Another OkCupid profile review
March 28, 2014 9:38 PM   Subscribe

Link to my OKCupid profile. I've rewritten my profile a number of times, but I'm still not that satisfied with the result. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to improve it? I'm mainly looking for casual dating, but I wouldn't rule out anything serious
posted by casebash to Human Relations (41 answers total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: Poster's request -- restless_nomad

"This user restricts their profile to OkCupid members only. Sign in or create an account."
posted by oceanjesse at 9:43 PM on March 28, 2014 [3 favorites]

This may be a regional thing, but at the bottom where you say "'girl' being the most important part" it makes it sound a bit patronizing and/or like you want to date teenagers.
posted by phunniemee at 9:50 PM on March 28, 2014 [2 favorites]

I would say "I am mainly looking for casual dating, but I wouldn't rule out anything serious" somewhere in your profile.

And yes, I wouldn't say "girl" - the word girl is a big turn-off. People that you want to date in your age range are women.

Your self-summary is a bit cryptic and seems kind of negative. I feel like you're trying to tell me something, like "I wanted to do great things, but I just have to make the most with what I have, oh well," which sounds really down. You should replace this with a short self-summary; something like: "I am back in school for my second degree, and in my spare time I salsa dance. Want to join me sometime? Right now, I'm mainly looking for casual dating, but I wouldn't rule out anything serious."

The bit on counter-signaling also seems a bit unhappy. I get the sense that you don't really like other people that much from that. Try removing that.

I think that remaining pretty positive or neutral is really the way to go with online dating profiles.

Also, watch your punctuation and grammar. Most of your sentences don't have periods at the end of them, for example. That kind of thing is sort of an instant filter for a lot of people on OKC, I think; proper spelling and grammar indicates thought and care went into your profile, which is something that matters to a lot of people on dating sites.

In your "What I'm doing right now section" try removing most of those things and writing about only one or two with a bit more detail. Tell me more about the salsa dancing, or about what book you're reading now that's in one of those genres that you mention. More detail about fewer things is preferable, I think: it's clear evidence that you care about a few different things, that you can hold up a conversation about those things, and that you have thoughts and ideas about what you do with your time. All good stuff.

Good luck.
posted by sockermom at 10:02 PM on March 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

What do you have against ending punctuation?
posted by Mizu at 10:02 PM on March 28, 2014 [4 favorites]

It's not uncommon for people in their 20s (although I don't know how old you are, OP, can't see your profile) to avoid closing punctuation, with the exception of question marks. I think people think it comes across as too keen, and I read somewhere that periods especially are seen as aggressive and overly formal. I'm not sure it's necessarily a big deal, so long as what's said is clear and communicative (and positive - sockermom's right), but some will be probably be put off.

If you're feeling sensitive about having gone back to school and don't want to get into your life goals/past/etc. (which I understand!), keep any talk about it short, sweet and neutral, as sockermom suggested, both online and face-to-face.
posted by cotton dress sock at 10:36 PM on March 28, 2014

To repeat oceanjesse, if you would like help from a broader base of AskMe users, it would be a good idea to change your privacy settings so people without accounts can actually see your profile. I would have looked it over, but I can't see it and I'm not going to create an account just to do so.
posted by charmedimsure at 10:47 PM on March 28, 2014

@oceanjess @charmedimsure: Thanks, setting adjusted
posted by casebash at 11:05 PM on March 28, 2014

- change "girl" to "woman", full stop.
- also, your pictures with a lot of people in them, change them to pictures of just you, please.
posted by SkylitDrawl at 11:18 PM on March 28, 2014 [2 favorites]

The third picture that pops out is of the woman in the center of the pyramid, not you. Crop everyone else out or use a different picture.
posted by blnkfrnk at 11:27 PM on March 28, 2014

You appear to be a good looking fellow, but your profile photo is somber and upon first impression you seem like you are brooding and not very approachable. Get a buddy to take a happier, well-lit shot where you can clearly see your face and you are smiling.

As well, consider putting some light product in your hair and/or neatly combing it to the side. You have nice eyes but your bangs are obscuring them.
posted by Lieber Frau at 11:28 PM on March 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

Can I just be blunt and free-flow with my thoughts? Sorry if I'm a huge bitch, I've had a drink or two, but this may help so here goes: Too pretentious. Trying too hard. Pic too head-shorty, other pics too "I have friends"-y. Not enough just normal average pics of just you. (One face, one full body). Take out the first sentence of the profile, it doesnt flow. Redo section where you brag. I hate when dudes joke that they are modest, it's overused. "My dashing good looks, brilliance, etc. is also just kind of eye-rolly. Please also redo "message me if" section. My intelligence is not a super extra special sexy treat for your perusal or to make you look good, it's mine. Flattering girls who are intelligent about their intelligence generally does not work because they are too smart for that.

Think about it. It makes sense (I hope.)

Anyway, be slightly less self-concerned, is my slightly drunken advice. For what it's worth.
posted by quincunx at 11:34 PM on March 28, 2014 [17 favorites]

Well overall, in my opinion it's a pretty good profile. I wouldn't change nearly as much as some people above think you should. It has a nice mix of intelligence and humor (mostly self deprecating humor).

My impression, based on this, is that you're a pretty cerebral guy who is kinda intense and in his own head (on preview, "brooding" is a good word) but who also has friends and likes to do physical things like dance and go to people's parties.

The one or two questions this leaves me with are how you are about listening to others and about responding to emotional content. If I am frustrated are you going to coldly say "technically, it's illogical to feel that way," or "oh well, want to play frisbee?" Or would you warmly say "this is driving you crazy, huh?" You might consider adding some content related to emotions and relationships.

I'd definitely be more specific than saying any warm blooded female should contact you. That really comes off as shallow, not knowing yourself, not really being ready for anything real, still just trying to build your own confidence. If you included that plus that you just want casual dating, well, when combined with the sense that you're kinda "in your own head," I'd get the impression that you were basically emotionally unavailable. I'm pretty sure that's an unfair assessment, but I might jump to that conclusion if a few clues pointed in that direction.

Your photos could also be improved. The close up of your face looks really intense. In a lot of photos you're kind of behind other people or looking glazed over (though having fun). Do you have any photos where you're looking at the camera with a kind of relaxed, "hey, good to see you, how have you been?" look?
posted by salvia at 11:43 PM on March 28, 2014

Actually, I just had a conversation about this an hour ago: I'm 34, and I HATE being called a "woman". It comes along with a lot of negative connotations that "girl" does not, for me. If what the OP is saying is that he wants someone younger-at-heart, who doesn't want to Settle Down and bow out of life and start making babies and suchlike, then I totally understand what he is going for. However, since I am weird that way, it might be advisable to spell that out for people who think "girl" is an insult rather than a compliment. But there is no hard-and-fast rule that lays out what absolutely every member of a group wants to be called. Like I said, I'm probably *above* the age range the OP is going for (and he is certainly below mine), but I like "girl" a lot better. Perhaps because I oppose it to "guy" as well as to "boy".

OP, I have what I would consider to be excellent okcupid luck, and I think it's because my profile is long and specific and very very me, and anyone who writes to me besides a shirtless oiled-up torso which just writes "lets have sex" has some idea of who I am and wants to talk to me in particular. I know this runs counter to the weird SEO-style thing people recommend, but I'm not looking to get the most messages, I'm looking to get the *right* messages. And I do. This is doubtless easier for me as a straight female, but the profiles I respond to are definitely the more detailed and idiosyncratic ones. Don't be afraid of adding a little length, if that would be at all natural to you. Basically, just do what you think expresses *you*, rather than worrying about what other people think of your profile. Because, whether you're looking for your One True Love or just some nice people to spend some time with (I am the latter), the point isn't getting the most views. They say it's a Numbers Game. I've always disagreed with that. Who wants to just go out with Nameless Prospect #2479?

It's a crapshoot, with the internet. Just like in real life. Someone who would be spectacularly great for you might just be in a crap mood the day you meet, or not like your shirt, or be distracted by work, and so you never get to know each other. On okc, you might not get exactly the right ccombination of things someone is looking for when you introduce yourself, or they might get 6 messages in a matter of minutes and be too distracted to really read them, or or or. To me, the best way to deal with this seems to be to maximize your chances of meeting someone you'll get along with personally. So, you know, just be you. It's working very well for me.

On preview: disagree with quincunx about saying intelligence is sexy. If anything, you might want to make that more prominent if it's something you value. I don't see you trying to flatter girls about their intelligence there-- you're not talking *to* any girls, you're just stating your preferences. Which is what the thing is for. Also, nothing wrong, to me, with the first sentence. I think I start mine out similarly.

So, see? People have opposite preferences, and you can't optimize for everybody. Do what you do. That's what will make it work best.
posted by Because at 11:45 PM on March 28, 2014 [4 favorites]

You seem interesting but not all that friendly... I'd work on edging out some of the more negative/critical stuff to try to seem a bit more open. You are good looking but seem a bit intense. Having said that, you have a pretty good profile. Fwiw, the 'evolution explains everything' statement rankled me. I mean, everything in life reduced to evolution? Pretty unromantic! But that might appeal to some.
posted by jojobobo at 11:56 PM on March 28, 2014

Overall, this seems pretty solid to me. I like the flashes of personality in the What People Notice and Most Private Thing section, and I laughed at the line about the Babybel cheese. I think you could put a bit more of that personality into some of the other answers.

Do you have a photograph of yourself smiling that you could use as your main photo?

Is there another definition of counter-signalling that I'm not aware of? I've always understood it to mean people downplaying their social status because they don't need to show it off. I mention this only because I think you're trying to attract a certain kind of intellectual woman, and she'll probably also know what it means and wonder why you're using it that way.

Also, that whole section comes across as a little pretentious. You might not care about that (if you're pretentious, you may as well own it), but I do think you could also put a few more regular things in there so that a potential date doesn't think you're going to be discussing your Arts courses all night. Do you like to talk about philosophy and rugby league? Psychology and pop music? Sociology and sword-and-sorcery novels? We are made of multiples.

Some of your semi-colon use is odd, especially the dance sentence.

I think Australians probably do use "girl" to address a broader age range than Americans do. I was actually more bothered by what seemed to be the implied homophobia in that line, like GUYS DON'T MESSAGE ME I'M NOT THAT WAY. So either way, yeah, you might change that.

Good luck! I hope you find what you're after.
posted by Georgina at 11:57 PM on March 28, 2014 [3 favorites]

Oh also the bit about only needing to be female is not going to make anyone you date feel very special. I realise it's a joke, but I'd still change it, as it's really more insulting to your potential date than it is self-deprecating.
posted by jojobobo at 11:59 PM on March 28, 2014 [2 favorites]

Hm. Girl is fine for the mid twenties, but "You're nice, cute, fun, sexy girl who smells good. Intelligence is hot too." sounds weirdly sexually aggressive and bro-ish, and it's jarring at the end of your otherwise fairly intelligentsia-oriented profile.

I don't think your pics are bad (or look like an attempt to prove that you have IRL friends), but they aren't presented well. OKC pictures and their captions are all infomation being communicated directly to the people reading your profile; you want to be engaging and give the images some context so that they make sense to your audience. Strangers on the internet won't know who James is, or what the "Latin Motion" event means to you; a good picture is flattened out by a bland description. In an old-fashioned IRL photo album these would be written on the backs of pictures to help date them, but if you showed that album to a prospective date you'd tell the story of the picture, not give flat declaratives (although a few, like "NYE" are ok). Remember that you're using every part of your account and presentation t send signals to your readers.
posted by moonlight on vermont at 2:28 AM on March 29, 2014 [2 favorites]

Very minor point that jumped out at me, and would make me think twice if I was browsing your profile as a potential date: your favourite films all start with P (except for the one that starts with The P...).

I would instantly think, "he browsed an alphabetical list of movies, chose a random letter, and picked a few. He didn't put any thought into it".
posted by malibustacey9999 at 2:53 AM on March 29, 2014 [3 favorites]

You read as someone I'd probably be interested in messaging, but I had to read the profile a few times to figure that out. Especially with the frowning VERY SERIOUS face you make in your primary picture, and the forwardness of you "you should message me if" section, it does read as being very aggressively written in a way that at least misreads the social expectations of a dating website
posted by Blasdelb at 4:02 AM on March 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

Your profile photo should be of you smiling (or at least looking less grouchy.)

I'm still rolling my eyes at your "first things people notice about me" section. Fix that (pretentiousness is not appealing) or strike it.

I'll go against the grain and say I don't think there's anything wrong with your "I'm looking for" section. IMO it is neither sexist (calling young women "girls" does not chafe) or homophobic (all OKC profiles have some formulation of the "[gender(s)] who like [gender(s)]" bullet).
posted by schroedingersgirl at 4:25 AM on March 29, 2014

If some of the above comments don't seem to make sense, then that may be because I edited my profile based on the feedback
posted by casebash at 4:30 AM on March 29, 2014

Aw, I think you're super cute and if I lived in Australia and were five years younger and had a better than 50-ish% match with you, I'd totally message you.

I can see that you've tweaked your profile some, but you haven't made some of the big changes in your "first things people notice" section. I think the reason it's getting so much attention here on the green is because the clear sarcasm in that section isn't woven throughout the rest of the page as well. But if you're getting feedback where it counts (laydeez on OKC), don't worry about it for now.

I only offer two additional things:

1. Change your "Your Should Message Me If." I'm all those things -- to some people. Everyone is. It sounds weird and self-selecting the way you have it, like I should only message you if I think you'll think that I'm nice, cute, fun and sexy. I don't know what you'll think about me. But if you don't want to change it, if nothing else, please add an article so that it reads "You're [a] nice, cute, fun . . ."

2. Totally play up the salsa dancing thing. I'd trip over myself to message a guy who'd take me proper dancing; even if it was just going to be a platonic, dance-together-for-fun once a week friendship. The world lacks straight men who can dance. Do you know what I think would be winning? "You should message me if you think you can dance." You're automatically going to be drawing in girls who are down for fun, who are probably cute and sexy (because it's salsa) and if they're not "nice" (however you define that) then you never have to date them again.
posted by mibo at 5:12 AM on March 29, 2014 [2 favorites]

Yeah, the biggest problem with your profile by far is that "First things people notice..." section. The "I'm amazing, hot, brilliant...and modest!" joke is super old and wasn't ever that funny anyway, and the fact that it's the only really sarcastic part of your profile is jarring.

Also...I'm 27, and I would be hesitant to message a 26-year-old who listed their age range as 19-28. Like, normally I wouldn't even think about a one-year age difference, but 19-year-olds are really young, and your putting the cap at 28 would make me think that's what you were into, and maybe you'd think I was way too old. Most women I know don't date men who are into teenagers.
posted by goodbyewaffles at 6:04 AM on March 29, 2014 [8 favorites]

I'm still not a fan of the pretentious mock modesty in the about me section (and for reference I met Mr arnicae who I suspect is like you in many respects online). Also back to the photos...we don't know who James is and you have a weird combination of "hey look I've traveled and have lots and lots I'd friends" and fairly dour headshot pics. I would for sure change your profile pic, it is not good. Go for a picture of you smiling and relaxed for your profile pic. Good luck!
posted by arnicae at 6:26 AM on March 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

in your pictures you look cute!

there are three things on your profile that would make me definitely not message you:

- "When asked to describe me, people have a hard time deciding between my dashingly handsome good looks..."
- "Ages 19–28" ughgh. As someone else said, as a 25-year-old I wouldn't date someone who would date a 19 year old.
- "You're nice, cute, fun, sexy girl who smells good. Intelligence is hot too."
posted by oranger at 7:10 AM on March 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

My favourite card game involves wrestling.

Nice addition.

Whenever I enter a restaurant I make a mental note of everything that I’ve never had before.

Um... exaggeration? Or, how long does this take, say, for a five page menu? Is it in a flash, like how some savants can instantaneously count the number of spilled toothpicks? I think the questions this raises outweigh the benefits of this sentence.
posted by salvia at 7:34 AM on March 29, 2014

Your third sentence mentions your ego. Huuuuge red flag.
posted by pineappleheart at 8:31 AM on March 29, 2014 [3 favorites]

Just wanted to chime in and second Because's point that there are people in your age range out there that identify as "girls" -- me included -- and they may self-select accordingly, if that's the sorta person you're looking for.
posted by Pwoink at 8:41 AM on March 29, 2014

On the topic of "girls", I think your chances of having someone you'd otherwise be interested in opt out of responding to your profile because you refer to adult women as "girls" are higher than the number who will see that you refer to them as "girls", think "that is what I identify as, this guy likely defines 'girl' in the same way I do thus I might be interested in him".

Anecdata - I wouldn't bother messaging you based on the 'girl' thing. This may be in part a cultural thing (most of the respondents in this thread are from the U.S.) but it is certainly something I'd notice. If you wrote to me and were sufficiently compelling and interesting enough I'd probably write back, but that would be a definite mark against you.

Why run the risk of having people automatically hit the back arrow just because of a single word choice? Suggest the qualities that you're interested in in other ways that help you describe the playful, fun, intelligent but not overly serious, etc. kind of person you're looking for without using the word girl. If you want to avoid getting tangled up in semantics entirely, don't use either "girl" or "woman" to describe the person you're interested in meeting.
posted by arnicae at 8:49 AM on March 29, 2014

Your overall profile comes off, if you'll forgive me, as somewhat sophomoric and insecure - from the James Birthday Party and Roadtrip to End Poverty to your slightly frat boy description of the kind of person who should message you.

You seem like a really cool guy that is engaged mentally and physically in what appears to be an interesting life. I wonder how your salsa partner might describe you in an online profile? Or perhaps some of your other friends, or a friendly ex-girlfriend? The internet can provide you plenty of targeted feedback on what you've already got on there but your friends may be able to help you completely remodel your online dating profile to something that might a bit more effectively portray you as the interesting, active guy you appear to be.

Also - you're clearly a smart guy. Definitely go through and correct your grammar and spelling errors, as a smart, nerdy person who appreciates people that communicate effectively, I notice and appreciate good writing in online dating profiles. I suspect many of the women you're hoping will reply will be the same.
posted by arnicae at 9:00 AM on March 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

I am a firm supporter of half your age plus seven. 26 / 2 + 7 = 20
posted by zscore at 9:25 AM on March 29, 2014 [2 favorites]

Hmm, this is my take. You may be looking to date women unlike me, so it may not be relevant. I think you seem good looking but I probably wouldn't date you.

I got the feeling that you were willing to reveal little fragments of your personality, but that you were mostly elusive about who you actually, authentically are. I got the feeling that you might be a geeky guy (science fiction, game theory, username sounds like some Latin question-word). I love geeky guys, but you kind of have to own who you are and be that person, whoever it is.

"Blue is my favorite color" sounds like something you'd fill out in a getting to know you mad lib in third grade and is kind of obnoxious because it seems like both filler and an avoidance of the question. If you were to ditch the attempt to present yourself a certain way and just started from the point of saying something something that's actually you, what would that sound like? Start there. Like, What got you interested in salsa dancing? Why did you eat the wax on the cheese? How does evolution explain everything? What about yourself would you be willing to reveal that other people secretly think or do too but would be hesitant to say aloud? That is the kind of stuff that is going to make people find you interesting and want to be around you.
posted by mermily at 12:26 PM on March 29, 2014 [2 favorites]

It's hard to give you advice about your profile without knowing more about what kind of woman/relationship you're actually looking for.

As it's written, you don't come across as someone who is particularly in touch with themselves. You seem very intellectual and "in your head" - not so much in your heart. You mention enjoying deep convos -- it would help if you explain what exactly you like to talk about.. You say you have a big ego. That honesty is a good trait -- but going about the world with a big ego, and no desire/capacity for actually doing something to moderate it is very unattractive. I say this as someone who, in my mid 20s, also had a very "big ego" and no interest in changing that. Reading your profile, I'd think "Hmm.. he seems to be interesting, smart, have some self awareness but overall seems a bit lacking in the empathy/compassion/maturity departments. Next."

You come across as someone who is looking for something casual and does not have a very high opinion of other people broadly, and women specifically. You definitely seem like you are looking for a "fun girl", not an equal to engage in a loving relationship. I hate to come across as harsh, but I think your profile will only attract women who don't have much self esteem and aren't looking for a meaningful relationship. If that's cool with you, sobeit..

Minor (?) point: your main picture is a little cold . . can you find something where you are smiling or at least look approachable?
posted by Gray Skies at 1:07 PM on March 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

if you're going to keep the main picture, you could start off referencing it in the first sentence, "the first thing people notice about me is that I look so serious...." and build from there - "but I'm not ALWAYS so serious" or, "and I do love a deep meandering conversation", or "and my V-shaped brows remind people of Mr. Spock - and I have a lot in common with Spock." There are many ways you could keep the main headshot and lighten it up a little in the description.

I think your other photos are strange selections - especially the birthday party one with the guy in the tiger body paint who is NOT you. Agree with the poster upthread that you need at least one photo of you smiling (showing teeth) and a full-body shot.
posted by Ardea alba at 1:26 PM on March 29, 2014

In all group photos, you are upstaged by your friends. Post ones that feature you.

The "brag brag, brag, kidding, modesty!" is cheap and old. Remove it or, better yet, actually answer the question.

Think carefully about why you're mentioning behavioral economics and game theory. I tend to not message people who mention 'behavioral economics' and 'game theory' because it suggests that

1. the writer can't tell he's reading pop science. Pop science is like french fries: engineered to be accessible and lovable. You're not special for liking french fries but you are dinged for not realizing that this doesn't provide any additional information.
2. the writer is puzzled by irrational humans who won't date him or be his friend, because if they were rational, they would!

Why are you doing a second degree? To be around 19-year-olds? I would answer the first question because it would provide relevant information and consider changing your desired age lower bound to avoid people wondering the second.

"Intelligence is hot too" -- as afterthought to "nice cute fun sexy smell good" -- is a pretty strong statement that you really aren't interested in your equal match. I briefly entertained the idea that you're actually extremely aware and really do want a simple, sweet young thing who is impressed by your quanty income potential, but then you wouldn't be coming to MetaFilter for advice...
posted by batter_my_heart at 4:15 PM on March 29, 2014 [2 favorites]

So much better now, dude. SO MUCH BETTER.

I would date you now. And you had an awesome sense of humor! Wouldn't have guessed.
posted by mermily at 11:53 PM on March 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

Thanks for all the feedback. I really appreciate it.

I'm sure I'll get round to fixing up my profile pics. One day.

I was trying to find something else to put in the "First things people notice about me section", but I decided just to remove that entire section for now and ask a few friends what they think. I think that it is a bit cliched. I think it's ok for profiles to be polarising, but it's bad when individual sections are polarising. I managed to put a bit more personality in the other sections to make up for it.

I think that women who make a big deal about the word "girls" are probably less likely in my target market. I think that these kind of views will be much, much more common on metafilter than in the general populace and I'm generally not a fan of taking things too seriously.

I've spent quite a bit of time trying to figure out how to make my summary demonstrate who I am, but I wasn't able to produce anything that worked. So, I think I'll leave it as a random assortment of facts for now that hopefully make it feel more authentic.

I decided to leave in "You're a nice, cute, fun, sexy girl who smells good" for now. Instead of "Intelligence is hot", I wrote: "Or maybe you can hold a conversation on philosophy, psychology or politics". I think that it softens it a bit, avoids making it sound like intelligence is only a "cute extra" and puts the tone more in line with the rest of the profile.
posted by casebash at 12:12 AM on March 30, 2014

It's definitely better.
posted by jojobobo at 12:23 AM on March 30, 2014 [1 favorite]

Yes. Nice.
posted by Because at 4:55 AM on March 30, 2014 [1 favorite]

With the caveat that English is not my first language, it seems to me that the following bits contain typos or grammatical errors (nearly inevitable when you're writing and rewriting, I know, but you may nevertheless want to fix them):

Then again, if shouldn't take life seriously, what should you take seriously?
Burin' Up
The first time I went I patrol

Also, I agree with the comment that in both these instances, your use of semi-colon is a bit odd:

Froyo; chili sauce; sushi; late-night d&ms; exploding coke cans; Rubik's cubes.
I dance - Salsa semi-competently; but for everything else I just fumble around.

I'd replace them with commas. (Citation: The Oatmeal)
Other than that, I think your profile looks great. Good luck!
posted by sively at 8:22 AM on March 30, 2014

Much better!
posted by Gray Skies at 7:23 AM on March 31, 2014

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