Help with online dating profile

So I signed up with OKCupid as I am finding myself single again after dating someone for 12 years. I have helped female friends with their profiles before, but have little experience with what looks good on a guy’s page. If you guys could let me know what I am doing right and wrong I would appreciate it. I am particularly concerned about the first section from the third paragraph on as I feel it might make me look like a bit of an ass, though I might just be over-analyzing it.

Any tips on using the site would also be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

I don’t think you are too far off, but it could definitely use some tuning.

An easy first step is to go in and take everything that is framed in the negative (which unfortuantely includes your clever intro) and restate it in the positive. Make it about what you are, not what you are not, and what you like, rather than what you dislike. Be pretty liberal in this- no talking about being a bad singer, no talking abuot disliking Twilight, and don’t even mention not having a TV. Tone speaks much louder than words on profiles, and even sensible, reasonable things can add up to a negative impression if they are framed in the negative.

A much harder fix is that your profile seems a little too self-satisfied. There are a few lines that come off outright conceited (especially the part about “I’m good at learning, so I am good at everything. But this isn’t a brag because I’m not good at singing. But obviously, nobody really cares if I am good at singing so this is still kind of a brag.”) But more than that, you need to show the occasional glimpse of real candor, of vulnerability. You need to show that you are awesome, but that you always have space in your life to learn and grow along with someone. And you want to craft this “space” in a way that someone could see themselves in it.

For example, in your “Friday night” section, I don’t see space for my (theortical) self. You seem crazy busy meeting Pulitzer Prize winners (don’t bring that up BTW, it smacks of name dropping- you work at NASA and thats as much namedropping as you need to do.) and being the king of rugby. So what’s my role in this Friday night? Sitting around watching you try to learn guitar? You want to write this as something someone would want to actually do with you. It could be as simple as “My weeknights are busy, so I really cherish the ocassional night at home relaxing in good company, with home cooked food and music from my guitar.”

Definitely cut down the movies-music-books-TV section. This section is for college kids whose musical tastes or whatever make up a huge part of their identiy. Older adults only need a few sentences that give an idea if they are more of a “fine literature and art films” person or a “Dan Brown and Snakes on a Plane” person, and maybe a few extra sentences if they actually are a musician or deeply involved in a specific art scene.

Finally, give your revised profile one last read with an eye towards “What does this profile tell someone about what it is like to date me?” As it stands now, I’ve learned a lot about what you do, but not a ton about who you are. What readers want to know is what you’ll be like in a relationship, and what kind of person you are. Make sure that you are answering these questions.

Oh, and one last thing- try to make it clear if you are willing to date women who already have kids. From the amount of detail you go in to about kids on your profile, it makes it look like you are. If that is not true, I’d cut down that section and keep talk about kids to a sentence or two.

I’m not your target market, but…

That’s kinda the impression I got, too (and very well put); clever, but negative. And take out the part about sitting on the toilet.

Also, try to leave something open or incomplete; an unanswered question, an unfinished list, etc. There should be some opening for someone to start a conversation with you, like the first crack when you’re peeling a hard-boiled egg. I’ve found profiles of women I wanted to write to, but could not really find anything to get the ball rolling.

Heh. I did a similar anti-dating-cliches profile years back when I was online dating, and it worked great for me. So I completely endorse the approach.

Looks good to me for the most part - better than anything I ever mustered up on OK cupid. It kind of looks like you’re trying too hard though; a little too intense.

Sometimes dopers talk about “stealth brag,” I see your OP as a bit of a stealth “hey doper ladies”. I don’t see anything wrong with that though.:cool:

Heh. You are a 79% match and 1% enemy for me. :wink:

And you’re a cutie.

I actually really like you’re profile, but I think that’s because you seem to have the same sense of humor as me.

That should be “your” profile. I hate it when I make a stupid typo, and miss the edit window. :frowning:


What he said.

You lost me at that first paragraph, by the way. Way too cutesy.
Btw- he’s a 95% match for me, Honey. I win.

What if one’s tastes are a huge part of one’s identity? Why is that restricted to college kids?

Get rid of the referenence to yourself as a jerk in the bottom section “you should write me if”. Otherwise not bad.

Now answer 1000+ questions so the algorithm will send appropriate people your way and vice versa. OKCupid is only 3% about the profile.

Listen to even Sven. That’s some good advice there.

Also dump the income. You work at NASA and have a phD. No one will worry about you not listing your income. Listing it looks like bragging.

Oh, and I think the pic on the bottom right of the grid is the cutest.

Yeah, my main criticism would be that. It’s much, much too long. I only got through the first couple paragraphs. That said, I still like the intro. But I’m not a woman; I’m just reporting what worked for me and got me quality dates and a high response rate with people I actually share a sense of humor with. It’s meant to be self-selecting. (Granted, my experience was with, where the profiles are usually quite “samey.”)

Wow, thanks for the really helpful advice.

even sven, is editing profiles your career? This is some fantastic advice.

Negativity - I did not notice this as I read it my own voice. With that tone it is not a problem. The individual items seem fine to me, but I absolutely see how they can sum up to a tone of negativity. I will remove or rephrase most of them, but am not sure I want to do so with the intro. Looking at my local competition, almost every one of them uses several of those cliches and my guess would be my target audience would enjoy it. Will consider removing it in the future, or at least making it more positive.

Self-satisfied - That was where I knew I had a problem. I put too much emphasis on the individual clever comment rather than the overall tone. I think I will be cutting a good bit of it and reworking more.

A space for the reader to fit into my life - Probably the best bit of advice here. This is exactly what I need to have in mind while reworking it.

Movies/Music - Totally agree. No need for it.

What is it like to date me - More good advice. The sections I had that did this well got rewritten into what you saw. I think I need to step back and try working from those earlier versions.

Kids - Don’t mind women with kids, but are not specifically looking for them. I was already about to remove that bit before this, and will definitely be doing it now.

Robot Arm, a crack in the eggshell seems to parallel some of what even sven wrote. Get rid of the bathroom line? I thought it helped to make me look less pretentious, which I already realized was a problem.

pulykamell, thanks, I like it and think that at least for now it will be the one negative thing I keep.

Mr. Nylock, as you can see from the comments, it needed work. I did think it was pretty good to start with though.

Honey, this is my fear with the edits I will be making. I still want my personal sense of humor to come clearly through as it is people who like it that I really want to meet. I don’t want to overly genercize myself. Most of the men’s profiles in my area are painfully bland.

AHunter3, I thought the jerk comment was nicely self-effacing and made the last section read well. You think it is off-putting? As far as questions, I thought the best method was to answer the questions you care about, skip the ones you don’t, and then once you start looking at other people’s profiles remove the ones you don’t share in common with the kind of woman that most appeals to you.

Brynda, does everyone else agree on dumping the income? I would not have thought that was bragging as it is just a simple number. For me, blank incomes always seem to say “below the poverty line.” NASA has people cutting the grass too.

A couple of specific questions: Does the 9 image picture work? I was not sure that comes off well. Does the song link in the first section work?

Thanks again everyone for the advice. I will be cutting the length down a good bit, but I will still be keeping it as a fairly long profile as every profile of women I am actually excited to get to know has been long as well.

Thank you, I’m glad I could be helpful.

I think the salary is fine for the DC area. In a lower cost of living area, it may read as showing off, but around here it reads as “normal to good” for a mid-career professional. DC people don’t tend to be coy when talking about salaries, since so many of us are on or tied to the very public federal pay schedules.

<raises hand> Professor? Um… shouldn’t there be an apostrophe in “lets do this”?

So I’m your target audience. Also 39 and in Virginia. Actually met my current SO of 3 years on OKCupid ( we were a 99% match!)

You have made some improvements since yesterday with the advice given here. Initially, before your edits, I though I was trying too hard to be cutesy and quirky and bragging a bit.

I like profiles that have music likes listed. That is how I met my boyfriend, we liked a lot of the same bands. But then again, music compatibility is very important to me!

I also agree you don’t need an income. Just knowing you have a PhD and work for NASA is enough.

Good luck! Update us on how it goes.

Or backfire. I don’t have a PhD nor do I work for NASA and I make more than you. That can be a turn-off for some women if known in advance. I’d be pleased about your education, occupational field and employer but there would be wok-wok-wok music in the background when I saw your salary. I’d be fine with it if I were already dating you and really liked you.

I would tone it down on the silly photos. It looks a bit immature for someone your age. The “fun” part of you comes through in the text section just fine after the suggested tune-ups.

I don’t think you will have a problem getting dates.

Well, ass. For a grammar Nazi like me, that is painful.

Killed the salary.

Will consider removing the 9-shot photo.

Fixed most everything. Books etc. might need a little more paring down, but I think everything currently there serves a purpose. The self-summary still needs work, but I am happy with the rest.

Thanks again everyone.