How to Make Your OkCupid Profile Interesting and Readable

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(OkCupid original post date: 3/1/08)

I’ve found myself bitching about this lately on OkCupid, so I’ll just write about it and be done with it.

So I’m not exactly a connoisseur on this (in fact, people have told me I should change/update my own profile, but I don’t really care since I’m not using this site to find dates) but I know what interests me and what makes me read a profile in its entirely.

It is so incredibly rare that I find good ones that I actually message people with profiles that I REALLY like to tell them so.

Rule #1: Show, Don’t Tell

Remember at school, how when you wrote stories, your teachers always told you this? “Jane walked to class. She was sad and mad. She had just caught her boyfriend and best friend cheating on her, and now Jane was completely alone.” Boring. Do we care about Jane? Do we give a shit who she is? No.

“As Jane walked to class, she could feel the wind whipping the tears across her face. The darkening sky smirked at her, threatening to unleash a storm at will. Jane walked faster, thinking about what had happened. She tried to erase the image of Jack, her boyfriend, and Sarah, her best friend, entangled on his couch. His pants pulled to his knees. Running his fingers through her soft, brown hair. Her, on top of him, shining with sweat.” So the second one is not perfect either, but it’s more interesting, right? It’s more descriptive and makes you wonder more than the first one. The same thing goes for profiles.

“I’m witty. I’m intelligent. I’m smart. I’m a great conversationalist.” Okay, I really don’t care what YOU think you are. I want to find out for myself, and I’d be able to do that better that if you could “show” me something about yourself so I can come to these conclusions. For example, instead of saying “I’m smart and curious” say something that would make ME think that you’re smart and curious. Eg. “I like watching ‘How It’s Made’ on the Discovery Channel” or “I like to go to bookstores and read the first page of random books.” Or instead of saying “I’m a great cook” say “I really enjoy cooking”. Most people who enjoy cooking are usually good at it, no? Let the reader “discover” something about you, instead of shoving it in their face. It’s boring. What’s more, what if you meet the person, and he/she is DOESN’T find you bright, witty and intelligent like you said? Yeah.

Rule #2: Use ‘I Like’ Wording Rather than ‘I Am’ Wording

This is kind of like the first rule, but more specific. It’s fine to say things like “I’m a student” or “I’m a teacher” which just tell the reader what you do with your life. Try to stay away from saying things like “I’m an amazing friend and listener. I’m a movie connoisseur. I’m great with cars.” How about “I enjoy listening to people. I like to watch movies, and sometimes write reviews on the ones that interest me. I happen to know a thing or two about cars.” Think about it: If you were to meet someone in real life, and they said to you “Tell me about yourself,” would you really say “I am an amazing friend and listener, a movie connoisseur and great with cars?” Nooo. Because then the other person would think “Okay, evidently, he/she’s a pompous ass too.”

Rule #3: Don’t Give Descriptions of What You Look Like

This one is pretty obvious. Okcupid has a lovely section that asks for your height and ethnicity, and get this: AN ENTIRE SECTION DEVOTED TO PICTURES. Beyond that, people don’t need to read how YOU describe yourself. “I’m 6’5, blond, with green eyes and a great sense of humor.” Good for you. I can see from your pictures what you look like, and even if you are good-looking, I don’t care anymore, because YOU obviously feel that you’re hot shit too and that’s totally off-putting.

Those are the main things I can think of right now. In a nutshell: Don’t be arrogant, do reveal interesting things about yourself that will intrigue others instead of “telling” them about you, and don’t try to “sell” yourself: your profile is not a resume.


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