Friday, June 27, 2014

Profile catch phrases

The real problem with online dating profiles is the catch phrases. The words we see over, and over - and over. After a while, it's tough to be sure what the words really mean - or if they even have any meaning at all.

Some benign, classic examples include:

"I love to laugh "

"I am looking for my best friend."

"I like to go out, but I also love to stay in."

These phrases really don't tell much about the profile subject. We know he likes to do things both at home and away, he likes to laugh, and would prefer to spend the majority of his time with someone he really likes.

I'm pretty sure these statements are true of just about anyone.

What we have learned is that this person isn't sure of what to say.*  Maybe he's shy, or maybe he just lacks creativity. He could also be incredibly dumb, and paid someone to write this profile. In which case, he should ask for a refund.

Then there are some of my favorite words. These appear in a variety of phrases, and are intended to say one thing, but really (I think) mean something totally different.

"I'm laid back" is really code for "I won't commit." Usually these guys have said they are looking for a relationship (because they believe they need to, in order to attract women), and this is their way of letting themselves off that hook.

"I'm easy going" is really code for "I am irresponsible. I will constantly be late and cancel plans." They think it makes them endearing. I blame their parents.

"I am drama free" is actually the most confusing. It sounds like the guy's life is simple, but what he's really saying is he will not, under any circumstances, put up with your drama. His life, however, may be a total disaster - which, of course, you'll be expected to manage.

There are more, but those are the ones I see the most (on Plenty of Fish and OK Cupid, anyway.)

Any to add?

*We could address this more in another post, but do I hate to offer criticism without suggestions for improvement. So, instead of these phrases, consider sharing what makes you laugh (maybe tell your favorite joke, or name a TV show that always makes you giggle). Suggest a few things you do at home (stream Netflix, read, build models) and things you do outside (bars or restaurants you like, activities you enjoy or want to check out). As for your best friend - describe her. This actually serves two purposes. First, it lets others know if they might be your type. Two - it helps you figure out what you really want.

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