Again with the OKCupid nonsense
March 31, 2014 1:54 PM   Subscribe

I'm back on OKCupid after some time spent getting my head on straight (well, bi I guess). I'd like some third party advice on my profile. Friends are ok, but they're too nice to be really helpful.

I'm trying to convey that I'm skeptical but not a cynic; that I'm more focused on my non-work life than my career right now; and that I'm not super serious or stereotypically feminine. I'm kind of a giant goofball frankly, and I want to avoid going on dates with people who will be put off by that.

(Also I am actively trying to date both/all genders, if that informs your answers.)
posted by showbiz_liz to Human Relations (52 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Honestly, you sound pretty rad. If I were available and in your area, I'd probably send you a message. Not sure how much more you really need to put into it.
posted by General Malaise at 2:00 PM on March 31, 2014 [2 favorites]

It's great, totally brilliant and you. But...not the second picture, it is unflattering. Really unflattering.
posted by the young rope-rider at 2:01 PM on March 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

Yeah, you sound like the kind of person anyone would want to know. I wouldn't change a word. But maybe one more just-the-face picture of you? Activity pics are cool but sometimes people read them as avoiding showing what you look like.
posted by pineappleheart at 2:02 PM on March 31, 2014 [2 favorites]

A counterpoint: the second photo is cute! I mean, you're a bit too young and way out of my league looks-wise - and in New York! - but I think it's nice to have a non-make-up, non-party photo.

Profile reads as a bit hyperactive to me, maybe just a teensy bit defensive in a charming way...But I'm not sure whether that is "change things to improve your numbers" or "basically anyone worth dating who is compatible with you will find it charming anyway".

"Not incidentally bisexual" is a bit opaque to me - I would take it to mean "hey straight dudes, I actually do date girls, not just have a fifties pin-up calendar" but it might be worth clarifying.
posted by Frowner at 2:06 PM on March 31, 2014 [3 favorites]

I actually like the second picture. And I agree, it's a great profile; I'd definitely consider messaging you if you were in my area. But if you're worried you're not conveying the stuff you're trying to convey, why not cut and paste? The words "I'm kind of a giant goofball frankly" have never hurt an OKC profile, in my view.
posted by zeri at 2:06 PM on March 31, 2014

"Not incidentally bisexual" is a bit opaque to me - I would take it to mean "hey straight dudes, I actually do date girls, not just have a fifties pin-up calendar"

That's basically it, yes- and I'm also trying to let women know "yes, I really date women and would take a relationship with a woman as seriously as one with a man"
posted by showbiz_liz at 2:09 PM on March 31, 2014

I found your profile very clever and charming, and actually laughed out loud at "Let's go to the Ren Faire, this is not a joke." For me, the profile generally hit the right balance between healthy cynicism/sarcasm and earnestness, which is actually kind of a tough thing to do.

I am biased because I would probably message anyone who listed Cosmicomics under their favorite books, but I'm not sure it really needs much improving, honestly.
posted by Lutoslawski at 2:11 PM on March 31, 2014 [3 favorites]

I would go out with you based on your username and main profile photo combination alone. Bravo.

I have no notes - I think your profile is perfect. You could start tweaking it here or there, but I think that would be on the level of beanplating and not really necessary.

I have no huge issue with your second profile photo, though it doesn't read nearly as fun as the other two.
posted by Sara C. at 2:12 PM on March 31, 2014

I think you have a great profile. I actually like all of the pics. They help with the general vibe of your profile, which seems to be about being authentic, not being afraid to be who you really are, and still being a friendly, interesting person.

Agree that putting in the "giant goofball" thing might be a nice touch, but I think what you have in there so far does a pretty good job of it.

I guess my one piece of advice would be that "fucking/fuck" thing does up the cynicism rating a bit, if that does matter to you. I find that kind of thing funny when I hear it, but for some reason reading it makes the person seem more...hard, or like they want to be, I guess.

I would totally pass your profile on to any of my younger friends who live closer to you (if I had some of those).
posted by batmonkey at 2:13 PM on March 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

I am biased because I would probably message anyone who listed Cosmicomics under their favorite books

Two of my three favorite books were originally recommendations from AskMeFi, including that one!
posted by showbiz_liz at 2:15 PM on March 31, 2014 [2 favorites]

Nthing it's great except I might give you a pass because of the up for anything except drugs you have to inject line. To me, does that mean you smoke crack? Take acid? Uppers? Downers? MDMA?

Unless you're actually open to all those things, I'd cut out that line out, only because people can infer way too many negative things.
posted by kinetic at 2:16 PM on March 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

I don't dislike any of the pictures that show your face, but they are different enough that I'm not totally clear on what you actually look like. Does the main pic and/or the second pic actually show what you look like, or is it one of those HOLY CRAP I LOOK AWESOME shots that is maybe not indicative of how you look in "real life"? This could be where real-life friends could offer constructive feedback.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 2:16 PM on March 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

I don't find the second picture unflattering at all. However, you're holding what I assume is beer in three out of five pictures. Maybe cut down on those? As it is, it looks like your main hobby is drinking in various wacky places - which is tons of fun, of course, but might come off as one-dimensional.

I think the text of your profile is great though. Pithy, smart without being pretentious, and strikes a good balance between silliness and earnestness.

(If I were single and dated women, I'd totally want to date you, but I'd also secretly worry about being too boring for you. But IANA potential date and might actually be too boring for you, so take that with a grain of salt.)
posted by Metroid Baby at 2:20 PM on March 31, 2014 [2 favorites]

The first and second photos are basically makeup vs. not makeup (because I usually only wear makeup for events, not work or general life), and also the second pic is the only one that accurately shows my current hair.

Oh man, I AM drinking in a lot of these, aren't I?
posted by showbiz_liz at 2:20 PM on March 31, 2014

I like the ren fair photo, and I like the scar story. Both cute.

I don't really have anything to criticize here, except a sort of general feeling that you're sweet and cute and up for anything, but I'm not seeing much dark side, seriousness, or hardness in your profile. (well, except the do not date libertarians thing, which as a non-stereotypical somewhat-veering-close-to-kind-of-libertarian- Ouch! :( ) You're funny, upbeat and self-aware- maybe a little too self-aware. Also I get what you were going for with the "pick three favorites" section but it doesn't have great flow and it doesn't give me a really meaty idea of your tastes. Some people just skip that section entirely, though, so whatevs, not a huge deal.
posted by quincunx at 2:33 PM on March 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'm not sure about the "I don't always wear leopard print minidresses, but when I do, I'm probably on my way to a strip club" caption. Are you actually at a strip club in that picture? Are strip clubs something you enjoy? Where I am strip clubs aren't exactly pillars of social justice and feminism, so it doesn't really jibe with the rest of your profile. But a) you may be being totally sarcastic and I'm missing it or b) strip clubs in Brooklyn are probably really different than strip clubs in Alaska.

Maybe clarify or expound further?
posted by charmcityblues at 2:35 PM on March 31, 2014 [2 favorites]

people can infer way too many negative things.

I suppose this is a matter of opinion, and YMMV no matter what you write on your dating profile.

But it's important to remember that a dating profile is for finding people that you actually want to date.

My point here is twofold.

If you do sometimes experiment with drugs (and/or engage in other controversial or edgy behaviors that go along with that) and think that's an important enough aspect of your identity that you want it to be front and center on your dating profile, you should keep it there because it tells potential partners an important thing about who you are. If some of those people judge you, who cares, because you're looking for people who'll drop acid with you, not people who'll clutch pearls on hearing a few drug references.

Even if you don't really do that sort of thing very often (or mean something much tamer than smoking crack, which I imagine to be the case), the overall message you're sending here is that you're adventurous, unconventional, and don't always play by the rules. Do you really want somebody who would be scared away by the possibility that you've snorted coke?

I would only get rid of that turn of phrase if you're looking for a straightlaced Republican you can take to the country club.
posted by Sara C. at 2:38 PM on March 31, 2014 [8 favorites]

The second photo is my favorite. If someone doesn't like it, they probably wouldn't like you anyway. I would delete pic 3 or 5 to reduce the number of beer drinking photos.
posted by bhnyc at 2:47 PM on March 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

I think your expression in the second pic is fetching and sincere, and a kind of nice counterpoint to the others. On my phone though, the whole pic (not you) looks like it could be warmed up a teeny bit. I agree you look totally different with makeup and from a distance (sorry given the distance in the main and top pic) it does seem like two different people. No other comment, it's great - good luck :)
posted by cotton dress sock at 2:48 PM on March 31, 2014 [2 favorites]

When I see such photos with more than one person in them, I always wonder, "Did those other people want to be in someone else's published photos?". And then I wonder "Is the person who published these photos considerate, conscientious, etc.?"
posted by Dansaman at 3:01 PM on March 31, 2014 [5 favorites]

Honestly, this is a totally great profile and the quibbles being picked above feel to me like things people are looking for having been asked to critique rather than things that might actually stop people from mailing you.
As a brit, the number of beer-drinking pictures didn't even register, but you may want to consider adjusting for your area...
posted by ominous_paws at 3:05 PM on March 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

Yeah I wouldn't worry about the beer-drinking photos. People take pictures in social settings where there also happens to be drinking - I'd only delete them if you're looking for someone who is gonna be all "ugh, if only she wasn't a DRINKER". I mean you already make it clear you drink "often" on the sidebar (I have mine set to that too) so what's the big deal?
posted by windbox at 3:13 PM on March 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

Great profile. I immediately keyed into the number of alcohol drinking pictures, which made me mentally revise your age down a bit (that seems like a college thing) and so was slightly surprised when I noticed your age was 26 on your profile.

Your renfair and bee pictures are ridiculously amazing. Love your sense of humor.
posted by arnicae at 3:16 PM on March 31, 2014

I think it's a decent profile, but I want more you in there. The things I liked most about your profile: "But, like, baby steps." "Semi-Adult Home Of My Dreams." "super fucking difficult" -- just those little flashes of humanity.

An exercise for you, which worked wonders for me back in my OKCupid days: Think about a part of your identity that you think of as central or core. Close your eyes and start typing about it. Write a paragraph without stopping to think. Write another paragraph without stopping to think. Try the same thing on the topic of music or art or politics or whatever strikes you. Write conversationally and with your ordinary voice -- just let it come out. I'm following this technique now and I can feel my writing getting more lucid, and my personality somehow rising from inside and displacing the thinker who normally monitors everything that comes between my fingers and the screen. But the trick is, you can't stop. You have to let it keep flowing, and if you get stuck, quickly make a choice and keep going, before you start thinking again.

Give me you! That's the secret to this whole thing.
posted by PercussivePaul at 3:19 PM on March 31, 2014 [3 favorites]

Also, forgive me, but this:
I'm skeptical but not a cynic; I'm more focused on my non-work life than my career right now; and I'm not super serious or stereotypically feminine. I'm kind of a giant goofball frankly, and I want to avoid going on dates with people who will be put off by that. Also I am actively trying to date both/all genders.
That's you. Put it in your profile. Why not? Just say who you are. It works.
posted by PercussivePaul at 3:24 PM on March 31, 2014 [12 favorites]

As a bi feminist woman, were I single and local and a couple of years younger, I'd find your profile totally charming. I would not actually respond to it, because I'm pretty strongly not into drugs of any non-prescription sort including more than occasional drinking, and I'm indoorsy and like plumbing too much to camp, and you sound like you're maybe a bit more extrovert-y, looking-to-be-out-and-social-a-lot, than I can handle. But I would feel like you would be absolutely fantastic for someone, just not for me, and I'd wish we were friends.

I put that out there for whatever good it does you - if you don't want to turn people away as possible romantic partners based on being ill-matched on those particular features, then you might want to tone them down. But otherwise, if you are looking for people well matched on those things, then you're doing fine and I don't see anything much I'd change.
posted by Stacey at 3:24 PM on March 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

Partnered gay guy here, but I kind of want to date you after reading your profile. I can't find anything to change, really.
posted by xingcat at 3:31 PM on March 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

We're a 99% match! No real critiques to offer, but if you weren't on the other side of the country I'd totally send you a message (probably about beekeeping), or at least rate you highly in the Quickmatch thing. Good luck!
posted by Bigfoot Mandala at 3:39 PM on March 31, 2014

You're just a little heavy handed on the twee/quirky/manic pixie dream girl stuff like bee keeping and having illegal BYOB picnics, etc. for my taste. Yes that stuff is all great but you're overshooting the line between enthusiasm and making yourself sound like a Portlandia character. Some of that stuff clearly reads "authentic" to some people here but to me it reads like many profiles of people your demographic do - all taste and no values, and I say that as someone just slightly older than you with plenty of overlap with your taste. It's possible to say a little more about what you think is important and what your emotional style is and what you are looking for without sounding over serious or repeating bad tropes. think on it, try replacing just one or two details that are all quirk with something about how you feel not what you like
posted by slow graffiti at 3:41 PM on March 31, 2014 [11 favorites]

I'm trying to convey that I'm skeptical but not a cynic; that I'm more focused on my non-work life than my career right now; and that I'm not super serious or stereotypically feminine. I'm kind of a giant goofball frankly, and I want to avoid going on dates with people who will be put off by that.

I think your profile does an excellent job of conveying this. It's not a message that I personally find totally appealing, but I totally get it and I think you'll have great success meeting like-minded people. Good luck!

(On preview, I agree with slow graffiti but like I said, I don't think that you are trying to attract us)
posted by Kwine at 3:44 PM on March 31, 2014

I swear like a sailor (and hey, I am one!), but in a public profile all the profanity would be off-putting to me.
posted by matty at 3:49 PM on March 31, 2014 [3 favorites]

Maybe I know that you're cuter in real life than the second picture shows! Anyway, idk, it is NYC and everyone there drinks all the time, no worries IMO, since you obviously do other things.
posted by the young rope-rider at 4:06 PM on March 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

I love your profile. Your pics are flattering, your captions are fun, your "about" page is interesting and funny but not in a trying-too-hard way.

I seriously would love to go out with you. If I weren't married, halfway across the country and old enough to be your mom.*

*Creepy, huh? Hahahaha.... wait til you are old and see how you are.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 4:18 PM on March 31, 2014 [4 favorites]

I'm not your dating audience, but I think your profile is fantastic and now I really want to hang out with you.
posted by pemberkins at 4:25 PM on March 31, 2014

The first few paragraphs seemed a bit too much - I read them without stopping to take a breath. I felt like they could be edited down a bit so it doesn't feel like you're super hyper-novelty-seeking. It felt a bit frenzied.

That said, as others are saying, your profile is a lot of fun and if I were single and dated women, I'd consider trekking down to Brooklyn to hang out and see where things went.
posted by sciencegeek at 4:33 PM on March 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

OK, your profile is good - as everyone above has said - but I'm gonna say some negative things here for contrast. Maybe it's different where I'm from (the UK), but the way you're using alcohol in those photos looks weirdly straight. You're kind of showing off that you have a drink in what look like very uncool situations (in order: an awful student night, some awful student camping thing where you're hula-hooping, some other awful place called Turkey Legs). When I see photos like that I get an exchange-student vibe: your idea of fun seems too constrained and self-conscious to be actually fun.
posted by cincinnatus c at 4:43 PM on March 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

some other awful place called Turkey Legs

Ha, I guess cheesy and historically inaccurate Renaissance Faires aren't so much of a thing in the UK...
posted by showbiz_liz at 4:45 PM on March 31, 2014 [3 favorites]

Like PercussivePaul above, I like your AskMe question more than your profile. But maybe that's just because I like frankness.

I don't think the second picture is unflattering, but it's the only one where you can see your face clearly. I'd maybe get rid of the beekeeping photo and replace it with another photo that shows your face.
posted by pravit at 4:57 PM on March 31, 2014

I would add a little something specifying what you want in your next relationship, preferably towards the top. Are you looking to meet someone to settle down with for the long term or something more casual? The username and beer/drugs stuff gives me a possibly inaccurate bias to think you're just looking casual, so if you're looking for something long term it might help to clarify that.
posted by Candleman at 5:10 PM on March 31, 2014

Add me to the list of people who would totally go to a Renaissance Festival with you. My only suggestion is to make your main photo a non-make-up photo, if you are normally a non-make-up person. The current main photo is a bit sorority sister, and I get the feeling you are not actually one.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 6:07 PM on March 31, 2014

I like it. I agree it leans a little heavy on the twee/manic/portlandia side, maybe a little more substance, but eh. Not anywhere near as bad as some.

On the pictures, I agree that you need a full "you" picture that gives a good accurate image of what you usually look like. The top pic is a little far off and made-up; the second, while I don't think it's unflattering at all - I think you have really nice features etc - looks kind of dry, and honestly a bit mom-ish (no smile, the shirt, the angle). It doesn't so much go with the general vibe of the profile. I would find or take a no-or-light makeup picture of you in a "younger" pose or environment, preferably smiling, and substitute for that one. Nobody really cares about the hair.
posted by celtalitha at 6:22 PM on March 31, 2014

My feeling was 90% "this is perfect!" and 10% "why does every section end in a punchline?" (Baby steps, wasn't gonna open with that, not too much selflessness, this shit is serious). It kind of reads as a bit insecure, undermining every point just a little bit with that quantity of self-deprecating humor. I have nothing against jokes, but as you also (later) seem like someone who values earnestness and being brave enough to really be who you are, I'd mix up joke and non-joke endings. This was also why I related to those who said it seems a bit twee/manic or "Profile reads as a bit hyperactive to me, maybe just ateensy bit defensive in a charming way..."

But overall, it's great.
posted by salvia at 7:19 PM on March 31, 2014 [4 favorites]

I'm well within your demographic, and you remind me of a number of friends of mine. I really like the second photo because you look sincere. I think leading with that one (or one like it) would help a lot with the "manic pixie girl" edge others have noted. I mean, I'm a huge introvert and I totally missed the "sitting around doing nothing at all" quip in my first reading. Even now I have the distinct impression that when you say "nothing", you're actually thinking of something I'd describe as a flutter of activity, like talking on the phone and cooking while listening to music. If that's not you, don't just laugh off your quiet time! Bump it up a bit in that section, and/or reference it again as a sort of breather between some of your more outgoing activities.

As far as the other photos go, I'd crop the minidress one so it isn't all about the guy in blue -- maybe make it portrait orientation, with the right edge just in front of his hand? The Turkey Legs photo does an especially good job of telegraphing "goofy" without being over-the-top, so you might want to move it up in the stack. Ideally I'd also like at least one photo where you're in focus, though at this point I'm just being persnickety.

Overall, I think you sound young, casual, and way more outgoing and less risk-adverse than me. I'm not sure I see "skeptical" in there anywhere -- you sound like you jump into things expecting them to be fun, and they usually are. If what you're trying to convey with "not incidentally bisexual" is that you'd be just as serious about a woman as a man, I think you should just say that (right now I read it as going with "mostly monogamous" or maybe meaning, "hey guys, I'm not just saying this so you'll think I'm hot"). I definitely don't have the impression that you're overly focused on your job or are stereotypically feminine. Most of all, you made me laugh a couple of times, and seem like a real person.
posted by teremala at 7:39 PM on March 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

I think it's adorable and exactly what you described wanting- showing you're open, a goofball, getting out to non work stuff. The second pic isn't my *favorite* (what is that, a giant bowl of popcorn in the back?) but a regular close up shot is a good thing to have. I always sort of jokingly suggest having someone take a pic from across a restaurant table, since that's how most early dates usually start. Course yours might start at Ren Faire, but even then at some point you have to sit and eat (or so I have been led to understand).
posted by sweetkid at 9:27 PM on March 31, 2014

I'm with teremala; keep your second picture. I know you are deliberately trying to avoid coming across as serious, but even with that in mind the entire profile is kind of heavy on the ironic-early-twenties-drinking-in-Brooklyn side, like you're being very light and casual and using witty prose and jokes to deflect away from being vulnerable. Slight aside: the first pic was actually taken at a strip club, rite? Because your group is very familiar: educated, middle-class 20somethings who come to ironically gawk at low culture, marvel at their presence at a ~strip club, and then don't tip because they don't want to actually engage in a way they can't handwave away. And I think the MPDG vibe people are picking up on feels like that more than it does a goofy person-- someone who is worried about engaging in a way that can't be handwaved or joked away. Your second pic defuses that ironic-distance/performer vibe because it's so open and sincere. It's a gorgeous picture of you, and you're making very intense eye contact with the camera-- you're there, that's you, that's who you are. Keep it! Don't listen to the first AskMe commenters! It balances out your profile so well; you're a goofy, witty person who is also capable of being emotionally present.
posted by moonlight on vermont at 9:30 PM on March 31, 2014 [2 favorites]

While I am not in love with the the second picture I believe it would be best if it was your profile pic...the main reason being that it balances out all the jokes/punchlines in your profile. In addition, You tend to look different in all of your pics....that second picture doesn't flatter you but it doesn't take away from just you and in that sense definitely belongs there more so than your current main pic.

For the most part you sound like a real cool person and as someone said above it all depends on your target audience. The algorithm is higher for those who are very much like you and since I am an 80% match I think I "GET" your profile but probably not like someone who has a 90% match with you.
posted by The1andonly at 10:38 PM on March 31, 2014

You're good-looking, but you really need to take better photos. The second photo is bad because you have a blank expression, and the setting is not just boring but ugly. In general no one should get pictures taken with food. Day-old popcorn is no exception to that :)

Hula hooping is great. Bees is a good conversation-starter.

In my opinion, the ren festival one makes you look really nerdy, which can be good, but I would probably skip it and look for a better shot.

Ideally use a good camera in good lighting. Summer's coming; do you own a dress? A candid shot might show a more human side of you. Not something you can arrange, I know…

Your profile is pretty good. It's funny and revelatory. Your first two sections are great. You should get rid of the "I spend a lot of time thinking about…" because it's negative. If there's someone you won't date, filter them when they write you. Focus on showing the fun part of yourself so that people want to find out about you. They can probably guess your politics anyway when you say that you're looking for someone "positive and compassionate".

Congrats on the new apartment and good luck with it!
posted by esprit de l'escalier at 12:44 AM on April 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

I already suspected I had a girlcrush on you, showbiz_liz, but your OKC profile confirmed it... I think it's dandy!
posted by désoeuvrée at 4:59 AM on April 1, 2014

Your profile kicks ass, but it looks like you aren't wearing shoes at the renaissance fair. You could step on a sword!
posted by oceanjesse at 5:34 AM on April 1, 2014

That's a great profile. My only suggestion is, perhaps move "I spend a lot of time thinking about" to under "The first things people usually notice about me". You're thoughtful as well as fun, but I missed that when I first skimmed through.
posted by danteGideon at 7:11 AM on April 1, 2014

It's very very good.

Nthing it's great except I might give you a pass because of the up for anything except drugs you have to inject line.

I read that and threw up the devil horns and laughed, for real, and then laughed again at the ren faire bit. It's good. It's real good. You're solid. I have nothing to add or change.
posted by Greg Nog at 5:54 PM on April 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'm old enough to be your father and don't pursue women young enough to be my daughter, but late-20s me -- and all my friends -- would have been all kinds of enthused and responded (non-swinishly).
posted by ambient2 at 11:51 AM on April 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

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