A Well Written Online Dating Profile Matters

A Well Written Online Dating Profile Matters

Let’s establish a few things that should be indisputable when it comes to online dating.

  1. People don’t write to people they don’t find attractive. I could write you the world’s greatest online dating profile, but if someone of the opposite sex doesn’t find you physically appealing from the get-go, it probably won’t matter much.
  2. Presuming that someone does find you attractive online, a well-written online dating profile matters a LOT.

I’m amazed at how hard it is  for people to wrap themselves around the second point.

A great profile is what will make someone choose you over the scores of other similarly attractive people.

When I talk about how much online dating profiles matter, the immediate pushback is that people are all about photos and that profiles don’t matter at all. WTF?

It’s like saying that a 1.9 GPA wouldn’t matter if you had a 1300 SAT score. Of course it matters. It ALL matters. A cute face and decent body will get you in the door. A great profile is what will make someone choose you over the scores of other similarly attractive people. Just think about it for a second:

I’m browsing women online. I see 50 of them that turn my head. I don’t have the bandwidth to write to 50 women at once, much less at all. Who am I going to write to first? The attractive woman with the best profile, not the most attractive woman with the shittiest profile. SOME men do that. They are largely stupid, shallow men, so you need not worry about them. Men of substance are looking for women of substance – even when we’re trying to get laid as well.

It’s for this reason that I started e-Cyrano online dating profile writing in 2003 – to help singles stand out from the crowd with a one-of-a-kind profile that attracts more attention from higher quality prospects. And it’s for reason that I share with you this article that exonerates my position that good profiles matter.

So let’s agree everyone online is driven by looks first, and that everyone of substance actually cares who you are and what you have to say.

New research published in the journal Personal Relationships suggests that things like the length of your profile, the number of positive and negative words you use, and whether or not you use swear words, are all sending subtle signals and influencing how other online daters assess your personality.

“Online daters who wish to be perceived as more consistent with the ideal romantic partner personality profile should write fairly lengthy ads that use an abundance of positive emotion words, and refrain from any negative emotionality or cursing,” the researchers write.”

Sounds obvious, but if you’ve dated online, you know that it’s not. People write short ads that reveal little – and then complain that online dating sucks and people are only concerned with photos. Ironic, isn’t it?

e-Cyrano clients, on the other hand, usually  have strangers write to tell them that their profile is the best they’ve  ever seen. Such is the power of taking the time to figure out what makes you unique and what someone else gets out of dating you.

So let’s agree that everyone online is driven by looks first, and that everyone of substance actually cares who you are and what you have to say. And if you’ve been dating online on and off for awhile without much success, it’s distinctly possible that it’s because you had no idea how an amazing profile can attract a completely different kind of man.

Click here to learn more about e-Cyrano and please share your thoughts below about the effects of a good (or bad) profile.

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  1. 1

    I assume the same would go for a man’s profile?

    In my experience, and perhaps it’s not typical, but when I had written fairly lengthy profiles, say, 4 or 5 paragraphs detailing some of my hobbies and achievements, he types of hopes I had for the future, detailing a short but easy-to-meet list of the type of woman I’d like to meet, among positive happy thoughts, many woman couldn’t be bothered to read it.

    Some of them messaged me solely to tell me my profile was too long. I cut it down by a paragraph and took out anything I felt was superfluous, but kept the most interesting aspects of my life in there. It didn’t help at all. My response rate and and the rate at which women messaged me, stayed the same.

    It was kind of a bummer to think that I put all that effort into letting someone know how fun, positive, and relationship-oriented I could be for them and it didn’t matter one bit.

    To be fair, maybe I wasn’t as interesting as I thought, perhaps my profile was too much about me (shouldn’t it be?) and not about the prospective woman I wanted to meet, maybe I went too far and sounded egotistical, I don’t know, but a short vague profile was just as effective for me as a long one.

    Perhaps I’ll try online dating again and this time write a very well-planned profile and see what happens.

    1. 1.1

      Grenoble, I’m sorry you had those bad experiences.   However, yes, a man’s profile also does matter (well, at least to women of substance).   I can honestly tell you that while I liked my boyfriend’s photo (still love his dimples!) it was really his profile that resonated with me and led me to contact him, over other equally attractive men.   I also personally know a lot of other women with similar stories, including my sister’s and brother-in-law’s.

      What you’ve gone through with women not responding, etc. is what just about every guy I know has gone through, with online dating–it’s really nothing personal and is just the nature of the beast.   I wish I had a magic formula, but all I can do is encourage you to keep going.

      From my own experience, I got as many dates with a short vague profile as I did with more detailed, specific one (I also experimented a lot).   However, it was the detailed, specific one that finally got me a relationship with my boyfriend.

      I actually got a similar message from a man as those messages you got–saying that profile was too long.   However, I just believed in it and stuck with it, because I felt it really represented who I am.   Well, later on my boyfriend came along and loved that exact same profile!   So the cliche is true that one person’s trash is another person’s treasure.   I’m glad I didn’t change it or else, my love might have passed me by.

      Those are just my thoughts, hope that might help.

    2. 1.2

      A man’s profile really matters to me.   I read the whole thing no matter how long if the man sparked my interest.      And I do think women read more profiles than men do, but maybe that is a sexist assumption so sorry :).   But I do.      The problem with longer profiles is that a lot of people particularly women tons of contact on the sites. I think men lack an understanding of how vastly large the discrepancy is between how many emails say a man gets versus a woman and women rarely send emails out.   So if a woman say is getting 20 emails a day and she gets one from you and is scanning through all the profiles and yours from a quick glance looks super long she may pass you by in favor of a shorter one and you may never get that second glance you deserve.       Not right just how it is!         Eyeball your profile from afar, sounds silly right?   But think about it.   Does it look like long narrow paragraphs, if so maybe cut some stuff out!   You just need to reel the person in with it, then you can tell her more once you catch her!

    3. 1.3


      It’s possible that it’s not about you personally. For example, some of the emails that I got when online dating were from men that were in my personal category of “thanks, but not for me”. There were cute guys I turned down because they were 10 years younger than me, because I personally didn’t want a relationship with that  big of an age gap. But was there anything wrong, selfish or uninteresting about that guy? No. It was genuinely a matter of “it’s not you, it’s me”. Due to volume, I wasn’t explaining that to these guys. I just said “thanks,  it’s not a match for me, wishing you the best” and hoped their feelings weren’t too hurt.

      Other guys that fell into that category besides age based were guys more than 75 miles away (I wanted a boyfriend that I could see  IRL, not a pen  pal or phone buddy), smokers / 420 guys (yuck),  guys who  definitely  wanted kids (I definitely did NOT), guys  in a band as their main employment (lots of instability in time, emotion and finance), hunters (because the joy of killing eludes me) and guys with  tattoo sleeves.

      If it helps, I’ve also gotten deafening silence from a number of guys that fell into ‘reverse match’ category and never got an explanation.

    4. 1.4

      I actually prefer if the profile is mostly about him.   Unless there are a few serious deal-breakers, leave off the stuff about what you’re looking for.   To me, that just says that he might be picky, overly critical, and/or concerned with a potential mate meeting his criteria.   I will guess that I probably don’t meet his ideal and move on.

    5. 1.5

      If you are willing change your profile for someone you don’t know,   who’s complaining about something that you took time to do…

      Are you really expecting to find a great fit.

  2. 2

    I thought the idea that a lengthy profile helped odd also Grenoble. I also had a guy tell me I wrote a lot in my profile. I took that as it was too long. My most effective profile was of course my last (you really learn as you go). My profile was maybe a short 1 and 1/2 paragraph. I did however use as much space as succinctly as I could in the blocks where you write about -last book you read etc.

    I got better responses after I honed my profile to really reflect me. I think Evan used the example of just don’t say you’re fun and funny-show by example. It was something about how he described how his girlfriend would sit in his lap at his computer and they’d play a game? Something to that effect. It really painted a picture. Maybe I didn’t get more responses from men after I changed my profile but they were better dates.

    I was wondering how well someone else could write a profile for you if they don’t know you well?

    1. 2.1

      Well, I think people will have different preferences in terms of length.   My last profile was longer than yours, yet was equally effective.

      However, I think we can all agree that it should reflect the real you.   I did try profile-writing services before.   Those profiles ended up being very well-written, fun and witty–but somehow, somewhere, they also sounded nothing like me.   I actually got more dates and did better when I wrote my profiles myself (while taking into account the advice I read about profiles).   It was the last profile I’d written myself that got me a boyfriend.


      1. 2.1.1

        Great input Christine. I guess it’s like anything-pay for a well written, crafted product (if you’re stuck/can’t seem to pull it off) or do your best to polish your own profile. I’m sure Evan’s services are great if you can’t seem to pull it off yourself. I did worry about it not reflecting the true me. I never got professional pics either. I’m sure I’m in a smallish market (I live in the Deep South) so honestly I got more responses just updating with new pics. In fact, I put up a tacky selfie in front of the mirror in my bathroom one time (I know, I know) so I could show a real time pic of most of my body). It certainly wasnt great. I made a silly remark about the wallpaper in my bathroom and got more responses regarding my wild wallpaper (in caption below pic where you can write date, etc) than any other pic I ever posted! Still got the wild wallpaper-probably should have taken up one of the offers from men to help me take it down!   🙂

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          You make my case, Caroline. Men need something to write to. Most people write generic lists of adjectives, activities and cliches. So when you write about your wallpaper, guys respond. e-Cyrano> pulls 20 details as interesting as your wallpaper out of you, so that your profile will be catnip to men. I teach people how to do it in Finding the One Online, but for the best results, have a professional do it with you. We ask a lot of questions so it really is YOU writing your own profile – not us making shit up about you.

        2. Christine

          Now I’m curious what that wallpaper looks like (or who knows, depending on how “wild” it is maybe I’m better off not knowing haha) 🙂

          I’m sure there are some people who benefit from profile writing services.   I’m only speaking for myself that I did better writing and revising my own profiles. But no matter who writes it, I agree the profile has to somehow reflect the real you.   The best version of you–but still you.


        3. Caroline

          I agree Evan:) I definitely see the benefits one could reap from a pro written profile after reading your example below.   I did my best like “I’m the kind of woman who drinks from the garden hose, pets stray dogs and dances barefoot in the kitchen making your favorite meal”. I even kidded about having this long laundry list of wants in a man like great abs, home ownership, credit report etc but I had mixed up that list up with my grocery list so why don’t we just start with a cup of coffee or glass of wine and see if can have some witty banter etc…

          I could definitely see having someone write something since your example in no way felt like an insincere, smug brag fest .   🙂

        4. Caroline

          @Christine-you will probably be relieved the wallpaper doesn’t have naked Greek gods on it! It is actually botanical prints on a muted striped background but it has a wild somewhat askew appearance. In other words, you wouldn’t want to wake up with the flu or a hangover to it!


        5. Christine

          Caroline, you’re right I’m relieved–if it had naked Greek gods on it, it’d give me flashbacks to my 8 a.m. art history college courses back in the day!   🙂 (who knows, maybe the professor showed us those to wake us up)

  3. 3

    I don’t agree with you on an overall statics thing.   Some men do read profiles, but like you said they have to first find the women attractive, and I think that is the key.    When I did online dating I can assure you that 95% of the men that bombarded me with emails did not read my profile or if they did, they completely ignored it and just looked at my pictures.    This is the reason I got off of dating sites like match and such because I got so many emails and they were 95% from men that only looked at my picture and I spent too much time trying to weed through those and it was just irritating.   I on the other hand never emailed a man whose profile I did not fit even if I thought he was very good looking, and I guess I expected the same.   I admit while I took the time to fill out the required things such as what I was looking for, my must haves and such, as far as writing a lengthy narrative, mine was very short and I did not spend much time on it at all.    I did not invest in professional pictures.   But I did make all of my photos with the exception of two full body shots, and current.   My profile shot was also a full body shot.   None showed me dressed in inappropriate ways, or in bathing suits, but all clearly showed what my body and weight looked like.      I did not post group shots, or shots with children, and I did not post photos from different eras of my life, leading to confusion as to which ones represented what I currently look like.      I had very good friends that spent hours on their profiles.    Professional pictures, detailed narratives, and I admit they were very good, I was impressed.    The reason I did not do so, was I was already getting bombarded with so many emails that I did not want anymore and every time I went on the site to do anything or change anything I got more emails or contacts!   I had just uploaded my pictures, my age and my username and area and was already receiving emails and winks.   I have to be sincerely honest with you that I think that overall men just email women based on pictures, not profiles and I think a woman’s focus should be on her pictures first, and her profile second.      I also know when Evan runs this posts about writing a good profile a lot of women comment saying I have spent hours doing this and I am still not getting any men writing me.   My traffic or dates are not increasing, etc, why am I wasting my time?   I think the reality of online dating is that it is about looks primarily and I think that a great profile can only get you so far.    I truly believe that a woman needs to put a full body shot as her profile picture.   I think that men who see a head shot jump to the conclusion that a woman is hiding something and   women who do not post pictures of their full body at all will not get responses from men no matter how great their profile is.      I am not going to list the amount of contact I got and dates per week versus my friends who truly worked on their profiles but suffice to say that it was a vast difference.       I did after the fact sit down and really work on my profile to see if I can filter out some of the men to get better results, and no dice.   All that did was increase my hits, which was exactly what I did not want, and it was still much of the same. Meaning I did not get better matches by more specifically listing what I was looking for,I just got more.    In fact I actually increased my angry messages, in that I got some from men saying, oh you are hot so you think you can be picky, and other things like that.      No one read my profile, all they did was look at my pictures and email me.       I know Evan loves online dating, but I think that if you are not in the upper echelon of looks, if you are a short man, or if you are an overweight female,   you have a hard time meeting people and if you are in the upper echelon of looks you have a hard time meeting people because you are so bombarded you cannot keep up.    I think there are some people it works for.    But not a lot. I know many men get frustrated because women don’t answer, but I think the reason women don’t answer is because all the men are emailing the same 10% of women based on looks alone, and getting angry rather than emailing the 90% of other great women who are better matches and not getting bombarded by emails.   It is something about online dating that makes men feel like they can get any woman they want, women they would never approach in real time, and then when said woman does not respond they decide no one does and dating sucks.   I on the other hand know what men are in my league and online dating does not change that for me.       Just my two cents.   So sure update your profile and work hard on it, but I am not so sure that it matters, and I don’t think a lot of men read it.   I truly believe men are visual people.      And online dating has so much and so many choices, people don’t take the time to read all that stuff.

    1. 3.1

      Lisa, that’s interesting because I had a very different experience back when I was online dating.   Most men (including my boyfriend now) really did read my profile.   I got decent traffic, but never got “bombarded” with messages either.

      Perhaps it’s because I’m somewhere in between on the looks scale between hideous and gorgeous.   My body type is slender.   My face won’t make anyone gag and I think it’s cute enough in a wholesome, “girl next door” way.   In fact I’ve often been told that I have an “innocent” looking face.

      But on the other hand, I’m not delusional that I’m a super-hot Victoria’s Secret/Sports Illustrated/Maxim cover.   Who knows, maybe it’s the “in-between” people, like me, who do best with online dating (where we attract enough people to have options, but also aren’t flooded with them so don’t get overwhelmed.   So we can take the time to really read messages and profiles carefully)

    2. 3.2
      Evan Marc Katz


      Hard to respond to 2000 words, but here goes:

      1. Men only look at your picture if your profile is no good. Photos matter, as I said, but quality men CARE what you have to say. If you have nothing in your profile, you will still get emails, but it’s IN SPITE of your profile. You see? If a guy writes that you’re hot, it’s probably because you didn’t give him anything else to work with.

      2. You assume your experiment of working on your profile tells a greater story. It doesn’t. All it tells me is that you did your best to write a great profile and your best wasn’t good enough. I know that’s hard to hear, but e-Cyrano clients – without fail – tell me that they get not only more men, but higher quality men writing higher quality emails because of their higher quality profile. Have you ever met someone who didn’t know she needed glasses…until she put on a pair of her friend’s glasses and realized she could see better? That’s most people with their profiles. The bar is so low – most profiles are so bad – that if you spend a few hours and write 500 words and try really hard, you mistakenly think it’s “good.” It’s like the people who try out for American Idol but can’t really sing; it’s because they haven’t been able to tell the difference between their singing and great singing. There is a qualitative difference in what happens when you do things my way…but most people choose not to because their way has never worked before.

      3. Men have access to the top 10% of women so they try. When they fail, they move on down the food chain, out of necessity. Same as women. Why go out with the 5’6″ guy when you can meet a 6’0″ guy? Why go out with the 50K guy when there’s a 100K guy? Etc. The answer to this is not to get angry at men or quit online dating. It’s to do it BETTER.

      4. Men ARE visual people. Men DO read profiles. Men DO respond to great profiles. e-Cyrano writes those great profiles. The above article verifies it and I verify it, since this is my entire business. It’s remarkable to me how people refute studies based on their own experience as if one person’s experience means more than a few thousand.

      Here’s a easy case study: take the same photo and attach a generic profile and a great profile. See who gets more emails and better emails. I know the answer. The problem is that you probably don’t know what a great profile looks like. Here’s an example. This client of mine is now happily married and just had her first child:

      About me:

      Are you looking for someone who can cook? Me too. But unless you prefer your steak with extra char, I’m just not that woman. I’d like to think I make up for it in other ways. One is that I’m nice to everyone. The mailroom guys at AOL once saved my ass because they liked me, and it just reinforced that “it’s not what you do, it’s who you are”. My mom instilled that in me, and we still bond raising money for Paws for the Cause. Yes, I’m a dog lover and my pups are like the rest of my family: very chatty and loveable, but with much colder noses. Alas, I’ve never tied their legs together in the middle of the night like I did to my brother, mostly because they wouldn’t be able to untie it themselves. At the end of the day, I’m just a girl who likes to have fun. I’ll get you tickets to a Sixers game after you had a rough week. I’ll check out Airborne Toxic Event at the Electric Factory. I’ll even go skydiving, although I’m still unsure what’s scarier: jumping or being in a prop plane. And I know that if I’m having fun, you’re having fun, and we always enjoy each others’ company, everything’s gonna work out just fine.

      About you:

      You bring me Cherry Coke Zero and pumpkin coffee from Dunkin Donuts to satiate my sweet tooth. You give the pregnant lady on the subway your seat on a hot day.
      You can make even the worst walking tour of the city amusing, even if it means we’re running away from the group. You were crushed when the Phillies lost to the Cards. You enjoy a run by the Charles River before work. You’d teach me what hops have to do with the flavor of a beer and respect the fact that I think IPAs are yucky. You know I’ll come watch your band play, even if I’ve seen your set twenty times. You like taking drives around New Hope so we can check out fall foliage. You make me matzoh ball soup when I’m sick, knowing that you’re judged only for effort, not taste. You turn to me for support if you’re out of work. You remember to ask my friend about her date because you care about people who are close to me. You love waking up to my warm body and snuggling for 5 minutes before the alarm goes off. You feel secure with me and have no desire to look elsewhere because you’re happy.

      Can you see a difference between that and “I’m nice, smart, warm, fun and love to laugh. I’m equally comfortable at a five-star resort as I am at a late night burger joint. I’m really close with my friends and family and we always have a great time together. I love my work and think it’s meaningful and challenging. I’m done with game players and I’m looking for an honest man who respects women and knows how to treat a lady. Bonus points if you like wine, travel, Crossfit, dogs, your mother and me!”

      That woman thinks her profile is good. In fact, it could be written by every single woman on the planet. So it’s accurate and authentic…but it doesn’t do much to differentiate her from the thousand other women out there. Contrast it with the profile I wrote above, where 20 different men could grab onto a line or a story in her profile to make first contact. The emails she receives will be about the Sixers or Paws for the Cause or Cherry Coke zero or matzoh ball soup… not “you look hot, let’s meet!”

      Your profile literally determines your entire online dating experience – how many men write to you, who writes to you and how he writes to you. Ignore it at your own peril.

      1. 3.2.1

        Omg, if I break up with my current bf (unfortunately I think it’ll happen),I am Definitely getting Finding The One Online or an E-cyrano profile (btw I loved WHD)! Thought my profile was decent but compared to the one u wrote, it’s embarrassingly-generic.


        Now that I think about it, I remember an ex-bf’s online profiles to this day (more than a yr after seeing it) and it made him stand out to me and seem like relationship-material because he’d bothered to write a great profile. It showed he was serious and willing to invest in the dating process, which made me more willing to invest in him in return. There are many attractive people around; it’s rarer to be attractive and memorable.



    3. 3.3

      TBH, Lisa, if your profiles are anything like your post 3, above, i.e. TL; DR, that may explain a lot of your lack of success.

  4. 4

    I filled in the drop downs on   my profile.   I wrote a bio that wasn’t long but said a few things about me and what I’m looking for.   It’s about 6 sentences.   I even put in one sentence into the sections on match.   Well, I just had a guy ask me “So what’s your tale, mother goose? You have a story? We should get to the bottom of this.”

    My reply: “So, think of me as an onion that has layers to peel back one by one to get to it’s core, not the fun 52 card pick up where it’s all at once. You got a lot on my profile, it’s a great start!” His reply: “I’m sure I could read all about it and write an essay on my synopsis, but I rather talk about it over a beverage. How would you feel about that?”

    Hmm…So a smart-ass to think he has to write an essay? No, but I’d think you’d want to ask a question or two from what you read before you just jump out there and meet someone?   I also see too lazy to read my profile, which is only 6 sentences (which a man can handle) and see if I’m even a good fit, but he wants to go out for a drink?   I’m afraid that guy is a doozy.

    I will admit, I don’t read a bio by a man who has written a novel. It’s just too much and overwhelming.   I have 6 fun and light sentences, but even this man doesn’t want to read.   You can have a well crafted bio, but you can’t control if a man reads it or not.   It’s a peeve of mine of a man who will ask me my name and it’s the first sentence of my bio. Shows me lack of sophistication, doesn’t pay attention to detail.

  5. 5

    Ladies, a few thoughts from a thoughtful, well-intended man:

    Failure to read profile details is certainly not a gender-specific issue. Experience confirms that, as a rule, very few women read profiles. How do I know? Back when I was active in online dating, I didn’t write essays in my bio (just 3-4 paragraphs) so it took only a few minutes to read (assuming the reader was proficient in English). Near the end, I always inserted some brief wording that said “put [some random word] in your first message so I’ll know you read my profile”. Less than 10% did this (try it yourself; you’ll very likely get the same result no matter what gender you are). Some realized this after the fact and included it in a follow-up message later on (kind of funny, but too late). Comically, a few even messaged me solely to tell me my profile was too long (without reading it of course).
    If you complain that 95% of emails are from ‘undesirables’, so what? This should only bother you if your prime objective is some sort of personal validation of SMV. If a relationship with a quality guy is the prime goal, only the 5% really matter anyway (because you deserve only the best, amirite?)
    As a man with a lot of experience in online dating (along with lots of conversations on this topic with female friends and family), I came away with the very strong impression that most women would assume a much more proactive attitude (and exert much more energy) on finding the perfect pair of shoes or purse than finding a good quality man. This seems really backwards to me considering the much-greater impact of the decision being made. This might sound a little harsh but I don’t know how else to express it.
    Continuing on that thought, if a woman skips over a guy just because his profile is TL/DR, she’s just not that serious about finding a good man (or just didn’t find him attractive enough anyway), no matter how many emails she gets. It really does amaze me to see women complain so consistently about having to spend actual effort to find the good man they claim to be seeking. I’ve just never heard the same complaining about finding that perfect pair of shoes.
    The most consistent disappointment for me (the type of guy who always read profiles because .. it was FUN!) was a consistently recurring theme: women who could write detailed ‘must haves’ but included little or nothing on the “value proposition” they offered to a man.This speaks VOLUMES to any quality, educated man looking for his equal.
    A final note: beware of using red-flag phrases (“love to travel”, “don’t need a man”, etc). One or more of these were in most all profiles I reviewed. Guys who are serious (ya know, the ones serious women look for) look for these and will ‘categorize’ you accordingly (or just “next” you), just like you do to the men who use your collection of ‘red flag’ phrases.

    1. 5.1

      AAORK, I’m really curious, what is it about “love to travel” that is a “red flag” to you?   I have a friend who loves to travel and has that in her profile.   That comment of yours is making me wonder if that phrase is somehow sending out the wrong signal and driving men away?


      1. 5.1.1
        Evan Marc Katz

        Love to travel – to you – says: I’m open, free-spirited, curious, cultured, adventurous. To some guys, it says: “I want a man with a lot of money to pay for me to go to the Four Seasons in Barcelona” and “I’m constantly moving around, gone for weeks at a time, looking for something better outside my home, and unavailable to be a devoted girlfriend.” Both are somewhat true, in varying degrees.

        1. Christine

          Thanks for that input Evan.   I don’t think my friend would expect a man to pay for any of her trips.

          However, I admit that she is often gone for weeks at a time from all her travels.   It’s fine for me and my other friends to go for a month without seeing her, and then seeing her when she gets back.   But I can see why a man would want someone more readily available as a girlfriend. I personally wouldn’t want to date her male equivalent and enjoy spending most of my free time with my boyfriend.

          If she’s unwilling to cut back on her travels, I suppose she’d better look for someone who also loves to travel (and is willing and able to travel with her).   Either that, or a man who doesn’t require a lot of together time as a couple if he’s more home-bound.

        2. Mary

          Thank you, Evan. That makes sense. A woman who lists personal hobbies and pursuits that suggest she doesn’t leave copious amounts of free time in her schedule for guys who might want to ask her out at the last minute if he has nothing else to do might have to rethink their strategy if they want to be successful.   It also suggests that if they were to eventually become a couple, she might want to keep some of her hobbies even if they are of no interest to him.

        3. Mary

          Tom10 is right. In online dating, men’s conversion rate is number of messages to number of dates. For women it’s number of dates to serious relationships. As women we really have to convey what we offer versus what makes us happy and fully developed human beings. That won’t get us the numbers and it certainly isn’t attractive to men.

        4. Bill


          I know your friend wouldn’t expect a man to pay for her trips, but for some of us we couldn’t imagine it any other way. Sure, she might offer to pay for her own trip, and I might even accept that, but expecting her to would be like expecting her to pick up the tab for condoms.

      2. 5.1.2

        Some men read “love to travel” as “I’d love for you to pay for my next vacation”.

        1. Karl S

          The real problem with saying you love to travel is that it’s banal. Nobody doesn’t like travel.

          It’s up there with saying you like to hang out with your friends or that you love a good laugh. It’s a waste of words.
          If you really do love travel though, say something more specific. Mention a couple of places you’ve been or what it is about travel that is so meaningful.

        2. Tom10

          I disagree somewhat Karl S about your explanation of what’s wrong with someone saying they like to travel.

          The problem with saying “I love to travel” is it just sounds so self-centred and a bit conceited. If a guy is looking for a long-term partner/wife, at one level or another, he’s looking for someone who fulfils his needs, whereas when someone says they like to travel it is inadvertently declaring their needs (i.e. a travel partner) rather than what they can offer.

          So when a woman says she loves to travel I just think; “ugh, she’s going to expect me to travel with her to Venice or Moscow or wherever twice a year.” Whereas when a woman says she loves to bake I think; “yum, I love eating cakes”.  

          Okay, my examples might be a bit hyperbolic but you get my drift: it is incumbent to implicitly hint at what you offer those you want to attract, rather than implicitly hint at what you require from those you want to attract.

          (P.S. I have to hold my hand up here and admit I’ve never internet dated so maybe I shouldn’t be commenting on this thread. Yes yes I’m a Luddite).

        3. JB

          Sorry Karl I hate to travel….lol or strongly prefer not to but I’m not stupid enough to put it in my profile.

        4. Joe

          Gents, I think you’re both right.

        5. Adrian


          I loved what you said about how people create their profiles to advertise what they want, not what they can offer.


          Though, I don’t think that matters for the even “slightly” more attractive than average women, and it especially doesn’t apply to the beautiful or hot women, as Lisa testified.


          Really attractive women can afford to be so picky because they know that no matter what they say, they will literally get 1,000s of guys begging them for a date.


          But it was still great insight you gave, I will apply it on my profile and try to show what I can offer, not just want I want.

        6. Tom10

          Thanks Adrian;  I guess the same principles of real-life dating translate to on-line dating after all.
          I suppose it’s what marketers call “knowing your target audience”; you have to identify your target market, isolate what it is that they are looking for, and then give it to them, or at least imply (without telling lies, as there’s no honor, achievement or fun in that) that you’re the person that can give it to them, more so than anyone else.
          When I read comments from guys here (*I won’t mention any names*) complaining about women who won’t have casual sex with them I often think, well why would they have casual sex with you? What’s in it for them to pick you?
          The same goes for people who list their qualifications, say they like to travel, etc. Okay, well, that’s all very well and good, but what has any of that got to do with what your target is looking for? What’s in it for them?
          You always have to be thinking about what the other person is looking for, which is how you get what you are looking for.
          So yeah, girls saying that they love to travel are way wide of the mark, as that doesn’t do much for most guys.  

    2. 5.2

      Bill, thanks for that additional input, I see what you mean.   Even well into my relationship, my boyfriend still likes to pick up the tab for our meals and can’t seem to imagine any other way.   Perhaps a man would feel that way about a trip–and that can be a financial drain for him.   I hope she eventually finds someone, but after reading the comments here, I can see why that “loves to travel” line can inadvertently turn a man off.

  6. 6

    It does not matter how great your profile is if no one ever reads it or if you have fab photos if no one ever sees them if no one is searching in your area for someone your age etc.

  7. 7

    I was interested in applying as a writer. But I noticed that you only mention making a profile more attractive to the opposite sex. Does E-cyrano not have same-sex relationships in mind at all?

    1. 7.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      We write profiles for those who ask us to. The principles are the exact same. Our grammar just hasn’t caught up with the clientele.

      1. 7.1.1

        LOL! I’ll re-write your FAQ too! 🙂

  8. 8
    Todd in Hermosa Beach

    What do you all think is the purpose of a profile:

    – Describe who I think I am?

    – Describe who I want people to think I am, i.e., attract the most dates?

    – Describe who I think would be most compatible with me?

    – Something else entirely?

    Inquiring minds want to know!


    1. 8.1

      @Todd-IMHO I’ve always thought it was like an advertisement. Profile writer is the product who showcases   your attributes and why the buyer would profit by knowing you. 🙂

      1. 8.1.1
        Todd in Hermosa Beach

        That’s too bad (but thanks anyway!)… For a person in marketing, you’d think I would have more luck with my profile.

        Still, I will take your approach and see if the results improve.

        Thanks, Caroline!

  9. 9
    Karl R

    While I never made use of Evan’s profile services, I spent a lot of my time wishing that the women in my area had.   The profiles I saw ranged from bad to “meh”.   Mostly “meh”.


    Regarding long profiles:

    Many of you have taken the time to read Lisa’s post (#3), Evan’s response (#3.2) and AAORK’s post (#5).   If you can’t take the time to read similar length profiles by men/women online, then I have to agree with AAORK … you can’t be all that serious about finding someone.

    That said, a profile with no breaks (similar to Lisa’s post (#3)) is going to seem more like a wall of text.   Because of the breaks and differentiation between paragraphs, Evan’s post (#3.2) seems like a faster read, even though it’s distinctly longer.

    One man may have told Kristin (#4) that her six sentence profile was too long … but I can’t remember ever considering a profile that short.


    “Substance” of profiles:

    Most longer profiles seem like they’re written to appeal to the widest range of potential partners … so they end up sounding like every other person.   These women are intelligent.   They have a great sense of humor.   People constantly tell them they look young for their age.   They love to t$r$a$v$e$l.   (And that’s before I get to the cliches.)

    Most short profiles end up sounding even more generic.   They sound like every other person … who can’t manage to string 100 words together.

    Lisa (#3) mentions the third most common type of profile:

    “I did after the fact sit down and really work on my profile to see if I can filter out some of the men to get better results, and no dice.   All that did was increase my hits, which was exactly what I did not want, and it was still much of the same. Meaning I did not get better matches by more specifically listing what I was looking for,I just got more.    In fact I actually increased my angry messages,”

    By specifying what they don’t want, these profiles sound angry and over-burdened by baggage.   It backfires … because  people read the messages.   And the highest quality people won’t waste their time with someone who sounds angry.


    Most of your emails are from people who don’t read your profile….

    That’s because the men and women  who send the most emails don’t bother to read profiles.   They write a generic email, then copy and paste it into  hundreds  (or thousands) of emails.

    It’s spam.   Ignore it.   Delete it.   Forget about it.



    Grenoble said:

    “Some of them messaged me solely to tell me my profile was too long.”


    Was that the general consensus you received from the women who seemed like excellent matches for you?   (The same goes for Kristin (#4).)

    No matter how you write your profile, you can’t please everyone.   But since you’re not trying to please everyone, you can try to get the attention of the sub-segment of women (or men) that you’re trying to date.


    Trixie said: (#6)

    “It does not matter how great your profile is if no one ever reads it or if you have fab photos if no one ever sees them if no one is searching in your area for someone your age etc.”


    Wink at them.   Back when I was doing online dating, a wink or an email would show me your “fab photos”.   It would prompt me to read your profile.   And if I liked both your photos and your profile, I would spend some time trying to figure out why I hadn’t seen you already.

    This actually happened to me.   The woman  lived about 2 miles outside of my geographical range.   We went on one of my more  enjoyable Match.com dates, but we both chose to pursue other people we were dating.


    Todd in Hermosa Beach asked: (#8)

    “What do you all think is the purpose of a profile”


    To attract attention and interest from the people you want to date.

    1. 9.1

      Aaork-ouch! I know you’re right. Most folks who date online start knowing nothing about it and then quit when they don’t get the results. If you hang in there and try to put yourself in their shoes you eventually get it.

      Karl-great remarks. I might add that when you make a list of negative “what I don’t want”-you tend to get exactly what you didn’t want.

    2. 9.2

      I see AAORK and Karl have given you ladies some excellent tips on what men like/don’t like to see in your profiles. I think the all I’d add is an emphasis on the fact that men who are seriously looking really do read your profiles, and a note that while a great profile often isn’t enough to overcome an unattractive picture, a bad one can negate the prettiest pics on the site; I’ve passed on some pretty attractive women, because of profiles that were very negative, consisted of a long “shopping list” of requirements, or contained what AAORK referred to as “red flags” (yes ladies, we have some, just like you do). I do think both genders tend to do one thing that’s counterproductive: we think and talk in our own gender’s language. Women tend to think that what would catch their interest ( example, a long list of   travels abroad) would catch a man’s interest. In fact, at best, most men couldn’t care less about that, and at worst, as Evan explained, it can come across as something negative. Guys like to talk about their accomplishments and toys (heck, we’re impressed, why wouldn’t you be?); to a woman that sounds like bragging, or implying they’re only interested in money and possessions, and as proud as we are of that big fish we caught, or that ten-point buck we killed last fall, most women don’t appear to be impressed by the pics showing what great hunters we are. We might be a few hundred (or a few thousand) years out-of-date with those. 🙂

      With that in mind, I’d like to pose a question for the ladies here. Now that some of us have given you   some tips about what we like/don’t like in women’s profiles, tell us what you like to see/don’t like to see, in men’s profiles. If you were choosing between two or more men, similar appearance level,   height and education, etc., what things in a man’s profile essay would catch your interest, and possibly tip the balance in your decision to write/respond or not? I think this is as good an opportunity as a lot of us guys will get, to see the opinions of a pretty good cross-section of intelligent women on that subject, so sound off, ladies! 🙂

      1. 9.2.1


        Some things I don’t like to see/turnoffs:

        A man who states that his kids are everything and actually say in his profile that they come first.Yes, men do this often.Of course the kid needs to be prioritized but putting it in your profile is just off putting.

        Any man who hints he us looking for just friends.That’s not why I am on a dating site buddy.

        A man who writes a laundry list of criticisms for women and a bunch of negative traits on what he sees online. Why are you wasting your profile space with this?

        A man who specifies that he only dates women of a particular race…yuck!

        Any shirtless pictures….I don’t care if you have the body of a God.Turnoff!

        A guy with a bunch of pics of his kids….just no

        A guy who has to specify a body type he prefers in the profile…nope.


      2. 9.2.2

        Top 5 reasons NOT to respond
        (1) anything that makes clear I’m not worth his _time_ , like “hey, girl” “you’re hot” or any other message under ten words.
        (2) negativity.   even if you’re hating on politicians that I “hate”, I find the negativity unattractive.   If a guy writes to me about why women suck “all you care about is money” then I can’t imagine why he even wants to talk with me.
        (3) a long list of must haves, even if _I_ meet all his requirements.   ESPECIALLY men who clearly have made no effort to keep themselves physically fit who say they can’t be bothered with “chubbies”.   and ESPECIALLY men who comment that they want to date a black woman, as if I’m some exotic tchatchke to add to his collection.
        (4) danger/ creepiness.   e.g. the guy who admitted his ex had to get a restraining order.   the guy who had researched me and complimented a “beautiful” picture he’d found online that made clear he’d figured out where I live and work and where my weekly routine takes me.
        (5) shortless or flexing pictures.   I know he’s just trying to show me what he thinks I want, but instead he’s showing me that he assumes poorly what I want.   On the other hand, a picture of a guy engaged in some favorite activity that just happens to provoke some flexed muscles – I’m GOOD with that.
        Top 5 reasons to respond
        (1) He riffs off of something in my profile like it’s a genuine interest of his.   Not like he’s checking off what he thinks he’s supposed to say to me, but he’s taking it somewhere new and interesting.
        (2) He makes me laugh.
        (3) Unlike Stacy, men who mark themselves as committed fathers look to me like guys who commit, which I find attractive.
        (4) Evidence of a social justice bent, working for a better world and paying attention to other people’s needs.   This could be a career choice (firefighter, MSF doctor) or occasional pastime (cooking for a soup kitchen, story of when he helped an old lady cross the street)
        (5) Anything he’s genuinely passionate about.   My boyfriend has a pic of him in the midst of a music lesson.   No smile, slouched posture, shows off his spare tire… not what you’re supposed to pick for a dating site.   But it shows him totally engaged in the moment and challenging himself with something new, both of which are characteristics I absolutely adore about him.

      3. 9.2.3

        Please, please, PLEASE no more pictures of a guy in a boat on the water, holding up a fish!   I’d rather see him holding up a bag of chips with a caption that read “ you bring the fish, I’ve got the chips!”.   Now, that would capture my interest!


        1. KK

          Funny, Sophia, because it’s so true. The fishing pictures are less than impressive. The female equivalent would be a picture standing outside a mall holding 5 shopping bags. Heck, we like to shop. Probably even hit a few sales. But would a man be impressed? Lol. I think not.

        2. Caroline

          Ha ha ha ha! That’s hilarious Sophia!Thanks.

          What girl doesn’t think about putting thick hot chips in her mouth? Especially on a cold day. Men offering a woman a large serve of hot chips is foreplay any day of the week.

          Ooh, especially with salt and vinegar, or some sweet chilli sauce…I love kissing my man after eating that.

      4. 9.2.4

        Hi Buck25 ~ I have not participated in online dating, but I’ve looked at a lot of men’s profiles (and women’s, but you’re asking about men’s). I will only speak for myself, not for all women, so be warned: NObody has ever told me that I’m a typical female.

        I found myself attracted to signals of sincerity, care, and consciousness. I seek a man who, when he chooses to do a task, he does it with care and consciousness, whether he likes the particular task or not.

        Seeing a block of text like a list with no punctuation indicates to me that the man
        *   disliked the task he was doing (describing himself to me), or
        *   doesn’t care how he does his tasks (lack of mindfulness), or
        *   doesn’t understand how he appears to me ~~ he might be dull of mind, incurious (didn’t ask appropriate friends for their input), or out of touch with the world that he and I might potentially share ~~ all signs of lack of the degree of consciousness I seek.

        Pictures of toys and dead animals do look materialistic, and often are, unless you give them the kind of context I seek. Why a 10-point buck instead of a doe? Not because the meat tastes better. Maybe you took the 10-point and passed up the 14-point prince of the forest so his bloodlines would continue. Maybe it was the only deer to pass your stand all season and you needed the meat. I’d like to know the story. No story might indicate a simple pride of possession, a streak of materialism that doesn’t appeal to me.

        I give a lot of room for error and omission because I’m not looking for somebody who is perfect, but eliminating errors and omissions makes the glide to connection so much smoother!

        If you would like a review of your profile by a nonstandard female, I’d be happy to give you custom feedback.   😉

        1. Buck25


          If I ever find myself back out there, I’d be glad to take you up on that generous offer. I hope I’m permanently retired from the dating game; at my age , well…I’d better be…

  10. 10
    Ann M

    On my first foray into online dating, I wrote what I thought was a good profile, and went on a few dates with some decent men.   It was a good first experience, had a relationship of a few months.   My second time into online dating, was determined to learn how to date effectively, and came across EMK.   Read “Why He Disappeared” and then “Finding the One Online.” Took the advice of professionally done photos and wrote my own profile using EMK’s examples of how to write a truly unique and engaging profile.   Within a week, I’d met a very interesting man and exchanged some email banter, and though we planned a date, never met (my theory is that he met someone who lived closer).   A few days later, was contacted by the man who is now my BF of 2.5 years, and this is what he said.   “When I read your profile, something you wrote resonated with me and I had to write.”   Even though he fully expected me not to respond as he is well outside my age preference.    And he also liked the profile photo which he now keeps framed on his desk.   Photos and profile.

    It was the scary and uncomfortable to post that particular profile because it was unique and actually showed my personality.   Thought it would make me appeal to even fewer men, and it was the opposite:   it drew in more suitable men.

    “Courage is always rewarded.”

  11. 11

    Wow, I am really surprised by so much disagreement with what I thought was right on. In fact I think the entire article is captured in this statement:

    “SOME men do that (respond to pics only without considering a meaningful profile). They are largely stupid, shallow men, so you need not worry about them. Men of substance are looking for women of substance.”

    As a man, before I found my wife online,   I behaved exactly as Evan said. Filter first for attractiveness on the outside, then attractiveness on the inside, and then reach out with a message and see what happens.

    One more thing Evan touched on here that is right on is that  negativity is not attractive. I came across so many negative profiles, women focusing on what they do not want. I can not imagine any man, or woman I suppose because maybe we are a bit different the way we filter things who knows, who would be moved to write to someone who presents such a negative spirit. Maybe at best someone with a similarly negative spirit.


  12. 12
    Karl S

    I’m sure I read somewhere that the most messaged profiles hover around 150 word mark, which is enough to convey some essential information and leave room for questions without becoming overbearing.

    The trick to writing a good profile is to be aware of what makes a boring profile. Most people aren’t creative writers and they tend to use the same cliched phrases and banal summaries without never taking the time to consider how they might improve it.

    Always be specific rather than general. Don’t say you’re adventurous – say what adventurous things you do. In fact, avoid describing yourself in terms of attributes all together (loyal, friendly, bubbly, etc). Anyone can be all of those things to somebody some of the time, but it says nothing about how a date will find you. Say what you are passionate about, but also why.

    Avoid preempting your suitors. Even if your inbox is flooded with horrible sleazebags, you don’t need to warn sleazebags to stop messaging you in your profile. They won’t care. Don’t talk about how you want to avoid players, cheaters and liars. It just shows you have baggage that needs to be worked on. And for God’s sake, don’t use that Marylin Monroe quote that everybody loves (you know the one I mean).

    Do mention something quirky-yet-endearing about yourself. Maybe something a bit embarrassing or silly that shows some vulnerability. For instance, my secret dream is to one day play a Bond villain. I’m dead serious.

  13. 13

    I did the eCyrano thing a couple of years ago. I want to say I paid about $200? Anyway, my profile was so-so and needed editing after the final draft was sent to me. My biggest complaint is that my Cyrano stated my workplace by name. It is a giant company, but I prefer some level of privacy.

    I’m still single. I date at least 1-2 times per week. Still single. Ugh. Get me some cats already.

    1. 13.1


      So you did not notice a difference after using the eCyrano service?


      I kind of get the feeling people think a greatly written profile will make up for their lack of physical attraction.


      What people hope: Their profile is the cake, and the picture is the icing

      Reality: Looks are the cake, and your profile icing.


      This is why someone like Lisa above can say they did not put any effort into their profile and still receive hundreds of messages a day compared to their friends who work hard on their profiles get nothing.


      Also I do not like the quality man stereotype. We men are just men. We will contact a woman who is hot and barely writes anything and we will write a women who is average and writes a great profile. This does NOT affect the quality of the man.


      If the man exchanges a few emails and goes on a few dates with the hot women and it turns out that she is shallow or empty like her bare profile and the man still chooses to ignore this for her looks…

      Then! I would question his quality.

      1. 13.1.1


        I have not noticed a difference in the responses from men with the eCyrano profile. In my time with online dating (on and off for the past few years) I frequently get comments on how well written my profile is, before and after eCyrano.

        I use the adage of “be the person you want to meet” with writing my profile. I want to read something interesting, fun and lighthearted. Something non-generic and unique.

        This morning, I have 3 winks and 4 emails in my inbox on match. 3 of the emails are sexual and 1 is from a man that seems very immature to be in his 40s. 1 of the overtly sexual emails is from a man 12 years my junior (I’m 37) who is looking for a “cougar”. Siiiigh.

        We all like attractive things. But I want something more than simple attraction.

        As to assessing the quality of a man based on who he approaches and dates, I don’t really care and certainly don’t have the energy to judge anyone’s quality based on this. As adults, I think it is widely accepted that dating someone based solely on looks will result in a few great selfies together, but not much else. If that is what you (or anyone) is looking for, cool with me.

  14. 14

    They are largely stupid, shallow men


    I came this close to spitting out my coffee all over my keyboard! 🙂

  15. 15

    I’ve always appreciated brevity without sacrificing content.   In fact, my first profile hit all the important points that women are looking for in just one short line:

    “six foot,  six figures, six pack,  six inches.”

    The response wasn’t quite as positive as I was expecting and it’s evolved into a much more traditional format.   Women are just so shallow.   😉

    1. 15.1

      Yeah, that  rule has been in play for awhile. About 8 yrs ago my ex admitted (about 2 months into the relationship) to the 6-6-6 rule (minus the abs) as a minimum. And she was only 5’5′! But  being  a hottie, she got what she wanted. Nice try though.

    2. 15.2

      ok, fellow readers, I wasn’t serious with this one but I can see how you wouldn’t know that.   I saw a profile this way and thought it was funny as hell.   I actually have always had a very nice thoughtful and sensitive profile and am looking for a mutually fulfilling relationship and definitely not sex on the first date.   I don’t even kiss on the first date which you’ll see me state in an earlier blog on not kissing until the 3rd date.

      1. 15.2.1

        My comment was serious (and true;  I discovered this after-the-fact more than once). I wouldn’t say that this rule is the “norm” but it’s common enough to make a guy pause. It’s kind of like walking into a room full of cute bunny rabbits.   You really want to play with one but knowing that  some small percentage  are going to blow up in your face, it’s natural to be a little cautious. On that thought, it might shock the women here to know that I (and probably lots of other men) have encountered a fair share of ‘escort’ types using OLD. It sure as hell shocked me.  So it seems that both genders encounter their fair share of crap with online dating. Just really glad I found my queen before apps like Tindr (and a good amount of social media narcissism) corrupted everything.

        1. Karl S

          There’s actually an argument to be made that Tinder is a better online dating app because you swipe based on a gut reaction to a person’s look, rather than pouring over a series of lists and stats in more conventional website-based OLD profile. I met my now girlfriend over Tinder. 6 months and counting.

        2. Karl R

          Karl S,

          I disagree.

          If you’re choosing based on a gut reaction, or if you’re poring over a series of stats that have minimal relevance to relationship success, you’re still going to have a low percentage chance to succeed.

          My worst first date ever was with a girl I met in a bar.   That was completely a gut reaction to appearance, mannerisms, confidence, etc.   It turned out that we so incompatible that we couldn’t sustain a 20  minute conversation that would interest both of us.


          People seek cause & effect correlations.   It’s how we’re wired.   This fails us in situations where there is a low probability of success, and the outcome is somewhat  random.

          Gamblers develop a bunch of superstitions.   They have a good night when carrying a particular handkerchief … maybe that was the cause.   Baseball players are the same way.

          Dating is also the same way.   Even if you do everything right, the odds of any particular person ending up as a long-term partner … we all know that it’s really low.   When we succeed, we try to figure out what caused the success.   What was different this time?   In most cases, the only difference was the other person.


          Ironically, I found that the hardest part of developing good dating habits was continuing to use them … when 4 times out of 5 they had the same failure as poor dating habits.

      2. 15.2.2

        Scott-I knew you were kidding (my remark ended way at the bottom because I failed to reply directly. What made me pause was Aaork’s responses .   It basically implies that just looks matter. She’s hot so she can get away with it. Usually folks realize there’s a lot more to a relationship to last than looks and sex. Not to be crass but there’s a comics routine where he says something to the effect that if the only time we get along is when I’m inside of you..it’s not working.

        While one would ignorant to think attraction and sex only matter; it’s obvious to me that many haven’t learned this lesson. There was a divorced woman on another thread who obviously thought what mattered most was her looks, home, job , etc and that’s what made her a ‘catch’. Even after divorce, she hasn’t made the connection that relationships need compatibility of personalities, willingness to compromise, mutual trust, continual show of affection, intimacy and in and on. These things add up to a loving relationship and fabulous sex too as an expression of love not just attraction.

  16. 16

    Here is the thing:

    I think really, really attractive people don’t have to have great profiles.In fact, in some cases, they can get away with saying something as neutral as ‘Just ask me’. This holds true especially for women.

    However, most people online don’t fall into that category (which also reflects the real world) so a decently written profile can give you that edge over someone else.Amd, the less objectively attractive you are, the greater the profile you need unfortunately.

    If a profile is seriously lengthy,I will skim.over it.If I find the man really attractive, I would probably read the entire thing if I see some key compatibility in some of his quick glance details (age, kids and how many, how fsr he lives frim me, is he employed etc.)

  17. 17

    I am stunned that women actually write to say a profile is too long or find a way to check a guy’s (claimed) penis size before dating.   6-6-6 really!?!
    Karl’s note about the 150 word ideal made me count mine – 359 words.   Oh, well.   Brevity is not my strong suit.
    It’s true that some men ignore your profile and only look at pictures.   It’s true that some men ignore your pictures and spam everybody.   Fortunately, these are easily deleted.
    Todd in HB – I used my profile to try to give a sense of who I am.   I told stories that reflect what I like about myself, but it wasn’t really designed to be a sales pitch to draw in as many guys as possible – I was hoping to find ONE guy who would GET me, so I highlighted more quirky/ unique traits.
    And Karl S’ dream of being a Bond villain:   That. Is. Hot.

    1. 17.1
      Karl S

      I think it also partly depends on the website and its demographic. Okcupid has a bunch of sub sections you can fill out and it tends to attract a more intellectual set of people (at least in my experience), so longer profiles can still do okay. My own profile is 450 words.

      Tinder on the other hand…

    2. 17.2
      Evan Marc Katz

      150 words is not ideal. My profiles are 400 words. 200 about you. 200 about the guy you want. Great profiles that provide lots of interesting detail and aren’t too “list-y” or “show-off-y” or “diary entry” work very well. 150 words can only accomplish so much.

      1. 17.2.1
        Karl S

        I was trying to find my source for that number and realized I might have got mixed up, because OkTrends said the optimum first message length is between 150-300 words.

        However, watching this TED Talks video of Amy Webb on how she set up her own algorithms to *hack* online dating, she says at 12:50 into the clip that “the popular men and women are sticking to 97 words on average, that are written very, very well.” It’s even less than I thought. 😛

        I do wonder about writing on “the guy you want” though, and whether that sets up an unwanted sense of pressure of expectation in a profile. I mean, sure, you want to filter out time-wasters and focus on relationship-oriented people, but that kind of runs counter to the idea that men “look for sex and find love”. You might put off some well-meaning guys who aren’t sure of what they want initially, but after meeting you and getting to know you realize you’re their ideal match.

        You can always filter by judging their message content or how they come across on a first date, but if you’re profile makes it seem like you’re looking for a very particular kind of person, you might miss out on that first contact.

        1. Karl S

          *I also meant to say   – it’s possible the popular men and women have very attractive profile photos, making their average 97 word count merely incidental.

  18. 18

    Here’s my 2c. My job involves content marketing and we hear all sorts of research on how to get what the management of my company calls the “mind share”.   This is the reality guys and girls: people are over communicated and you only have 6 seconds on average   to capture the audience’s attention. That is the amount of time they spend deciding wether to keep reading or not. This is about 150 symbols. So, a catchy headline or a catchy first sentence is a must. Twitter generation in full swing. I am imagining this is true for online dating profiles as well, except the picture is what generally grabs the attention. I think for a reasonably attractive person a good (professional may be) photo and a catchy first paragraph will do the trick. Everything that comes after that can be average to mediocre and unlikely to make a big difference. Of course, avoid big no-no’s such as negativity, sarcasm, criticism of the opposite sex, laundry list of traits, etc.

    1. 18.1

      Stacy-I found your statement very intriguing about capturing your audience in the first 6 seconds. I know on match you have a headline and that’s probably very important to “grab their attention”.   But I disagree the remainder of your profile doesn’t matter. That’s like saying only the first 6 seconds of a tv commercial matter. The remaining 24 – 54 seconds are needed to give the whole picture before a person is motivated to act.

    2. 18.2

      To clarify, I am not saying it doesn’t matter at all. I am saying it matters way less than the first 150. In fact, some of the client communications we are now putting out at work is specifically restricted to 150 symbols, and the next tier to 500 symbols. This is backed by some serious research at one of the largest corporations in the country… Who has the time to read lengthy communications? Nobody.

    3. 18.3

      It’s like looking for a book in a certain genre on amazon.   You read the short blurbs to see if it catches your attention and warrants investigation.   If it’s an awesome blurb that hits all of my buttons, I go ahead and buy.   If the blurb  is interesting enough, then I read the sample or go to goodreads and read the reviews.   Overall, I probably “reject” 9 out of 10 books based on the blurb not grabbing me.

  19. 19

    I agree with Karl that writing about a type of guy you want is a complete waste. Undesirables are going to hit on you/email you regardless of what you put in there. It will not work as a filter. To that end, I find Twitter has the best model. It’s mutual attraction or nothing. I think, if anything, it is better to write about what kind of relationship you want. If you state that you are looking for serious relationship, guys looking for just a hookup will self-filter away, in my experience.

    1. 19.1

      I suspect  anything that smacks of “my mate  must/must not have this, that, and the other” will turn off  people  of both genders, unless you’re supermodel hot.   Who wants their significant other to feel  they’re just a list of requirements?

      1. 19.1.1

        Joe- I basically agree. With the exception of the “hot” girlfriend or boyfriend. Eventually being overly demanding of your partner will cause a rift and split in the relationship.

        1. Joe

          I was really only speaking of online dating.   Once you’re boyfriend-girlfriend I would say you are no longer dating online. 🙂

        2. Caroline

          I guess I misunderstood since you said who wants their significant other to feel theyre just a list of requirements. I wouldn’t consider someone a significant other if you were still dating them online. In other words, if a guy still pursued a “hot” girl online even if she had a laundry list of must haves; I doubt it would work out very long in real life.

  20. 20

    But I do see how a guy might pursue a “hot” girl online who had a laundry list of requirements if he was only looking for something casual and would think he could ride it out for his personal validation and sex.

    1. 20.1


      I’m not so sure about that. With some of the younger guys, maybe. I passed on quite a few “opportunities” like that, when I was online; just seemed like asking for trouble. A few stated attraction preferences, I can understand, but a 20-30 point list of “must have” activities, personality traits, etc. seemed   like seeking nothing less than perfection, to me. One woman I saw on Match called the site “the boyfriend store”. I just hope she understands that the “merchandise” there is “off the rack”, not “made to measure”.:-)

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