{Prehistoric Amber} “I’m sorry, I can’t dance with you…I’m wearing my new wooden leg and I need to break it in slowly.”

Today we are going to be talking mainly about Do’s and Dont’s of Online Personals For The Ladies.

I am far from perfect; because of that, I’ve had to learn some lessons in the area of man-hunting and fishing. I would like to share these lessons with others, if only to spare them further pain (see? I’m nice). Some of these lessons came from my own extensive field research and others were learned from my study of The Rules, the original He’s Just Not That Into You. You will have to discern which is which, because I am afraid of being killed for breaking the code of silence agreed upon by other “Rules” girls (tho’ if you ask, I’ll totally spill). And, of course, there are just some things that scream “Run away! RUN AWAAAAAY!!” and require no background experience.

For help with my dissertation on Do’s and Don’ts of Online Personals (notice how I will punctuate that differently each time, as if adding to the excitement and adventure of this post!), I recruited the help of my BFF Katy “Hot Ass” Roskam, who is really good at calling people on their stupid shit. I also had the brilliant idea of getting a guys’ perspective, and asked Lukey-Luke to offer his insight on the dramatic world of Ladies’ Online Personals. His tips will be in bold italics. You can also check out Luke’s supa-cool blog at Bottling Up The Crazy.

So on with the show –

You might be thinking, “But Amber, what was it exactly that made you want to post about what we are sure will be an invaluable source of wisdom that we will be able to use for the rest of our lives, and what is even more important, a non-sleep-inducing distraction from work?” Why, thank you for asking! It was a particular girl’s profile…

Even from the tiny little pictures that appear on your search, you could tell right away this girl was beautiful. After you clicked on her picture and got to view her picture in larger scale, it became apparent that not only was this girl beautiful, she was breath-takingly so – the kind that makes you wonder how you’re ever going to get to make out with any guy on Esquire.com with her around. After staring at her picture for about five minutes, I scrolled down to read her profile, and thus created my first Do/Don’t-

1. Do keep it light.
Basically, from what I can gather from her profile, I know that she reads self-help books on the recommendation of her ex-boyfriend, she spends Mondays and Wednesdays with her psychologist, she thinks she resembles Camryn Manheim even though she is only 103 lbs, her lies include telling people she’s fine and that she’s eaten that day, and songs that talk about sleeping with body pillows make her sad.

I’m not going to go too much into this one, because it brings up other tips that I would like to dissect one by one…

2. Don’t talk about your weekly sessions with your counselor.
Personally, I think everyone could do with a little regular therapy (plus the fact that I’m going into a related field also pushes this recommendation. Please, let me make money off your problems). However, this is not something that I would want to hear about on the first date with a guy, which is kinda-sorta what these profiles are like. Guys often think of the worse-case scenario when it comes to dating a girl – no one wants to envision an empty bottle of pills on your nightstand after he forgets to call you on Tuesday night. This is something best saved for when you start to get serious with someone, and he has had a chance to see that you’re going to therapy to help you become a more balenced, emotionally healthier person…not because you were ordered by the state to do so.

3. Don’t post “Is it possible to fall in love again?” or anything related in your tagline.
This screams “NEEDY!!” Women, if you have been hurt before in a relationship, join the club: So has everyone else. However, feeling the need to talk, in length, about the asshole who cheated on you twenty times with different women is not going to get the guys to come a-runnin’. There are a few guys out there who would gladly show you that not all men are assholes, but if they suspect there’s pressure on them to heal all your hurts – including the time when your third grade teacher told you that you had a bad habit of coloring outside the lines, thereby dashing your secret hopes of becoming the next O’Keefe – they are going to run screaming down the street.

I could go on and on about this topic…but I won’t. All I will say is that if you are still hurt from your past relationship, resolve that first before jumping into a new one. Rebounds are talked about with negative connotations for a reason.

Which brings us to our next tip –

4. No mentions of ex-boyfriends. ANYWHERE.
Here’s what Luke had to say –
“Don’t use pictures with guys in them. We’re going to assume that they are ex-boyfriends who you’re still in love with even though they cheated on you with your best friend’s mother. Especially if they’re wearing white baseball caps.”

Guys, this goes for you, too, but you have a little more room for forgiveness since we know that usually the only time you have pictures of yourselves dressed up and looking nice is when you had to go to a party or wedding with your girlfriend and she forced you to smile for numerous cameras. But dude, she’s probably burned all her copies of those pictures in a Healing Round-Circle Fire by now, so you probably should, too.

Basically, any mention of an ex is just poor form. There’s really not any good reason to mention an ex, so just don’t do it.

5. Don’t list “being in jail” as your most humbling moment.
Again, kids, these are all true stories.

6Don’t write “Oh, these pictures are from Christmas from last year (I still have ten pounds more to go!)”.
First of all, if a guy says “I’d date her if only she lost 10 more pounds”, he’s not the kind of guy you’d want to date anyway. Second, mentioning your weight anywhere except in your stats is just poor form – it makes you seem shallow, and it gives the impression that you’re unhappy with yourself and obsessed with your weight. The exception to this rule is if you have Big-Beautiful-Woman pride and back it up by stating “I’ve got a little more lovin’ to give.” If that’s the case, sing on woman, because the world needs a few more like you.

However –

7. Do mention your weight in your stats.
As Lukey-Luke explains:
“Do fill in your weight. If you don’t, we’re going to assume you’re pushing 2 bills…Oh but it’s okay to lie about your weight though. We’re totally stupid about stuff like that. “

This is probably the biggest thing a girl agonizes over in her profile, because, like Luke said, guys are totally stupid about this stuff. But you should just suck it up and list your weight because honestly, when looking at us face-to-face, most guys never think we are as heavy as wethink we are. Yes, guys who mention that they only want to date a “cute, petite, tiny girl” are not going to be happy if you lie and then show up to be a voluptuous woman of model height…but these guys piss me off, so whatever unhappiness they receive, they deserve it. Mostly, I just want to save you any potential pain by showing up for your first coffee date with a guy and having see a look of buyer’s remorse in a guy’s eyes because you didn’t practice truth in advertising.

And since we’re on the subject, men…when putting in stats for what you’re looking for, very few girls with a healthly self-esteem is going to go after you if you list your dates’ weight requirements as “90-120 lbs”. Even if I was that skinny, I still wouldn’t go for you because you’re dumb and will obviously give me death looks when I’m stuffing my face full of Cheetos. If you really want to impress a girl here, list “no preference” in that section (seeing that a guy doesn’t care a lot about that stuff will impress any girl, even if she is actually 100 lbs). If you must list a requirement for your dates’ weight, go for a wide range, because you have to take a lot of varibles in when you think about weight – bone mass, body structure, height, muscle tone (girls with toned arms and six-packs weigh more than girls who are just skinny), and boob mass. Basically, just because you list a weight preference, it doesn’t always mean that it’s going to work – if you list 150 lbs and the girl is 5’1, she’s gonna be pretty curvy. If you list 150 lbs and she’s 5’8, she’s going to be in good shape.

8. Don’t state the obvious.
Examples of this –

“I enjoy a night out as much as a night in, cuddling on the couch with someone special.”
First of all, I just kind of have a thing about people talking about cuddling, much like I have a thing about the word “panties” – if LL Cool J says it, awesome, but if anyone else says it, I tend to get the heebie-jeebies. But getting to the point: Almost all the girls in all the world like to be cuddled and held. Guys know this already, or there wouldn’t be long articles in GQ about the biological differences that make women want to cuddle after sex but make men want to go eat a sandwich.

“I’m looking for a guy who knows how to spoil a girl and make her feel special.”
As Katers pointed out, obviously you are looking for a sugar-daddy, because any normal guy under 40 would be turned off by this. It screams “HIGH-MAINTENENCE PRINCESS WHO WILL SUCK YOU DRY”. Every girl likes to be spoiled or made to feel special. Guys know this. But honestly, when you state this as one of your criteria, it makes you sound whiny and needy, like those girls who won’t talk to their boyfriends for a week because he didn’t pick up on her hint about the beautiful roses that her coworker received at the office last Wednesday.

Girls, spoil yourselves and make yourselves feel special. Stop looking for other people to give you what you can give yourself. If a good man sees how well you treat yourself, he’ll rise up to the challenge.

Also, something else I noticed – tons of girls’ profiles insist that their date “know how to treat a girl”, but I have yet to see a profile that states that they know how to treat a man. It should go both ways.

And just to be even more nit-picky…

9. Don’t be vague.
There is one profile that I read where she stated absolutely nothing about herself – she wasn’t a big reader, songs didn’t put her in the mood, she didn’t lie, she gets humbled every day – then, when it came to talk about what she was looking for, she stated “someone who has similar goals and values in life.” Like, being boring? Like refusing to answer a question with a detailed answer? Super.

10. Absolutely no mentioning your cats or plants whatsoever.
“Don’t describe your ideal date as “You coming over to watch a movie. Oh you’ll have to sit on the floor though because Muffin, Mr. Fuzzykins, Rum Tum Tugger, Tally, Massa, Wiley Kit and Wiley Kat, Josie, Baby, Kitty Galore, and Sir Meows-a-lot always sit on the couch with me.” – Luke

Yes, cats make wonderful pets. Yes, cats are warm and fuzzy and cute. Yes, cats always make guys envision your bed covered with stuffed animals, framed embroidered quotes like “Smile! It makes people wonder what you’ve been up to!” hanging on your living room walls, girls who say “Baby doesn’t like that” when they try to feel her up, and crazy, past-their-prime old maids who like to wear their fuzzy slippers to the grocery store. Don’t fight the stereotype. Introduce Mr. Fuzzykins to your new flame only after you’ve shown him your vast array of Victoria’s Secret lingerie.

11. Don’t post pictures of yourself with babies.
If you actually have kids, this tip doesn’t apply to you. If you are biologically baby-free, take heed of this tip. If you don’t, guys will automatically think that you’re dying to have one and that you will proposition them to be your future Baby Daddy as soon as you meet them. If all you have are pictures of yourself with kids because they are your main social network (that would be me), choose photos of yourself with kids who look nothing like you, and just make sure that they don’t all doesn’t scream “GET ME BAREFOOT AND PREGNANT IMMEDIATELY!”

However, a guy posting the tagline “Let’s make babies” is actually funny.

Anodda tip from Luke –
12. “Do use spell check so you don’t describe yourself as “tall, blond, with big bobs.” And if you have big bobs, find some way to work that into your profile preferably within the first sentence. We have the attention span of small woodland creatures. Ooh. What’s that over there?”

13. Abstain from demonstrating your high school Spanish.
Please, for the love of god – don’t use any foreign language anywhere in your profile. Unless it’s something that foreign-language-challenged people like me can understand from watching Taco Bell or Olive Garden commercials, it looks pretentious and it’s irritating. I appreciate people who have a strong grasp on foreign languages, but demonstrate that in your profile some other way, such as simply stating “I can speak a foreign language.”

14. “Don’t list your favorite book as Cosmo. Unless your favorite book really is Cosmo. In which case, call me, okay?” Luke’s number is 867-5309.

15. Do put thought into your tagline.
Here’s a tip – if it’s a saying that’s been on the back of people’s cars or stuck to their backpacks since you were in high school, it’s not cool anymore. Any type of saying that can also be found on paper-weight rocks or inspirational posters are also gag-inducing. I have waxed on and off about guys’ profiles being cliché, but girls, you are soooo much worse when it comes to this shit.

If you have a hard time coming up with something random, sarcastic, or clever, pull a line from a favorite, obscure song – it’ll make you look hip and creative – or pull a line from an old cheesy song and pray that it comes off as ironic and/or fun. Or you could just use “I need to get laid now.” (recommendation of Katy’s).

You will so score with that one.

16. “Don’t use a profile name of “OMG, look here!! im hott! lol!” because that’s stupid.” 

17. Don’t state “I am not going to try to sell myself”
 in your profile.
First of all, online personal profiles are basically advertisements – and what are those advertisements selling? You. No one wants to come off as cocky or conceited, but look at your profile as akin to a job interview – why should someone want to date you? I’m not going to spend credits on someone who doesn’t convince me that they’d be a great date and a potentially great boyfriend.

And that, essentially, brings me to my overall point – be yourself, with a little added glow. Everyone is looking for something different, but the top three things men have listed as most attractive in a girl (taken from a Cosmo poll) are confidence, intelligence, and humor. Use your intelligence to find out what makes you special. Become confident in that, and then add a little humor along the way. In doing so, you almost guarantee that your profile won’t come off as boring, scary, or cheesy.

Tomorrow we will get back to slaggin’ on the guys’ profiles, but I’m super sick with strep (yes, please send flowers. Spoil me when I’m sick. Make me feel special) so it may or may not be up tomorrow. If it’s not, go directly to Luke’s blog – he’ll take care of you there, make you feel warm and entertained, maybe even take you to a show and buy you an outfit at Brauns. Either way, have a great day tomorrow – I’m out, yo.

Written and published November 2, 2004

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About Amber L.

Hi! I'm Amber. I've been telling stories with books and blogs since 2004. I also spent 10 years working as a behavior therapist, which I now put to proper use by publishing thought pieces and dissertations on '80s pop music and the defining TV shows of our current times ('The Bachelor', 'Vanderpump Rules', etc). I can also be credited with single-handedly ruining the city of Portland, OR just by moving here.

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