Online Dating for Geeks – Profiles

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.


5 Responses to Online Dating for Geeks – Profiles

  1. jessimonster says:

    There’s more geeky men online dating than geeky women? Could have fooled me.

  2. Rick says:

    I have admittedly done all my _very_ scientifically suspect research in Austin, which has a thriving tech industry that may tend to draw somewhat more males than females. And of course the fluidity of the term “geeky” makes it hard to say who truly falls into each category. That said, it was definitely my observation while “checking out the competition” that there were more guys in my area who were _self-described_ nerds or geeks, even as there seemed to be more women who did things like say they loved reading.

    I don’t have anything invested in this comparison, though, and there are definitely a lot of nerdy women online.

    I think most of my tips apply equally well to women and men. In fact, many of the insights I got on how to build a good profile were based off my feelings towards female geeks based on their profiles. And the basic advantages of online dating for geeks certainly apply equally for women.

  3. Mike says:

    This is great stuff, Rick. Clearly, you labor on the side of the angels.

    I’m nervous about the self-deprecation/bragging thing: it does seem like a delicate art, anyway.

  4. Rick says:

    Examples of self-deprecation/bragging:

    “I’m quiet, right up until [2 or 3 subjects of interest to me that reflect my varied interests come up] or [I get to know you.]”

    “I like reading so much, I had to make a resolution to stop reading while crossing the street.” (Or equivalent. Self-deprecation that brings you closer to your audience is a good thing.)

    Or, from my profile, “I can usually only maintain the illusion that I’m cool with considerable effort, but coolness is only fun for a little while anyway. (I prefer awesomeness, personally.) ”

    The best thing you can do is to lightly play down your strengths as if they were weaknesses. Cute weaknesses. Which they probably are – strengths and weaknesses are two sides of the same coin when dating, so you don’t lose anything by doing this if you can do it authentically. And talk about your weaknesses like they’re old friends. They’re maybe a little embarrassing. Maybe they speak too loudly at parties. But you’re fiercely loyal to them, whether or not you want to help them change.

    What this all comes back to is you’ve got to always, always, always make sure it’s clear in your profile that you like yourself. This is actually the most important thing of all in a profile, and it’s mandatory. If you don’t like yourself, pretend your friend is writing it.

  5. Jane says:

    I agree, some people have plain profiles, it aches me.
    Once I was surfing online for a cute geek and I saw a picture, he was way cute, but his profile was bare..a simple sentence..and not even a good one. A crime I say. The point is, unless you show what a awesome person you truly are, I don’t think you’ll get much replies..Sorry dudes, I got my eye on the funny guy!
    Well all in all, I’m still looking! It’ll be allot easier if someone found me!!

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