Online dating can be a tricky beast. Now there’s no denying that when it comes to filling out an online dating profile, pictures are important. But is that all that counts? Is knowing whether or not to look at the camera or to make sure you’re using a DSLR rather than your iPhone going to make the difference between a date on Friday and staying home to catch up on Fringe?
Well, as it turns out: that all depends on who you’re looking for. Recent studies – involving tracking participant’s eye-movements as they read dating profiles from Match.com and eHarmony have shown that men focus most of their attention on the dating profile photos, rather than on the profile itself.
Women, on the other hand, spend far more time reading the actual profiles than looking at the pictures.
This isn’t terribly surprising; men tend to be visually oriented, while women tend to be intellectually and emotionally oriented in the mate-selection process. Now, this isn’t to say that how you look isn’t important… but you’d damn well better know how to impress her with your words if you’re hoping to make that OKCupid love connection.
Now, I’ve shared my thoughts about how a man looking for love online should best go about filling out his dating profile. But as with my previous article, sometimes those theories need to be put to the test. And how better to test them out than
by once again abusing the trust with the gracious help of my readers. As with the last time, I put out the call over Twitter and the Dr. NerdLove Facebook page for some volunteers who would be willing to subject themselves to the criticism, advice, and judgement of several friends of mine.
So without further ado, let’s find out just what women think of your dating profile, shall we?
How It Works
This time, I’ve picked out two
victims individuals whose profiles work well for my instructional purposes. All information provided to the judges was strictly anonymous; no personally identifying information, including names, usernames or photos had been included, nor have I provided any commentary or instructions. Both profiles use the OK Cupid profile format. All spelling errors and typos in the original profile are included without correction.
Today we feature the first of the two chosen profiles. Strap yourselves in, it’s gonna be a long one.
Meet Your Judges:
As before, I reached out to several women of my acquaintance in order to gain a spectrum of ages and occupations, as well as varying levels of experience with regards to online dating.
Gentlemen, I present to you, your judges.
Amanda – 24, Production Assistant
Jennifer – 32, Web Tech
Catherine – 35, Librarian
Trisha Lynn – 34, Administrative Assistant
Caroline – 31, Teacher
Kelly – 26, Massage Therapist
But enough from me. It’s time to hear from Bachelor #1 and our panel of judges. Ladies, take it away:
My Self Summary
I’m really not sure how to describe myself without either sounding cocky or sounding like I have low self-esteem. Well, I enjoy acting and writing (I think I’m a better actor than I am a writer). I’m a pretty big geek. I’ll talk your ear off when it comes to different geeky things that I obsess over or various TV shows that only lasted a single season. I friggin love ponycorns. I love to cuddle (but who doesn’t?). Ummmmmmmmmmm……. Oh, I’m a space ninja. That’s about all I can think of. Wanna know more? Feel free to ask.
I just have one more thing to say… Makka pakka.
Amanda: If you can’t describe yourself without sounding cocky or you have low self-esteem then you’re doing something wrong. Both of those are bad and unappealing. I’m okay with what you wrote down afterwords until you get to the more random stuff like space ninjas, ponycorn, makka pakka. I’m trying to get to know you and I keep thinking is “What?”
Kelly: You may think your first sentence shows that you are self aware or neither cocky or have low self esteem, but what it ends up doing is showing you’re unsure of yourself right off the bat.
Trisha Lynn: My first conversation with this dude would consist of me testing out his claims of knowing things about obscure shows and whether or not he knows his stuff.
Caroline: If you say you’re a writer, typos will be glaring– please don’t end sentences in prepositions. You don’t need to say you’re a geek, per se. Just say what you like more specifically, and people will be able to decide if they like your taste. There are definitely references I don’t understand but maybe that will help you find someone who knows your references and shows the same enthusiasm for that stuff.
Trisha Lynn: The ponycorns comment? Ehhh…. I certainly hope he’s not going by the first Urban Dictionary definition. Or if he is, he’d better be willing to receive, too.
What I’m Doing With My Life:
Right now, I’m working as a mutuel teller at Will Rogers Downs. I hope to one day become an actor and writer. Also looking into going back to school. I’d like to get a theater degree as well as a teaching degree. As an actor, my dream roles are that of Hamlet and/or a Power Ranger. I’ve also thought about looking into working as a mortician. Weird, I know.
And in my own little world, I’m a mildly successful airship captain who’s rather good with a sword and rather mediocre with a pistol.
Catherine: That was amusing. And honest. I know that you are gainfully employed, but working toward something that you want, and that makes you a viable candidate. Also, the particular interests you have are, well, interesting (to me, at least).
Jennifer: Having a job is good, as well as showing that he has plans for the future. And specifics! Specifics are good! By dropping the “Hamlet/Power Ranger” dichotomy, he’s left an opening for an interested party to ask if he likes other sorts of roles, or just ones that involve wearing tight pants.
Trisha Lynn: At first, I was going to take away points for misspelling “mutual teller.” Then, I actually Google-searched the phrase and found out that dude helps people place bets at a horse racing track! Now that makes him much more interesting, even though my gambling obsession is small-stakes no limit hold’em. That means we can talk about at least one more thing. He also gets points for wanting to go back to school, but loses points for wanting to be a Power Ranger (depending on how old he is).
I’m Really Good At:
As stated above, writing and acting. I feel those are the only true talents I have.
I also tend to become a scholar of anything I decide to obsess over. I wouldn’t say I have an encyclopedic knowledge of Doctor Who, Super Sentai, and Kamen Rider, but it’s pretty close.
I rather enjoy coming up with random characters/stories on the fly and going off the rails with said ideas. It’s best to just play along when this happens.
I tend to sing “Separate Ways” by Journey in a fairly overly-dramatic manner. People seem to be entertained by it.
Jennifer: Clearly, he’s got more talents than just writing and acting if he can pull off an overly dramatic “Separate Ways” performance. No matter how Glee may make it seem, Journey isn’t easy to do well.
Caroline: I like how much personality comes out in what you have written, but be careful with the negative self-talk on your profile. I am sure you have more talents than writing and acting (Can you put on pants?) and it is exhausting in a relationship to have to continuously help a guy feel better about himself.
Amanda: You use the word “obsess” more than once in your profile. I’m a big Doctor Who fan, but when I hear someone is obsessed I tend to back away a little. I would never want you to deny what really interest you, but when you come off so strong about it all it invokes is the image of a steroetypical nerd at a Comic Book Convention.
Trisha Lynn: Writing may be one of his talents, but unfortunately, he’s not showcasing them very well…
The First Things People Usually Notice About Me:
My eyes, my smile (or rather, my smirk), my energy, my t-shirts, my collection, and my eccentric personality.
Kelly: What is this collection you speak of? Heads? My Little Ponies? Lunchboxes? Why would people notice that on you?
Catherine: I wouldn’t mention the collection, unless it’s something you carry on your person at all times. Or, unless the only place you meet people is in your house.
Amanda: No kidding. How is that the first thing people notice about you? Do you carry a collection with you wherever you go?
Jennifer: Ugh. I hate the word smirk. Mostly because it is usually preceded by “self satisfied” and that’s not an expression I particularly want to see on someone’s face.
Caroline: If people are noticing this many things about you at first, would there be much room for another personality in the relationship?