Of the few online dating sites that I’ve joined since becoming single in my 30’s, the only one that I’ve liked is OK Cupid. This is because:
1. Men on OKC are (relatively) much more attractive than any other site I’ve been on (this unfortunately isn’t saying much).
2. Men on OKC sound like they have much better personalities. Some are great and/or pretty entertaining as writers.
3. People on OKC can spell, for the most part.
That last one is a bit of a deal-breaker. Who wants to date someone who took about five minutes to write their profile on their iPhone and didn’t put any thought into making themselves sound attractive or interesting (let alone having good grammar and using spell check)? Grown men should NOT be using terms such as “ur” for “your”, or “your” for “you’re” (and vice versa). C’mon now.
I’ve been on a few (paid) online dating sites where the men who hit me up are both boring-sounding AND unattractive. It’s as if they just hope that their photos speak for themselves. Sorry blud, your approach is not working. Put some effort into it! I know that a lot of us aren’t the greatest writers, but shit. Treat this experience as if you’re trying to get a job — because that’s just about how hard it is for men to get a date through an online site these days.
A few of my personal rules for writing online dating profiles (some learned from the TED Talk) —
1. If you get too specific with your profile details, you may attract people who are attracted to those qualities; however you are much more likely to turn other people off who might otherwise be open to you (if they got to know you better). Even though I only listen to classical music it doesn’t mean that we can’t get along!
2. Even though I’m very opinionated about certain things, I tend to avoid topics or issues that may be slightly controversial in my profile/chats/messages. I try leave those discussion topics for my in-person meeting or date in which I can engage in an actual conversation with that person (if I want to). That way, the other person can gain a better understanding or context for how I feel and is more likely to hear me out (AKA, less likely to get turned off or run away).
3. A little healthy confidence is good, but don’t sound arrogant.
4. Keep your writing brief and easy to read (e.g., use paragraph breaks, insert hyperlinks, and proofread your narratives). People don’t have the time to comb through your lengthy profile descriptions to learn your life story. Leave some of the mystery to be unraveled over time!
5. Don’t come off as emo, needy, or desperate.
6. Be clever. Sound fun. And above all, have a great sense of humor.