So one of my friends decided that she was no longer going to leave it up to the stars. No more of this “organic”, meeting-by-chance stuff. After carefully weighing her options, thoughtfully considering her personal situation, and embarking on a slew of craptastic dates, my friend (we’ll call her “Sam”) decided that it was time to give that slacker the lovelorn refer to as “fate”, a swift kick in the posterior. Her mind was made up. She was joining that legion of date-seekers found in the wide world of online dating.
A whopping 20-percent of couples, according to one high-profile site, are meeting via online matchmaking. I’ve got a few friends who swear by it. My take? Listen, it’s hard enough to meet anyone in general. Go for it. The best method is the method that works.
Now, in case you've been living under a rock, I’m compelled to inform you that there are a gazillion dating websites -- some free, some not. So filtering is paramount to the online dating process. There are sites for booty calls, married folks seeking affairs, Jewish singles, Christian singles, millionaire singles, even a site connecting singles who love iphones! It is perhaps the understatement of the millennium to say that there’s something for everyone.
So Sam calls me up.
“Hey, I’m finally gonna do this. I chose a site, now I need to put together my profile. You’re my Straight Male Friend, help me make this profile attractive to the “right” men.”
This is low hanging fruit for your SMF. Of course I can help you!
Now, I’ve heard all types of online dating horror stories. Generally they’re some version of this:
“We were having a great time exchanging e-mails. His picture was cute and he said he was 31 years old. I should have been suspicious when one night I asked him what he was doing and he e-mailed back, ‘fluffing the pillow in my casket. LOL.’ Then we meet and the 31-year-old turns out to be a youthful-looking 71- year-old!”
Umm..yeah. Not very LOL now.
So I proceeded to offer my pal Sam my “Top 3 Tips On Creating Your Online Dating Profile.”
1. Profile Picture – For the love of all that is holy…post pictures of YOU. Not you and your hot friend. You know guys are visual — and you know your friend is ridiculously hot. Why would you commit such an act of self-sabotage? Do you really wanna get this e-mail: “Hey..uhh…you seem really nice…can you hook me up with your buddy in the picture with you?”
Do not post pics with your shades on….seriously, why do I even need to say this? Don’t do it. And please…I know you love your dog/cat/goldfish/hamster/unicorn. You love them so much that you will feel the urge to show the world your pet’s majestic beauty.
Resist that urge.
We like dogs too, but we’re not asking Scrappy Doo for a date. Unless you’re visually impaired, and the dog helps you navigate your day-to-day movements, save the solo pet pics for another day. And if some guy does request a pet picture….it may be “To Catch A Predator” time.
2. About Me – Each one of these sites has a section where they ask folks to describe themselves. Some people get creative and detailed while others write, “Send me a message” or something along those lines. The advice here, women love to read — guys not as much. Keep it short and sweet. You drew him in with your picture, don’t shoo him away with your Match.com version of “Beowulf”. Save some stuff for later to talk about. Keep the description positive. If you find it difficult to find anything positive to say…dating may not be for you. Don’t talk about how awful guys are or have been — you might think it — don’t say it.
3. About Him – The trickiest part. Here’s another urge to resist. The Resume. Be realistic…or be alone. Hate to sound harsh, but don’t describe Brad Pitt or Denzell Washington if you’re not Angelina Jolie or Halle Berry. I’d say describe your perfect guy’s intangibles, and be open to throwing out your checklist. Share your “dealbreakers” for sure, but emphasize important positive intangibles like “sense of humor” or “outgoing and friendly.”
Your thoughts on online dating? Let’s hear it!