Last week a few members on BBW asked me about tweaking my profile for better results, and I wish I could tell you that I have discovered the secret to online dating success, but havenâ€™t.
Iâ€™ve applied every suggestion my dating books gave toward online dating success, but the multitude of suitors that were supposed to be flooding my inbox with messages are yet to be found. Supposedly one of Dr. Dâ€™s clients received over a hundred responses on J Date the very next day she signed up. After my first two or three days on Match.com, I got maybe ten winks and not one single, solitary email. I log in everyday and update something on my profile weekly so my profile remains active in the search engines and that seems to work pretty well to attract some new interests. Itâ€™s just when I think Iâ€™ve finally got a few good leads that theyâ€™ll all suddenly disappear into cyberspace never to be heard from again.
By the time you read this posting, my Match.com profile will have been viewed over 800 by approximately 560 men; unfortunately most of them are BM between the ages of 45 to 55 that appear more likely to be between the ages of 55 to 60. As for swirling, there have been a few relatively compatible WM who have initiated or responded to contact. (InterracialMatch.com generated so little traffic in general that I cancelled my subscription.) Iâ€™ve used my one, initial low-key contact allowed in Greenwaldâ€™s program on some of them and we exchanged emails for a week or so, but when they didnâ€™t take the lead to go any further, I had to let it go. There are still quite a few WM that show up in my matches that omit black or African descent as an ethnicity they are even willing to consider dating.
Well, at least itâ€™s good to know that my primary photo is on point since Iâ€™ve gotten a few comments about it and itâ€™s bringing in a lot of traffic. Thanks to the perfect combination of heavily applied cosmetics and good lighting, I managed to take a really sexy headshot where Iâ€™m looking suntan and sultry with lips slightly parted but not smiling. Iâ€™m wearing a low, scooped neck T-shirt that shows just the right amount of cleavage. I also included a smiling headshot from my professional bio, one of me at a dinner party with a red flower behind my ear, and a few full body shots of myself (fully clothed) where I think Iâ€™m looking pretty slim. I describe my body type as average even though I currently wear a size 6 or 8 and the average size of an American woman is a 14 according to statistics. Nonetheless, I havenâ€™t lost enough stubborn belly fat to fairly describe myself as slender, athletic or fit and I donâ€™t see any point in false advertisement. OK, so Iâ€™ve shaved off a few years of my age, but no one believes me when I tell them Iâ€™m 41 anyway and Iâ€™d confess if I thought it was going to be an issue. Besides, Iâ€™m deterring enough potential responses because I selected â€œunsureâ€ as my answer to the question of wanting children whereas most men select â€œdefinitelyâ€ or â€œsomeday.â€
Using an exercise about creating a personal brand in Greenwaldâ€™s book, I asked my friends on Facebook to describe me using three words and then I used the most frequently chosen words (fun, sensitive, unique, and creative) to help formulate my profile summary. The books generally suggest that I should state the kind of relationship I want, sound upbeat and approachable, and try to create enough intrigue to prompt a response. I was also to avoid making an unattainable list of qualities that Iâ€™m looking for in my ideal mate and just stick to the basics. I decided to use less than 250 words because I discovered it would fit on the screen of my phone using the Match.com mobile app without any scrolling. Plus, I wanted to withhold enough information about myself to have something to talk about later in an email. As of today it reads:
â€œI’m a fun-loving girl from the Philly suburbs who is a bit of a free spirit and tries to live life by her own set of rules. I am comfortable in a variety of settings; I enjoy wine tasting and art museums as much as I like bowling and pool halls. I work hard but I’m always plotting an escape plan to my next vacation in the back of my mind. I’m also the type of girl who always roots for the underdog. I don’t watch sports regularly, but when I get sucked into a game I tend to get way too emotionally involved. I have a love/hate relationship with health and fitness. Right now we’re on pretty good terms but I’m still basically powerless against a dessert tray. I like to keep informed by watching The Daily Show and The Colbert Report so I can also get in a good laugh. I’m looking for a long term relationship that will hopefully one day lead to marriage if I meet the right guy. My ideal man is kind and thoughtful with a strong sense of personal integrity and can fill my days with fun, laughter and adventure. We can find ways to grow together and make all of our dreams come true. If that sounds good to you, then don’t hesitate to send that message. Profiles with photos only please, let’s play fair.â€
The only date this profile has produced in over a month was with a West Indian BM, age 42. He was interesting, attractive and bright, but incredibly pessimistic. He described the tropical paradise of St. Kitts as dull and complained that the islanders were too talkative. When I asked him about social networking and media, he said he preferred it when the privacy of your online persona was protected and you could say what was on your mind without censoring yourself. He also enjoyed watching The Real Housewives of Atlanta and felt those women displayed a more truthful and interesting representation of society than a bunch of fakers just pretending to be pious. Even after his long, cynical rant about the economy I still agreed to a second date, but I just couldnâ€™t find enough common ground for a third.
Perhaps my expectations for my first month were a little high and Iâ€™m probably relying too heavily on internet dating as my primary method of meeting men. I have to remember that a major component of Susan Pageâ€™s program is to keep my standards high even if it means my search may be more difficult. I remember taking a compatibility quiz on Yahoo Personals years ago that indicated I would only find a mutual match in 7 out of 100 men I meet. Thatâ€™s a lot of frogs to kiss before I find my Prince Charming. I guess Iâ€™d better get busy.