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Thursday, March 13, 2008

My JDate Experiment - A guy's perspective on women's profiles

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EDITOR’S NOTE – A woman in Los Angeles has written the female version of this column. Guys, there is some really good insight in there as to what to do (and NOT do) with your dating profiles. You can find her article here.

Ladies, have you ever wondered what goes through a guy's mind when he is searching through women's profiles online?

Here’s what I did:

I went onto JDate and clicked on the “Members Online” option for women in my geographical area aged 25-40. All the women had pictures. The women below are the first 12 that popped up on my screen. The order that they were on my page is the same order in which they appear below.

I approached this experiment as if I was only going to contact one of these 12 women. The following is the process by which I went about selecting the one I would write.

My comments are based solely on that particular woman’s profile and the ones I had previously read up to that point. For example, at the time I commented about Woman #1, I had not yet read anyone else’s profile. Furthermore, while commenting about Woman #4, I had already read profiles 1-3, but had not yet seen #5. And so on.

Here are my findings:

1. I like this one. She is 28, cute (I like all 4 of her pictures) and claims to have been a diver and a gymnast when she was growing up. Very straightforward profile, which contains a lot of information about her. It is right to the point, with no grammar errors. She is very organized and definitely left-brained. But there is absolutely no humor in this profile, nor much of a personality. She seems like she is just spewing items off of a list.

Oh, here we go. She is getting out of business school in May and starting work in the fall with a big corporate office (she also has her future salary info in there also - which is REALLY tacky). This girl looks like she is going to be a major pain in the ass, and will probably try to qualify the shit out of me. I am also not sure if she is going to be able to take a joke. But I might just want to try and find out anyway. We’ll keep her as a maybe for now.

2. 27, redhead. Decent looking, but not drop-dead gorgeous. I’ll read on. This one seems really chill, a girlie-girl. Definitely a lot more fun than Ms. Business School. But there is only one bodyshot, and she is wearing a one piece skirt. Kinda hard to tell how she looks, but she seems ok. I also don’t deduct that many points for her failure to include ‘romantic’ in her check-the-box personality description. Appears to be an oversight. She’s a probable.

3. Hmm. 3 pictures, 2 in sunglasses (including her main photo) and the third out with friends while holding a Red Bull. One of her sunglass pictures is on a sailboat sunbathing (although you can only see her face). She seems high-maintenance, but has a decent body. So I read on. “Likes the bubblies in champagne.” Perhaps I should be taking these major law firm interviews more seriously. This one sounds expensive. And there is nothing more of note in her paragraphs. She also failed to put ‘Romantic” in her check-the-boxes, but this does NOT appear to be an oversight. Cute, but I’m gonna pass.

4. Looks kinda manly. Actually, she’s a spitting image of a guy I pledged with my freshman year in college. And she’s disgustingly thin to boot. NEXT!

5. Very cute. I like all four of her pictures. A pre-school teacher/pastry chef with an awesome body! I don’t need to read any more... I hear wedding bells. But I read on anyway, because I know better. ARGH! Here is the first half of her opening paragraph:

“Im not really into these online dating things but my mom has been trying to convince me for a while to join. She promised me that if i join... not only will she pay for it... but she'll also stop bothering me about going on blind dates. I've had quite a few bad experiences with blind dates... I always end up with not normal guys who (on the first date) tell me about how they farted on someone's face, ask me if it's ok that they walk around in their underwear because its more comfortable, or ask me what i've learned in my experiences about differences in Jewish & non-Jewish penis sizes (if you're wondering what my answer is... I wouldn't know). if you don't understand why these dates were so bad... or you are actually one of these guys... don't even bother contacting me.”

I don’t even care what the second half of her intro says.

6. This girl’s face looks like a train wreck. She has an ok body, but she is wearing a lot of club garb. I am also sensing potential party-girl issues. Did I mention this girl is a train wreck?

Frederick's of Hollywood, Inc.

7. Our first cougar of the night. She is 36, and both of her pictures are headshots. D’oh! So I go to her description of body type. “Voluptuous.” Not a good sign. But her 2nd picture has her in a library, and I suddenly find myself intrigued. Sure enough, she is a professor. This could be interesting. So I read more.

Profile is somewhat generic, but authentic. Unfortunately, she is being authentic about not having much of a personality. She seems very sweet though, and I consider writing her for more pictures. But I don’t have that kind of time. I might be open to responding if she happened to contact ME, but she isn’t striking me as the “come to my office after school for some detention” type. So I move on.

8. Awful choice of pictures, but she happens to be a cute girl. Seems like the artsy type, but her profile is mostly generic language and adjectives without anything backing them up. She is cute though, and might just fit the mold of that ‘quiet-shy type looking to be pulled out of her shell’ that I like so much. She’s a maybe.

9. Cougar #2. She claims to be 40, but I am guessing that’s in dog years. And speaking of which, I just took a closer look at her photos. Worst part? I just moved my mouse to the top of the page to X her out, and noticed she is also divorced with three children! Please shoot me.

10. 36 years old. 2 headshots and one half-body shot, but it’s hard to tell how she looks. She claims to be 5’6 and 118lbs, but I’m not so sure. So we read on. Every sentence of her opening paragraph starts with “I am” or “I like.” Blah blah blah blah blah. Total generic job. And come to think of it, her pictures are a bit out of focus. NEXT.

11. 4 pictures, 2 of them are (awful) webcam shots and the other two have her in sunglasses. Grammar errors in her opening paragraph. This chick is a mess. She’s out.

12. Divorced, one kid. Her age says 40, but that probably means she was born on a leap day. No need to go on.

So in the end, I am left with 1, 2 and 8.

Admittedly, I would not deem any of these 12 women ‘exceptional’ – which has become my standard for taking the time to write to anyone online these days. But if I had to go with one of them, I would choose #2.

Woman #8 seems ok, but I am going to have to do all the work here. And her pictures, while cute, were not exactly blowing me away to the point where I would be willing to expend that kind of effort. So she’s out.

Woman #1 seems like she would be a major pain in the ass. She has that ultra-competitive vibe to her that works well in business but not so much in relationships.

Woman #2 is definitely the coolest and most fun of the bunch. I like what she wrote in her profile and how she said it.

Here’s her intro:
"I love a good laugh... not just any kind of laugh though... I prefer the embarrassing and somewhat inappropriate laugh during a meeting, or a case of uncontrollable giggles. I love learning bizarre little things about people. I am a Jew who loves bacon. I am a bit of a morning person. As far as sports... I was born into unconditional love for the Yankees. I am in touch with my girly side... because let's face it; a good pedicure never hurt anyone. I worship New York City. I even venture out into the boroughs from time to time for a good stoop sale or the best homemade ice cream. I am looking for someone who when they call I always want to pick up the phone, someone who can appreciate a fantastic meal anywhere, someone who isn't perfect, someone who appreciates the little things in life, and someone who gets me."

Yep, I'll take my chances with her.

I would LOVE to see the female version of this. If any of you ladies think you’re up for the challenge, pick a random guy’s profile and shoot me an email at with your honest, no-holds-barred findings.

Alexander Stone & Stephen David
Copyright 2008 - All rights reserved
Online Dating Edge / Approach Dynamics


Anonymous said...

Glad to see that guys actually go beyond our pictures and actually take into account what we have to say.

Anonymous said...

salary info in a profile is not cool

Anonymous said...

well said jessica- nice to know that it matters what lies within a profile!

Anonymous said...

1st I check the picture, then I worry about the profile. But fear not ugly chick or bald short guy- every garbage can has it's lid!

Anonymous said...

There seems to be an awful lot of analyzing for something that you will truly have no idea about until you meet said choice. Especially when you don't know if the girl in the picture even wrote the profile. Maybe she copied it or had her mother write it. seem to be looking at these profiles having a lot of stereotypes. I would think you could benefit by being more open minded. You don't have to marry someone just because you had one date. The best match for you could be the person you skipped right over.

Anonymous said...

While I agree with melanie that you might not REALLY know the person until you meet them in person . . . your profile is your first impression in this online dating world. so if you can't put your best pic forward and really sell yourself (honestly of course) in a way that gets noticed . . . how will you ever get the best match for you to even know you exist?

Anonymous said...

While I agree with melanie that you might not REALLY know the person until you meet them in person . . . your profile is your first impression in this online dating world. so if you can't put your best pic forward and really sell yourself (honestly of course) in a way that gets noticed . . . how will you ever get the best match for you to even know you exist?

Anonymous said...

I would have gone for girl #2 as well . . . think lots of good tips in here for the girl who wonders why no one ever contacts her or writes her back online . . .

Anonymous said...

why doen't anyone write me back?

Anonymous said...

wow- a reference to Full Metal Jacket...
To get back to the point, I too look beyond the photo alone.... not fully beyond mind you... but just because you have a smoking pic does not mean it'll be worth my time contacting you! You need to have SUBSTANCE!

the infertile turtle said...

Thanks for the link! I attempted to comment on this when I wrote that post, but apparently it didn't go through...glad you found me, anyway.