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Tips for Successful Internet Dating part 1: The Profile

Do you want your online lovelife to look like this?

I am currently in a love relationship that started online.  It is the best love relationship in my life to date, but I spent a lot of time meeting dweebs and getting humbled and disappointed before this one.

Being a person who expresses herself most ably in writing, online dating has always appealed to me.  I dabbled prior to Child’s arrival, but had no real need for the work of web dating, since I was young and funny and reasonably attractive.

Single parents who don’t have a ton of help and are reasonably responsible, are relegated almost singly to the world of online dating.

From Child’s birth to when I moved to Williamsport (approx 4.75 years), the number of adult-only, away-from-home interactions I had were about 1/100 of all the similar errands in the 5 years prior.

I hate first dates, they are almost always disasters, so when I was free to go alone, I did not want to waste the precious time on a man.  This is not to say I never did, certainly, but the occasions were rare.

Before I commence with tip-giving, I should posit that these tips are for people who are serious about online dating, not trolls amateur pornographers.

  1. Your Online Dating Profile is NOT your resume.  Therefore, don’t embellish.  Don’t turn an acne-pitted face with rosatia into “smooth, ivory skin.”  This is simply not true, and there is almost always–even if it is small–the chance that you’ll meet the person reading your profile.  If you tell lies that are obvious and then have the gall to meet the person you’ve lied to, you’re saying, “I’m a stupid douche who thinks you’re stupid too.”  You  can’t assume trust, and you have to work twice as hard to earn it in text.  Besides which, people who seek mates online (people who are more than sex partners) are implicitly willing to love the person despite her body.
  2. Be funny or interesting. Online dating profiles can be a little stuffier than first dates, since we’re assuming a slightly longer attention span with fewer distractions and no ability to read social cues, but listing every single thing you’re interested, and detailing the superiority of your knowledge on the topic (and consequently your human pomp) is a sure way to get people to navigate away from your profile.  Be succinct, but not drab or negative.  Don’t say, “I hate online dating profiles.  I also hate men with back hair, and I hate kitty cats and children and anybody who reads George R.R. Martin.”  Say, “I prefer Chaucer readers to Cat owners, and even more than that I like people who are daunted as I am by filling out this profile.”
  3. Be true to yourself, or Dealbreakers Right Up Front.  As much as the object of online dating is mating, you have to be pretty self-aware to find a rewarding love situation online.  Before you sit down with OKCupid and start hammering away at the keyboard, sit down with yourself and ask some questions:   What are my deal breakers?    What is my goal in online dating?  Am I willing to invest a lot of time before the nookie?  Am I comfortable meeting strangers in public?  Knowing deal breakers in advance is essential to online dating success.  If you won’t date someone who’s blond or who has children, be very up front with that information.  And behave accordingly.  If someone who blabbers on about their wee crumb crunchers in his profile sends you a message, ignore it or delete it.  Do not engage, because if you do, that person will assume that you’re not as put off by children as your profile suggests and they will start to create a you that does not exist in their minds.
  4. Do not expect to get if you are unwilling to give. You must give as much information about yourself as you receive.  Invariably, the person you’re writing to will be reading between the lines of what you write, so being honest and clear and offering up bits of your innermost self is highly important, and–unless the person with whom you will correspond is cripplingly self deluded and/or a psychopath–your openness will spur theirs.
  5. Do not expect it to be easy.  An online dating profile is really a pile of effort.  You must spend a lot of time thinking about things you like and love and who you are and what kinds of things you want in a partner before you even get to the actual online dating part.  In my experience, it’s worth the effort, because even the dates that aren’t good are great stories.

Next time, Online Dating Sites, a non-comprehensive list.

One comment on “Tips for Successful Internet Dating part 1: The Profile

  1. This post gives a lot of great online dating tips on how to write a first message well. I hate reading lists. So many women list ever single artist they listen to! But that has little to do with attraction. Also, it’ definitely important to be funny. So few guys profiles are, so when I come across one, it’s refreshing.

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