Amidst Seattle’s recent comeback win over Green Bay, I’m reminded how very much we all love a comeback story. I explore dating as a comeback story in my blog this month. For me, as a woman over 40, online dating was a turning point in my own comeback. However, I quickly realized that online dating brought some of the same challenges as good ol’ fashioned meet-in-the-real-world-dating. Namely, I had a tendency to attract the wrong women – women who were great, but not compatible with me at all.
I wondered: in the sales-y world of the online profile, was there something I could do to get more responders who were on a similar page as me? (Not that there’s anything wrong with living out of your van or wanting to move in after the first date, I just know these folks won’t work for me. And yes, I really went out with both of them before cleaning up my profile.)
Here I share 3 tips that helped me revise my online profile introduction and get visitors to my profile who were more compatible with me.
1) I made the content less surface level
I revised my profile introduction paragraph to be less surface-level focused.
Let’s face it – most of us are very visual and so it stands to reason that we want someone attractive. The problem with making our own profile overly focused on appearance is that it is likely to draw in women who are overly focused on appearance.
Original sentence: I am petite, athletic, with blonde hair and blue eyes. I am a girly girl and love my shoes and fashion.
The content may be accurate, but since the basic profile questions ask about appearance and my pictures show it, so I tried to refocus on personality traits that tell more about who I am rather than how I look.
Revised sentence: I am down to earth, active, kind, intelligent and genuine. I guess I’m considered a lipstick lesbian, though I’m not fond of labels.
2) I revised the tone
I realized that my introduction paragraph read a little negative and focused it more on what I do want rather than the negative.
Original sentences: I am just getting out there after of a bad relationship and friends suggested I do this so here goes. I am cute, girly, social, and have overcome a lot in my life. I have worked hard to get where I am and don’t want any drama in my life.
All of the above content is actually true, but I felt like it read really negative with words like: bad relationship, overcome, worked hard, don’t want, drama, etc.
Revised sentences: I am looking for the one. However, I am just getting back out there after a breakup and so I’m interested in meeting new people and getting to know someone first.
3) I thought about the reader.
I realized online dating is sort of like customer service – things really work better when organizations consider the customer experience. When someone comes to my profile, it’s to find out who I am, not to find out my expectations about who I’m looking for.
Original sentences: I am honest and expect someone to be honest and loyal as well. I like to have alone time so I am looking for a woman who can handle herself independently and isn’t looking to latch on in a relationship.
Again I refocused on who I am rather than my appearance. I also realized the list of expectations approach is a turn off and likely to read as demanding. Again, the content is all true. But these are words I should think, not words I want to put in writing to try to let someone get to know me. Instead, I decided to organize the paragraph into 2 parts. The first part is letting the reader know who I am. The second part talks about what works for me in relationships.
Revised sentences: I love women who are athletic, kind, professional, confident, in touch with their emotions, honest, good communicators, and always growing.
Ultimately, I revised my profile introduction paragraph to follow this template: here is who I am specifically, here is who I am looking for and what I want, and here is where I am at with dating in general. I found that by spending the majority of the page on who I am, keeping it focused on personality traits that make me me rather than my appearance, I had more responders in general, and the majority of them were more compatible with me. Not that meeting all kinds of women didn’t make for some interesting conversations, but that’s a different story entirely.
To get the free full PDF version of my original and revised profile click here to download.
Have you felt like the wrong women are attracted to your online dating profile? I believe we are all better when we can learn from each other. If you’d like to share, post a comment below or email me. I’d love to hear from you! Want more dating musings? Subscribe to my weekly newsletter here.
Kim Baker is an educator, freelance writer, and blogger whose writing explores lesbian dating in the digital age. Drawing on 20 years of dating, she redefines dating through the lens of mindfulness and connection. Kim is writing a dating book that offers a healthy approach to dating, beginning with self-care. Follow Kim on Twitter: @sdwriter girl, or visit her website: www.sdwritergirl.com.