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Another OKCupid Profile Critique
March 26, 2014 5:33 PM   Subscribe

I need some assistance in updating my okcupid profile.

I have been using the site on and off for the past few years and I have updated my profile so many times that it just looks like words to me. It may look that way to you as well.

I hope to come off as sincere and somewhat adventurous... I don't think that is happening in the current profile. It has been pared back from the multiple paragraph version - no one had time to read that.

Any suggestions or criticism you may have would be welcomed.

crawfordfoxfire
posted by cinemafiend to Human Relations (26 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
You'll get better feedback if you make your profile temporarily available to people who aren't OKC members.
posted by schroedingersgirl at 5:37 PM on March 26 [3 favorites]


Hey you're about my age and in my general cohort! I'm not looking but if I were I'd get all the way to the end and then be "Criminal activities? Huh?" so you might want to either clarify if this is something that is super important to you (I don't care if you got busted for weed, I care if you got busted for assaulting someone) or leave it off or leave it vaguer.

I also noticed you have a bunch of spelunking photos but don't mention it specifically. I would! Caving is cool. I also like that photo of you where you're smiling. The profile photo is a really good photo of your face but looks a little gloomy/foreboding/goth. Totally fine if that's what you're going for.

Do you like your job? Librarianing is, to me, interesting, I'd like to know if you like it. You say you're looking for short term dating but you also say you're looking for something real. Are those at odds or are you open to short term dating to try out stuff to see if it could lead to something deeper? Only other thing I'd nix is the intro part of the first sentence "Hi - I am on this site looking for" Just say "I'm looking for" or something similar. You sound somewhat serious which is fine but you want to make sure you sound approachable. Also I am curious what kind of dog you have. Maybe a dog pic?
posted by jessamyn at 5:46 PM on March 26 [1 favorite]


First photo is very very dark and you have a rather stern expression. A closeup with more light and a more pleasant expression would be good.

Three of the the photos are in caves; maybe break it up a bit? Showcase some of your other interests.

Um, not sure I'd include the criminal activities right off the bat. Unless you are certain you want potential mates to know that up front and be ok with it.

"You could message me if:" lose the ellipses. Bring a little more focus in here - would you like a woman to message you if she loves to read? How about if she is an accomplished philatelist? I'd start there and with the self-summary. More vivid detail, more particulars.
posted by bunderful at 5:52 PM on March 26


Add a picture with your dog in it.

Say you're into dating women your own age or a little older (even if you're not).

And, yeah, maybe ixnay on the ugthay. Real G's move in silence, knawmean?
posted by box at 5:56 PM on March 26


Thanks for the initial suggestions and feedback. I have made the profile viewable by non okcupid members.
posted by cinemafiend at 6:02 PM on March 26


As a former online dater (now married) I would be put off if I were close to your age and saw the age group you've listed. That is, if I were 36, but you say you are interested in 26-36 range, I'd probably skip you because I'd figure you really want girls in their 20s. May be my own quirk!
posted by bluespark25 at 6:07 PM on March 26 [7 favorites]


Also a former online dater here, and I also considered it a dealbreaker when I saw that a guy wasn't interested in dating women his own age.
posted by Asparagus at 6:16 PM on March 26 [11 favorites]


The picture isn't good. It's too dark and it makes you look intimidating. And your expression? A simple smile would do wonders. I'd probably leave off the criminal stuff - you can explain it in person and sound totally reasonable but I think you'll miss a lot of women you could connect with by having that in text with no explanation.

I also just have a vague sense that you need more personality showing. I don't feel strongly one way or another to the bulk of your profile. I want to know more about who you are, not just what you do.
posted by Aranquis at 6:23 PM on March 26


Full disclosure: I am happily married and have never online dated. But I am a woman close to your age. My biggest comment is that you should have a photo of you that is not dark, looking at the camera and smiling. Since you have dogs it would be great to include the dog.

I assume that you limited the age range to 36 because you want kids? Still, probably better to indicate you are at least willing to date your own age.
posted by bananafish at 6:28 PM on March 26 [1 favorite]


First, you're perfectly entitled to prefer to date women who are younger than you. You don't need to change that part of your profile if it is accurate. It may turn off some women, but they probably wouldn't be good matches for you anyway.

My first impression of your profile is that it is very serious, from your photo (very dark and stern!) to the comment about the "thug life" to the lack of humor/light commentary on the profile itself. I definitely recommend adding some photos where you're smiling and in bright light. If you're funny or at least sometimes un-serious, convey that in your profile with some self-deprecating humor or other silly commentary interspersed with the more substantive info.

For the question about things you think about, "Way too many things to put in this box..." is such a non-answer. I literally rolled my eyes when I read that. List the top three or four topics you like to think about, at least. Otherwise my assumption is that you actually don't think about much at all.

For the six things you can't live without, I'd reorder your list. Put your dog at the top and the barbell at the bottom. (I say this because your dog is a big selling point and the barbell reads a little bro-ish, which I don't think you're going for.)

All in all I like the content itself but I think you could make it more appealing as a whole, if that makes sense. Good luck!
posted by schroedingersgirl at 6:29 PM on March 26 [3 favorites]


I think this is pretty good! You come across as straightforward and sincere to me, which is good. It does seem a little serious and stern, but if you are a serious person that might not be a bad thing. If you do want to lighten it a little, adding more humor or more insights into what gives you joy and pleasure would make it seem more welcoming. For example, the bit about which spoon you prefer is lighthearted in a nice way, and I like that you say your dog is pretty great. Maybe just a bit more of that (but keep it true to your own sense of humor). I also agree with the suggestion above to include a photo of you with your dog.

Your main photo is fine, although it is a little stern. I think one with you smiling would be better, unless, again, stern/serious is what you are going for.

I don't like what you have for the "spend a lot of time thinking about" section - just seems pointless to answer if you're not offering any information. If you don't have anything to say, you can just leave that section blank and it won't show up. This section could be a good place to lighten things a little though. I like it when people say something very mundane and idiosyncratic in this part. It's an nice window into someone's everyday thoughts.

I think specific suggestions in the "message me if" section would be good. Can you suggest something specific the two of you could do together (not just "get out of the house")?

I'm a woman in your target age range, and I agree with the above commenters that it is a big negative for me when someone's age ranges are lopsided in favor of younger people (especially when their range is completely younger than their own age).

And one last thing - this may just be me, but I always look at questions the person has answered and read all the ones with explanations. There is a lot of opportunity to share more of a sense of yourself through the explanations. But don't know if others focus on that also.
posted by aka burlap at 6:34 PM on March 26 [1 favorite]


Nix main pic. You don't need to smile, but it's too dark. I'd also nix the pic where just your head is showing out of the water. Not that caving isn't cool, but I find it unsettling. I'd also get rid of the pic with the sketch effect. It doesn't add anything.

I'm personally worried whenever a man talks about a serious relationship or physical contact in the first paragraph. I'd change this to be more about you. Talk about caving or something else!

I like the part about your job.

Take out criminal reference. Not that it isn't intriguing, but if a man seems at all unsafe, a lot of women will pass.
posted by amodelcitizen at 6:36 PM on March 26 [1 favorite]


comparing the preceeding comments to the profile i just reviewed, a lot of stuff has apparently been fixed, but...

no smoking, drinking or drugs at all. there is nothing wrong with this, but a woman who likes an occasional adult beverage will pass on you, even if she's no nora charles...

you like cooking? TELL THEM YOUR BEST DISHES! you might hook her just on the strength of your bouillabaise!

you're a librarian, which may still be a predominately female field, although there are many male librarians including the head guy a mile and a half north of me. library conferences, for sure. marian, the sadder but wiser girl, is the girl for you! finally...

DOG PHOTOS!
posted by bruce at 7:05 PM on March 26 [2 favorites]


It's hard for me to see what you look like in your pictures. I don't know what your face looks like, what your body looks like, etc. Pretty important. I think you have some ok pics in your instagram feed that could be used to replace your okc pics, but whatever happens, that main photo has to go. Too far away.

Maybe you could get a picture of you not in the wilderness since you probably aren't going on your first date out in bumfuck beautiful whereever. Like a picture of you being a librarian or something.
posted by oceanjesse at 8:24 PM on March 26 [2 favorites]


Definitely include a photo that shows your face more clearly. Also +1 to the suggestion of a photo with your dog (FYI OkCupid will probably remove the photo of just your dog since you are technically supposed to be in every one of you photos).

I would add more to your 'You should message me if' section. Right now, it seems like only dog-loving outdoorsy people should contact you (totally fine if that's it!). But that's the only section that seems wanting to me at this point.

And, I would reword to "You love - or at the very least tolerate - dogs." (punctuation placement ftw)
posted by Paper rabies at 8:32 PM on March 26 [1 favorite]


From an outsider's perspective (never online dated/happily married), I agree with the comments above and I see you've made some changes already. But maybe I can just share my initial reaction. It went something like this:

Oh that's a really dark photo I can't really see his face>another dark photo in a secluded setting>more photos where face is turned away>more secluded settings...."I like movies where bad guys win"

I felt like you're unintentionally looking dark, mysterious and dangerous (maybe this is intentional?). I know I would quickly pass by your profile based upon my initial gut reaction.

Could you add pictures of you in a library or a non-secluded place? Your house? Or maybe just a classic 'selfie'?

Also you may want to think about what might come across when you say you like movies where the bad guy wins. This would irk me even though it's potentially harmless.

Good luck!
posted by W.S (disambiguation) at 9:52 PM on March 26 [1 favorite]


This profile looks totally fine and you seem nice, interesting, engaging, and all the things people tend to look for.

If I made any change, it would be the photos. None of them are bad, per se, but none of the ones that show up on your front page are that evocative of what you actually look like. And the one with you in the darkness looks pretty menacing and not like someone I would see myself going on a date with.

no smoking, drinking or drugs at all.

You really need to be 100% honest about this stuff in your profile, even if you think doing so will be a turnoff. I cannot tell you how many times someone has listed themselves as a non-smoker, and then on like our third date suddenly it turns out they smoke. I haven't run into any teetotalers who claim to drink, but it would be equally annoying.
posted by Sara C. at 12:08 AM on March 27 [1 favorite]


Like the updates! I'm not sure I understand what "turkish get ups" means but no matter, it's interesting. Also like the addition of "my family" only because I think the previous profile made you seem more like a loner. There is nothing wrong with being a loner if you are, in fact a loner, but it's worth understanding that some people find that less-appealing so if you are not an actual loner, it's best not to appear like one.
posted by jessamyn at 7:58 AM on March 27


Another thing no one has mentioned: your self summary could contain a little more about YOU.

Your long and short term relationship goals don't tell me much about you as an individual because those are the short and long-term goals for a lot of people. While these relationship goals are true, I think that kind of information is best left for conversations as you're getting to know someone. Also, I'd leave off the spooning bit. That's something you get to find out about somebody as you actually cuddle with them. Opening with that makes me think you're looking for any teaspoon, not me as an individual, unique teaspoon, if that makes sense.

So, these are GREAT:

I like movies in which the bad guys win.

I have an unabashed love for waterfalls.


Come up with some more statements about who you are! You are a man who loves waterfalls but whose favorite book is Blood Meridian. That is interesting--build on the contradictions about how you operate in the world. Are you a man who enjoys the company of others but needs time to recharge? Are you from Birmingham or did you move there? How long have you had your dog? What plants do you grow? Are you a person who keeps a blanket on the couch or do you prefer minimalist spaces? What is your favorite brand of coffee or tea? What do you do to stay sane and centered?

Basically, the more specific details you can provide, the more intriguing you will be, because people will be interested in you as a living, breathing, human being.

The habits we practice and the objects we surround ourselves with are artifacts of our personalities and go a long way towards finding common ground with others (especially when people are trying to connect on the internet!).

And lastly: For your main profile pic: can you do one a little more close-up? Bonus if you can take a pic of you and your dog together. You'll get twice as many responses, I swear. As for the other pics: The pic of you looking up in that tiny valley is awesome. And the one of your back looking at the mountain. Lose the black background selfie altogether. The crawl space one is awesome too.

Good luck!
posted by whimsicalnymph at 8:58 AM on March 27 [1 favorite]


Thank you all for the suggestions and critique. Most of it has been very valuable. I have not had time to incorporate all of them yet and need to get some more photos taken (the only time I seem to be around photographers is when I am out of doors).

Thanks again!
posted by cinemafiend at 11:37 AM on March 27


First of all, I love your selection of books & films! Definitely on the same page as you :)

Now to the nitty-gritty:

When I read your profile, I'm not getting a sense of where your potential partner will fit in? You come across as someone who is a bit of a loner, who is self-contained and who is generally quite well-content with their life. All of this is not wrong, but it makes it difficult for a woman to imagine herself in your life. You write about wanting to build a family and a future - but you only mention it at the very top so I honestly forget about it once I read the rest. Just to open up a bit about where your date could join you - the hiking, the concerts or even just spacing out in front of Netflix. Maybe drop in a few "yous" throughout the profile? It'll give women a hook when responding. It'll also give your profile a more open feel.

..but I truly love to hike in the Sipsey Wilderness as well as the Pinhoti Trail in eastern Alabama. I cannot wait to show you how gorgeous XYZ looks in the sunshine.

Okay, so that is a bit cheesy, but see how that's a hook?

Over all, you sound like a interesting and smart guy and I freaking adore your dog. Best of luck and have fun.
posted by kariebookish at 12:12 PM on March 27


I didn't even look at your photos, FYI.

Everything was completely fine (better than fine, actually, I liked you) except two things:

Take "sex" out of what you spend a lot of time thinking about. I don't know if you were aiming for honesty or virility, but you just just hit crass and trite.

Also, redo the entire intro section, it had terrible flow.

Everything else peachy keen.
posted by quincunx at 1:30 PM on March 27 [1 favorite]


kariebookish - You hit home with your point about adding "you"s to the profile.

I had been feeling there were too many "I"s
posted by cinemafiend at 3:29 PM on March 27


I definitely think you need to up your age range. As someone who is in your age range, I feel completely turned off my profiles from men who refuse to date women within about 3-5 years of their age. I think you should make your age range 30-40.

I also recommend filling in the "offspring" section of your profile. When it's left blank, it makes me wonder whether the person is hiding something.

Otherwise, I like your profile overall, but the age range would stop me from writing you or responding to you if you wrote to me first.
posted by parakeetdog at 5:10 PM on March 27


Nice updates - the garden and cooking stuff really rounds out the profile. And your affection for your dog comes through in a really good way - not overdone but sweet.

When you have the chance get a picture of yourself reading a book and hanging out with your dog.
posted by bunderful at 7:07 PM on March 27


So, I only date guys who are older than me. Only at all ever. (They can be two days older than me, it doesn't have to be a 15-year gap or anything, just not younger. Why? Because. Because that is the way it is.) I have listed that as such on my profile. I am not bothered by men saying they only want to date younger women, because that makes perfect sense to me. I don't find that part offputting.

I am a strong advocate of very personal okc profiles. I don't think the SEO thing people tell one to do with one's profile is a good idea at all. Myself, I don't want to get the most dates or messages or whatever, I want to get the *right* dates or messages. What works for me well may not work for you, but having written a very long, very informative, and very ME profile has gotten me exactly what I want out of the site. Being really overtly yourself, letting people know what they're in for, will filter out people you wouldn't get along with anyway. Don't be spiky or weird or intolerant about it, but don't try to smooth whatever makes you *you* into oblivion for fear of putting people off. I only respond to people with interesting and idiosyncratic profiles, let alone message them first.

Again, this is probably a lot easier for me as a female. But, as indicated, it's working for the guys I have gone out with as well, at least with me. I've had two pretty meh dates, one really amusing long-story one, and met four really cool guys with whom I have hung out repeatedly (as friends and as Et Cetera). I think that's a decent record, and the best bit is that I don't have to sort through a hundred damned messages a day to find them.

So yeah, as I always say incessantly to everyone, just be sure to put a lot of YOU all over the thing. Right now, it's a little... edited-seeming? If that's just the way you write, that's fine and good. But if it's not, don't be scared to spice it up a bit. You do like peppers, after all.

You should totally leave the "bad guys win" part in. Makes you sound less like you're trying to sound all dreamy and sweet. What's there right now, when combined with the Childlike Wonder bit at the top, strikes me as a little bit calculated.

See? There's no pleasing everybody! I'm not the kind of girl you would want to go out with, so you might want to listen to others over me. But these are my thoughts.
posted by Because at 8:11 AM on March 29


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