Online Dating after the Divorce
Online Dating: 10 Tips to Writing an Online Profile that Helps You Find Love
You finally took the plunge and signed up for an online dating Web site. After surrendering your credit card number and taking the personality test, you click next and there you are, your own personal homepage. The place potential matches are going to turn to learn why YOU are the catch of the century, which, of course, will result in incredible numbers of winks, first questions and, ultimately, (if the ads are true) your soul mate.
Only, before you can get that first match, you have to construct a personal profile. Heck, you haven’t written an essay since college and it wasn’t a whole lot of fun then. You sit there, staring at the screen. What should you say? What should you NOT say? It’s enough to make a hottie freeze up.
Eric Resnick, founder of ProfileHelper.com, says one of the most common profile blunders is showcasing baggage by putting in too many inappropriate details.”You really want to keep your baggage stored in the overhead compartment when it comes to online dating,” said Resnick. “Things like honesty and loyalty are expected human traits. Asking for them in your profile makes it sound like you still haven’t gotten over the ex who cheated or lied to you in the past. That alone can scare off a lot of potential matches.”
ProfileHelper advisors turned this cringer around. Before the online profile read, “I am sick of dating stupid men so if you are a moron don’t bother trying to get with me.” After, it was more positive.”As a student of life, I have always found myself drawn to intelligent men who share my inquisitive nature.”
Liz Kelly, author of “Smart Man Hunting,” agrees that putting forwarad a positiveangleis a smart marketing technique. “The last thing you want to write is: ‘I’m not really happy with my job and my divorce was kind of rough, but, I think I want to get back into dating,” Kelly said. Also avoid starting your profile with something like ‘Well, I don’t know what to write here.’
When Kelly decided to sign up with an Internet dating service, she used the marketing and management experience she’d gleaned from working for companies such asParamount Pictures, Sprint PCS and T. Rowe Price to write her profile. It worked.
Soon, Kelly was going on four to seven dates a week. In a six-month period, she dated around 200 men before finding someone she dated for a year and a half. When it was time to move on, Kelly freshened up her profile and went back online and found another serious relationship. Six years from that first profile, she has found her match. “I call him Romeo,” she said. “He’s Mr. Romantic. He does all the right things and the chemistry is really good.”
As Yahoo Personals dating expert, Kelly offers online dating coaching as well as profile makeovers and profile reviews. She also hosts her own online dating tips website www.smartmanhunting.com. Here are her top10 tips for writing a winning profile.
1. Write a fun and friendly headline.
Pizza and Pinot? Tells potential dates more about you than Sexy Single Seeks Solace.
2. Post at least two current photos.
Kelly says you get 10 times more responses if you have good pictures. No fair putting up pictures that are more than two or three years old or more than two sizes too small. One online dater recalled a first date where the woman who walked in weighed at least 40 pounds more than the picture she had posted on her profile. Not cool. Guys, if you’re bald, leave the cap off. Maybe she’s into Patrick Stewart types. Resnick cautions online daters to use discretion in their photos. Showing too much skin will attract the wrong kind of match, unless all you’re looking for is a quick hook-up.
Again, park your baggage at the curb so potential dates don’t wonder if you want a little cheese with that whine. If you ask for what you want, rather than talk about what you don’t want, you’re more likely to attract a healthy match.4. Keep it simple.
Save the details for later. The purpose of your profile is to screen for first dates. Period. While you’re screening, make sure you’re being truthful. “The number one thing men lie about online is their height,” said Kelly. “I kept getting these 5-foot, 2-inch men who said they were 5-foot, 10-inches in their profile.” She finally got smart and added this to her profile: “I’m 5-foot,7-inches in heels. So, if you’re not at least 5-foot, 10-inches please do not respond.” One of her clients who was a single dad, wrote in his profile: “If you don’t have any motherly instincts, please do not reply.” “He needed someone who could be warm with his child,” said Kelly.
5. Write short essays versus a book.
Three- to five-sentence paragraphs are best. Try to keep the whole profile to around 350 words so that potential matches can read it in about a minute.
6. Add a little humor.
Humor is a real turn on for many people. If laughing together melts your butter, let potential matches know that by writing a profile that brings a smile to their face.
7. Include a fun hobby note.
The point here is to attract matches that share similar interests. So, don’t be too general. Rather than write: “I enjoy outdoor sports,” share something specific: “On most weekends, you’ll find me on a mountain trail, walking stick in one hand and a camera in the other.”
8. Add your marketing pitch.
Here’s the place to make sure you stand out from the crowd. So, what is it that makes you unique? Do you make the world’s best Bloody Mary? Are you a great salsa dancer? Know how to say, “I love you” in seven languages?
9. Show interest in the other party.
Ask inviting questions. Rather than just say you like going to movies, engage potential matches: I really enjoy going to the local indie theater. Loved ‘La Vie en Rose.’ How about you? What’s your favorite indie film?
10. Be confident versus boastful.
Self-confidence is a very attractive quality, but positioning yourself as the ultimate catch is a turn-off. So, this is not the time to list all the honors you’ve received. Instead, write about the things that make you glad to get up every morning.
After you’ve written your profile, check for grammar and spelling errors so you can put your best foot forward. If your profile has been up for three or four weeks and you’re not getting many matches, Kelly suggests you think about rewriting it. If you’re still not having any luck, you might think about hiring online dating experts like Kelly or Resnick to tweak it for you. Depending on what’s included in the package, costs range from $39.95 to $125.
Once your profile is perfected and you’re getting those first dates, expect to date a lot of frogs before you find your prince or princess. “The Internet is the biggest bar in the world,” said Kelly. “You can instantly find people you have things in common with and you can do it faster and better than you can in a bar. If you walk into a bar, there might be 100 people there. How do you know if any one of them likes sailing? If you go online, you can find that out right away. It’s all about the numbers and the Internet offers you the biggest pond to go fishing.”