Another "critique my OkCupid profile!" Please impart your dating wisdom.
August 26, 2014 8:40 AM   Subscribe

I've linked my profile Here. I'm planning on getting better pictures, but welcome any other suggestions.

I've been getting significantly less messages as I get older (to be expected) and want to have the best profile I can. I'd ideally like to meet nerdy, physically active, young-at-heart men around my age who are looking for a serious, child-free relationship. I tend to get more responses from older guys with kids and a sports-watching habit.

So...any glaring red flags? Suggestions? Is the mention that I'm looking for a relationship apt to scare men off, as insisted on by some of my guy friends? I didn't initially have that there, but got tired of guys looking for casual dating.

posted by seraph9 to Human Relations (26 answers total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: poster's request -- cortex

What scares guys off your profile is the same thing, I think, that scares women off mine: "If you have a lot of different interests." That's intimidating to a guy who mainly works and watches TV. "Man, this woman is going to make me think and be active and learn stuff, and all I want to do on the weekend is mow the lawn and watch football." You sound like a handful, and lots of people don't want that.

I'll send you an OKCupid message so you can see my profile--not gonna post it here. I've gone through phases where I tone it down and get lots of dates, but those dates are with women who mainly work and watch TV. I intentionally weirded-up my profile to attract hippies and artists, and thus have gotten a lot fewer emails, but the dates have been more interesting.
posted by MrMoonPie at 8:49 AM on August 26, 2014 [4 favorites]

I could be wrong. I think that you come off as wanting to be 'one of the boys' and perhaps you should just say that you are looking for a man who can keep up with your level of play and interests. They seem to be wide ranging but will probably narrow especially as you pursue IT as a career path long term. Unfortunately all my coder friends seem to have become permanent libertarian bachelors.
posted by parmanparman at 9:02 AM on August 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

No red flags. Looks great. I think dating is a numbers game. wade through the guys you don't like politely and wait for a few good bites.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:08 AM on August 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

It seems pretty good to me! One thing could be that you're quite... vague? about your life- saying you "plan adventures" isn't quite the same as saying you like hiking or spelunking or whatever it is you do. Perhaps most people your age would be a little disconcerted by not having a more clear idea of what your day to day life is like, or think of you as a bit "flighty" or something. If a young-at-heart person does come along I'm sure they'd love that aspect, but the reason you're not getting many messages could be because there's not as many of them as there are people who are looking to settle down.
posted by mymbleth at 9:09 AM on August 26, 2014 [3 favorites]

Just a few thoughts:

None of your pictures really show your full face.
There's a big push to seem worldly and well traveled, which can be off putting for those who haven't done much travelling.
I'm not sure the random facts really get across too much. Maybe move this info to the Favorites section and rewrite to be a bit more forthcoming. (ex: "I'm into xyz and finding someone to share those activities with" + current last paragraph)
It may be true but having "I'm quiet" as "what people notice first" might be a hurdle that people don't want to attempt. As it is, it reads as "I am difficult to talk to." Maybe something positive would be better here (I'm a good friend/have green eyes/creative/artistic/fun-loving)
"Most private thing" is very similar to "what people notice" and might be furthering that idea that you're difficult to get to know.
In the favorites category, it can't hurt to be a bit more specific and to provide a bit more meat for conversation. Like, with favorite foods, maybe mention your favorite restaurants in the area. A bit more details all around might be nice.
posted by Flamingo at 9:11 AM on August 26, 2014 [3 favorites]

Here are the impressions of you I get from your profile:
-intellectually confident
-physically confident (the rock climbing picture)
-independent, not needy
-very attractive, attractive enough to be able to pick and choose.

If I were a single dude I would have messaged you already. I do think that your profile gives off a confident and self sufficient sort of vibe, which I imagine does scare off a lot of (the wrong kind of) people. Also, as someone else pointed out, there isn't a ton to hang an opening off of. Likeā€¦ zombies? What's someone going to ask you about zombies?
posted by fingersandtoes at 9:14 AM on August 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

You are extremely attractive according to all of the conventional Western standards, FWIW. I don't think your photos are the issue at all. Not sure why dudes aren't lined up around your proverbial block.

The issue might be that you have limited your search to 30-something men only. Since you don't want kids, why not expand your search to also include men in their 40s and 20s? Certainly some of them qualify, too.
posted by hush at 9:16 AM on August 26, 2014

Yes, you come across as flighty, child-like, free-spirited, adventurous, and not like a serious adult who mainly works and watches TV. If that's who you are, great! I imagine you won't get a lot of responses, but maybe the ones you get will be the ones you want.
posted by htid at 9:17 AM on August 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

You sound neat and your photos are lovely.
If I were okcupiding and came across your profile, I'd want some more specifics - Plotting what kind of adventures? What do you do when you're spending time with friends? Why are you learning web design? More whats and more whys from you to give me a sense of not just what you do, but what you're like.
posted by entropone at 9:18 AM on August 26, 2014 [4 favorites]

You are 37 and you don't want to date guys over 40, or who have or might want kids and you are only looking for a long term relationship? To be frank cuts your dating pool down significantly. None of these are a deal breaker, but together they eliminate a lot of men before we even start.

You are clearly attractive smart and confident, but you also seem random & evasive. I don't get a good sense of who you are, what you are looking for or what you have to offer from it. You don't say what you actual job is, (are you an archeologist, a paleontologist a web designer - pick one and say it is your job with the second one as a Clark Kent if you must) or what your actual hobbies are (except rock climbing - which is cool but it is a pretty specific hobby that is going to scare as many people away as it clicks with). Frankly it reads like a list of random cool things - fine but give it more of a narrative rather than a scatterbrain

Being harsh I would just remove your income it from your profile as is never going to be a positive at your age.
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory at 9:19 AM on August 26, 2014 [7 favorites]

i think it looks great in general, though it is hard to see what your long-term plans are, which people in this age bracket will be looking for (that might be why it comes across a little young, as someone upthread mentioned).

Working in one or two 5-year plan type goals could help, I think. For example, are you studying to be a programmer now? Planning a big trip abroad? Are you committed to staying in the area long term and maybe buying or building a house, or are you working over the next few years to set up a working visa in New Zealand/move to NYC/etc?
posted by susanvance at 10:29 AM on August 26, 2014

I'd suggest that you remove your income & that you open up your range a bit more to include guys who are early 40s. Other than that, you seem interesting & attractive.
posted by belladonna at 11:00 AM on August 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'm a 37 yo dude who is adventurous and likes to travel, so I'm probably your target demographic. There are no "red flags", so I would take a shot messaging you, but your profile is pretty bland to me so you wouldn't be high on my list. Here's why:

- Your pictures are bad. Not just bland, but flat out bad. They don't show your face, but also the color and framing as bad, and I would expect an artist to know better. The black and white shot is your best one IMO, and the main one of you drawing is ok, but the others are poor. You really need to up your game there.
- You are dressed down in all your pics. The bad rap that artists get is that they are kind of bums, and your outfits reinforce that. Make one pic where you are wearing something nice and you are made up reasonably well. It doesn't have to be a glamour shot or bridesmaid pic, but something that is business-y and shows I could take you to a work function with me and you would fit in reasonably well would help.
- You say no kids, do not want them. After age 30 the dating market has a lot of divorcees and single parents. Specify if you are ok with that. You can expand "I don't want kids of my own, but I'm ok dating someone who already has kids" or whatever. If you won't date guys with kids, say that too, but it cuts your options way down.
- For the self-summary, I dislike random facts. It feels like a scatter shot when you need to be precise. Tell me a story, the story of you. Where you grew up and went to school, the experiences you've had, and (most importantly) the kind of person that that those experiences have turned you in to. That is what I'm looking for in a profile, some sense of who you are, not just random facts about you.
- Your "What I'm doing with my life" is pretty generic. Pick one of your items and go a little more in depth with it. Where do you work? Why are you learning web design? What kind of adventures? Give me a hook here, something that makes you interesting.
- "I'm really good at" is also kind of generic. I feel it would be better if you talked more about your drawing and writing here, your style and influences or something, or maybe trips you have planned and how epic they were.
- I agree with the others about the age thing. Most women look for older guys, so a typical 37 yo would have a range 35-45 or so. You might explain why yours is different, and if you are open to guys outside their 30s.
- In "Message me", the Venice thing strikes me as weird. May be just me though. Add another item to the "If you are up for some adventures" line so it follows the rule of 3

Your other sections look good.

Good luck finding your match
posted by I am the Walrus at 11:13 AM on August 26, 2014 [7 favorites]

seraph9: "Is the mention that I'm looking for a relationship apt to scare men off, as insisted on by some of my guy friends? I didn't initially have that there, but got tired of guys looking for casual dating."

Actually, you need to clarify this part then. I assume that people on dating sites are interested in sex, so when you say "I'm looking to meet new people" and you are looking "For new friends" I assume that means you are ok casually dating (see this previous OKC answer).

I thought based on your profile that you are looking to start off casual and gradually build to a relationship.

Otherwise, women usually state that they are looking for a relationship up front, and the dates tend to be less of a fun hang-out and more of an evaluation.

If you are looking for platonic (i.e. sex-less) friendships that might turn into relationships, I don't know that online dating is right for you.

I don't know if it scares guys off, but if that's what you want then you should state it unequivocally, because otherwise you are wasting your and their time with mismatched intents.
posted by I am the Walrus at 11:29 AM on August 26, 2014

Don't use the word "random."
posted by ablazingsaddle at 11:39 AM on August 26, 2014 [2 favorites]

You're a beautiful woman, but your profile picture doesn't do you justice. The one of you drawing is just not a great one of you. In the archaeology and couch lounging pictures you look stunning, too bad they're not suitable for main profile photos. Perhaps you should get some new ones taken if you don't have some better close-ups. The OkCupid dating blog has a lot of information on best practices for profile pictures to help you consider what pictures to use as your main.
posted by lizbunny at 12:00 PM on August 26, 2014

Your income/occupation is not what I would expect of an ambitious, college-educated, experienced 37yo unless they spent all their time and energy in their late 20s and early 30s on other things (taking care of family, writing a novel, trying to launch a startup). I can't tell what that might be for you, aside from travel and a bunch of "random" experiences. You need to flesh out your story and dial down the random, and take a harder look at what you're asking for and how that squares with what you're offering. An ambitious childless man your age is probably not going to have a lot of interests; he's probably going to be midway through a demanding career and spending his free time on one or two other things. His interest or lack of interest in the pigeons in Venice will not predict at all if you're a good match. A man your age who bounces around between alot of different people/jobs/places might not be seeking a relationship. Where does that leave you?
posted by slow graffiti at 12:04 PM on August 26, 2014 [2 favorites]

I think your profile looks great: you look beautiful and sound very smart and interesting! I'm not in your target demographic but am sure that your profile would be appealing to many of the sweet, nerdy, and creative guys I'm going to assume you're interested in! I do think people make very valid points above with their critique so it's certainly something to consider.

The only challenge I foresee is the age bit in that I'd consider extending your age range to perhaps 45? I think it's totally cool that you want to date men your age or younger BUT I think that it helps to be more flexible online: in person, age is often a non-issue (especially when one appears so youthful and stunning like you do!) but there is still some age discrimination in online dating. (Then again, if you want to weed those people out, that's your choice, too!) Also, a guy in his young 30s might still be debating whether or not to have kids and want to keep that option open whereas a guy in his early 40s could likely be more sure of and committed to a childfree life. I don't see the income thing being that big of a deal really. It could be off-putting to some, sure, but a kindred spirit with a similar life history could relate and someone very motivated by income would probably have more than enough himself.

Do you meet a lot of men in your target demographic offline, like I think of sporty guys who moved to your neck of the woods for a tech job and enjoy doing outdoorsy activities in their time off? If not (and it can be time-consuming and a drag, as you surely know), I'd totally recommend it. You seem like quite a catch and, if you're going for guys who a bit younger than you (and I hear ya there!), in-person can yield the most results (even if online is great, too!)
posted by smorgasbord at 2:24 PM on August 26, 2014 [2 favorites]


you try to portray confidence in what you say, but then say you are shy and quiet and need to warm up to people and refuse to have a full front-facing photo. that makes you *sound* like hard work.

full face photo and take out the bit about shy and quiet.

also: take out the bits about "hanging out". it tells me nothing about you and makes you sound aimless and flighty.

finally: never say "none of this" or "I hate that" unless you are genuinely willing to screen out romantic prospects simply because they like action films.

genuinely - you look like someone with a very interesting life and above average looks (from what I can see). turn to the camera and stop telling everyone how shy you are ;)
posted by wayward vagabond at 2:54 PM on August 26, 2014

There's been a couple of votes for taking out the "quiet" part in your profile, but I have essentially the same thing in the "first things people notice" part of my profile because a) it's true and b) if someone has a problem with that then we're not likely to be a good match anyway (like you, I also mention introversion elsewhere in my profile). If you just want more messages then removing that might make sense, but I think it's better to target your profile to get to the people you really want to meet.

I'm a guy and a decade older than you, but we seem similar in that I tend to be more adventurous than most with a lot of different interests. You might want to look at the comments I got here for some ideas (and things have picked up at least a little bit for me since then).
posted by doctord at 3:10 PM on August 26, 2014 [3 favorites]

Somehow "I've traveled alone to three different countries" strikes me as bragging, even though I'm sure you didn't mean it like that (and, at least in my circles, it's not actually unusual at all, to the point where it might not be worth mentioning). Rather than random facts, I would suggest saying something a bit more serious about your life, either now or what you want in the's also fine to mention that you like traveling, but I wouldn't lead with it in quite that way.
posted by three_red_balloons at 4:00 PM on August 26, 2014

I'm not your target demographic; I'm more sort of in your demographic. To me, it seems like you're hiding, giving people bits of information and asking them to fill in the blanks. There's a lot of distancing going on. It feels to me that there might be some fear of judgement here. If so, I get that, but I'm wondering if it might have a sort of objectifying effect; I can imagine the sports fans maybe filling in the gaps with some manic pixie etc. stuff -- is that happening (interest from 'casual dating' types suggests maybe)? If so, I do think it would help to sort of look people in the eye - in both your pictures and your profile narrative - and tell your story in a more direct way. I think that would remove some of the distance, and help potential partners see you more as a fellow nerd / adventurer.

Here's one way you could tell/sell your story (nb this is really rough, it's more for sort of framing than the profile per se). You're a growth-oriented person. So far, you've had a life full of rich experiences, and you've learned a lot of things that you'd love to share with someone else. (I.e., you could enrich their life as well. That's positive.) You're working, covering your own, maybe not in your dream job, but you're completely ok with that, and you're able to enjoy life, on your terms. (That's positive; that's a grounded, balanced person there.) Right now, you're excited about (sounds like?) the steps you're taking towards a change in career, one that has good prospects. You're also really into the projects you're working on (maybe some more details about these would spark conversation?). All of that is great, and I have a feeling someone you might want as a partner would like to see you stand behind it.

I can be quiet in large groups and with new people, but I think I am reasonably communicative once I am comfortable with someone.

You've been a bit overly cautious here too, imo -- introversion is one (completely fine!) thing, but communication is important in a relationship; here you're suggesting you're equivocal about your own skills. I think, just say something like, "once I get to know you, I open up" which might be more reassuring.

Good luck :)
posted by cotton dress sock at 4:01 PM on August 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

I agree, it's hard to see your face. Also, "I've traveled alone to three different countries" sounds a bit awkward to my ears. Why is three important? It's not an especially high number.
posted by Borborygmus at 4:07 PM on August 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

Thanks for the responses everyone. Definitely a lot to think about. Perhaps I do overemphasize my shyness. That was much more of an issue in the past than it is now and actually a big part of why my career/income isn't up to the level of many of my peers. But didn't feel like that was an appropriate thing to bring up on an OKCupid profile.
posted by seraph9 at 4:46 PM on August 26, 2014 [2 favorites]

put me on the side of keep your face hidden on the first photo. make them work for it. first rule of romance. a pile of patience for the folks who will take their time to click through the photos.

the last photo on the sofa is the most attractive from this guy's perspective. Let them work the way in to it. Maybe I'm wrong but my idea is that as a woman, there is just a blizzard of attention for you anyway. let that work for you.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:45 PM on August 26, 2014

Agree with walrus on most things except Venice. But even when I thought that was adorable and open and engaging, I suspected it was the kind of thing your target demographic would find off putting.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 6:18 PM on August 28, 2014

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