Here's a little tidbit that few people know about me. I did a brief stint where I was paid by men to write their online dating profiles. The pay wasn't that great and I didn't do it for very long. Sure, there were good decent men who asked for help because they wanted to create something that would catch a girl's eye. They were just not good with words and needed that little bit of help to get noticed. Unfortunately, the majority of the men I wrote for were complete jackasses.
In the beginning I would ask them to provide answers to the main questions of the profile at their chosen dating site. These questions tend to be pretty standard so that was the easy part. My biggest hurdle generally started with the sections where the dater is required to "write a little something about yourself". This is typically where the jackass sets himself apart from the decent guy.
The decent guy would give me a brief 3 sentence "About Me", and I would do my best to work a bit of humor and sincerity into his words, throwing in mentions of the information from the standard questions. The decent guy realized that his answers in the physical categories were enough to set the initial bar for his profile and didn't ask me to expound on what he wanted lady love to look like. He supplied me with multiple pictures to choose from and I chose the ones that showed he had a life outside of his office/job/computer, and if possible one with a good shot of his eyes. Chicks dig that. He appreciated the help in verbiage and he got out of his own way long enough to get a few dates.
Now, let's talk about the Jackasses. These guys come in two categories of "About Me". The first group writes so much about their likes and dislikes that you can't begin to think about what to pare out, what to leave in, and what planet the guy comes from. (Everyone knows if you want to talk about yourself that much you should get a freaking blog). The other group can't think of anything about themselves to say and spends their paragraph talking about what the want the lady to look like, how much she should weigh, how tall she should be, etc. I tried to be as polite as I could and not come across as a pig. In most cases, after several revisions by request of my customer, we would agree on something that still made me cringe. The pictures were of no consequence because it didn't matter how pretty the picture was visually, the fact that the guy was a douche by choice, painted a picture no woman would want to look at.
One of my last customers fell into the latter category. Let me briefly describe our 'hero' for you. Let's call him Scott. Scott is about 5'9", 230 pounds, a bit of a beer gut, sort of unkempt, and in a dead end job. His hobbies included hunting, watching football and racing, and fishing (doesn't own a boat). Scott likes metal music and misses Head Banger's Ball and Beavis and Butthead. Now, these things are not horrible or insurmountable in and of themselves. Even if you put all of these things together, and Scott does, they are not the worst case scenario. Scott's downfall was his personality.
I'd been divorced, cheated on, left penniless, and was raising two kids alone and I STILL hadn't been as angry as I was when I read the response I got regarding my write up. It caused me to question getting back into the dating scene, my faith in men, and hunting Scott down to slash his tires, egg his house, and possibly break his fingers to the point where he would never use a computer again. I am going to paraphrase the conversation because although I long ago deleted the correspondence, most of it is burned in my memory and Scott's inability to spell makes my skin crawl.
Angie, I don't know who you wrote this for but it's not me. I told you I want the girls to be around 5 5 and thin. You did not put that in there. I don't want emails from big fat chicks. Just add NO FATTIES. Also, can you put blonde in there? I don't care what color her eyes are, but put blonde. I don't care if she's athletic. I don't run or anything. Your stuff isn't very funny either. Where is my picture?
I read it many times, trying to find a way to answer without losing my cool. I ended up sending the following:
Scott, You should be receiving an email from PayPal with the return of your $50. I have not taken any fees and you have my permission to use anything I have provided you thus far. I wish you the best of luck in your search.
I was rather surprised to receive a response.
Angie, I just want you to write it the way I sound about what I want. I still want the profile. I just don't want to go out with fat chicks and you made me sound stupid too. Can you just change it to what I said? Also put my picture on. Thanks.
The more I read "fat chicks", the more my blood boiled. Finally I decided to respond.
Scott, By now you have received your refund. I did not write the way you sound because you sound like an idiot. Your demand to have any form of "no fatties" in your profile proves that. You have no clue how many very suitable women you would offend. If no one dated "fatties", you may find that you could have a difficult time getting a date as well. Obviously this is the case, as you are asking for my help.
I did not make you sound stupid. I made you sound interesting. I apologize if I couldn't work in a dick joke for you. Also, your pictures were not used because they were unattractive. Put a shirt on. Wear shorts that are not cut-offs. Better yet, wear pants. No one wants to see that. No one. Comb your hair. This is the last correspondence you will receive from me. Best of luck to you.
I never heard back from Scott. He did accept the refund. I checked multiple dating sites over the next month to see if Scott posted the profile on his own. Since I was unable to find him, I can only assume he found the woman of his dreams, probably at some dirt track stock car racing event, where she couldn't help but appreciate the way the mustard stain on the front of his "I guess we're somewhere behind Mt. Rushmore" t-shirt brought out the blood shot in his eyes.
So, what makes a good dating profile? Realistic expectations of those reading your profile is a good start. A realistic view of who you are is also helpful. I haven't written a paid profile in years, though I will write some for friends from time to time (free of charge). As a matter of fact, sometimes I am so damn helpful I write dating profiles for people who didn't even ASK for them. I wonder if my friend Joe in Florida is getting any play from his new Yahoo Dating profile. Hey Joe? Who loves ya most?! ;)