Dating profiles - do we leave out too much?

Posted by Ria, 24 Oct 07

online_dating_profile.jpgWhen you meet someone for the first time, there is the getting-to-know-each-other conversation… ‘I like movies’ ‘what kind of movies’‘well, I am into the action packed kind of movies’.

When writing your online dating profile, you get to notice “I love movies and dancing᾿ on peoples profiles. Question is what kind of movies? What kind of music makes you run to the dance floor? These are the kind of questions most readers need answered… I am always left guessing.

Much as it may seem obvious, I know how hard it is sometimes to forget that you are writing your profile to an audience know nothing about the subject you are writing about – YOU. I don’t know if this has ever crossed your mind but in a lot of profiles I have perused through, its like people seem to almost write in code. It’s kinda like they are writing for themselves without clarifying potentially ambiguous points about themselves.

Your perfect partner could be online right now...

What are you looking for?

When you are writing about yourself, you are creating a subject you know a lot about hence it’s easy to forget to fill in the details you think are pretty obvious. Apparently, these details we skip aren’t as obvious as we assume to the person who is going to read your profile. While sometimes it’s OK to not over-elaborate (for example explaining what type of music pop is) some things may require a bit more detail to be properly understood.

Saying you are into “travel᾿ would not make you stick out from the crowd and will certainly not tell your readers that much about you. So you enjoy travel but one person’s idea of the perfect holiday could be another person’s total nightmare. What is obvious to you (’travel᾿ meaning adventure travel to exotic places or “dancing᾿ meaning ballroom dancing for example) may be completely misunderstood by others unless you elaborate.

Let’s not forget that profiles are not like a two-way conversation where the other person gets to ask questions if they want more details. That is why when filling out your profile, there are options for questions like “Do you smoke?᾿ – daily, occasionally and never. Think about all the things you would like to know about your potential mate and address such issues when writing about yourself.

Do you think online dating profiles should be made more elaborate or should people maintain some certain level of mystery to arouse curiosity?

Tags: online dating profiles

Responses to "Dating profiles - do we leave out too much?"

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  1.   sweepotato says:
    Posted: 25 Nov 09

    I think that one can write too much in a profile. The thing that each of us must be willing to do is to carefully listen and observe. The fact of the matter is: Men and women LIE. And it's worse online. Women have to be especially careful of this. Sad, but true. Men write what women want to hear, and vice versa.

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  2.   lisa28j says:
    Posted: 29 Sep 09

    I know that I think about this often and if I have had what I qualify as a great date, it is potentially damaging to the relationship and to my self esteem to discover the other person online and checking the profiles daily. I find men can be very touchy when suggesting that we mutually Substance Abuse take down our profiles while seeing if we have a chance to learn about each other. I think if you have been dating for say a month that both should mutually agree to take down their profiles.

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  3.   VA_SongBird says:
    Posted: 25 Feb 09

    With time... I began to expand my profile. I think sharing enough critical information about oneself helps with the screening process. Of course, my profile does not detail my complete personality. After one bad date, I wrote a laundry list on my profile. It saves you alot of time being approach by the wrong kind of person.

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  4.   NG75 says:
    Posted: 15 Jul 08

    I think you can only say so much on a profile. A profile is a glimpse at who you are. It isn't possible to give all your information........Besides isn't that what dating is. Taking what you know about a person and finding if it is a good match with who you are and what you want.

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  5.   cocokisses says:
    Posted: 16 Nov 07

    Sometimes when reading these posts, less is more!

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  6.   Briosky says:
    Posted: 10 Nov 07

    I wonder wether just slamming a photo and asking anyone interested to respond.With ''Al questions will be answered''

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  7.   wolf37 says:
    Posted: 05 Nov 07

    I believe people at times are a bti to exact. They are looking for that perfect person offline as well as online and are not as tolerate as they normally are. I know it is hard for people to be open and honest online since the persepective of people is to read between the words but and this goes for both sides people have to read the words not into the words. Be honest be straight forward with the discription of yourself, your wants and desires, your dreams, and what you will not tolerate. Honesty is important in this online venture. Approach the person in chat and chat with them for a period. Get to know the person as best as you can online there are times when emotions can be sensed through a chat medium and formation of words can tell allot. The most important part is to be on the up and up in your profile. Dont ask for a Don Juan a perfect male when there is no such thing. eveyone has their faults but are you willing to look past the faults and find happiness or are they just to big for you to ignore? That is the question.

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  8.   mossimo says:
    Posted: 05 Nov 07

    Great posts all, enjoying the positive ones most of all...how the yadda yadda profile....skipping past the good stuff, that is

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  9.   Ladyaly says:
    Posted: 03 Nov 07

    sometimes people say too much on profiles, but other times people don't say anything at all

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  10.   cocokisses says:
    Posted: 29 Oct 07

    Laugh Sailor, I love your post. Great points, and I am sure a nice, sweet, well spoken guy like you will find his someone special. Keep on being the POSITIVE influence we know you to be. I always look forward to hearing from you :)

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  11.   try2beleve says:
    Posted: 27 Oct 07

    i will agree to an extent that when someone say find out later to not pay attention to the profile, but it depends on where they say that. for example if their description of themself or what they are looking for says tell u later then i would not look at it and think nothing of it but that this person is not serious about finding someone. but if they put that where there occupation is then i can understand. i had one woman on here look down on me because of my occupation. even though i am going to school to better myself. we all dont start at the top, so u have to begin somewhere. but few seem to understand this.

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  12.   krisshan says:
    Posted: 27 Oct 07

    I don't believe in TMI. Give me more!!! GRRRRRRR!! LOL. Those MR FIND OUT LATERs are the ones that are not serious about finding a good partner online. There is something deceptive about leaving out information. Just like a lie, right? I mean, whose's really looking for a female aged 18-99? I've asked a few guys that and have yet to receive a response. If you aren't specific in what you want, you'll do anybody. No matter what the race, I have come across nothing but guys wanting cyber/phone sex and to see nude photos of me. Do I come across like a eoh? That's information they SHOULD put in their profile under ABOUT ME: Want to talk dirty to any female, love to jack off to pics, not interested in women that won't engage, etc. Oh, by the way, swingers need not apply. If my profile specifies Long Term Relationship, then i'm not interested in married couples or men.

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  13.   Dimpz says:
    Posted: 27 Oct 07

    Lol VT hun I hear ya!!!

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  14.   vt33 says:
    Posted: 27 Oct 07

    lol...old dudes hot..

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  15.   vt33 says:
    Posted: 27 Oct 07

    OK Sailor, you have went above and beyond the concept here. This is not a personal attack, yet if you feel, well, offended than perhaps I am striking a nerve. Also sailor since you are playing Magnum P.I. in the worst way, you should have completed the thought, it also says, not interested in dating, and I am looking for ME, MYSELF, and I. DUH! This is food for thought for women or men who may be looking for that special someone, these are just some of the pitfalls that can occur in this format. Some may take somthing from the piece and use it and it may be helpful to them in their search. Sailor all that you put well....chill pill time! NO ONE WAS SPEAKING OF YOU! Let me make this crystal clear I am not here to attack, just to enlighten those in the dark. (pssst..Sailor..between me and you what you wrote here...you sort of fit into paragraphs 2 and 3 of my first blog). Yet Sailor I am glad my blog angered you enough to read my profile and get salty about it. It shows great character on your behalf and a little insecurity. Folks, just look both ways before you cross the cyber dating street, again FOLLOW YOUR INSTINCTS! IF IT AIN'T RIGHT TAKE FLIGHT! till the next episode! I'm out! I have not mislead anyone, nor am I trying to mislead anyone. I just chat for fun, if I make a friend that is a plus, if not life goes on. So what if I prefer men 95-96, whats it to you?

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  16.   cocokisses says:
    Posted: 27 Oct 07

    I think you leave the basics, but leave a little mystery for the imagination. Write too much, and you may come across leaving most wanting to say, Too Much Information. Say just enough to leave them wanting more.

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  17. Posted: 26 Oct 07

    Interesting, vt33, that your complaint (about people's thoughtful profiles being too long) is wordy and negative, while your profile is essentially blank, with "Find Out Later" everywhere, excepting your age, "unemployed," men you're looking for aged 96 - 95 no pictures and a single rant against online dating. In light of this, your objection about people not giving enough information is inconsistent. Though I disagree with almost everything you have written here, the one thing I really must reply to in your post is your insistence on landline phones for contact. It's necessary to have a firewall between one's address and online contacts, until probably several dates and a good number of emails, phone calls, etc., for safety. Wordly travelers know Americans are one of the last countries to switch from landlines to cell phones. This is because we were one of the first to lay phone lines and build an extensive fixed-line infrastructure, which is now becoming obsolete. As a personal example, I don't have a landline and provide my customers with by far the most sophisticated and active customer service in my industry and they love it. If anyone insisted on knowing my landline or address, I would be almost as suspicious of their motives as if they asked for my credit card numbers or social security number. I have met some wonderful, genuine women through this site, had some really great dates, have corresponded with many interesting and worthwhile people on this site, have gained good friends and am glad to have this particularly well-run, thoughtful, caring and upbeat service. I have every reason to believe I'll find the gal who is just right for me, here and I think this is true for many others.

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  18.   vt33 says:
    Posted: 26 Oct 07

    Do you even have to ask if this? Of course important information is left out of dating profiles. Do you even really know the person you are pursing in the cyber world. The thing is to many people use this as a cover, half of them are married, have a bunch of children and are narcists, drug users, disease infesting everything that is important to singles, who are looking for their soul mates. To far and to few are we able to do a background check, lets face it, that is expensive, and if it is done, you find out he or she wasn't worth the couple of bucks you spent to find out about them. Here is a good way to read between the dating profile lines. When people list their profiles and it is this long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, (you following me here) list of sh**t about who they are. They ain't sh**t. Bottomline, they are gold diggers, narcists. Next up, Find Out Later, that means, I am married, I have children, I am not about nothing, I am shallow, I don't have a job, I do live with my parents etc. In all fairness that can go the other way, but 90% of those Find Out Laters, are one of the few situations above. Lets explore this one, "magazine photos", that means I am not that good looking, and to a certain degree, that is a sign of very low self esteem, or they are playing the field and have many, many, many people they are hooking up with. My favorite one, is the car in the picture. That I find offensive, especially from a man. It kind of says, look at the kind of car I drive, I am well off blah..blah. On a interracial dating site, it kind of feeds into the sterotype, black women are gold diggers. I don't read to much into men who do that, just shows they are not serious. Braggers, yeah thats my favorite, people who brag about everything they have and do. They are people who have nothing and are trying to get somthing, they fall under the long, long, long, long, profile folk. Point is, if you have somthing, you don't want people to know, that is somthing you want to share with the right person! Duh! "Fruit of your Labor". Thing is, this format is more difficult to find out later, anything about folks. I mean don't get me wrong, a person can fool you in reality. Yet this format makes it easier for them to do. People are busy these days, it isn't uncommon, for someone to give you their cell phone number, because everyone has one now. Yet people will accept this and it not cross their mind, why didnt'you give me the landline number. "Oh well I use this phone so why do I need a landline". Same can be said, maybe your wife or husband might answer the landline. It runs the world of excuse. I can say one thing, here is the true test if they don't give enough information, when you talking to them and somthing doesn't make sense, and you gut tells you leave them alone. FOLLOW YOUR INSTINCTS. Damn! another sermon again! pfft! Till the next epidose.....I am out.

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  19.   Dimpz says:
    Posted: 26 Oct 07

    LoL Please - leave too much information out?? Hey I've seen a profile on this site that is like your worst novel!! The person put in waaaaaay to much info.

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  20.   krisshan says:
    Posted: 26 Oct 07

    any profile that says FIND OUT LATER from start to finish, or even half that, does not deserve a second glance.

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  21. Posted: 26 Oct 07

    Great blog, Ria! In answer to your question of the amount of detail to include, I think it depends on the person one is trying to attract. Anyone remember the computer term GIGO (Garbage In, Garbage Out)? Profiles are great sorting tools and are hopefully written both to keep unwanted people away and attract our desired mate. I use detail and language to do both and hopefully one-night stands and couch potatoes will be scared away from me, while mature, adventurous and vibrant women will seek me out. It's tough, to write an effective profile, though. I personally err on the side of providing more information - We're interesting enough to make it still enticing, if we put the effort into writing and re-writing and re-writing... Dating is certainly a learning experience!

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  22. Posted: 26 Oct 07

    Luebella summed it up. Plus profiles are meant to be a starter, one can't describe everything. Also, some people may not think certain things to be relevant or true about themselves - who'd want to mention they're stubborn or stingy when trying to meet someone? But it would be good to elaborate - many people like travelling, but for some, a holiday could either be for fun and adventure, or to chill and let others do everything for you. These are two totally different travellers who might not get along.

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  23.   fala says:
    Posted: 26 Oct 07

    I guess maybe I should update my profile to mention that 3rd eye in the center of my forehead. On second thought . . . nah!

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  24.   luebella says:
    Posted: 26 Oct 07

    I am pretty new to this online dating/profile world. I believe the majority of us are all suckers for a great smile, a sense of humor, yada, yada, yada. It is pretty hard to sum oneself in 200 words or less. Pertinent information is good and handy, but whether in person or not, it does take time to know someone to see if it's a connection that lasts. I had a friend who had the worst case scenario. Met a guy online. Spent 1000's of dollars on phone bills, and arranged to meet. The meeting fell apart and this single guys wife found out ,and I leave the rest of what happened up to your imagination. Before things went south, she tried to convince me that this guy was amazing. Well, the guy you have never met can be amazing until you meet him when you quickly find out that not only does he kick panhandlers who get too close, he is a chronic bedwetter. No amount of hours spent on a perfect profile, internet chat or phone calls could have ever given you a heads up for that. Yeah, they do leave out too much, but who has the time to read 125 biographies? I think the trick is to get a "hook" to try to communicate what makes us different or special or what makes you "you". I think that in itself would be revealing enough to someone who really "gets you". I believe that "like" people eventually gravitate towards each other. Besides, the fun part of meeting new people is the mystery. We can never know it all!

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  25.   blkbeauty31 says:
    Posted: 25 Oct 07

    hey ria!!! whats up gyrl!!! i think on one hand, people "do" tend to leave out pertinent information that could effect a relationship per we meet someone. i would hate to find out something late in a relationship that i should have been told in the beginning especially if there is a direct contradiction on a profile. On the other hand, i have had to revise my profile and not reveal too much information because people tend to take that information and pretend to be the person that i'm looking for and change later on. so, that said, i'd rather be brief and feel the person out to learn who he really is ; ).

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  26.   Fkoi says:
    Posted: 25 Oct 07

    Of course we leave "too much" out and what we do put in may say more about us than about the one for whom we are looking. Plus, what seems irrelevant to me may be a deal breaker to you. The fact of the matter is that a dating profile cannot take the place of dating. And time takes time. The Internet is good for a lot of things. It can tell us the weather in Sri Lanka or even "virtually" whisk us there. But it doesn't take the place of sticking your head outside to see what kind of day it is right here. In order to get to know somebody, you have to get to know them. Just take a look at this site. If you look at 100 people who say their body type is "Average", you may see 100 different body types. One man's funny is another woman's corny. Ideally I may want to live in a beach house but if reality dictates that I live in the bus station, what good is ideally. This is NOT a way to meet that "certain someone". It IS a way to meet people who after time and effort in getting to know them, may turn out to be that "certain someone". However I don't advise breaking out the icy bling based on a profile. But if you insist, send it on over to me.

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  27.   hoganfan says:
    Posted: 25 Oct 07

    We leave out bevause we are scared of too ashamed to admit we never made our prior relations work! It's much easier to talk on the phone than type!

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  28. Posted: 25 Oct 07

    You make some very good points. But how do you know if you're putting in just right amount of information or writing the next great American novel? Just curious.

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