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Help me out with the old online dating profile please.
December 31, 2013 12:26 PM   Subscribe

Hello, I'm trying out the whole Match.com thing for the first time and am having trouble making my profile really stand out. I'm getting a little writers block as well. I've tried doing the funny thing and it just comes across as corny. I'm not fond of my writing skills and what I've put together feels it's a little flat. Let me know if anybody has any suggestions for improvement. Of course, any grammar corrections are more than welcome as well. More inside and Thanks!

Profile name: maybejustrex (from a Tom Waits song)

Headline: I like intelligent women. When you go out, it shouldn't be a staring contest. (Frank Sinatra)

I’m from Denver and I recently returned to The USA from a 3 year stint living in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I've also lived in Madrid, and Southern California.

I work throughout the Spanish speaking South America and enjoy international travel and meeting people from cultures other than my own. My future goal is to begin working as a consultant designing training programs for expatriates and cross-cultural teams. Due to this line of work, I do tend to travel back and forth frequently and for extended durations so I'd like to meet someone with a strong desire to travel.

I am a big reader and one of my proudest accomplishments is that I read over 100 books in 2010. I like to learn what makes people and society tick so enjoy reading books about psychology, sociology, and political science.

When I’m in a new or big city I like to just wander around and see what’s going on. I could do it for hours every day and just stop in somewhere to have a meal, coffee, or a beer.

I am a cornucopia of useless knowledge and therefore a formidable opponent in Trivial Pursuit.

I have 30,000 songs in ITunes and I like Jazz, blues, country, rock, and soul. I really believe there ain't but 2 types of music; good and bad. I play guitar and tried the pro thing for a while and moved to LA, but it wasn’t a good lifestyle for me. Now I mostly just strum Johnny Cash tunes and I sing some mean Elvis a capella.

I like food. Federal Blvd. may be the greatest place to eat in Denver with all the Vietnamese, Mexican, and dim sum.

I enjoy people with a good sense of humor and an understanding of the ironic. I find the occasional heated yet playful argument to be a good time, so I’d like to meet somebody not afraid to speak their mind. I have a lot of different and diverse interests and it is important to me to spend time with people who are interested in "something" as well. I’m looking for someone with a sense of intellectual curiosity, a passion, and/or unusual interests in life is something I appreciate in a person.
posted by Che boludo! to Human Relations (31 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
Headline: I like intelligent women. When you go out, it shouldn't be a staring contest. (Frank Sinatra)

Dump this. The statement is meaningless at best -- who doesn't consider themselves 'intelligent'? -- and preemptively judgmental at worst. "This is how I like my women" statements do no one any favors.
posted by griphus at 12:48 PM on December 31, 2013 [15 favorites]


I am not a dating or profile writing expert. But the thing that strikes me in your profile is that there's a lot of 'I'. I'd like to see it mixed up a little.

For example, you could get rid of "I am a big reader and", 100 books is impressive! It's obvious that you're a big reader.

Or "People with a .... are the type I'm usually drawn to".

Good luck!
posted by WayOutWest at 12:51 PM on December 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


Your profile is too generic and, thus, boring.

Everybody reads books, likes food, enjoys people with a good sense of hum...zzzzzzz, I'm falling asleep just typing it.

This is not to be rude, I'm just saying I'm in your target demographic and would never even get to the end.

If you really must talk about those things, then say something specific and interesting - your favorite, your least favorite, a funny story, your first, your last.
posted by unannihilated at 1:02 PM on December 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


You seem awfully impressed with yourself, which in a way makes you seem very insecure. It seems more like you are looking for someone to fit into your life than a partner. I don't know what you want in a woman besides some very generic characteristics.

I don't get a sense of you, only what you want to appear as. I'd like to know more about who you are, not just what you are. The last paragraph is the best, but it too is a bit generic.
posted by Aranquis at 1:03 PM on December 31, 2013 [7 favorites]


I find the occasional heated yet playful argument to be a good time

I love a good discussion, but heated arguments are about as appealing as a nice long session in the dentist's chair. "Spirited conversation" or "friendly debate" would be marginally better, but I'd rework the whole thing. Convey that you enjoy good conversations without highlighting the potential for disagreement, playful or not. You are unwittingly flying a red flag.
posted by Wordwoman at 1:06 PM on December 31, 2013 [4 favorites]


You sound really competative. 100 books! 30,000 songs! Trivial Pursuit! Heated yet playful argunents! it makes me really tense and tired just reading about it. Unless you want a woman who enjoys feeling like her relationship incolves constant keeping of various scores, maybe rephrase those.

Also it really is a lot about you. (I'm not familiar w Match, is this the "about me" section and there's also an "about you" section?) I mean I'm single and love to travel but this makes it sound like you want a woman who can accompany you on your travels; there's no indication you'd be supportive of hers.

Also, this is probably unfair but if I'd assume you want a South American woman. Like how could I compete with the women you meet when you're in those countries? Are you really interested in people from *any* different culture? If not, say so. And you don't say what culture/background you have yourself. (Unless, again, that's written somewhere else?)

I hope that doesn't sound mean, it's based on the insecurity I would feel if I was looking for dates online, not on a desire to pick on your profile.
posted by DestinationUnknown at 1:22 PM on December 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


I am a big reader and one of my proudest accomplishments is that I read over 100 books in 2010. I like to learn what makes people and society tick so enjoy reading books about psychology, sociology, and political science.

When I’m in a new or big city I like to just wander around and see what’s going on. I could do it for hours every day and just stop in somewhere to have a meal, coffee, or a beer.

I am a cornucopia of useless knowledge and therefore a formidable opponent in Trivial Pursuit.


Show, don't tell. List your three favorite books from the past year. List some of the most interesting discoveries you've made while wandering around in cities. List your three best bits of trivia. This gives your profile some texture, and gives women specific things to have in common with you.

I find the occasional heated yet playful argument to be a good time, so I’d like to meet somebody not afraid to speak their mind.

Seconding wordwoman: I, too, have strong opinions and can enjoy a spirited conversation about many topics, but "occasional heated yet playful argument" would be an instant NO WAY for me. Whether you intend to or not, it reads as potentially aggressive, competitive, and/or unable to admit to being wrong or to let other people hold opposing viewpoints.

Also seconding the observation that there is a lot of "I" in there. Which is tricky, because of course the profile is about yourself, but think of ways to make your sentences more inclusive. Less "I'm a voracious reader" or even "My favorite books this year were [TITLES 1, 2, 3]", but more along the lines of "looking for a fellow voracious reader to discuss [TITLES 1, 2, or 3], or to introduce me to your own favorite books."
posted by scody at 1:29 PM on December 31, 2013 [7 favorites]


Instead of talking about subjects you like to read about, consider listing a few of your favorite books. It's less generic and gives more depth.

Drop "Argentina." The women you are interested in know where Buenos Aires is.

I'll argue that you should leave the stuff about heated discussions in. Some people see arguing as a way of connecting with people. Some people don't enjoy it at all. This kind of thing can really be a dealbreaker for some, do you might as well disclose it and let people self-select in or out.
posted by ambrosia at 1:34 PM on December 31, 2013


Tough love below. Stop reading if that is not your thing.



I think I am in your target demographic (though I may be a bit younger than what you're looking for) - I am female, intelligent, love to travel, into books and the blues, have an adventurous palate, and have several other interests that would fulfill the "interested in something" requirement. And I would never, ever contact you based on this profile. You come across as incredibly self-centered, overly-competitive, and likely to judge me/women more generally when our interests deviate from your own. You sound like you want a women to accompany you on your great life, not like you want to build a relationship and life with another human. I assume you are not actually the person portrayed in your profile, so I recommend that you generally go easier on the showmanship and just be honest and clear.

Some ways to improve your profile:

1. Headline: I like intelligent women. When you go out, it shouldn't be a staring contest. (Frank Sinatra) Remove this. Griphus is on point about why it needs to go.

2. I have 30,000 songs in ITunes and I like Jazz, blues, country, rock, and soul. I really believe there ain't but 2 types of music; good and bad. I play guitar and tried the pro thing for a while and moved to LA, but it wasn’t a good lifestyle for me. Now I mostly just strum Johnny Cash tunes and I sing some mean Elvis a capella. Edit this. Having a lot of iTunes songs is nice, but shouldn't be a selling point for you as a person. Your comment about there being only "good" and "bad" music makes you look narrow-minded. Your comment about "trying to go pro" on guitar made me literally roll my eyes.

3. I enjoy people with a good sense of humor and an understanding of the ironic. I find the occasional heated yet playful argument to be a good time, so I’d like to meet somebody not afraid to speak their mind. I have a lot of different and diverse interests and it is important to me to spend time with people who are interested in "something" as well. I’m looking for someone with a sense of intellectual curiosity, a passion, and/or unusual interests in life is something I appreciate in a person. This was the best paragraph, IMO, but even it needs to be retooled. Stop saying "I" so much! And for goodness sake...correct the final sentence. Seeing grammatical errors in a post littered with references to wanting a smart, worldly partner makes me laugh (and NOT in the way you want).
posted by schroedingersgirl at 1:34 PM on December 31, 2013 [11 favorites]


Reading the other replies, I just wanted to add something:

It sounds like you're trying very hard to impress your potential dates with feats of sophistication and intellect (like reading 100 books or developing a huge iTunes library or travelling all over the world.) Which is all well and good for you, but it's as useful for dating purposes as telling someone how much you can bench: that information and ability could be useful in context, but by itself it's like telling someone that they should appreciate this part of you rather than using that part of you to build rapport.

I bet you could name 100 books (even on interesting topics) that you think would never be worth reading, or would reflect poorly on the person reading them, right? I bet you can name a whole bevy of songs in genres you like that are absolutely shitty as well. So raw numbers and generalities say nothing at all, never mind something interesting or rapport-building. Name some books and albums you could have a conversation about. Not ones that sound impressive, mind you, but ones you can reasonably expect other people to have read or heard.

Get specific and you'll give people a way in to conversation with you that doesn't involve them saying "my, that's impressive, however did you do it?" Because, honestly, when we're talking about regular ole' people like I think you are and are looking for, no one wants to be on the not-you end of that conversation.
posted by griphus at 1:52 PM on December 31, 2013 [3 favorites]


One safe rule for online dating is to avoid listing everything you are looking for, and concentrate on selling who you are. It doesn't matter if I hit all the items on your shopping list if I'm not interested enough in your profile to reply to your message. Since you can't expect everyone to read several pages of text, and so have a limited amount of words you can put up before people stop reading, you really don't have space for the "what I want".

Honestly, if you talk about your interest in travelling, music, and books, there is no need to mention how you want a woman who travels, enjoys music, and reads.
posted by Dynex at 1:56 PM on December 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


IMO every profile should contain at least one dignities statement of dislike or a clear opinion about something. Something you can't waffle on. This turns a nice & generic profile into a profile of a nice & respectful person with confidence & boundaries. Nothing stupid like "my woman must know how to use an Oxford comma" (ugh) but "I believe reading is an important part of life and a sign of a curious mind." (For example)
posted by St. Peepsburg at 2:07 PM on December 31, 2013


So raw numbers and generalities say nothing at all, never mind something interesting or rapport-building.

I think this is a really good point. On a related note, one of the important things that I gradually realized in my 30s is that it's easy to mistake our stuff (the books on our nightstands, the number of songs in our iTunes, the stamps in our passports, etc.) as what's important about us and about other people, when in fact it's really the qualities that we share that matter. It's certainly enjoyable (and important, to a certain extent) to have interests and pursuits in common, but I think what really connects us underneath those are the qualities they signify -- for example, being a voracious reader can be a sign of curiosity; having a big music collection can be a sign of appreciating creativity; traveling extensively can be a sign of adventurousness.

So think about the qualities that are actually the scaffolding of your specific interests, and make a pitch to convey those as what you're looking for in someone. Because, at the end of the day, you're (presumably) not looking for a jerk with a good music collection; you're looking for a good person who (hopefully) shares your interest in music. Again, this is not to say that you shouldn't mention music or books or whatever, but rather to say that a checklist of common interests doesn't ultimately say whether or not someone is likely to be a good potential partner.
posted by scody at 2:47 PM on December 31, 2013 [4 favorites]


Like other people have mentioned, this profile makes you seem judgemental and un-fun. You can still mention all the stuff about books, music and travel but change your tone. Think warm, funny, down to earth, maybe even a little self-deprecating.

And for the love of God, lose that headline. I am a very intelligent and "interested in the world around me"-type woman but I find that quote repellent.
posted by Jess the Mess at 3:15 PM on December 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


Typo - "dignities" should have been "difinitive". Autocorrect.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 3:22 PM on December 31, 2013


overall i think it's good and just needs a little tweaking. as others have said i'd dump the headline as the staring contest bit is off-putting. your int'l travel background is interesting and i'm not reading your profile as judgmental. i would not use the expression "heated argument" ever. that sounds like you like to fight. honestly, i'd see that as a red flag. it's great you read so much but are you active at all? if you have a sport or live a healthy lifestyle i'd mention that so you don't come off like a couch potato if you aren't one. i'd replace the part about wanting someone interested in "something" with talk of having a passion, etc. the word "something" is too generic and i'd word it more about wanting to know what a person's passion is rather than assuming they do or don't have one. i'd also add another sentence or two about building a life with someone. something that would focus on how you would be with a future partner. are you willing to move anywhere for a partner? if that is the case then mention it. rather than saying you want a partner interested in travel mention that you'd like to travel the world with a partner if that is true. focus on how you'd like to be a part of each other's lives rather than just what you want. also, what were your favorite books you read this year? list 'em. ditto with music. good luck!
posted by wildflower at 4:30 PM on December 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


OK, these are good. No offense taken about any of the constructive criticism provided here. So, I'm unsure how to do the without "I" thing in a section "about me". As some have pointed out that I sound little competitive or as a show off or braggart. I can assure that this is not the case. I'm just not very good at self-promotion and definitely think that I'm trying waaaaay too hard. In the past, I have normally just met girls and if we hit it off, we hit it off or we became friendly for a while as one thing led to another. I'm best with nature taking it's course.

With that said, has anybody ever tried Match's Profile Pro service? Is it worth a darn? It costs $40.
posted by Che boludo! at 4:39 PM on December 31, 2013


If you are looking for a serious relationship, I think you should change your username. I would avoid messaging someone who had "sex" in his username. I suppose if you will only date a Tom Waits fan, you could keep it.

I think you should mention what you currently do for a living and not just your goals for the future.

Lastly, as others have said, you come across as very competitive. If you like a bit of competition in a relationship, then I suggest mentioning it more directly in your profile or else toning down the competitiveness of your profile.
posted by parakeetdog at 4:45 PM on December 31, 2013


FYI: The MeFi chat room regulars are really good at workshopping dating profiles. It gives us a fun new mission of the hour. So you might try asking in there as well.
posted by Jacqueline at 4:48 PM on December 31, 2013


I'm unsure how to do the without "I" thing in a section "about me".

Honestly, one way is just to drop some of the personal pronouns. "I read a lot/I have 30,000 songs on iTunes/I have traveled extensively" becomes "Voracious reader/Passionate about music/Love traveling."

Also, take some of the specifics about your interests and turn them around into showing an interest in getting to know someone else. "Would love to discuss [insert titles of favorite books or names of musicians here], or, even better, learn about your favorite books or music."
posted by scody at 4:48 PM on December 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'd lead with something about exploring Federal Blvd. It's a little catchy, and it establishes your interests and inclinations pretty well. And it seems like it's probably a fairly divisive sort of thing. Lots of people would be all kinds of down for that, and lots of others would be horrified. Do a little narrowing your target audience right off the bat by giving them an idea of what sort of date you are.

I like a lot of the other suggestions, too, about not tooting your own horn quite so hard. List your interests, not necessarily your qualifications. Mention that you like to read, and what type of books you read, but you can probably leave out how many or why. Same deal with music. Do you like live music? If so, maybe mention some of the local venues you go to, or would like to check out. That, like the Federal Crawl, gives a good idea of what a date with you might consist of.

One thing I'm not sure about is taking out the heated argument part. If you are genuinely into that sort of thing, go ahead and leave it in. I don't personally get the appeal, but I do have friends in seemingly happy relationships who have really big angry arguments with crying and everything as a road to sorting out contentious issues. If that's what you're looking for, leave it in.

If that's not what you're talking about, though, just know that I thought that was what you meant. Other people might think that too.
posted by ernielundquist at 4:58 PM on December 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


Griphus is on point about the numbers. Tough love: the listing of amounts of things you have consumed/own, rather than anything personal about those things, makes you sound immature and clueless about how shared tastes and passions can help build a relationship. You're not putting out a resume where you need to showcase your skillset or list of accomplishments, you're not applying to an institution of learning where you can submit _____MSAT score and have that stand on its own.

Also... who are you really? All the real, important information here is between the lines, and if you don't provide it, it seems like you're obfuscating. What do you do for a living? What you've described could be anything from Habitat for Humanity to international drug dealing. You read over 100 books in a year. What else were you doing in that year when you read a book every three or four days? What books really hit you in your heart? You moved to LA, couldn't make it, then went somewhere else. "It wasn't a good lifestyle for me" hints at addiction or other serious issues (or you were just super poor in LA for a while?) but you don't explain what sounds like bad news, or maybe it was a humbling experience that made you grow as a person-- but we don't know. The line about Johnny Cash and acapella is the best, but a lot of the rest of your profile sounds like you're trying to hide who you really are behind numbers and coolness signifiers. Open up more.

Oh and lose the Sinatra quote. "I like intelligent women" is shorthand for "my baseline expectation is that women are dumb."
posted by moonlight on vermont at 5:14 PM on December 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm just not very good at self-promotion and definitely think that I'm trying waaaaay too hard...I'm best with nature taking it's course.

I would say this in your profile! Maybe say, "I'm not the best at talking about myself, but I'd like to get to know you better if [insert specifics here]." I don't think I'm alone when I say that I really like people who are flawed, know it, and own it.

So, I'm unsure how to do the without "I" thing in a section "about me".

Describe things you like and/or are passionate about. What would your perfect day look like? Which books specifically have you read and liked recently? Who is your favorite blues musician? Talk more about what you like and less about "you" in the sense of how many books you've read or how many songs are in your iTunes library. Hope this helps a bit!
posted by schroedingersgirl at 5:29 PM on December 31, 2013


I think it's very forward for you to say you want someone to travel with you because your job is xyz. It sounds like you're looking for someone to be your perfect career accessory.
posted by spunweb at 8:35 PM on December 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


> I would avoid messaging someone who had "sex" in his username.

Misread.

I think it's a cool line to quote for a username (change my name to Hannibal or maybe just Rex). No harm for someone who doesn't know, and provides a potential point of resonance with somebody (shows something particular about you and what you like, in the same way that people complaining about the generic "100 books" wanted you to.)
posted by spbmp at 11:59 PM on December 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


Agree with everyone above, and also: Why would I want to date someone whose goal is to travel (implied: away from me/the relationship) most of the time, for extended durations? Even if I was curious about you, this would be a deal-breaker.

Also your book accomplishment was in 2010. Notably missing is what you are doing - or interested in doing - RIGHT NOW. Since you talk about the past and the future but not about the present, you set the reader up for the assumption that you have no current job, no current life, you are hanging out with your guitar, listening to iTunes, memorizing trivial facts (en espanol, perhaps) and looking proudly at all the books you read 3 years ago. I'm sure that's not true. So what do you do, and how do you feel about it?
posted by nkknkk at 6:56 AM on January 1 [1 favorite]


OP, are you in Denver? I understand larger cities have some crazy competitive online dating worlds. But if you are in a smaller market, what you post doesn't matter as much. If there are only 40 people in your age group, you have a friendly looking picture, and nothing you post is creepy, you can probably talk to most of the other active people in that bracket. Getting rid of some of the statements folks have stated read as 'arrogant' is a good start (any specific numbers). Then post a picture where you look hot and friendly. A picture is worth 1000 words and initial attraction is a shallow process.
posted by Kalmya at 7:08 AM on January 1 [1 favorite]


I actually really enjoyed reading this - I think it gives a good sense of who you are which is not easy to do in a profile!

But I do agree with everyone who has said the headline and profile name have got to go.

Also, I thought that you might sound more approachable if you shortened this up a bit.

Maybe something like:

I’ve just returned to the US following a 3 year stint in Argentina and am now looking for someone to join me on Federal Boulevard, one of my favorite spots in Denver. Burritos? Banh? Yes please.

But it’s not just international cuisine I’m interested in – I’m a frequent and avid traveller, having worked throughout South America. One day I would love to design training programs for expatriates and cross-cultural teams.

When I’m not literally wandering around a new city, I rely on books and music to take me to new places. It’s made me quite the formidable opponent in Trivial Pursuit.

So if you’d like to have me on your team, you’re a bit of an explorer, or just someone who appreciates a good dose of Elvis a cappella once in a while, I’d be very happy to hear from you.
posted by loveatfirstsite at 9:15 PM on January 1 [1 favorite]


If you are looking for a serious relationship, I think you should change your username. I would avoid messaging someone who had "sex" in his username. ---posted by parakeetdog 

His profile name is: maybejustrex (from a Tom Waits song).

Just because the letters s, e and x appear within his user name does not spell what you think it spells. The user name is good - keep it.
posted by Kruger5 at 7:01 AM on January 2 [2 favorites]


I’ve just returned to the US following a 3 year stint in Argentina and am now looking for someone to join me on Federal Boulevard...
this sounds like he is looking for a prostitute. Or maybe its been too long since I lived in Denver.
posted by H. Roark at 11:13 AM on January 2


Just because the letters s, e and x appear within his user name does not spell what you think it spells. The user name is good - keep it.

Seconding this. Your username is clever - and as an added bonus will likely eliminate some people you probably wouldn't jibe with anyway.
posted by schroedingersgirl at 1:27 PM on January 2


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