Question: I’m 55. Why when I write down the truth about myself, which is all good, and I am a nice guy who knows how to treat a girl, and I’m not ugly, I get n0 response from women I say I’m looking for, Attractive, not overweight, between 45 – 60, smart, funny, and most important, Affectionate/Romantic.
If this letter is an example of your profile prowess, then part of your problem is your writing style. This letter is somewhat unreadable. It reads like you’re writing a stream of conscious ramble, not a coherent thought. You need to write something well structured that reads easily. I’ll expand on this in a minute.
If you say in your profile that you’re looking for a woman who isn’t overweight, you’re not the nice guy you think you are. The whole “No fatties!” stuff is really offensive. Then again, you’re sparing women from having to deal with your inevitable criticisms of their body by including that line.
I would guess that most if not all of the people who self-identify in their profile as a “nice person” or “nice guy” probably isn’t. Same goes for men who describe themselves as “gentleman.” Oh, you know how to treat a woman? Want a cookie for not being an abusive asshole? Knowing how to treat other people with respect should be a given. You shouldn’t have to come out and say it. Not only that, but statements like that hint at the guy having very antiquated ideas about women and how we think and what we like. Pass. Romantic is another descriptor that makes me twitchy. It plays into a fantasy and feels disingenuous. Even if it is true, show me you’re romantic. Don’t tell me. Let me decide.
Something tells me you’re being a wee bit too picky when deciding who to message and to whom to respond. Really? No attractive women in your age range are responding to you? I have a hard time believing that. To me, it appears as though your problem is a combination of your unreasonable standards and the fact that your profile doesn’t make a good impression.
Every Saturday, from 9am to about 4pm, I’m doing profile reviews. My clients and I spend the majority of the 30-60 minute sessions trying to re-write their self-summaries. Almost everybody save for the professional writers struggles with this part. Here are some common mistakes I find in the About Me sections and how to fix them.
1. Don’t waste the space. – Do not devote any time or space in the summary by giving extraneous information like how hard it is to write about yourself. Nobody cares. That first sentence needs to grab people and keep them interested. You need to open your profile with a bit of a bang. For example, my profile opens with this:
“Part Joan Holloway, part Joan Didion. I spent my first month in NYC living in a convent. True story. No, I was not considering taking a vow of celibacy.”
2. Don’t write choppy or generic sentences. – Nothing says snoozefest like, “I’m a laid-back person who is always up for an adventure. My friends say that I am reliable and always there with an ear or a shoulder. I like being active and outdoors.” Ugh. Zzzzzzzzzzz. Your summary needs to flow, not stop and start. It can’t feel like a taxi cab ride down Fifth Avenue. The sentences need to connect, and each line needs to set-up the next. Here’s another excerpt from my profile:
“I’m a lifestyle/gender issues writer living in Manhattan looking for someone who seeks a partner, a sounding board, and a companion. I’m passionate about various forms of expression and art and inquisitive about what makes us tick. I’m equal parts carnal and creative and believe wit is far more arousing than sarcasm and prefer grit over machismo and muscles.
3. Forget the buzzwords. – Adventurous, relaxed, open-minded, active, blah blah blah. Everybody describes themselves in the same way. While it’s really hard to write a profile that stands out, it’s incredibly easy to write one that is interchangeable with all the others. No, you shouldn’t resort to a thesaurus. You need to include examples of these attributes. I will again point to the beauty of bullet point lists. When things are put into list format instead of separated by commas they are easier to read. From my profile:
Some fun facts about me:
*I realized I was in serious need of grammar and punctuation lessons, so I just signed up for a course with Gotham Writer’s Workshop. (I am also going to take their Novel and Fiction writing courses.)
*If Zoolander is on TV, I set aside whatever I’m doing to watch it.
*I am fortunate to have friends who encourage me to learn as much as I can about out nation/world.
*I own maybe 8 pairs of shoes but wear my sneakers the most.
*I added a Pee Wee Herman sound clip app to my phone and play it when stressed. My favorite? “Why don’t you take a picture it’ll last longer!”
*I moved to NYC 20 years ago by myself without knowing a soul.
*I can walk 65 Manhattan blocks in 45 minutes. If Madonna is playing on my iPod, I can do it in 42 minutes.
*I volunteer to walk dogs who have been abused.
4. Don’t repeat yourself. - You can open and close with similar thoughts, but you shouldn’t continue to mention the same things throughout your profile. For example, let’s say you’re really in to staying fit. That can go in your self-summary. ONCE. You can then refer to is again in your closing or when you describe your ideal mate by saying you hope to meet someone who enjoys staying active. Your profile should not be peppered with numerous references to one thing, like your job or various hobbies. Remember, you need to utilize the few seconds you have to keep someone interested. Repeating yourself is a waste of their time and your space.
Any more you can think of?
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