Success is in the profile details
Find the bait that catches in online dating pools
The profiles are witty, quirky, lovable.
“I live by myself, I pay my own rent, I wear socks that match and I love my mom.”
“I am addicted to rock, ’cause I am a climber.”
“I sometimes ‘fast’ accidentally, because I forget to eat. Then I get real hungry. And I eat. A lot.”
These are real men, talking about themselves through interesting online dating profiles. Radio Wright, a self-described “e-dating doctor” in Miami, found and posted them to inspire wannabe lovers and teach them how to dish about themselves on dating sites.
But then the good went sideways. Thousands — yes, thousands — of other men copied and pasted those good profiles verbatim and passed themselves off as the self-deprecating, adventurous, masculine men so attractive on the interweb.
Women caught on and Wright got emails from the fraudsters, angry they weren’t getting dates.
That’s obviously not the way to sell yourself online, says Wright, who runs a dating academy and does one-on-one coaching to helps guys jazz up their dating profiles and find someone special.
“Copying profiles, even a profile you think is good, doesn’t pay off,” says Wright, 36, and a 10-year veteran of online dating. “It’s better just to be original … There is no reason not to be yourself.”
Unless, of course, that true self is a shirtless dude taking an overexposed selfie in the bathroom mirror.
But what makes a perfect online profile? While there is no magic recipe — a profile that’s boring to one person might intrigue the next — experts in the burgeoning industry of e-dating advice say there are some basics to consider.
Photos are huge — and post lots of them. Men, stay away from bathroom selfies, and ones capturing your bromance with your truck. Women, you’re among hundreds of pretties who post photos of yourselves petting tigers, so keep those private, Wright said. Same with the photo of you jumping in the air.
And the ones of you posing with five of your besties, whether male or female?
“If your friends look like a bunch of scrubs, you will be judged by who you associate with,” Wright said. Don’t get lost in a sea of other faces. And if you have to clarify that the lovely woman on your elbow is your cousin or sister? Maybe nix it.
Men should also take care about what’s in the background of their smiling faces: women will notice that Labatt light in the bar’s background or your 50-inch TV and decor choices, Wright says. Make sure those details align with your values.
Women certainly noticed the huge sandwich Mike Drouillard was eating in one of his photos in Hawaii, and were intrigued. Drouillard is now married to one of the sandwich gawkers and together, they’ve launched the Vancouver-based business Perfect My Profile.
The message to that story? A photo of you shearing a sheep or eating haggis just might spark discussion. The generic “I like going for dinner with friends” becomes more interesting when you say, “I’m partial to spicy Thai food” or “I love hosting potlucks in my condo.” The more specific the detail, the easier it is for would-be suitors to break the ice.
“Bait someone with details,” says Sam Duggal, who offers online dating advice through his Edmonton company Promotion Dating. “Online dating is competitive.”
Some women get 50 messages from men in one hour, Duggal said. Generic information, akin to the cheesy in-person pickup line, just might make the woman roll her eyes and gloss over you, he said.
But while the profile matters, Wright says, “it is a small, ridiculous snapshot, really.”
Erinne Sevigny, 28, can vouch for that. The profile of Paul Adachi didn’t impress her.
“It didn’t stand out in any way,” Sevigny said. Even his photos were rather unflattering and the fact he was in car sales at the time — he became a massage therapist and Reiki practitioner — didn’t thrill her.
But Adachi liked what he saw in username Soleil31 (soleil means sun in French).
“She knew what she wanted,” Adachi, 27, said. Sevigny’s Plenty of Fish profile was simple but genuine, and included photos of her climbing a glacier and with her Belgian Shepherd dog named Nyx. Her adventurous and strongwilled nature was obvious in the details: she lived and taught in France for one year. She had future business plans that didn’t involve a 9-to-5 desk job.
“The ones that stood out for me were the profiles that were written well,” Adachi said. “From my perspective, (the profile) could be the most important (thing) because it’s the first domino that initiated the rest of the process.”
After the first date in June 2012 — drinks during which Adachi knew his date only as “E,” then a kiss to end the evening — every other online feeler stopped, Sevigny says. “I knew by mid-August this is the guy.”
Her advice for anyone diving into the online dating world? No truck or bar photos, please. Keep it short, because no one has time for an epic. If you aren’t quirky, don’t be quirky, just straight you. And clean up the sentences.
“I wasn’t going to hate on a comma splice, but spelling errors were an issue,” Sevigny says.
Most importantly? Don’t try too hard.
“Put the profile up for yourself that you think is best — and maybe that’s with a ton of pictures at the bar or of your truck — and you’ll attract the kind of person who suits you,” Sevigny says. “Whatever you put out there will have your energy in it and will attract those type of people.”
Trying hard, however, isn’t a crime if you want success, say those in the advice business.
“It’s like helping somebody dress up, look their best, give their best online presentation of themselves,” Drouillard says to people who are concerned their profiles won’t reflect their true selves if someone else writes them.
“Not everyone is a writer. When you don’t communicate in a well written way, it doesn’t mean you’re not a great person. It may just be that you need some assistance in putting on your best clothes, so to speak. … This is you. These are your interests. It’s fundamentally, in substance, you.”
I didn’t beeline it out of the salon though. I, like many others, know that many of the lacquers used in most salons contain nasty chemicals, but I kept reading Rick Smith and Bruce Lourie’s new book and got my toenails painted.
Toxin Toxout, dives into the toxic soup of the world we live in and how we can take steps to minimize the effects on our bodies and our world. That includes being choosy about what we eat and how we groom ourselves.
Without being preachy or selfrighteous, the authors offer a partial prescription for a “detox diet.”
“Most people we talk to feel a certain empowerment once they’ve read it,” Smith says in an interview from Toronto. “There are these crummy toxic ingredients we use everyday and we try to tell the story with solutions in mind … and let people know it’s a solvable problem.”
As the president of a small organic business operating in Calgary, Alicia Sokolowski liked what she read in Toxin Toxout. She and her husband Chris have been ahead of the green curve for a decade, producing an all-organic line of household cleaning products, as well as a residential cleaning service for their company, AspenClean.
“It’s a book that is “a great educational tool for consumers,” she says.
Toxin Toxout is a followup to the authors’ first book, Slow Death By Rubber Duck: How the Toxic Chemistry of Every Day Life Affects Our Health. As in Slow Death, Lourie and Smith treat themselves as guinea pigs in risky experiments. Rick sits in a new car for eight hours in a heated environment to gauge the effects of off-gassing on the human body. In another case, he’s in a sauna to see how many toxins can be sweated out from his body.
Urine samples are taken before and after each experiment and sent off to a lab to see if toxin levels change. In a word, yes, they do, and for the better. Sweating, it seems, excretes toxins from our body. The experiments aren’t scientific, but they are illustrative, Smith says.
“We are very upfront about what are experiments are and what they are not. The sample size is small … but they are illustrative of a problem, and a contribution to what the solution is,” says Smith, who like Lourie has a science background. Both of their current day jobs are with environmental organizations. They also explore the merits of eating organic foods by doing a multi-day experiment on a group of children from 3 to 13. They talk extensively to global experts who are committed to or have made millions in the new green industry, including some surprising additions.
Big corporations such as Aveda have been walking the green talk for decades, offering all-natural products with transparent labelling. Others more recently, such as Johnson & Johnson and Kirk- land (the Costco brand), have hopped on the “paraben-free” bandwagon, while big box stores like Walmart are now selling organic products free of phthalates, triclosan and parabens. (Parabens are preservatives used in cosmetics, but now suspected of elevating cancer risks.)
Sokolowski has first-hand anecdotes about how caustic traditional cleaning products can be, as the book also points out, including the fact many don’t list ingredients at all. Studies about women who worked as cleaners using traditional products have been shown to suffer from asthma and allergies, and are at higher risk of cancer and having children with birth defects.
Sokolowski cites the experience of one of her first employees, who had worked for a large cleaning franchise prior to working for AspenClean.
“She had asthma and had to use an inhaler daily,” she says.
But after working with the organic products for a few months, she had to rely on her inhaler less and less, she says.
Sokolowski and her husband were pleasantly surprised how eager Calgarians were and are to use their products and service, when they opened their business in the city in 2013. They’d been operating in Vancouver and are about to expand into Toronto.
Smith too, says consumers’ knowledge about chemicals in everyday products has grown exponentially.
“Five years ago, if we would have said the word paraben, people would have stared at us blankly,” Smith says. Now consumers are demanding the toxic chemical be removed from personal care products.
“Even traditional brand-makers are moving forward. I think it’s unstoppable … because of consumer awareness and improved labelling, manufacturers are choosing to get the chemicals out altogether.”
Meanwhile, I’ve taken to reading the tiny print on everything I use from my toothpaste, to shampoo, nail polishes and cleaning products. Wherever possible, I replace them with the healthier versions, one step at a time. I’m also trying to sweat a lot more. Hot yoga, anyone?
Erinne Sevigny and Paul Adachi met online and their romance blossomed. The couple agrees that a well written profile goes a long way to making that first positive impression.
Seeking love on the Internet? When selling yourself online, e-dating experts say being specific about interests can help break the ice.