Dating Cliches Decoded
By: Jessica Hartman, Certified eFlirter
Dating clichés go as far back as "long walks on the beach," made popular by old-school classified ads. But before that phrase became the butt of a million jokes, people were actually serious about loving that activity. Then someone else saw it and thought, “Oh, I like to do that too!” and put it in their ad, and so on until it lost all meaning. But, just because the personal ad platform has morphed from newspapers to the Web does not mean that clichés have been abolished. In fact, I’d be willing to argue that the speed and accessibility of today’s dating world means that there are more, not less.
I see it all the time — online dating profiles that are as long as novels but say absolutely nothing about the person who wrote them. They’re full of modern day clichés — popular lines that you see in every other profile that are one step away from being “walks on the beach.” So in an effort to help you create a more original profile, we’re decoding the Top 5 meaningless one-liners and offering up more authentic suggestions in their place.
Cliché: “I’m just as comfortable getting dressed up for a night on the town as I am staying home."
Revamp: The idea of showing versatility is still appealing, but instead say what you specifically like to do when you go out and stay in. For example, “I’m just as happy watching the ballet at Lincoln Center as I am laughing at Manny on Modern Family.”
Cliché: “My friends say I’m confident, funny, loyal, honest …”
Revamp: NO! You should never let your friends speak for you. This instantly tells your match that you’re not confident enough to speak for yourself. Also, these adjectives don’t teach us much about you. Get more specific. Show you’re funny by injecting humor into your profile. Show that you’re confident by talking more about your lifestyle and the things you enjoy.
Cliché: “I LOVE to laugh!”
Revamp: Of course you love to laugh. Laughing — by definition — is a fun thing to do. Instead, talk about a funny story where you laughed until your stomach hurt or how seeing Dane Cook’s stand-up made you laugh until you cried.
Cliché: “Don’t message me if you’re [insert massive list of prerequisites like: shorter than 6’2, creepy, live with your mom … ]”
Revamp: Stay away from Negative Town! Not only does this bring the energy of your profile down, but it shows that you’ve been around the digital block and have been left jaded. Matches will see what you don’t want by looking at your filters. Instead, reinforce what you do want by saying a few sentences about the qualities you’re looking for in someone special.
Cliché: “Don’t worry, I’ll lie and say we met in real life.”
Revamp: First of all, you’re displaying the fact that you’re a liar. Not a good start. Second of all, it says that you’re ashamed to be online dating. Not a great thing to say in public when every single person who will see your profile is also online dating. Today, half of singles have an online dating profile, so it’s no longer a taboo subject and therefore doesn’t need to be hidden. You should own where you met and be proud of being proactive in your dating life.
The bottom line here is that you should focus on yourself in fun, unique ways. When sitting down to write your profile, don’t read anyone else’s first. This will definitely help you stay original, ultimately standing out from the crowd. If you want to find someone special, you need to make sure you sound special too!