Writing about yourself is hard. And in the realm of online dating and emotions, it's much harder.
I've seen a lot of awful "About Me" sections. I'm here to give a few tips about things to include and things you should never say even if your life depended on it and if you didn't include it that scary guy from Rush Hour (you know the one with the dyed blonde Sisqo hair?) will come and abduct you.
1. Differentiate yourself.
It's hard to simultaneously write about your interests and sound as unique as possible.
Aim for characteristics that aren't as commonly used, definitely none of the following:
a) I like to laugh.
(O rly? I hate laughing. It's the worst. Second only to folding the entire family's underwear. This is what I get for living at home.)
b) I am versatile -- I like sitting on the couch with my hand down my pants but also poppin' bottles at Bagatelle.
(I'm glad I can flip you inside-out, oh wait, you didn't say reversible. Versatility doesn't really mean anything. And having nights in and also nights out doesn't mean you're versatile, it just means you can't drink as well as Snooki [not trademarked] can.)
c) ZOMG! I lurve listening to Billy Joel and Bruce Springsteen!
(Don't get me wrong, I love the Boss and Billy J. But, so does my brother's parakeet Moe, my favorite grocery bagger Charles, and the crazy lady outside of Modell's.)
d) I joined the site with a gun to my head.
(We're all here. Let's find some love. If you're semi-ashamed, try to hide it as best as possible. Also, at least pretend like you want to be here, in the words of my 9th grade history teacher.)
Originality is hard to come up with, but if you can write about funny quirks or add a bit of humor to your profile, that often helps. Ask your friends -- they're good judges of your character.
However, do not have a friend write your profile. The whole point is that it's you selling yourself. When I see that someone has gotten a "friend" to write their profile (who knows if said friend actually sat down and was like "Brian really likes Wheat Thins, I'll be sure to include that"), I think it's a cop-out.
An interesting or random fact doesn't hurt. But not that one about your 11th toe.
Don't try to seem like you're trying to please, either. Except to the boy who put "individually wrapped chocolates" in his profile because he thought that's what girls wanted to hear. Smart dude. That's exactly what I want to hear. Especially if they're those new Dove squares with peanut butter in the middle. (Did you hear that Dove? I really like the ones with the peanut butter in the middle. I have attached my address.)
2. No haiku; no Odyssey.
Profiles that are too short make it seem like you don't care. Also, it doesn't give me enough information to adequately discern if we might have a future together, sitting on the dock of our lake house with our four beautiful grandchildren making s'mores and going over health insurance plans with a sunset and elevator music.
Too long, well, I'm just not going to read that. I don't want to know every minutia of your daily routine, down to the seven minutes you spend filing your toenails into perfect points in a desire to resemble a werwolf. Then again, if your upper body resembles Taylor Lautner (I know, I know, but is he 18 yet?) you can keep that portion.
Aim for a solid graph.
3. Don't leave the action up to someone else.
I see a ton of profiles where the guy says something along the lines of "IM or message me to find out more." Like, no, but thx. Girls aren't going to do that.
Also, how am I supposed to know I want to find out more given that your "About Me" is a Wedding Crashers quote and an ode to Dave Matthews Band? I play like a champion anyway, no need be redundant. And I know, that part about your "not caring if I'm late for shul," Coop is too much of a dweeb anyhow. And you probably taste like a burger.
4. Never mention the word "normal."
I don't care if you think you're a "normal girl" or you're just looking for someone "normal." Nobody is normal, that's the whole point of life. If everyone were normal where would Tila Tequila fit in? Or Courtney Love? Or Miley Cyrus? (That last one especially. I'm so glad I've decided to use these three examples from our popular culture. Oh America.)
And if you think you're normal, you're probably not. No, that shellacked string cheese collection doesn't fall under the header of normalcy.
5. Confidence is the key.
Really, confidence is sexier than any toned bicep or nice rack. (But then again, I'm not a mammary enthusiast.)
It's not that easy to exude confidence in print, but if you believe in what you're writing about yourself, chances are others will too.
Just don't make it a resume. You're not applying for love. And if you think you are, you're getting deferred.
"Good talk. I'll see you out there."
Follow Meredith Fineman on Twitter: www.twitter.com/meredithfineman