They say those who can’t, teach. Well I’m living proof boys and girls. I don’t have the chutzpah to pull off online dating very well however I can offer some advice on how to do it far better than I ever did. I know all the theory but putting it into practice in a different kettle of fish. I will give a quick overview of the online dating scene to give novices a bit of a heads up.
First of all men and women are different. I know people who want to talk about equality all the time don’t want to believe this but they are. Men send far more first messages than women. Women get so many messages that it is hard to reply to them all. Men pretty much have time to reply to every message they receive. Therefore women actually need to write the better profile because even though most guys will send them a message solely based on a photo they need to write the better profile because they need to sieve through the wheat and the chaff more.
I once spent 12 hours on an online dating website as a woman and boy was it an eye-opener experience. I felt that I would just flat out ignore so many of the messages and only those who had written a good opening message would get a response. However to write a good opening message you need something to go on so you do actually have to write a fair bit. Whilst researching for this blog post yesterday I came across the following two profiles and honestly this was all they said (along with a photo)
‘no weirdos thanks’
‘No bullshitters – Love dancin and bein wiv my friends love rub pop garage a bit of everything xx’
Now honestly what do either of those profiles give you to go on? The first one doesn’t want any weirdos so do you send a message saying, ‘Hey there, just saw your profile and saw you didn’t want a weirdo well you know what? I’m not a weirdo. It is like we were meant to be?’ and the latter doesn’t want any bullshitters (well who does?) and loves a ‘bit of everything’ well that’s great. This lady is actually rather good looking so she will get messages but the quality of them I fear are pretty awful.
So we need to talk about the positive stuff. Well yesterday whilst researching I came across the following profile and I’ll copy & paste and show you why I think it’s an excellent example of an online dating profile and why if I was still in the online dating game I’d be messaging this girl straight away:
Hi, I’m Jen and I very much enjoy watching silly comedy programmes such as Bad Education, The Inbetweeners, Friday Night Dinner etc. I could probably recite most of the words to every Friends episode – that surely doesn’t make me a proper grown up?! Sadly, irreverent comedy programmes are not part of the National Curriculum (yet – I must start that petition!) so I cannot use this knowledge as part of my job teaching the future generation. Nevertheless, I very much enjoy what I do and more often than not, a day in the classroom can be a bit like appearing in a sitcom!
But I can’t have you thinking that all I do is teach and watch TV. I have been known to watch DVDs too! However, when I’m not in the classroom or on the sofa, I do manage to make my way to the gym a few times a week – I am a big fan of Body Combat. I also venture into the kitchen fairly often where I very much enjoy cooking and trying new recipes. I recently made some blueberry and vanilla scones. If you play your cards right, I could be baking some for you – just promise me we don’t have to have the discussion on the correct way to pronounce ‘scone’?!
I would like to meet someone who is fun and friendly and maybe also knows the words to various Friends episodes – just in case there is ever a power cut and we had to make our own entertainment. I would also really like to meet someone who is interested in having a proper grown up relationship incorporating the use of bags for life!
Let me show you why I think it’s an excellent profile. First of all I like the introduction of a name. The first couple of lines makes a little bit of a diss at herself about being a proper grown up. Quirky. She talks about her work and so we know quite a lot about her already. She’s a teacher and really likes comedy.
I love the ‘I have been known to watch DVDs too!’ line. The rest of that paragraph opens up some of her other interests. She likes to keep fit but also likes baking and shows us one of her specialities with a bit of a tease about baking for you (the reader/potential date) one day then adds in a line about the ‘scone debate’.
Lastly she tells us what she wants. A nice line about knowing lines to various Friends episodes but more importantly she is looking for a genuine grown up relationship. Brilliant all around. It gives you plenty of possibilities for opening gambits as you know several of her hobbies and what she wants. I’d be shocked if she wasn’t inundated with really good quality messages because she profile really opens itself up to getting good quality messages.
So to recap a good online dating profile should only be three paragraphs long. Three paragraphs is the perfect length. Show a bit of your personality along with some of your interests and then round off by telling the readers what you are looking for in a date/potential partner. Perfection. Remember the photograph(s) are important but the profile will open up the quality of people. If you have a hot picture you’ll get lots of messages. If you have a cracking profile you’ll still get lots of messages but it’ll be far easier to see straight away if the person writing to you has read it instead of just looking at the picture and it gives them many avenues to speak about.
A photo attracts a click and attracts a message but if you want a quality message a good profile is key. Show your personality and your interests. Throw in a spot of humour and what you are looking for and suddenly you have a first rate profile that should attract some excellent responses. It’s a shame I’ve given up online dating so I can’t contact the person whose profile I have used to underline how to write a good profile to see if she is getting good messages but still, trust me, she should be getting many interesting and thoughtful messages and hopefully soon she’ll be dating and happy in that grown up relationship she wants with ‘bags for life’.
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