How To Series: Online Dating Profiles

I wanted to start a How To Series on Online Dating and I figured what better way to do things than starting with your profile. I’ll focus more on what to put on your profile if you’re a straight guy* or straight girl* in specific posts but this post will be very general and useful for anyone*.

Okay, here are  some basics:

  1. Be Honest. No one wants to meet you and feel misled. Whether it’s your height, body type, age, how you actually look just be honest. Don’t meet the people who wouldn’t want to meet the real you. It’s not worth your time.
  2. Tell the world about you…but not TOO much. Oh wow, you collect comics and enjoy volunteer work and have 2 sisters, awesome. Oh wow, you just put on a public profile that you like the smell of your cat’s poop. TMI bro, TMI.
  3. Realize the difference between experienced and jaded. Your Ex sucked? The one before that sucked? All of your friend’s have crappy exes? Ok cool, don’t make your profile about how they all sucked, make it about why you don’t suck.
  4. Don’t generalize to aggrandize. “I’m not like other girls because…” “I’m not like other guys because..” …you both suck.  Don’t do this. A virtue of being born is that you are unique. Even if it comes down to something as simple as your fingerprint, you are unique.  Don’t tell us you’re unique, show us why.
  5. Put in a little effort. Even if it’s the bare minimum, at least give completeing your entire profile a shot.

Ok Number 5.  Lets go over this because this is something that absolutely kills me. Lets just start by saying that I use OkCupid so when I’m referring to completing your profile and get specific you’ll just have to find the equivalent on whatever site you use.

Ok, your self summary

Include your name as a good way to weed out messages from people who haven’t actually read your profile (they will ask your name) OR if you’re wary about putting your name out there, a nickname you go by. I used to have my first initial out there as my name “Hey what’s up, my friend’s call me D…”. Don’t get too heavy here just a basic summary of the basics. I like doing X, I really enjoy X, This (X) is what defines me, I’m from (X), etc.

What I’m doing with my life

Whatever takes up the most of what you’d consider a work day, whether it’s school or work. Any side projects come after that. Maybe a reference to a thing you’re obsessed with (Naturally, I reference my job, blog projects and my current obsession with Homeland)

I’m really good at

Do not put sex EVEN IF you are only looking for sex. Mine is a reference to my skill at navigating NYC. Maybe you’re really good at taking care of your pet cat or staying in the bike lane.

The first things people usually notice about me

You can totally lie here. Seriously. In my profile I don’t lie, I referenced a specific event. Ladies, I’d avoid mentioning your boobs because ALL THE MESSAGES YOU RECEIVE WILL BE ABOUT YOUR BOOBS. Say eyes, or something about your hair or whatever.

Favorite Books, moves, shows, music, food

Ok here is a potentially fun one. You’re not a big reader but you love Funk music. Good. Accentuate what you love not the things you don’t. On my profile I don’t mention any shows at all but instead mention that I make awesome cheddar biscuits under food. I think I mention one book series and ask for suggestions as opposed to rattling off all the books I’ve read. I’ll get back to this later

Six things I could never do without

Ok lets be honest, no one cares about these. Don’t put SEX here

I spend a lot of time thinking about

My advice? Leave it blank. People will either pick apart what you put here (You think about bacon a lot? You’re terrible) OR they wont message you about it at all (Wow…a bacon obsessed person *deletes message*)

Most private thing I’m willing to admit

DON’T MENTION ANYTHING SEXUAL. Also…Don’t say “Nothing”. Remember that time that you did that really embarrassing thing as a kid that seems trivial now? Use that.  Saying something along the lines of “Nothing, LOL, this is the internet why would I put something private up here” seems silly because guess what, I can read your match questions and know you’d be down for a first date bang and have done cocaine before. Telling me that you have a stuffed animal named Captain Fluffy isn’t gonna destroy  your privacy, it humanizes you.

You should message me if

Ok two schools of thought. One – put in a leading statement that will give someone an easy segue into an icebreaking question (You should message me if you hated the last season of Battlestar Galactica but loved the first 2 seasons) The Second (and one day I’ll tell you about how this has worked for me and how to get it to work for you) is to simply say very plainly “Do Not Message Me”

My You should message me if section, verbatim:

Don’t message me

Just rate me highly if you’re into me

I’ll do the same

It saves us both an awkward first message

With OkCupid they have a cool feature where you can rate everyone you view and depending on the user settings they receive a notification that a user rated them highly. If they’re into you they rate you highly as well and boom, instant message. If you were reading OkTrends a few years back you know that sending and receiving  messages isn’t  all sunshine and roses and drives a lot of the dissatisfaction with online dating. My advice, be indifferent to it and do the minimum amount of work (at first anyway)

Alright so there you have it, good luck out there

*This is not about excluding any sexual orientation merely an understanding that when it comes to dating, online or otherwise, my insight is based solely on heterosexual relationships. I’m good at advice, but not that good or arrogant enough to think that I’d be doing anything but a disservice speaking about things I know absolutely 0% about.

Demetrius Figueroa

Demetrius is a sex, dating, and relationship writer based in Brooklyn.

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