OKC Profilefilter, Part n+1
April 10, 2014 11:25 AM   Subscribe

I've just gotten back on OKC after a year away. Let's critique my profile!

After a hiatus, I've rejoined the site, and I'm looking for advice on how to improve my profile before I start actively messaging people. Fire away!
posted by Maecenas to Human Relations (44 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Your profile looks really sweet. Your first photo is adorable. The second one doesn't seem all that flattering.
posted by xingcat at 11:34 AM on April 10, 2014

I'm in your target audience (23 yo female, I consider myself both goofy and adventurous) and I really, really like your profile. Maybe add some more photos?
posted by schroedingersgirl at 11:34 AM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'm not in your cohort, so take my opinion with a grain of salt, but I think your profile walks that line between sincere and funny really well. I actually feel like I know something about you after reading it, and there's a lot in there to prompt a message. Your six things are probably a little generic (except for the lasers part, which is great), so you could stand to make that more personal, but that's a minor criticism.
posted by gladly at 11:42 AM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

Yeah, second picture is a little off, though I was wondering what blues dancing looks like - motion pics are difficult! I'd enlist a friend to go with you some night and take several shots of you in motion so you have a couple to choose from. Other than that, I felt like I got a good sense of your personality.
posted by theweasel at 11:43 AM on April 10, 2014

Best answer: Add more nice photos. Get rid of your second photo. It is awful.

Self-summary: After "I'm a sucker for," change cooking and music because you've already said you're into those. Cut the bit about fedoras and neckbeards.

What I'm doing: Tells me nothing about you. You live in a place and you like it in that place. Yawn. Say you're in grad school and maybe mention something interesting you've gotten into recently - a club or activity or whatever.

Really good at: Is fine.

First thing people notice: Put in spaces. It's a cute joke but you don't want any obstacles to being understood. Or maybe end it with "andIwindupsoundinglikethis."

Book, movies, etc: Is fine. I don't love the poem because it would bother me that Korean and eaten don't rhyme. If you're trying to attract someone nerdy, that might bother them too. See what others say about this, I guess. I'm just one MONSTER.

Six things: Is fine.

Spend a lot of time thinking about: You've already established that you're a scientist and that you like cooking, so this would be a good place to show a little more about yourself. What else do you think about? It can even be something dumb.

Typical Friday: Is fine.

Most private: Also fine.

You should message me if: Yes, this is good.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 11:47 AM on April 10, 2014 [2 favorites]

Also in your target audience. I agree that your second picture is less flattering than the first, but it also looks like you're having fun dancing, which is lovely to see. I wouldn't necessarily change it, but having more pictures will make sure that everyone gets an accurate idea of what you look like.

Your cat divorce story, while intriguing and potentially an icebreaker, sounds like it might be actually really sad and I don't know if I'd attempt to engage you about it, at least at first. If it's not actually a downer, I might rephrase it so it doesn't accidentally come across that way.

The fedoras and neckbeards sentiment, even though it's hard to disagree with, is a bit negative and maybe petty. If you're going to exclude one thing, that would be my first choice.

Otherwise, I think this is a really good job. It comes across as light-hearted and charming as opposed to (as is sometimes the case with light-hearted profiles) seeming a little desperately funny.
posted by onehundredand80 at 11:52 AM on April 10, 2014

I'm a little older than your target, but I can speak as a woman who's read a million of these things:

I like the anecdote type feeling of your Most Private section. Bring that to some of your sections - in particular the What I'm doing section - to make it less generic and give a better sense of you as a person. (Like what are you doing with lasers? Come on, lasers are cool.)

It's good that you're going for an action shot with picture number two, but it's not a flattering photo. Add a few more photos.

Also, I hope I'm not overstepping bounds by commenting on something you weren't asking about specifically, but I think you should get a new pair of glasses. Those are kind of outdated looking.
posted by unannihilated at 11:52 AM on April 10, 2014

I agree that the second picture is unflattering. The first one is very nice.

Consider a hairstyle change (or more regular haircuts to keep the hair off your ears, at least).
Also consider an eyeglasses style change-the ones you have aren't as flattering as they could be.

I wish that I had paid more attention to those two particular things when I was your age. Some women won't care but a lot of women will so you're artificially limiting your dating pool by not being on top of it. Especially when you're well dressed like in your first photo, those little details will make a ton of difference in your first impression. A trusted female friend who is not a potential dating partner is worth her weight in gold for this kind of thing.

The text of your profile is excellent in tone and content.
posted by Kwine at 11:53 AM on April 10, 2014

I really like the first photo - what a great twinkle in your eye. I think your second photo needs to get ditched, though. Maybe shoot a couple of photos of you cooking or in a lab coat?

Other than that, I like your profile. It could be tightened up a bit - you mention cooking and music twice in your intro - but it's really good at showing you are smart/goofy.

Speaking as a nerd girl, I'd quite like to see you expand a bit on your nerdiness: you like board games - mention a couple of games you've played? do you table top? LARP? Don't go overboard, though (I am sure you know what I mean - just keep a couple of message hooks for nerd girls). I rather like the nudge-nudge comment on fedoras, so I think you should keep it.
posted by kariebookish at 11:57 AM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

I like it, but I think a couple parts could use improvement:

The rhyme about food is a little corny and stilted for my taste.

I'd like to see a little more specificity in your "six things I could never do without" answer: the only non-generic thing you list is lasers, and I've seen the "haha I can't count to six" joke more than enough times. Sure, it's one of the more disposable questions, but it's also a good source of conversational hooks.

I think you could be more interesting in your response to your "you should message me if" question. You don't need to go into a ton of detail, but what's your idea of a goofy and adventurous good time?

None of these are huge things, and I don't think it's a big deal if you leave them as is. But, hey, since you asked.

Although I do agree with everyone saying to ditch the second photo. You kinda look like you're about to faint.
posted by Metroid Baby at 12:03 PM on April 10, 2014

Best answer: A+ profile.

Seriously, you are pinging all the right buttons here. Profile photo is a well-lit actual photo of your face, and you look nice. You get across really well the "on paper" type of stuff like what you do and what types of things interest you, and your personality also really shines through. It's not a fricken novel. No weird red flag type things you might not notice are a big deal.

If I had to make one change, I would get rid of the second photo. Are you eyes closed? It's not terrible, but it's not doing anything for you, either.

I would not change either your hairstyle or glasses. I would probably not be dating my current boyfriend if he had taken some weird advice to change his hairstyle or not wear his glasses in his OKC profile photos. His adorably weird hair and nerdy glasses are a huge part of what attracted me to him in the photos. There's no real disconnect between your appearance and how you come off in the profile. You're a science grad student. You look like a science grad student. You seem to want to attract people who like science grad students. You don't need to look like a sexy underwear model in your photos. You'll be fine.
posted by Sara C. at 12:03 PM on April 10, 2014 [11 favorites]

Is it on purpose that your username kind of spells "to bed"? As in, "let's go___" or "I'm looking for someone___"? Because that turned me off. However, while female, I am not even close to your target audience, being 30 years older than you, so take that with a grain of salt.
posted by miaou at 12:16 PM on April 10, 2014

I had pretty much that hair and pretty much those glasses when I was the OP's age and I wish I'd changed them way earlier than I did. I don't think that's weird advice, but that's about the extent of my commitment to this. Good luck, OP!
posted by Kwine at 12:18 PM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

IANIYTDROAM (I am not in your target demographic, really old, and married)

Other than the second photo (delete), I think this is a really great profile. My vote is to keep the poem and the lack of spaces when describing how you talk fast. I liked both and shows a different side than what is "typically" an engineering type. I wouldn't change a thing.*

*The only thing in your profile that may be off-putting to some is the implication that you are only going to be in Durham for a few years. If someone never wants to leave Durham and is looking for something serious, they may not contact you or be interested. That said, I would leave it in there because it is honest and relevant information.
posted by murrey at 12:29 PM on April 10, 2014

Seconding that you should remove the thing about fedoras and neckbeards - I know there's controversy over that, but for profiles, you generally want to cast your net wider, so if X people exist that would be turned off by it, I'd leave it out.

I think the poem should also be left out - it looks like it's trying a little too hard. Unless you want to scare off Liberal Arts majors, in which case keep it!

I would also remove the second photo.

Otherwise, great!
posted by corb at 12:37 PM on April 10, 2014

I am older than you, but I wouldn't change anything except the second photo. And add more photos.
posted by celtalitha at 12:41 PM on April 10, 2014

I like your poem about food. I like your tastes. The story about being divorced by a cat is cute and funny. The fact that you like to cook and would willingly engage in a multi-day cooking extravaganza earns you major, major bonus points.

The only thing I would add is, maybe a little bit about what type of relationship or person you'd like to meet. I get a good sense of your tastes and personality, but not really how you want to connect. I agree the second photo could use some improvement, do you have any photos of yourself cooking, perhaps with a finished creation?
posted by winterportage at 12:49 PM on April 10, 2014

FWIW I'm a liberal arts person and thought the poem about food was fine. It's obviously meant in a flippant manner, and accomplishes the general goals of that sort of thing. And you don't see that sort of thing every day, so it intrigues me.
posted by Sara C. at 12:52 PM on April 10, 2014 [2 favorites]

Six years older than you, but I agree. Ditch that second photo SO HARD.
posted by ancient star at 12:56 PM on April 10, 2014

Best answer: I like your profile! I actually think it's pretty great. Agreeing with others about adding more pictures. If you're really sold on keeping that second photo, I suggest captioning it with "Yeah, I have no idea why I'm wearing a blank nametag, either." But definitely more. I'm really skeptical of people with only 1 or 2 pictures, like they're either intentionally hiding something or are too lazy to take a serious go at dating.

I'd lose the sixth thing joke, because oh man yeah, that one is played out bad. Like 90% of the profiles I see (I'm okc'ing right now myself) have some kind of "can't count to six" type joke in there. Maybe plunk in some Latin phrase about...I don't know, something you like. You'll figure out something clever.

I'm also a big fan of putting lots of opportunities in your profile for folks to respond to. Under food? List some kinds of food that you like. Put something like "if you can help me perfect my lasagna recipe, I'll swoon" or whatever is most relevant to your likes. Next to your bit about cute animal gifs, put in a link to your favorite one and say "I challenge anyone to find me a sleepy corgi cuter than this one." Make it as interactive as possible. I've packed my profile with as much opportunity for people to talk to me as possible. I get lots (from anecdotal experience I'd guess more than average) of messages that actually have content, of dudes responding specifically to something in my profile and asking questions about it.

Basically, make it as easy as possible for someone to find a reason to talk to you. And more pictures. But I think you're on the right track!
posted by phunniemee at 1:00 PM on April 10, 2014

Hey fellow Duke friend! I think your profile looks great, especially for the area--you're definitely hitting all the right marks (food, nerdiness, acknowledging that neckbeards and fedoras generally hide monsters). But...general agreement to ditch the second picture. On the mouseover it's a bit terrifying. Also, if you ever get over the pain of divorce and feel like you want another cat, I work with an animal rescue group, so...we could give you all the cats. Good luck!
posted by heathenduchess at 1:03 PM on April 10, 2014

I am your target audience +3 years, and if you were near me, I would totally date you. Your profile is uniquely pleasant and appealing and your writing style is just perfect. A+, would look again.
posted by Hermione Granger at 1:16 PM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

I disagree with the advice to cut the second photo because I suspect it's what you look like in real life and I think it can be off-putting to go out on a date with someone who ohhhhh as it turns out doesn't look a whole lot like his online dating profile picture. I do think that putting up more pictures of yourself can only be a good thing. Like phunniemee said, when I was dating I could be skeptical of profiles with only 1-2 pictures.
posted by kate blank at 1:27 PM on April 10, 2014

Is it on purpose that your username kind of spells "to bed"

Funny, I parsed it as "TBD" or to be determined!
posted by kate blank at 1:29 PM on April 10, 2014

Oh. And answer more match questions!
posted by phunniemee at 1:46 PM on April 10, 2014

A+++ profile. Second pic looks kind of like a religious session rather than dancing, you may want to use a different one. I would cut the fedora/neckbeard caveat about your gaming group; "we're nerds but we're not like THOSE nerds" statements tend to make me (a nerd girl) suspicious and skeptical, including when the qualities you're talking about are sexism and inappropriate social behavior.
posted by moonlight on vermont at 1:52 PM on April 10, 2014

As another nerd girl in your target age range, the fedora comment also weirds me out, maybe because it seems too defensive. Like, as a nerd, when I hear board games I for sure don't jump to "sad fedora-wearing MRA" - I'm like, "oh man I wonder if s/he plays Battlestar Galactica".

Second photo is weird, find a different one. On the other hand I hate dancing so maybe I'm biased.

Food poem is good.

This is a good profile, as everyone else has said. Good job. :)
posted by goodbyewaffles at 2:13 PM on April 10, 2014

I'm not your demographic (old and taken) but I've slogged my way through OK Cupid in the not-too-distant past. Your profile is a breath of fresh air. I find sarcasm and over-the-top quirkiness to be a turn-off in things like this. I'm trying to get an idea of who you are, not looking to be entertained! As another person said above, you walk the fine line between sincere and funny very, very well. I smiled as I read your profile and, were I not old and taken, I would have considered responding.

And then I would have seen that second photo and slammed my laptop shut in horror.

Just kidding...but you should find a better second pic. I like that it's one of you dancing, but find one with your eyes open and you not crouching over.
posted by Elly Vortex at 2:29 PM on April 10, 2014

Yay, blues dancer! Unfortunately, finding a flattering picture of blues dancing when you are not either embracing someone intimately and/or really sweaty... is difficult. I would keep searching, though, or just not use a blues photo.

Can you tell me more about the kind of science you do? Lasers ... cool. Engineering... cool. But vague!
posted by ChuraChura at 2:34 PM on April 10, 2014

Ok, I'm older than dirt and married, so probably not your demographic at all, but I love nerdy guys (before it was cool, ya'll!) so maybe my thoughts count for something.

I love the photo on the first page. You look handsome and mature, yet your natural nerdiness shines through in a most adorable way.

(But isn't that a moth on your shoulder, not a butterfly? Maybe you're joking, but it's hard to tell and it could get you dropped a couple of IQ points in the estimation of someone trying to form a first impression on the fly.)

Second picture... not so hot. You're still adorable but you look super young, desperately in need of a haircut and you're walking an edge of dorkiness there that gave me pause. Because in the first picture you are obviously cleaned up for picture day or whatever, I would tend to conclude that you probably look like pic #2 most of the time and my initial "whoa, cute" feeling kind of started circling the drain.

It seems like you've cleaned up the written part of the profile per some of the suggestions above, and I think it's great. Sounds natural, amusing but not trying too hard, etc. I would be interested in knowing more about you if I were looking. I liked the cat divorce, that's quite a unique and funny anecdote.

Overall, I think it's great. Mainly I'd just like to see a couple more flattering pictures.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 2:56 PM on April 10, 2014

If I lived in NC I would totally message you! I really enjoyed ready your profile.

If you were going to change anything, I would add more pictures.
posted by firei at 2:59 PM on April 10, 2014

You're 23 but looking for girls 22-30? Hmmm. I assume it's because you'd like to avoid people still in undergrad, but that seemed like a weird age range.
posted by estlin at 3:24 PM on April 10, 2014

I'm too old to understand about neckbeards, but don't mind the defensive maneuver (but then I'm not into board games and would want that reassurance. So, not your target. If you'd like a fellow player, perhaps mention a good game you like as well). I like the whole write-up, actually, poem and cat story and all. You seem sweet and fun, and the first picture is great. (I'm in agreement with others about the second.)

I came to comment on the glasses, as a fellow glasses-wearer and woman (who admittedly is outside your demographic). I honestly would have a hard time seeing past the wire frames (heh). I could maybe learn to pretend they weren't there after several real life meetings, but not after one, unless I were overcome by a tsunami of charm and oxytocin, and Jon Stewart or Sam Beckett could have written the profile but I would still flick past it because of those specs. This may well say more about me than anything, but there's a data point.

I like your hair though, and you're otherwise adorable. Happy dating!
posted by cotton dress sock at 3:36 PM on April 10, 2014

One little thing - you mention food like six times and you never get specific. What are you good at? Most proficient home cooks I know have a specialty, for me it's salad and some stews and crepes and roasting coffee, for my friends it's barbecue or pickling or baking. Add detail.
posted by slow graffiti at 4:49 PM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

So, I don't know if this has been said before, but when I read down to the end about the cat divorcing "us" (all well and good, good story), I was kind of like, "Wait, who is us? Is this one of those married people seeking extramarital sex profiles?" To me it just reads a little bit like something you say while sitting next to your significant other and them adding some comment to the story. Just change the pronoun or clarify if it was your roommate or something.

Other than that you seem super charming. I vote strongly in favor of keeping the food poem. Dorky but very charming. Also I think the age range is normal. If you are a grad student it makes sense for you to want to date grad schooly age ranges and is it's kind of nice that you didn't put 18-22 or whatever.
posted by mermily at 5:06 PM on April 10, 2014

Best answer: I'm also not your demographic (older, wrong city) but overall this is not bad!

Advice I wouldn't take if I were you:

- Don't lose the neckbeard comment! For everyone who's put off there's someone who's run into enough fedoras and/or neckbeards around these (OKC) parts for their reaction to that to be "oh thank God." I feel like that is more likely to be your target audience.

- Age range: So maybe some people commenting on this don't really know the area, but Durham is a college town, in range of another college town (Chapel Hill/Carrboro), so anyone under 21 will almost certainly be an undergrad. If you don't want to date undergrads, you don't want to date undergrads, (you might not be allowed to date undergrads?) and that is totally fine. Shit, I live in a major city, when I was your age my age range was 23-35, and in practice I never dated the lower end.

Things that I would change:

- You need more photos. One close-cropped head shot isn't gonna cut it, especially because from comments upthread it doesn't seem like the first photo looks all that much like you. (Also, and please don't take this the wrong way, given that you haven't filled out "body type," one of those photos is going to have to be full-body. Yes, it sucks. Yes, it's probably going to filter some people out. They'd have been filtered out after the first date anyway, and, well, this sucks infinitely worse for girls. Deal with it.)

- The "six things I can't do without," apart from the lasers, is a bit... bland? You've pretty much covered music, food and literature above, at least in such general terms.

- I would maybe answer more questions if I were you.

- This is dumb and possibly just me, but: I get that you don't want it to say "to bed," but "to_be_d" just reminds me of, um, "the D." yeeaahhh maybe you should just go back to the drawing board on the username in general?
posted by dekathelon at 6:50 PM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

I want to apologize for insulting your glasses. I have unusually strong feelings about eyewear due to having been forced to wear hideous ones as a kid in the 1980s (not that there were other options). From this pain comes acute sensitivity, and the recommendation to consider rectangular semi-rimless frames in a very light brown tortoiseshell. There are some that are light and so flexible you can sleep in them. You really are adorable and I do wish you luck in love - I'm sure you'll meet someone as nice as you seem to be.
posted by cotton dress sock at 8:38 PM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

Your profile is great. I think you must have made changes already because some of the above comments aren't making sense.

Agree with: more photos but I'm glad you are using a well-lit, honest picture of yourself. It makes you seem confident!

You should articulate better what you are looking for. Goofy and adventurous is too vague.
posted by cranberrymonger at 9:14 PM on April 10, 2014

Hell, I'd message you, and I'm a straight guy in his late 30s.

Although you might consider some of the tweaks suggested upthread, such as eliminating repetition, the overall vibe is of someone capable of quirky good humor and open to the beauty of life. But without going too pixie-manic with it. You are mostly walking that line really well. The "cat divorce" is a perfect example; it highlights sensitivity without being maudlin, and shows a unique sensibility without being overly sarcastic/flippant.

Yes, there are some cliched sections. "Cuddles," cat vids, meh. Those interests are implied by the overall tone, and kind of come off as pandering when stated explicitly. Better to reveal them as charming details as you get to know someone in person. I think there may be a more skillful way of addressing the neckbeard/fedora concern without being quite as obvious or sounding quite so defensive. Getting ahead of misconceptions and/or clarifying circumstances that are typically dealbreakers can be really tricky in a dating profile. During my most recent OKC round, I learned that I had to address the fact that I didn't drive; I had one woman invite me on a second date, then immediately back out when I explained I would be meeting her by bus. It took some experimenting to find a way to get this situation across in advance, to help weed out people fixated on car ownership as a top signifier of being a grown-ass man, while avoiding a string of negative statements. Even though I'm not part of that scene, I'm betting there's a way to signal your gaming hobby to readers who are hip to it, while not calling undue attention from those who have negative, neckbeard associations.

As for pictures, the more the better. Always. The first one should definitely be flattering (and I agree with many that yours looks nice and approachable), the others can be goofy/weird/whatever, really. The main point of auxiliary photos is that they show you living a life. They give a bad impression if they're just selfies, no matter how handsome they make you look. My last profile showed me out and about, included some good shots of my cooking (I leaned heavily on that angle, myself), and didn't shy away from pics of me being a total dork.

Oh, and definitely answer as many questions as you feel comfortable answering. Be careful about trying to be too clever with them, too. Your answers may end up turning some otherwise-compatible people off (clarifying addendum to the questions can help with this), but people really do pay attention to that match percentage.

You know you're doing something right as a guy-looking-for-ladies-online if they message you first, and after a scan of your profile, I suspect you'll largely be able to sit back and let them come to you. Best of luck.
posted by credible hulk at 8:21 AM on April 11, 2014

Your profile text is fine, but you need someone to take pictures of you doing something like cooking or drinking or dancing or science-ing.
posted by oceanjesse at 8:31 AM on April 11, 2014

Hello! If you bring a camera with you next time you come out dancing, I'll take some more photos of you if you want (if I'm there, which I probably will be). I'm not a stellar photographer or anything but at least you'll have some more action shots to choose from.
posted by aka burlap at 3:38 PM on April 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

Presently? Fantastic. I only wish people with profiles like yours A) Were 35+ in Seattle, and B) Messaged me.
posted by Because at 11:36 PM on April 12, 2014

I don't know if any of you folks have checked back in on this, but the new second photo is of OP receiving hugs from baby goats. I REPEAT: HUGS FROM BABY GOATS.

I think this was a good choice.
posted by phunniemee at 6:40 AM on May 16, 2014

posted by kate blank at 10:49 AM on May 16, 2014

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