Let your online dating profile be a window into who you really are.
Most of us eventually reach an age where the nights of picking up women at bars becomes nothing more than a nostalgic memory, and the routine of work life takes over, preventing new women from entering our social orbit. Those of us who aren’t lucky enough to have friends who can set us up are sheer out of luck.
These lack of options, in addition to the increasingly busy nature of modern society, all lead to millions of men signing up for online dating.
On the surface it all seems too good to be true. Thousands of beautiful women to choose from, proclaiming they want nothing more than a nice guy who can make them laugh.
This is going to be a cakewalk, you think. Loneliness will be a distant friend of the past.
Then something awful happens. Loneliness steps aside as a new best friend named rejection steps in. Countless emails are not only rejected, but rejected in silence, rendering us non-existent in the eyes of these women.
With every day that passes by, feelings of inadequacy, failure, and desperation grow stronger. The attempt to meet women online has destroyed just about all the self-esteem that was left prior to signing up. Finally, you desire more than anything to give up, but stick with it because you feel as if you have no other options.
Does this story sound familiar to you?
While the negative experience one may have varies, this is the story of countless men who are signed up for online dating at this very moment. Men are learning the hard way that meeting women online is actually harder than meeting women in real life. Not knowing how to push past the competition online makes the experience a daily nightmare. For years I have been coming up with techniques and methods to solve this dilemma and help men find success with meeting women online.
Neely Steinberg: Let me first say that I think there are a ton of women, especially as they reach their early thirties, who really do want a nice guy who can make them laugh. Being nice doesn’t mean a man is a pushover or doesn’t have a backbone and his own opinions; it means treating women with respect and consistent kindness. The women who are in their thirties and forties and still looking for flash over substance or to be treated unkindly are not likely to make good partners. Why would a man want to be with this kind of woman, anyway?
So yes, online dating provides options. I met my boyfriend on Match; as you can guess, I’m a huge proponent. The one thing I would say about online dating and something I constantly tell my clients is to give it a gosh darn chance. Women and men have been pursuing traditional dating avenues (bars, set-ups, and the like) for years upon years and haven’t ruled out those opportunities. But all of a sudden online dating is a magical panacea that can find them the perfect mate within 6-9 months? Please. I was on and off Match for years before finally finding love. I know tons of people who have had the same experience. Don’t turn to online dating to be your everything and don’t expect it to work miracles. Be patient with it, be resilient.
Now that I’ve convinced our readers to stick with online dating, what would you say, Joshua, are some tricks of the trade to write a better, more alluring profile that gets the attention of women? I’m interested to hear the male perspective to see if it lines up with how women see things?
Joshua Pompey: Neely, I’m so glad you brought up the notion of writing a profile before delving into the other online dating staples. This is because most men treat the written portion of their profiles as a complete afterthought, spending the majority of their efforts writing emails and creating photo galleries. In fact, most men write a quick profile with minimal effort when signing up, and completely forget it exists after that.
This is a big mistake. The written portion of a male profile is arguably the biggest determinant of whether or not he will succeed. This is because women are less visual then men. While men are almost exclusively concerned with a woman’s pictures, and will work with everything else after that, women are wired differently. Yes we have to look presentable, but women feel attraction towards men mainly based on our internal characteristics, and the profile is where we can paint the best picture of who we truly are on the inside.
While I could go on for pages with what constitutes a great profile, here are a few basic suggestions.
For starters, don’t say it, show it. What I mean is, dating sites are filled with endless amounts of clichés. “I like to make people laugh.” “I love to go out, but also like to spend nights in watching movies and ordering in food.” Browse fifty profiles right now and you will likely find fifty profiles that have an almost identical version of the above quotes. And believe me, I could go on with dozens more common clichés.
These statements are not only boring, but they turn us into just another faceless drone, completely indistinguishable from all the other men online. Instead of saying we like to make people laugh, make women actually laugh. I can’t even tell you how many women have contacted me first, telling me I have the funniest profile they’ve ever read. I don’t talk the talk. I walk the walk by making them laugh so hard it hurts. I’m just an average looking guy, but this alone enables me to crush most of my competition.
Having a humorous profile will not only create attraction, as women are extremely attracted to men that can make them laugh, but it will exponentially increases the odds of receiving a first date. The reason behind this is simple. If woman think we are funny, they will give us a shot, assuming in a worst-case scenario, “We may not be a match, but at least I won’t be bored!”
I could go on for hours, Neely, on crafting the perfect profile; it’s something I am extremely passionate about. But let’s hear some of your thoughts. In addition, what are your thoughts on a profile’s ability to overshadow a man’s looks?
Neely Steinberg: I think you have some great suggestions, Joshua.
If your profile can make a woman laugh and put her in a good mood (avoid too much self-deprecating humor), you’re off to a great start. A man should definitely spend time carefully crafting his profile; remember: It’s your way of marketing yourself so don’t half-ass it. Don’t be boring or commonplace. Get creative and have fun with it. Think a little outside the box to grab a woman’s attention. Ask yourself: Why would a woman, based on what I’ve written, choose to spend time communicating with me out of the sea of other guys on this site or others? If you’re not a Brad Pitt in the looks department, it helps to let your other qualities shine through in a fun, entertaining way. Read other men’s profiles and emulate the ones that (in a good way) stand out from the pack. Even if you think of yourself as pretty boring (you’re not, by the way!), there are ways to present yourself as unique, fun, and worth getting to know. Also, experiment: If you don’t seem to be getting many bites or responses from women, maybe it’s time to reexamine what you’ve written and shake things up.
I’d agree that women on average are probably more likely to give a man a chance if they are turned on by his profile’s words despite only being, say, moderately attracted to his photos. However, I do think it’s important for a guy to present quality photos. Forget the pictures of beautiful vistas and faraway, indistinct shots of you with your buddies. Women as much as men want to have a fairly decent picture of who (in terms of appearance) they are going to be sitting across from on a date; after all, they are taking a chance to spend time with a total stranger.
I would say make sure to have a few close-ups (you should be smiling in all of them) and maybe one full body shot. A good full body photo might be some sort of action shot of an activity you’re passionate about—whether it’s playing tennis or a musical instrument. You can then talk further about that passion in your profile. I think most women appreciate a man who has a passion for or has achieved mastery in a hobby.
Joshua Pompey: I agree with a lot of your points. Although I would like to add, I think showing various pictures that are far away can work wonders for your profile if they involve participating in interesting activities or help to provide a deeper window into who you truly are as a person. But as you say, Neely, women do want a sense of what the man truly looks like, so I would encourage to only do this if you also have a lot of pictures showing close ups.
Finally, I’d like to end this conversation by pointing out that the profile is the final gate between you, and the women who are on the fence about responding. As Neely says, if your words turn a woman on, they can convince women to give you a chance, even if they were only moderately attracted to your pictures. What a lot of men don’t realize is, most women don’t completely decide if they are going to write you back until they read your profile. Your words can easily push them in either direction, so make sure you push them in the correct one.
Image credit: Ricky Flores/Flickr