Writing personal dating ads

Pretend you’re the person who’s reading your profile. Is it more intriguing to date someone who says he/she likes “to try new things” or who “once ate jellyfish in China”?

When stumped with coming up for a story for one of your adjectives, like “thoughtful,” just think of the best/most memorable/most unique things you did for exes.

Here are the top things I learned when working with people on theirs—that will work for you, too. But the e-Cyrano method would have you choose the best, most concise example of one time you were funny with an ex and put it into present tense: “When you have a bad day, I’ll dress like Homer (your favorite Simpsons character) and do impressions of him until you feel better.” 3) Write 200 words or less.

One engaging paragraph is far better than endless run-on sentences.

The end result would be a profile that read like a good article or book jacket instead of a dating ad, and when someone reached the end of it, they’d want to read more and contact the person.

“Looking for a partner in crime,” “Are you my other half? in neuroscience yet wouldn’t even get an associate’s degree in “Writing an Online Dating Profile 101.” Many of our clients were successful, personable people (from grad students to physicists) who would make great girlfriends and boyfriends—once they had a dating profile that made them sound unique, one that couldn’t be cut and pasted into someone else’s.” and, my favorite, “I like candlelit dinners, sunsets and walks on the beach” (yes, people still say that! If you look at ten random profiles right now, I bet you’ll find the same thing—everyone’s “funny” and “laid-back” and “adventurous.” I used to have a standard, generic profile, too, with a list of adjectives and facts: fun, outgoing, great speller (looking back, not sure how that applied), and insert-a-bunch-of-other-adjectives here. First, I would spend 30-60 minutes talking to the client.Every word counts, so you want to make sure every sentence and story is memorable. Besides, you’ll have plenty of time to share more on your actual date and during the phone calls or emails before the date.4) Double-check that your profile will be appealing to the opposite sex and test it out—conduct your very own focus group!

But when I started writing people’s online dating profiles for e-Cyrano.com, all that changed. By the end of our phone call, I’d pare down what they’d said into an enticing short story while marketing their date-ability in the process.

I’d make sure that every sentence focused on what the reader—your future boyfriend or girlfriend—could expect when dating you.

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