Online dating, chapter 6: Your profile says a LOT

On Match, you get a few different parts of your profile to fill out. There’s “My details”, where you select options from drop-down menus for relationship, have kids, want kids, ethnicity, body type, height, faith, smoke drink. Easy… you would think.

Then there’s a text box for “My headline”, which shows up with your picture in search results. As a point of note, “uh, i don’t know what to write here lol” isn’t a very good headline.

“In my own words” is where you can write as much or as little as you want about yourself. A few men on Match have made me laugh with what they’ve written in this section – some of them intentionally. Some of them are stream-of-consciousness. A few of them seem to have been written before the guy had a true grasp of the English language, which is fine for the men who’re from foreign countries, but not so okay from the guy who has never left the state.

Next we have “My interests”, where you literally just select a bunch of boxes of random stuff. “Camping, Cooking, Gardening/Landscaping, Hobbies and crafts, Movies/Videos, Museums and art, Exploring new areas, Performing arts, Travel/Sightseeing, Video games, Volunteering”. Those are mine. Sometimes Match will get really excited and tell me that a guy and I are a 95% match because, “You both like hobbies and crafts!”

DOES HE HAVE HIS OWN BEDAZZLED GLUE GUN, TOO? Me neither.

“Sports & exercise” let me choose how often I work out every week, plus select from a bunch of options, again, to say what kinds of sports and exercise I enjoy. “You both like tennis/racquet sports!” Oh, Match, he must be my soulmate!

Then we have “Pets”, “Political views”, “Sign”, “Favorite hot spots”, “College”, “Favorite things”, “For fun”, “Last read”, and “Communities”. Whatever.

Here’s where it gets interesting. The next three sections, “Appearance”, “Lifestyle”, “Background/Values”, are all two-column sections, with the first column showing your answers, and the second for your preferences in a date.

Oh, yes. I can select every eye color except for green, because everyone knows people with green eyes are morons. It shows income, too, so I can say that, despite my five-figure annual salary, I only want to be matched with men making $150,000 or more. Thank goodness I can be so selective!

All that said, it’s amazing what you can glean from a profile. Amazing, and a bit depressing.

For instance, in the free-write section of “In my own words”, I’ve found the following:

Well, i don’t read your Summary, i am sure you will not read any summaries either. All you need to know i am the best, You can always ask. That is why we are posting photos. Yes i am not perfect but i am sure i have something perfect for you.

That was it.

I’m meloncoly and so often you may find me lost in thought. My closest friends sometimes call me Eeyore and the name fits.

I bet your closest friends are cats.

If I find friends on match ill be surprised. Been on the site for a couple years and have yet to go further than a few emails. Good luck. Drop me a line ladies 😉

You’re setting yourself up for failure, buddy.

Occupation: I build airplanes. Most of ’em fly.

Okay, this guy cracked me up. He wasn’t a good match, but his profile was well-written and made me laugh.

I’ve literally sent Match Mail to some guys just thanking them for a profile that didn’t incite headdesk. Most of them seem to understand why I’ve messaged them. One replied, “Gracious. Match is so unnatural and I’m worried it’s the new natural.” I feel your pain, man.

to go to movies play video games I like to do a lot of stuff want to go to movies video games stay home play games like to go out to the mall and stuff I’m just a person that likes to go on trips cruise

I’ve read it multiple times. I bet you’ve done the same thing. Like, what?

What’s the last thing I read? …The question to this answer lol. Look, I like to laugh. I’m gonna have fun regardless. If your a stick in the mud youre on the wrong person’s page. Im verrrrryyyy far from that.

Mmm. ‘Kay.

On a more serious note, in the sections where it allows me to see what he prefers in a woman, I’ve made a few discoveries. First, some people will select which ethnicities they’re willing to date. I’ve seen men select every single box – except for the “Black/African descent” one. That kinda says racist to me.

Then there are men who select that they’re Christian, which is important to me in a match, but they’ve selected that they’re willing to date a woman of any faith. This one doesn’t rile me up like the ethnicity one. It does make me think, though, that their faith isn’t important to them.

I also get turned off by people who have no income. It’s okay if you’re a student, but I’m not going to be your sugar mama. The guy who liked – no, lovz – dragons, skeletons, and skulls was a student who was an aspiring DJ and had no income. My immediate thought: he lives in his parents’ basement.

Last week, the following Match Mail exchange took place:

subject: friendly hello
message: “I glanced at your profile and now I’m curious,If you could do anything in the world without the chance of failure what would you do?”

It was a good question. After checking out his profile, I wasn’t interested, but I threw caution to the wind and emailed him anyway. My reply:

subject: Without a chance of (thanks, Match, for autopopulating my subject like that.)
message: Without a chance of failure – I’d volunteer as the Communications Manager on Mercy Ships for a year. I’d be great at the job, but I can’t do it because of the risk of financial failure.I don’t think you’d be a big fan of mine. I’m not conservative (or liberal. I hate politics), and I’m not willing to convert to Mormonism. Just want to make sure that’s obvious.

His response:

subject: RE: Without a chance of

message: That does sound like an amazing job being apart of a cruise ship having new experiences every single day seeing new places and meeting amazing people that would be so great. I love to volunteer and give back as much as possible. Mormonism? I’m not a Mormon I love the lord and attend church. I also hate politics and not really into it all that much. Are you sure you didn’t mix my profile up with someone else?

So where was the last place you traveled?

Mercy Ships isn’t a cruise ship – if you’re interested in me, I’d hope you’d at least check Google to see what it was. More importantly, though, you filled out your profile terribly, and apparently incorrectly, and you’re not going to even check your answers before telling me I’ve done something wrong? You’re nice, but no.

I’ve had friends tell me I’m being too judgmental. As Meliana, my online dating coach, has told me multiple times: qualify, qualify, qualify. I’m not judging, I’m qualifying. There are some people who will give anyone a chance, and I applaud them for being open-minded; however, I’m not going to waste my time, or his (I guess), if I don’t like his profile.

4 comments

  1. I realized to my horror that when I posted a photograph of my new hooch in Afghanistan (see post: ‘Conversation over a wall in a tent in Afghanistan) and I was finally allowed to move into a tent with private ‘rooms’ that over my ‘rack’ i.e., bed there was a tapestry of skulls. I had sent this to my eHarmony freshly met potential)

    She came back with, “I love what you’ve done to the walls.”

    Oh shit! I had just taken that ‘room’ from a previous occupant, and not really moved in. Imagine my shame. (I am not ‘into’ skulls; well not since I had, years ago, moved out of my Addams Family Values house, circa 1975.

    Anyway, I love this post, as I am a veteran of the eHarmony wars…

    1. See, I’m not so judgmentalquick to judge that I’d let one little issue completely turn me off. However, it’s an automatic NO if you “lovz” something.

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