July 1, 2019

I Get By With a Little Help From My… Dating Coach

Whenever I start working with new clients, I first ask if they are currently on an online dating site, and, if so, which one(s). I then ask if I can see the profile that they are currently using. Part of the reason I ask is that I want to see their individual writing styles, and the other part is that it gives me a sense of the “before” profile, or that one that’s ostensibly not working the way they want it to.

Today, I’d like to share a few before and after profiles to show what a tweak, or even a whole rewrite, can do for your dating life:

Before (Match.com)

Hi, thanks for reading this. I am divorced and a single Mom to an incredible daughter who lives with me. After a fulfilling corporate career, I now fill my days with family, friends, tennis, working out, and volunteering. I am interested in enjoying the company of a secure, educated, funny, athletic, warm man (close to my age… please) who is emotionally intelligent, available, and financially independent. 

I’m very active, and tend to be partial to a man that is active and athletic. Working out is not an obsession for me, but it is part of my way of life.  Having said that, it doesn’t get in the way of enjoying good meals and a nice wine :).


I’m a city girl (NYC and Chicago formerly) who lives on a golf course, an equal opportunity coffee and wine drinker, and a former business owner who loves to volunteer. What may seem like opposites to some people seem like just the right variety to me.

After a fulfilling corporate career, my days are now spent playing tennis, practicing Bikram yoga, and spending time with friends and family.

At this point in my life, I know who I am, and as my friends say, I’m the “softest toughie” they know. I tend to stick to my guns, talk myself out of situations (just ask about the cop and my parking skills), and settle for nothing less than the ultimate goal. Yet, I take ample stops along the way to get to know people, laugh at something my dog does, or just watch a show with my daughter, who uses me as her Snapchat muse.

Before (Bumble)

I’m originally from the South. I love music, animals, and family. Looking for someone who feels the same.


Life motto: “Seems fun. How hard could it be?” Bluegrass music-loving news junkie looking for the guac to my tacos. Bonus points if you agree that quoting The Office is a real talent and bread is delicious.

Before (OkCupid)

Hi! I am an optimistic and energetic person and am blessed with two wonderful young adult children. I am an accomplished lawyer and enjoy my career.

Blessed with good health and good genes, I am fit and youthful. I am looking to find someone who is kind, considerate, romantic, attractive, and shares some of my interests, someone to grow with and enjoy this next chapter of my life. Recently divorced after a long marriage (it was mutual and civil), I am looking for joy and laughter.


I’m a New York native with some Midwestern values (was there for college and grad school) and a love for my life on the water.

I have a passion for both civil rights and Middle East relations, but when it comes down to it, it’s the people in my life who give me the most joy. I have two grown children (when did that happen?) and a network of friends in different areas of my life, from the tennis court a few times a week to my French-speaking club.

But, when it’s time for some more self-contained reflection, I also enjoy biking, walking, enjoying a game of Scrabble (I know most the two-letter words!), and playing the piano for some low-key (pun intended) activity. 

What did we learn?

The key here is that, while the first profiles are not bad by any means, they are all fairly generic. There isn’t much that sets these people apart. Yet, when adding some playfulness, detail, and personality, the second profiles show who this person really is and give the reader something to grab onto—“message bait”—in order to send a message.

So go forth and edit. Make the profile scream, “This is me!”

A Tweak or Rewrite Can Make All the Difference

One thought on “A Tweak or Rewrite Can Make All the Difference

  • July 31, 2019 at 5:23 pm

    The original profiles were written by divorcees and mothers who know what men want – fun, warmth, love, optimism, joy, and laughter. A word cloud for the three original profiles said “Hi good looking” and “Looking good, athletic family man”. Dating author/wife/mother Amy Webb would approve.

    The revised profiles make the women seem full of themselves and their inflexible “This is me personalities”. Men don’t want a difficult “toughie” who “sticks to her guns” and “settles for nothing”. Men do not feeling like earning “bonus points” of approval from a haughty stranger. The word cloud for the revised profiles says “just friends”.

    Translation: “a former business owner who loves to volunteer” = “I brag about living off my ex-husbands money.”
    “passion for both civil rights and Middle East relations” = “a rabid Zionist or Palestinian terrorist”. And we haven’t even gotten appetizers.

    Women want a strong man who can earn a house on a golf course. Men seek a flexible, accommodating partner, not a challenging “scream”. If her pictures are good, and she has any sort of bait, then we will send a message.

    What were the results of alpha/beta testing?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *