From time to time I help readers by reviewing their profiles. Much of the advice I give is covered in my online dating guide but every now and again I think it’s good to go over a real example with all my readers.
To be honest, many people who contact me about their profile already have what I would consider to be a good start to a profile. Not always great, but generally if people care enough to contact me then they care enough to try to create a good profile from the get-go. Often it’s just a matter of helping them improve on a solid foundation.
Reviewing the Profile
Today I want to review what I considered to be a good profile and then provide the suggestions I offered to improve it. Note that while I’m changing most of the details she provided about herself to protect my reader’s identity, the advice I provided will remain the same. Below is her profile. I thought she did a good job but I will talk about my suggestions below:
I am not sure how to describe myself here. I don’t often describe myself and this is my first time I’m trying online dating. Ok, here goes! I have an amazing 10 year-old daughter. I have a great career that I really enjoy. I am a product manager in the medical field. I love to learn and like the fact that my workdays are not the same thing every day. Enough about work, I don’t want to bore you with all the gory details! I enjoy traveling and being spontaneous. I enjoy scenic activities even if they are just close to home. However, I don’t do dangerous activities…I definitely know where to draw the line! I’m out-going and enjoy a few nights out a week. My daughter and I have movie night every week so I’m not against staying in, though. I really like to go to plays and the opera as I enjoy the arts. I think I’m artistic myself and would like a man who also enjoys these areas. I enjoy some exercise, sight seeing, and again I like to get out of the house several nights a week. I enjoy a good movie. Not so much comedies in the movie theatre, because they usually aren’t as funny as the promo’s. I’m also not that into “chick flicks” (too much crying or anger) or “first date” type movies (too lame). I like action, drama, suspense, thrillers, and super hero movies. Even though I’m out going, I also like to relax at home sometimes. Read a good book or rebuilding computers (yes, I recently discovered a new fondness for building computers from scratch). I love to play video games on my XBox. Adventure and RPG are my favorites. I’m currently hooked on Skyrim. I also am looking forward to the Old Republic. I’m not into online play with FPS though because I get killed immediately. Wow, I must really sound like a nerd right now! Well I might as well finish off my nerd subject by saying I’m into electronics. I’m an Apple fan as far as their phone and iPad’s. I don’t camp out over night though. Ok enough nerd talk. I hope you haven’t already moved on to the next profile. I practice Tai Chi and I enjoy it because it’s a great stress reliever.
Now for what I’m looking for in a man. I would like to find someone who is great with kids, loyal, fun, and positive. A good communicator but not too clingy. A man who is confident in himself and in life. Who already has found himself and is where he wants to be in life. In other words at this stage of my life I’m not interesting in “fixing” anyone, nor do I want to be the man in the relationship. I want a partner so we can make decisions together and share our lives and feelings together. And it doesn’t hurt if you’re handy! Communication is very important to me. I’m not the type who wants to talk for hours on end, but I do want to be able to talk about anything. I’m not looking for a “daddy” for my daughter. She has a wonderful active relationship with her father. Just be a great male role model and bond well. My daughter is respectful and well behaved. She knows her father and I are never going to remarry so she just wants me to be happy. She doesn’t try to be in competition with anyone I date. If you have kids then you know what I mean. I guess I had better save something to talk about on our first date! If my rambling all over the place here hasn’t made you click away, then don’t be shy! Let me know you’re interested!
Overall, not a bad profile but there were suggestions I made to this reader.
Recommended Changes to the Profile
I’ll be sharing the recommendations that I shared with this reader but I think this is general advice most people can take. Here are my thoughts:
Use More Spacing
People don’t like walls of text. That doesn’t just apply to dating profiles…it goes for almost anything on the web. Even the way I write articles on this website takes into account that people don’t like huge sections of text. With a dating profile, this is pretty easy to fix: just separate the different areas of thought by hitting the enter key a few times.
Less Negative, More Positive in Regards to What You Want
Like many people dating online, this reader started listing the things she didn’t want when she got to the section describing who she would like to date. I recommend against doing this or if you’re going to do this limit it to a particular area that is extremely important to you.
Instead of listing negatives qualities you don’t want, list the positive qualities you do want. Creating a list of things you don’t want can give other people a bad impression of you. It can come off as stuck-up or being full of yourself (even though this is often not the case). Sometimes it’s just discouraging to the people reading your profile as they’ll feel like they won’t measure up…when in reality you might think they’re great!
I think this advice is good for everyone but honestly I think it’s particularly important for women. Why? Because many women prefer to allow the men to contact them and if you come off as harsh, you may chase a good number of them away.
We all can feel insecure about who we are but that’s no reason to include that in your dating profile. In this case, as a guy who’s an admitted geek, I found much of what she was defending attractive. I think a lot of guys would appreciate that a woman likes to play video games or can build a computer from scratch…but she ends up making it sound as if those items will chase men away. To me, things like “Ok enough nerd talk. I hope you haven’t already moved on to the next profile” just don’t belong in our profiles.
Admittedly, she is probably going for some humor when she says this but I still feel it should be avoided. To me, talking yourself down isn’t attractive even when it is funny so I recommend you avoid it. If you feel insecure about some of your hobbies, so be it. I’d be a hypocrite to tell you not to feel that way. However, feeling is one thing, proclaiming it to the world is an entirely different thing.
So avoid all insecurity talk. No apologies, no talk of not know what to write, not talk of “if I haven’t bored you to death and you’re still reading this”. Just describe yourself and assume the best.
Don’t Discuss Previous Relationships
In her profile, she talks quite a bit about her ex near the end of her profile. She actually does so in a positive way but I still recommended that she avoid doing this. In my mind, your profile isn’t the place to describe your ex’s relationship to your children…or really anything about your previous relationships.
It could be anything from having your name on a mortgage with your ex while you try to sell the house to something as small as shared time with them over a pet you got together. In either case, I don’t feel like your profile is the place for this information. These could be important conversations to have if the relationship moves forward but I think including this in your profile is getting things a bit out of order.
Will This Help Someone Want to Date Me?
Finally, I think you should always be asking the question: “Would including this in my profile help someone be more interested in dating me?” Often when I review profiles, I’ll find myself removing small details that in my opinion add clutter to the profile without really adding value. Honestly, this is probably what makes my role in reviewing profiles a bit easier than you might think: I’m often just removing items and don’t have to add much at all.
If it doesn’t help define who you are or if it doesn’t help people understand why they would be interested in you, I think you should consider how much value keeping it brings.
Rewriting the Dating Profile
Below is the end result of me applying the rules above. Now I’m not saying that my version is stellar by comparison to the old version, but I do think it’s a more concise read that will (hopefully) help this woman keep men’s interest as they learn more about her:
This is my first time trying the online scene…so here goes! I have an amazing 10 year-old daughter. I have a great career as a product manager in the medical field that I really enjoy. I love to learn and like the fact that my workdays are not the same thing every day.
I’m not your average woman…but in a good way! I love to play video games on my XBox. Adventure and RPG games are my favorites. I’m currently hooked on Skyrim. I also am looking forward to the Old Republic. I’m not into online play with FPS though because I get killed immediately! I also enjoy reading a good book or rebuilding computers (yes, I recently discovered a new fondness for building computers from scratch). I’m an Apple fan as far as their phone and iPad’s. I don’t camp out over night though!
I’m out-going and I enjoy a few nights out a week. My daughter and I have movie night every week so I’m not against staying in, though. I really like to go to plays and the opera as I enjoy the arts. I think I’m artistic myself and would like a man who also enjoys these areas. I enjoy some exercise, sight seeing, and again I like to get out of the house several nights a week.
I enjoy a good movie. Not so much comedies in the movie theatre, because they usually aren’t as funny as the promo’s. I’m also not that into “chick flicks” (too much crying or anger) or “first date” type movies (too lame). I like action, drama, suspense, thrillers, and super hero movies.
I would like to find someone who is great with kids, loyal, fun, and positive. A good communicator who is confident in himself and in life who already has found himself and is where he wants to be in life. I want a partner so we can make decisions together and share our lives and feelings together. Communication is very important to me. Also, it doesn’t hurt if you’re handy! I’m not the type who wants to talk for hours on end, but I do want to be able to talk about anything. My daughter is respectful and well behaved and I’d like someone who can be a positive role model and bond well.
Let me know you’re interested!
Honestly, I didn’t change too much here. I just followed what I outlined above:
- I added some spacing to make things more readable and I also tried to group the related areas together.
- I removed anything negative. Whether it was something negative she thought about her hobbies or negative in what she didn’t want in a man, it got cut.
- I removed some details to trim down the profile. For example, Tai Chi is interesting but it felt like it could be removed without taking much away from the profile.
- I removed the items that seemed to get too personal such as talk about the ex.
Now I’m not suggesting what I’ve created is perfect and I’ll tell you want I tell those who contact me: take my suggestions and make them your own. I try to provide a template but by no means am I convinced that I can write the perfect profile for someone I don’t know.
That having been said, I hope you find these suggestions helpful and can see why they can make a dating profile more inviting. I always want people to create their profile since your profile should be a reflection of you personally. At the same time, I think general guidelines like these can help.
For more of my thoughts on creating your dating profile, see my post for a step-by-step profile creation guide.