Say you’re a geeky guy. Maybe you don’t really tend to go out dancing or clubbing under your own volition. Maybe you communicate more clearly by typing than speaking. Maybe you’re in a male-dominated field, or nobody you work with shares your unique, thoughtful way of looking at the world. Maybe you’ve always dated friends and are finding it harder to meet people post-college.
Maybe online dating would help you out!
First of all, a caveat. The mere fact that I have a couple of years of experience with internet dating in some sense indicates that I haven’t been succeeding with it, since I’m mostly interested in finding someone compatible and totally awesome who finds me compatible and totally awesome and getting the heck off the internet. (I was in a relationship for a while with someone I met online, but it didn’t work out.) So take my advice with a grain of salt.
Said grain taken, online dating has a lot going for it. However, you’ve got a lot of competition, because there are a lot of nerdy girls online, but way more nerdy guys. You’ve got to make yourself stand out.
This post is about the profile.
The profile is your dating resume, but luckily it’s a lot more fun to write. I hated writing my resume, because there are so many rules about format. But if the role of format in a resume is to prove you have a basic level of professionalism, the role of format in a profile is to show that you have a basic level of interestingness. So subvert the format in any way you can, as long as it reflects who you are.
You’re a nerd or a geek. Almost by definition, there’s something about you that makes you special. You are probably capable of hiding it, but if you pretend to be something you’re not, you’ll end up playing chess on a rugby field. Be who you are, 100%. The women who are interested in the same things as you are the ones that you are going to be most interested in.
Feel free to have a long profile, but don’t linger on one topic too long. Long profiles will only turn away people who aren’t interested in you, and tangents will amuse the typical nerd. Excessive focus on one thing, though, might suggest you’re one-dimensional. I’ve had good success with putting in some “hooks,” short call-outs of things I like or do. (Like, “I take the stairs two at a time,” with no other explanation). Like a good detail for a book character, it paints a picture of personality that the person can fill in. It also gives anyone who wants to email me a conversation starter, which is actually very important.
Be as positive as you can. Say what you like, not what you don’t like. Say what you’re looking for in a date, not what you’re looking to avoid. And remember that most of your personal issues could in a certain light be seen as strengths, if only because of what they’ve taught you.
If you are funny, show it. Any way you can. Remember that a reference to Monty Python is not funny in and of itself.
Self-deprecation in particular is your greatest ally. You can hide enormous amounts of what would otherwise border on bragging in self-deprecation if you handle it carefully. Basically, you’re going to need to talk yourself up as much as possible, and so it’s vital you express some perspective about it, because the sort of women you’re probably interested really don’t like arrogance.
There’s really no downside to saying that you’re looking for a cute, intelligent, geeky woman. Basically, that’s a free flattering for anyone you contact.