This is going to be somewhat of a follow-up to my last post, where we talked about why Online Dating is tough for guys, and what they could do to overcome the systemic and personal challenges they face in the current landscape.
However, it needs to be said that men do not have a monopoly on the problems and challenges of Online Dating. I have also had female clients and friends who have expressed a great deal of dissatisfaction with the experience, although the specific issues themselves tend to be a bit different. The general difference stems from the fact that with men, there is a lack of both quality and quantity in terms of women who are responding to their initial messages and winks, whereas with women, there tends to be less of an issue with quantity, but a whole host of issues with the quality of guys who are messaging them. Having hundreds of guys message you who all suck can be viewed as just as big of a problem as having nobody respond at all. After all, it can be argued that when nobody responds, at least you save yourself precious minutes of having to read through a pile of boring messages and disgusting pics of Mr. Winky. With that in mind, I’m going to focus this post on the ladies, and how they can improve their profiles in order to maximize their experiences online, and attract quality guys. Let’s dive in!
Issue #1- Get rid of the Laundry Lists!
I remember back when I was online dating. I would browse a woman’s profile, look a her pictures, and look at her bio to see if she was more than just a physically attractive human being. On many days, it almost seemed as though I didn’t really learn anything new about my potential match, because her whole profile was filled up with a list of requirements of how tall her man needs to be, how educated he needs to be, what his hobbies and interests should be, and whether or not he should like animals. When I began coaching male clients, I was hardly surprised to hear that many men were frustrated because they experienced the exact same thing. “I find her attractive, but I just don’t have much to go on,” my clients would tell me.
Of course, there’s nothing inherently wrong with having standards and expressing them online. That’s your right. However, when your requirements take up 80% or more of your bio, and you don’t make the effort to explain a bit more about you and what you bring to the table, you might end up scaring off quality men who are actually interested in learning more about you. They may see you as overly demanding, and worse, they may expect you will treat them that way in a relationship. Men of quality want someone who is going to treat them well and be an equal partner, not someone who is going to make them feel like they are constantly not measuring up to an arbitrary checklist. Not only that, but by not giving more info in your bio, you may ultimately attract more of the creeps, as they ultimately won’t care about your personality and whether or not you are a good match anyway.
I find that women seem to have the opposite problem from guys on this issue: Guys tend to talk mostly about themselves, and try to build themselves up in an impressive way in hopes of making themselves sound more “alpha” than they actually are while almost never describing who or what they are looking for in a partner. Women, on the other hand, tend to make it all about their partner and what they expect from them, while not saying nearly enough about themselves and what makes them an attractive prospect. Again, you want to aim for 70/30 in your profile, 70% about you, and 30% about what you’re looking for. If you can strike that balance, you should be well on your way to getting more top shelf guys to check you out.
Issue #2- Not Saying Enough
One reason why you are attracting the wrong guys to your profile is because you simply aren’t saying much of anything in it. I can’t tell you how many profiles I’ve looked at, from my own personal online dating experience, to the matches I look at for helping my male clients get dates, and so many of them barely have any bio to speak of. I recently went online to check out a match my male client had asked me about, and I was amazed. This woman’s profile was literally 5 pictures of herself, and then the one line of bio which read, “I’m a cat person.” Now, assuming this woman was actually serious about finding a relationship, this is not the way to go about things if you are trying to inspire high status men to write to you. Again, just like in point #1, you have to give people a little something to work with. What about your personality? Hobbies? Interests? Work? What inspires you? What makes you tick? Be descriptive and explain, because truth be told, the types of men who you are really trying to meet will care about these things. So think about what it is that you feel you would want your ideal man to know about you, and put it down in your profile. You don’t have to reveal everything about you (in fact, you probably shouldn’t, you should leave at least a little bit of mystery to figure out later), but there has to be something intriguing there if you want to start off your courtship on the right foot.
There’s no hard and fast rule about how many words you should write, but try to keep it to a paragraph or so. That strikes the right balance between being too long and too short.
Issue #3- You Actually Write Too Much
Yes, the opposite problem is also true for the ladies. Many of them will write what seems like an entire book about themselves, down to the last-minute detail, explaining what their favorite ice cream flavor is, and what color quilt she’s going to pick out for her next apartment. Again, balance is necessary here. Writing the Great American Novel as your dating site bio may look good to you, but for guys, many of whom have a short attention span, they are not going to want to have to scroll down through all of that information. Once they see that your wall of text is going to go on for another 5 scrolls of the mouse, they will quickly move on to the next profile. Yes, it may be unfair and ridiculous that a guy can’t be bothered to read a few extra paragraphs, but your goal here is to get guys to write to you, not to debate about the pros and cons of overly descriptive writing. Again, you should try to have your bio description be around a paragraph in length. Too much more than that, and you risk losing their attention, too little, and you run into what we talked about in Issue #2.
Issue #4- Your Photos Lack Variety
This issue is very similar to the guys. Many times when I look at a woman’s profile, I see that a great deal of their photo lineups consist of the same type of picture, usually 4 or 5 examples of close up face shots, and maybe one posed shot that’s taken far away, and that’s it. Just like with the guys, you want to be able to tell a story with your pictures. The guys who you are looking to date want you to show them what you’re about, not just be told. Try including a wide variety of photos, and try to limit the selfies and face shots to one, maybe two maximum. Include examples of you engaging in activities that you enjoy, hanging out with friends (don’t make this one your main photo though, guys want to be sure that it’s you they’re seeing up front), and just generally showing them that you’re an interesting person with a fun, enjoyable lifestyle. Even if you’re not exactly a thrill seeker, you should still try to focus on including photos that show men who you are, and what you enjoy doing. Bottom Line: You should always be striving for more than just a long string of close up shots and selfies!
Issue #5- Why So Serious?
One common issue that I have noticed with women’s profiles is that in their bio and photos, they come across as almost too serious in their tone and prose. Again, this goes back to the issue of sounding demanding and rigid with the requirements lists. Good men don’t necessarily want to write to or engage with a woman whom he sees as a potential job interviewer, someone who looks and sounds like they can’t have any fun. Dating is supposed to be fun, even (especially) when you are looking for the one! Try being a bit more lighthearted and carefree in your written prose, share an interesting story, crack a joke or two, show these guys that you are a cool person, who knows how to be both relaxed and chill, as well as serious and driven when you need to be. Multi-dimensionality will definitely serve you well!
Issue #6- You Attract What You Are
To be fair, what I am about to write works both ways, for men and women. However, I want to bring this point up here, as I am seeing an increasing number of women guilty of this in their profiles, and to be honest, there was just too much other stuff to talk about in my previous guys’ online dating post, anyway!
The one thing that we need to remember at the end of the day is that, by and large, with a few notable exceptions, people tend to partner up with other people who are similar to themselves. This is true physically, mentally, emotionally, politically and philosophically. Humans beings tend to forge their most successful relationships among people who are closest to themselves. You might say this is an evolutionary trait that has been held over from our old tribal days. Regardless, the point is that, if you claim to want certain traits or characteristics in a partner, your chances of actually getting someone with those traits increases exponentially if you yourself can display those traits.
To use an example: Imagine a guy who wants to date a girl who looks like Adriana Lima. It would serve him well if he is equally attractive, fit, and made good money. I don’t think I’m going out on a limb by saying that Adriana would probably not want to date a guy who sat on his couch all day, wearing a tattered old tank top with beer and salsa stains on it, while watching pro-wrestling on Channel 9. Conversely, a woman who is lazy, unmotivated, out of shape and has no ambition or goals in her life probably is not going to enter into a true, serious, loving relationship with a handsome,self-made billionaire. You have to look at what the person you want is offering to the world, and then match it up to what you are realistically offering. If you can say to yourself honestly that you two offer something equal in value, then you’ve got a good chance. If not, you probably will not be dating this person seriously, at least until you can improve your overall lifestyle. You want to be on as equal a footing as you can be in the dating marketplace if you want to attract the quality that you want. So ladies (and gentlemen), if you want the highest quality partner you can get, you need to make a commitment to being the highest quality person that you can be.
Enjoy your Dates!