Let me know what you think of my OKCupid profile?
April 11, 2014 8:38 AM   Subscribe

Sorry to continue the recent trend of OKCupid profile reviews, but I'd like more feedback on mine.

I asked for feedback on my profile before. A couple of months ago to be exact. I haven't been getting any results at all since then. I came back from a trip to South America recently and uploaded a few cool pictures to my profile, but I haven't met anyone yet. Not even for coffee. I'm always going back and forth between keeping it short and minimal (so that I'm not revealing too much) and just filling it out completely.

I've been trying to be as active as I can on the website. I view profiles and I message people but none of them respond. I know online dating is hard but I just want to make sure I'm doing everything that I can. I can understand if no one around my area is compatible with me (I like creative people and they all live in the city). I'm just wondering if there's anything on my profile that's turning people off. If so, I'd like to fix it.

posted by MeaninglessMisfortune to Human Relations (19 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Your profile is private. You could provide an example of the messages you send for critique as well, as that can have as big an impact as your profile.
posted by mymbleth at 8:40 AM on April 11, 2014

Ah, fixed it. Sorry about that. It should be public now.

Messages I send are short and to the point. Usually something along the lines of "Hi, I really dig your profile. Your halloween costume is really awesome. Did anyone know who you were?" - if something in their profile catches my interest, I usually ask about it.
posted by MeaninglessMisfortune at 8:45 AM on April 11, 2014

You need more content, more specific stuff about yourself--either your passions or something that conveys your personality. Your biggest section right now is the movies/food/etc one, and it's hard for people to connect deeply with someone over a list of the TV shows they watch.
posted by needs more cowbell at 8:45 AM on April 11, 2014

The Good:
-You're attractive (always helps)
-Your writing is clear and decently-written
-You come across as nice

The Bad:
-There's really nothing that helps me understand your personality or interests (beyond illustration, which isn't really a date activity)
-The self-summary section needs to be longer, more detailed, and more interesting (and I wouldn't use "artistic human being" - it's just kind of odd to call yourself a human being)
-Needs a lot more detail about how you spend your time - what do you do with your friends? What do you like to do on dates? What would you talk about with someone you went out with? What are you *interested* in?

The Real Problem:
-I think your real problem is actually the messages. When I've gotten messages that are three lines, mention one thing in my profile, and then ask a yes/no question, I don't feel like I have anything to go on if I write back. Particularly with a kind of generic profile like yours. Imagine that person writing back...they'd say "yes, people knew who I was..." then what? Make it engaging, and as easy for them to respond to as possible. I think two short paragraphs is ideal...explain more about yourself, ask open-ended questions based on their profile, riff on something they're interested in that you've also done or been wanting to do. Even if you don't add much to your profile, I think putting a lot more effort into your messages will yield you much more success.

Good luck!
posted by leitmotif at 8:53 AM on April 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

Still private...
posted by saradarlin at 8:54 AM on April 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

Sorry. Browser trouble. It's definitely public now.
posted by MeaninglessMisfortune at 9:03 AM on April 11, 2014

By far your most detailed answers are in the Books/Movies/Music section- so find people who share similar tastes and make the initial conversation about that! When I was on OKC I clicked the most with people who had similar tastes as me. It means you'll have a lot to talk about, and (probably) a similar outlook and things in common. Like if I saw your profile I'd probably talk to you about Sammy Harkham and Simon Hansellman! I don't agree that your profile is generic, it shows that your main interests are the arts and that's awesome. Find people who share that passion, and talk to them about it. Like "Oh hey, so what's your favourite Vonnegut!" will elicit more of a response than "your profile's nice". What do you say to that? "Uh, thanks?"
posted by mymbleth at 9:13 AM on April 11, 2014

I like your profile. A couple of minor suggestions:

(1) Just don't answer the "most private thing" question if there's nothing in particular you want to say there. You don't have to answer every section (or at least it never bothers me when people skip some), and it's kind of boring to read variations of "then it wouldn't be private" in that section.

(2) Put something a little more genuine/substantial and less self-deprecating in the "I'm really good at" section. You don't have to answer the exact question if you feel weird about saying you're *really* good at something, you can say "I'm pretty good at..." or even "I like [doing whatever].
posted by treese at 9:23 AM on April 11, 2014

I feel your pain on the everyone-is-in-the-city front (I'm on Long Island and I'm having the same problem).

I agree that writing longer/more detailed messages would help. You're on the right track asking questions, but it'd be better if they weren't yes/no questions (e.g., "Did people recognize your costume?"). I would also err on the side of adding some more detail to your profile, although that may just be my personal preference. But in general, your profile is pretty good and you come across well.

Like "Oh hey, so what's your favourite Vonnegut!" will elicit more of a response than "your profile's nice".

The Vonnegut question is, almost verbatim, the first message I got from a guy that I ended up dating for about a year. So I guess I can recommend that approach?
posted by pemberkins at 9:23 AM on April 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

You're too old not to capitalize the first letter of sentences. I'm not by any means a grammar snob, but that's something I would notice and be turned off by.

I also think the profile comes off as not telling me all that much about you. You talk about your art a lot but not in a very specific way. The profile needs more character and more concrete examples. What are your comics about? Who do you do bad impressions of? Why not say something about your trip to Ecuador?

Don't take "the most private thing" section so seriously it's a good place to be a little self deprecating or tell people something quirky about you. You don't need to spill your deepest secrets.

Make your "you should message me if" section less generic. I don't think your profile is bad but as someone in your age range who was using OkCupid it wouldn't inspire me to write to you and while I'd probably write you back but there is room for improvement.
posted by SpaceWarp13 at 9:36 AM on April 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

It sounds like your pool might be limited, culturally/geographically, but I'm guessing that there's something in how you are presenting yourself -- or not presenting yourself -- that is not appealing to the women who are available in your area. Given your stated interests, the profile isn't very descriptive or evocative, so I'm guessing that's part of the issue.

Making a successful online dating profile takes practice to get right. It requires you to figure out your target "market" and appeal to that demographic with charm and efficiency. This means that you have to think of yourself in advertising terms; how can you get your main selling points -- and dealbreakers -- across, while remaining both positive and honest? How can you show a potential date that you'll fill a need for them, and what needs does your ideal date have, anyway? Think about what your theoretical future partner needs, then show how you can supply it. If you don't know, you need to find out. This does not mean trying to be everything to everybody, and it definitely doesn't mean lying. It just means selling, in the best sense of the word.

To be more specific, this is a "show, not tell" situation. You have good taste in popular culture, tending towards the edgy/bizarre. Instead of only listing say, Tim & Eric, show a Tim & Eric sensibility. (Well, not the creepy or shrimp-vomiting aspect of a Tim & Eric sensibility, obviously.) You draw cartoons at a high level? Freakin' put some in your photo set, if possible. Speaking of photos, yours are great: they show you out in the world, doing things, and they highlight something -- your Latin American roots -- that is meaningful to you and that makes you relatively unique. Make sure that the rest of the profile shows that you are doing things, as well. Even if you are -- like me -- not a success-oriented, highly extroverted person, there are still lots of ways to indicate a general level of doing things in your life.

Just as you should be aiming for specificity and targeted appeal in your profile, you should be applying the same principle in your messaging. Figure out what a woman is saying/showing in her profile that appeals to you. Zero in on that and make compatible references to it, or ask open-ended questions about it. Practice gauging the appropriate tone; does this woman's profile indicate that she wants a silly, lighthearted approach, or one that's more soulful/serious? Again, the trick is to be the "yourself" that the other person wants; not dishonest or randomly desperate, but genuine in a tailored way.
posted by credible hulk at 9:40 AM on April 11, 2014

I'd like to feel a little more passion and personality earlier in the profile, very much agree with leitmotif on that. Some people won't read the whole thing if the first sections don't grab them, and your self summary is two brief, generic sentences (who doesn't like humor, art, conversation, beer, when put in those bald terms?). If you could expand them to be a little more specific - what kinds of humor, art, conversation - it would feel less impersonal. Or add other things that convey who you are. Do you feel that your tastes are outliers in your area and are trying not to put people off if they don't share them? If so, that's tricky, but remember that showing you have passions and strong interests can be appealing even if someone doesn't like the exact same things.

It's a hard balancing act between showing the things you share with others and the things that are special about you. And no judgment here - I'm so bad at writing profiles that I can't do internet dating! Yours is decent, it just needs to convey more of a sense of your personality.

Also agree with previous posters to just skip the 'most private thing' section and that you should capitalize evenly throughout the post.
posted by sumiami at 9:57 AM on April 11, 2014

A couple other things: you don't talk at all about the kind of music you play yourself - this could be a good place to expand, since it seems very important to you; and I have to say I'm not crazy about your username. I like both guitars and meditation, but I have to say that name screams New Age to me (yes, I grew up in the Bay Area), and that is a definite turn-off (apologies if you're into New Age stuff!). Sometimes the subtle stuff like that can really play against you when people are making quick decisions based on little information.
posted by sumiami at 10:07 AM on April 11, 2014

I agree with the above. You profile is a little generic. Finding a spark on OKC is all about details. You could really expand on a lot of things you simply hint at right now. There's lots for people to be interested in! However, you have to open the door a little wider:

Self summary: You like humor? What kind? Do you have specific comedians that you like? You are artistic...who are your main influences? Consider posting a photo of you drawing, so people can see your art as well. If you could have dinner with any artist, alive or dead, who would it be? What type of cold beer? Hoppy IPAs? Microbrews with silly names? Where do these conversations take place? On your screened in porch in the summer? At a local, interesting spot potential dates might like to meet you at? You have a guitar, and it's important enough that it shows up in your profile name, you 6 things, and your "typical Friday" - what type of music do you play? What are your favorite songs? Do you sing as well? Do you perform somewhere?

What I'm doing with my life: You just went to South America! I would definitely include an anecdote about that. You can't go all the way to Macchu Picchu without having at least one funny / interesting story.

I'm really good at: What types of movies? Give an example of some trivia, " I can tell you the lead actors in every Kubrick film ever made" Who can you do impressions of? Are we talking Bob Sagat or Sean Connery here? Will these impressions lead to amused eye rolling, or falling-off-my-chair laughing? Both?

Typical Friday - again, be specific..what type of weekend do you consider "not wasted"? Give an example of a weekend date that you would take someone on, i.e. making brunch and driving to a local spot to hike and serenade her with your guitar (or something like that)

Seconding skipping the "most private thing" unless you can come up with something a little cheekier than that :)

I like the "message me if". That's the kind of humor and insight into your personality that could shine through each section. Your photos are great, you could also add one of you playing guitar.

Good luck!!
posted by ananci at 10:43 AM on April 11, 2014

I think that your profile has a potential - you can see hints of interesting hobbies and ways to connect with people, and I think that you just need to flesh these things out.

So some ideas:

-A picture of you doing some of your art projects, whether it be painting, sculpture, paper mache, whatever it is (and maybe it text tell a little more about that too).

-Nthing a picture of you with the guitar and text as to what types of music you like to play.

Also, make a list of "you should message me if" things to pick from (genuine and funny is subjective and doesn't suggest doing anything), but maybe things like:

-You have a guitar and want to play some music with me.
-You also dabble in art and want to make a paper mache mountain with me.
-You want to learn how to play twinkle twinkle little star on the guitar.
-You would like to check out art exhibit X.
-You would like to go to concert Y this weekend or next month.

...or something like this.

Also, for your messages, I would try an entirely different approach. You have some cool hobbies, OP, why not find some people who have the same and you can ask specific questions and connect a bit better? So perhaps do a search for dating partners in your area who like Kurt Vonnegut or play the guitar or whatever. You can start with you also like X, you like Y in particular, you are curious what they like about Q - etc. But the challenge with messages in OKC are that people send many generic messages, and after a while, it can become noise. Show that you are reading something and that there is a reason you are replying to that person's specific profile.

OP, I really think that you and your profile have a lot of potential, just try minor tweaking. Good luck.
posted by Wolfster at 11:18 AM on April 11, 2014

In your self-summary, I feel that "Sometimes I feel like I'm surrounded by a lot of people who don't appreciate art," might come off as kind of snooty/superior, especially when it's the second sentence on your profile.

Also, in the second section, I would first start off with what you currently do, what your job is, and then get into your aspirations. I think that in the age bracket you're going for, it's important to establish that you have an actual career/income. Your dreams as an artist are real and important, but I'd like to know, as a potential date, that you're not the caricature of a starving artist.
posted by alona at 5:27 PM on April 11, 2014

I'm a woman in your general location and target demographic.

Take out "I like laughing a lot." TAKE IT OUT RIGHT NOW. In fact, take out that whole paragraph the sentence is in.

EVERYBODY LIKES TO LAUGH. As someone who has read a million of these profiles, as soon as I read that, I'm going to assume you're just as bland and unoriginal as that sentence, and probably won't even bother to read the rest of the profile. Harsh but true.

This sort of generic-ness is a theme throughout your profile, and if I got a message from you, I might message you back if I had the time, but I probably wouldn't get excited about it. Your friends and family are something you can't do without? Wow, you don't say. You've taken up running like half the people on this site? Wow, you don't say.

That said, you do have some neat things in your profile, and I think you should expand on them. You do cartoon work and illustration? Whoa, that's cool. What kind of work do you do? You just went to Ecuador? Whoa, that's cool. What did you do there?

I'm sorry if my tone is harsh, I'm just giving the perspective of a jaded and weary veteran of the online dating scene.
posted by unannihilated at 7:27 AM on April 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

I liked your profile and would have totally messaged you if you didn't live on the other coast (I'm also in your target demographic). So, that's good! My suggestions though:

- Delete your last photo of you squinting. It's not flattering/adding much to your profile.
- I agree with the other comments to write more detailed or thoughtful intro messages. I hate it when someone writes "I like your profile"! Argh!
posted by Paper rabies at 7:00 PM on April 12, 2014

Ha! I looked at your profile first, and then read this thread. Clearly MeFi has given some good advice, and you have taken it and run with it very impressively. I was going to say that your profile definitely stands out, in a really good way, with the "message me if" section and the fact that omg you have a folder of photos of your art! That is awesome! I've never seen anyone do anything like that on okc, and if I did I would have to message the person just to compliment him on that. (Not to mention the fact that the smoking guy with the deer head and the clownfish made me giggle. Also good!)

I like idiosyncratic, obviously, so if it were me I wouldn't object to seeing that a little more in the earlier answers. But if you'd written me, you would have hooked me with the things I mentioned. The only thing I would do at this point would be to change "hoping to have any of my work published" to "hoping to have some of my work published". "Any" sounds maybe a little desperate.

I would pop over to somebody's profile if I got a message like the ones you said you send. And then I would see the awesome things, and I would write back.

I say well done.
posted by Because at 7:02 PM on April 12, 2014

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