virtually unsolicited feedback

One of the things that I find most amusing about online dating are the profiles and, of course, those fabulous photos. Many guys get it but, of course, there are many who do not. It's like personal marketing. You want to make yourself appear like the most attractive option available and it's like a virtual first impression and some of you seem well quite content to just take yourself out of the running before you ever start the race. Let's think about some of the below things… I think they're pretty good tips but, then again, I guess I wrote them…

Unless you are going for a "classy lady" who wants to do keg stands (and, if so, she would likely not be on a paying dating site), it is probably not a good idea for your pictures to involve solely photos of you and alcoholic beverages. Additional points deducted if you indicated you "rarely" drink, as we all now have evidence to the contrary (at least based on the picture you've chosen to sell). Better yet, perhaps you should opt out as well of including in pictures involving you, a bunch of guys, and structures built of beer cans. Somehow I think I will pass on those.

Don't indicate you are a "manager" unless you want your reader's mind to wander to possibilities of you overseeing a McDonald's, Target, or the like. Unless in fact that is what you are doing (not that I'm judging here… just re-emphasizing to the male readers out there another reason why vague and incomplete information might not get the desired impression across).

DO NOT TYPE YOUR PROFILE, PARTS OF, OR HUGE CHUNKS IN ALL CAPS. THIS IS WHAT WE IN THE "ONLINE WORLD" LIKE TO REFER TO AS YELLING. GENERALLY, NOT A GOOD WAY TO MAKE FRIENDS AND DEFINITELY NOT A GOOD WAY TO GET A DATE – UNLESS YOU HAVE ANGER MANAGEMENT ISSUES. IF SO, POINT NOTED!

Do not include in pictures of you and large groups of women, unless you would like to imply that you are a "ladies man" – in which case, the majority of people on these sites won't be interested. Besides, if you truly were, would you be on there in the first place? It's just awkward and doesn't send the best message, I might add. Also might I add that while pictures of you sprawled across your motorcycle or hanging your head out the window of you Corvette might look cool to your buddies, most females are not going to find that very useful information. Although I will admit that a motorcycle in general might be a deal breaker for me. I will look for a photo of me in a car with an open window as Exhibit A… Other dislikes include shirtless photos (I am not casting you for a swimsuit calendar). These also go into the awkward category. Extra points deducted if they are not flattering.

General comment: profile names such as hottie, stud, ILUVBEER, and DrOLuv should be avoided. They're trite, boring, and quite frankly look very desperate.

If a girl has signed up for a dating site that protects anonymity until you reach a certain comfort level, she probably will not like your incessant emails telling her "please contact me at ithinkiamahottie AT yahoo DOT com. She will probably say NO. Same goes for offering to email pictures but not put them on the site, being too lazy to complete a profile at all (but somehow having time to write a long email), or telling them you would like to talk to them via webcam (um perv?).

If grammar is not your forte, I recommend you take the text of your profile and paste it into word and click the little "spell check" button. It does wonders. MAGIC.

I would also recommend not including in photos of just you and one female, unless they are visibly significantly older and are clearly Mom and/or Gramma. It's just odd. Either it's a really good friend and you're leaving yourself open to misinterpretation or, what I'm guessing is more likely, you are putting up a picture of you and an ex and are being too lazy to crop the poor gal out. Either get yourself some image editing software (most computers come standard with it these days?), pencil some time into your planner to take care of it (hello – a few minutes?), or OPT FOR ANOTHER PICTURE!

If you have a bazillion photos, feel free to opt not to include in the ones in which you only have a satanic glow. Trust me, if you were curious, they are not flattering…

If you have ABSOLUTELY nothing in common with what a girl has indicated she wants in a match, you probably (duh) are not someone she's going to want to meet. And if she tries very hard to be considerate and nice and sends you a polite "no thank you" with an explanation as to why, you should respect her for her honesty and consideration. And her kind gesture in refraining from emailing you the above list 😉

Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

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8 thoughts on “virtually unsolicited feedback

  1. Oh, girl, those observations are SPOT ON. The only thing is, once you weed through all the undesirable profiles and responses that you mentioned, what do you have left? Not much.

  2. lol…and people think online dating is easier? I think not.

    I will never understand why people feel it’s ok to abandon all rules of grammar and social graces on the Internet. Just because you can’t be seen right away doesn’t mean people stop forming impressions of you.

    Or should I say, ‘Just cuz I can’t C U, doesn’t mean U should abandon UR manners. L8TR.”

    (I clearly read too many emails from students.)

  3. Zan – well, there are some decent guys amongst the weeds. And I will admit, I’m pretty picky. I’m just not referencing anything about the good ones here 🙂

    Annie – I definitely don’t think it’s easier! Just another way to try it all. And I totally agree. The Internet is just another means of communication. It doesn’t equate to anything is game and let’s be as lazy as possible, although I think that’s definitely become the norm. Too funny on your students, haha.

  4. LJ you are so right. But you forgot one more point:

    Photos where men are wearing sunglasses and are otherwise obscured. I need a clear, close-up face shot; and I need one photo that gives some impression of your general body type. Is it that difficult?

    Kudos.

  5. I know – I agree. Sometimes they include in only super tight close-ups. A woman can only assume a guy is trying to highlight certain features. And a close tight shot means you better like that face, cause that’s all you’re getting…

    Or, as I know you experienced, ONLY showing their chest. Oh I do believe the bizarre stories outnumber the others. Perhaps they just stick more because they’re more fun to retell 😉

  6. Is it taboo for a guy to comment on this? Very interesting read. I found myself silently saying “whew, glad I don’t do that” after every paragraph.

    I’ve been thinking of blogging a very similar post from the things guys see on women’s profiles. Maybe I’ll have to motivate and do that soon. I think in general women’s profiles are typically better than men’s, but there are some things I see again and again that make my eyes roll.

  7. Well said! My sister and I signed up on the Yahoo profiles once and would send each other the really funny (in a pathetic way) profiles. (Mean, I know.) Anyway, it never ceased to amaze me how little effort some guys would take in slapping together a profile. Incomplete sentences, bad grammar, or my favorites the “I’m too cool to *really* care” types were common place. Even worse, I’d say about half the guys had really dark photos cropped to their faces, which made them seem like teenage perverts trying not to let Mom and Dad catch them fooling around online.

    Sigh. Oh well, You’re right. Someone out there needs to offer these poor folks some help. You want to applaud them for being proactive about getting into a relationship (instead of sitting back and whining about it) but then they go half-assed.

    Great blog!

  8. Ryan – definitely not taboo to comment. In fact, love a guy bringing an opinion in on it 🙂 I agree… I think that women tend to put more into their profiles but if you don’t watch it, you’re saying a lot to say a little… and a lot of what you are focusing in on can be found on about 70% of the profiles of the other ladies out there as well.

    Susan, well the one thing it definitely succeeds at is being amusing. And so true on those creepy cropped pics. It does seem that way. Ewww!

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