What Guys REALLY Think Of Your Profile

Is your online description attracting men… or scaring them off? Here, guys get truly honest about common profile phrases.

By Melissa Glass

ou know that pictures say a thousand words—why else would you agonize for two days over whether to use that 2003 spring vacation pic? But although the perfect shot will lure potential suitors to your profile, it’s what you say when they get there that separates the dateable women from the duds. There are of course the standard clichés (hint: “wookin pa nub” is no longer clever), but there are a few very common lines that, whether you realize it or not, may be turning away your Mr. Rights. Here, three candid men and an expert in online dating weigh in on some of the most frequently used profile lines.

Profile line #1: “I’m as comfortable in sweats as a cocktail dress”
The regular guys say:
“This makes me worry that she might be more comfortable in sweats.
“Calling yourself a ‘princess’ is just shy of calling yourself a ‘diva.’”
I better enjoy Netflix and microwave popcorn, because those will be our dates after the first month.”
—Jon, 33, radio professional, Edgewater, NJ

“There has to be a better way to prove to me that she has range or imagination. What are we doing when wearing sweats? And when we’re all dressed up, where the hell are we going?”
—Nick, 24, copywriter, Chicago

“It’s not brilliant, but I’m OK with it, I guess. It speaks to people who aren’t just interested in going out, but like hanging at home as well.”
—Marcus, 32, screenwriter, Los Angeles

The expert says: “Really, this is just a lazy way of saying that she’s versatile. She’d be better off talking about a specific activity, like massaging your feet on the couch while watching Desperate Housewives or salsa dancing in 4-inch stilettos.”
—Evan Marc Katz, dating coach and author of I Can’t Believe I’m Buying This Book–A Commonsense Guide To Successful Internet Dating

Rx: Keep it, but tweak it. Sure, he’ll get where you’re going with this line, but to reel him in, you’ll want to be more specific.

Profile line #2: “I’m a princess looking for my knight in shining armor.”
The regular guys say:
“This is probably the worst thing a girl could put in her profile. I imagine her having spent her teen years buying bridal magazines. She probably has the wedding date and place picked out already, and her biological clock is ticking. I’d run away from the tower—Rapunzel’s not worth it!”

“That is a nauseating metaphor, but hey, at least there would be zero ambiguity over who is paying the bill at the end of dinner.”

“Translation: I’m high-maintenance… and emotionally 12-years-old.”

The expert says: “This screams, ‘I’m desperate. Save me from being alone!’ While I’m fan of storybook endings, I’m not at all fond of this cliché.
“Saying yes to things is a highly underrated quality.”
Calling oneself a ‘princess’ is just shy of calling oneself a ‘diva.’ Even if you’re not high-maintenance, the phrase is suggestive of that. And any woman who is looking for her knight in shining armor may just have read one too many Danielle Steele novels to seem accessible to a regular guy.”
—Evan Marc Katz

Rx: Lose the line. Hey, there’s nothing wrong with wanting a little fairy tale romance, but save all that lovey-dovey stuff for your journal—Prince Charming doesn’t really want to hear it.

Profile line #3: “You must love dogs/cats/kids.”
The regular guys say:
“This one, while kinda dictatorial, is actually helpful because it at least shows what you’re getting into before you even meet. If babies aren’t in your future, or if your allergies make you blow up like a Macy’s Thanksgiving balloon, why waste everyone’s time, right?”

“If I’m told that I have to love her cat or dog or kids, I just hope she doesn’t judge my character based on her animal’s (or kid’s) reaction towards me.”

“This woman sounds like she already has a family and is really busy, or she’s really lonely. To be honest, I think the kid stuff might scare some guys off, including me.”

The expert says: “Telling a stranger that they ‘must’ do anything is a bit of a tall order. And there’s nothing wrong with alluding to the fact that your child is at the center of your world. But in the profile, your job is to attract others, not to issue ultimatums. Better to talk about how your favorite part of the day is making up a bedtime story to your toddler, or how no weekend is complete without a romp in the park with your beloved schnauzer.”
—Evan Marc Katz

Rx: You’ve got to make this call. You’ll want to let potential dates know upfront if there are children in the picture. (Guys who don’t want to deal with that simply won’t get in touch, and you don’t want to begin getting involved with them anyway.) If you just want to let your dates know that you’re longing for a child or Boston terrier someday, save it for the third date.

Profile line #4: “I want to meet a man who can prove to me there are still good guys out there.”
The regular guys say:
“Rebound alert! She just came off a relationship with someone who either cheated on her or dumped her. You’ll have to spend the whole night justifying why you’re a nice guy and not like the other guys. I’m exhausted just thinking about it.”

“There aren’t any good guys out there? Or most of the guys this woman has chosen to be involved with aren’t good guys? Either way, bad taste and/or a tragic relationship history aren’t particularly appealing.”

“She’s clearly just been through a rough relationship. Plus, the phrase, ‘prove to me’ sounds like a challenge, like the potential date has to impress her, instead of get to know her.”

The expert says: “Makes it sound like you’ve been burned by so many men in your life that you just can’t hide your bitterness. Hey, anyone who’s dating is going to have his or her fair share of negative experiences. But what’s the point of focusing on that… in your profile? This is all about being positive and attracting positive people—it’s not about airing your dirty laundry or writing a diary entry for all to see. A line like this won’t attract anyone and will most likely repel any guy who doesn’t want his date to turn into a therapy session.”
—Evan Marc Katz

Rx: Lose the line. That woman-scorned thing is never attractive—no guy wants to spend an evening hearing why all men suck.

Profile line #5: “I will try anything once”
The regular guys say:
“Always a good sign, but I’d want to be sure she’s the kind of person who’d try things two or three times. It sounds great for a first date, but she’d have to follow through on the dates after that as well.”

“If she is truly open-minded/adventurous, it’s probably a good idea to describe herself with more interesting language, not one of the oldest clichés in the book. In other words, I don’t believe that she’s really that out-there.”

“She’s probably adventurous, someone who’s willing to be spontaneous. This sounds like a woman who will let a fun night happen at random and not require that I make plans down to the last detail. That free attitude is definitely attractive to me, as long as it doesn’t mean she goes way overboard, all of the time.”

The expert says: “Saying yes to things is a highly underrated quality. Men like women who are cool—who will eat any food, ride any roller coaster, listen to any band, and travel to any country. So why not say this in a more specific fashion, in a way that differentiates you? Write that you’ve eaten turtle soup. Write that you’ve driven a pace car at 170 mph. Write that you’ve trekked four hours to see Dave Matthews live. Anyone can try anything once, but only you have had your unique memories.”
—Evan Marc Katz

Rx: Keep it, but tweak it. If you want to express an adventurous spirit, have the out-there experiences to back it up, and share a few of them in your profile.

Melissa Glass is a writer and editor in New York City.

Want to hear the other side of the story? Read What Women REALLY Think Of Your Profile

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