Cruising for romance via the Web is more than just a passing trend - Matchmaker (the self-proclaimed oldest online dating site) started up more than 20 years ago - but some of you still don't have a clue.
A quality profile is central to fruitful online dating; you have to put together something that will attract potential dates. There is no room for bad profiles in our electronic age, a time when even the family hound can sniff out a mate if he gets you to key in dogster.com.
Women get a bit of a break from profile pressure, as the intensely visual male of the species will focus on a woman's picture rather than her list of favorite movies.
But men-seeking-women profiles are heavily scrutinized. Women date online much the way they shop: in pairs, searching for something that will fit their style, then studying its fit and flaws.
A Match.com-using friend and I enjoy sitting over a glass of wine, flipping through the potential suitors and reading profiles of "The Good Ones," which loosely translates to anyone who isn't pictured next to his gun cabinet.
From the deluge of profiles I've skimmed during the past weeks, it's clear that men were not blessed with the skill set needed to pen a decent bio. And your profile does matter to women, more than the picture. We read every word, discussing the manifest and latent meaning of your phrases.
So take these tips from me on building a better girl-getting profile:
Women desiring babies will pay close attention to your baby-wanting status, so make sure you mean what you say. Also, if your profile states you don't want kids, don't pester women who do.
Do not lie about your height or weight, or your first date will be over the minute she sees you. She might hold out for the free cup of coffee, but in her mind, you're dead in the water.
Recognize your unique selling proposition. What above-average qualities do you have? That's what you lead with. Do not lead with, "I love sports, especially football" - this doesn't set you apart from so much as a junior high school boy.
"Wow, Jenny, this guy loves football!"
"No way! Let me see!"
Emit confidence, forgoing un-certainty such as, "Um, let me see. Geez. I guess I'm really into sports. ... " You waste your time and ours with meaningless phrases.
It's a smart move to show your affectionate side by posting a photo of you and a dog in your gallery, but do not resort to deceit. If the dog isn't technically yours, make sure you say that on the caption.
Your "About Me" paragraph can make or break your profile with its one-two punch of grammar and content demands. Best to find a woman who's strong in English to edit it for you. She can catch any errors and screen for anti-lady content such as pictures of your car engine or pro-wrestling talk.
As cool as you think you may look, make sure you include a photo of yourself without the sunglasses.
It's creepy to list the high end of your desired age range as younger than your age. Profiles commonly list a 40-something man as seeking a 25- to 32-year-old woman. I'm telling you, women study these profiles like nutritional statements on yogurt cartons. Ageism will tick off many a skirt.