Yes, there is an art to reading dating profiles as well as writing one! In my previous blogs I have written about how important it is to write a blog that really shows people who you are. Now it’s time to try to figure out what you can about the other person by reading theirs.
If you’ve ever perused the profiles on any of the online dating sites you will see that there really isn’t much that is making one person stand out from the other. My theory is that there are a few things going on to make this so:
- People have no idea who they really are nor what makes them special, or
- People are just saying what they think others want to hear so they will pick them, or
- People tend to hide themselves due to fear of rejection, try to look and sound just like everyone else so that they can be part of the popular crowd, just like in high school
For whatever reason you write a profile that is bland and devoid of any sense of character, STOP! It makes you look nameless and faceless and boring. If people can’t “see” you, they can’t find you!
When I worked as a school social worker with middle school aged kids there would always be a few kids who didn’t fit in for some reason. Many of the other kids were busily working at getting into one popular group or another for fear of being alone and unloveable. The Misfits didn’t want to be part of them, or feared they wouldn’t be accepted, but they also didn’t want to be alone. It’s no surprise that they were often depressed.
I used to point out to them that statistically it was unlikely that they were the only person like them in the school. By the rule of 80%/20%, the worst case scenario was that they were one of 20%. If you took the population of the school and figured out what 20% was that meant that somewhere in that school there were 100 in a school of 500 or 200 in a school of 1000, right?
So why weren’t they finding each other? Because they were all “hiding” so they wouldn’t be rejected or bullied/teased. They were hiding behind a façade, trying to look like everyone else.
I told them the only way to find people who were like them was to take the risk of showing everyone who THEY really were so that like-minded people could find them.
I give the same advice to people out there in the dating scene. If you want like-minded people to be attracted to you, you have to show them who you are. You can’t hide and pretend to be just like everyone else anymore. Chances are you are NOT like everyone else and you should be proud to strut your stuff. And, you should set your standards high as to who you look for as well.
A friend of mine and I had lunch a few weeks ago and we were talking about some of his concerns about dating. He said a few years ago a friend had encouraged him to go on an online dating site and so he signed up. He went on the site and started looking around to see what was going on by reading profiles of women and men. He was very disconcerted to find that every profile he looked at was full of “me” and “I’ and no “us”. He believes very strongly that people should focus on the relationship and what they want from that and not so much on themselves. For him, this was a big turn-off.
So he decided to write his profile without one “I’ or “me” in it. He said women responded and said they thought his profile was very different but they couldn’t put their finger on why.
When you are reading a profile, do you see anything that really gives you a clue as to who the person really is? I know when I was dating there were a lot of men who like to take long walks and drink wine beside the fire. I mean, really? I wonder how they all ended up on a dating site? I would read those and think….”next!”.
My advice? Keep looking until you find someone who sounds like a real and interesting person. If people can’t be bothered to put some effort into their profiles they aren’t likely to be putting much effort into their relationships either.