Why bother and try to be creative in the online dating world? Let’s face it – there is nothing new or different or unique about you no matter how many tattoos and piercing you disfigured your body with, so why bother and even think of standing out on OkCupid as a woman of exceptional value and wit. Stop it! Conforming and joining the herd is in more than ever before, and it is as easy as posting the template below with slight variations to your liking:
4 total: (a) A warrior yoga pose; (b) Rock climbing / fitness freak photo; (c) Photo near a very touristy spot such as Taj Mahal or Eiffel Tower; (d) Snowboarding photo.
I am a transplant from NYC / CT/ NJ who moved here (1-2 years ago) for an a-m-a-z-i-n-g job opportunity in (insert a name of an appropriate SF/Silicon Valley Tech sweatshop), and I love what I do (i.e. account management/sales or any similar position that requires too little brain and too much make-up).
I am really busy (i.e. super flaky and have poor time management skills, and I suck at returning phone calls / e-mails and tend to cancel dates on a short notice). I like to work hard and play hard (I go on an obligatory semi-annual hike to bond with my not so close friends).
I fell in love with SF and everything it has to offer (i.e. overpriced alcohol, greasy food, small talk, and all the other cliche things that the local sheep indulge in). My favorite hobbies are checking out new restaurants and bars (i.e. celebrating gluttony and binge drinking), hiking and yoga (because everyone else does it).
I am successful, independent (i.e. feminatzi), and ambitious (one a power trip).
6 Things I Can’t Live Without
I-phone (i.e. Facebook). I don’t really need anything else.
7. You Should Contact Me If
… you are God’s gift and looking for a female version of the same in order to celebrate bliss and immortality together.
See how easy it is?
“My Self Summary:
So, me in a nutshell… I’ve bounced around from LA to San Diego to NYC and finally landed in the one and only San Francisco. There’s just something about a bustling city surrounded by hills and water to play in, but I’m sure you know what I mean. I’m equally happy frolicking in the 7×7 as I am hiking Muir Woods or camping in Joshua Tree. Equal parts t-shirt jeans and little black dresses, I love a dive bar as much as any cocktail party. Often bitten by the travel bug, the last few years have brought Uganda, Zanzibar, India, Peru, Laos and Thailand my way. I know, lucky lady. Next on my list? Iceland, New Zealand and maybe a little Argentina. I’m pretty adventurous and love new challenges. Just learning how to standup paddleboard and I’m hooked! I’m fortunate to work in healthcare and strive to make people’s lives a little better every day. When I’m not working or traveling, I’m spending as much time with the best friends and family a person could ask for.
So, if an urban hike through the city to find the best burrito, an afternoon at the Seward Street Slides or a hike to Bass Lake sound like fun to you, I’m your gal. Obviously there’s more, but this is all I can muster into a “self summary.“”
Somehow, it became an undisputed fact that the amount of travelling you do is directly proportional to how exciting and interesting of a person you are, and the more you travel, the richer inner world you must be possessing. I know from personal observations that this is far from always being true. I have met enough people who travelled the world, and who sound so devoid of any substance or anything meaningful to share besides their Indiana Jones stories. I also met quite a few people who didn’t travel much – not because they didn’t want to but because they couldn’t afford to or didn’t have time – who struck me as having quite a bit of depth.
I enjoy traveling and discoverying new places and cultures as much as anyone else, and yet I don’t think that traveling alone is going to have a meaningful impact on who you are as a person, especially if you travel too much. Yes, there is such a thing as too much traveling in my book. If you find yourself running away from your problems and roaming around unfamiliar streets of remote cities or villages across the ocean for months, chances are you are running away from something – something that you can’t really run away from. Looking at another building and eating at yet another cafe off the beaten path is not going to solve your problems at home, and it’s not going to transform your pesonality. Extended stay in a foreign country might make you more grateful for what you have at home when you eventually return, and it might make you somewhat more openminded, if you are coming from some backwards town in the middle America, but that alone will not make you a fundamentally wiser or more interesting person.
The other day I was asked if I had a lot of stamps in my passport. To me, that question is as superficial or even more superficial than “What do you drive?”, because your stamps really don’t say all that much about who you are. Of course, telling people about how much you travel, along with posting dozens of photos from exotic destinations on Facebook is the standard part of chest beating and attention whoring, which is so San Francisco.
I hope that the next time I hear someone refer to themselves or someone else as “well travelled” I am not going to bust out laughing, or roll my eyes, or both. Or… maybe I should hope that it does happen.
Lack of creativity is one of the toxic byproducts of herd mentality and it permeates the world of online dating in San Francisco as much as it permeates local fashion, obsessions with dining, and general attitude. The easiest, non-medical way to induce vomiting is to read a few random online dating profiles on any of the major dating sites.
It seems that just about every woman says about herself that she is a “transplant” from the East Coast who moved to SF to work at an “exciting start-up” after traveling to 34 countries in 2 years. She absolutely loves San Francisco and everything it has to offer, and she can’t imagine living anywhere else. Every days she discovers new things to do. It’s highly likely that she is in marketing or pr expert and she absolutely loves what she does as she found her dream job. Everyone’s life is a blast, and everyone’s typical day consists of skydiving for breakfast, skiing for lunch and meditation for dinner. Everyone is a foodie. Everyone loves to laugh and travel, and they have been to at least 56 countries so far.
Also, no online dating profile is complete without at least one photo where they are standing near the Eiffel Tower, one picture snowboarding in Tahoe, and one photo hanging off the cliff near Grand Canyon.
I wonder how many of those singles realize how unoriginal and how unoriginally lame they sound. Having once browsed dozens upon dozens of online dating profiles, I was hoping to find traces of originality and creativity from all the ivy league graduates that bless the SF area with their presence. And, even though every now and then I would run into an entertaining/cynical dating profile, I never saw a profile that would be as shamelessly honest as I hoped it would be. You know, something along the lines of: “Some days I am happy, and others I feel bored, depressed, irritable, or downright miserable and I don’t always know why. At times, when I am surrounded by people, I enjoy it very much. At others times, I just want to be left alone and not be part of small talk or pretend that I am interested in something or someone when I am far from it. I loathe Facebook and reality TV, but I don’t have the will power to stay away from either. I love hiking and skydiving or just jogging, but I wish I had more time to do it and less time to make excuses for not doing. I drink way too much and my bills are stressing me out more than what I would like them to. I have my fair share of emotional bruises and regrets, but that’s life and I proudly carry my baggage with me.” – this kind of candor might just be a good start to be honest rather than simply saying that you are honest, and it might just charm the right reader out there – the one who appreciates and admires real honesty and self-reflection.
If you didn’t know any better, you would think after reading 10 random female profiles on any of the major online dating sites (match, okcupid, pof, etc…) that every woman is living a perfect, worry free and problem free life. Half of the single women have been enlightened and have achieved the blissful state of nirvana, while the other half is on their way there. Every single woman has an extremely busy and exciting life and tons of exotic hobbies. Somehow they have time for yoga, pilates, hiking, biking, tennis and setting up an urban garden. Yet in real life, of course, they barely have time or ability to make time to return their friends’ phone calls.
The annoying thing about the online dating ads is the utter lack of minimal originality that you would expect from any writer. For some puzzling reason, women assume that just because one of the sections of their profile is entitled “About me”, it means that they have to bore the reader with their biography – where they were born, where they were raised and where their went to school. Then, they have to mention all the trivial things they like, that everyone else likes. “I love to laugh” or “I love being outdoors, and tavelling.” Really? Who doesn’t? Why not mention that you love to breath too? “I am as comfortable staying in as I am dressing up and being out?” – why? are there any other options? Of course, no profile would be “perfect” without bragging. “I am independent, successful, honest, compassionate, easy going, down to earth, drama free, etc….” She only forgot to mention that she has an advanced degree in putting many self-serving adjectives next to “I”.
I don’t expect to read a literary masterpiece when I read a dating profile, but I expect some minimum originality, and you do see that every now and then. Sure, many guys probably don’t even read what women write, but some do and do so very carefully. One way or the other, your writing is an insight into your mind and into your soul, and the last kind of impression you want to make on a reader with your online dating profile is to suggest that you write what everyone else does and that you don’t have a mind of your own.
You are not going to come across as special by buying this amazing dress or these very elegant shoes. Someone else out there alreayd has both and you are not going to be the only one wearing them, but there is a cheaper but much more meaningful way to come across as different – through your writing your dating profile. After all, if guys wanted a boilerplate, they would have gone to Office Depot or Kinko’s.