy from my work as an interior designer, because I get to help people fall in love with their homes. I work hard, but there’s nothing like taking time off for some R & R. On the weekends, I enjoy a bike ride in Central Park or dining on sushi or Indian cuisine in SOHO or the Lower East Side. I inherited my mom’s green eyes and my grandmother’s ability to cook a delicious pot roast. I can prepare chicken ten different ways and hardly ever use recipes. My friends come to me for advice, my kids come to me for spending money, and if you play your cards right, you’ll be invited to dinner at my place, with Pink Floyd playing in the background . Or was that The Who?
Don’t you get a better sense of who this woman is? You can SEE her sense of humor without her telling you that she’s funny. You can SEE why she likes her job. This is much more effective than her previous essay.
Your online dating profile is the first impression you make on a dating site. If you are tired of attracting the wrong types of people and you want better results, write an outstanding profile essay.
P.S. Ladies, if you are struggling to write your own sparkling essay, post the best photos, and learn how to write effective emails and search for good men without frustration, check out my jam-packed course, Find True Love Online After 40.