Do Women Still Get Attention in Online Dating Even If Their Profiles Suck?

Hi Evan ,

I have been reading your information regarding how men have to be unique and different when contact women just because of the sheer numbers of contacts they have. But do women have to do anything extra ordinary? I have looked at a few websites, and some women seem to not really try to attract as much attention as they could. Blurry pictures, pictures of pets, the dreaded bathroom mirror picture (why do they do that), no information in the profile, the list goes on. Do they still get attention and contacts?

Jim

A young attractive woman using a webcam photo could write, “I hate you, I hate you, I hate you” as her profile essay and still receive 100 emails a week.

Dear Jim,

A young attractive woman using a webcam photo could write, “I hate you, I hate you, I hate you” as her profile essay and still receive 100 emails a week.

So yes, they still get attention and contacts.

However, your question allows me the opportunity to address something that I don’t know I’ve ever addressed before when it comes to online dating – how women sabotage their own experience by not trying harder.

Everyone knows that men’s profiles, on the whole, are even worse than women. We can debate why, but, for the most part, I think it’s ignorance. Most men simply don’t know that a profile is the equivalent of a resume – if you don’t have a good one, you’re not getting called for an interview. Especially in a competitive job market.

Women have the same ignorance about the importance of a profile, except they don’t experience the same failure as men. As a result, they have no way to learn their lesson. As long as women keep receiving a steady stream of generic emails that say, “Hey, great profile. I think we have a lot in common. Would love to learn more about you,” they’re convinced that they actually have great profiles.

They don’t.

The only reason that many attractive women get these “great profile” emails is that the men writing to them need SOMETHING to say. Unless he wants to write a “you’re hot” (or more likely, “your hot”) email, all he can say is “great profile”. Why? Because you didn’t give him anything specific with which to work.

When women ask me (and boy, do they ask me), why do all the WRONG men write to them, I always have a two part response: 1) By your standards, 95% of men are the wrong men. So don’t be too surprised if you’re not enamored with 9 out of 10 emails you receive. It makes perfect sense. 2) Your profile is likely not attracting the small percentage of “right men” out there – which is something that we can easily change.

It’s because we – men and women alike – haven’t truly figured out what makes us unique. And unique profiles not only get more responses, but they get higher quality responses in return.

Yet some women really get indignant – they poured their heart out in their profile, put a ton of effort into saying what they really feel. And when I take a look at it, 9 times out of 10, she did just that. Except Nancy pouring her heart out as a 45-year-old divorcee in Seattle sounds just like April pouring her heart out as a 35-year-old single girl in New York. The lists of adjectives, the lists of hobbies, the lists of bands and countries and books and TV shows, the clichés, the personal philosophy about life and love and honesty and trust. You’ve seen it before. It’s perfectly articulate, perfectly earnest, and perfectly generic because most woman arrive at the same conclusions.

So when every woman’s profile sounds the same, what do men have to write to?

That’s right. Your looks.

And then we wonder why the level of discourse in online flirtation is so abysmal. It’s because we – men and women alike – haven’t truly figured out what makes us unique. And unique profiles not only get more responses, but they get higher quality responses in return.

One of my favorite online dating anecdotes is of a JDate woman I courted in the summer of 2004. She had a wildly entertaining profile, which included this line: “You’re witty and intelligent and consider me fully worthy of the 5,000 gold coins and two camels that my family has offered as dowry.”

My response:

Subject: Low on camels, high on yams

In the Trobriand Islands, anyway, yams are a very popular dowry staple. That’s about all I got out of cultural anthropology from my freshman year of college, but I think it was worth my parents’ $20,000.

In any case, you’re interesting. Very interesting. And, at risk of being cheesy (I risk this a lot), there’s something behind your eyes. It could be an optic nerve or a sinus, but I’m thinking that it’s some sort of intelligence or mischief or both.

If I’m wrong, well, no yams for you.

Evan

If you don’t like the responses you’re getting, it’s incumbent upon you to change how people are reacting to your profile.

She became my girlfriend a month later.

(She dumped me a month after that, but that’s not the point of the story).

Anyway, Jim, I know I’ve hijacked your question to say something that I’ve really wanted to say for awhile, but it’s an important point. If you don’t like the responses you’re getting, it’s incumbent upon you to change how people are reacting to your profile. This is why I offer E-Cyrano profile writing (www.e-cyrano.com), where you can fill out a questionnaire, talk to a writer, and have a one-of-a-kind profile within 48 hours. And if you are really serious about maintaining creative control, I offer all my profile writing secrets to you in my audio series, Finding the One Online (www.findingtheoneonline.com) and even give you a 35-page workbook to practice until you get it right.

At the end of the day, both men and women can coast by on their looks, and never feel compelled to have to improve their profiles. If you’re attractive, you will always get attention. But unless you bring your A-game in your essays, you’re probably not going to get the intelligent, witty responses that you crave.

17
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Comments:

  1. 31
    A-L

    Here’s Evan’s take on women sending out the initial e-mail in online dating.
     
    Starthrower, when you find that you don’t like the caliber of guy writing to you, find the guys you’re interested in.  Once you see that you’re a reasonable fit for what he says he’s looking for, e-mail him.  Not every guy will write back, but there’s probably at least a 1 in 4 chance of him writing back (according to Cat’s OK Cupid article), and quite likely better.  So then if you send out 4 e-mails a week, you’re likely to have 1(or more)  good fish on the line no matter how many initial e-mails you get from the “wrong” guys.
     
    As far as how relationships go based on who sends the initial e-mail…I e-mailed my fiance first.  He took it from there.  He did the rest of the initiations of other e-mails, phone conversations, dates, becoming exclusive, proposing, the whole nine yards.  So don’t knock it ’til you try it. :)
     

  2. 32
    Karl R

    sayanta said: (#29)
    “I’ve contacted guys, and gotten  responses saying they want to meet up asap. The weird thing is- these same guys were ones that had ‘viewed’ my profile, […] Is it me, or does that make no sense?”

    It makes perfect sense to me.

    As a guy I viewed over 1,000 profiles initially and 100 per week after that. I initially wrote to several women per week, then trimmed it down to 1 or 2. I generally had about 25 women that I considered possibilities for future emails.

    If woman was in that list of 25, I would be thrilled to be contacted by her. But since only the top few would get contacted each week, a woman could be on that list for weeks or months before I got around to contacting her.

    If I viewed a woman’s profile without adding her to that list, it was probably because I didn’t find anything in her profile to connect with. However, if she found something in my profile that she connected with, that was just as good.

    1. 32.1
      J

      “I generally had about 25 women that I considered possibilities for future emails. If woman was in that list of 25, I would be thrilled to be contacted by her. But since only the top few would get contacted each week, a woman could be on that list for weeks or months before I got around to contacting her.”
      Precisely the reason why I will not write to a man. Why should I put myself out there if he isn’t interested enough to immediately send me a message? If I’m not in your top few most desirable contacts, then I’m clearly not the woman you really want. I’m only interested in meeting men who do consider me worth the time and effort it takes to reach out first. I’d rather go out with a guy who is really into me than someone for whom I had to metaphorically raise my hand and shout, “Pick me! Pick me!”

      1. 32.1.1
        Andre

        “Precisely the reason why I will not write to a woman. Why should I put myself out there if she isn’t interested enough to immediately send me a message? If I’m not in your top few most desirable contacts, then I’m clearly not the woman you really want. I’m only interested in meeting women who do consider me worth the time and effort it takes to reach out first. I’d rather go out with a gal who is really into me than someone for whom I had to metaphorically raise my hand and shout, “Pick me! Pick me!””
        Now tell me, how does that feel? Women that contact men are a billion times more likely to get a better response than the other way around, even if he isn’t interested, because men don’t feel entitled to the attention and value the fact she reached out. Even the best quality men online get treated at best like a significantly bellow average quality woman and the ones who don’t look like Brad Pitt and have a good job and charming personality, they are practically sub-human creatures. Think about that.

  3. 33
    evileddy

    Why should men put in any effort into the first message if the women they message put even less effort into replying or their profiles?
     
    I send out 1000 emails with the exact same message and only get 3 replies.
     
    Or I can spend 5 – 10 minutes on 1000 really good emails and only get 3 replies.
     
    Same results with more time wasted right?
     
    Women only look at the pics, the man’s height, his financial worth and decide on that to reply or delete the opening email.
     
    Absolutely absurd for us men to spend much time in the first opening email when the majority of them are just chucked aside with zero reply.

    1. 33.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Hey Evil,

      You’re the problem. Not women.

      When I used to date online, I would spend 5 minutes on an email, and get 1 out of 3 writing back to me. You get 3 out of 1000.

      That tells me that either your emails aren’t very good, your profile isn’t very good, or you’re overestimating the kind of women you can get. I’m guessing it’s all 3.

      Your solution is here – if you actually want to do something different to get results, instead of complaining how much women suck.

      1. 33.1.1
        TheForgottenOne

        Hey Evan Marc Katz (EMK),
        I don’t see anywhere in Evil’s post where he said ‘how much women suck’.  What I did see was a fundamental truth about online dating for men, albeit a bit exaggerated.  Online dating is heavy stacked in favor of women and against men.  That’s not to say it is the fault of the women, because it is not.  But it does mean that regardless of thought or effort put into a email sent to a woman online the most likely outcome is that it will be deleted or rejected outright.  So it is only natural to assume that it’s pointless to put any effort into crafting a well thought email when there is a 90% chance of it getting deleted or rejected.  Why bother?

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          Because you have 0% chance if you don’t write the email.

        2. TheForgottenOne

          “Because you have 0% chance if you don’t write the email.”
          And only a 10% chance of success if you do.  Not exactly optimistic odds.  So again, why bother?  That’s why I still say online dating is fantastic for women, but it sucks all round for men. It sucks for men because the odds are heavily stacked against them.  It sucks for men because they have a 90% chance of never having their email read or responded to.  And it sucks for men because women rarely take the initiative and make the first move because THEY DON’T HAVE TO!  Sorry, but that doesn’t make for very pleasant experiences for most men on online dating sites.  That’s why I quit online dating sites.  I’d rather focus my attention in the real world where the playing field is at least a little more level.

  4. 34
    Denise

    #33 and #34

    Agreed, it doesn’t take a lot of time to create a unique email.   It doesn’t have to be long, a few sentences is fine–something that indicates she actually may be special out of the millions of women out there and you’d like to know about X in her profile.

    And also agreed not to bash women because they have ‘criteria’, the same can be said for men–they just look at the pictures and how big her boobs are.  Each sex has their own things that appeal to them, it’s instinctual and we can’t help it.  Reminds me of the saying:  Do you want to be right (women SHOULD look at more than a man’s height) or be happy?

    Having said all that, I can feel the frustration in #34 and can also identify with it!  Might be good to take a break and come back with a better attitude..

    1. 34.1
      TheForgottenOne

      How about men boycotting online dating sites altogether? It’s a deceptive business that uses false hopes of finding love for luring an inordinate number of men into paying money on a monthly basis for the privilege of being ignored.  Maybe if enough men did this then some enterprising genius would figure out an online dating site for men that wasn’t so heaving stacked against them.  But I’m a realist and doubt that will happen in my life time.  So I refuse to be a sucker for the online dating sites and thus won’t play that game anymore.

      1. 34.1.1
        Evan Marc Katz

        Hey, Forgotten One: If one out of four marriages started online and they are presumably male/female marriages, how can you say with a straight face that online dating doesn’t work? Objectively, you’re wrong. Online dating doesn’t work for YOU. YOU don’t know how to do it properly. YOU have a bad profile. YOU are writing to women out of your league. YOU are writing emails that lack in wit, specificity and confidence.

        By the way, if you go to the gym and are still fat, is it the gym’s fault? Are you organizing a boycott of gyms, o’ realist? Look at all the fat people who are still running around. Evidently gyms are scams.

        1. APB

          That’s a little rough on the insight, no?  You have no proof that TFO isn’t doing things right. While it is quite possible that he is no different than the many guys out there who write up lousy messages and have bad profiles daily, it is also just as likely that he’s mass deleted just because thousands of other guys fire off thousand of other messages daily to women every day.
          Your gym comparison is off, btw.  TFO’s theoretical results in the gym aren’t due to chance…as in the free weights just not showing up that day just because someone else was occupying their time.  With many women online, if they get tired of looking at the same bunch of profiles applauding her fake mustache picture or responding to her “working hard and playing harder” or she’s not entertained because the guys aren’t living up to her wants fora  court jester (“I want a guy that can make me laugh”)…that’s an instant “unread-deleted” for most guys just because it can be.  
          I look at it this way.  Most women online are socially awkward, damaged in some way or another (I browse a lot of 18-year olds who have “been hurt a lot in the past” and…that sums it up.   Guys, go find women who are socially level and don’t hide in their parent’s basement hoping Prince Charming magically shows up to knock on the door.
          As for the 25% of marriages starting via the Internet…says who?  The study I am looking at funded by EHarmony itself (http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/06/03/online-dating-marriage/2377961/) says 35% of “marriages start on the Internet”, but I promise not everyone is into paying $190 for a personality survey.
          I would tend to lean towards this tidbit:
           
          http://www.columbia.edu/~jhb2147/why-you-should-never-pay-for-online-dating.html
          You are many times MORE likely to get hitched by NOT paying for it.
          “eHarmony fails at least 93.8% of the time”
          “It turns out you are 12.4 times more likely to get married this year if you don’t subscribe to Match.com.”
           
          I understand you have a business to run, but don’t hide from reality.

        2. Evan Marc Katz

          APB, your numbers are wrong and I’m surprised OkCupid put up such a nonsensical report. Then again, that was before they were bought by Match and they were just trying to get attention for themselves.

          Put it this way:

          eHarmony fails 94% of the time. I would guess that this is probably about the same rate that ALL relationships fail. Thus, I wouldn’t turn to a dating site for compatibility. I would turn to a dating site for OPPORTUNITY. And that’s what people are increasingly doing.

          Let’s say only 20% of people get married started with online dating. You’re taking that to mean that 80% don’t and that therefore “real life” is 4x “superior”. This is utter numerical nonsense. Here’s why.

          100% of people are eligible to participate in real life dating. What percent of people are actively participating in online dating. It’s lower than you think – basically because of people like you who try it, hate it and blame the dating sites instead of themselves. The churn rate (when people quit) is generally 2-3 months. In other words, with online dating, you have maybe 5% of the population accounting for 20% of the marriages. If that were the fact, would you suggest that online dating doesn’t work and that I’m hiding from reality? Nah. If anyone is hiding from reality, it’s those who believe that online dating doesn’t work – because admitting reality would be to admit that LOTS of people are having more success than you.

  5. 35
    E

    I think women get looked at even though their profile sucks but at the same time when men see that her profile either sucks, or she starts bringing out the hundreds of “requirements”, her stupid LONG laundry list that men must meet then yes men will look but quickly pass on her cause even with her online profile she’ back to her same huge stringent “requirements”, laundry list. A lot of women think that oh since he’s not out there in the bars, or she can’t find him when shes out and about she will go to online dating but a lot of them reluctant even in the 21st century.

    Online dating is how a lot of people that are already graduated from college and into their professional lives date. It also amazes me how a lot of yet college students are online which they should be dating in college. College is easy to find dates. But these young women are usually not on for “long term” relationships. A lot of the younger ladies still want the real casual dating and I don’t think that works too well online. I think online is more for people wanting serious dating and ready for serious relationships and are for the most part over the quick fling.  

    These days with online dating yet you hear a lot of women still bitch about “oh I can’t find a guy and I have to do this online dating”. On top of her whining about online dating then she think well when I go online with my profile he must meet this and this and this and this list must go on and on and can’t forget about he must under no certain circumstances be this height even though she put a “range” height in reality she’s waiting for that “tall” guy and goes back to her ol routine of rejecting almost all guys cause she thinks since “Mr. Perfect” wasn’t out there so with her being this ultra specific, ultra laundry list, ultra “list” “Mr. Perfect” has to be online and she’s back to her rejecting almost all men.

    She then goes off about how she can’t meet a good man, she’s ready for a real relationship but she’s looking for the NON EXISTENT “Mr. Perfect” (that doesn’t exist). She then get’s all pissy when she reads the online advice that she can’t be too picky, she shouldn’t just reject all the men and completely limit herself and pigeon hole herself to the point that yeah men look at her profile but once they read her profile men realize how either pissed off she comes across (cause she’s salty about the online dating), she talks about all these specific things that he MUST meet or she’s instantly rejects him or her profile is ultra specific then men will pass her cause they are like she’s one of them too picky and all she’s going to do is constantly say no. Then it’s no wonder that she’s constantly single. Also women have to actually GO OUT with men and date. You actually get to know them better online then you would at the bars with him and her all drunk. I like bars but bars suck to meet women and men.

  6. 36
    E

    Contd… I’m not talking about free dating sites… I’m talking about the pay serious dating sites (match.com, Chemistry etc). Yes I agree that both men and women should obviously have some requirements but they can’t be so ultra specific that all she does is constantly rejects all men cause she’s looking for the non existent “Mr. Perfect” that never exists. Also women you can’t just talk and then when it’s the lets go out she says no. Yes you do get to know each other a lot better online, talking on the phone then in the bars. Also I think a lot of at least the more serious daters that are looking for serious dating are really truthful like 97% truthful especially with the pay online dating sites. I

  7. 37
    miskwa

    Sometimes a “bare bones” profile is intentional. I am guilty of this for reasons of safety. Nowadays in order to “see what’s out there” on a site. you have to submit some sort of profile. I am well known in the (rather rough) small town where I live, and do NOT want any of the men here to know I am “looking” and wind up with a major problem on my doorstep; nor do I want to shell out serious money for a site where there are no/very few older men that have similar values.

  8. 38
    RustyLH

    Unless he wants to write a “you’re hot” (or more likely, “your hot”) email,
     
    LOL  OK, now that’s funny…but sadly, oh so very true.  To many people don’t know how to express there self in a intelligent manner.  It is probably Hooked on Fonics that we should blame.

  9. 39
    cinnamon Girl

    I get a lot of what I think are Nigerian Romance Scammers on Chemistry dot com.  Maybe 75% of the email I get is cut and paste boring. Several I have looked up and verified as Romance Scammers (one stole facebook photos from an attractive kindly looking gay man’s facebook page).  So whenever some guy write’s “you are beautiful, I like your smile”… and not much else I assume he is after money and will never ever call me, probably does not live nearby, etc.  If he gets a little specific .. but still complements my appearance a lot, I assume he is after money not dating.

  10. 40
    Buck25

    Those of you guys whining about how “unfair ” online dating is to us men need a reality check. I’m going to give it to you more harshly than Evan has. An attractive female can simply put one picture and a minimal profile out there and get a ton of email. Even a very average women can draw more response than the very best of men. Now, let’s look at what they actually get from all those emails. It’s already been established that at least 95% of those emails (I’d suspect more like 99.9% for the hottest, or the ones who feel especially entitled) are from men they have no interest in, and are therefore useless to them, except as validation of their desirability. That validation, gentlemen, is about all most of them are getting that we are not. What some of you are whining about is essentially that we’re having to give them more than we are getting in return. That is not the attitude of a man; it is the attitude of a spoiled, self-centered, entitled brat! Make sure you don’t give more than you get, right? How’s that working out for you in the rest of your life?

    It’s true that to women looking at us online, our feelings do not matter, and will not matter, until and unless we excite them, impress them, entertain them, or amuse them. It’s the same in real life; the internet environment just amplifies the effect, because here, we are pictures and words, easily depersonalized and dismissed without hesitation. Cold and cruel? Maybe; but isn’t that what we do with any woman we find unattractive? Do we care how they feel about that? You might want to think about that, along with the novel (to you, apparently) concept that we cannot expect others to give us any sense of self worth that we don’t have within ourselves. 

  11. 41
    Sue

    The only thing I will say EMK, is that maybe the email example to your ex-girlfriend only took YOU 5-10 mins to write, but that would’ve taken me at least 30 minutes to think up! So I don’t necessarily fault men for not writing a creative email….if they just ask me about something I’ve mentioned in my profile, that definitely gets my attention more than a quick generic one.

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