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

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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.

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Comments:

  1. 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.

  2. 42
    Lisa

    Who gets the fewest responses on online dating? Black women. By miles and miles. Fewer than white men, black men, women of all races, most certainly white women.

    How would you like to be a member of a group openly and commonly referred to as the least datable or least desirable group? Doesn’t do much for your self esteem.

    White men men need to quit the whining. There are women online who aren’t hot commodities who would be more likely to give them a chance than Skinnysuzy Whitegirl is. But those women aren’t good enough in their eyes. So boo hoo.

  3. 43
    Nobody special

    Eh, to be honest, I’ve sent plenty of messages mentioning the profile and using it to craft a message lots of times. It never works. I can remember this one woman I sent a message to where she mentioned a recent death to someone close to her. I sent a message that included my condolences about her loss. She proceeded to fly into a tirade asking me how the hell did I know that this person died and was I Internet stalking her. I told her she wrote it in her profile. She was like “oh” then ghosted me. We ought to force online dating on prisoners. They’ll wish they were dead. I know I do.

  4. 44
    Deborah

    I love how you write profiles Evan. This prompted me a few years ago to pay for your services. What I got was a boring profile, that was not obviously written by you, but one of your writers. It covered all my details, but was serious and in no way playful.   I thought I was paying YOU to write my profile for me. I would have been happy to pay MORE for you to actually do it, so yo need to clarify this when people are paying for you to write, rather than one of your writers, who don;t have a clue !

    1. 44.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      a. I only take around 15% of e-Cyrano applicants and all writers are trained by me. The average client review of an e-Cyrano profile is 8.75. They are certainly not clueless.

      b. My writers and I only write what you tell us to write (in your questionnaire and on the phone). If a client says something funny, her profile is funny. Blaming a writer for your profile being boring is like blaming a photographer because you look heavy in your photos. We capture; we don’t invent.

      c. Nowhere on e-Cyrano does it suggest that I write all the profiles. You are literally the only person in 13 years who has assumed that I was writing every single profile on there for $129 a pop.

      Sorry you were disappointed, but perhaps a new Gold profile and a new writer would be in order for you. The vast majority of clients are supremely happy with the results.

  5. 45
    James

    Online dating is very scary nowadays and Most of these women are looking for perfection. And they want a man that makes a ton of money which it is very Difficult for these women to accept a man for who he really is since they want the best and will never settle for less which most of these women are very greedy and selfish as it is.   Online dating has become a very raw deal for many of us serious good men out there looking for love today which is really like looking for a needle in a haystack or trying to win the lottery which makes our chances very slim unfortunately.   With so many women having their careers today making a very high salary most of them will really never go with a man that makes much less money than they do anyway which makes it even more very difficult for us serious men out there that don’t really care how much a woman makes which if she has a very nice personalty well that would be a real plus especially if we happen to be very compatible with one another.

  6. 46
    Buck25

    “Most of these women,are looking for perfection.”

    James,

    Some of them are; the operative word is “some“. Do women want the best they can get, in the mating game? Yep…and so do we; so get right down to it, they’re no better, and no worse, than we are.

    Online is an easy environment only for the few “beautiful people”; for everyone else, male and female, it’s a struggle. Now to us, the average woman appears to have it easier, in that she can get attention, and dates, where the average guy struggles to get either. The question is, can they get either from the guys they really want to get it from, because for them, that’s the key. Most guys, if they’re horny enough, and desperate enough, will date and even sleep with anything vaguely female. Most women will NOT do that with men; if a man doesn’t look like relationship material to them, they won’t bother in the first place; in the beginning, they actually put a higher value on sexual attraction than we do. Why? Because their primary goal, (commitment) is different from ours (sex). They like sex as much as we do, but, women have a strong desire   for sex to be associated with commitment, either as a part of it, or as at least a way of obtaining it, so they’re more emotionally invested in it; it’s not the end in itself that it often is for us.

    Part of the significance of that, is that online, it’s not so easy for a woman to discern whether or not a man has the other characteristics she finds sexually attractive in a man (confidence, charisma, intelligence, character, and so on; these DO matter to a woman) . Even in a well-written profile, those things (especially the first two) don’t always come across in words on a screen. So, she looks at what she can see (photos), and if that attracts her, she assumes the rest, even as she looks for anything that may disprove those assumptions. This is why women look for reasons to disqualify a man, and why first meetings often make us feel like we’re the subject of an inquisition.

    Money is something further down most women’s priority list; if it weren’t, wealthy guys would be awash in dates, sex, etc., but most aren’t. Wealth doesn’t actually help a man that much in this game, and with some women, it can actually hurt a man’s chances. Let’s just say my income and net worth are high enough, that if money was as important to women as you think, I would know.

    By the way, James, if online dating isn’t working for you, and you can’t figure out why, or make it better, where is it written that you can’t date in the real world, either in addition to or instead of online dating ? You can, and maybe you should.

  7. 47
    Sheila

    Women 35 or over should boycott online dating if they want to meet and be treated right by men. Online dating degrades a woman’s social value. Online sites objectify both sexes but more so the women. Women are to portray themselves with sex appeal otherwise they won’t get much attention. The kind of attention that has false pretenses.

    1. 47.1
      Buck25

      Sheila,

      Uh-huh, like 99.9% of those women don’t objectify men? Give me a break. Damn right you have to have some sex appeal; that’s little enough to ask, when you don’t just want, you DEMAND, that a man be a combination of sex god, ATM, meal ticket, and social status enhancer, among other things. Shove the attitude, cause this man is fed up with that sanctimonious, whining trash talk. What do you think you have to offer any man, except looks, and sex, huh? ANYTHING, (except an entitled attitude, a self -righteous claim to moral superiority NONE of you actually merit,   a mostly empty brain, and a compulsion to remake a man, if you catch one, in the supposed perfection of your own female image)? I doubt it. Go ahead, quit OLD; you’re just cluttering   up the place anyway, cause you sure as hell ain’t no special snowflake, cupcake; just another ranting little feminist mouth with an attitude and not much else. Boycott away; no one actually cares.

  8. 48
    Sheila

    Buck, have you experienced online dating? Cause your angry tone proves to be one of the many negative side effects of the online dating. It disappoints, deflates, plays with ones emotions, and it places most in a never ending illusive cycle of “going-to-find-the-next-best-thing.” Which can lead to another never ending frustration.

    As I said before, online dating objectifies both sexes. It has nothing to do with feminism, which I am the least of all.

    One thing is certain. Meeting people outside the realm of Internet can be far more real and honest. Oh but wait! There goes another side effect. Internet has basically destroyed initiating a real life human connection and placed it with fictitious matchings. For some men, it has reduced the fear of “rejection.” They can ask someone out without making eye contact and worst of all know “shit” about her. In many cases, she may not even be a woman!!! But beats the feeling of rejection so I am told.

     

     

  9. 49
    Buck25

    Yeah, I’ve experienced it; a refuge for the worst of the worst of American women, (and one assumes, American men).   If there are even 5% of women online who don’t lie, repeatedly, blatantly and often in their profiles I’d be shocked; Lying about age, activity level, body type it’s to all intents universal; women at least a size 16 (I’m   being generous) call themselves “athletic and toned”; those land whales haven’t seen the inside of a gym in 20 years, if that. The ones in my age group (over 55) are the worst offenders of the lot! And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. It ought to be patently obvious, that a 60+ year old woman ought to be damn grateful, to even get a coffee date. Of the few in my area who look like they might new marginally acceptable, most are using fake or old pictures. Meet one, and she acts like she’s doing me a favor. That’s not the reaction I get in real life. But from an online “date”? Disgusting and insulting. I’m so far beyond these mostly feeble minded, arrogant, vapid, women who claims to be educated (probably lying about that as well), I feel like just walking out. I’ve met four of these lying creatures for coffee this week alone; each a complete waste of time for any man, let alone a fit, educated, successful one.   Evan here condones their lying, of course, but then I don’t guess he’s ever seen a woman do anything he disapproved of (unless she did it to him). I can’t imagine anyone ever gives one of these things, barely recognizable as female, a second date, and I’m tired of giving any even a first. I’d have more trust in a common prostitute. I wish I’d never even heard of the idea; it’s a complete cesspool. Nope, from now on, I’ll stick to arrangements with much younger women; better looking, smarter, sexier, and a damn site more honest, thee time is actually worth my while. The typical sixty year old, isn’t worth a bucket of warm spit…for anything. I’m done with all of them, online or real life. I used to like women; after four years online, I don’t, not anymore. From now on I’m going to date the best I can get, not the age group a bunch of older, used up women say   I “should” date. Their opinion is as worthless, as everything else about them, from the ugly faces and sagging bodies, to the even uglier personalities.

    My advice to any man who can approach and date women unreal life, is to leave the online sites to the gutless losers, afraid to approach a real woman. They, and the female population online, deserve each other; they can call themselves the liars and losers club.

    1. 49.1
      Kenley

      My heart is breaking for you–you’ve decided to hate all women over 60 because of 4 women?   That’s so sad.   Anyone who has been dating online will be disappointed.    Within in the past few months of online dating, here are just a sampling of things I have experienced — stood up, canceled on because I suggested meeting for coffee at the Whole Foods Cafe, dismissed because I would not take my profile down after exchanging 2 that’s right 2 emails with a man, dumped because I am friendly with my ex; dumped because I would not   drink, yes that’s right, drink a man’s semen; dismissed because I didn’t want to meet a man’s son on our second date,      It would be very easy for men to be angry and declare all men over 50 are dogs, but I don’t.   Those men are not ALL men and I know that.   I know that I just have to keep holding on until I find the right guy for me, and I have to be the upbeat and happy person I have always been while doing it.

      To be clear, I am not saying that you should date women your age — especially if you think they are disgusting.    You should date whatever legal age woman you want to date. Just go and date those women and enjoy your life.   I don’t think saying such mean-spirited things on this website about a whole group of women will make you happy.   So, just go do what will and go back to being the reasonable, rational, and wise guy you used to be.

    2. 49.2
      ScottH

      Buck-   I can relate to what you’re saying very well.   It’s frustration after frustration after frustration and it’s easy to get down, very easy.   I see the same things you’ve been seeing, one misrepresentation after another- they say they’re divorced but they’re separated; they lie about their age;   they say athletic and toned but you can see in their pictures that they are apathetic and tonnes.   I have to keep reminding myself that online dating exposes me to people I would otherwise not be exposed to.   That the signal to noise ratio is really really bad over 45 and gets worse with increasing age but I need to focus on the signal and filter out the noise.   It’s too easy to focus on the noise, especially when it’s one disappointment after another after another and you feel like, as you said, it’s the bottom of the 9th, 2 outs, you’re behind by a lot, and it’s the last game of the season- great analogy.   Look for the signal and don’t give up.   I’m partner-less too and it feels like I’ve viewed every woman’s profile in my area and the well has dried up.   It’s an awful feeling.   Or you get into a relationship and it falls apart.

    3. 49.3
      craney808

      “It ought to be patently obvious, that a 60+ year old woman ought to be damn grateful, to even get a coffee date.”

      If women your age are old, used up, ugly and sagging, then what does that make you? Or are you the one exception? And at the same time you are contemptuous towards the younger women who reject you. You may be old but you are completely self-unaware.

      Is there anything in the world men hate more than women their own age? Why is this type of venom towards women permitted on a site that is purported to be geared to help women? The comments section is full of similar sentiments. Is that supposed to build women up and give us hope?

  10. 50
    Buck25

    Kelley,

    These four were the final straw that finally pushed me past the breaking point. There have been a lot more before them, with similar results, over the last four years. I’ve encountered nothing but dishonesty (extreme, blatant and immediately obvious) arrogance, unattractiveness and bad attitudes, until I wonder if there’s a woman in that age group even capable of telling the truth. I will say your latest handful on the other side consisted of some strange characters (one, in particular, is something I’ve never heard of, and I’ve been around enough that there’s little of either male or female sexual psychopathology that surprises me). Whatever compatibility that may come from common life experience, etc, is outweighed completely by those personalities, combined with a complete lack of anything resembling sexual attraction. I think it’s time to forget about a long term relationship; not worth much at my age anyway, IF it was even possible to find one I wanted; given the population where I’m at, that’s as likely as locating a hen’s tooth.

    I’ve had a number of younger women, IRL, offer me “arrangements” , in exchange for some “lifestyle enhancement” for them, and that’s without me even asking. Right about now, I’m kicking myself for turning those down, ( I sure won’t the next time!) and taking the advice of our host here to “compromise and settle for compatibility”. With all due respect to Evan, I don’t believe that he has the requisite experience with what it’s like to be a man my age, to be advising me or any other man with twice his life experience on how to conduct our dating/sex life at an age he’s never come close to experiencing; life’s a little different at 68, than 39, and so are a man’s priorities. A long term relationship with a sexless crone is worthless to me; why anyone waxes sentimental over such a useless, boring disgusting thing is beyond me. Then again,I still like to have fun, and if that includes what some of you call “empty sex”, so be it. That’s a damn site better than the utterly worthless old women I wasted the last four years on! So to hell with love and bring on the gold diggers. I can handle them, and they’re a helluva lot more pleasant to be around than the aging, presumptuous, judgmental   harpies I’ve encountered here and in OLD. This was just a parting slash at the ones here; consider it payback, for the stereotyped insults I’ve seen hurled at men my age here. Won’t see ya, wouldn’t wanna be ya! I’m out of here.

    1. 50.1
      kenley

      Buck,

      I think Evan recommends compatibility AND attraction just not attraction at the expense of capatiability.   Also, I just don’t understand who is telling you not date younger women or to go for a sugar daddy/sugar baby relationship.   And why would you do what other people want anyway.   As my favorite comic says, you are a grown ass man, why in the world are you listening to other people –especially strangers on the Internet?

      Most people are seeking monogamy but I realized that I don’t think I can find what I want in one man so I want two.    Now, lots of people will disapprove of that but I don’t care.   I have always done what felt right and good for me.    Once I decided to be polyamourous,    I told the one guy that I was seeing that because he can’t give me everything I want that I want to see other people — and I was not doing it to make him jealous.    He thought it was a good idea so that is what I am doing now and it’s working for us.    Will this arrangement work for everyone?   No.   I don’t think I would even recommend it to most people.   But, it works for me.

      I guess I just don’t understand why you are sooooo angry.   You are being treated the way everyone who dates online is being treated.   Everyone is lied to and deceived on occasion.   Everyone dates arrogant and entitled people.   Everyone dates someone who is 20 years older and 50 lbs heavier than their picture.   Everyone dates someone they don’t find attractive.

      Good luck to you.   I do hope you are able to find a relationship that makes you happy — perhaps when you do, you can forgive all the women that wronged you.

       

    2. 50.2
      Callie

      This whole post makes me so sad. I don’t know what happened in the last two weeks to cause the old anger to return and I’m very sorry for it. I hope you find what you are looking for, find some peace, find something that gives you joy.

      I hope someday you return too. The Buck who came back a couple months ago, with kindness in his heart, wisdom too, and a real desire to engage and listen. Or if not return to some online blog, at least find those qualities within himself again in general.

      I wish you the best, Buck. I really do.

  11. 51
    hbg

    I’ve been online ‘dating’ for 2 months now.   I’ve had over 750 profile views, had an e-Cyrano profile written, but the only emails I get (and there have only been 10 or so of them) are from guys just looking for sex.   I have gone weeks with no emails at all, and I never get responses to my intial emails.   Maybe its a problem being 50, divorced with a master’s degree?   I’m at a loss.

  12. 52
    Stacy

    When I was online, my profile SUCKED. I only had a one liner in there. And while this is a bit arrogant of me (I know, I know but I can only be honest), I KNEW that my profile would receive loads of attention because of the way I look. I literally did not receive less than 30 emails a day (and that was a slow day in the beginning  – no kidding). You know why? Because while looks is not the only thing that is important to men, I believe that looks are the MOST important factor (at first) to men. And point was proven…

    On the other hand, I would NEVER email a man first if he had nothing in his profile no matter his hotness or profession. Yes, I do see the hypocrisy in this but hey, it worked for me.

     

    1. 52.1
      Yet Another Guy

      @Stacy

      Looks are the lowest common denominator when it comes to men, but it takes more than looks to motivate a mature man who has active gray matter to reach out.    An experienced man with any kind of game realizes that initiating contact with a woman online means that he is opening himself up to shit testing.     The more attractive the woman, the higher the probability that she will shit test.   A woman shit tests a man to see if she can lower his SMV.   Women are often completely oblivious to the fact they do in fact shit test men.   I either ignore shit tests or agree and amplify, which usually ends any attempt to shit test me.     Only insecure men who question their self-worth tolerate shit testing.

  13. 53
    Just some guy

    I love how you make fun of men for likely using “your hot” instead of “you’re hot”, but then you write “most woman arrive at the same conclusions.” 🙂

    1. 53.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      I love that you can’t tell the difference between a typo and a spelling mistake.

  14. 54
    Annie

    I’m worried people find my profile too intimidating because I’m an ambitious person and the profile comes across confident. I get so many likes from people, and even after I like them back (the ones I actually like anyway) they look at my profile a second time and don’t follow up. This makes no sense – they already indicated they were interested – why wouldn’t they follow up? There’s enough unique information in my profile to give them something to ask about. Is it possible for a profile to be “too confident?” And why do people let you know they find you attractive or are interested and then not follow up? It’s baffling.

    1. 54.1
      Fromkin

      I’m an ambitious person and the profile comes across confident.

       

      How is extraordinarily ambitious and confident attractive? It’s not a job interview. Guys want pretty, fun, smart enough, and available.

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