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Online Dating Tips

“In the beginning…”

“Call me Ishmael.”

“It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.”

“I am an invisible man.”

“Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins.”

First lines are important and so are first impressions. While the above first lines helped make their respective literary works well-known, I would not recommend any of them for the opening lines of your online dating profile. They are trite, obvious, abstract, pessimistic, and downright inappropriate, respectfully.

We often spend a lot of time finding the most attractive profile photo, but not all online first impressions are based on them. One overlooked way to make a stunning first impression is through the first two lines of the “About Me” section of your CatholicMatch profile.

When you write the “About Me” section, you need to consider the impact of your words. Your profile is an advertisement of you. Not everyone is a talented writer, but there are some basic ways to put your best words forward on CatholicMatch. The first 200 characters are of greater importance because they are visible before someone even opens your profile. They appear on member profile pages in the activity stream in the center of the home page and in the “Who’s Viewed Me” section.

Make those 200 characters count. Today’s online world demands that; tweets, texts,  headlines and sound bytes are competing for our attention. You don’t want your profile to sound like everyone else’s. Be specific, honest, enticing and optimistic. Craft these two lines into a unique reflection of you. Keep in mind who you are, who you want to meet and where you are: on a Catholic website to meet and fall in love with another Catholic.

 

Tried & boring

If it was once in a personal ad in the newspaper, don’t use it. If the information is obvious by your photo or general stats (age, race, location or gender) eliminate it. If it isn’t in descriptive and concrete language, revise it. Avoid being negative; none of us are seeking someone who doesn’t believe that love is possible or that they are not desirable. Finally, do not include offensive language or concepts. One would think that goes without saying, but sexist, crude, and sexually suggestive profiles are out there. They may catch attention, but they are not to be trusted.

 

4 fine examples

At first glance Jenny-872030’s beginning sentence may not seem all that special, but something about it caught my attention. It’s the contrast of the big and the small that makes it sparkle. The man she is looking for will find great value in the gift of her large family and small-town nature. She tells us a lot about herself in that simple sentence of two contrasts.

Matt-61677 immediately caught my attention with his first line. In fact, he commanded it with “Heads up!” Then I just couldn’t help be curious about how he would make a musical out of a shopping trip. I can honestly say that I’ve never seen another man refer to shopping in his first few lines. Matt knows what women like!

If you have a creative and socially adventurous spirit, let it shine in those first 200 characters. Randall-315762 does this in his profile by imitating an answering machine. That’s a charming, inviting, and original approach.

Should you find yourself struggling for the right words to attract your next date that hopefully will lead to the altar, you can do what Tara-539245 has done. She used a quote from Catholic writer and chastity speaker Jason Evert to introduce herself and what she is looking for. She will attract a man who values purity as she does, and men who don’t have her values will likely not pursue her. Usually I would advise not using someone else’s words (some may interpret it as a lack of effort, interest, or seriousness about being online), but Tara’s selection works. It was deliberately chosen, highly appropriate, and it reveals a lot about her and her expectations.

 

Revise & polish

It is difficult to summarize ourselves, especially if we don’t want to sound cocky, insincere, or common. Online dating is difficult. Let’s face it, finding love anyway, anyhow is just tough. But we don’t need to stack the deck against ourselves by carelessly not appealing to the very people whose attention we desire.

If you get stuck, visit some profiles and study what works and what doesn’t. Don’t be afraid to look at profiles of the same gender. They won’t know you visited unless you tell them. Ask someone else to help — a friend, family member, or another CatholicMatch member (most members posting in the site’s private forums are willing to help.) Brainstorm a few ideas. Then write with a sharp focus. These are the first words from you to the man or woman you might marry.

(This post has been read 1,852 times)

21 Comments

  1. Jim-397948 August 10, 2012

    Looking for my last first date

    • Dawn-58330 August 12, 2012

      Hi Jim. Thank you for commenting. I am unsure, though, what you are trying to get at. And perhaps that is the trouble with this approach. I’ve seen this comment before. It may come across as too general, glib, or goal-centered (as opposed to person-centered.) A woman needs more to go on to believe that she might want to be that one. Sometimes setting a goal so far out makes us frozen in the place we are at. I will say that woman who ends up having her first last first date with you, will feel special looking back knowing that all the next dates are reserved for her. God bless you search.

  2. Stephen-725391 August 10, 2012

    NOT ANNULLED – that says it all and …

    • Dawn-58330 August 12, 2012

      This would be a good example of how being negative from the start can be a turn off. Stephen, I wish you well. May God bless and guide your search for love.

  3. MaryAlice-97161 August 11, 2012

    Lady Dawn, another well-written article! You write so wonderfully — instruction without condescension … so very helpful, too. I wasn’t aware that I could view other women’s profiles without being “noticed” as having done so. Thank you! :)

    • Dawn-58330 August 12, 2012

      Thank you, MaryAlice! I know many CatholicMatch members do not know that when they browse a profile of a member who is of the same gender that it does not show up as a “view,”. Hopefully both men and women will feel more free to take a look at how others are approaching online profiles. There is absolutely nothing wrong with learning from others. Or with making new friends who are in the same boat in the first place. As we used to say all the time in the forums here on CatholicMatch, “we’re in this together!”. Blessings on your search, dear lady!

  4. Michelle-641892 August 11, 2012

    I never thought of it that way…that my future spouse will read those very first words. Thank you Dawn!

    • Dawn-58330 August 12, 2012

      You’re welcome, Michelle! I think it’s pretty special to think of those first words my husband will receive from me. Makes me smile and feel all “warm and fuzzy” inside. :)

  5. Richard-143340 August 11, 2012

    A progressive, entering at my own peril. LOL!

    • Dawn-58330 August 12, 2012

      Hi Rick! Thank you for stopping by my blog. As to the topic at hand, I like your opening line in your profile. I do wonder at what kind of face cream you use! You look marvelous for all you have been through! ;) Do share your secret!

  6. Tara-539245 August 12, 2012

    Thanks for the shout-out! :) It was great to “know” the other 3 as well. :)

    • Dawn-58330 August 12, 2012

      You’re welcome, Tara! You certainly deserve it. You are one of our current bright lights, and I wish you all the best in your time on CatholicMatch.

  7. Paul-302787 August 12, 2012

    I like Tara’s introduction. I also like those who introduce themselves in journalistic style. That catches my eye :)

    • Dawn-58330 August 12, 2012

      Thank you for your feedback, Paul. I hope you passed your comments about Tara’s introduction on to her. Also, could you elaborate for our readers what you mean by “journalistic style”?

  8. Randall-315762 August 12, 2012

    Bad news, the answering machine is suing me for infringing on it’s patent rights!!!

    • Dawn-58330 August 12, 2012

      LOL Somehow I am not surprised by that, Randall. But I don’t think you have anything to fear; it’s just jealous that you are getting the attention of the lovely ladies and it isn’t. Thank you for sharing your sense of humor!

  9. David-562122 August 13, 2012

    Hi Dawn! Thanks for the advice. Well done!

  10. Tanya-63933 August 14, 2012

    I was so excited to return to the site and find out that you are a “columnist” here at CatholicMatch, Dawn! Congratulations! This was a timely article, lovely lady! As a writing professor, I wholeheartedly agree with your stand on the importance of the written word in a cyber profile! I look forward to reading your other articles.

    • Dawn-58330 August 15, 2012

      Tanya! So good to see you around again. Thank you for the kind words. I really appreciate them. I will be writing more. That being said, if anyone has any aspects of online dating that they would like to see explored in the blog, please don’t hesitate to message me with your suggestions!

  11. Ghazanfar A. September 28, 2012

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