When you’re putting yourself out there in the vast online dating pool, it’s important to take the time to read and re-read your profile to make sure that “your” not messing up easy words and hurting your chance to find the perfect match. Robert Thaler and Cass Sunstein, the authors of the book “Nudge” (which has nothing to do with my business), point out that it’s often the important decisions – the 401(k) and the health care plan – that get the shaft, while we spend more time and energy doing the much smaller tasks. As they observe, “… 58 percent [of those in a survey] spent less than one hour determining both their contribution rate and investment decisions [for their 401(k)]. Most people spend more time than that picking a new tennis racket or television set.” They also note that once the investment decision is made, the choices are rarely, if ever, looked at again.
The same is true for online dating. Most people think that writing an online dating profile is a one-time affair, and they rarely change it based on its success (or lack thereof). They also try to write it as quickly as humanly possible. But this is one thing that you really should spend your time on. You’re putting yourself out there for the world to see, so you might as well put your best foot forward. When was the last time you even read what you wrote in your profile that fateful day when you signed up for JDate? If you can’t remember, or if you have to look back at your profile when someone sends an e-mail referencing something in it, it’s been too long.
When you’re finally done writing your profile – having spent the appropriate amount of time on it, of course – I can’t stress enough the importance of getting yourself an “unpaid intern” (a.k.a. a friend, brother, mother, etc.) to read through it just in case you missed anything. Oftentimes, the language of online dating gets mangled. It’s like we have a new vocabulary, one that wouldn’t make our high school English teachers proud. I don’t know about you, but I probably wouldn’t go out with a reformed “cereal dater” (I prefer oatmeal), someone who rides the “stationery” bike (to write notes?), or someone who wants an “intellagent” partner (hmm…).
A final word: As I said earlier, no one is perfect. Maybe your new beau or babe will be a terrible speller but great at storytelling, identifying different kinds of butterflies based on their wingspan, or doing calculus. Everyone is smart in a different way, so it’s important to decide if some initial “flaw” is really a deal-breaker for you. Either way, give your profile the final once-over just in case, because no one wants to go out with someone who is “humerus” – arms just aren’t that funny.
Erika Ettin is the Founder of A Little Nudge, where she offers services from online dating profile-writing to e-mailing potential matches to planning dates. An archive of all of Erika’s columns is also available. Want to connect with Erika? Join her newsletter for updates and tips.
This article was also posted in JMag, the online magazine for JDate.com.