Wednesday, October 1, 2014


So you’ve decided on a particular online dating site and you’ve started your profile. You’ve taken my advice on photos. (Quick recap: more than one, background scrutinized, head uncovered, smiley face.) Now you’ve got to say something. And say it now. Don’t type something lame like, “I’ll fill this in later.” Get over your commitment issues. Candy Crush and the Kardashians can wait.

Put in the time. If you list three interests, say you hate writing about yourself and stop after a sentence or two, you don’t give a browser much to go on. You must be relying on a dazzling set of photos. Blindingly so. It still speaks to a clear lack of effort. If you can’t be bothered, why should he? And if you’re too brief, you provide nothing for someone to connect with should he decide to send you a message. “Hey, I’m guessing you like breathing. And eating. Me too!” Lame message but what were you expecting? You gave the guy NOTHING.

I have never responded to a guy with a too-brief profile. It looks incomplete. Maybe I’ll click on it at some later point in time. Maybe you’ll go back and write more. But we all know those maybes are highly unlikely. You failed to register and it was your own doing,…or lack thereof.

The easier writing assignment is listing your interests. But still put some thought into it. Is your list a set of clichés? Are two-thirds of the items mentioned in that Pina Colada song (getting caught in the rain, sunsets, the feel of the ocean, the taste of champagne martinis)? Try to show some range in your interests. If you’re an active dude, awesome. But you can’t be at the gym, biking, jogging, swimming, bungee jumping, snowboarding and log rolling all the time. Be mindful as well about putting yourself into too much of a niche. For a moment, I was amused by the guy who listed napping as an interest. But only a moment. I don’t want to feel like I’m putting a guy to sleep during our first coffee conversation. And I could not click away fast enough from the profile in which the guy listed Pokémon as a favorite thing.

When you write a few sentences—hopefully even a paragraph—about what you’re looking for in a guy, go beyond saying you want someone who is honest and has a sense of humor. Does anyone want an unfunny liar? And whatever you write, spellcheck it. Paste your five lines into a Word document and deal with all the red squiggly lines. And maybe sticklers are a teensy minority but please PLEASE give some thought to whether you’ve got the right homonym among your/you’re, to/two/too and there/their/they’re. Capitals and punctuation are also much appreciated. This is not a text message.

Whew. I said it. I haven’t changed the online dating world, but I feel better. It will last until I read the next dissertation in which the guy thinks “LOL” is a punctuation mark. (Just no.)

Be careful on sites like OkCupid that have endless questions that you can easily respond to so that an alleged calculation formula will produce a match. Some of those point-and-click responses are landmines. Take the question, “In a certain light, wouldn’t nuclear war be sexy?” I’ve come across several guys who intrigued me but answered “Yes”. Uh, what? Too much time reading apocalypse novels and playing video games. Sorry, dude. I immediately moved on.

Then there was a guy who responded affirmatively to “Do you have an ex that you’d really like to date again?” Really?! Who the hell wants to wade into that dynamic? Get your closure or see a therapist before you put out feelers for someone new.

The one that makes me flee the fastest is “Do you have a gun in your home?” Maybe that’s a helpful sorter. Look elsewhere. I’m sure the NRA has enough in its coffers to launch a Gays for Guns mixer at its annual convention. How convenient. And, yes, that really is a gun in his pocket. Chat him up. Fire away.

So go on. Review what you’ve written. Does it say enough? Or, perhaps as in my case, does it say too much? Anything one writes could stand a proofread and a revision or two. The written word still matters.

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