It doesn’t matter what online dating site you use, you will have to set up a profile unless you are just stalking. As I had mentioned last time, I jumped on the Tinder train. I was a little lost on how to set up my profile since there weren’t pages and pages of agonizing questions. I also did not have a full page at my disposal to ramble on and on about myself. I had 500 characters and 4 photos to sell myself to the type of man I hoped to attract.
A few years ago I used to go on the most amazing fishing trips in the Caribbean, so I like making fishing analogies such as comparing finding a man to catching a fish. When you fish, you need to set the bait based on what you hope to catch. How you set the bait, or present yourself online, will determine what you catch….and hopefully not a raging case of herpes!!
What did I want to say about myself that would entice the kind of man and relationship I was looking for? I tried the “brief synopsis” which read like a mini resume – divorced, no kids, great career, love to travel (by the way, EVERYONE says they love to travel – back it up with one great travel pic), favorite food, no booty call. Side note – I read a survey once saying that if you want more dates on online dating sites, choose Italian food as your favorite. They didn’t say exactly why, but maybe it’s because every city has at least one nice, romantic Italian restaurant. Maybe because there should be an option for just about anyone? Anyway, the brief synopsis was a snoozer and didn’t get much attention.
I tried the bubbly “look how much fun I am” profile talking about my exciting travels, catching marlin, climbing Kilimanjaro, hot air ballooning over the mountains in Turkey. I think that just intimidated men. Maybe I didn’t seem serious or seemed as if I had too much free time.
Finally, I tried the brutally honest and sarcastic approach. I said something along the lines of “I’m X years old, divorced, no kids, great job, and I enjoy traveling to new places every time I have days off. I stay in shape and expect you to also. Round is a shape but not the one I’m looking for. My pics are recent, not 10yrs/20lbs ago. If your wife/fiance/SO/routine bed partner will be mad if we go out, just swipe left.” (or was it right?) I made one minor adjustment to that profile statement after meeting a man who definitely had the short man syndrome (that story is for a little later). I suppose it was the sarcasm and my pics that later intrigued my “French Charming” to swipe right (or was it left).
What about the photos? How do you choose just four photos that portray who you are? My photo choices sort of followed along with my profile summaries. At first I had simple, straightforward photos. A photo where I was dressed up for a work event. A photo from a vacation, but no bikini shot. I made sure there was one like a head shot and one full body shot so I didn’t feel like there could be any question about what I looked like. When I changed to the “look how fun I am” profile I changed up the photos as well. I included a bikini shot and a Halloween costume shot. But as I said, that didn’t get much attention either. Finally I chose photos to go along with the honest and sarcastic profile. I got rid of the bikini shot. I included a couple of my very best vacation shots close up and full body.
It’s true that women analyze things much more than men. I was constantly trying to figure out what a man would be thinking when reading my profile and looking at my pics. After two failed marriages I had a pretty good idea of what I didn’t want. I also knew I wanted someone who accepted me as me. It was important to me that I seemed completely honest because that’s what I wanted too.
Believe me, I battled with the idea that Tinder was just a hook up site and no one cared what I wrote. I struggled with choosing photos that didn’t scream “looking for a good time? Choose me!” It was obvious that many people were there for just that reason. I cannot fault anyone for that. We all have needs. It was also obvious that many guys did not even read the profile as they would ask me questions that were already answered. At first I was so offended when someone would try to “hook up” with me as I specifically had stated “no booty calls”. However, once I relaxed a little bit, I then took it as a compliment and learned how to politely tell them I was looking for my Mr. Right, not Mr. Right Now.
Bottom line: You do you! Present yourself the way you want. If you aren’t getting the response you’re after, change it up a bit! I finally quit being frustrated when it didn’t seem to go anywhere with my matches. Instead, I took it as an opportunity to experiment on how to better present myself in order to match with people who were better suited for me.