Which of the following mock dating profiles is more effective?
nuqneH!* I’m a tall, skinny guy of excellent taste looking for milady. I’m a Star Trek and comic book enthusiast, with special interest in limited-edition copies featuring superheroes that match my sheets. I also boast a large belt-buckle collection. Fun fact: I have a potentially fatal peanut allergy! My professional passion is aerospace engineering, and I love studying the electromagnetic spectrum to perfect the development of atmospheric satellites. In my spare time, I enjoy shopping for turtlenecks, playing World of Warcraft with friends, and building articulated robots.
I’m a single guy looking for my best friend and partner in crime. I like to go out, but also stay in. I like all kinds of music. I also enjoy sports, hitting the gym, and eating out. When I am not busy with my career, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends.
Correct answer: NEITHER! (Extra credit: can you name the fictional character described in profile #1?)**
But do you know why these are both unappealing profiles? Well, technically, there are several reasons, but today I will focus on specificity of interests.
Let’s start with Profile #1. This individual shows personality, which is terrific. But his interests are very specific to the point of possibly alienating many potential ladies. I’m not at all saying that he shouldn’t include those interests because girls don’t like robotics or comic books – many do! I’m saying that instead of talking about belt buckles and superhero comic books, for example, he could instead mention that he likes to build both robots, and some unusual collections. This wording leaves a little bit of mystery, provides the reader with a little bait, and doesn’t necessarily disinterest readers with eccentricity. Similarly, instead of saying that you like to knit sweaters for your cat while watching Kosher Soul on Lifetime, consider saying instead that you enjoy crafting and following pop culture. Oh – and please don’t discuss allergies or medical issues in your profile. You may be thinking – hey, anyone who doesn’t like my interests or judges me based on them isn’t my bashert anyway. Valid point, intelligent reader. However, if you are struggling to generate interest online or would like to increase your message response rate, you may find it a better strategy to keep your interests open enough to capture a wider net of profile visitors (while still keeping some individuality)!
I probably don’t have to explain the problems with profile #2. But, just in case, I’ll spell it out: b.o.r.i.n.g. Converse to profile #1, profile #2 could probably describe a very high percentage of the JDate population. (Seriously, why does everyone like to go out and stay in?) Be original. Just don’t be excessively original to the point where you might turn off potential suitors.
*According to my Google research, this means Hello in Klingon. If you don’t know what Klingon is, ask your nearest nerd.
** Howard Wolowitz from The Big Bang Theory… sorry, ladies, but both the TV character and the actor who plays him are both married!