Just in case you didn’t know, I had guys submit their online dating profiles without photos to be judged on a scale from 1 to 10 by 13 unmarried female judges, the winner getting $300. The pictures of the judges and the exact details of the contest are here. The goal was to get some empirical data on what kinds of profiles appeal best to a broad range of women.
Well, the results are now in. The first place winner of $300 is “Saprian”. Congratulations to you and the two runner-ups! All three of their profiles are pasted below in their entirety, so if you want to just skip ahead and read them, go for it. First I will give you some data on our specific findings. It was very interesting.
Finding 1 – Profiles varied wildly from woman to woman.
This was by far the most surprising thing to me. Some women would rank a profile a 10 or a 9, and others would rank the exact same profile a 1 or 2, even if the woman was a similar or identical age. Amazing. So many women out there not only have extremely different personalities and tastes, but are also at different points in their lives even if their ages are around the same. Some women are looking for a “fun” guy, while others are looking for a “deep” guy. Some women are looking to date and have fun, others are looking for a husband, others don’t really know what they’re looking for. These factors are all going to come into play when a woman reads your profile. Some hot chicks are going to love your profile, others are going to absolutely hate it…and you don’t have much control over which ones are which.
Finding 2 – Most scores were either very bad or very good. Scores of 4-6 were rare.
This is the “Amazon book reviewer” syndrome. You’ll notice on Amazon book reviews, where books are ranked 1 to 5, most people rank books at 1, 4, or 5. Mid-level rankings of 2 or 3 are rare. People either like something a lot or hate it, and apparently online dating is no different. I’ve always known this instinctively but this contest was strong empirical evidence of this. That is, when a woman reads your profile, she’s most likely going to really hate it or really like it. Rarely will she be neutral about it.
Finding 3 – Generally speaking, the older the woman was, the tougher she was on the profiles.
To be fair, it wasn’t a huge difference, but it was certainly a clear mathematical difference. This should be no surprise at all. I’ve been talking about this for years and this was yet more evidence, as if you needed any. The older women in the study were definitely tougher on the profiles. The top three overall toughest judges were all age 30 or higher. The most lenient judges were all age 28 or under, with the exception of one (she was 32, but notice that’s still under the “cutoff of death” age 33).
That being said you should also realize that most guys who submitted their profiles are guys who are a little more sexual and player-ish, simply because of the nature of this blog and its audience. Of course this is going to turn off some older women while turning on younger women. If we ever do this contest again, and I think we will, perhaps I will do an age-split where I have three sets of judges, one set 18-23, one 24-32, and one 33-45. Then each guy can submit one profile for each age group. That might yield some interesting results. I’ll have to think more on this, and your comments and suggestions are welcome.
Finding 4 – The highest-ranked profiles were around 1500 characters long.
This one surprised me initially until I read into the profiles more deeply. The top-ranked profiles averaged around 1500 characters (with spaces). Most, but not all, of the bottom-ranked profiles were far from 1500 characters. Either they were very close to the 3000 character limit we had for the contest or were the opposite extreme and really short, like just a few sentences.
So based on the results of the contest, 1500 characters does indeed seem to be some kind of “sweet spot”. The odd thing is that this conflicts with my own online dating testing, in that the longer my profiles are, the higher response rate I tend to get. This may simply be because I’m a good writer (I’ve been writing for fun or work since I was in high school) and I’ve been playing the online dating game for a very long time. Frankly, most of the high-ranking profiles were very well-written no matter how long or short they were.
So I guess the advice you could infer from all of this is: If you are a poor or mediocre writer, keep your profile to around 1500 characters or so. If you are a good writer, write as much as you can.
Finding 5 – The highest ranked-profiles described both Alpha and Disney concepts.
You’ll see this as you read the three winning profiles below. The best-ranked profiles were very careful to incorporate both Disney/romance/provider fantasies AND masculine/sexual/Alpha stuff, while the lower ranked profiles went overboard on either one or the other. The “too sexual” profiles clearly turned women off, and the “too nice guy” profiles the women said were “boring”. Lesson? Include both when you write a profile.
THE WINNING PROFILES
Here now are the three winning profiles in their entirety. The second and third place winners are guys I know, the first place winner was a complete unknown to me until he won the contest today.
First Place Winner – Saprian
The first one is our first-place winner of $300, Saprian. This profile blew all the others away by far, scoring almost 10% higher than the next highest profile. It had an average score of 8.0 out of 10, and the next highest was 7.3. Amazing. When I read it, I could see why. It really is fantastic. Here it is:
Is the glass half empty, half full, or just twice as large as it needs to be? I dislike seeing things in just black and white. I like to measure life not by the breaths I take, but by the moments that take my breath away – when the volume-knob of life is turned all the way down, and I am snuggling up by the fireplace with someone special under a blanket. Or when the volume-knob is turned all the way up, and I am having the time of my life sipping a cocktail on some tropical island wearing a dorky Hawaiian shirt with Lei flowers around my neck.
Basically: You better love to have fun, or we won’t get along. I like to think of myself as confident, but not arrogant. I’m a very humble man. I don’t run away from problems. Also I watched my sister get her heart broken many times, and this made me realize how important it is to treat a woman right. My mother also taught me how to have inner strength and not get walked on. I am easy going, and I love to put a smile on people’s faces, no matter where I am or who I am with. Some stuck up people may think it’s strange, but you might find me making faces back at the kids in the car in front of me.
Are you able to handle masculine energy? I can be quite a handful. Do you consider yourself a bit dorky rather than “hot”, educated rather than just “street-smart”, a creator rather than a consumer, and happy rather than content? In that case, we should talk. “Everybody dies, not everybody lives.” — I love the quote, but have no idea where it’s from. 10 brownie points if you can tell me. 100 points and a cereal box top can be redeemed for the best brownie recipe in the world. Anyways… I just want to hang out casually to see if there is some chemistry between us. That, or potential for a friendship. I’m fine with either outcome – or neither. Maybe I’ll meet someone special online – maybe you will, too. Send me a quick email with why you think we would get along well, and we’ll take it from there.
Second Place Winner – Dennis
This one makes me proud. Second place goes to our very own Dennis, long time commentor on this blog and a hell of a guy I met last year at the Chicago Blackdragon Retreat. His average ranking was 7.3, with most of the voting judges giving him a ranking of 8 or higher. The confident, efficient vibe of his profile is very similar to when I write my own profiles. (I would bet that Dennis is an INTJ or close to it.) Here it is:
I am a very active, youthful and thinking man who has both sides of the brain working full blast. I am interested in virtually everything… travel, music of all kinds, books, food, restaurants, wine, art, movies, etc. But hey, if it’s not fun, I’m not going to do it. Fortunately I am pretty easily entertained so there are a lot of things that qualify.
I trade futures intraday and enjoy the instant decision challenges that trading presents. I pride myself in my work, accomplishments, and continue to be success-driven. My work affords me the free time to pursue other passions in my life and to set my own hours. I enjoy working out hard, clearing the mind and the zen of martial arts. I have great friends and am very happy with my life, but am not a man to brag. People see me as a variety of things; bold, self confident, laid back, non-judgmental, honest and very physically fit, but I’ve always considered the whole “who am I” thing to be kind of limiting.
About what I’m looking for: I will not make a list, because I do not fall in love with a list of attributes, but with a real person whose aura and character so resonates with me. What I’d really like to find is more than a pretty face that I can actually connect with on a deeper level. What matters most is how we make each other feel, the excitement, energy, passion, tension, and simply enjoying each others company. Rare, I know, but for my myriad of shortcomings, I am what some would call “delusionally optimistic.”
I care little for writing clever profiles nor messages back and forth, I’d rather talk to a woman face-to-face. Email me and lets get together and share a few laughs and stories over coffee or drinks, no pressure, just something fun and relaxing… and see where this will go.
Third Place Winner – Funny Guy
Our third place winner is “The Funny Guy From Vancouver” (that would be B.C.). He writes: By writing this profile, I want to demonstrate to guys that it’s easy to turn a so-called boring personality like an accountant into something fun and enjoyable for women to read. Well, he accomplished exactly that, because this profile was rated the third-highest of all our entries, with an average score of 7.3, just a tenth under Dennis’ profile. Funny Guy is another guy I’ve worked with briefly and he has definitely incorporated some of my advice into writing his profile. Here it is:
I AM an accountant, which means I’m sensible, but I’m by no means a boring geek. In fact, once I leave the office, I don’t take myself too seriously. On a typical Friday night, I’m not calculating debits and credits, I’m actually partying like a rock star—literally—I’m the lead singer in my rock band. We tend to play a lot of the hits from the ‘80s… but we love it! If I invite you to my show, and you’re really nice, I may just play your request, as long as the song is in English J. On weekends, you can find me getting my adrenaline fix by bungee jumping or skydiving.
If you’re still reading my profile, then we may just be a match. But if you stop now, I won’t go spreading your name across the internet. I will never know anyway!
I am very passionate about helping others. I am currently putting together a marathon to raise money for prostate cancer. I’m dedicating it to one of my best friends who passed away recently from the disease.
Six Things I Could Never Do Without:
1. Exercise and playing sports
2. Good food
5. Great music, movies, and tropical vacation spots
6. That’s none of your business 😛
When it comes to love, I’m a hopeless romantic. In fact, I have the phrase “love conquers all” tattooed (it’s fake but whatever, I’m not THAT crazy!) on a certain part of my body which I cannot reveal until we meet…
My type of girl is beautiful and stylish (in your mind at least, confidence goes a long way with me) compassionate, intelligent, witty, giving, and friendly.
I receive messages frequently but I promise to respond to all of them as soon as I can.
Just say Hi and I’ll take it from there.
That’s it! I was tempted to go into these three profiles and critique them on exactly why they work, but instead today I’ll just let them stand on their own. If you want to really want me to get into these profiles let me know in the comments and I can do that in a future post. In terms of publishing the other profiles that were submitted, because I know some of you have asked, let me think about that.
Thanks to everyone who submitted a profile, our independent overseer Illuminatus (whose skills with Microsoft Excel caught some of my errors!), and all of our lovely judges. This was a lot of fun and very educational. Let’s do this again!