By Paula Conhain
The aspect of online dating that made me the most anxious was not the prospect of terribly awkward dates or even potentially meeting that special someone – it was the thought of writing my profile.
From answering five or so open-ended questions, I was supposed to convince someone I didn’t know that I was interesting enough for them to want to meet. I am a fairly private person until I really get to know someone, so putting it all out there was just too much. And, despite the fact that I have worked in communications for over a decade, my PR skills fall short when selling myself. I started out with the basics: that I had recently moved to San Francisco from Washington D.C., that I love to travel, and that I cannot live without cheese. I didn’t think it was my best work, but it was enough to get me started.
The way OK Cupid works is that, any time someone new joins, they are “fresh meat” and appear in everyone’s searches. Suddenly I was overwhelmed with men who were looking at my profile. I checked a few out and quickly realized that I had better rewrite my profile – these dudes were not my matches at all.
I must have rewritten or tweaked my profile 50 times over the course of the short while I was on OK Cupid. I tried the sarcastic route (look at me, I am funny!). I became direct (I don’t ever want to have kids and the thought of living in the suburbs gives me hives). I did the “I know lots of cool bands that you have never heard of” thing. Everything I tried resulted in limited success at attracting the type of guy I would like. I was this close to asking a friend to write a profile for me.
Who did email me? I suspect they were the guys who contacted every decent-looking woman online. There was the married guy who looking for a discreet affair. There was the married couple looking for a new friend. There was the guy who, bless his heart, may live in his mom’s basement. More men than I could count thought that simply writing, “Hey sweetie” would be a turn on. I tried to handle this by changing what I wrote in the “You should email me if” section of my profile to reflect who I did not want to email me, but since many guys didn’t appear to actually read what I had said and instead were emailing me because of my photos, it didn’t work.
I started to question myself. I was doing it wrong.
It was time to take matters into my own hands.