From Profiles to Emails: 25 Things Men Find Irresistible Online

Writing a great essay

"Whenever I read someone's profile, I like to see if her personality comes out. How often do you read a profile that says 'Tired of the club scene'? We're all tired of it, or we wouldn't be on the Web looking to meet new people."
--Jamie, 30, software sales account executive, NY

"I look for a sense of humor on display. Too many people write that they have a good sense of humor, but aren't funny at all in their profiles. Online dating is supposed to be fun and playful, not a formal resume."
--Shaun, 29, software development manager, NY

"An essay with a relaxed, warm feel and a little humor mixed in always keeps me interested and usually leaves me wanting more. When girls are uptight and formal in a simple description of themselves, it's a clue that they're probably more so face-to-face."
--Alex, 28, banker, NY

"[Online dating] provides a lot of options. People should be honest about who they are and what they're looking for, and they SHOULD be picky. I don't think it's a good idea to lower your standards to attract a wider range of responses. For instance, if you're a Christian and would like to meet someone who's a Christian, don't be wishy-washy about it. If it really matters to you, it's going to come up at some point in the future, so put those cards on the table right up front."
--Russ, 29, technology consultant, PA

"Originality is key. Nine out of ten profiles say the same thing. We all like going out as well as staying in. We're all close to family and friends. Write something that shows off your personality."
--Shaun, 29, software development manager, NY

"I've found that a person's real-life personality generally reflects the essay quite well. People with very long essays like to talk a lot, even if you aren't really interested in that topic. People who write clear essays are usually easy to understand in person. People with immense lists of things they want in a guy tend to be demanding in person. Women with disorganized stream-of-consciousness posts with no paragraphs or punctuation tend to approach life the same way."
--Brian, 36, corporate finance, CA

"I've read essays that range from 'I'm looking for a husband now!' to 'Just window-shopping.' For me, the essay needs to present a brief, honest summary of who the person is and her description of a good match. It's very hard to do. Personally I don't like to write about myself. It may help to ask friends to work on it with you. It's also a good idea to go back periodically and edit."
--Anthony, 43, online business development, NY

"Don't say 'I don't really have to be on here' or 'I can't believe I'm on here' or 'My friend/sister made me.' You're on, we're on... so move on!"
--Shaun, 29, software development manager, NY
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