Don’t you wonder what goes on in the brain of an over 50 man when he’s cruising through women’s online dating profiles? I got a glimpse of a younger man’s thoughts and thought I’d share them with you.
In a recent browsing session on OkCupid I saw a profile that simply included a link to a blog. There was nothing about the article or the author, Jon Millward, just a link, I was intrigued by the guy and wanted to see what he found interesting enough to post. The article, Cupid on Trial: A 4-month Online Dating Experiment Using 10 Fictional Singletons, is a study of attractiveness, to put it simply and succinctly. But it’s about so much more. The article is well-written and the comments are fascinating.
But, that’s not really the point of my article, so keep reading…
I left a comment on the article which prompted Jon to send me an email. We had a few back and forths which ended with Jon offering to share his thoughts about my online profile.
I am fascinated by his observations. And, had a momentary fantasy of having a
date face to face conversation with this savvy, articulate guy. Even if he is one year younger than my son, age 27. Jon has given me permission to share our email conversation.
Like many of you, I struggle with my profile. (I write for others all the time…writing about myself is much more challenging) I want to convey who I am but not actually scare men away. It’s a delicate dance. I want to make sure that men understand I’m bright and strong-willed–in hopes that the horribly incompatible guy will NOT bother to write me. Not that it’s worked.
We all wonder what the opposite sex thinks about our profile, so I was more than curious to get Jon’s opinion.
…not stress your independence and intelligence quite as much – never, ever dumb yourself down though. But there’s a point where men probably feel scared off.
The other challenging area is the S-E-X one. Good sex in a relationship is high on my list of must-haves. But how does one say that with being inundated by requests to Hook Up.
When I read your profile, the main message I got was one of companionship. There were at least 12 references to things you and your potential suitor could do together – but they all had a uniform flavour to them: companionate love. Things you do with people you’ve been with for years. This is where things get tricky, because maybe that is a message that’s worth pushing considering your target market, which is men who have probably already been married and done the whole long-term dating thing, maybe for over 20 years in some cases. So it could be my younger, sex-driven, sex-obsessed self finding an issue with that. I mean, the guy’s profile you linked me to had a similar tone to yours, in some ways.
Maybe I’m going into too much detail, I don’t know. I suppose the tricky thing for any woman online is not resorting to the easiest way you can interest a man, which is by mentioning sex, or playing on the fact that you’re a sexual person. You want to give them all of the information about you that you consider most important. However, OKCupid is for romance mainly, not friendship. So that’s why I’m skirting around the issue of lessening the walks in the park, and increasing the “You’ve never met a woman who can make you feel as energized, masculine, intellectually-stimulated and sexually liberated as me before.” I don’t know if you’d even want a man to feel this, but…it’s what I want in a woman now and what I’ll want when I’m 57.
“You’ve never met a woman who can make you feel as energized, masculine, intellectually-stimulated and sexually liberated as me before.”
Love that line. Jon has succinctly captured the essence of what a man wants–it’s what women want too. Yes?
Jon gave me some interesting, useful feedback. I had to chuckle at his careful, almost apologetic observation about my hair:
The first thing I did when I viewed your profile and the thing all men, all people, do, was look at your photos. There’s no denying it, you’re a really attractive woman. I did think, though “She would look ten years younger if she dyed her hair.” I’m cringing typing that, because it’s such an unsolicited, potentially crude thing to suggest. But it is what I thought. The thing is, if you haven’t already dyed it, then you’ve almost certainly decided you’d rather not do that, and probably for reasons that feel valid and worth standing by. However, given how much all men care about a woman’s looks and indicators that she’s youthful, I thought it was something worth mentioning.
I loved the thoughtful analysis of my profile. Here are some of the questions I want to take a look at:
- Are men over age 50 attracted to profiles that speak of companionship and relationships or are they looking for the more sensual woman?
- Should we not talk of grandchildren, retirement, age and other over 50 factors? Even though it speaks to our commonalities?
- And, that age-old question of the line between omission and lies.
We can craft our stories or profiles to highlight the appealing points without deceiving. We choose the most flattering photos and tidbits for share to order to attract the ‘right’ kind of partner for us. The risk is, as with my emphasis on my independence and intelligence, that we will potentially scare off someone who might be just right for us. You can experiment with your profile–changing it up here and there. Updating, adding a few words, changing things around to see if it improves your level of activity. The key is to know what you want and figure out how to reflect that in each aspect of your profile-your photos, activities, what you read, how detailed your education is. There are many opportunities to shape the image of who you are.
ps: If you want more of Jon, you’ll find him on Twitter, @j_millward
What are your thoughts on profiles? I’d love to hear if you’ve gotten this kind of feedback.