Online Dating Profile Experiment

There’s been a contest running the past few weeks over The Blackdragon Blog for readers to submit their online dating profiles and have them judged by a panel of real-life women actively engaged in the dating market, with the winner taking a $300 prize. The contest concluded today, and the 3 most popular profiles were announced, and given out on the site.

For those of you too lazy to click the link, here is the winning profile:

Is the glass half empty, half full, or just twice as large as it needs to be? I dislike seeing things in just black and white. I like to measure life not by the breaths I take, but by the moments that take my breath away – when the volume-knob of life is turned all the way down, and I am snuggling up by the fireplace with someone special under a blanket. Or when the volume-knob is turned all the way up, and I am having the time of my life sipping a cocktail on some tropical island wearing a dorky Hawaiian shirt with Lei flowers around my neck.

Basically: You better love to have fun, or we won’t get along. I like to think of myself as confident, but not arrogant. I’m a very humble man. I don’t run away from problems. Also I watched my sister get her heart broken many times, and this made me realize how important it is to treat a woman right. My mother also taught me how to have inner strength and not get walked on. I am easy going, and I love to put a smile on people’s faces, no matter where I am or who I am with. Some stuck up people may think it’s strange, but you might find me making faces back at the kids in the car in front of me.

Are you able to handle masculine energy? I can be quite a handful. Do you consider yourself a bit dorky rather than “hot”, educated rather than just “street-smart”, a creator rather than a consumer, and happy rather than content? In that case, we should talk. “Everybody dies, not everybody lives.” — I love the quote, but have no idea where it’s from. 10 brownie points if you can tell me. 100 points and a cereal box top can be redeemed for the best brownie recipe in the world. Anyways… I just want to hang out casually to see if there is some chemistry between us. That, or potential for a friendship. I’m fine with either outcome – or neither. Maybe I’ll meet someone special online – maybe you will, too. Send me a quick email with why you think we would get along well, and we’ll take it from there.

This profile is a fair bit more feminised than the one I usually run, but this may well explain its appeal to the judging panel. As an experiment, I (and probably several hundred other guys) am switching my profile over to this one (with a few small modifications) for the next week or so, to see what impact it has on the level of interest I receive.

The profile I’ve had up for the last 6 months has been doing very well – I receive anywhere from 10 – 20 winks and/or emails on a daily basis. My existing profile was a lot shorter, more cocky/funny, and played to the strength of my photos, so I’m interested to see how this one performs by way of comparison.

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16 thoughts on “Online Dating Profile Experiment

  1. Take it with a grain of salt. Asking women which dating profile is the best is like asking women what they want in a man and we all know how much they bullshit about that.

    • I did initially consider this angle myself, and a commenter on BlackDragon raised the issue.

      BlackDragon answered it pretty well, and I feel that the phenomenon of which you speak has been catered for:

      Yes, it’s quite true that sometimes women will react negatively to things that actually turn them on, but in an online context, there’s absolutely no way to accurately account for when this happens. There is no way to read a woman’s mind when you’re on a dating site nor in this contest. I did indeed consider this early on and the two best workarounds are:

      1. We will not be displaying or discussing the rankings of the profiles that do poorly, otherwise we might be introducing the “turns me on but I must pretend it doesn’t” factor into the negative rankings.
      2. A woman will not display inaccurate feelings about a profile she really likes. A woman might say something falsely negative about an aspect that might turn her on, but she likely won’t say something falsely positive about a profile she really does like and gets excited about. That’s why you can consider the top three winners of the contest as reasonably “accurate”.

  2. Wow, this is really good.

    This guy’s a pro or had a top-notch pro writer put it together. Even as I started reading it, I found myself automatically mentally categorizing each line.

    This profile is like a mini textbook in action of game principles. Here’s my quick breakdown of him hitting every essential element of pickup/game:

    * skips the default bland openings and opens with creative description and sexual imagery/NLP
    “twice as large as it needs to be”

    * light erotic/active imagery
    “moments that take my breath away”

    * future projection
    “snuggling up by the fireplace with someone special under a blanket”

    * very light pseudo- self-deprecation
    “dorky Hawaiian shirt”

    * screening/qualification
    “you better love to have fun”

    * preempts the obvious objection the girl-reader might be mentally forming
    “confident, but not arrogant”

    * alpha provider / protector / family man vibe [especially useful with women 28-35+]
    “watched my sister get her heart broken…how important it is to treat a woman right. My mother…”

    * show me, don’t tell me rule
    “making faces back at the kids in the car”

    * screening the girl
    “are you able to handle masculine energy?”

    * sets himself as challenge for the girl / something to be tamed
    “I can be quite a handful”

    * gets girls feeling like he’s talking to them directly
    “dorky rather than ‘hot'”

    * plays into girls’ view of themselves as special little unique snowflakes
    “creator rather than a consumer”, etc.

    * exercises alpha prerogative by quoting hip-hop slogan, but saying he doesn’t give a fuck where it’s from, and not bothering to google it “‘Everybody dies, not everybody lives.’… have no idea where it’s from”

    * … and then creates a reason for girls to message him, with him rewarding points for good effort/investment by her
    “10 brownie points if you can tell me”

    * creates challenge, by preemptively placing off-limits a relationship
    “just want to hang out casually”

    * role reversal by threatening her with friend zone
    if there’s no “chemistry between us [then you’ll get stuck in] potential for friendship”

    * compliance test — puts the onus on the women, so that she has to do work and feel invested. Also the instructions are detailed and instruct to her send a very specific sort of message, furthering her investment and making her feel good about listening to alpha
    “send me a quick email with why you think we would get along well”

  3. By the way, you may want to consider using this wording in a fresh profile, instead of your current one.

    Women who’ve already seen your main profile in the past are probably not likely to read through it again or to even realize that you’ve changed the content. They typically just glance at new photos.

    So, a fresh profile, perhaps with a couple new photos (especially for the main/landing photo) and wording similar to the prize-winner, would make you seem like a new accountholder on the website. The unfamiliar photo would lead women to your profile and to actually do a thorough read of it.

    • That’s a good idea. I’m actually having some professional headshots done in a week or two, so it could coincide nicely.

      In fairness, 90% of my current traffic comes from new members to the site, who sign up and then immediately spend 30 mins or so browsing male profiles – 24 hours later, they’ve received 43782378 emails from pathetic betas, and they’re spoiled forever.

      Interestingly, I’ve already been receiving views from much hotter girls than I was with my previous profile. As a generalisation, the hotter the girl, the more she will consider herself a “special snowflake”, so perhaps this new headline is piquing their curiosity. My old headline was “I’m kind of a big deal” – a bit of cocky/funny playing on the Anchorman line, but I suspect that it probably went over the heads of a lot of girls who just thought I was being arrogant!

  4. Yeah, I discovered that it is a liability to be too sharp for your female audience. When possible, it can be a good idea to ask a woman friend to review a draft before posting it — not to see what she thinks, but to see what she doesn’t understand.

    And using professional shots should be great.

    But don’t automatically expect even a pro photographer to know exactly what sort of shots will be best for your online dating profile, since the photog might have most of his experience with headshots for aspiring theater actors, etc.

    On a technical level, you could ask him to use:

    * very low f-stop
    * on his dSLR camera and to
    * do the photoshoot at 5 pm,
    * so no flash is required,

    for best results.

    And remember to do at least a few photos where you’re:

    * looking away from the camera and not smiling
    * shirtless but in the natural context of an outdoors activity / sports
    * holding or playing with an animal
    * doing an interesting activity like playing guitar, scuba diving, going up a hill, etc.

    • You should open an online dating consultancy business!

      Good tips on the photos – I had kind of assumed the guy would know what he was doing, but never hurts to be clear with these things.

      My current pics include me snorkelling about 20ft underwater, one on the walls of the Old Town at Dubrovnik, and one of me playing with a full-grown tiger – always gets a comment or three.

      You get any quality girls through online dating, or just wading through seas of 7s and 7.5s like the rest of us?

      PS I still have to manually approve every one of your comment because of that email address you use!

      • 1. Thanks buddy! But, as always, I’m just scavenging and compiling other people’s good data.

        2. On your photos — yeah, the OKC blog posts specifically call out snorkelling/scuba as a great attention-getter. And I’m sure the tiger photo gets the very feminine girly-girls who like the idea of being protected by a man who’s unafraid of tigers.

        In general, when choosing a photographer or doing a shoot, I think it’s good to know what you need, so you don’t wind up with shitty conditions or horrible poses, and actually finish with some decent end results.

        3. Negative Nancy alert: My experience with online dating is limited. (Yeah, I know I should always have multiple incoming streams of women and that I could do online with minimal work and treat it as passive income… .) But frankly, as an average looking guy, the 6s I have access to online without working my tail off (and the corpulent 3s and 4s who chase me) just disappoint me and drive me right back into the arms of day game and night game.

        In fact, I’ve actually been ignored (or even actively shot down) by 7.5s and 8s online, who I then run into at social events /networking/ volunteering/ bars and those very same girls love me in person and show a lot of interest.

        Online dating is hypergamy in action. In fact, women are notoriously loath to initiate contact with a man online, but when they do, they do so *exclusively* with the hottest men — and they do it even more pronouncedly than men!

        Worse yet, women online “rate an incredible 80% of guys as worse-looking than medium”. This is a double whammy, because it means that a woman who is a 6 thinks that when she responds to a guy online who is a 7, she sees him as a 5.5 and thinks she’s doing him a big favor by replying.

        That leads to this result: as an average or somewhat above average looking man, response rates from females of the same attractiveness is about 40%. But that’s for all messages, including the introduction, and probably falls off dramatically as the guy has more chances to fumble and goes for her number.

        In your own case, because of the shape you’re in, with great photos and a revamped profile, I think you’ll be able to pull more solid 8s.

        But I’ve (briefly) chatted with enough models and hot women around the U.S. who are 8.5s and 9s, and I’ve actually mentioned online dating and they laugh it off. Women like that have enough dudes who are pursuing, and consider it “beneath them” to even process the thought of joining Match/OKC/Eharmony/etc until they hit 35.

        4. On a sidenote, I looked at the Blackdragon blog where the profile contest took place — and the winning profile is light-years ahead of the second- and third- place finishers.

        Those #2 and #3 profiles are basically just improved versions of the standard boring shit most men put in the profiles. I’m no great writer but my take is that they would be better off with a professional profile writer to develop some funny lines and bio points and then integrating some of the alpha techniques I pointed out in the earlier post.

        5. Re: comment moderation. I think it’s because I tend to include links. Any posting with more than one link gets moderated, but when I don’t use a link, the comment seems to go live immediately.

  5. I swear your comments are cursed – I’d just typed out a reply, and then managed to mash the keyboard to the extent of shutting down the browser and losing it all – it’s about the 4th time it’s happened now since you started posting!

    It’s true – really hot, cool girls have no need for online dating, and you’ll never find them on there.

    I mainly use it as an ego validation tool these days – it never hurts one’s self esteem when you get an email from the system through saying “You’re receiving too many winks today, so we’re not going to email you any more!” That said, it took me months of trial and error to get my profile to the point its at now. I’m not a photogenic person naturally, and it took a fair while before I had enough good shots to create my portfolio as it were.

    I get the occasional 8 through, but I’m lost enthusiasm in chasing even them days – I literally want nothing less than model hotness now I’ve realised it’s attainable through day game.

    • Agreed. The tag line was getting me more views, but then almost none of them were winking/emailing. Compared to my last profile, about 1 in 3 visitors would wink or email, so it’s gone out the window!

  6. if you copy cut and google that first paragraph, its all over the fucking internet – The average woman (as thats the only kind you’ll find on a dating site) is unlikely to be able to fucking process this and will flip it off and hit the next button in seconds.

    • Indeed. This was some time ago now, and was just after the initial contest was run, so hadn’t become too widespread at the time. As mentioned in a prior comment, I recall at the time it wasn’t doing even remotely as well as the one I had come up with myself, so I got rid of it.

  7. wow ! I just had someone on OK cupid write me with this intro letter, of course I had to google it and realize the guy was a total hoax and fraud, why do men have the need to lie about who they are and the way they look on the net and dating sites in general?

    • Low self-esteem.

      They feel like who they are is not good enough, and that they do not really deserve the women they are trying to attract, and so they look to the internet for scripted “magic words” they can use to give the impression of being much more interesting and confident than they are.

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