Honesty Is The Best Policy When Writing An Online Dating Profile 

Image by Giuseppe Milo

I am 47 and recently joined Zoosk. At my age, you have to rely on more than Photoshopped photos to know whom to respond to. I for one read profile names and actual profiles (after looking at the corresponding picture) to get a sense of a guy’s personality and gauge word choice and tone. After all, wordplay is foreplay for a writer.

Words in black and white offer a window into the soul. After reviewing many Zoosk “Smark Picks” and receiving messages, winks, and gifts, I feel I have some insight on how to help my fellow man better represent himself in his profiles.

Maybe it is the writer/editor in me. Maybe it is because I have been turned off by what possibly could have been a good match after reading a bad profile. Either way, a few profiles and handles have stuck out. Some have made me laugh aloud. Some have scared the beejezus out of me. A few have inspired me to answer a message or even take a chance by messaging first … 


Dear “totally lonely,”

You quite obviously did not run your profile name by any of your gal pals, am I right? Don’t you have any female coworkers? Sisters?

No?! An aunt?

You have to vet this shit, or you are never going to hook up. Even though I am sure there are many lovely ladies out there looking to take on another project, I am not one of them. I am so not into that anymore. I do not want to contemplate having to change someone even a little bit. Ain’t nobody got time for that, especially me.

I hear you, though. Being single can be crushingly lonely, but coming across as desperate is not attractive. I think you are trying to be real, which many women will appreciate, but you could get the same message across by saying that you are looking to enjoy someone’s company and that you don’t play games. That says you are honest and straightforward but yet reassures that you’re not going to fall apart if she doesn’t respond to your message or if you have to spend another Saturday night on the couch with your cat.

I have come across some inspirational profile names you may want to consider: “ready to start over,” “looking for love,” or “it’s time for this.”

Best of luck to you in finding that special gal.

Dear “looking for #1,”

Sadly, you are going to have to keep looking. I do not know if you noticed that not only are we from different cities, we are from two different regions of the US. That would mean a lot of miles to cover for a first date, don’t you think? I drive a hybrid, but still.  If you truly don’t mind a long-distance relationship, maybe you should consider changing your profile to “loves road trips looking for traveling companion”.

Dear “nerdy one,”

You had me at nerd. You even have the nerd glasses going on. I know many girls are secretly turned on by nerds. We all know we should say yes to the sweet nerd and no to the bad boy.

I would like to think that now that I’m older, I know better, but sometimes a bad boy hides behind the nerd glasses, and it can take a few dates to figure that out. You seem like the kind of guy who will be into playing scrabble for hours by a fire in the winter. Or cuddling up on the couch to read the newspaper.Very comforting but you need to present a little intrigue too.  Try these on for size: “nerd masquerading as James Bond” or “wears socks that match.”

Dear “a few extra pounds,”

After you sent me a wink, I looked at your profile pictures. Even though you copped to the “few extra pounds” by checking a box in your profile, there are ways to make yourself look attractive in your profile pictures and accentuate the positive. You are not obligated to disclose your entire frame or current weight. A good profile has to have some mystery in it.

Some advice: First of all, get out of the bathroom. A selfie taken in the mirror in your bathroom not only shows you are not taking your profile picture seriously, it also shows that you haven’t cleaned your sink in months! Have someone take a basic picture of you doing something manly outdoors.  There have been actual studies that show women are most attracted to men displaying pride and masculinity.

It truly is all in the profile. Words written in black and white that can be read, reread, analyzed and over-analyzed (things I do really well) hold clues to a person’s priorities and self-image. How attributes are listed and in what order says a lot. What is written and what is left out speaks volumes.

It may be tempting to over-reveal details in an effort to be forthcoming, or at the opposite extreme, stretch the truth to exaggerate accomplishments or how much you can bench press. But we have to remember that the goal is to get a first date, and the truth will always prevail. Why risk messing up a good thing by not being honest?

With that, I have decided to rewrite my profile with descriptors culled from the many great profiles I have read:



I am the total package; brains, beauty, and buoyancy. I love three girls, my job, and my life, which means I work really hard to get up every day, kick ass, and then repeat. I do yoga and work out to stay sane. I am legit no drama and make time for the important things. I like to laugh a lot and will generally try anything once. (Please keep all thoughts right now PG, while I may not be a princess, I am a lady!)

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