Real stories about dating and relationships in New York City. Truth is more interesting than fiction.

I’d Rather Date a Man With a Bad Profile…

So, I’m a week or so into my most recent foray into online dating and I’ve been thinking about my theory of good daters vs daters. In short, some guys are great daters: fun, charming, sexy – but they suck at relationships. Others may be lousy on a first date, but deserve a second look because they’re good at relationships. And yeah, this is an oversimplification and there is overlap between the groups.

I wonder if the same kind of logic can be used for guys and online dating?

I’m 40 now, so I’m not getting the same volume of messages that I used to (because I absolutely, positively won’t lie about my age, no matter what AND women over 38ish are less desirable in onlinedatingland). But I’ve gotten a few messages. And a few of those have sparked my interest.

However, all of their profiles kinda sucked. Even their messages kinda sucked, if I was going to be critical about it. Which, I guess, I would’ve been a couple of years ago.

My interest was sparked because I was reading between the lines and trying to figure out the answer to this question, if a friend was describing this guy to me, would I want to meet him?

Truth is, there are guys I see out there in onlinedatingland with awesome pics and great profiles. In some cases, the same damn ones they’ve been using since 2005. And we all know that it’s easy for people to hire someone to write their profiles AND all of their messages. So what? When it comes down to it, do I really care if someone has great writing skills. I’m not looking to hire a copywriter. Note: The top worst 3 dates I’ve ever had in terms of my dates being rude douchebags were with guys who had fabulously, amazing profiles. All 3 were writers.

I’m looking for guys I might want to meet/date, not the guys with the best profiles.

Hence my new question, if a friend was describing this guy to me, would I want to meet him?

Which is, I think, a good place to start.

Stay tuned.  One date scheduled for this week, so far.  I’m hopeful.  Crappy profile, but he seems like he might be a really decent guy.

Tags: , ,

14 to “I’d Rather Date a Man With a Bad Profile…”

  1. C_Girl says:

    This is one I really struggle with because I value a good email exchange so much—I think because I see it as a way that wit and personality can shine, which I think are my strong suits since I am not a supermodel. And I don’t require my dates to be extra-hot either, but I DO require that they be very smart and witty.

    Plus, the profile is a good basic literacy test.

    But you are 100% right: no one is dating a profile. The friend test is a good one.

    • Simone Grant says:

      I’m struggling with this, too. But then I thought back to my last decade + of online dating and realized that the great email exchanges were not indications of good dates. And, more importantly, the great guys were frequently men with whom I had limited email contact.

  2. Kelli says:

    Arrrghh… you hit on my weak spot. When I was on-line dating, the grammar and writing made a difference to me. Since then, I have re-considered my ways. I like your friend test idea. I’m looking fwd to hearing more about how it goes…

    • Simone Grant says:

      Grammar will always make a difference to me. Spelling, too. But I’m going to see how far I can get with this new outlook. I don’t want to overlook potentially great guys just because they’re not great writers (and don’t want to pay to have someone do it for them).

  3. Jen says:

    I like your outlook. You’re a better woman than I am. I will do my best not to be negative, however….there are some honest to god deal breakers. Spelling for sure and anything that raises red flags like the possibility that you’ll be chopped to bits and kept in a freezer 😉

    • Simone Grant says:

      Surely not a better woman! Just trying to get over my previous issues. I’m still keeping an eye out for red flags. I just don’t want to overlook a guy who might be awesome in real life but have a lousy online dating profile.

  4. Jenny Jen says:

    Good on you lady for looking at it as it is. The thing with online dating is the same as it is in the real world; even if a guy is hot as hell, and is packaged ever-so-perfectly, a good date does that not make.

    The thing with finding the one is going through the bad to get to the good. No matter how physically attractive someone is, no matter how ‘well written’ their profile appears, only in person can one tell a) if they connect with said guy and, b) if he has potential and enough chemistry to make it to round two of dating.

    I say don’t neglect that not-so-hot profiles, but still stay true for the ‘look’ and ‘tone’ your after in a partner. Happy hunting!

  5. pups4me says:

    You make some great observations and I think there’s something to your new outlook…makes me rethink mine. I agree that a good profile doesn’t always equal a good man. I think I’ve gotten more picky over the years regarding photos…and I’m not looking for a super hot guy. I just want someone that I’m attracted to, both physically and mentally. Is it too much to ask that the photo is recent (within the last year)?

  6. Oh crap, now I’m even more confused about picking the right guys than I was before! :) I’m trying to push out of my comfort zone and date guys I wouldn’t normally date. I’m not sure a profile really does say much about a person (given the douchebags I’ve dated) so I’m trying to go with a combination of my gut and reading between the lines. We’ll see after tomorrow’s date how well I do.

    So confusing.

  7. D says:

    I’m excellent at spelling and grammar, and I have a good profile (I know because I get a lot of responses). That said, I think women should discount all of those.

    1. Spelling & dyslexic. What if he’s dyslexic? I dated and fell in love with a woman who was mildly dyslexic. I didn’t read anything she wrote until we had been dating for a while. I almost fell out of my laughing when I did. I probabkynwould not have dated her if I’d seen that first, so I’m awfully glad I didn’t.

    2. I’m a pretty good writer, but most people aren’t. How often will you ask him to write you anything more than a shopping list? Most people aren’t very good at public sroaking either, and yet someday you might ask Mr Right to stand up and say vows in front of a lot of people.

    3. I have done a LOT of online dating and have re-written my profile many times. As Simone says. That just means I’m good St dating, not relationships (though I personally think I’m good at both).

    Think about it: if a friend introduced you to a great guy, would you ask for a writing sample first?

    BTW please excuse the spelling and grammar in this particular comment because I wrote this on an iPad, which has an ultra crappy keyboard.

  8. I really am drawn to the better written profiles or at least the ones that show he’s funny and witty. I think it’s that attraction to a man who’s verbally competent. The best dates have been those w/ men that have emailed several times and shown genuine interest. If i have to pull teeth to get to know someone via the internet, an actual date is unlikely.

  9. Charlotte says:

    This is very interesting. I’m giving online dating a second go-round and have recently started shopping for men online. I find I’m either too impressed with the profiles and am instantly intimidated (these fall into the very well-written category) or I’m bored to tears and can’t understand what we would possibly have in common. Is anyone else coming across a lot of the same profile descriptions? It seems everyone in land got the “I like going out on a Saturday night as much as I like renting a movie with that special someone” memo. Barf in my mouth.

    I am going to try not to be so critical and will stop judging a book by its cover… or in this case, a man by his profile. Well, maybe a little I’ll judge him. Like if he doesn’t know the difference between “your” and “you’re.” :)

  10. Elizabeth Andrews says:

    I’m 40 and won’t lie about it either and have noticed a real decline, at least on Match, in the number of men who write me back, as compared to even three years ago. I don’t know if it’s entirely about my age or if the rise of Facebook has made Match “deader” than it used to be. Certainly a lot of the same men seem to be on there year after year.

    For the male readers of this site, please know that the myth that women get inundated with emails on dating sites is a myth, at least when the woman is over 35. These days I hardly get any responses to the emails I send out and usually only get a couple of emails sent to me, usually from much older men who live far away and don’t meet any of my criteria.

    I recently looked at OKCupid again and it seemed like the ageism was much less of an issue than on Match, so I gave it a try again, and have been receiving a decent amount of replies, so maybe there’s hope.

  11. Argent says:

    OMG. So you’ve run across men using the same damned photos since 2005, too! I recently responded to a blog post about the Biggest Online Profile Lies. When I read a man’s profile these days, I tend to throw out everything that I’m positive was placed in there to trigger the “awwww” factor, (loves his kids, dogs, cooks, cleans, loves walking along the beach holding hands barf-me-to-the-end-of-love stuff) set aside for future reference the wildly “eclectic” and supposedly sincere collection of literature and music he’s into, subtract at least 1.5 inches from his height, translate “drinks socially” to “drinks regularly” and “drinks regularly” to “alcoholic.” My filter these days?


    What his photos say to me and whether he’s mentioned stuff he’s NOT good at doing. I’ve learned to trust my intuition instead of a profile, which means that I’m clicking past 100’s of profiles. My “daily matches” or “quiver matches” or “whatever matches?” Mostly I wonder what planet these guys are on.

    Men who post photographs of their abs get a sneer from me.

    I’ve become very good at reading photos. A photo of a guy with an intense look on his face, shooting rapids in a kayak, followed by one artsied up in photoshop and another where he’s striking a GQ pose – and the REAL one – down at the bottom, where he’s sitting on the ground, grinning, with his buddy, drinking a beer, and the most unflattering photo of him – THAT’S the photo I studied. And studied. ladies, I blew it up in photoshop – and I KNOW this guy- I just wanted to see what he was truly attempting to communicate.

    I’m dating this guy. Have been for 3 months. He’s sending mixed signals. I’ve been dating other guys, too, for grins and giggles, but this guy is special. He’s real. And it was the worst photo of him that actually looked like him. He’s sexy as hell, articulate, and may have read all that literature but I haven’t seen a sign of it in his home, but the music is there. The food he cooks is better than some sex I’ve had. We’re so compatible we probably fart at the same time – but since we’re not at the fart around each other stage, I can’t be certain.

    So what’s wrong with this guy? Wellllll, he neglected to mention he’s a neat freak. Everything he gets out he puts away as SOON as he is finished with it. There is NOTHING out of place in his home. NOTHING. He has hand towels folded over the bar in the bathroom – not just draped, but FOLDED. He hangs all his tee shirts up to dry. His basement is neater than my living room. His car never has anything but him, me, his phone and my purse in it. I was soooo relieved when he popped his trunk two days ago and saw his trunk was maxed. I almost fainted with relief.

    So when we got back to his house, I went looking. Casually. His “tupperware” cabinet is a holy wreck. YAY! His bathroom is clean until you look up toward the ceiling and then you see cobwebs. YAY!!!! The glass top coffee table in the well-appointed living room had glass rings, finger prints and hand prints all over it. YAYAYAYAY!!!! His side garden is a weed-filled wreck. And there was dust on every surface I touched. Whew!

    I’ve been watching him move around his house, in his kitchen, his living room, etc. There is order to everything he does, yet he’s not stiff or anal about it. It appears to be just the way he is.

    This is the one area where we probably do NOT fart in unison.

    He also forgot to mention (in this iteration of his profile – note- we’re DATING, not committed, so our profiles are open and we are (at least I am) dating others)that he is a custodial dad of one child and has three others. I already knew that. But I was a little taken aback when I saw this iteration of his profile said: Children: “Yes, and SOMETIMES they live with me.”

    Opine, peeps? If you have primary custody of your child, and said child is with you 90% of the time (toxic relationship with the mom) doesn’t that qualify as “Yes and they live with me?” His other three? All 12 and under. He may or may not have to take them as they get older – depends on how the mom acts. So far, so good (enough). He also indicated that he doesn’t smoke. He does. Not a lot, but he’s a smoker. What, he’s going to give it up for the “right” woman? Doubtful.

    He lays claim to balance, peace, compassion, kindness, gentleness and being “knowing.” Well, those are mostly true, but I’m wondering about the balance part. I’m wondering if a man who has the passion for the activities he says he has the passion for, and has the opportunity to engage in them right there, at home, yet spends much of his time almost obsessively straightening things up, is really all that balanced?

    He’s not just straightening up for me, either. Kids are great for leaking that kind of information.

    His life is so well-ordered I wonder where he’s created space and time for the long term relationship he says he wants.

    All I know is that if he called right now and said “hey, can I come over?” I’d have to say “not a good time, sorry, have plans” because I’m rather intimidated by his order and my home, as I write this is in sad need of straightening (which I will get to this week, along with dusting and vacuuming). He swears he doesn’t judge, but I think he does, because of one tiny little thing he said: “I’m not sure how I got the neat gene, because my siblings are slobs.” I asked him to expound upon “slob.” It wasn’t good.

    This is why I’m still dating other men. I’m not certain he’s being totally honest with me – about ME. The other night he gave me a gift – one of his “treasures” and I was gobsmacked, (he collects certain items that are of great value in themselves, but of HUGE value to him, sentimentally, because he’s an artist at heart) and extremely appreciative, since I know he wouldn’t have parted with this item for just anyone. Still – I have my questions, my doubts, my fears, my dreams, my hopes, and dammitall – I just wish he’d leave a friggin pair of shoes where I can trip over them. I’d feel so much better.

    Oh – I’m just venting. Thanks, if you read all the way through, and even more thanks if you reply with your opinions.