Oliver Lee Bateman has a foolproof guide to setting up your online dating profile.
Despite years of hard-hitting research by writers at top publications like Cosmopolitan and Glamour, true love remains very hard to find. Those wild and crazy raves and mosh pits might be great for sowing your wild oats, but it’s doubtful that you’ll find the man or woman of your dreams there. If it’s a dreamboy/dreamgirl you’re after, you should consider visiting the same Internet where you manage your Farmville estate and set up your fantasy football lineups.
Unlike smoky neighborhood bars and noisy fraternity parties, the Internet is a place where you can cut loose and be yourself. Internet users are honest, welcoming and kind — a big, happy surrogate family. By posting a personal ad on websites like Match.com, OkCupid.com or Craigslist.org, you can announce to the denizens of this virtual world that your search for love and recognition has begun. Although it’s vitally important that you tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth in your ad, you need to do it in a vague, roundabout way that won’t offend any potential soulmates.
First, provide some vital statistics: height, weight and the like. If some of this data isn’t in your favor, fudge it a bit. Let’s say you’re a guy who is a bit on the short side — maybe 5-foot-1 or so. Why not use this opportunity to type in a higher but nonetheless still reasonable number, like 7-foot-4? That’s a lot taller than 5-foot-1, and as long as you don’t provide any photos of yourself standing next to anyone bigger, you should be in the clear. In the unlikely event that your date discovers this ruse, it’ll be too late — he or she will be too smitten by your winning personality to call you on it. Use the same sort of logic when answering questions about “body type”: a 400-pound man undoubtedly has an “athletic” build, since he weighs as much as an NFL offensive lineman, as does a 65-pound woman without a single ounce of muscle or fat on her emaciated physique.
You’ll want to showcase that personality in the next section. This “about me” field is an opportunity to flash your writing skills while demonstrating how awesome you are. But how to start? Here’s a good sample beginning — feel free to borrow it:
“Hi there! I’m a very cool young guy/girl with a lot of interests as well as a nice heart and a good personality.”
See how that works? Right away the reader knows that you’ve got many interests, a nice heart and a good personality. There’s no way that he or she will stop reading now, so let’s keep this winning streak alive:
“One of my favorite things to do is to go out on the town and paint it red. Another favorite thing is staying in and curling up with a book, a cup of tea or a movie.”
Whoa! Now that the reader knows you’re an expert at both going out and staying in, he or she is probably eager to put a ring on it. The fact that you’re an inveterate reader, a tea drinker and a fan of the cinema is just icing on the cake. Let’s continue developing our masterpiece:
“Unlike a lot of girls/guys, I am for real and in the market for something serious. However, I would not mind if it just happens because I can go with the flow. You never know when there will be a spark. When it’s right, it’s right. True love is out there and it’s worth waiting for. No scrubs or players, please.”
You’re already far ahead of the game, so use a paragraph like that one to qualify your demands. Here you’re telling the reader that, although you’d like a serious relationship, you can also be spontaneous. You’re also informing him or her that you know exactly how love works — “when it’s right, it’s right.” That line might be straight out of a movie or a book, and it’ll undoubtedly resonate. Finally, you’re telling scrubs and players to stay away. A winner like you can afford to be picky, after all. But how to end?
“I love to laugh but also think deeply about various social concerns. I am especially worried about Darfur, not to mention Katrina. I’m a fan of sitting in coffee houses and have a total caffeine addiction. As far as fiction goes, I like all the great books: ‘The Great Gatsby,’ ‘Great Expectations,’ ‘The Great Santini.’ With television, I can do anything from a reality show to a drama — just depends on my mood! Music moves my soul and I couldn’t live for even three seconds without my iPod. Some of the best singers going are Ke$ha, Clay Aiken, Savage Garden, Young Dro, Jessica Simpson and the Black Eyed Peas.”
Yep, the coup de grâce. Who wouldn’t want to marry the person described in this stunning advertisement? In fact, if I could find someone like this, my life would not only be complete but the happiest in recorded history. Before I go, though, I have a final word of advice for all of our male readers: According to research I just added to Wikipedia, profile photos with goatees are 207 percent more likely to receive responses.
Happy hunting, true believers.
—Photo Brett Jordan/Flickr