Since it's Wednesday, here's another round of our Intermet series, helping you and your friends online date effectively. Last week, we talked about choosing an online dating website to use! Today, we tackle the dreaded profile.
With the limited legitimate dating websites available (but plethora of, um, not so good websites available), you've flexed your decision-making prowess and are ready to create your own version of today's most popular classified ad: the online dating profile.
You're selling yourself--literally. You're trying to make the best advertisement of yourself so that when your Mr(s). Perfect comes along, you sound intriguing, fun, and someone they would want to get to know. We abide by the First Impressions Rule: You should make yourself as appealing as possible without swaying too much to any one side. This is because you don't want to accidentally turn away potential suitors just because you sound more (or less) convicted than you actually are (this goes for religion, income, substance use frequency, political beliefs, etc.).
Firstly, in choosing a username, don't pick your normal Twitter or blog username. Why? This is easily Google-able! Go with something that's not already tied to your full name, just in case. Safety first!
The large majority of websites require you to include some crucial demographic information on your profile. These include:
-Gender and sexual preference. Sometimes people ignore this.
-Height. Be forthright, as this is more important than most people are willing to admit!
-Ethnicity. Same as above.
-Body type. A slippery slope--or lack thereof. Our best advice? Be honest!
-Eye and hair color. You'll be posting pictures anyway, but include this as well.
-Smoking/drinking/drug use frequency. If this is important to you, like you hate smoking, indicate this on your profile. But if you feel uncomfortable with the options (for drinking, OKC has "Very Often," "Often," "Socially," "Rarely," "Desperately," and "Not at all."), then omit this information and you can indicate it later. We hope you're not doing drugs, yo.
-Income. Both of us believe in leaving this section blank. It's awkward and totally not pre-first-date conversation material.
-Occupation. Be vague. No, really. More on this later.
-Personal desire for offspring. If you abhor children, mention that you never want any. If you can't imagine never being a mom, mention that.
-Religious beliefs. We both believe in being vague in this particular department until further conversation. Remember that online dating relies on first impressions, and you don't want to accidentally turn away a potential suitor because you happened to sound more or less religiously convicted than you actually are.
-Pets. We don't think this is a major make-or-break, but if you have 4 dogs (ahem, you know who you are), we'd probably advise against saying this in accordance with the First Impressions Rule.
After you complete the demographic information, it's time for your advertisement. Most websites will prompt you for various narratives ("About me" "Ideal First Date," "Six Things You Can't Live Without," etc.). However, there are two important things to remember throughout these narrative sections:
1. Write to your audience!
Always remember who you're trying to attract. If you eat, sleep, and breathe New York Yankees baseball and would give up your dreams of a wife for a chance at A-Rod, that's nice...but probably not audience-appropriate (plus we both agree: Yankees suck). Similarly, if the thing you miss most about your youth is flipping through a Delia's catalog and begging Mom to buy you the latest 90s fashion, reminisce with your friends--men reading your profile cannot relate.
2. Sell yourself!
Have we said this enough?! This is, after all, a very specially kind of advertisement. If you've got something fun, cute, quirky, interesting, hilarious, unique, or incredible to share about yourself, do it!
A few other notes:
-Don't give too many details. You don't want StalkerBoy68 to track you down via Google and then wait outside your office building. Being vague is good ("graduate student"); anything too Google-able ("PhD student in Behavioral Neuroscience at Baylor") is a bad idea.
-No direct comments regarding success. "I'm a successful businessman" makes you sound like a jerk, even if you are completely successful.
-No negativity or comments regarding why you dislike certain traits of the opposite sex, such as "Most girls say they want a nice guy, but they're lying," or "No baby mamas," you just sound ignorant and pessimistic.
-Don't write too much. This sounds weird, but the more you write, the more your potential suitor could browse past your profile because of something (s)he didn't like. Remember the First Impression Rule: try to be middle-of-the-road; the details can come out later.
Next week, we'll talk about using the perfect profile picture. We would both love to proofread your online dating profile and give you our opinion (this isn't a business, y'all, we just love love!), so let us know if you have any questions!
Have you ever seen anything written on an online dating profile that made you cringe? B.Rizz stated that he's really good at "using the mating tactics of various animals to pick up chicks."