Needing Advice on An Okcupid Profile
April 7, 2011 1:20 AM   Subscribe

Looking for honest, thoughtful input regarding an OkCupid profile.....

I got such amazing (and by amazing I mean varied, honest and thoughtful) feedback regarding a question I had a few years ago that I now turn again to the hivemind again for another question that has been bonking around in my noggin' recently....

I've been in two-long term relationships (2 different 5-year relationships) so I feel like I'm grossly immature when it comes to the whole 'casual dating' thing...(or maybe its innate? :) I've put in the time to explore and find myself as an individual and really enjoy my time alone; however, although I'm not looking for a long-term relationship I am looking to date....I've recently tried my hand at OkCupid but I'm feeling a bit.....lost?....overwhelmed?....confused? when I see some other male profiles that seem so eloquent and descriptive and hilarious and now that I'm single again I'm kind of floundering............I'm not putting all of my fish in one basket with the online thing but it is the most comfortable for the time of the cons of online dating is that once it goes bad, its done - there is no 'what did I do wrong' line of questioning available so I can't really ask them about my, I'm posting this to try and get a more general, diverse opinion about my profile than the 23-30 single, local females that see my's my profile....

are the pictures crap? are my attempts at humor weak? i've re-written it a few times and now it just seems me know...I've been focusing on the pictures but that might be my male, visually-stimulated brain driving me........thank you, as always, in advance...
and if I'm missing something (I always am) please let me know as well....I can take it....
posted by Hogermite to Society & Culture (64 answers total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
I gave it a quick look - I would say cut out any references to finding "the one" because it comes across as a little creepy / desperate. But don't worry, your whole profile doesn't come across that way... it's just that, as a general rule, when you introduce yourself to someone, even in the dating world, you shouldn't say things like "I am looking for the one! Is it you!?"

Secondly, one of your pictures looks like a shot of you with an ex-girlfriend. Ixnay, ixnay, ixnay. Even if it is your sister or just a friend, lose that picture. The kid pictures are cute though!

Lastly, in your self-description, I noticed that you put a lot of emphasis on how you look. I would drop most, if not all of that. It's enough to say that you normally wear glasses.

Good luck!!
posted by molecicco at 1:51 AM on April 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

I just glanced at your profile and wasn't going to reply, because I didn't have time to read the whole thing, however, something jumped out at me right away: your profile is a bit difficult to read. With the short sentences, the ellipses and 'mmm's it all seems dense and fragmented. I know that this is a matter of style and choosing a way to present yourself, so it's not a critique per se, but just wanted to share my subjective opinion. Maybe others will disagree.
posted by adahn at 1:53 AM on April 7, 2011 [2 favorites]

As someone who has read every OkTrends blog post several times, is currently in the running for an internship at OkCupid, created a profile that has gotten a truly ridiculous number of messages, grew up just outside Concord, and is attracted to men, I feel qualified to comment here.

First off: definitely write a real response to the Friday question, or at least a funny one. An "i dunno" just seems like you're not trying. Same thing for the "I spend a lot of time thinking about"; you sound a little bitter, and people (especially women) tend to put a lot of stock into these getting-to-know-you questions. Your first-thing-that-people-notice may also be a little too self-deprecating... But that's not as clear-cut. Overall, the text of your profile is pretty solid.

Now, the pictures... Not going to lie: they're not good. And might be the main problem. You're clearly an attractive guy, but the pics (particularly the first two) aren't doing you any justice. Read these OkTrends blog posts, find some pictures that better fit their principles, and then use this. MyBestFace is really unambiguously, objectively helpful.

Finally, don't be discouraged by women who view your profile and don't message you. For two reasons: one, looks are the single greatest factor in predicting messaging rates (see this), so you really just need a better profile pic. And two, the vast, vast, VAST majority of first messages are sent by men. It's just how OkCupid works. Of course, both of those reasons are kind of discouraging in a way, but... The struggles of online dating. :P
posted by Starmie at 1:56 AM on April 7, 2011 [20 favorites]

It's a little ramble-y. You don't have to explain everything, leave room for a girl to wonder about you, so she can contact you with small-talk kinds of questions to start the conversation.

Also: i used to have my tongue pierced. it was so cool like 7 years ago - but now i feel like it was kinda pushing the "question-my-sexuality" envelope....

I'm not sure if this is supposed to be a joke or not, but if it is, it's not really funny. If it isn't, then it sort of reads like casual homophobia.
posted by illenion at 2:00 AM on April 7, 2011 [8 favorites]

I've just checked your profile and I don't see anything shockingly wrong with it. If I was in your age-group and in your region and looking for someone to date, I'd be tempted to contact you. I liked the low-key humour, and most of what you wrote.

The blurry self-pic didn't thrill me, but who knows what impresses other girls? I like the other pics, particularly the siblings on the stairs.

I do have a problem with using only lower case. You are obviously articulate, we can tell that from your question here, so why not prove it by using big letters?

The pancake bit at the end would also make me think twice. It's just a bit much, it seems a bit 'try-hard' in this Aussie chicks opinion, but don't forget that Aussie's don't do casual dating like Americans do.

Last thing: your username reminds me of Vegemite, or mites as in little bitey creatures. Vegemite is lovely but little bitey creatures aren't. Maybe a rejigging of your username might help?
posted by malibustacey9999 at 2:05 AM on April 7, 2011

I'd get rid of the "a friend I hadn't seen in 5 years ;)" photo, it could be an ex and that's no good.

I'd get rid of all the emoticons but that might be just me. Also "oh, and darron aronsofksy or however you spell it..." is a turn-off for me. but YMMV.
posted by marais at 2:05 AM on April 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

From a female (though attached) perspective...

It starts out great. You sound kinda quirky and funny, I want to know more.

Somewhere around "my hair. it's red. although i'd tell you it was actually 'strawberry blonde' when I used to hate it." I start to think, ooh, self-esteem issues.

By the time you won't tell me what you're doing on a Friday night, I've lost interest. It seems like you're trying to hide something... maybe you go to bars every friday, or to the movies, or stay at home and you think you're boring so don't want to tell me? Again, there's something self-esteem riddled there for me too.

I think the bones are there and with a bit of tweaking it could be great!
posted by skauskas at 2:09 AM on April 7, 2011 [2 favorites]

BTW - I have had a soft spot for redheads. Other women probably do too. No need to apologize for it in a roundabout way, which is how it appears.
posted by skauskas at 2:11 AM on April 7, 2011 [2 favorites]

Rampant abuse of ellipses must go.

And though I love gingers with a passion unsurpassed by most, perhaps I would not be so fond of one who is so worked up about it.

Your pictures are awful - You want natural lighting, sharp focus on your face and soft focus on the background for your main headshot and then a full-body photo showing you doing something slightly more interesting than normal, but still usual for your life.
posted by Mizu at 2:34 AM on April 7, 2011

I would not contact you. This whole comment is going to come off as very judgemental and maybe even a bit unfair to you at times, and if we met as casual acquaintances I would not be this critical of you at all. This isn't how things work in the online dating world, though. It's harsh. People judge and they judge harshly. So bear this in mind and don't take this as criticism of you, just your profile.

After reading not too far into your profile, I knew I wasn't interested and if I were looking to date, I would have moved on after just the second section. That doesn't mean that someone wouldn't be attracted to what you've put there, though, and if you've used your profile as a chance to really express yourself as you feel you are and want to be with someone, then I think you should just let it be. But if you're actually interested in why a random female in the 21-30 age range who likes guys wouldn't contact you, here's a list:
  • You don't sound like you can really think. Your writing is fragmented and full of "mmms" and ellipses. These read to me like you're umming and ahhing and all over the place. This may actually be how you communicate in general, casual conversation, which is fine, but is not attractive to me.
  • The reference to "beautiful, wonderful girls..just not THAT girl." This sort of talk is creepy to me. Again, if this is how you think, don't hide it, but if you just stuck it in there because you thought it'd be cute or whatever, well, don't do that. Also, you did say you weren't looking for anything serious, just casual dating. Even if you do believe in "The One," it wouldn't really be applicable for casual dating, would it?
  • You learned everything you know about love from Adam Carolla? Yeah, we are not going to work out. Aside from that little glitch, the way you describe what you're doing with your life is just dull. It's a list, mostly, with a few slight asides in it. Asides are good if you take out the ellipses that make it seem like you're just rambling. You want to humanize yourself in this profile and I think you're trying to but it isn't really coming across. I think you need to be a bit more specific and focused. You don't have to tell everything, just one thing well.
  • You seem kind of into your hair. Maybe you aren't. But your hair isn't that interesting to me.
  • Your favorites are a list. Lists are fine, they give a range of interests, but if you have anything to say about anything it would, again, be more humanizing. But pick one or two or a genre and talk about that. Not everything.
  • The "spend time thinking about" is just wrong. "Thinking about thoughts" says nothing and is not cute. It seems like you are trying to be funny and failing. The rest comes off as a little desperate to me. People look at your profile but don't contact you because they don't want to contact you. It is that simple.
  • At this point I think it's pretty apparent that you and I are just not a good fit. This will be the case for lots of women looking at your profile. I'm put off by the reference to questioning your sexuality. It makes you seem more closed minded to me. I'm put off by the age range of desirable women for you being 21-30 when you are 27. This one really does affect how I think about a guy; if he is willing to date much younger than he is older, it makes me wonder what other attitudes you'd hold towards women if you weren't willing to date more than 3 years older than yourself (but would go 6 younger). I also question how things would work in the future when I'm over 30, but I know that's not really an issue for strict casual dating.
  • The mom-cooking-breakfast stuff also kind of implies to me that you are going to want someone to take care of you. This may seem like a stretch but these statements, paired with the indecisive way you've written things gives me this impression. I don't want someone to take care of.
  • You never really do say what you're looking for. I don't really know what you want, person-wise or relationship-wise. It isn't really explained anywhere. I like those details.
The pics aren't great but they wouldn't put me off contacting you if I liked your profile. You could get rid of the blurry and unflattering ones and maybe the one of you with a female friend, but I don't think your pics are the issue here. Then again, I am extremely not picky about how someone looks, I just want to be attracted to them (and then their appearance generally becomes attractive to me). Lots of people are more swayed by pics, so if you are interested in attracting those people, put up the most flattering pics you can find.
posted by Polychrome at 2:50 AM on April 7, 2011 [17 favorites]

Hi, I'm female and around your age. Your first picture (the default one) is cute, but it goes downhill from there. If I had to pick and choose, I'd say keep the first one and the ones with your family but ditch the dirty mirror photo and the popped collar + gel-spiked hair photo.

"sleeping. really, really good at that."

WTB: A real answer.

"i used to have my tongue pierced. it was so cool like 7 years ago - but now i feel like it was kinda pushing the "question-my-sexuality" envelope...."

This makes me think you're homophobic. That's probably not how you meant it, but I immediately wrinkled my nose and lost interest.
posted by plaintiff6r at 2:51 AM on April 7, 2011

had a quick look... As others have touched on, i'd get rid of the whole 'why are you looking but not messaging' bit...

Nobody likes a whiner.

On the whole, you are quite self-deprecating. This is charming to a point. But the more you overdo it the more your reader will start to believe it. Use positive language.
posted by TheOtherGuy at 3:26 AM on April 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

It's just a bit much, it seems a bit 'try-hard' in this Aussie chicks opinion, but don't forget that Aussie's don't do casual dating like Americans do.

Huh? They don't? I'm really confused, and may need to ask a similar question to the OP.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 3:37 AM on April 7, 2011

Some thoughts -

- The photos aren't great. Dark, blurry and one next to two females. You look like a decent guy so get some good photos taken.

- Like everyone else the writing puts me off. Especially the lack of capitalisation. It looks terrible, and makes everything hard to read. Strip out the gaps, the smilies and capitalise. Make it confident and readable rather than rambling.

- Don't answer "I dunno."

- The tone of your writing works. I don't find it amusing but I imagine a lot of people would find it endearing. Your answers are irreverant but it doesn't feel forced.

Looking it over again the worst part is the photos. They are all pretty bad but the one by the sea is awful, dark, terribly composed and with you barely in it. A good photo will compensate for a whole lot going wrong below it, a bad one will have the opposite effect. IMO get three good photos up and neaten up your writing, make it a bit more confident and you're good.

You're getting a lot of advice above about which bits of your personality to change - ignore it. Don't pander to specific advice. Be yourself, just ensure you get yourself across as clearly and accurately as possible.
posted by fire&wings at 3:38 AM on April 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

And just a point...I'd be googling your username if I felt interested in you. Prospective dates from OK Cupid will find this question, and anything else you have online under this name. Think about changing it.
posted by fire&wings at 3:42 AM on April 7, 2011 [4 favorites]

To this straight 40-year-old guy, your profile says virtually nothing. You do work unrelated to your degree, but you don't say what that work is or what the degree was. You like food. (Imagine that!) In your free time you do... well, you're not sure. Your pockets contain random generic stuff. (There's a story about the passport, but you don't tell it or even offer a hint). You're interested in exactly one author, and no particular books. Your tastes in music are the closest you come to disclosing anything, and that's simply not enough to convey a meaningful sense of who you are or what you care about.

It's as if your whole goal is to avoid offending anyone. There's nothing here to be attracted to.
posted by jon1270 at 3:53 AM on April 7, 2011 [12 favorites]

I'm straight and female and was in my mid/late 20s when I last did online dating. (I'm not in the US and 'dating' is different here, but online dating seems pretty much the same.) Here's how I'd have read your profile:

- Ellipses and lower-case bother me for the same reason other people are mentioning them - they make you seem a bit rambly and vague. And rambly's fine, but you don't want to give the impression that you wrote your profile in a hurry without really bothering.
- "Left-handed. Red-headed. Thin and quiet and tattooed." - I like that, it's short and to the point and would give me something to ask you about.
- the "not THAT girl" bit, less so.

What you're doing with your life:
- Sleeping, downloading torrents and feeling like you're not doing enough? All those things might be true, but they aren't what you want to focus on here. For me (and I'd guess a lot of others), you want to give the impression that you already have a fun life with good things in it, and you're looking for someone to share that with.

Really good at:
- 'Sleeping' is an unappealing answer. Almost anything would be better to put in here than that.

First things people notice:
- Apart from dwelling on how much you used to hate your hair (if you're going to do that, do it as a joke), I liked this. The cro-magnon line made me smile.

- Might just be me, but I'd find swearing pretty off-putting in this kind of context, and read it as 'young and immature'. (And I swear a lot myself.)

Six things you could never do without:
- Eh, make something up. Use questions like this as a platform to sound interesting. Telling us you have a Twix wrapper in your pocket is not so interesting; telling us you couldn't live without your pet Twix wrapper, Bernard, would make me laugh. (And maybe wouldn't make anyone else laugh, but it would sound like you put some effort into the question at least.)

Spend a lot of time thinking about:
- Dear God, don't be the man who grumbles about how there are all these girls on the site who [insert grumble here]. That does not play well.

On a typical Friday night:
- You don't need to have an international jetsetting career or a life-endangering hobby, but you do need a better answer than 'i dunno'.

Most private thing:
- Yeah, what everyone else said about this one.

You should message me if:
- The pancake spiel would absolutely not work for me, although hey, it's a big world and there are plenty of people it might work for. It doesn't really say anything about what you're looking for, though, and that's off-putting. You don't sound like you're writing this for an audience; you sound like you got sort of bored by this point in the profile, and don't expect anyone to ever read it, and don't really care about that because now you're going to go off and eat a pancake. And I like pancakes too, but if I was single and looking I'd be looking for more than that.

To conclude, you come across as if you don't find yourself or your life very interesting, and you can't imagine why anyone else would. And that's far more off-putting than whatever your job/hobbies/Friday night plans might actually be.
posted by Catseye at 3:57 AM on April 7, 2011 [4 favorites]

As someone who was on OKC for a while, I found that this feels like a whole lot of ramble without many real clues to what you're actually like. I would find it very hard to find specific details that make me think "Wow! He likes RandomThing! I also like RandomThing -- I should contact him!"

I also feel like recent pictures would be a huge help -- it's pretty easy to tell these pictures aren't. Get a friend to take some pictures. They don't have to be the world's most flattering photos -- just decent photos that show what you look like right now. (I actually had two of the five guys I met up in real life with from OKCupid show up with a different hair color. Yes, really. And it was very off-putting. I don't mind if you're not as hot as your picture, but I do mind if something major like hair color or glasses is totally different.)

And please, please, please don't take women to task for looking at your profile but not messaging you. I know it's not how you intend it, but it comes across as kind of entitled, y'know? (And sometimes people look more than once because your photo/name isn't distinctive, and they forget they looked before. Not always personal. Sorry.)
posted by pie ninja at 4:01 AM on April 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

I'm single, male, straight 25 and use OkCupid. Your profile just feels generic and vague. It might actually help you stand out from the usual overwritten OkCupid geek essays but it's not going to give people anything to hold onto. The only thing that gives me an idea of your personality is the Music section. Maybe focus on that punk/indie side of yourself? The movies thing just feels really undefined too.

"feeling like i'm not doing enough. "

cut this line out. no need to be negative toward yourself

and put something in the 'Friday Night' field
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 4:06 AM on April 7, 2011

I'm admittedly a less visual person, but the pictures seem fine to me. If you do replace them, I'd say keep at least one with the glasses - they look nice on you.

I agree that it's sort of overly rambly and vague, and a bit too focused on hair and pancakes, but that's been covered well previously.

The one thing I thought I'd mention, since it hasn't come up yet, is the 'journal' section. If I were looking, it wouldn't matter *what* you put in your profile once I clicked on the 'journal' section and saw that first entry about feminism. I'd foresee the two of us having a lot of annoying arguments about feminism, and click right on to someone else.

Which is fine - you don't have to appeal to all women, just someone who feels the same way you do! But do be aware that people clicking on your profile are probably going to click over to that too, and that however you're presenting yourself there is also part of your profile. If you decide to clean up the rambling in the profile and present yourself a little more carefully, I'd suggest you do the same in your journal.

You never know what's going to appeal to someone, though. I met my current partner online (11 years ago, in the dawn of internet dating). I no longer remember his pictures, or most of what he posted, but there was one teeny throwaway snarky remark about people who overuse air quotes that made me laugh and laugh, made me reply, and I still remember it to this day. Sometimes all you need is the one little side remark that's going to hook into exactly what makes the other person smile. Maybe there's someone out there looking anxiously for a redhead obsessed with pancakes!
posted by Stacey at 4:19 AM on April 7, 2011 [2 favorites]

Pictures: have photos where you're doing something.
I agree with the other comments that you're a bit rambling and vague - and the non-answer for the Friday night question is not great.

Perhaps I'm a bit old-fashioned, but I'd leave out the swearing; to me it sounds immature and like you don't give a crap. Perhaps I'm a bit old-fashioned, but I hate it when people call women 'girls'. I am aware of the girls:guys thing, but it still doesn't work for me.

Emoticons: no.
posted by sciencegeek at 4:28 AM on April 7, 2011

Gay guy's perspective here.

You mention your Mom in your profile, with the breakfast line, and you have a photo of yourself with your Mom and your Aunt. That strikes me as a little too much.

Your picture with the glasses could very well be the best one, but it's so blurry and the mirror is so dirty that I can't tell. The other pictures aren't that helpful, because of the distractions in them (siblings, Mom and Aunt, the "friend" you haven't seen in 5 years). Take a couple of clear, head-on shots, because you seem to be a good-looking guy, and want to use that to your advantage.
posted by xingcat at 4:28 AM on April 7, 2011

My feedback, starting from what grabbed me first and then just continuing down on the profile:

Complaining about how women never contact or reply to you on OKCupid is about as big a turnoff as you can get without saying something actually offensive. Cut that out.

You have several conventionally-attractive blonde women in your photos. Doesn't matter that they're your mom and siblings. Women who don't read the captions might think they're ladies you were interested in. Women who do might wonder if you come from a family where looks are very important, and if they have to be as pretty as (shudder) your sister.

The other photos are bad quality, but what you look like comes through in them. The good news is you're clearly well-groomed and I bet most women find you attractive, but it's sort of weird that your photos aren't as carefully selected as your hair and clothes. Your main photo is good - interesting composition. Ditch the rest and find one or two that are clear, well-lit, and show your face.

What everyone else said about the capitalization, ellipses, and emoticons. It's especially odd that you start out with proper capitalization and then quickly abandon it; it looks like you started out earnestly and then got bored. Sentence fragments are okay, so if you take care of those three things your profile will flow well.

but since coming here I've met some beautiful, wonderful girls....just not THAT girl, you know?

NOOOOOOOOOOOOO. The "that girl" comment is not the worst I've seen, but don't talk about unspecified groups of women on your profile. Doesn't matter if it's "there are so many beautiful women" or "why don't women respond to me" or "women are smart" or "women are stupid." Each person reading your profile is an individual and wants to be considered as such. Also, this is the second hint that you might have really high standards of physical attractiveness.

laughing. listening to music. watching movies. sleeping.

Yeah pretty much everyone is doing this with their life. I bet you love to have fun, too! There's not much use in describing yourself in terms that would apply to anyone. Nobody doesn't like to laugh, you know? Also, you mention "watching movies" twice. I'm not sure if you really love watching movies or were just careless; neither is particularly appealing.

Adam Carolla is gross and misogynistic. That is, like, one step up from learning everything about love from amateur porn or Mystery. Sorry, dude.

You open and close the "what I'm doing with my life" section with dissatisfaction, and I can really relate to that. But. It sounds kind of like you're spending your life doing nothing but watching movies and grumbling about being dissatisfied. If you're not doing anything interesting right now, tell us what you want to do, or what you hope to do in the next year or five. Where do you want to travel? What's your degree in?

Do people notice anything about you besides your hair? This is kind of a sneaky question that has a "right" answer - you briefly mention a physical characteristic and then hint at a personality trait or activity. (Many years ago, when I was on OKCupid and looking, my answer was "I look Irish. And mad.")

One of my (many!) OKCupid pet peeves was profiles that had curt or vague answers to most questions, but a huge list of movies/music/books. I'd advise you to even this section out so you have four to six favorite things in each category. However, I find it really endearing that you like Hall and Oates.

The "six things you can't live without" question is probably the most bogus and least interesting OKCupid question. You should try to answer it in the spirit of the question anyway. Also, you have two separate snack wrappers in your pockets? Grody! I'm more interested in the passport story than your junk food consumption.

Throw out your entire "thinking about" answer and start over.

How can you not know what you do on Friday nights? If you actually dunno, you're either asleep or high. If you really don't have a good answer, you could just throw in some Rebecca Black lyrics.

What other people said about the possible casual homophobia. Truth be told, a straight guy who hints at ever having considered swinging the other way, even if it was for like five seconds, will leave a favorable impression on me. A straight guy who drops unsolicited NO HOMO comments will always turn me off, because no one's thinking you're gay and who the fuck cares? (Kazillions of straight dudes have pierced their tongues, and quite a few of them hint at how the piercings are useful for female pleasure.)

it all makes more sense at night. I have no idea what this is supposed to mean.

Your closing story about pancakes is really, really weird.

Oh, someone upthread mentioned you have a journal. Let's see if that has anything else...

I don't know if I have ever come across a man who has identified himself as a feminist that wasn't actively trying to sleep with the girl he was talking to

Fucking we are done here. This translates to "I know butt-all about the concept of feminism, and I am misogynist and so is everyone I hang out with and I don't care." Remember when I mentioned "about as big a turnoff as you can get without saying something actually offensive?" This is an actually-offensive thing. If I'd read this far, even if your profile was flawless, I'd stop here and move on instantly.

I know this all comes off as harsh, and I get the feeling you're a pretty cool guy, so I hope you don't take any of this too personally. But, hey, honest and thoughtful. And hopefully constructive.
posted by Metroid Baby at 5:13 AM on April 7, 2011 [13 favorites]

Nthing the comments that you overuse ellipses. They're a legitimate punctuation mark, but excessive use makes it seem like you're not totally sure how (or too lazy) to use periods, commas, semicolons, etc.
posted by southern_sky at 5:25 AM on April 7, 2011

Let's face it, evolutionary biology being what it is, men go for youth, women go for power. The contents of your record collection are all well and good but hell is other people's music and getting the fact that you're gainfully employed in a career you have to wear a tie for, don't have three dependent children and maybe own your own home are things I'd be looking for up front and centre.

I like to see some self confidence as well, having enough self esteem issues to go round without yours, so I wouldn't find all the self deprecating stuff as endearing as you might be thinking. Women like to see a man as a work in progress but they need to recognise some starting material. Lose the mum stuff, climb a mountain or something and get a pic on top of that.

Above all stop going on about yourself in a slightly tiresome manner, show that you can entertain me. If I'm not entertained by your profile there's no way you're buying me dinner. There is nothing as repellent as anyone over four whining, and it's pretty tedious in anyone under four as well, so give me some reason to think you're a fun, kind, capable guy instead. Of all those things being kind is by far the most important thing in real life, but it's the last thing that'll get you lucky on okcupid.

On the other hand, I don't date guys on or off the internet, so what the hell do I know.
posted by joannemullen at 5:52 AM on April 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

Mid-20s straight female here. I've used OKC for dating in the past.
1) You overuse ellipses and you use them incorrectly. I don't mind all-lowercase, in fact, I dated someone from OKC that had all-lowercase. The ellipses have to go, though.
2) Take out the part about not having met THAT girl. It's not terrible, it's just kinda meh.
3) You want to convey information as succinctly as possible, because not everyone is going to read your profile thoroughly before yay-or-naying you.
4) Be good at something other than sleeping, even if it's clearly a joke.
5) Don't talk about hating your hair or having deep-set "cro-magnon" eyes. Self-deprecation can be funny, but self-deprecating comments about your appearance have no traction in online dating.
6) Your books/music/food is maybe your strongest section. Google Darren Aronofsky if you're concerned about spelling.
7) iPhone, not IPhone. If you have one, you should know. Totally minor, but it would bother me like the ellipses thing.
8) Delete your entire "thinking about" section and rewrite it. You can be funny and put weird jokey stuff, or you can be sincere. You shouldn't be so sincere as to gripe about why you're on OKC. Everyone else looking at your profile is on there, too, so yeah.
9) Talk about work. Ladies my age like men with jobs or men with creative skills (like in bands or whatever).
10) Tongue piercing thing is bad. Just take it out. Some girls think tongue piercings are mega lame, and not enough will think your former tongue piercing is sexy enough for this to pay off for you. Also, the questioning your sexuality thing is just really bad.
11) I think the "it all makes more sense at night" thing is fine. However, the pancakes thing is way rambly. Just say "you love pancakes" or something. The whole family-love thing is kinda over-the-top, IMO.

I think your profile pic is good. It's intriguing enough that I would click it. 2nd pic too blurry. 3rd pic is fine, I think, but you shouldn't have so many family pics. Take the stairs one out. Take the one with a pretty girl with her arm around you out. Kid one is unnecessary. Last one isn't as good, take it out.

You really don't need more than 3 pics as long as you can see your face in all of them. I dunno, but when a guy has too many pics up, I sometimes think they seem more desperate.

You're a good-looking guy and have potential for your profile to be good. I think if you make the changes people suggest, you should have more success on there.
posted by elpea at 5:59 AM on April 7, 2011

You mention that you are saving up money for travel. I suggest that you expand on this because it is really the only thing you say that makes it appear that you have any interest in the outside world or, to be frank, anything intelligent. Personally I would pass you up as a slacker/loser, for reasons that others have detailed more thoughtfully above (interests only appear to be sleeping, eating and downloading bit torrents, was too lazy to think up thoughtful answer to the Friday question, the feminism entry, Adam Carolla, you apparently don't read books.) There may be details I missed, but I skimmed it, just as I would in real life.
posted by unannihilated at 6:03 AM on April 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

Much the same as the others:
Weird you have pictures of very attractive women there - are they other OKcupid, oh wait, it's family.

Yep, I thought homophobia too, on the sexuality/tongue thing. Can't a tongue piercing be good for going down on women

What's up with an atheist thinking creationism should be taught side by side evolution in schools AND a strict separation of church and state.

Misogynist + "if I had a vagina I might consider popping one out" wow, definitely not someone I'd be interested in. Sure, there are times, in the right company that that phrase could be appropriate or even funny, but you're advertising yourself here and you think of labour etc, as "popping one out", and that your target market (who I assume all have vaginas) will find this adorable or funny.

Plus bringing in mom and pancakes, I actually thought my reaction to that was because I'm old but I thought no way would I respond to that, this guy wants someone to make him breakfast like mom does. Iccck.

I once read - I don't know who or what - but they said something along the lines of when people are looking for a partner they list the thing they want, I want someone good looking, intelligent, rich, who can cook, rock climb and make pottery jars out of the mud in my back yard. Rarely do they ask themselves, what do I bring to a relationship, and that's what I think you need to ask yourself, stop making all about me, me, me, this is who I am, this is what I want, and don't do the creepy, treat you like a lady or a princess either, but you could say, "I'd really like to meet someone to spend long Sunday brunches with at this cool cafe near the beach" to give a woman (woman, woman, woman, not lady or girl, seriously) a reason to answer.
posted by b33j at 6:07 AM on April 7, 2011 [3 favorites]

I tend to think that there is no reason to metatalk about online dating in your profile at all. Everyone on okcupid is mostly familiar with all the ways online dating can be irksome. Not only is it kinda preaching to the choir a tired old chestnut that they already know, its also that exact same complaint(s) that you'd find on a billion other profiles.
posted by ian1977 at 6:19 AM on April 7, 2011

Just wanted to echo b33j: all this feedback must be overwhelming, but good on you for inviting it, and best of luck with the results!
posted by monkeymonkey at 6:38 AM on April 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

I am going to complain about "I don't know if its from living in England or not but I have place in my heart for Burberry.... ;)." I glean: dodgy fashion sense and poor sentence structure. I admit this is 'knee-jerk,' not 'thoughtful,' but, best I've got after others have covered so much ground. Nth tweaking the phrasing of some of the lolz, and I think I would lose the pic with Mom.
posted by kmennie at 6:44 AM on April 7, 2011

Lots of good advice, but i just want to really drive it home that you should be honest on there about what you are looking for. Here you tell us that you are not looking for a LTR but on the profile you say that you ARE (and you mention looking for the right girl, which implies a LTR).

don't waste your time trying to con a chick who is looking for a long term thing into considering dating you for a few weeks. it's ishy and not productive.
posted by Blisterlips at 6:47 AM on April 7, 2011 [2 favorites]

So here are my thoughts, as a female between 21 and 30 that likes guys (but is not geographically near you):

* The first thing that stuck out at me was your use of "girls." It's a particular peeve of mine. You might want to consider changing it to "ladies" or "women." Unless you're actually looking for females under 18, but I don't think you are.

* Referring to "THAT girl" and why "girls" click on your profile but don't say anything is super off putting and comes off kind of desperate/weird/annoying. Take all of that out.

* Add something real. I feel like I don't really know anything about you from reading your profile. Other than that you have red hair and download things from bittorrent sites. Adding more than "i dunno" to your Friday night question would help, for starts. Maybe talk some about the things that you value or what's happening in that picture of you as a kid.

I think your pictures are just fine. I like the one at the top of you on a train (?).

And fwiw, I'm solar_flare on OkC (since I'll pop up on your visitors list).
posted by radioaction at 6:52 AM on April 7, 2011

I agree with most of the commentary above and would add: please try to use correct punctuation. Even if you make a few mistakes here and there, it's worth making an effort; I've spoken to so many women who say they won't even bother reading through a dating profile if the spelling and punctuation is clearly terrible.

The most obvious thing you can fix is your misuse of ellipses (i.e. "..."). Notice how your MeFi question doesn't any full stops/periods? For some reason you're using ellipses to terminate your sentences and in place of other punctuation marks. Start ending your sentences with a single full stop/period, followed by a single space—and then begin the next sentence with a capital letter. Most of your other ellipses could be replaced by hyphens or semicolons. And if you must use an ellipse, do it correctly: three dots, followed by a space. Not two dots. Not four. Not ten. Three.

This may sound like ridiculously pedantic, but I promise you there are fewer more effective ways to dissuade women from even reading the content of your profile than filling it up with those crazy dots.
posted by hot soup girl at 7:13 AM on April 7, 2011 [10 favorites]

As a single woman in your age range you're definitely cute enough to date, but your pictures aren't doing you any favors. In other words there kind of a wash. What would make them a net positive for me would be removing the pics of you with other women and getting a clear picture of you smiling as your first photo (in focus, not in a mirror or from a webcam!).

It would be your profile which would turn me off. I think its awesome that you have the balls to come post this on Mefi which makes me want to like you but it for me had some serious problems. One of the problems of online dating is that there is so much choice that its easy not to give a person the benefit of the doubt and just hit the back button as unfair as that is.

Please lose the journal article about feminism! In an online dating add you don't want to ever push the might not like women/be a misogynist card. Polychrome nailed some of the other things that would bother me too.

I also want to know more positive stuff about you. Where do you work? What was your degree in? Where do you want to travel in the future? You want to give a girl who may want to contact you or who you might contact something to talk about or ask questions about that can form the basis for a conversation. Think of it as electronic, one sided, small talk - its as if your meeting someone really shy and you have to give them an in to talk to you.
posted by SpaceWarp13 at 7:14 AM on April 7, 2011 [2 favorites]

A quick thing about that Burberry caption: the novacheck trim on your collar is not the most interesting thing about that photo. You're somewhere with a great view, probably on a boat. Talk about where you were and what you were doing.

This is a pattern in your profile: you very briefly mention something that could be a good conversation starter or insight into who you are, but move right past it. If you want someone to talk to you, give them things to ask about.
posted by Metroid Baby at 7:18 AM on April 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

I’m going to this from a different perspective (why I think pple would like/not like some things) just to help you be aware of things that you may inadvertently doing. If you need stats to say valid perspective or not, female, older age range than you (but if I saw equivalent things from a guy in my age range, I would have similar opinions).

Also, even with some of the “what didn’t work” comments below, please be aware that as b3jj stated, lots of guts for doing this! Most of us would never be able to publicly put up our profiles, so kudos. In addition, I do see potential in your profile. Good luck and remember that my comments along with everyone else’s comments are subjective.

What didn’t work:

• The elipses, capitalization, swearing: If your target audience is women who don’t care about grammar at all, then go for it. Appears distracting and you can’t say it succinctly without resorting to …..

• “beautiful, wonderful girls ….THAT girl” - you will lose many women right there. At some level, they will compare themselves and say “So he is mainly looking for beautiful women but will I be good enough?” A reader may also think that they will automatically need to be THE one, THAT one and you haven’t even met the person and what a lot of pressure for a first date, no? With that comment, people will leave or may be less likely to reply to your message.

• Generic response (listening to music, watching movies, downloading from bittorrent). Lots of people write responses that say nothing. After you have read 30 profiles with “I like movies,” the reader’s eyes glaze over and everyone starts to look alike. Stand out for something. What is the last book that you read and enjoyed? Maybe the last place you went on vacation and enjoyed?

• Way too much description about your looks (hair color, a comment as to how someone tells you that you aren’t bad looking) – A reader may be concerned that the writer may be all about his own looks. I don’t think that you are, but it can come across that way

• Picture with friend that you haven’t seen in 5 years Even though you obviously had other girlfriends, friends, etc., you want the reader to imagine that she can be there and there is no space for that if you have a giant picture with someone else’s arms around you already occupying that place.

• “The amount of girls click on my profile but don’t say anything” - could imply that you have rules and the onus is on the readers to email you. Why are they just reading and not writing you? Operators are standing by

• Journal entry about feminists and chivalry. The comment would indicate that you have serious baggage about this and if you can’t imagine 2 characteristics together, possibly a limited world view. Actually you may want this to weed out (or in) a certain type of person – but why stop there if that is what you want to do?

What I enjoyed:

• “ Good at sleeping”, pancake story was humorous

• I actually enjoy when men list the music, books, etc. (sometimes there is a commonality).

• Siblings at the bottom of the stairs – you probably value your family and it is a great picture.

• Child picture – cute and it shows something about you in the past.

• Last picture – nice

• Your last entry about the homeless person (and a connection between people). This was actually good and if I saw that alone as your journal entry, very positive.

How to do this differently: Can you fill in specific information? For example, Instead of saying “trying to save money to travel” why not “saving money to travel to (insert place) because I am fascinated with or I love or I like XXXX.” Or for “On a Friday night” – you can even list something that you enjoyed doing on a Friday night; last Friday I saw XXX in concert or I decompress from work but Saturday is when I do (X activity you enjoy or whatever). Can you get a friend/family remember to write a few sentences for you? I would get someone to edit for you, too.
posted by Wolfster at 7:22 AM on April 7, 2011

it's all....rambly...and...hard to read. ;)

(Also the pancakes bit makes me think you were stoned when you wrote it.)
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 7:31 AM on April 7, 2011

Here's the sassy gay friend take on it:

What. What. What are you doing?!

Right out of the starting gate - talking about the "nice girls" you've met? No no no. Even theoretical girls. Even theoretical-in-the-past girls. I don't want to think about you making a connection with anyone else. Even in a theoretical-in-the-past kind of way. (Also a hint: "girls is patronizing to a lot of WOMEN. Don't call them "females" either - livestock are male and female, humans are men and women. This has been Feminism 101.)

As others have said, tone down the self-consciousness about being a red-head. The first paragraph in "people notice about me" is fine. Funny. Self-effacing. Adorable. The second paragraph tips it over the line.

You're really good at sleeping? So is my Grandfather, and the only action he ever gets is when the orderlies forget to roll him back to his room before prime time TV starts.

As for the movies/books/food/music/whatever stuff you like - make it more personalized. Lists make the eyes glaze over. You even listed some of my favorite bands (Explosions in the Sky!) and I still didn't have anything to talk to you about. You need to give people a hook to sink into so that they can get a feel for who you are and so that they feel comfortable striking up a conversation with you.

On that subject: Do you really like Roald Dahl or is that code for "I haven't read anything since middle school?" You don't have to like to read. You don't have to have a favorite book/author/movie/food whatever. But when I see something in a profile that someone has just picked - seemingly out of thin air, due to complete lack of context - I immediately analyze why they might have done that. In this case, there's a social stigma against not liking to read. So I suspect you probably are self-conscious that you don't read enough. Is self-consciousness and possibly lazy-intellectualism what you hoped to put across with that section, because that's what I got.

Please lose the blurry "recent" picture. It made me more motion sick than the one of you on a boat. And yes, that long-lost-friend picture should go too as it raises questions about who she was to you. Don't just cut her out of it either. That's RUDE.

Look, I'm sure you've got a lot going for you aside from being handsome, but I'll never know it if you don't convey it in your profile. What you've got is pretty superficial with a few moments that attempt to be deep... while remaining light and fluffy like the pancakes you love and hate so much. What makes you tick? What do you do with your time? What would you be doing with your time in a perfect world? Tell us that!

And although it is in my MeFi profile, I'm MagicNarwhal on OkCupid. I take the approach of describing myself in such a way that someone might be able to envision themselves as a part of my life - whether as friends or otherwise. That *is* the goal, after all, isn't it?
posted by jph at 7:33 AM on April 7, 2011 [5 favorites]

To me, your pictures sort of give the impression that you don't hang out with anyone but your family and that the last time you had a friend was five years ago.
posted by pineappleheart at 7:49 AM on April 7, 2011

In light of all of the above (a lot of which I agree on), it's a minor detail, but it jumped at me: you do realise that Roald Dahl hasn't been writing books for at least 20 years now, right?
posted by Ms. Next at 7:50 AM on April 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

A few things jumped out at me.

Atheist – unless you’re specifically looking for an atheist woman or you feel your atheism is an especially important part of your identity, you might want to think about changing this to “not religious.” I’ve spent a lot of time on atheist message boards, and atheist men constantly bemoan the lack of datable atheist women. You might be unnecessarily limiting your dating pool since atheism is one of those “strong” and sometimes aggressive positions that can be off-putting to slightly-religious, agnostic and religiously apathetic folks with whom you might be compatible.

Your looks – the young pics of you are very cute, but the fact that you don’t have a clear current photo makes me worry that you might have changed a ton for the worse since the older pics were taken. I like most of your self-description in the first paragraph except for the part about HUGE spectacles. Combined with the no eyebrows comment from further down you just took my mental image from “cute redheaded slightly nerdy guy” to “weird-looking hugely dorky guy.” Most of the “what people notice about me” paragraph is unappealingly self-deprecating. I actually like the part about how you used to hate your red hair, but the rest of the paragraph makes you sound rather unattractive.

Musical taste –Maybe I’m just old and way out of touch with mainstream music, but I’ve never heard of most of the bands you listed. Your list reads to me like the formula used by every music snob… name a bunch of non-mainstream bands to show how cool you are, and one extraordinarily dorky one to pretend like you’re not really being pretentious. Unless you’re specifically trying to snag a girl with similar tastes, you might want to temper that list with a few more mainstream groups so as not to intimidate people whose musical tastes are less discriminating.

The swearing was slightly off-putting. Even though I’m not exactly a prude about it, I feel like swearing is one of those things you bust out with caution as you get to know someone better.

The pancake story seemed weird and pointless. I’d have been more impressed if you’d been leading up to how making kick-ass pancakes has become your specialty. Men who cook are very appealing. Men who pine for mother’s cooking are kind of a turn-off.

Adam Corolla as personal mentor = fail. He can be funny in an offensive way but I’d be wary if a guy seemed to take him seriously in the slightest. (Personally I was never all that impressed by Dr. Drew either.)

Questioning-your-sexuality – this would be a bit of a red flag for me, for the opposite reason most people have mentioned. It would make me wonder to what extent you’d been questioning, and are we going to have a heartbreaking conversation a few years down the road when you finally come to the realization that all this heterosexual stuff was just a sham? I’m not a homophobe by any stretch but I’d rather save the “I’m a little bit bi” conversation until I know you well enough to better judge whether that might have an effect on our hypothetical relationship.

There are some good elements there, but I think you might want to think about this as your social resume and keep in mind that there are a lot of profiles on there, and in the interest of time people can be fairly ruthless about their initial weeding out, especially since they don’t have ANY emotional investment in you at that point. Once they get to know you better you can gradually start letting out a little more of the potentially controversial stuff.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 8:03 AM on April 7, 2011

I'm not sure what the best way to solve this would be given that your usernames are the same here and there, but now someone googling your OKCupid name could find this question without a /whole/ lot of detective work, and that might be offputting to some.
posted by needs more cowbell at 8:16 AM on April 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

First thing? Take all the advice on profile tuning you've been given. The tongue ring thing and the pancakes thing really really gotta go.

I would also burn the journal to the ground. Keep the soccer guy post, maybe, but the other entries are kind of weird. The antifeminism one is, uhm, wow. The messed up underlying attitudes are a whole nuther thread - for now, leave us say that having a post like that up is unlikely to yield the results you're after. Then the first one, about the homeless guy? I dunno, it comes off like you're trying to seem deep or something. Which slots in with the profile-wide trying-too-hard vibe.

In general: less petulance, more jokes. Good jokes, specifically.
posted by EatTheWeak at 8:21 AM on April 7, 2011

You've gotten plenty of good advice already. Also, as a straight man, I might not be the best person to be answering your question. (On the other hand, I've used OKCupid for years -- sometimes successfully! -- and have thought a lot about what makes a profile work or not work.) With that disclaimer, here are a few thoughts:

- I've noticed that many women's profiles on OKCupid mention that they like when a man writes in very proper English. I'm pretty sure I've never seen a profile that says, "I like men who write with all lowercase letters and lots of ellipses and false starts."

- If I were you I'd delete all but one or two of the photos, and post a photo that's clear, well-lit, yet also laid-back. By "laid-back," I mean, for instance, something that does not look like it was taken on your last family reunion.

- "Curvy"? Come on. You're a guy. Women are "curvy"; men aren't. Remember, OKCupid lets people narrow their searches based on body type (and many other categories), so it's best to select the most straightforward categories and leave the facetiousness for the free-form essay sections.

- I don't understand what you mean by the "questioning my sexuality" line. I'm not going to tell you what you should and shouldn't reveal in your profile, but I'll just say this: there are many women on OKCupid who, even if they generally seem cool and liberal, are not open-minded about the idea of dating someone who has questioned his sexuality. You'll notice that many women select the option of "Looking for: Straight men," as opposed to "Looking for: Guys who like girls." Also, in the section where you can compare your multiple-choice answers with someone else's, I've noticed there are many women who are adamant that they would not date someone who's bisexual or has ever (!) had any sexual encounters with the same sex. (Whether these are the women you should want to date is up to you. I'm just making observations here.)

- My overall impression from your profile is you seem like a thoroughly nice, normal guy ... who doesn't necessarily have a driving passion in life. I don't know you; I haven't met you; so I have no idea if this is accurate. Under "really good at," you just say "sleeping." Really, that's it? You don't have any talents? You're not good at sports or cooking or playing a musical instrument or anything like that? Even something frivolous but active or social like, I don't know -- "I'm really good at remembering people's names" -- would be better than something you do while unconscious. Under "6 things I can't live without," you list things like "wallet, iPhone, lighter." *yawn* How about listing not just things you carry around in your pockets, but something you actually have a yen for? For instance, you also list "passport" -- OK, are you passionate about travel? Is there somewhere you've traveled that changed you?

- The line about how you've met some beautiful women but not the one for you? Personally, I have no problem with it; it wouldn't bother me if you said that to me in conversation. But of course, I'm not your audience. It could inadvertently give the impression that you put women into different boxes: there's the gorgeous-but-out-of-reach-and-who-needs-her-anyway? box, and then the OK-so-she's-no-supermodel-but-she's-good-enough-for-me box. You might not intend this, but I could imagine some women interpreting it that way. (Remember, women don't just read your profile, they read between the lines of your profile.) My rule of thumb in dating is: avoid mentioning other women's attractiveness. Very little good can come from it. Women already assume that all straight men drool over the beautiful women out there, so you're not telling them anything original anyway.

- I disagree with Serene Empress Dork about "atheism." First of all, there is no option on OKCupid for "not religious." There is an option for "agnosticism." But if you feel you're atheist rather than agnostic, you should be honest. We should be advising you on how to best present your real self, not warning you that some women might not like your real self so you should pretend to be someone else. Furthermore, there are plenty of women who strongly identify as "atheist" and like the same in a man. (If anything, they're probably overrepresented on OKCupid.) There's no need to stereotype women as generally religious or turned off by atheism.

That's all from me. Good for you for putting yourself out there and opening yourself up to personal criticism. Best of luck with this.
posted by John Cohen at 8:26 AM on April 7, 2011 [2 favorites]

Straight female here, met my husband off a dating site. I guess you were basically asking for beanplating, but holy fucking shit are people beanplating the bejeesus out of this. Your profile is fine. The profile photo doesn't show what you look like at all, and that's problematic, but otherwise it's fine.
posted by tetralix at 8:32 AM on April 7, 2011

Your profile is fine.

Unfortunately, just "fine" might not cut it when he's competing against a lot of other men. If there are two guys who are equally desirable, but one of them has a brilliant profile and the other has a profile that has potential but could use a lot of work, which one do you think is going to do better in the dating world?
posted by John Cohen at 8:40 AM on April 7, 2011 [2 favorites]

I think your attitude towards gender roles is a really good thing to indicate in your profile, because it's a major compatibility factor. As a feminist and non-girly girl myself, I am just plain a bad match for a guy really into traditional gender roles. Likewise, if you really like your girl to wear dresses, you wouldn't like me. So I really appreciate it when a guy indicates his preferences along these lines in his profile, and I also try to put in some code-words for tomboy in mine as well. So if this is something important to you, you can indicate in your profile that you "enjoy opening doors" or that you "have an old-fashioned gentlemanly streak" or something like that. The important thing is to frame it as something positive, something that you like, rather than conveying negativity about how you think feminism is dumb or whatever.
posted by yarly at 8:51 AM on April 7, 2011 [9 favorites]

Your profile absolutely is not fine. There are lots and lots of profiles on dating sites and it is easy to skip over the ones where the person seems like they are bitter, aren't putting any effort into it, or have backwards views about things. After you've been on a few dates who weren't a great match you learn to recognize these things as potential warning signs. You want to avoid having those warning signs show up. These are some great suggestions.
posted by grouse at 9:28 AM on April 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

One thing that I noticed about online dating when I did it was the majority of men were HORRIBLE writers.

lik e most profiles i saw we're written like ths.
it was a huge trunoff.

It depressed me because the top thing I was looking for was someone intelligent. And people who write horribly don't come off as intelligent. If a man wrote really well, that was the #1 thing that made him stand out from the masses of other guys. And I wanted to like him. In other words, I was more likely to look for reasons I might be into him and overlook reasons I might not be.

Now, maybe you would not be into someone who is as big of a nerd as I am, so your target audience wouldn't care about this as much as I do. But generally, in school, girls tend to score higher on tests of reading and writing ability. And in my personal opinion, I think most girls want to be with someone who is at least as intelligent as they are, or appears that way. So I think you can't go wrong making your writing itself the best that it can be, regardless of the content.
posted by Ashley801 at 9:35 AM on April 7, 2011 [9 favorites]

You need to take down your feminism blog post immediately.

(I almost don't want to give you this advice, because if you really believe what you write about feminism in your blog, then your potential dates deserve a fair chance to see this before they meet you. But maybe you had a different point about hypocrisy and expressed yourself poorly.)

The general tone of your profile comes off as whiney. I'd take down the part where you say that you want to know why so many girls click on your profile but don't message. It sounds petulant and that would be where I moved on to a different page.
posted by pluot at 9:54 AM on April 7, 2011 [2 favorites]

Honestly, as far as grammar, style, and vocabulary go it reads like a 13-year-old girl wrote it. I wouldn't contact most people who – for whatever reason – choose not to or cannot use full sentences unless their profile is otherwise amazing.

Also, using "shit" in your profile is a turn-off. I'm certainly no prude, but this is the one and only impression I will get of you: you should be trying to come across as a wonderful man to spend time with, not someone who can't express themselves coherently without resorting to curse words.

Also, you don't sound fun at all: is all you do watch movies and listen to radio shows? Why would I want to be part of that life?

Stories are always better than rambling thoughts with pseudo-ellipses in between.

Your body type is "curvy"?! If you're fat, own up to it, don't use a euphemism that's strictly used by women to describe women.

I'd recommend scrapping the whole thing and redoing it from scratch.
posted by halogen at 10:01 AM on April 7, 2011

By the way, here are some concrete writing tips for you.

Looking at how you use ellipses, I think whenever you have the urge to use one between two sentences, you should put a period on the first sentence and start a new paragraph before the next one. You need more paragraphs anyway, they make writing more readable. When you have the urge to use one *within* a sentence, use commas instead. If that makes the sentence too run-on, then trim it down.

By the way, ellipses are supposed to be 3 dots, with a space before and after each dot. So they're supposed to be like this . . . rather than like this.................. Regardless of what's correct, it just looks neater.

I also think it would really help if you capitalized, and in general wrote more tightly instead of throwing in extra "ums" and things like that. A tip that is almost guaranteed to improve your writing. Go through what you've written, and try to take at least two words out of each sentence, while still conveying the same amount of meaning. (Example: "Review your profile, and remove at least two words from each sentence, while conveying the same amount of meaning." That's the sentence I just wrote, written more tightly.)
posted by Ashley801 at 10:17 AM on April 7, 2011 [2 favorites]

Thank you all for your comments, advice and criticism. I do appreciate the time and thought put into what everyone had to say. I'm going to delete my profile and give the whole thing a break because I was obviously oblivious to the impact of what I had written in regards to how it represented who I am (or who it makes me appear to be.) e.g. for the person who told me I my profile gives the impression that 'I can't think' - well, I thought I did too much of that. I will leave the profile up for anyone else who would like to view it and comment.

The choice of 'curvy' for my body type? That was a joke seeing as I'm rail-thin. I guess that wasn't obvious or a poor joke or both.

(and ellipses folks!)

posted by Hogermite at 10:42 AM on April 7, 2011

The choice of 'curvy' for my body type? That was a joke seeing as I'm rail-thin. I guess that wasn't obvious or a poor joke or both.

As I explained in my earlier comment, people use these categories to filter their searches. So it's not the place for jokes. While you're joking, some women might not be seeing your profile at all because they restricted their search to thin/average/fit body types. Save the jokes for your profile text. (Anyway, the joke of "I'm going to choose weird categories! I dropped out of space camp but I make a million dollars a year!" is kind of obvious and played-out.)
posted by John Cohen at 10:50 AM on April 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

I think giving up is the wrong course of action. A well-created dating profile is like a bonsai. It takes time and effort to get it "just right" and in the process, you realize that there is no such thing as "just right" and that it - like you - is a work-in-progress.*

Don't call yourself a work-in-progress in your profile. Just don't.
posted by jph at 11:07 AM on April 7, 2011

Oh wow, I hadn't looked at your journal before. That feminism post is truly awful. If that's how you actually feel, though, I guess it's good to warn feminist women away before they waste time dating you. If you're just trying to be cute or clever or something, then take that shit down post haste. I can promise you that you've scared away tons of women, and it might explain your lack of success.
I will say that as an OKC user, I think the journal function is lame in general and I think it's weird for people to blog on there, as opposed to having an actual blog.
posted by elpea at 12:18 PM on April 7, 2011 [2 favorites]

And not to keep posting, but are you actually still working on college, or did you graduate? If you are, you need to talk about that you're still in college in the body of your profile to explain it. If you dropped out of college, you should indicate that, or do the "space camp" thing or whatever (caveat: I never message or interact with people who put that, but I'm also only interested in college graduates, so I'm sure not all women are like that).
posted by elpea at 12:20 PM on April 7, 2011

I'm confused, you wrote a wonderful first journal entry, but your profile reads as very dull. You need a lot of the former and, less of the latter.

The other part of the problem has nothing to do with your profile, but that women generally aren't the ones who will take the initiative to message men. If someone checks you out (especially multiple times!) and, you like their profile message them.
posted by squeak at 12:39 PM on April 7, 2011

I am not single or dating, so perhaps my opinion of your profile is not very valuable. I read through all the advice you received without having viewed your profile, trying to picture it in my head from the responses to it. It wasn't a pretty vision, but when I actually clicked on your profile I was pleasantly surprised. It seems like you have good stuff to work with and I hope that you don't give up on online dating. I think you probably have a very nice personality, but are just not very confident about what parts to present on the profile, or how serious/ in depth to get. Following the advice you received above should help a great deal ( proper punctuation, grammar , more interesting details in profile answers, editing the "beautiful girls" references, pruning the journals entries etc)

I was surprised the most by your photos. After reading secondhand your self depreciating comments about your appearance I don't know quite what I was expecting to see, but honestly you have a lot going for you in the looks department. Seriously. I think if you get some better photos of yourself that would really do a lot for you. I personally liked the first photo ( even though people who know more about this than I pointed out that it's a bit dark etc I thought it conveyed a nice mood) and the last photo, as well as the cute photo of you as a child ( the bowl cut comment was funny) I did not respond as well to the other photos. I think maybe 3 or 4 photos is plenty, and would prefer to see mostly recent photos and photos of just you on your own rather than with family or friends.

I think the idea of making a new profile from scratch while keeping in mind the advice that resonated with you the most might be a great solution.
posted by Rapunzel1111 at 2:32 PM on April 7, 2011 [2 favorites]

It lacks sincerity.

I could go on with examples, but there's been a lot of good feedback already. Try again, without being glib and posturing and whatever. Sincerity is a solid, attractive trait missing in almost all dating site profiles.

Sincerity and better punctuation will serve you well.
posted by crankyrogalsky at 3:12 PM on April 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

The advice that's been given says it all RE: profile improvement. The only things I would add:

- You need to contact ladies if you want to go on dates. Men message women way more often than vice versa. It is sad, but it's a true fact.
- You have a profile on a another website where you have the same username and you say some uh... pretty off-color things. Not everyone is going to Google your username, but whoa, you might want to rid yourself of that profile or change your OKC username just in case.
posted by ktpetals at 8:15 PM on April 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

I can't see this now, but dropped by to comment on this:

Let's face it, evolutionary biology being what it is, men go for youth, women go for power. The contents of your record collection are all well and good but hell is other people's music and getting the fact that you're gainfully employed in a career you have to wear a tie for, don't have three dependent children and maybe own your own home are things I'd be looking for up front and centre.

This is not the case for all women. Particularly not with casual dating - I'd want to know if I could spend a fun evening with the person talking about the things I like and they like, not that further down the line I can save on rent by moving in. (Though in London barely anyone my age owns a home.) And most gainfully employed people I know aren't required to wear a tie - I'm not sure I'd have so much in common with someone working in the City.
posted by mippy at 9:27 AM on April 8, 2011

Wow. ktpetals is right on. Just saw your Twitter account. Lots of aggression and homophobia there. If that's not the first impression you want to put out there for anyone Googling your username, I second the suggestion that you change your OKC username. I also third and fourth the suggestion. It can only benefit you.
posted by pineappleheart at 10:24 PM on April 8, 2011

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