If you know me at all, you know I’m one of the most outgoing people around. I like to sing, play ping pong and tennis, wear pink, try the newest restaurants, and do math.  (I guess I have the left and right brain thing going.)

Now, let me introduce you to my friend Diane: Diane is an accountant who travels to a new country every year, loves to cook (especially lasagna), is from the South, and whose favorite hobby is making quilts.

We sound nothing alike, do we?

Now I’d like to describe myself in online dating profile form:

I’m fit, intelligent, and I love to laugh and have fun. My family and friends are the most important things in my life, and I’m lucky to be surrounded by great people. I would love the opportunity to travel more and find the time to see the world. I like to get out and have a good time, but I also enjoy the occasional night in with dinner and a movie.

Ok, Diane – it’s your turn:

I’m fit, intelligent, and I love to laugh and have fun. My family and friends are the most important things in my life, and I’m lucky to be surrounded by great people. I would love the opportunity to travel more and find the time to see the world. I like to get out and have a good time, but I also enjoy the occasional night in with dinner and a movie.

Amazing! Diane and I are so different, yet somehow we sound exactly the same. When you peruse the online dating sites, many of the profiles say some variation of the exact same thing. Did we learn anything about this person? Nope. This could be me, this could be Diane… could it be you, too?

The key to online dating is to differentiate yourself, lest you fall into “Generic Profile Land.” Some common phrases to avoid include:

  • It’s hard to write about myself. (That’s what I’m here for, to help you stand out.)
  • I am funny, smart, loyal, fun, intelligent, etc. (These are what I call “empty adjectives.” Show, don’t tell.)
  • I can’t believe I’m doing this. (We’re all in the same boat. Get over it.)
  • I’m just as comfortable in a dress/tux as I am in jeans and a t-shirt. (It’s better to share what you like to do and where you like to go.)
  • I’m attractive/look younger than my age. (Let someone decide that for him/herself after viewing your photos. And don’t forget these photo tips.)

Let’s try this again:

I think puns are a sign of intelligence… or maybe that’s just me rationalizing how often I make them. I’m a singing, pink-wearing, math/econ-loving, racket sport-playing, well-traveled, very fit foodie who is in a good mood 99.872% of the time. Always on the go, you’ll find me at any event, ranging from a trivia night to a concert to a happy hour to my acting class to the newest restaurant in the city. I’ll try anything once, and I thrive on meeting new people and will talk to anyone. You make friends in the strangest and most wonderful places that way. Just having finished my MBA at night, I’m making full use of my newfound free time. Want to join me?

This person is unique. This person is quirky. This person will get dates. This person is me… and it was this profile that led me to the love of my life, Jeremy.

 

7 Comments

  1. Rob Goranson

    I must say i find Erika Ettin’s pictures on her J-Date articles enchanting! And her writing is eloquent. Erika, are you attached?

  2. YAHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

  3. She sounds way too busy for sitting around on a laptop scrollng through profiles, or to even have time for one date let alone the dozens she’ll get offered.

  4. Dr. Anwar Shah

    Interesting.

  5. Christine

    I think it’s great and it is exactly what I would like to read about the Mr. Right who IS out there wasting time with the generics when the right gal is on her way. I’m all in and thank you Erika for the inspiration that will make it that much easier to find the good, the better, and then the best. Love it!

  6. I agree with you about people on dating sites using common phrases. I swear, sometimes it seems like I am just looking at the same profiles with different photos! I am glad that you found the love of your life and that your quirky description got you dates. I hope more people using dating apps read your post and learn from your advice!

  7. Keith Kosierowski

    Love this. Thanks for the inspiration!

    And if Ms. Right is out there, don’t you worry girl I will find you!
    Ha!
    K

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