You’re probably more interesting than you realize

Posted on July 8, 2011

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Hopefully by now, you’ve done your homework from last week and are ready to move onto the next step of writing your online profile.

I remember when I first posted my profile online. I put a whole bunch of information that I felt really explained who I was and who I was looking for. I have always considered myself a pretty solid writer and I didn’t ramble about who I was.

I used both brief and descriptive sentences to fill out each category required. When I was done and had officially posted my profile, I thought that I had said what I needed to say to attract the right kind of people. Boy was I off-base!

Even though I’m not a big drinker (and said so in my profile), almost all of the emails from potential suitors I received asked me to meet up for a cocktail at a bar after work. Although I discussed my philosophy on life and what I considered to be essentially relevant information of depth, no one seemed to be reading it. Or to care. I just couldn’t figure out where I had gone wrong. I kept getting the same kinds of emails-You’re cute. Wanna meet up for a beer?

Then, several weeks later, I was talking with a male colleague of mine (who was also trying online dating on a different site than I was). He complained to me about women writing too much about their love of coffee and cats and book clubs and said most of the time, he got tired after a few sentences of ‘boring’ information and just emailed girls he thought were cute.

But just recently, he told me, he found a woman online who talked about her recent skydiving experience and had written about her international adventures in her profile and he was excited to meet her. “She’s sounds really cool,” I remember him telling me.

I didn’t tell this guy that my online profile sounded just like the ones he had labeled boring and monotonous. But when I got home, I went back through and read my profile from his perspective. I realized that what I wrote wasn’t really boring per se, it was just full of the kind of information that other women are interested in hearing. I, being a woman, essentially wrote an online profile that would be interesting only to women.

I remembered then reading a quote from a relationship book I had read a long time ago. I don’t remember what it said verbatim, but it went something like this: Women talk about how they feel; men, when they talk, talk about what they’ve done.

I realized then that my colleague had found the skydiving woman so appealing because she was speaking his language. I, too, had done a lot of exciting things and had gone on many different adventures, but I didn’t write about them because I didn’t feel like they were representative of who I am. I was starting to see, however, that I may have missed something really important.

That evening, I decided to do an experiment. I revised my entire profile. Instead of talking about my favorite books, I listed a few of my favorites and then wrote how one of them inspired me to go white-water rafting in Costa Rica.

I didn’t discuss how much I loved coffee, but I did state that one of the best years of my life had been when I had given away all of my possessions, packed up my car and drove out to Portland, Oregon where I spent a year hiking mountains and drinking the best coffee I had ever tasted. By the time I was done, I had painted a much different-and perhaps much more interesting-picture of who I really was.

And it worked. The emails I started receiving were indicative of men who had read what I wrote and wanted to hear more about it. Men who wanted to go out with me because they thought I was interesting.

So this week, I want you to be brave enough to show someone of the opposite sex your profile and ask them for their honest opinion. (See the checklist below if you’re not sure what kind of feedback to ask for).

By making your online profile interesting to your audience, you will ensure that others will actually read what you wrote and you’ll start meeting better matches.

Checklist for Friend

1. What am I missing in my profile? What should I include that I may have forgotten to include?

2. What should I leave out of my profile?

3. If you read this profile, what kind of person would you label me as?

4. What can I do to make my profile more interesting?

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