How to Write an Effective Online Profile (with Examples)

Tips and examples to revamp your online profile

About the One I'm Looking For:
I smile when I think of you. I walk down College Avenue and I want to buy you a $400 purse that you pointed out but would never get for yourself. You like my kids. You put up with my mom. (She means well; really, she does!) You fawn over me, cook me dinner, massage me before bed and have a highly developed sense of sarcasm. I think it's cute when you snort as you laugh. You make fun of me when I can't leave the house without forgetting my cell phone. You act younger than you look because I like mature women who haven't forgotten what it's like to be a girl.

My Idea of a Perfect First Date:
It doesn't involve a chain restaurant, a roller coaster or a movie. It may involve eating, excitement or entertainment. It definitely involves me, you and a long, drawn-out moment where we don't want to say good night.

My Perception of an Ideal Relationship:
After a 10-year relationship, I may be rusty about this courting stuff, but I'm not jaded by divorce. It's even clearer to me that there's not just one person out there. And even if you get lucky and meet a winner, there's a mountain of work ahead, no matter what. It's knowing that the work is worth it, that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, which redeems the institution of marriage. I'm not looking to jump into anything, but I'm a firm believer in chemistry and wouldn't turn my back on someone incredible just because I'm recently single. A perfect relationship is one in which the reality is not that far from your fantasy. As long as you have a realistic fantasy, you are bound to one day find your bliss.

What I've Learned from Past Relationships:
It's better to understand than to be understood. Laughter can save a relationship; lack of laughter can kill it. Having kids makes you a better person, but it will also complicate your marriage in ways impossible to understand from the outside. The Hoosiers will tear your heart out, but it's fun to have something outside yourself to root for together. Soup can actually be an aphrodisiac if served at the right time of night. And finally, this being-single thing isn't going to be nearly as bad as I thought it might be...

What PowerNerd does extraordinarily well is to remain extremely optimistic despite being a newly divorced father. You don't hear him talking about his awful ex-wife or his annoyance at the online dating process. In the first essay, he discusses finding a soul mate. In the fourth essay, he talks about the validity of marriage. In the fifth essay, he closes on a note of optimism as well. What's not to like about someone who has overcome such big obstacles and has maintained a smile in the process? Plus, he's a combination of humility -- witness his headline -- and assuredness, as shown by his career as an entrepreneur and a martial artist. Those touches, in addition to doses of humor about his forgetfulness, his meddling mother and the sexual properties of soup, make him a genuine catch for any woman who is looking to settle down with a nice, normal, grounded man. Subtle use of details regarding his love of Indiana basketball, his willingness to give (a $400 purse?) and his occasional need for personal space add to the profile. Alternating tones between warmth and sarcasm doesn't feel like a contradiction as much as it seems to be the sign of a fully formed human being.

Evan Marc Katz is a contributing writer for iVillage. Follow him on Google +.

Reprinted with permission from I Can't Believe I'm Buying This Book: A Commonsense Guide to Successful Internet Dating. Copyright © 2003 by Evan Marc Katz, Ten Speed Press, Berkeley, CA.

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