Three Years of Online Dating Profiles, Seven Lessons.
That averages out to two lessons per year, or approximately one lesson every six months, with a one-time holiday bonus thrown in. Not an honors-track performance, for sure – but here are the online dating profile concepts that managed to lodge themselves permanently in my hard head:
- Let your profile do your work for you. I’m not a proponent of old-fashioned, sexist ideas about requiring the man to get in touch first. I am, however, rather fond of sitting before my laptop all queen-like, rapping my French-manicured nails on the desk, and saying, Hmmm. Let. Me. Seeeee. Who shall be fortunate enough to receive an audience this week? I don’t mind admitting…it’s just more fun that way.
- Bald men are sexy. Well, I’ll qualify that. Certainly not all bald men are sexy. But the thing is, women are just plain silly about men who’ve retained Patrick Dempsey McDreamy locks into their 40s. The bald guys tend to be like, whatever, I’ve got more testosterone anyway, and I never stand in front of the bathroom mirror dabbing product onto my head. I like that attitude.
- Men with names like Spike are best avoided. If he’s got a nickname that dates back to high school football glory days (or, for that matter, high school hoodlum days), rest assured he’s a tool.
- Manners always matter. Maybe I wasn’t attracted to each guy I met online, but sheesh, that didn’t mean it was okay to ignore perfectly nice people. Once I set a policy of replying to every sincere introduction I received, I felt happier about being on dating sites. And I actually ended up forming some lasting friendships.
- Pets are a big (and sometimes life-and-death) deal. And not just the age-old cats vs. dogs issue. I mean, if a man is all into Pitbull rescue volunteering, his residence is not exactly going to be a welcoming, romantic place for a newcomer. Sure, you can make out in his car like high school kids, but don’t you dare put that tipsy, stiletto-clad foot past his threshold at 10:00 at night. Nuh-uh. Just get back behind the invisible fence as fast as possible.
- Text messaged invitations do not bode well. Tonight a spontaneous-seeming wine bar invite. Tomorrow a booty call. We’re all worth real invitations—with a bit of thought and effort (and, ideally, a few details on time, place, and how delighted your date is at the prospect of your lovely company.)
- College degrees don’t matter as much as you think they do. Plenty of people have put their smarts to work in ways that did not involve higher education. Moreover, plenty of college-educated people are what I would refer to as “narrowly trained” rather than broadly educated anyway. (And then there’s the whole universe of schooling available to folks in the military—study and testing that is often way more comprehensive than your average college degree.) A more appropriate dealbreaker is, in my opinion, a professional life that is basically an indentured servitude of weird hours. It’s very challenging to date people who work shifts and who stay on call for emergencies. And, higher education or no, those who feel trapped by their work are generally just miserable people to be around.
Have lessons of your own? Feel free to share. Hopefully, you’ve done better than two per year.
Gina Kerrigan is a relationship blogger who encourages midlife chicks to write their own cheeky dating rules. She was once a high school and college writing instructor and enjoys putting her teaching skills to work showing women how to create truly individual online dating profiles. You can download her free guide to writing a kickass profile on her blog home page: www.cupidslaboratory.com
Lawrence is a social media enthusiast and a blogger who loves writing about dating and promoting other authors. He is also a programmer with many years of experience. Check out his book and you will laugh. Do keep in touch with him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter and on Google+. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.