18 February 2011

Wading into Murky Waters

A couple months ago Sarah and I decided to give online dating a whirl... again. While neither one of us have had much (or any) success in the past, we have had several friends who are married with the help of an online service. What did we have to lose? Maybe we meet someone nice, have a date, maybe even meet a mate, but at the very least we have a good story. One of the best parts of online dating services is the entertainment value; the profiles alone are entertaining. Sarah and I have been taking advantage of trial days and free "communication events" so it hasn't even cost us a dime; of course you get what you pay for. Recently I was sent a match that surpassed anything I had seen before and is now the epitome of what not to put on your profile. It's just too good not to share. (And if you're thinking of making a profile, heed my advice.)

First off, for the question of "What are you most passionate about?" Even if you are a total techno-geek, it is not advisable to list your favorite TV shows, especially if it includes the Cartoon Network, and all your favorite genres of movies. And it's even worse when you follow it with "Xbox" and a list of your favorite games. But the topper is when he repeats this list under "What I can't live without." Yes, apparently this guy can't live without his Xbox, the History & Sci-Fi Channel, and FNC - I'm guessing another TV channel. All together it portrays you as a couch potato/TV junkie - and for the vast majority of women, all the women I know, that is not attractive. It's a total turn-off. I'm all for being honest, and if that really is what you are most passionate about, best wishes for finding that rare anomaly of a women who also enjoys that lifestyle and those past-times.

Here is another tip - learn how to wordsmith and put a positive spin on traits that you feel you need to share in your profile that may not be desirable. Remember, you are trying to put your best foot forward and make a good impression with your profile. Admittedly it feels awkward, like you are marketing yourself, but that is exactly what you are doing. Just like you present your best self in your resume and in an interview for a job; in dating you need to present your best self. Here is an example of what not to say: 'I'm socially awkward and don't like small groups of people... I am often thought of as pretentious." I suppose he should get points for being blatantly honest but combined with the Cartoon Network and Xbox fascination, this guy is acing himself out of the dating scene. I'm sure he is a nice, decent, good guy who is lonely and truly wants to have a relationship, but he isn't painting a good picture of himself. And in the online virtual word, you are judged and measured solely on your written description of yourself and photos; there is no context to help shape interpretation. Being a freebie user I can't see pictures, so in this instance it's only the words that count.

I'm feeling quite ungenerous to this poor fella that I've just ripped apart - and I could go on with other examples from his profile. So what would I suggest to him? First off, don't list your favorite TV shows, movie genres and video games in what you are most passionate about. If you feel it's necessary to list specifics, do so under the question of how you typically spend your leisure time. And if you can, move all references to TV and video games to that section. It may be how you spend the bulk of your leisure time, but is it really what you are most passionate about? Elsewhere he talks very highly of his family, that would be a great thing to put under the passionate category - "I am passionate about maintaining strong family relationships and investing time and myself into building up my mother and sister, being there for them." Now, that would be attractive. As for the socially awkward comment, that's a tough nut to crack, especially without knowing how it manifests. Maybe something like... "Small group settings are not my forte; I prefer larger groups where I can be more of an observer." Or, "I prefer being one-on-one where I can really open up and share." Highlight was does work for you, not what doesn't. Really. Is it any wonder that Sarah and I are still single?

Those are my online dating tips of the week. I hope you have enjoyed them and find them useful - for entertainment purposes. I've got more to come, lots more, so stay tuned. Sarah and I are out there to bring back the best to you!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It is amazing what people will say for all the dating world to see but at the same time, it helps you weed out the undesirables!! :D