How Do You Overlook Bad Online Profiles?
As a result of reading Finding the One Online and following your advice blog I’ve become a much more savvy online dater. I have an engaging profile, attractive current pics and a positive attitude. But, the more skilled I’ve gotten at playing the online dating game the more frustrated I’ve become with the shoddy profiles that men post. I’ve changed but men haven’t. I’m still dealing with the same short, shallow, generic profiles and blurry, taken-in-the-bathroom photos. But now I have far less patience for these than I used to. I try to give guys the benefit of the doubt. I remind myself that these men haven’t had the benefit of coaching and are doing the best they know how. But, I still find myself incredibly frustrated and far more critical and dismissive. I don’t expect men to change, so how can I adjust my attitude so that I can be a more effective online dater?
Ah, the curse of knowing too much, being too smart, and placing ahead of the curve.
Nope, can’t say I’m familiar with it – but some dead Greek guy once observed that “an unexamined life is not worth living”.
If this is the case, you can surely kill off most everyone on Match.com.
…by letting your perception of these men dictate your feelings about online dating, you’re the one who loses.
The thing to remember is that perception is not reality, and by letting your perception of these men dictate your feelings about online dating, you’re the one who loses.
So let’s reframe:
A few months ago, a bright, creative, well-intentioned woman — let’s call her “Cassie” — has just about had it with online dating.
Her best dating prospect disappeared into thin air, and the only two emails she’s gotten this week came from fat men 25 years older who live two states away.
Yep, Cassie’s hit bottom, and she knows that SOMETHING has to change. And if she is, in fact, the main attraction in Loserville, there has to be something she can do to change her ZIP code to a more desirable, upscale location.
She goes back to this blog she’s been reading for a few years — some pretentious, know-it-all-guy with three names – and while he seems to know what he’s talking about, she’s always resisted paying for his advice.
Why buy the cow when you get the milk for free?
…the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
But Cassie is bright. She knows that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. To continue on this online dating path the same way would be the height of insanity.
She finally breaks down and invests in this blogger’s program, Finding the One Online (a handsome 7 CD set, 180 page transcript, and 35 page workbook!).
It’s delivered to her within 3-5 business days, she downloads it on her iPod and listens to it in the car. And, much to her surprise, the material is really interesting — and much more thorough than anything he’s ever discussed on his blog.
Soon, Cassie has revamped her generic old profile, swapped out her photos for some active, smiling, updated pics, and has a much more proactive positive attitude about the whole endeavor. And, sure enough, men are paying attention.
The only problem is that she still feels like the mayor of Loserville.
She knows it’s irrational to feel this way — since, clearly, these men haven’t had any coaching. But she can’t help herself. The webcam photos, the “work hard/play hard” guys, the ones who cut and paste form letters with their phone numbers… it’s all too much. “How can I be less critical and dismissive?” she wonders aloud.
Here’s what you’re missing, Cassie.
3 months ago, YOU were the average woman… You’re living proof that amazing people can be really average-to-poor online daters.
You had old pictures.
You had a generic profile, filled with adjectives.
3 months ago, YOU were the average woman.
You had a bland way of emailing men.
You had a distorted perception of how online dating really worked.
Now imagine a guy like me sees your old pictures and generic profile…
Should I get angry that you haven’t marketed yourself better?
Should I dismiss you because you didn’t have anything original to say?
Should I get frustrated that my online dating “skill set” is superior to yours?
I think the answer is always “no”. Because you’re living proof that amazing people can be really average-to-poor online daters. And if you’d want a smart and savvy guy to give you a shot three months ago, it’s probably in your best interests to be a little more generous to the have-nots of PlentyOfFish.com.
It’s a truism that I bring up all the time with private clients when they ask me for coaching, but think that the big problem is EVERYBODY ELSE.
I’ll say something like, “I totally get why you’re frustrated. All your observations about men and online dating are 100% true. But you know who’s going to be the same after 12 weeks of coaching? Men. So if men are the only problem here, we’re screwed. Literally the ONLY things we can change are how you’re approaching and understanding men, dating, and relationships. We can’t change men.”
Literally the ONLY things we can change are how you’re approaching and understanding men, dating, and relationships. We can’t change men.
Most of my clients get it very quickly.
So, I’ll completely defend you, Cassie, when you observe that 85% of men’s profiles are subpar. But I would also point out to you that, before you did Finding the One Online, yours was probably pretty average, too.
I can tell you that my wife’s profile was pretty average, too. She has a great personality, but isn’t really much of a writer. Nor did she quite understand why adjectives are such a bad idea for a profile.
From all I’ve observed after 10 years in the online dating business, I can tell you for certain that:
The best profiles are not necessarily indicative of the best people. They’re just the best writers/marketers who understand how to stand out and differentiate themselves. Is there a correlation between a great profile and a smart guy? Yes. But don’t assume that men who don’t have great profiles aren’t smart. It’s simply not true.
Similarly, there are millions of men who have short, generic profiles simply because they filled it out in five minutes and wouldn’t know what to do without considerable coaching.
They are not bad men. Or stupid men. Or uninterested-in-relationships men.
They’re just men, who are struggling, like you, to find an attractive person who ALSO has a measure of substance.
So please don’t get upset, Cassie, that collectively, men have a huge blind spot when it comes to online dating. Make the best of the situation by taking a chance on some of these average guys — and staying detached from the outcome.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
But if you quit — after all you’ve learned — I guarantee you that your Finding the One Online skills will not pay off.
Who knows, your future spouse might be the average guy you’re passing up right now…
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