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So I’ve been casually wading through a very murky online dating pool for almost six months now (ugh, has it been that long?). I’ve now closed, archived, or otherwise dismissed over SIX THOUSAND "matches." Yeah. Seems impossible, right?

Who do I think I am?

All this time, I’ve been pretty passive about the whole thing. I don’t email first or break the ice or wink or whatever. And it’s not laziness -- it’s more of a control thing (I can hear you rolling your eyes).

Ok, I’m guilty! Like most girls, I like the guys to come to me. And they actually do. It’s just that they’re all wrong. ALL wrong. All. Wrooong.

One guy, for instance, recently wrote me and asked, “Can I put a deposit on you?” I was like, dude, I’m not a hooker. Or a timeshare in the Bahamas.


Clearly, this was going nowhere. And since I’ve already tried to decode guys’ profiles with moderate success, I felt it was only fair to re-examine my own. I mean, maybe I’ve been sending out the wrong signals. Maybe I’m asking for all the freaks and losers of the world to contact me. Like a secret message from the mothership.

Anyway, I took a hard look at myself on all three sites. Not at the photos, or even my physical description, but the actual words I used in my profile. What I’d originally written was full of personality. I thought it was a good representation of who I am -- an independent, funny, loyal, curious, hard-working girl with a passion for life. (Did I mention I'm modest, too?)

Unfortunately, nobody wants to date HER. She, evidently, has cooties.

So, last week, I put my marketing hat on to try something different. Instead of giving the consumer… er, I mean the GUY… what I want, I decided to re-write my profile to reflect what HE appears to want -- which is a pretty girl, who’s pretty plain.

First thing I did was downplay anything about my career. Driven? Not me! Funny? No jokes here! I took out everything that made me interesting, really. What I wound up with was a very short, very vanilla profile. I also added a bit of a challenge: I said I’m the kind of girl who is often asked, “How are you still single?” And I ended with a clear call-to-action: “Thanks for reading my profile. If you like what you see, I’d love to hear from you.” Again, I didn’t change any photos (there are 7), or my physical description at all.

Now, to be clear -- NONE of what I wrote in my new (boring) profile is untrue. It’s just that I took a zesty dish, like say, a paella, and instead made chicken soup.

The result? 36 guys contacted me in the past week. Thirty-six. Just to put that into context, in a typical week, I usually hear from no more than 5.

I guess the good news is I’m a good marketer -- and even as picky as I am, I’m actively emailing with 7 guys right now, 4 of which have already asked me out. The bad news is nobody is looking for a smart, funny, independent woman. They all want chicken soup. Maybe this is what I’ve been doing wrong all these years? I don’t know.

And just in case you might think this is a fluke, an equally smart, funny, independent friend who’s much younger than me (and a blonde!) just did the same thing. And guess what? She has the same result. Her inbox is flooded.

Depressing? Unfair? Totally awesome? Give me a piece of your mind in the comments below!


Anonymous said...

i like paella!

Anonymous said...

Why be someone you're not? No offense, but he'll eventually catch on that you're not "chicken soup". Then what?

jessica said...

I did the same thing. They were all looking for the girl next door, so that's what I gave them!

PS: It worked, and I have the ring to prove it :)

Jenny From The 'Brook said...

Anon #1: Are you a boy or a girl?

Anon #2: It's not that I'm not chicken soup, it's just that I'm also more than that. If it goes further than a first date, I guess the best I can do is hope I'll grown on him. Like mold (the good kind, like on blue cheese, not like a rotten tomato).

Jessica: Got any tips?

AB said...

I'm sure I've said this before, but I contacted Mike first. And, my profile was definitely paella with a call to action.

Jenny From The 'Brook said...

AB!! I love that you were a paella -- I'd expect nothing less.

Whatever I'm doing, it's working. I have more guys emailing me than you can shake a stick at. Just not sure I like guys who like chicken soup.

Too bad Mike doesn't have a brother!