I don’t know about you, but creating a dating profile is about as frustrating as cleaning the grout in your bathroom! You know you should do it, some part of you wants to do it, but it’s tedious and time-consuming and even, at times, a little bit gross. I found myself procrastinating on completing my profile, ignoring potential opportunities and feeling even more anxious about needing to get it done! I reached out to Erika Ettin, dating coach and founder of ALittleNudge.com to get her opinion on why writing a dating profile is so difficult. “People often think that dating should be easy,” she said. “When you’re with the right person, sure, it’s easy (hopefully). But in the search for finding the right person, it’s anything but that. People want the outcome (the relationship) but don’t want to put the work in to find it.”
Self-Summaries: Are They Worth It?
Your profile and self-summary is one of the first things potential matches see about you! (Yes, yes, yes, I know we all look at the pictures first!) Once we actually read the words on this profile, do you want a potential match to think, “This person seems lazy. They can’t even write a paragraph or a complete sentence?” NO! So, like anything important, take some time and write a serious introduction. Spend time editing it, or ask a close friend to read it over.
Erika also said that we should have the first date in mind from the beginning. “As I tell all of my clients, every relationship has to start with a first date. And how do you get a first date these days? Often online.” Just like a resume gets you the job interview, your online profile gets you that first date. The written part of that profile sheds light on your personality, your interest, your character traits and what type of person you might be in a relationship. It gives another person the first glimpse of what dating you might be like, or at least, what a first date might be like. This can determine not only whether you get that first date, but how that date will go.
What My Friends Really Think of Me…
I started thinking that if I hated this task so much, was the profile I was resentfully clacking out really giving my potential matches a good understanding of me? Solution: I’ll ask my friends what they would write in my self-summary! Not only would I see what my friends really thought about me, but I thought I might end up with a more accurate profile—and they would do all work! Here’s what they had to say:
Star, a dear friend and fellow therapist, wrote: “High energy alpha female seeks a companion who is educated, romantic and loves homicidal cats. Also must be ready to have kids…” Well, not a bad start, though I could see how this might be a turn-off to some people. Homicidal cat? Really Star? For me, the homicidal cat part isn’t as much of a concern as the “ready to have kids” part. Don’t get me wrong, I love kids…other people’s kids. This summary might also make it sound like we’ll be popping out babies before dessert! I’m not against the process of making babies, I’d suggest keeping the kids conversation for in-person, or a couple of dates in—especially since part of the impression you’re going for is the first-date. Oh, and the homicidal cat is all in my friend’s head. The cat really loves her!
Let’s see what my good friend, and also a therapist, Jenn would write for me. “Cute, energetic, SEX therapist seeking her perfect match. Must love cats and be willing to experiment with “therapy” techniques.” After reading this over and over, it’s pretty on point, though I could see how this might send the wrong message. I’m thinking many potential matches wouldn’t get past the experimentation part. At least the cat isn’t homicidal….
Third Time’s the Charm, Right?
My long-distance friend and fellow cruise-mate, Brooke would write: “Incredibly sexy, sex therapist with plenty of toys; loves flamingoes, cruises; cats; wine; and crust – the perfect person to curl up in a hammock or talk about lube preferences. She’s got it all – beauty, brains, boobs, and cats – what else could you want??!!” Has anyone else noticed this cat comes up often in these summaries?
Oh, ladies, I love you, but what type of person are you trying to find for me!? Can online profile writing get any easier? In part two of this blog, we’re going to find out what my male friends would write about me as well find out why an online dating coach could improve your dating profile and online experience.