When great lives make bad dating profiles.

I read the online dating profile of a 43-year old woman today. It felt like the literary equivalent of a smiley face – happy, but lacking in substance. Here’s an excerpt:

I have a great job, great kids, great outlook on life and a great sense of humour. I love to do things and enjoy everything I can.

She uses “great” so many times that she sounds like Jessica, the Daily Affirmation girl – who’s really cute, but also just a child. At 43 years old, a grown woman has much more to share and offer. Yet, at no point did her dating profile – meant to describe her life – actually sound great. Instead it was unfulfilling.

Don’t get me wrong, I fall into saying “great” too easily myself and it bears correcting.

Anecdotes and Dating Profiles, the perfect match.

Rather than overuse an adjective, or use too many for that matter, her dating profile would be significantly more interesting if she shared a few anecdotes.

Instead of saying she has a great job, she could describe what makes it great. Is the work itself stimulating? Are the people a pleasure to be around? A simple anecdote or clue about what makes her job worthy would be far more compelling.

And what about her kids? That she mentions them in her dating profile indicates that they enrich her life.

I applaud her for not saying how old they are (important safety measure). She also didn’t post photos of them – also commendable.

However, she could share an anecdote about what makes their lives together great. For instance, do they have retro nights where they play charades, or do they like to go off on impromptu camping trips?

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Short anecdotes that summarize a “great” moment are far more memorable than adjectives.

Lastly, that she “loves to do things” is hollow. Who doesn’t love to do things? Instead, she should provide short, but rich descriptions of the things she loves to do.

If she likes to go hiking, then she could describe one of her favorite experiences. If she likes to cook then she could describe her best dish – or even biggest failure. A little self-deprecating humor can go a long way in making others feel comfortable with you.

Read a “great” blog on the subject, Online Dating and the Beauty of Imperfection.

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