Online Dating Profiles and The Male Brain
Nope, it’s not a joke, guys do look at online dating profiles differently than women.
-Kate Houston, trysweettalk.com
Mixing the words “male” and “brain” may seem as incongruous as Lindsay Lohan and community service. Yet, both genders have brains. And, despite some evidence to the contrary, apparently the brains of both genders are located in our heads (above the neck).
What differentiates us is in how we use our brains and nowhere is that more evident than in processing language. As a writer and marketing expert, I can attest that this simple fact is one of the most important to remember when crafting your dating profile. Before you post your profile, ask yourself how a man’s brain will interpret the information. If you do, there’s a good chance you’ll think twice before writing the following sentences.
Hi and thanks for reading my profile.
Clearly you’re no party girl and any guy looking for a solid relationship will think you’re really nice. Then he’ll go back to his search until he finds a really nice girl who also sounds infinitely more interesting than you. Being grateful that someone took an interest in you shows no confidence. Instead, start your dating profile with an upbeat and dynamic opener. When I craft dating profiles for clients, I spend a good deal of time thinking of those first few lines. Here are some examples:
Some people see mashed potatoes and think “umm, food”. I see mashed potatoes and think, “umm, food fight.”
I dance. I skate. I run. But, try as I might, I can’t walk without tripping.
I love to laugh.
Unless you’re cracking up during a pap test, then “loving” to laugh is common. The only way this could be interesting to a man is if you love to laugh while wearing a French maid outfit and opening beer bottles with your teeth.
Instead of saying you love to laugh, say what makes you laugh. George Clooney and Chelsea Handler think fart jokes are funny. I laugh every time I think of Steven Colbert interviewing Dan Savage. A client of mine loved Will Ferrell. Here’s an excerpt of her profile:
I’m pretty soft-spoken. Some people might even say demure. Then again, those are the ones who’ve never watched a Will Ferrell movie with me. Oh does he make me laugh.
Live, love, laugh.
I’ve read profiles with inspirational quotes. I’ve read profiles chock-full of melancholic hopes for love. I’ve also read profiles that were upbeat, interesting and not in the least bit poetic. Which of these do you think have man appeal?
It’s great to find inspiration in the teachings of others. It’s also lovely to be a romantic. But online dating profiles are not the place to quote others. Nor are they submissions to Harlequin. They’re marketing opportunities. So use the space to promote yourself as the best possible date ever. Instead of a long, sentimental monologue about love, show all aspects of your personality from the unique to the romantic to the fun. Remember that men are evaluating what kind of companion you’d be. Don’t let yourself be overlooked for someone who’s more dimensional and who can lighten up!
Are there any good men out there?
Ah whining, does man bait get any better? I see so many profiles with variations of this lament, as well as “sick of players” and “don’t want drama”. My feeling is that, if you want good men, pick them. If you don’t want players, don’t pick them. In other words, the choice is yours. When you’re online dating, you’re given countless choices. It’s up to you to pick the right ones.
Whinging and lack of personal accountability are not attractive to anyone let alone men who’ve never met you and don’t deserve your wrath. Instead, stay upbeat and positive on your dating profile. Try to weed out the wrong matches using the search criteria, good judgment and well-crafted profile. Also, do have a sense of humor. Not every online date is going to turn out. Those that don’t can make great stories. So enjoy both the ups and the downs.
I’m kind, caring, funny, fit, confident and smart.
Really? Prove it. Anyone can list off adjectives. I have a Roget’s thesaurus and I bet I can “out adjective” you and your gang. However, adjectives are words whereas anecdotes are actions, and we all know that actions speak louder than words. In writing the dating profile for the following client, there was no need to say he was caring, because we wrote this instead:
When I volunteered for Habitat for Humanity, I discovered that the poorest people are the most generous.
I also didn’t have to say that the following client was funny:
I once served my husband a cocktail laced with arsenic. But, don’t worry. That was when I was in theater. I’m a chef now and much prefer to play with knives.
On a final note, one of the most important lessons I’ve learned in all my years of writing ads and crafting dating profiles (based on ad techniques) is that how you communicate is as important as what you communicate. So when you want to stand out online, understand the mindset of your audience. Otherwise, your ideal man might pass over your profile for one that speaks to him.
Kate Houston has been an ad writer and marketing expert for 20 plus years. She also founded trysweettalk.com, the only service in North America to use ad techniques so that dating profiles, LinkedIn profiles and professional bios stand out and get noticed.Check out her blog and you can follow her on Twitter or check out her Facebook page.