Online Dating Profile Reading 101


If you’ve done a little profile writing, you have a head start on profile reading. At least you know how difficult it can be to construct one, particularly one that is good. Getting online and reading profiles are good ways to prepare to write your own, and the more that you read, the better you will get at sifting through what other folks write.

Like your own profile, the dating profiles of others are their representations on the web and into your world. They are all you have, along with their handles and headlines (and a picture, if you are lucky) to try to intuit a portrait of a whole person.

The Dating Profile

Here’s the writer’s chance to really get going, to expand and elaborate on the tone set with the handle, headline, and photo combo. Watch for consistency between the combo and the profile.

Read the profile through and get an overall impression. What is the writer telling you, beyond his or her words? What emotional tone comes through? Do they sound angry or defensive, self-absorbed or rigid, or amiable or decisive? Do they have a sense of humor, or do they take themselves a bit too seriously?

Take a look at this one:

FREE to GOOD HOME: Housebroken, Scruffy Mutt

BRITISH-AMERICAN BREED…. All shots. Does not bite or bark. Even temperament. Great with kids and other puppies. Will golf for food, but can actually cook and do own laundry. Faithful. Loyal. Wants permanent owner. Knows no stupid pet tricks but has other redeeming qualities, like a job. Works hard, plays hard. Believes in the Ten Suggestions. Will SIT and STAY and LISTEN. Answers to Sweetie!

Looking for a GOOD WOMAN who likes to go out and play. Doesn’t whine about her hair while riding in a convertible. Answers to “Hi, Honey, I’m home!”

What do you see?

I like this guy right off. He has a sense of humor and does not mind poking fun at himself. But he does get his point across, and interjects a lot of information (faithful and loyal — great!) without sounding like he is bragging or desperate (Wants permanent owner!). Sounds like he yearns for a Sweetheart and to share a home. This guy really wants to be patted, scratched and loved up.

Now take a look at another profile, this time from a woman:

This is unfamiliar territory to me, and do not know how to go about meeting the right person for me. Do you think you are the one? Let’s just say I try to look attractive. New to the single scene, and little scared, but anxious to find someone compatible whom I would get great pleasure spending time with. If you think you are the one, I look forward to meeting you.

Ooooh, this lady makes me want to scoop her right up and hug her and tell her it going to be all right! She sounds so tentative and frightened. On the one hand, good for her, for getting on line and posting at all! But this profile is so unsure . . . I wonder if she is really ready for dating? It would be very easy for someone to take advantage of how vulnerable she is and scare her right back into the closet.

Let’s end with a good one:

I have a baby face, freckles in the summer, and green eyes that sparkle. I am only 5 feet tall in my stocking feet, but I do like tall men! I am plump, but ALL good cooks are. Never trust a skinny cook! I am curvy and called cute — short women never get called beautiful. What I am really looking for is someone with “Santa Claus” eyes! You know, eyes that sparkle! A face full of wrinkles and creases, from years of laughing and smiling.

Isn’t she great? This woman deals with weight beautifully, a very sensitive issue in dating, where it can seem like every guy describes 1% of the female population. A tiny piece of defensiveness does creep in, but in general she does great. She sounds confident and self-assured. She likes herself and it shows. And she is looking for character and humor.