There’s a deal going on over at LivingSocial right now for Match.com, where you can buy a month-long membership for $15. With an additional 20% off code for today I’d pay only $12 to get a chance to write a profile that doesn’t ooze of desperation or “I’m trying too hard to be funny!” and attempt to locate at least four photos where I don’t look absolutely awful, and then show it off to the eligible men within a 50 mile radius. This deal expires in four days and every morning I refresh the window in my browser and wonder if I should give it a try.
My friend Joy started using Match about a month ago and has a ton of dates, sometimes three or more in the same weekend. Some of the dates have been awkward, some great, and only one or two she’s felt pass the Kiss Test (meaning, she has to be able to picture herself kissing the man – after most dates, the potential mates turned out to not have kissing potential in her eyes).
After Joy told me about her parade of men I asked her to send me the usernames of some of the guys, the good and the bad. This is such a wonderful thing about online dating – I don’t have to wait for my friends to get serious with guys before I can catch a glimpse, I just have to look them up via my fake online dating profile!
Two guys she’d almost met, she told me, had identical profiles. Word for word. But the names, ages and locations were different. One man was messaging her and wanted to meet but she confronted him with the identical profile issue and he replied that some of his friends had found good fortune in the online dating world, so he took the liberty to copy one particularly successful man’s profile. Joy felt that was misleading and told the guy so when she explained she wasn’t interested in getting together.
So yesterday, over my fabulous lunch of cold, leftover pasta and lukewarm pop, I looked up Joy’s Match dates. She divided them into two columns – the ones with potential and then the ones who were arrogant, boring, seemingly untruthful or jackasses.
When I read the profiles of the two men who had almost identical wording (apparently one had changed his enough at that time to be not entirely the same) I experienced a sense of deja vu. I’d read that before somewhere, too, probably in my casual perusal of dating sites. Ahem.
Google to the rescue. I put in two lines of text and bam! – pages and pages of results from people using the exact same dating profile. “There’s something very special about you. You are curious about the world.” It is called The Stalker Profile.
From what I can tell, there is a guy selling dating advice and profiles to men who want a leg up in the world of competition online dating. While Joy and I Facebook messaged each other back and forth over the audacity of it all, I listened to the whole voiceover spiel.
For the low, low price of $59.99, this entrepreneur will teach men, even if they’re not super hot, how to make women respond to their profiles, respond to their emails, and make women so horny, they’ll probably invite their dates back to their homes within 30 minutes of meeting.
Say what? So not only do we have to worry about catfishing and psycho stalkers and people sharing photos of themselves that are 20 years old and blurry, but we also have to worry that the profile wasn’t even written by a person looking for dates?
In addition to that, it would appear a lot of profiles on dating sites are just straight-up fake. I’m completely guilty of this. In order to read profiles and see pictures and decide whether I want to start online dating, I have fake profiles on three sites. But I don’t include photos and I make it clear I’m not looking to date right now.
But this dating profile advice program not only sells and advocates using pre-written profiles to catch women like mindless prey, it also advises, if you are a male client, setting up fake female profiles (copying one from a woman you’d like to date in another city) so that you can see what types of messages this type of woman receives, then theoretically tailor your own messages to women to be different and somehow so amazing prospective online dating matches can’t help but want to go out with you. He recommends using this <*> in the fake profile to signal to other knowing men that the awesome woman described therein is not real. Does this mean women across the nation are doing the same thing? Are some of the male profiles I read really women trying to figure out what kinds of messages her matches are receiving?
Go check out insiderinternetdating.com for yourself. Listen to the pitch. If you try to close the browser you will get a pop up window – twice – asking if you are sure you want to leave the page, and then a too-good-to-be-true offer to get the whole program for only $19.95! Wow!!
Guys – I get if you are nervous about dating. I get that you might think you’re boring or that you don’t know how to write compelling enough text to sell yourself or that you have an attractive enough face to grab a woman’s attention in the three seconds it’s in her match feed. But using a pre-written profile, especially one that’s been used all over the country and even in your same 20 mile radius? Not winning you any points.
Be yourself. Post current photos. Write your own profile and then have a trusted friend proofread it so you don’t come across in a way you didn’t intend. If you’re looking for a date online, you better believe the women you’re contacting know how to use a search engine and will soon realize your copy came from somewhere else. In an effort to attract all the hot, intelligent women you may alienate the smartest ones.
That $12 for a month of Match is starting to sound like a risky investment. I’ll keep you posted.
Photo used with permission under creative commons licensing from Robert Huffstutter.