Q: Last week you mentioned there was no Matchmaking University out there (“Ahoy, Matey,” March 27), and I just wanted to refer you to MatchmakingInstitute.com! Jason, Matchmaking Institute
A: Technically what I said was that there’s no accredited Matchmaking University. Your website is quite thorough, though, and it might benefit readers to know that you also offer the option for singles to submit profiles to your potential match database.
Last week, I also mentioned that I’d be tackling online dating this week. Specifically, how not to eff up your profile. Here are a few pointers on being your own matchmaker without spending a dime:
Update your photo(!) and make it a good one. You possess the technology to post your profile to the Internet, therefore you possess the technology to post an accompanying, recent photo. It’s disingenuous and a waste of others’ time to misrepresent yourself physically. Everyone’s got a friend who’s an amateur if not professional photographer, so ask that friend to take a couple of photos of you and use them. Things to avoid: wearing hats that hide your face, obscured action shots from far away (we get it, you like snowboarding) and being flanked by multiple men or women. No half-naked selfies, either (unless you’re on Grindr).
Be positive. No whining about how this is your last resort because you’re too busy, so lonely or sick of the bar scene. You’re looking for a match who’s fun, right? So is everyone else. Nobody wants to meet the single mom with an ax to grind about her ex who’s usually too tired to grab a beer after work. Resist the urge to make self-deprecating jokes about trying online dating. It makes you look arrogant and, newsflash, you’re single just like everyone else out there.
Be specific. Everyone likes traveling, seeing movies and laughing. Your interests shouldn’t be a list of generic words separated by commas. Use the space to tell a mini-story about the time you stumbled upon the best pho in Minneapolis on the way to see the latest Almodovar film the day after you picked up your new Ducati. If baseball is one of your hobbies, do you play on coed leagues or have season tickets to the Twins? Stand out, don’t blend in.
Be honest. If Britney Spears is your favorite, put her on top of the list. If you’re a self-described cat lady, say so. The person you date will find out eventually. Lying about your age, height, employment status or living situation should be crimes punishable by banishment from the online dating realm. Too many people approach online dating with the highly illogical mindset that they have to appear larger than life to find the best possible catch — someone who is most likely out of their league. What’s the point of tricking someone into having dinner with you if they get up and leave before water service? You’ll have dating success if you’re truthful. What do you bring to the table? What makes you an interesting and fun person to be around, one who makes others feel good about themselves?
Respect boundaries. Say a hottie’s checked out your profile; you send a message to him or her but you don’t get one in return. Resist the urge to keep sending messages. It’s a waste of everyone’s time, and you’ll come off as desperate and creepy. Also, don’t drink and message. No amount of “I’m so sorry, I was drinking, I’m not really that guy” can salvage the opportunity lost when, after one too many Fireball shots, you ask the girl you’ve been chatting up the past week if she wants you to come over and give her a full body massage. Unless you’ve been exchanging messages specifically regarding her fetish for inviting drunk strangers into her home for sex, you just blew it.