Are you honest, with a big heart, and no addictions?

by singlemomseeking on July 3, 2008

When I first put myself online, this is how I started off my Match.com profile:

“Are you honest, with a big heart, and no addictions?”

Can you tell that I’ve had some lousy history with at least one dishonest man struggling with an addiction? (Yes, I take responsibility for choosing ‘em.)

After spending a couple of intense years working on my co-dependency issues — and learning the ropes of single motherhood — I was ready to weed out the “bad” ones from the start.

I went on to describe myself: “Warm, generous single mom seeking respectful, cooperative man with both feet on the ground who dreams big.”

What do you think? Is it too defensive? Intimidating? Corny? Mushy?

Now matter how you introduce yourself — online or in person — the first line that comes out of your mouth makes the biggest impression. Whenever I read those online profiles that begin with “Let’s see now, where do I begin?” or “I really hate filling this out–” my eyes glaze over. Do yours?

Where’s his imagination? Where’s his passion?

My friend Craig Harrison runs his entire business around making a great first impression. The next time you introduce yourself to someone, notice how straightforward, positive, and inviting you are.

If you had one line to introduce yourself, what would it be?

Which adjectives and verbs describe how unique you are? What do you love to do? What makes your heart race? Start with this: “I am a __________.”

I want to hear it. How would you introduce yourself in one line? Remember: one line.


Photo taken during an attempt to get just one “glamour” shot for my Match.com profile. It never happened. You can see why this one went into my “online duds” folder. No, I would NOT put my kid in an online dating profile. I hope you wouldn’t either. This shot was taken by a friend, in the midst of it all…

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

dadshouse July 3, 2008 at 11:37 am

This is a tough topic for me, as it reminds me why I dislike online dating. It’s hard to say who you are and what you want. Sometimes it’s hard to even know.

“Warm and generous woman for respectful cooperative big-dreaming man” sounds great. But it’s kind of philosophical. Do you care about concrete details? What magazines he reads, where he has traveled, how he spends his days, whether he’s successful?

Like you, I dislike the online dating posts that being “where should I start?” I also dislike the ones that say “I want someone who makes me laugh”.

Back to your question, me in a nutshell: “I have loved, I have lived.” btw – I stole that line from a high school kid who used it in a UCLA application decades ago. Brilliant letter he wrote. And almost all of it made up!

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singlemomseeking July 3, 2008 at 12:07 pm

I hear you Dad’s House: how do you put yourself in a nutshell, in one line? (That line you stole is a show stopper.)

Even if you — this refers to anyone reading this blog — never get around to posting an online profile, just the process of writing the darn thing is a great lesson in getting to know yourself.

Today, I might say, “35-year-old single mom who kickboxes 3X/week, seeking passionate poet with a good salary…”

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The Exception July 3, 2008 at 12:15 pm

Crafting a sentence that sums oneself up in one line, that is a challenge. It has to be genuine, intriguing, and catchy – and definitely not corny. ;)

“They’re real, and they are spectacular, as am I” ;)

Hey, men are visual. Why not give them something to visualize while they read the rest of what you have to say! ;) (In all seriousness, this is a difficult question and one that probably requires an inspiration at the moment of writing in order to get it right.)

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Dan July 3, 2008 at 12:23 pm

Not really sure i would introduce myself with “I am a _______”, but here goes…

I am a sincere, confident, well groomed, drug-free, employed, attractive, charming, intelligent, modest single dad who enjoys finding irony in everyday events.

How I usually introduce myself…

Hi, I’m Dan…check out this gun show! *flex*

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singlemomseeking July 3, 2008 at 12:50 pm

The Exception and Dan: you both practically had me on the floor.

When can I hire you two as my writing coaches. You are good!!

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Crazy Computer Dad July 3, 2008 at 2:33 pm

What about the “except coffee” part? :-) I’ve been doing some reading today.

And here I was thinking that I had sworn off online dating entirely a year and half ago and now you drag me back into it! Ok, here it goes, a ridiculous run on sentence….
I would rather walk through the world to experience the details than to be rushed through it only catching the high points, I choose the adventure over relaxation every time, I am here now but I dream gigantic dreams, I love with all that I am, and I am looking for a partner willing to share true physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental intimacy with.

I went out with a woman one time who wrote in her profile “and if adultery has even one bone your closet [don't contact me]“. She dated and/or slept with several men the first nine months we dated. Two years later we started going out again, which absolutely wouldn’t have happened had I know about what went on the first time.

Mostly, online profiles are too small of a picture of people to really be helpful. On some very rare occasions you may find one that is an honest, truthful, and accurate depiction of someone. Seriously though, the profiles try to show the absolute best of who someone is, putting spin on all kinds of things so that later they can say your just misunderstood what was there. Which is true as well, we see what we WANT to see. :-)

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Hot Alpha Female July 3, 2008 at 7:21 pm

Its so funny when it comes to online dating, you seem to so quickly judge someone by their profile.

I found it best when i gave more people a chance, although when you see a crap profile, sometimes that is like really really hard to do.

Neways so a way to introduce yourself. You know this is harder than you think, because its asking to define who you are and what you are about in ONE sentence.

I don’t know if that was humanely possible.

I’d rather someone get an overall impression by the way that i speak and express myself …

Or maybe i just don’t know who i am? lol

But at the end of meeting someone they should know that

I’m a girl that loves life, loves to laugh and is an optimist. I’m ditsy, crazy and kinda sassy. I know what I want and more than prepared to do anything to get it.

Hot Alpha Female

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judy July 3, 2008 at 8:02 pm

Most all those answers always sound some what trite to me.

How about this one though..”Hi, I’m a enigma. (The first one to solve my mystery wins the grand prize….me.)

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Jim aka Sydney&Hunter'sDad July 4, 2008 at 5:03 am

Intriguing question and exercise, how to effectively describe and sell yourself in one sentence. Fortunately when it comes to internet dating profiles you are not limited to one sentence. Honestly I don’t think it can be done effectively, except for something gimmicky, catchy, or thought provoking, unless it is a radically run on sentence or you are a one dimensional simpleton. A+ for effort to those who tried! Here is another pirated quote, which I admit is more than one sentence, but in my humble opinion, it is brilliant. “As long as there’s sex, there are going to be kids. As long as there are kids there’s going to be a world. As long as there’s a world, there’s going to be a Bozo.”
-Larry Harmon, 2008 (Bozo the clown who sadly passed away yesterday).

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Shannon July 4, 2008 at 6:13 am

This was a great group of comments.

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Crazy Computer Dad July 4, 2008 at 6:41 am

Judy,
I actually did that once. The moniker I chose had a meaning and I asked people to decipher it after I gave them some clues. I was really surprised that people tried…and one person actually got it. :-)

I meant to say earlier that there are things I look for in profiles that are immediate turnoffs. Venting and gender stereotypes are just a couple. I don’t really want to rescue anyone. As a single parent I’ve got enough rescuing happening. To that end I usually end up being very particular with ridiculously high standards. It got to be too much and I stopped. Now I just meet people out and about doing things I like to do. :-)

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Jim aka Sydney&Hunter'sDad July 4, 2008 at 6:49 am

OK, I’ve got it. One line for the one dimensional simpleton: “Disgusting cave man seeks long haired cave woman without stinky breath to huddle and stay warm with, casual procreation, to help hunt and gather enough grub to survive the winter… and in a worst case scenario to throw herself in front of the ravenous terrifying saber tooth tiger who wants to eat me.” Ladies if this profile brings up memories of an X boyfriend or husband… truly, I apologize.

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singlemomseeking July 4, 2008 at 7:41 am

Wow, great memory CCD I’d originally added a disclaimer re: addictions that coffee drinkers were okay. I think I’m addicted to email, too!. No sillies, CCD didn’t respond to my online profile… it was in my book.

Yes, CCD, you sure got away with a run on sentence! I like what you say about “the details.”

Hot Alpha: Here’s to knowing what you want!

Judy: That will surely get the attention of a man who loves puzzles. Nice one.

Jim: Yes, fortunately, we do have more than one sentence — but it’s often that first sentence that “catches” the reader. (But do men even read the profiles — or just look at the pictures? Hmmm.) The cave man scenario is a good one. Ha.

Thanks so much for “Bozo” quote, I remember him so well as a kid.

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Krystal July 4, 2008 at 8:44 am

Beautiful, intelligent, compassionate caramel-skinned woman seeks intelligent, well groomed, honest man who has a passion for poetry and music.

How’s that sound?

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Kim July 4, 2008 at 12:45 pm

Here’s mine: Self-employed gal seeks fun-loving guy with health insurance and a 401k.

Like it? The first paragraph in my profile tells them they’ve just gotten a glimpse of my sense of humor, and asks if they can handle it. :o ) (I’ve received comments from several guys who “got it” and liked my humor.)

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alicia July 4, 2008 at 8:11 pm

One sentence is tough-I’ll go with something like this: Challenge: Make me smile. It sounds silly, i know, but that’s not as easy as it sounds. What I’m really trying to say is ‘I’m not easily impressed or charmed’. You gotta work for it. Sorry to go off topic Rachel, but I couldn’t help but be affected by the first few sentences of your blog. No more than one hour before reading it, I told the guy (with addiction issues) that I have been seeing on & off for four years that I need to let him go because my heart is breaking. He’s been clean for 8 months & I’m in love with him. This is not his first time sober. He had been clean for as long as three years when we met & for various periods of time in between. Anyway, it was just very timely that I logged on to your blog when I did. P.S: are you startng online dating again for sure or still undecided?

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Jan July 5, 2008 at 11:08 pm

Hey singlemomseeking these days we’ve got to jump on the bandwagon of online dating – its just the thing we do for widening our horizons for dates. And yes I agree the great one liner can be a good ‘in’ for us to see if we want to get a wink or email, but when we actually see them up front is the test – firstly do we want to even meet them which is why I like wearing my SHI Symbol – the International symbol just for us singles – I’m not closing my options with any other single around me, and secondly we and they have only got 7 seconds to impress with a verbal opener. There has to be more to it than that for me! Very rarely in my opinion can a one liner or opener do it for any of us.

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Kat Wilder July 6, 2008 at 2:19 pm

I think I might have started one online profile with: “I know what I want in life; do you?”

But I think many people don’t pay as much attention to what’s written as they should, focusing on the picture instead. And, even though a picture is worth 1,000 words (or so they say), many of those words aren’t true!

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5ksandcabernets July 6, 2008 at 9:18 pm

I tried match.com and eharmony a few years back and met my son’s mother on eharmony. It’s hard advertising yourself online because you have so much to say and not a lot of room to say it. So, in my humble opinion, if someone gets the “wrong” opinion of me just be reading the first few lines of my profile, then they probably are not what I’m looking for because they didn’t take the time to get to know me, so to speak.

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mc July 7, 2008 at 10:08 am

Oh no! A post on the fun that is online dating!

Singlemomseeking, about your first sentence—-if I was you I’d leave out “cooperative”. You already have “respectful”, and adding “cooperative” on top of all that makes your intro sound a bit negative, IMHO, like you’re the type to order a guy around a lot.

I also think that a shorter intro with something cute & memorable mainly about YOU is way better than a serious list of what you actually, really want–I mean, you just want to get his attention! And he’s looking for a woman, so show off yourself! You can him tell more about what you’re looking for after you get in touch, start emailing, etc. Let him ask you, and then tell him slowly, like you just thought it up.

I’d also say something more vivid and specific than “warm, generous, etc” when you describe yourself–you want to get him interested enough to read the rest of your profile, don’t you? And you have to distinguish your profile from the hundreds of other women’s profiles out there–they all say they’re warm, generous etc.

What about “Passionate writer”, or (I don’t know you, of course, so maybe it should be environmentalist, artist, musician, gardener, or reader?) Or describe yourself in some funny way like “Betty Boop with a PhD” (sorry, that’s me) or “Just like Joan Baez except not able to sing or play the guitar” (sorry, also me)?

My own online dating adventure lasted a couple years. I met some nice men (amazingly), and also some creeps (not so amazingly). The nicest man I met online (& ended up dating seriously for a year) didn’t contact me at all. I found him while searching on the dating site and winked at him.

My old profile started off something like, “Hippie chick in a business suit seeking etc…”. It was quite popular but I ultimately decided that the “hippie chick” line was not really a good idea because it tended to attract slobs who smoked ‘way too much weed. Just like my ex’s. I finally wised up & decided that that’s not really what I want, actually.

So now I’m trying dating services rather than online. The services form their own opinion about who to “match” me with, and no pictures are exchanged (so it feels less like a cattle call).

But I must say that they are not even coming close! (For example, the latest man they want me to meet listed his hobbies as “flipping real estate”…..arg!!!!….unless it’s a joke?)

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laurakim123 July 12, 2008 at 8:57 pm

I have NO idea! I HATE the “describe yourself” field on the dating websites! I never know what to say!!! The thing is do guys even READ that stuff – cos often the info is all there and they will ask you again? I dont know maybe they checking if you lying??

The best I can come up with today is “I am me” ;-p I will keep thinking tho – maybe inspiration hits me later in the day!

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NappyKitchen November 28, 2008 at 7:23 pm

My profile is quirky and it says that I am very supportive, helpful, encouraging, laid back, etc.

Speaking of breastfeeding, I’m getting the attention of a lot of guys who are looking for a MOTHER figure!

My profile is also attracting party animals (with issues), guys old enough to be my father (with issues), guys (with issues) who think that when I say I am open-minded, it means that I will be cool with all of the insane-psychotic lifestyle issues that they have, guys (with issues) who are UNemployed or UNDERemployed, guys (with issues) who are gay, but for some reason don’t know it.

I guess it’s time to get to tweeking.

@sms: Blogging is indeed like breastfeeding. I have two. I must have put too much crack in my cornflakes when I created the second one.

NappyKitchen´s last blog post…What does ‘Kitchen’ Mean?

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NappyKitchen November 28, 2008 at 7:29 pm

One more thing, it amuses me when I read a profile that says:

“If you are a lying, cheating, druggie, deadbeat looking for a meal ticket, please pass me by!”

The irony is that most ‘lying-cheating-druggie-deadbeat-looking-for-a-meal-ticket’ people don’t see themselves that way … hehehe

NappyKitchen´s last blog post…What does ‘Kitchen’ Mean?

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