Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Top Six Things NOT to do in your online dating profile


We've talked about unfortunate photo selection for your online dating profile, now let's discuss that "About Me" section. Just like the picture, the About Me (or personal profile) section is your introduction to your potential S.O. What you write in that section is the equivalent of walking up to somebody and either whispering "Psst, psst, hey baby" or saying something intriguing that makes them want to know more about you. [For the record, "psst, psst" is NEVER a good idea] Think of this as your SuperBowl Ad. You have one chance to make a lasting impression on a huge audience. What do you want your ad to say?

I get it, it's not easy to talk about yourself. And it's especially not easy to walk that delicate tightrope of making yourself sound interesting without revealing too much of yourself. You want the reader to get to know you without really getting to know you. A lot of services now give you tips and hints on how to present yourself in the best light in two paragraphs or less. They have you answer random things about your favorite food, your hobbies, the place you want to visit most in the world. And while those are sort of but not really interesting, they rarely get to the heart of what makes you you

It's nice to know that you like walking dark alleys in the rain and camping in Yosemite. But that only tells me that if we get together, I'll have to plan our leisure activities. The profile is meant to catch attention, capture imagination and keep them. Here's what NOT to do:

1) Open with "I don't really like to talk about myself" - **crickets** C'mon now! You knew when you signed up to this website that you were going to have to talk about your darn self. Saying that you hate to do it is a gigantic waste of time and a cop out. But not as much as...

2) Writing "call or email me if you want to know more" - What part of the game is that? What if I want to know more BEFORE investing in an email or a phone call? That's the whole miraculous purpose of online dating - it allows you to build in a pre-pre-screen. 

3) Unrealistic shiggity - Here's a direct quote "Men love me and I love them back. I'm only on here to narrow the field and meet my ultimate prince. I cook every day, bring home my paycheck, keep the house clean and treat my man like the King that he is. I'm a lady in the living room and porn star in the bedroom. I'll be the best thing that ever happened to you." No ma'am -  your online profile is already the sub-plot of 214 Lifetime movies. Don't make promises you cannot humanly keep. And what's that I smell? Eau d' Thirsty. Stop. It.

4) An English Teacher's nightmare - I cut and paste the following for you: "hEY, thurr, Miz Ladies! I AM a mean whom knows waht he wants in a women. ans I will b vurry vurry gode to who end up wit me." Hell. No. Even if you are foreign and don't understand the basic grammatical principles of the English language... there's an app for that - we call it GOOGLE! Type in your native tongue and have Google Translate tell you what's up. NOW if your native tongue is Ghetto Ebonics - get thee off these here innanets and go to a Reading is Fundamental Class. You are NOT ready for primetime. Is that harsh? Pookie should be allowed to post a profile? Fine, Pook - have your smarter cuz Ray-Nay post on your behalf. But people please acquaint thyself the following English basics:
a. Text talk is not appropriate for getting to know you time. I ND A GRL 2 B HOT 4 ME is unacceptable on a myriad of levels
b. Conversate is NOT a word
c. Where and wear are not the same word
d. Spell check is your friend
5. TMI - Your profile should be a brief enticing snapshot of you, not a docudrama. Please don't share what happened on your last five dates, your past relationship, your last two marriages, or last night's hook-up in your profile. We didn't ask for all that. And while you are describing yourself, keep it light-hearted and PG-13. It's so unnecessary to describe your cocoa prowess at this stage of the game. And by the way, the rule on that is - If you have to talk about it, you probably are overcompensating. Don't talk... just do.

6. The "List" - Every fifth profile I've looked at has someone going ALL THE WAY in on what they don't want in their future S.O. From height, weight, skintone, race, profession, salary and on and on - I have seen people list up to twenty things they will not accept. I list three: 1) Smokers, 2) Overly Opinionated Pompous Fake People, and 3) Fans of Sarah Palin (with the understanding that #2 and #3 are often the same issue). That's plenty. By listing an entire set of dealbreakers and knock outs, you are narrowing the field of people who will approach you. And you're making yourself look very, very high maintenance. Literally, I saw one gent write out 30 lines starting with IF YOU ARE _______, YOU ARE NOT FOR ME. Well, alrighty then. NEXT!

BougieLand, agree or disagree? Have some to add to the list? Care to elaborate? The floor is yours...

82 comments:

Brneyed1 said...

I always seemed to draw the attention of men with profiles 2, 4, or 6. Sometimes a combo of 2 & 4. Ugh. Two others I encountered:

1. The Book of Dude: Dude pulls all of his favorite scriptures and posts them as his profile. No other information is provided. Nothing wrong with the Word, but using scripture as your profile tells me nothing about you other than you have access to a bible.

2. The Darrius Lovehall: He. Is. A. Poet. DEEP! Like puddles....after aaa...morning rain. His goal? Toletthewomanheseeksthinkthathespeaks, lives, LOVES, with....FLOURISSSH. *whispers* Let me love you down....

Simmone said...

This is an excellent list, and should be mandated for everyone to follow! I love your topics!

michaeldavis said...

2: trying to be the "blues in your left thigh"and yet FAILing repeatedly

michaeldavis said...

as I said yesterday: Please have a moderately strong grasp of the English language. If I see "me to" instead of TOO, and LOOSE instead of LOSE one mo'gin ...just saying.

Also, the made-up 20 letter middle names: GOTTA.GO.
Your profile name is Keisha LikesToPartyAllTheTime Hartnett .... but you want a man who gets straight to the point? My mentee "little bro" has one of those; except he's 16 years old.

CaliGirlED said...

"...tryin to be the funk in your right." LOL too much!

CaliGirlED said...

#2 was the stupidest thing I'd ever seen! Really??? Just tells me you can't write.
As for #4, I absolutely hate "text talk" in emails and personal profiles!
When I ran across #5, I didn't even bother to read! I'm trying to get a snapshot of you, not your autobiography!

Nandiehills said...

Love the list...especially #4!

blackprofessor said...

LOL, you are killing me this week! I hate #2!

I detest the confused profile! True story - This guy contacted me on match.com and listed in his profile that he wasn't interested in marriage or having kids. I politely wrote him back and explained that since I was interested in both, we weren't compatible. He wrote me back and said "Are you giving up that easily? I might be persuaded to change my mind." I wrote back "That would be a waste of my precious time when I could meet someone who is already on the same page. Have a great life!" He wrote back "I see your point."

Bougieland, WDDA???

Tazzee said...

I'd have to add the online dater that goes on a rant in their profile. Something like:

"Let me just say I'm sick of all these women on here with pictures that are 20 years old. If you respond to my profile, please have a picture with a date stamp. LADIES!!! How can you have a half-naked picture of yourself and then say you want a god-fearing man?!?! I don't do drama, I'm allergic to drama, so if you have drama keep it moving. I'm sick of all the drama I've encountered on this site..."

While I made that up, I saw plenty of profiles of men venting about their experience. And I'm sitting in front of my computer thinking "why are you still on here if it's THAT bad?"

Mony_Mony said...

All of these are spot on, especially #4. AnD dOn'T fOrGeT tHe CrEaTiVe CaPiTaLiZaTiOn! Understandable (but still annoying) for a teenage girl, unacceptable for a grown ass man.

Tazzee said...

Or what about the ones that send you a message with one of thost deep poems as if he wrote it just for you, LOL

Jubilance said...

You hit the nail on the head with this post, I agree with all of these. I really hate those profiles that have a list of what the person doesn't want - who cares? Can you share some information about yourself please? And I also hate those profiles that have 20 pictures but nothing written. You may be nice to look at, but I'd like to know a bit about you before I message you or respond to your message.

Ms. Jay said...

I have never done the online dating profile , but I have read the posts that happen in the newspaper ads. "Strong black man looking for his white gazelle" <--------- WDDA? I have seen ads that say black /asian women need not apply

CorettaJG said...

Writing "contact me if you want to know more" is a fail that I actually found helpful because I could speedily cut that person. I saw people on eharmony with no profile picture and these instructions to contact them. Um, no thank you. I surmised that either they were extremely unattractive and afraid of being summarily dismissed or they actually thought they were extremely attractive and this ploy was a way of saying, "Don't hate me because I'm beautiful" (just judge me on my #4 style words). Again, no thank you. Suck it up and fill out a complete profile, using full sentences, and including a picture. The ability to just do that let's me know if you are taking the process seriously or not.

CorettaJG said...

Oh no! I received one of those poems and I thought it WAS just for me. Now I need to study it to determine if it was possibly recycled. Brneyed1's Love Jones poet example is HILARIOUS though. Mine wasn't that bad.

cocoaeyecandy said...

Did you say "Eau d' Thirsty" - iQuit you!
For today, be back tomorrow.

FreeBlackMan said...

Anytime I see "Queens" looking for "Kings" and "Princesses" looking for "Princes" - I'm done. Sit yo' Disney azz down.

Queen of Me said...

This is hilarious and true!

Queen of Me said...

This is also a HUGE peeve of mine on Facebook. People calling themselves James SwagnificentBachelorHustler Jones. Make it stop

Queen of Me said...

BWAHAHA! I prefer they send it to me rather than try and recite it on the first date. I can't keep a straight face!

thinking that... said...

#4 is hilarious....

BlackButterfly said...

This post is so on point and had me laughing hysterically at the ridiculousness of it all. #4 is the ultimate NO for me. I've had someone speak to me like that in person! **shivers**

Leon X said...

Nothing is worse than a dating profile with enough spelling and grammatical errors to make an English teacher go into early retirement. Expressing one's self by the written word is a lost art. What happens as a result are people who write too much or don't write enough. Either way they end up saying nothing.

Lady4Real said...

This week I'm just sitting back and reading the blog and the comments. No input from me, other than, great post. (never online dated, met my ex-husband on AOL though and we see how that ended, but that was more youth, inexperience and rebellion than AOL's fault.)

David Chase said...

Can you repeat that in ALL BOLD CAPS. I think last week's BnB proved it's not a fairy tale.

J B said...

I haven't done online dating in ages because it was such the fail (no-shows, brown teeth, deathly afraid of even looking at me to name a few). I'll admit that I was guilty of the list thing, containing 5 witty no-nos ("No Preachers, papas, porn stars, pimps or puffers"**), but as I said yesterday, it didn't seem to matter, since the no-nos came a knockin.

At the time I wasn't interested in dating fathers, yet half the men who responded had kids. Three were engaged, ibe was separated, and one was married, yet the ad clearly said SINGLE men. Five didn't even live in the United States. And this was before the Nigerian personal ad invasion.

I've had people argue with me that chatspeak is a very acceptable form of communication when getting to know a person. I weep.

Another Thing that Drives me crazy is random Capitalization of words in a Single sentence. See, that even hurt me to type it.

(**"This was amusing til I realized half the guys didn't get it. Then I changed it to plain English and they still didn't get it.)

thinklikeRiley said...

Shout out to Pook, Ray-Nay and nem. Corner boyz got zero biz gettin' they "match.com" on. That's not gangsta.

OneChele said...

LMAO @ "The Book of Dude" - Classic.
Darius Lovehall's A Blues for Nina has context, brothers can't just break that out at random.

OneChele said...

I had a brother break out his cell phone, play some music he said he composed and start singing. At a restaurant. To me. AWKWARD!
And no, that ninja couldn't carry a tune.

OneChele said...

Thank you!

OneChele said...

Beatrice QueenBeeAllWhoSeeMeBowDown Jenkins doesn't do it for you?

OneChele said...

Don't leave mad ;-)

OneChele said...

Aw hell to the naw.

OneChele said...

tOo iRRiTating 4 Wrdz.

OneChele said...

Ah yes... I call this the Mary J Blige profile. Singing about how they want No More Drama. They have been through the wars and aren't going to take it anymore. (Because telling people you don't want drama ALWAYS works in keeping it at bay) :-|

OneChele said...

Boo. This is the game player. Says one thing, means another but might actually not mean that either. Life is too short for Rubik's Cube dating. If you are that complex, keep it moving.

OneChele said...

I wish more people knew that there are some things that are cute at 16 that cease to be cute a day past 21. And gets less cute the further away from 16 you get.

Joy Andrews said...

What about the complete fiction profile. The picture wasn't him and the profile was clearly written by (and for) someone else. Met this one a few years back when I first moved to LA. How did they expect to keep up the pretense?

OneChele said...

Excellent point. IF you're gonna do it - respect the process.

OneChele said...

I feel the same when I see "A Real G" looking for "A Ride or Die Chick" - why it gotta be all that?!

OneChele said...

I do wish we could bring back the romance of articulating in a written format but I fear the text/tweet generation has wounded it gravely.

OneChele said...

"No Preachers, papas, porn stars, pimps or puffers" LOVE IT!

OneChele said...

Perhaps you should start a special CornerLove.com site just for the G's. ;-)

OneChele said...

How did they explain that they didn't match the picture? Let alone the profile? That's crazy. Very LA though. #noshade

CaliGirlED said...

Did you give him the "titled head" look that dogs give when they are confused? LOL

CaliGirlED said...

"Sit yo' Disney azz down. " *dead*

DesertBlack said...

"Sit yo Disney azz down" I might have to put that on a t-shirt. LOL

CaliGirlED said...

("No Preachers, papas, porn stars, pimps or puffers"**)...LMAO!!!

CaliGirlED said...

That's jailhouse stuff right there! Had a friend back in the day who got paid (jailhouse currency) to write letters for other inmates. You want drawings (hearts, doves, Mickey & Minnie), that will be extra. He had excellent handwriting, was very familiar with the English language and could draw. (What was he doing in jail? Still shaking my head on that one!)

Brneyed1 said...

Did Malik Turner move up from searching via tear-offs on a light pole?

Brneyed1 said...

Did Malik Turner move up from searching via tear-offs on a light pole?

AndreaPlaid said...

LOL @ "it didn't seem to matter, since the no-nos came a knockin."

and this

"I've had people argue with me that chatspeak is a very acceptable form of communication when getting to know a person." I weep with you.

Stank_0 said...

i loved this "Eau d' Thirsty." Thirst is now a perfume/cologne/fragrance.

Brneyed1 said...

I saw one with a list of Must Haves. He included physical, mental, and financial Musts. I was out after "must wear my favorite perfume all the time."

Huh? For realz player?

SingLikeSassy said...

I'm in a meeting and about to lose my job reading this post and the replies. LOL

OneChele said...

No ma'am - do not jeopardize employment over BnB ;-)

AndreaPlaid said...

If someone wants to brag about being a "porn star" in their profile, then I feel it's fair game to ask for titles/links of their, ahem, works. (I'd all add, "hey, I know a porn star. I'll ask him/her if s/he's heard of you." As you all pointed out, it's all about due diligence.

J B said...

I almost forgot.

Do NOT write that you "enjoy long walks on the beach." I beg of you, Senor Cliche.

J B said...

I suspect he performed such favors in the big house to keep from becoming Bubba's woman.

CaliGirlED said...

I doubt that was a problem for him, but hey jail is jail. I didn't ask! LOL

Jeannette said...

And please please please... do not come off as being overly and unrealistically romantic ( i will have your bath water ready when you come home every night). Fellas we are hoping you aren't one of them Nigerian con artists (no disrespect to my stand up Naija folks), but you get my drift!

William Martin said...

I lowkey wish someone would just be straight up. Mine would say - I won't cook every night but I order killer takeout. I won't run your bathwater but I'll be waiting with a glass of wine when you get out. I'm going to ignore you when sports are on and you're going to have to nag me about the toilet seat. I tend to fall asleep after sex, don't take it personally. I can be had for a well done steak and garlic mashed potatoes. I'm cranky on less than five hours of sleep. My career is going to battle my relationship in my priority list. But my intentions are good despite evidence to the contrary.

What do you think - would I get the girl?

OneChele said...

This comment WINS.

Penny said...

Oh yes!! :)

Grace said...

Truth - I don't know what to do with that. ;-)

Jasmin said...

Ha! Thanks for the laugh while I'm sick in bed. :-)

CaliGirlED said...

I'd prefer this over the alternative, straight out lying!

J. Jackson said...

I died a MILLION deaths reading about Pook and his brother Ray-Noy. I have to agree with the other posters, just be yourself. My profile on eHarmony is direct and straight to the point. Has anyone done match.com? I'm not too particularly happy with eHarmony.

Oh, and *co-sign* on the talking about your cocoa game. I notice people who talk are usually trying to convince themselves (and not you) that there "performance" will be better than the last 10+ times that were... lackluster at best.

Trudy said...

#3 is the precursor to the show Snapped. LOL. #4 is incredibly painful to deal with in any form or fashion. LOL. Funny post.

Trudy said...

The best part is "I order killer takeout."

maureen palmer said...

This brother put [h] on the word hustle. roflmao!

GammasWorld said...

If this is really what's out here now, Imma just stay out of this on-line dating -- too young for seniorlove.com and too old for the rest of this foolishness. When I did venture into the personals, my pet peeve was "I love the mountains and the beach". I live smack dab in the middle of NC ... everybody here loves the mountain and the beach.

Natasha Hunter said...

Funny, funny stuff... they all irk me, but #4 is just... *shudders* the one that really bugs me is "don't waist my time."... Dude...Bruh...really!?!

Truth be told, I like to see who really reads my profiles. I've said things like "Looking Exclusively for Eskimos" or "Evil Kenevil stunt double" just to see who reads what I have to say before they contact me...

You know what else I found interesting back in my BP heyday? I could come up with the wittiest names and no one would have them but there'd be like 104 PrettiiRedbonz or SexiiChoclit's #originality failz :)

GrownAzzMan said...

"Suck it up and fill out a complete profile, using full sentences, and including a picture. The ability to just do that let's me know if you are taking the process seriously or not."

Exactly! Anything else is just a waste of time.

GrownAzzMan said...

*fist bump*

Leo the Yardie Chick said...

" Conversate is NOT a word"

Preach! Last year, I saw a comment by some woman saying she had difficulty trying to 'conversate' with men in a particular country (she was a US expat). The smart-ass in me whispered, "Oh really? I wonder why."

GrownAzzMan said...

Truth in advertising. Won't know you exist during the NBA playoffs but I could grow to love you more then baseball...LOL

Micki said...

How about Mr. Casta Wide-Net? The brother that sends form letters to every single woman that shows up in his search. How do I know this? My profile was published and five minutes later I received a 2 page poorly-written letter (manifesto?) on my beauty, wisdom and grace. A letter speaking of gazing into each other's eyes and talking about our dreams and aspirations.

How is that attractive?

After receiving three of those letters, I hid my profile. Eff Match.com!

CaliGirlED said...

LOL!!!

CaliGirlED said...

Five minutes later? *dead*

Brneyed1 said...

I've done both. eHarmony has a lot more structure than Match.

One Chele said...

"Strong black man looking for his white gazelle"

Am I the only one getting a bestiality vibe from this?

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