under Monday Makeover
I’ve signed up for JDate to put myself out there again to find a partnership that will lead to marriage and children (and hopefully last a lifetime)! I’ve been somewhat active on the site for the past month, and have sent a number of messages to folks, but have not received responses from anyone. That could just be fate, or timing; but I have to also consider the possibility that I’m not presenting myself in an optimal fashion! Please help.
-Is it Fate or Timing?
Dear Is it Fate or Timing?,
I’m happy to help. Sometimes not hearing back from a prospect is fate — she just wasn’t meant for you. Other times it is timing — don’t give up. Tweak your profile with my advice and hopefully fate and timing will align. Let’s get started:
You’ve got three great pictures, but you could use a 4th one that is also not a professional photo to show consistency and reality. The order is great, keep the candid color photo as your profile photo.
In the “About Me” section I would delete your last paragraph. It supplies too much information and yet are all great conversation pieces for the first few dates with someone new. Under “A Brief History of My Life” I would condense the information and delete the line “back in… for good!” since you also say you are willing to relocate. Maybe something more like: “Born in Northern California and raised in Southern California, I attended UCLA for undergrad and went east for law school in Boston before returning to the best, er, west coast. I love to go back to New England often and even became a loyal Red Sox fan, but Cali is where my heart is.” And with the “What I’m Looking For” section, try to describe the woman you’re looking for using words you won’t read on anyone else’s profile. Maybe try using either the first half or the second half of the paragraph, but both combined is a bit redundant and long-winded.
Make sure to answer all the questions, especially if you are “Willing to Relocate.” And I know you want to find a woman to have a family with, but I would increase your maximum age by a few years and for a few reasons. First, you don’t want to come off as misogynistic by capping the age of the women too young even though your intent has to do with fertility and second, you don’t want to eliminate some great women by just one or two years because plenty of women are having children into their 40s.
Hope this helps and good luck!
At the beginning of every episode of every city of Bravo’s “Real Housewives” hit series there are one line zingers stated by each woman to introduce herself. Here are a few examples of the Jewish housewives from various cities: NYC’s Aviva “Never underestimate a woman born and raised in New York City;” Orange County’s Heather “I may be married to a plastic surgeon, but I’m ninety-eight per cent real;” and Beverly Hill’s Kyle “I’m not the richest girl in Beverly Hills, but I’m the luckiest.”
What would your line be? It should show your personality, a little attitude, some humor and yet still manage to give some kernel of information about you. Basically, it’s the first line of your profile. It will get the most attention and lure prospects into reading the rest of your profile. Just make sure it comes off charming and not obnoxious!
You should (must?) be honest in your profile, but there is such a thing as being TOO honest. If you are truly just a few pounds overweight, just select “athletic build” or “average” and leave it at that. You do not need to address your weight (ie. I just gained 10 lbs because I had a broken foot, I’m usually much thinner), let your photos speak for themselves. If you are a Democrat, you don’t need to discuss in your profile why you would never in a million years date someone who voted for Romney. It may be true, but it’s TMI. If you are 3 credits short of a Master’s degree but haven’t finished yet because of work/health/etc then you make the decision of whether to put BA or MA for what level of education you have, but no one needs to hear the details. Frankly, until someone gets to know you, they don’t care. All that detail does is make someone think that you are high maintenance, dramatic, and just too much to deal with.
Remember KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) if you want a kiss!
Summer means watching a lot of silly TV shows. Back in the day, summer meant reruns and TV specials. Now, networks are creating new TV shows – namely, reality shows – for our viewing pleasure. So for research purposes only (smirk) I’ve been watching The Choice and Take Me Out. One is a play on The Voice with 4 single, male celebrities with their backs to the stage where women come out and introduce themselves with a shpiel. The men have a minute to decide if they want to turn around and possibly make her one of their prospects. One minute. On Take Me Out, 30 women get to check out a man and over the course of 3 rounds they get to know him and decide if they want to keep their light on or not and give the man the opportunity to choose from who is left at the end. These 2 shows got me thinking about the time you have on JDate to make your first impression. So you have one minute to make an impression and you have one minute to make a decision. As ridiculous as these shows are, the gist of it is pretty realistic. Impressions and decisions are made that quickly. If you were a woman on The Choice, what would you say to get a man’s attention in the most positive way? If you were a man on Take Me Out, what would you say on your video montage to get the woman to keep their lights on? You want to get their attention but you don’t want to give off the impression that you’re only looking for sex or money or kids, etc. So what would you say? Take that concept and apply it to your JDate profile. Your About Me is your opportunity. Take it seriously and think really hard about how you want to come across to attract your intended.
under Online Dating
I’ve written about this before, but the topic of the JDate profile one-liner came up again recently as I was speaking with a few single girlfriends. The one-liner I’m talking about is not the one you hear at the bar, but rather the one which shows up on the computer during your JDate searches. It’s the couple of words which appear next to your photo with your screen name, age and location, particularly when you’re a Spotlight Member. So these words are very important.
One person told me she even would count the number of characters which show up in that one-liner and then crafted the first line of her About Me paragraph to fit in that space. Brilliant! There’s about 60 characters in that line – less than half of a tweet – but it’s enough to say something unique, smooth and attention grabbing. It is not the place to say your name, age or location, since those items are already posted with your photo.
Say something witty, funny, enlightening, eye-catching. Use your words -and letters- wisely. Bounce the idea off of a number of people first, if need be, or even post it on Facebook and ask for feedback. Just make sure it’s not boring or cringe-worthy or an incomplete sentence. It seems like it should be easy, but it’s worth taking the time to develop because it truly is the first words JDaters will read about you.
A few weeks ago I received what looked like a chain letter but was actually a very interesting email from a man looking for a wife. Like a chain letter, the email had been sent to me by a friend who was forwarding the email from another friend who had received it from another friend. The letter was from a single Jewish man asking his friends and friends of his friends and their friend’s friends (you get the idea) to set him up. He said he was really serious about finding his soulmate and getting married, and he would reward whomever set him up with his future wife with a trip to anywhere in the world. I thought the letter was genius. What better way than to promote yourself and your pursuit of your Beshert than through good ol’ fashioned bribery?
Of course he included all of his amazing traits, but he also touched on a few of his shortcomings. His honesty was refreshing. He spoke about his hobbies, his likes and dislikes, and meanwhile kept his tone light and said it as a fact but not arrogantly. It was a great example of how an effective About Me paragraph should read.
So write a similar letter selling yourself and then tweak it to be your About Me paragraph. Maybe the prospects looking at you aren’t your type, but I bet they’ll be happy to send their follow JDating friends your way with the promise of a free trip!
I am divorced and with a child of my own that I adopted as an infant. When I meet men they always start asking so many questions about his father (they don’t know he is adopted) and about his upbringing. What is their motive? Why do they keep trying to get into my son’s life? How do I answer them and get them thinking about us and not my son.
Dear Dating Without a Baby Daddy,
Your JDate profile says that you are divorced and that you have a child, so it bears some explanation that the two are not connected. I think you should make mention that you adopted your son as a single mother in the About Me portion of your profile, but also state that you’re looking for someone who is a mate to you first and foremost. Once you meet your dates and they start asking questions, politely say that you want to get to know each other first before bringing your son into the equation. You may get a response such as “well, isn’t your son a part of you?” and that’s a good point. You can answer yes, but don’t get defensive, and then give a quick rundown as to your history and change the subject. Your son, and the decision and process of adoption, are a huge part of your life. Can a guy really get to know you without that information?
Major conundrum – I’m 41, not yet married, still would like to have a family but the odds are not looking good. I’ve received 4 emails in 5 months. I email women, they don’t have the courtesy to even respond with a thank you or no thank you. Then you’re left to wonder if they are a member and can read the emails or not. Some women aren’t even posting photos! Any insight?
Dear Major Conundrum,
Keep sending out emails and don’t let the ones who don’t respond (or don’t post photos) get to you. It’s not personal. Only worry about what you can control such as: what are you saying in your emails? How long or short are they? Are you commenting and asking about the women or just talking about yourself? How does your profile come across? Are the photos up to date and flattering? Does your About Me say that you’re “41, not married but still holding out hope that you’ll have a family” or does it say “I’m losing hope that I’ll never have a family since I’m 41 and still single”? Don’t let your frustration come across in your profile. Are your preferences broad and realistic?
As for not hearing back from women you’re emailed, it’s not nice and I’ve written about it before. People should at least write back “thanks but no thanks” if they are paid members and can read their email. But most don’t. Why? Because it’s awkward rejecting someone. So just shake it off and move forward. JDate has the numbers in your favor, so keep emailing because the more emails you send the more replies you’ll receive.
Why don’t people post answers to the questions, why don’t they post pictures, and why don’t they have a screen name instead of the serial number JDate gives them?
Dear Half-Hearted Profiles?
Respectively, I don’t know, I don’t know, and well, I don’t know. These are good questions and simply put, if someone didn’t take the time to complete their profile then you don’t need to take the time to look at their profile. It’s their loss and it’s a shame. I don’t understand why someone would sign up and then not finish filling out the questionnaire or post some photos. If you like the part of the profile you do see then it can’t hurt to send a message letting them know that you’d like to learn more, but don’t take it personally if you don’t hear back. Check out these links to see what I previously had to say about these topics: What’s in a Name? Everything. and Under Interrogation. Lastly, don’t let your frustration with people’s half-hearted profiles linger because then you’re letting their dating issues effect your dates.
I am an older, single male with no children. I realize most of the women my age have children in high school, college or beyond and I recognize the importance of those relationships. However, I do not understand why these women are posting [multiple] pictures with their children, other family members and their pets. This is a dating service for adults. It is not a service for child adoption. Or pet adoption. I think the logical progression is for the adults to meet, and if there is chemistry, to form a relationship with each other. If we get past this step, then we can see if / how the partner and the children, family and pets are compatible. I am here to, initially, meet a woman – not her children, parents, girlfriends or pets. I can understand one picture with, say, a single person’s pet, but what I am seeing in terms of children, parents and friends in multiple photos does not make sense to me. Again, the written information states whether an individual has children and whether they live with the person. One would expect to meet them, later, if a relationship developed.
Dear Photo Flop,
I agree with you 100% and in Picture Perfect and More Picture Perfect I discussed how to post appropriate photos. After posting a few of yourself — face, full body, in action — only then is it okay to post ONE of you with your pet or another person both of which you must quickly refer to in your About Me paragraph.
I don’t think parents or kids should be a part of your photos because this is about you right now and not your family. Let your prospective dates get to see you without any distractions. That said, posting photos of loved ones is not a make or break. If the woman has everything you’re looking for and you’re attracted to her, then don’t let her photos stand in the way. People are proud of their kids, their parent’s lasting marriage, their adorable dog, etc and they think it’s compelling (even when it’s not). At the end of the day, are you going to reject your Beshert because she put a photo of her and her chihuahuas in her profile?