One of our readers* (names and identifying info have been altered upon request) whom we shall call Justin, wrote to TheDatingGurus.com with a heartfelt plea for assistance with a profile review and re-write. Justin, a good-looking guy of 38 who lives in a small city on the west coast, explained that he had been through a string of bad relationships. His latest had just turned out to be a untrustworthy liar, cheating on him, while making him feel like he was the crazy one for being suspicious. He writes:
Despite all this, and despite weathering through depression and pretty severe social anxiety over the last few years, I am really committed to finding a special woman with whom I can share my life. I have been working hard on improving myself--I've been in therapy, I'm eating better, exercising, getting out and making new friends, overcoming my anxiety and fear, and getting myself out there to meet people. I decided to join match.com, and I want to put my best foot forward, so I had professional photos taken and really did research to make my profile as good as it can be. I tried eharmony a few years back, sort of a half-a**ed my profile, and I got a half-a**ed girlfriend. I really want to do it right this time.
I read most of your dating guru website, and I was hoping you might be willing to take a look at my profile and give me some suggestions, pointers or revisions that will help improve it. I have attached a word document copy for your review. Thank you in advance for any advice you might be able to give, I would really appreciate it.
The Match.com Profile Re-Write:
Here is our re-write of his decent but not great profile. We crossed out his original words and replaced in red:
IMJUSTIN4KEEPS (change user name to: Justin4Real)
The best thing in life is true intimacy. "Solid guy looking to play for keeps"
About Me & Who I'm Looking For
(His originals are crossed out, followed by our suggestions in red.)
I am one of those eternal optimists, a hopeless romantic who knows I will find a deep spiritual, emotional, and (of course!) physical bond with a special woman, one who feels the same way toward me. Casual flings and one nighters: been there, done that. To me, there’s nothing better in life than true intimacy. I’ve been close, I’ve been burned—who hasn’t?--but I’ve loved the journey so far and wouldn’t trade it for anything. The past is the past, and the future is promising.I am
Loving life right now in this great city: I live pretty simply, but have nearly all I could want: good friends, leadership in my career,a decent job a condo, and a crazy
but lovable dog rescue mutt named Ralph (*name the breed to add color and personality to your profile.) What more could you ask for? Although I’ve come close a couple of times, I remain optimistic that it’s possible to find a deep spiritual, emotional, and physical connection with an extraordinary woman. The future is promising.
life’s a constant journey of discovery, right? I look on the lighter side of life, and try to stay positive. I have a dry sense of humor with a bit of a sarcastic streak, and truth be told, I can be slightly devious at times. Never mean, though!
At heart I am truly kind, generous, and pretty goofy. I love to do little things for someone because I care about them: fix that hole in the wall for you? No problem! I am far from perfect, but I try to improve every day. I am mature enough to admit when I'm wrong, and I try to learn from every mistake. Lord knows I've made plenty.
OtherRegular exercise, meditation, and riding my racing bike help keep me centered. I stay active and will try just about anything once, except if it involves jumping from a height (skydiving, no thanks!). As a former anthropologist (yes, really!), I like adventure and travel and have done plenty of both, but I’m not an adrenaline junky.
Who am I? I wish I knew:As a former anthropologist (yes, really!) I’ve always been fascinated by the discovery and study of cultures: looking below most surfaces usually reveals a trove of the unexpected. These days,I scratch my itch for frequent adventure by riding my new racing bike whenever possible. No, I’m not an adrenaline junkie, and yes, I ride with friends who are not racers. Other physical activities range from working out, to playing football and yoga. Meditation helps me stay centered, and a dry sense of humor with a dash of the prankster keeps me balanced.
Dig a little, and you will find a kind heart and a willingness to look outside of myself, listen to feedback, and learn from mistakes. I believe that a healthy relationship has some absolutes: trust in your partner, a commitment to consider the other's perspective, and passion and romance.
Interests and Passions:
I am passionate about music, especially classic , 90s, dub, trip-hop and electronica, and I think live music of just about any genre is amazing. I have also been known to indulge in karaoke on occasion ;-) I love deep conversation--whether it be on pop culture, history, politics, religion, the meaning of life, you name it-- and enjoy spirited debate with people who can handle disagreements and still remain friendly. Joy is in compatibility, but passion is in celebrating and appreciating the differences. I am ready to enjoy the rest of my life with a truly extraordinary woman. Is that you? Only one way to find out…
Great conversation—always. I appreciate different perspectives and stimulating thought. Never said no to sushi, a great steak, or hot pot; checking out hole-in-the-wall eateries and dive-bars, as well as museums and theater. Also, the quiet moments: hanging on the couch, holding hands watching a movie, and truly relaxing together.
Music! Live music of almost any genre is just amazing and makes me happy. Fav’s to listen to anytime include classic rock, 90’s, dub, trip hop, and electronica. I admit to having tried Karaoke.
For Fun:So much to list!I love to hang with my friends,beingGetting my butt outdoors,out of the house,spending time with friends, checking out new neighborhoods or towns, taking a walk, going for a ride on the bike, playing a game of pool, or even something goofy like bowling (although I'm terrible at it!).I love to try new things going to live music, grabbing a bite.
Favorite Hot Spots:The Moderna Supper Club: is a fave. It’s got a Great vibe, usually has a live band, and it’s close to me. I’ve been exploring more of the city lately, and I'm loving digging the North Lake District
Favorite Things:For Movies? Definitely Big Lebowski is #1. Weather?I love crisp fall weather--don't get too much of that here though, so a lazy afternoon cuddling hanging with that special someone, or taking a long ride. Enjoying life!
*Here, we added a closing statement about what our reader was seeking in a partner, to tie it up.
You: a lady whose eyes are open to possibilities and who has learned that she is worth waiting for. You understand the value of mutual trust, and open communication. While I’d like nothing more than to meet a woman who I click with, I’m at peace with enjoying the present, continuing to learn, and practicing.
How did we do it?
1. Understand that your Profile Headline will be the first tool you have to either keep or lose someone's interest. Read article on the importance of headlines/taglines.
2. Edit down wordiness. Make your message easy to read. This is not the story of your life.
3. Nix flowery language (never use the word cuddling if you'd like to be thought of as masculine, etc..)
4. Giving some life to your words by creating color and specific examples
5. Never highlighting your perceptions of your flaws
6. Removing typical phrases such as, "I am ready to enjoy the rest of my life with a truly extraordinary woman.. Is that you? Only one way to find out...".