|Is your profile withering away online? Is it attracting the interest of couch potatoes, the chronically ill or the guys just looking for a little action? If so, you are likely making at least one of the mistakes commonly made by women over 40 who are using online dating as their new discos. (Really…where do you meet men these days?)
|Unfortunately, all it takes is one major profile mistake to potentially sabotage any chance of finding love — or even a few good dates. Because, let’s face it, the odds are not in our favor, ladies. As we get older the man-to-woman ratio moves more and more lopsided. Some statistics show that for every man over 50, there are up to 5 women; over 60, ten women, and so on. Ugh! The days of sitting back and waiting for anything incoming are over. If you want to be noticed and rise to the top, it pays to create the best possible profile and keep it polished and shiny. Because if it doesn’t catch his interest right away, it only takes a single click for him to find one that does.
The good news is that unlike a lot of things in life, your profile is easy to change and update. And once you know how it is inadvertently turning off the men who are looking for a positive, fun connection, it’s really not that difficult. Here are the top five profile mistakes common to women over 40, along with specific tips to make your profile more appealing and reflective of the best you.
1) It’s a shopping list. Your profile is your calling card, not a wish list. Once you’ve hit your 40s and beyond, you kind of know what works for you and what doesn’t. Many women use their profile as a list of their likes and dislikes. That can be a turn-off. The purpose of your profile is to market you. If you do a good job describing yourself and painting a picture of what it feels like to be in a relationship with you, it will attract the right men and repel the wrong ones. So focus more on what you have to offer, and less on what they can do for you. I guarantee you’ll see the immediate payoff in the quality of men you attract.
2) It’s too needy. Here are some statements I see every day in women’s profiles: “I’ve waited so long for the right relationship and I hope it’s finally my time.” “I’m ready to be his everything.” “I’m looking for a relationship where we are totally devoted to each other.” While some of this may be true for you, it’s not something to put in a profile. The man reads this as you having incredibly high expectations and reliance on your relationship for your happiness. Remember, he doesn’t even know you. If you wouldn’t say it on your first date, don’t write it in your profile.
3) It’s not needy enough. Women in their 40s, 50s and beyond are particularly guilty of this. After all, you’ve probably accomplished a lot in your life without a man and are prepared to continue doing so. Be careful not to sound like there is no room in your life for a relationship. It often goes something like this: “I spend my days as a busy lawyer and my evenings teaching courses at the local college. Many weekends are spent training for my next marathon and singing in my church choir.” Whew! You can go on to say that you look forward to a relationship, but really…where can a man possibly see time for himself in that picture? Also, avoid these statements: “I don’t need a man, but it would be nice to have one in my life.” Or, “I’ve been fine all these years without a man but I’ll make room for the right one .” Men, just like women, don’t want to feel like an accessory in someone else’s life. They especially need to feel needed and like an important contributor to your life. If you make it sound like you can take it or leave it, they are likely to help you leave it.
4) It’s too boring. “I love spending time with my friends, volunteering and reading novels.” When a man reads this his eyes glaze over and he moves on to the next profile. It’s too generic, common and, frankly says nothing about you that’s interesting. Instead, be more specific and paint a picture for him. Such as, “A great evening for me is trying out the newest ethnic food restaurant with a few good friends and disagreeing about the controversial exhibit at the art museum.” Or, “Sunday mornings you’ll find me at the SPCA walking dogs and then off to my favorite breakfast joint for their fresh brewed coffee and chile relleno. I like mine extra spicy.” (Okay, doesn’t hurt to flirt a little.)
5) You sound like a Debbie Downer. Does your profile sound like someone who likes to have a good time? Don’t be negative or too serious. “I’ve tried online dating before and it didn’t work, but I’m trying it again.” Or “I’ve had a lot of challenges and hardships over the last 20 years and now I’m ready for a change.” Or “I’ve devoted my life to my children and caring for my elderly parents…now it’s my turn.” Again, this all may be true, but it’s important to let your prospective match know that spending time with you will be enjoyable…otherwise why would they want to contact you? When was the last time you read a man’s profile and thought “Wow, he sounds like he really needs me to cheer him up…I definitely want to meet him!” Spend your initial time letting him know how you relax and enjoy yourself and how being with you will add positively to both of your lives. You can roll out the “heavy” information as you get to know each other.