Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Gals: Here's why your dating profile isn't working

In the wake of me writing this post, I had a bunch of people implore me: Katie, where is the post telling the women what they're doing wrong on dating sites?!

I didn't write one because, frankly, I didn't really know! I was never searching for women in my quest to go on dates. My expertise is fairly narrow. 

But luckily, I have a darling man at home who HAS spent time navigating the treacherous waters that constitute the dating pool on OkCupid, so I had him take a look and write a piece for me. The results were better than I could have anticipated. Without further ado, here's why your dating profile isn't working, ladies -- written by my FIANCE (OMG it is so WEIRD to say that!!!), R.

Ladies, let’s rap. You agonize over every word in your online dating profile carefully curate your pictures, and yet the only guys who message you should probably be registered sex offenders. So how do you tweak things to ensure you only pique the interest of quality guys? Well, unfortunately you can’t because a lot of guys are just terrible (true story: as I logged in to Katie’s OkCupid creeper account, there was a message from a guy offering to show his "eight-inch cock."). But you can fix some of the mistakes that might be keeping guys away.
  • You only have pictures from the neck up

Generally, men like to date women and not disembodied heads. You may be shying away from full-body shots because you’re uncomfortable with your body. And I get it. There are lots of shitty people out there who body shame and think a girl is undateable unless she is Kate Upton (Spoiler alert: They never date Kate Upton). But back in the real world, guys are much less focused on your body than you think. Using pictures of only your face and not your real body shows insecurity and doesn’t give potential dates a full view of who you are. The point is to meet them out anyway, so why hide?
  • You post pictures with groups of friends without noting which you are
You and your friends.

Let me level with you. All white girls look the same. I don’t want to play a game of memory trying to figure out who is the common denominator in all the photos.
  • You don’t write answers, you write novels
The questions and personal essays are a nice way to get to know someone, but you’re on a dating site and you are not getting paid by the word. Think of the old resume rule: If I’m not interested in 30 seconds, I probably won’t keep reading. And while we’re on the subject, your favorite music should not be a list of every album released in the last 15 years.
  • Technical jargon isn’t sexy
Don’t get into specifics about things that only you care about. Whether it’s a program you use for work or your name and rank in Dungeons and Dragons, it adds nothing to your profile and is boring. I’ll assume you’re also boring.
  • You’re oddly specific
I’m looking to meet a vegan roller skater champion who bets on jai alai, loves Tom Waits and has spent at least three months in Inland Empire, California. I mean, we all would. But you’re on an online dating site to widen the pool of people you can meet, so why would you be so picky?
  • The "Most Private Thing You’re Willing to Admit" is dumb and/or creepy
This is OkCupid specific so if you don’t know what this is then move on. This question can be a minefield because it’s the only one you shouldn’t answer honestly. Be too dark and come off like a maniac, or try to be funny and light and you seem dumb.
  • Your profile is one-dimensional
You love to travel -- WE GET IT. Presumably you’re a fully functional adult with a myriad of interests and hobbies. Talk about that and let that show through. Don’t try to be the person you think others want you to be.
  • You give me absolutely no reason to message you
Dating is naturally a give and take. Online, when your profile is your representative, it’s much more passive. If there is nothing to message you about, I probably won’t. Give me something to ask about, something to spur a discussion. You’ll get fewer form messages.
  • Bad grammar
I’ll keep this brief. Spellcheck, proper punctuation, their/there/they’re. Use it. Love it. Nothing makes my weiner softer than a misplaced comma.
You’re excitable and positive, and I like that. But you’re trying to get a boyfriend, not motivate a group of disadvantaged teens at summer camp. Cool it with the exclamation points, Tony Robbins.

That's it! Now, go fix your profiles, ladies. 


  1. Where do I start! My profile-killers were actually disturbingly common:

    1. Dated and/or misleading photos. If you created a dating profile in the hopes of meeting someone, success means you may actually meet someone. Looking NOTHING like your profile photos does not engender a good first impression. If you are in your 30s, I do not want to see photos of you in your early 20s. This doesn't mean that I am superficial or only interested in looks, but looks do matter, and the context of the photos you choose to post speak volumes about who you are. Mirror selfies = bad, recent photos indicating that you actually enjoy your life and other people = good.

    2. As Ryan stated - overly specific profiles. If you are hyper-specific you are, by default, (a) a narcissistic nightmare or (b) an anal-retentive nightmare that no self-respecting man wants to deal with.

    3. Obvious gold-digger. If you have no education, an occupation that does not pay very well, and a profile riddled with grammatical errors, yet you just LOVE travel and yor FAVORITE PLACE is Tahiti/Hawaii/St. Lucia/Seychelles, etc., and you have lots of cropped photos in exotic locales, you're a serial dater preying on insecure men willing to fly you somewhere hoping they'll get laid.

    1. "Looking NOTHING like your profile photos does not engender a good first impression."

      Yes!!! I don't understand why people don't get this!!!

  2. what about a lack of capitalization? #askingforafriend

    1. Well, "anonymous," it is apparent when someone is an idiot and doesn't know when to capitalize and when someone is intelligent and just being punk rock. If your profile is otherwise smart and we'll written it should be fine.

  3. Also too short of answers. I'd rather read a page long answer about a question than a simple "LOL I dunno". Nothing make me cringe like that does. Put some effort into communication. Don't be afraid to be the first to text/call.

    Blurry pictures, I'll probably take a closer look at your profile if I can't clearly see your pic but make sure you have other ones. If all you have is one pic and its a selfie, I will next you.

  4. I'm self-conscious about my pictures, especially because I've read more than one guy's profile where he wrote that he didn't want to date "heavy" or "fat" girls; apparently the guys don't realize that sounding like jerks means that most women will not want to date them. But I do post a variety of pictures, so that the guy won't be too "surprised" when we meet in person.

    1. The good news is that if they write that, you automatically know that they are people you should never go out with!

  5. This post is spot-on, i know you asked me to email you Katie in that post and i have been wanting to but i don't think i could have come up with detailed points like these.

    I can't agree more about the "You post pictures with groups of friends without noting which you are", the funny thing is i end up liking other girls in the photo and am more interested in finding their profiles. Girls that do this are just "stupid", you are already competing with a lot of hot females on the site itself, why would you want to in your own profile photo.

    You should frequent more on this blog, R!. Liked your first "guest" post

    1. Thanks for the kind words! We'll see if she let's me!

  6. Great post. Here are a few added points:

    1. I agree about the lameness of head-only pictures. Don't be ashamed to show full body pictures since: (a) none of us has a perfect body, (b) if your goal is to meet in person, he'll see your shape soon enough, and (c) if you show only your head, or you show only pictures where a large part of your body is obscured by shrubbery, other people, or anything, we have to assume that you are either tremendously obese or terribly uncomfortable with yourself, neither of which leaves a good impression.

    2. And posting full body pictures does not mean I need to see multiple views of your physical assets. Yes appearances count and we men are visual creatures, but that does not mean I want to date someone who is so narcissistic that she shows off herself every chance she gets. Please show me your brains, not just your breasts.

    3. If OKCupid is your site of choice, do NOT assume you need to answer all or even a large number of their questions, many of which seem to be written only for shock value or to see how many people are foolish enough to actually answer them. News flash: OKCupid has no top-secret, sophisticated algorithm that will match you with Mr. Right, if only you answer all of the questions. To the contrary, if you have nothing better to do with your time than to answer question after absurd question, I assume (without even reading your answers) that you're not the one for me.

    I just discovered this blog, but so far I like it.


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