Thursday, February 24, 2011

Describe Your Flaws in 300 Words or Less

In my online dating profile on, the basic facts about me are listed for my potential matches to see. It includes my beliefs. (I believe that you should eat chocolate - and lots of it - in order to get into heaven.) I can also put down how much money I earn in a year (or in my case, it would be how little I earn in a year, so that I have more coupons in my wallet than cash).

Everyone is also allowed to write a description of themselves in a few paragraphs. But some guys only write four or five sentences, which are usually filled with grammatical errors. These guys are usually the ones without pictures in their profiles. A lot of guys describe themselves as "sarcastic"; I'm not sure why everyone thinks that sarcasm makes a person more attractive. But then again, I suppose people like Jerry Seinfeld and Jay Leno got a lot of action when they were single. (I do think they're both cute, actually.) And I have to admit that I am sarcastic most of the time, because then I can say what I think and people will laugh instead of plot my demise.

You can also write what you're looking for in a significant other. I've lost count of the number of guys who wrote that they were looking for someone who likes to go out on the town but also likes to stay in. (Doesn't that describe most people, though?) One guy wrote that physical attractiveness is very important to him and he expects his girl to be fit and gorgeous, yet he didn't include any pictures of himself. Another guy said that he preferred girls with nice rear ends. Some will emphasize how attractive they are; one of them wrote that everyone compliments him on how good-looking he is. (He wasn't.)

One of my potential matches actually ranted in his profile about girls who will lecture their dates for not looking like their pictures in their profiles. In his rant, he wrote, "No wonder you're single." It's like, Excuse me? Could you NOT insult me before we've even met? And how about the fact that YOU'RE single?

A few have made it clear that they haven't paid for a membership yet. They include their e-mail addresses in their profiles since they can't communicate with anyone or see anyone's pictures without paying the membership fee first. (So I have to pay for the membership but they're not willing to?) Also, I think that at least a quarter of the matches I've been sent so far are no longer active on the site. And a third of the matches don't have pictures in their profiles.

I like the profiles where the guys actually make an effort and say a lot about themselves, and it's even better if what they write makes me laugh. I have to admit that it is hard to describe myself in a way that will make guys want to date me. If I was going to be really honest, I'd write something like this:

Whenever we have a conversation, I can guarantee you that I will talk about work at least five hour. I know nothing about sports, so please don't make me come to games with you. If you do, I will probably fall asleep and sleepwalk onto the field or the court or the battlefield or whatever it is that athletes call it. I do work out at the gym on a regular basis. But I will never be a size 2 because I love Coke and M&Ms that much. So chew on that, buddy.

I'm completely neurotic and have been since I was a little kid. That was when I became convinced that the monsters under my bed were not only going to get me as soon as I closed my eyes but were silently judging my haircut.

I'll never drag you along on a shopping trip, because I only like shopping for books. If the only stuff you read are magazines with scantily clad girls in it, then I will dump you, but not before I throw all those magazines out the window. I don't wear those stiletto heels that everyone thinks are sexy, because you don't really want me to fall flat on my face on the sidewalk, do you? I didn't think so. I also don't wear miniskirts, because for Pete's sake, this is Chicago; how come you get to be covered up when it's ten degrees outside but I have to dress like I live in the tropics?

If I had to choose between a night out on the town and staying home to work on my dissertation, I'd choose to stay home. You can go out, though, but don't flirt with any other girls. If you do, I will have no choice but to tell all of them that you believe no woman will ever live up to your mother.

Of course, I didn't write any of that in my profile. (It's like when prospective employers say during interviews, "Tell me what your biggest weaknesses are." You're not really going to tell them the truth, are you?) I usually just try to write something about who I am and what I like to do for fun. I also write a little about what I'm looking for in a guy.

But I'm wondering if I should revise it for the guys who actually bother to read my profile and don't just automatically dismiss me because I don't have any swimsuit pictures. Any suggestions? If you were to write an online dating profile, what kinds of things would you write to describe yourself? (I promise not to steal it. If there's one thing I hate, it's plagiarism, especially if I'm the victim of it and someone steals my writing or my ideas. Okay, I also hate decaffeinated coffee. Like I've said before, what is the point of drinking coffee if I'm not bouncing off the walls after I drink it? So that's two things. But I digress.)


  1. Any guy who would want to date me would have to be a little nerdy. And that the pretentious facade that I sometimes wear is only a defense mechanism so that I'm not eaten alive during grad school.

  2. People seem to have some funny ideas about what will attract people to them, I have to say....

  3. Hi Anna,
    Sometimes nerdy guys can be cute. That's why I like the actor Justin Long. :)

    Hi Fran,
    Several of the guys do have funny ideas about what will attract people. None of those ideas work on me, though.

  4. Hmmm.....

    Can't you choose to just view profiles that have pictures?

    "one of them wrote that everyone compliments him on how good-looking he is. (He wasn't.)"

    This made me laugh!


  5. I know - I've encountered a number of the 'sarcastic' guys, too. I always give them a pass! Jerry might be good on screen but in real life, he'd drove me mental!

  6. Hi Dean,
    I can't just view profiles without pictures, because picks the matches for me.

    Hi Talli,
    Jerry would definitely be a difficult boyfriend. Even I would have to say that he (or at least the character he played on TV) would be a little too neurotic for me.

  7. If everyone wrote what they really thought, they might find people they're more compatible with. Or scare them away.

    Some of those men are amazing. And I do believe that's why they're single. The woman is single because look what she has to choose from! Did you read Talli's book? Even though they're fake, the "facts" at the start of each chapter are so funny. They must be a little bit true.

    I confess, I love sarcastic guys.

  8. Hi Theresa,
    I haven't read Talli's book yet, but I'm buying it from Amazon when it goes on sale (can't wait!). Your point about how the woman is single because of what she has to choose from is totally accurate. Most of the matches that has sent me lately have been less than appealing.