This Is Not How To Write A Dating Profile

Name: Juliagross
Comment: My photos haven’t been approved yet. I will post my profile text I had this written for me:

Are you the next chapter in this bookworms story?

Loyal, intelligent, and fun-loving woman, ready to meet that thoughtful,
goal-oriented, and active man who could keep me laughing all night long.
Hey everyone, my name is Julia, and I am all about living each and
every day to the absolute fullest.

Most days of the week you could find me back in the classroom, where I
am working hard to start a new and fulfilling career.  As someone who
has always loved to learn new things and take on new challenges, I am
extremely excited about where the future will take me.  Now if only I
had a handsome gentleman to take me somewhere in the near future as
well!  Wink… Wink… :)

So what is a typical day with me like?  So glad you asked!

Spend some time with me and you may find yourself going for a nice long
run (let’s hope I don’t need that training on a first date! :P), hang
gliding off a mountain (…unless of course, I’m enough of an adrenaline
rush for you?), skiing or snow boarding down a mountain (any skiing
experts out there?), having a drink with some friends for happy hour
(…or two or three depending on the work week!), spending an afternoon at
the theater (handsome and cultured and you may just have me at hello!),
or just exploring a new area with some good company, having some great
conversation, and maybe even trying a new restaurant.  Any suggestions?
Unless of course, you are brave enough to try my cooking…

Up for a little adventure?  From exploring the unique cultures of China,
to experiencing the breathtaking views of Thailand, to traveling through
the Ancient Ruins of Europe, and just about everywhere in between, I am
always up for that next big trip, so have those suitcases ready boys!

With all that said, as much as I do love being outdoors, sometimes being
indoors with the right person can be just as great, if not better.
Whether we are watching a great television show, listening to some music (what’s on your
playlist these days?), or just sitting around and laughing for hours,
being with the right person is always a good time.  I also happen to be
a huge reader, so I definitely appreciate a man who could discuss a good
book with me…

At this point in my life I have had many great experiences, but feel as
if I am just getting started with the next great phase of my life.
While my next big goals will be to finish my educational goals and
continue exploring the world, perhaps my biggest goal will be to find
the right person to explore it with.  The question is, are you that

When I first used the above profile the response rate was dire not only did I only get about 2-3 men a week but they were very unenthusiastic. Also what is interesting is that I got a lot more likes than messages and I wonder if it was the written profile or something else in the profile that put them off (I am 30 plus and have gone back to study however I already have a postgraduate qualification). With the last profile my photos weren’t great (I had unflattering glasses and my clothes were less stylish). I’ve posted the same written profile with different photos. I am slim and have what I would say is an average face. I am wondering if my profile or the photos or both let me down. I can’t send the link yet as my photos have not been approved. I would like advice on the written profile.

Many thanks

The main problem with hiring someone to write your profile is that nobody can capture your voice but you. You didn’t have to tell me someone wrote this for you. It’s obvious. Do you know why? Because it is completely devoid of authenticity and focuses almost exclusively on shallow interests and traits. I haven’t  a clue who you are or what you are about. Neither, I’m sure, does the person who crafted this About Me summary. That’s why the person in this profile comes off like a caricature.

Another huge misstep here is how your profile is peppered with cutesy interjections. It’s like you’re standing beside someone poking them as they read it. All these interruptions are disruptive to the flow of the profile. Nobody likes a Chatty Cathy. This is information overload, but sadly little of it gives people an window into who you are and why people are drawn to you. Listing  a bunch of over-used adjectives and descriptors doe snot provide matches with any real or substantive insight as to whether you and they are compatible.

I have been hired numerous times to re-write profiles that have been professionally written because those people, like you, didn’t have any success. I don’t care how many Skype sessions or phone calls these professional writing services offer to help get to know you, no writer will EVER be able to present you in an authentic way because they are not you.  And know this: users who read such profiles are well aware that they are fake. They may not be able to pinpoint exactly how they know, but they know. They get that nagging feeling we have when we look at something and know it’s off . We may not be able to quantify or identify it, but we feel confident enough in our suspicions that we walk away.

The reason you got more likes than messages is because most people nowadays can’t be bothered to message anymore. As I said in an earlier post, thanks to Tinder, it has now become acceptable to invest the bare minimum of effort. It’s also very possible if not probable that the likes and messages you are getting are from men who contact everyone with a vagina. I honestly can’t imagine a man with options taking this bait. It screams high maintenance and hollow.

What makes this profile so problematic is that you’re trying too hard to appeal to everybody rather than picking a specific niche and tailoring your words to them. This profile makes you sound so eager to please that it’s uncomfortable.   You ski, you snowboard, you sky dive, you travel, you go to the theater. Who does all these things? Rhetorical question alert! Nobody, that’s who. This person does not exist. More importantly, this person isn’t YOU. In fact, I’ll go so far as to say that I think you are the exact opposite of this profile. That’s why men aren’t messaging you. You’re trying too hard.

The other issue with this is that you come off sounding like you can’t do anything by yourself and need  a man to accompany you or are looking for some kind of benefactor. You want to go to China? Go to China!  Nobody is stopping you. The expectations expressed in this profile are dramatically unrealistic. No man is going to be all these things. No person is all these things.

You’re looking for James Bond. He’s a fictional character, much like the woman depicted in this profile.

Have you ever encountered a profile you knew wasn’t written by the person in the photos? Have you ever hired someone to write your profile? What were the results? Leave your thought sin the comments.


Sometimes the love of your life is the love of your life. (R)


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32 Responses to “This Is Not How To Write A Dating Profile”

  1. SS Says:

    I love fun!


    I love being outdoors! But also indoors!


    I am adventurous! But I also want to be adventurous!


    I love to laugh!


    I’m experienced! But I’m just getting started!

    Ok who won cliche bingo? Anything from the 3rd shelf to the lucky winner.

    • fuzzilla Says:

      I was gonna say: Cliche-gasm, anyone?

      It’s good to be upbeat, but yeah, it comes off trying way too hard. OP could use some pointers on additions that would make it more “real” yet still reads upbeat overall (like, I dunno, answering what scares you, what annoys you, what you wanted to be as a kid, tell some funny-quirky story about your dad or something).

    • AC Says:

      You forgot:

      I’m, witty, sassy, sarcastic….

      I also love curling up on the couch and binge-watching (insert popular cable-TV or netflix show)

      My friends say (or worse – my friends helped me write this)’

      I’m not good at describing myself…

      NO GAMES!!!!!!!
      NO DRAMA!!!!!!!

      • SS Says:

        Lol yes! My male friends tell me another one is “I’m just as comfortable in a little black dress as I am hanging out in jeans.”

      • uesider Says:

        I actually have an OkCupid bingo sheet. Lots of profiles I not only get Bingo, I fill the whole card.

        Add “Not looking for One Night Stands”

      • Confused Says:

        “I can’t believe I’m doing this!”

        As if a gun is being pointed at their head, forcing them to write a dating profile

  2. Confused Says:

    I truly believe most people live normal, mundane lives. They get up, go to a regular 9 to 5, and every now and then, they do something special, like go rock climbing one weekend. Once.

    I think when most people draft up a online dating profile, they don’t want to seem ‘boring’ and mundane, so they take that one rock climbing weekend and expand it to make it seem like that’s an every weekend exciting activity, therefore, making them exciting, and they’ll stand out from the crowd.

    And in turn, the person that’s attracted to the pic in this profile, wants to make themselves seem exciting, and create a ‘connection’ so they’ll lie too, insisting that they also rock climb, when the truth is, you couldn’t get this person drunk enough to jump off a porch.

    So here you have two people already lying to each other right off the bat. I think that’s why so many online dates go astray from the jump: I don’t think people can be honest with themselves, so they have to craft wild cliched hackneyed profiles like the example above.

    • Mark Says:

      I’m inclined to agree that work comprises a big chunk of our lives. All too often it’s more than a 9-5 or other variation of a 40 hour week. Often it’s more, a lot more.

      That’s why those activities are important. Some are bucket list things. Be it skydiving without a tandem or static line or whatever. Sometimes we do develop interests. For some it is an occasional thing. Still others it becomes a passion. It’s tough to convey that without coming off as trite. But still you do make very strong points. As do others who may comment on the usual points about stock phrases that usually crop up in many profiles.

      As Moxie pointed out apps like Tinder have to a large degree relegated a written profile to the trash bin. Not totally, but pretty close. So a written profile doesn’t carry the same weight as it might have even a short time ago. Be it well crafted or a sloppy mess.

      With respect to the LW’s original question, the profile is decently written. Unfortunately, it gives the impression that someone else wrote it for you. Which it was. Because of that, it just doesn’t have the ring of authenticity to it. I’m not trying to be snarky or anything like that. Rather, it just doesn’t strike me as well… compelling an any visceral sort of way. If a question is legitimately submitted, then it should be treated as such.

      But again, I’m not sure that in today’s environment, that is all that much of a consideration. Photo’s are the key. People can’t get passed them. Swipe one way or swipe the other way. People will look past a lot if the person on the screen is attractive enough. It may not be the way it ought to be or even fair. But all too often that’s the way it is.

    • AC Says:

      “So here you have two people already ‘lying to each other right off the bat. I think that’s why so many online dates go astray from the jump: I don’t think people can be honest with themselves, so they have to craft wild cliched hackneyed profiles like the example above.”

      This speaks volumes because we’ve all been guilty of this.

  3. KK Says:

    The weird thing about online dating is that I am not sure a profile matters. Unless someone has interests that you know are totally incompatible with yours, what does a profile really matter? Someone could be an amazing, witty person, but if they’re not a good writer, it won’t show in their profile. It can go the other way around too. I truly think it’s the message that matters, and then go on a date with that person as soon as possible. And, well, the pictures matter the most. If you look cute or hot or pretty, guys will look at your profile and if you’re pretty enough, they’ll message you regardless of what you write in your profile. Online dating is hard.

    And yes about the not writing a freaking thing. I never connected that to Tinder.

    • Lisa Says:


      This profile is way too long and too cutesy. Too much filler. Ain’t nobody got time for that. And yes, she comes off as trying too hard.

      From what I understand, men want to see what we look like, and know that we’re fun to be around, not crazy and a good cook. Maybe add one more point. Then ###

      Plenty of men told me they don’t even read the profiles; they just message whoever is pretty. Some do skim over the profiles.

      Ppl like me w/ kids and religious beliefs (or other dealbreaker situations) need to be a bit more detailed.

      • Timothy Horrigan Says:

        well, we do look at the profiles to see if she’s literate. And to check for dealbreakers.

        • Yvonne Says:

          Just because some men don’t bother to read the profile doesn’t mean they are the ones you want to date. I’ve gotten plenty of “Hi, u r so pretty” messages, but I don’t usually respond to them.

  4. Sarah Says:

    On the one hand: OH, THANK GOD OP DIDNT WRITE THIS.

    On the other hand: OP paid money for this garbage? This profile is downright off putting. It’s just absolute swill. There is not a single image or turn of phrase that can be salvaged, and I’m being kind here. You already face some obstacles: You’re not in your 20s. You’re in school. Again. Yet all of your alleged hobbies (I’m also calling bullshit on those) are expensive. Your profile makes you seem high maintenance and flaky, while simultaneously conveying a huge sense of pressure on any would-be suitors to be worthy of your seemingly already-divided attention. This is, honestly, the biggest dare issued to straight men since the Aaroncarterfan experiment.

  5. Bree Says:

    Not sure about everyone else but I usually look at what people wrote about themselves LAST.

    On okcupid I FIRST look at photos of course. If he’s attractive I’ll check out the Details section for age, height, offspring, diet, beliefs, etc.

    If details look good and they’ve answered questions, I’ll search for some of the deal breakers (“do you have rape fantasies?” “do you think men should be the head of household?” etc.).

    Only then will I skim the About section past “living life to the fullest”…”friends and family”…”up for an adventure”… If the About section isn’t totally douchey, and believe me I am forgiving, I’ll message him.

    For me, these are About section red flags:

    Nothing filled in.

    Worse, loooooooong descriptions of his beliefs (a lot of polydouchebags do this), lifestyle, what he’s looking for in a partner, or just trying so hard to be interesting or funny. Cringe!

    Hipster nonsense that tells me NOTHING about the person, except they feel they’re above online dating so treat the profile like a joke.

    Bitterness, defensiveness and hostility: “No drama! No games!” “None of you women will ever message a guy first…” etc.

    References to sex, blatant or subtle. It is tacky and unnecessary no matter how sophisticated or artsy somebody feels he’s being about it (“good with my hands,” “sensual,” etc.)

    If he’s looking for an “open-minded” woman.

    • Mark Says:

      Great points.

      OKCupid used to have a blog called OK Trends. The guys who used to run it were a bunch of quants before being bought out posted interesting stuff (if you are into that) based on what the data on what uses on the site engaged in. It told you a lot about what works, what people do etc. Don’t know if it is still there, but essence it a good dose of reality.

      • Bill Says:

        Below is the link, lots of interesting data, and “Experiment #2″ on that page, is pretty pertinent here. Basically, most people look at the pictures, period. What is written in the profile, or in the case of one profile they highlight that had NO TEXT, doesn’t really matter.

        Ditto in experiment #1 where they removed photos for a couple hours for a “love is blind” test and messaging basically stopped.

        • Mark Says:

          Thanks Bill.

          My point is simple. It isn’t really what you thinks works. Or what is even important. It’s what those in the dating pool that you jumped into thinks is important. Moreover, it’s what people really do. Not what they say they do that counts.

          That can be a real eye opener. Sometimes good. Other times, not so good.

          It’s a marketplace. How to use it to our best advantage.

  6. AC Says:

    I stopped reading the LW’s profile during the typical day paragraph because:

    a) It bored me to tears.
    b) Who goes hang gliding off mountains? Having a death wish is the opposite of attractive.

    If it were me, I’d demand my money back from whoever wrote this piece of garbage. It’s a joke.

    About the likes. All that means is the men liked your photos – that’s a good thing. When they started reading, they probably gave up. Even pre-Tinder, no one wants to read paragraph upon paragraph. It makes you sound like a lunatic. No one wants to date a lunatic except maybe another lunatic.

    As Moxie implies – rewrite the profile yourself. And please. don’t say, “I’m not a good writer.” That’s simply code for “I’m too lazy to put in an honest effort.”

    Stop shooting yourself in the foot and fix this.

  7. Abby Says:

    Well I’ll throw my two cents in. I was decently successful at online dating-knowing your audience, as Moxie said is absolutely key. My audience? Men. That sounds flippant, but really I kept it to things men care about. Here was my whole about me profile: I love football. And beer. I enjoy hunting and fishing. And beer.

    That’s it. Moxie will say “oh hell no!”, to that lazy ass four sentence about me summary. (She’s right by the way) but–
    1) it’s true. And I had the profile pictures to back up these hobbies.
    2) Many men, from bankers to plumbers to ditch diggers also have these same hobbies.
    3) I live in Texas so it wasn’t weird.
    4) I’ve found men appreciate short, sweet and to the point.

    I am also an avid reader and gardener and music lover etc etc etc but in my demographic and geographical area, these aren’t as common hobbies with men ( well the music part is). If you live in San Fran, maybe jetting off to China is something people do. Or in Manhattan, it’s the theater, but really it’s not rocket science. Put things in your profile that have a good chance of appealing to the men you’re interested in. (As long as it’s true)

    I’m not saying for you to do this lazy style like I did-This profile would probably get a big WTF in Manhattan or Boston. But it fit my purposes and my area.

    On the flip side, if I saw a profile like the one you sent, I would probably roll my eyes and move on. Either it’s a lie because nobody does all these things or it’s true and it would be expensive and exhausting to be in a relationship with you. Good luck OP

  8. D. Says:

    Yeah, Moxie’s right. The profile reads as very…hmm…constructed. It reads like the profile of a character from an advertisement; maybe Lily from the AT&T commercials or something. In other words, it reads like marketing copy. That’s probably because, in essence, it is marketing copy.

    Profiles can be difficult to write, especially if you’re trying to let your personality show through. Everyone uses a bit of the typical adjectives, but you need to get beyond that and show who you are and what’s attractive about you in terms of your personality.

    It can’t just be a laundry list of “Stuff I like and things I do.” The writing itself should, ideally, capture you and your voice, your attitude, an overall sense of who you are. And that’s what this profile absolutely doesn’t do.

    Also, you really don’t want to date James Bond. You’ll either end up dumped at the start of his next adventure, or dead and covered in gold paint.

  9. Noquay Says:

    Soooo… My read of this would be a Trust Funder millionaire who takes classes but obviously has no time for homework who lives somewhere with high culture, running areas and mountains nearby and whose days are 40 hours long. Boulder Colorado is about the only place fitting these criteria and you STILL couldn’t do all that stuff as there’s this mundane thing called excessive traffic, seasonal changes which limit activities ,stuff like doing laundry, chores, buying groceries, etc. Yep, I listen to and often sing along to opera and stuff but its while on my hands and knees scrubbing floors/doing dishes/watering plants. Real skiers/runners/unwise folk jumping offa mountains would know this is major fake and also tend to be the brewpub crowd. These are also three very distinct groups of folks with different demographics, values. Just sayyin. This sounds soooo fake, kinda like those dudes here who go on ad nauseum about how much they looove to travel and are sailing/cycling/climbing mountains and they’re clearly outta shape, working construction, and realistically make maybe 20k/year. Yeah, sure. They’re at home drinking beer.

  10. Yvonne Says:

    Her name is Julia, but the profile says Rachel? Hmmm…

    This profile comes off as very cheesy and not very well written. Especially if you are mentioning how educated you are, good grammar and punctuation count.

    If you are putting a profile on OKCupid or Match, then the profile is still important, unless you are trying to attract the types of guys who don’t bother to read them.

  11. Mandy Says:

    I agree with others that the reader has no idea about who you are as a person. Do you spend most evenings reading a book or watching X, but also have season tickets to Broadway so you see about 6 shows per year and love the theater? Occasionally you like to shake things up, so about once a month you try to do something that scares you like hang gliding or skydiving? Just last month you did X, and have plans to do Y next month? 5 years ago you spent 3 weeks in Asia, and would love to go back again and see some other countries?

    Sentences like that give such a better idea of who you are and what you do rather than the way it’s currently written.

    • Yvonne Says:

      Good point regarding adding some times references. Right now, it sounds like she does all of those things all of the time! It’s also presented as a challenge, like, can you keep up with me? I think there was recently another post where someone mentioned how obnoxious it sounds to say you are looking for a partner who can “keep up”. That’s what this one sounds like, but it takes 9 paragraphs to get there.

      I’m also curious about why she has gone back to school. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a 30-something doing that, but it could be framed to sound more like a positive, interesting story rather than the negative it might be for some people.

  12. Fyodor Says:

    It’s not so much that the profile doesn’t unauthentically reflect the OP so much as it reflects a really unbearable person.

    • Fyodor Says:

      “doesn’t authentically” I mean.

    • SS Says:

      Yep. I wanted to jab forks in my eyes about a quarter of the way through.

      • ShawninCo Says:

        Agreed. While I couldn’t initially tell that this was written by someone else, I could tell that there was something very belabored about this profile. Honestly, it feels like it took just as much to write this profile as it does to read it.

  13. Shadowcat Says:

    I submitted my profile to an radio dating show 6 years ago, and it got BASHED… My ego was bruised, but I never wrote contrived shit like that again.

  14. Damien Says:

    The OP’s profile makes her sound high maintenance.

    Also, she is in her mid-thirties and back in school, meaning no steady income. So who is paying for these lifestyle dates? The perky way these expectations are presented make her sound like a pain in the ass.

    Best case scenario: a rich player takes the bait and pulls a pump and dump after carrying through an extravagent melt-her-knees date.

    • AC Says:

      Back in school doesn’t necessarily mean no steady income. A lot of people get their degrees online these days and still work full time. As for the rest, all of the alleged hobbies (hang gliding, the theater…) make the profile seem disingenuous.

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