online Dating

online Dating

With so many of our social interactions taking place online, it is only natural that

the dating world has made a major shift to the Internet. According to one2one.com,
online dating accounts for 17% of all marriages and one in five serious relationships
today. So, how does one successfully create and maintain an online dating profile?
When it comes down to it, it’s all about understanding your audience. A user
must optimize the content on his or her dating profile in order to appear attractive and
interesting to other users. Think of it as branding yourself, or as the ultimate public
relations spin. You must keep in mind what you are “selling”, to whom you are selling it,
and what your message is. I decided to investigate the popular dating website OKCupid
to see what the online dating experience is like.
After signing up, OKCupid prompts you to fill out your profile in a series of
essay-style questions so that other users can “get to know you better.” The website does
not require that you fill out every question, but here I will show you how to optimize
your answers to these questions in order to understand how to best adapt your profile to
your audience.

1. My self-summary:

This is where you might provide a laundry list of qualities

that you might think others will find attractive. It seems most people answer
this question with something along the lines of, “I am a fun-loving, outgoing,
laid-back girl/guy who likes spending time with friends and family, going to the
beach, watching movies, or enjoying a night on the town.” While none of those
qualities are negative in any way, I’m relatively certain that every person on this
planet could describe his or herself this way. In the sea of online dating profiles,
it is important you use this first paragraph to stand out and grab others’ attention.
Instead of listing those qualities in straightforward terms, try providing unique
examples, such as “I went to space camp when I was 10,” or “I can type 100
words a minute.” These are things that people will remember and will provide
interesting anecdotes for later conversation.

2. What I’m doing with my life:

Be honest and straightforward with this question,

 but obviously do not give away too many personal details. Instead of saying “I
work at Starbucks on Beacon Street in Brookline, Massachusetts,” you might
want to provide a humorous spin, such as “I sold my soul to the big, green,
corporate coffee giant and am a professional barista.” This way you don’t have
to be predictable, and you can also avoid stalkers and other psychos. This is the
Internet, after all!

3. I’m really good at:

This question may seem like a no-brainer, but sometimes

your answers might have a negative side to them. For instance, if you say, “I’m
really good at drinking beer,” this could mean you are destined for a beer
belly and spend a few too many nights a week at the bar. If you say, “I’m
great at archery” this implies that you had no friends at summer camp. If you
say, “playing my guitar in Harvard Square on the weekends” this probably
implies that you are broke.

4. The first things people usually notice about me:

This question is tricky to

answer without coming across as conceited or cocky. After all, your answer is in
fact just what you hope or expect people notice about you, and it is pretty much
impossible to answer this question without sounding like a cliché. It seems most
people say “my eyes.” Well, perhaps that is because upon meeting someone, you
look at their face and thus into their eyes when making conversation? Just an
observation. But there is also the chance that you do, in fact, have beautiful eyes.

5. Favorite books, movies, TV shows, music and food:

When it comes down

to it, everyone is more or less interested in the same things under these broad
categories. Your favorite movie is The Shawshank Redemption? You like pizza?
You’ve read The Catcher In the Rye? Congratulations! You are an American
citizen between the ages of 18 and 30.

6. The six things I could never do without:

Take the opportunity to be creative

with this answer and don’t interpret the question too literally. We are all aware
that you cannot live without water, food, sunlight, clothes, shelter, and your
iPhone. This is a question where your true personality can really shine through.
You might want to include something about your lucky socks or your favorite
condiment or your bike helmet. These are things that will stand out to people,
instead of more obvious answers.

7. I spend a lot of time thinking about:

Whatever you do, do not say “myself.”

8. On a typical Friday night I am:

Everyone’s answer to this question appears

to be pretty much the same: “Either at the bar with friends or at home watching
a movie.” Duh! If you’re going to be that obvious, you might as well just
answer, “I’m either asleep or awake.”

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9. The most private thing I’m willing to admit:

Don’t go into too much detail with

this question… this is the Internet! You never know who is actually looking at
your online profile. It’s best to keep some things to yourself.
Overall, your online dating profile should have content that is tailored to an
audience without straying too far from conveying who you really are. Keep things
somewhat mysterious (to avoid stalkers and creeps) and also keep some topics to
yourself, as you will need something to talk about in the future with the people you
may meet! Try to keep your message clear and be creative and interesting. Because
when it comes down to it, most people probably just go straight to the photos on your
profile anyway.