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9 Tips for Online Dating: How to Read a Man’s Profile – One Woman’s Perspective

older men women dating article with tips

by Tina Boomerina (Christina Gregoire)

This article about how to read a man’s dating profile is written for all you older chicks who haven’t been on a date in years. I just read about a woman over 60 who sent a lot of money to a con artist and it horrified me. I had to write this for women like her. However, this post is less about avoiding con artists (hint… never send money)… and more about tips to help you read between the lines in a dating bio.

read about dating when you're an older woman

What Can You See in a Man's Dating Photo?

I think I’m pretty good at reading bios and deciphering “man code” after 10 years of dating online in my late 40s. And, it is possible to meet someone decent online. You have to be smart. You have to be patient. And, you have to be somewhat open to the experience… because most guys are stupid or jerks or stupid jerks.

However, after many flops, I met my husband on match.com. (I was also on other sites. Why not?)

Internet Dating Tips for Senior Women and All Women

Online dating was fun. Online dating was hell. It was both. I hope this article will help you learn how to keep a rational mind as well as an open heart.

(DISCLAIMER: I am not a psychiatrist or psychologist. I am not an expert on relationships (in a legal sense). My opinions and points of view could be wrong… or wrong for you. If you date a man with a profile that’s similar to what I have used as an example, I don’t want you to come crying to me, telling me how I ruined your life with bad advice. I can only explain what worked for me when I was dating. Your experience may be different. And, as we all know, all men are different. So, use your noodle.)

Online Dating Tip 1. Look at His Photo.

Before we talk about pictures, I want you to realize that the person on the keyboard at the other end could be a 90-year-old nun in France or a 12-year-old boy in Pakistan. You really have no idea who created that bio you are looking at. Don’t be paranoid, but don’t be stupid and fall in love with an image on an online dating site. It may be an illusion.

  • Dark Photos: I like to see a real photo… not something in shadows. If I can’t see the guy, I get a little spooked.
  • Smile: I like to see at least one photo with a happy face. If a man is not smiling, it can be a bad sign. Either he’s a grump or he has no teeth. I’m not sure which is worse.
  • Ugly-ish: I would NOT rule someone out just because he’s not gorgeous. I WOULD rule someone out if his eyes look scary or he’s wearing a dirty old T-shirt or he’s wearing camo and he’s not in the military. You will develop your own criteria over time.
  • Too Many Photos: Clear and expressive photos are important, but a guy with 21 photos (mostly of himself) is a flag in my mind. It comes off as totally self centered and conceited to me.
  • Beards: I’m not saying the following is true, because I think hipster beards are cute, but a lawyer once told me that guys with facial hair are more likely to be hiding something than clean-shaven men. I’m just throwing that out there. You decide.
  • Corvettes: If a guy uses his midlife crisis car (or Rolls or Escalade) as a prop, I am personally turned off.
how to read a man's dating profile

If He Seems Too Good to be True...

Online Dating Tip 2. Is He All About Me, Myself and I?

What does the man focus on in his profile? Is every other word I? Is he the center of his own universe?

What I am trying to convey is hard to explain because I am talking about clues that signify an attitude. It’s not something concrete like missing teeth or poor spelling. You can’t narrow a self-absorbed attitude down to one thing.

In most of the following examples, I have changed the wording found in the actual profiles. Here are two typical bios that could contain subtle clues:

  • “I am a fun-loving, down-to-earth, honest, outgoing person. I love spending time with my friends, going out to dinner, going to the movies and going for long walks holding hands. I love a woman who can talk about anything I do, just the simple things in life to enjoy myself. I’m looking for someone who shares my interests and passions in life.”

In my opinion, the guy above sounds a little too much like he wants a clone of himself.

  • “I am searching for a woman who is kind, caring, loving and understanding. I dream of meeting a smart, intelligent, positive, reliable, faithful, honest, courageous, strong, kind, giving, responsible, loving, gentle, neat, faithful, serious and caring woman. I want my woman to be my friend, companion and lover for the rest of life. I would like to find someone who is open-minded, sensitive and balanced. I am always so emotional. I need a woman who would balance me.”

The guy above sounds like he's looking for a combination of Mother Theresa and mommy… with cute boobs.

Online Dating Tip 3. Reverse It: Is the truth the Opposite?

Some guys sound like they are saying one thing but the actual meaning may be the opposite. While real-life profiles with similar wording may have been written in a sincere manner, I have created examples (combining several profiles) to show you what I used to look for.

  • “I'm not judgmental. I do not have any specific agenda about what I'm looking for. It's not important to me what someone has as far as any wealth or education. This does not mean that I will go out with anyone. This means that if you happen to be a waitress or a receptionist or a doctor or an entrepreneur, it’s not important. What I care about is finding an attractive, positive, affectionate woman. I am a very accepting person. Therefore, I am not very judgmental.”

The fact that this man says over and over that he doesn’t care what the woman does or how much money she has makes me think of Shakespeare’s line, "Methinks thou dost protesteth too much.”

What that quote from Hamlet means: “It is suspected that, because someone is insisting too much about something, the opposite of what he or she is saying must be true.”  (wiktionary.org)

In other words, a man who continually says he’s not looking for someone with money may be actively seeking someone who will help him out financially… one way or another.

Here are other POSSIBLE examples of reversals:

  • “In general, I'm not jealous and do not dwell in the past. I feel like I have a lot to offer in a variety of ways and I'm not saying that in an arrogant way.”
  • “I’m not pushy in general… maybe at work but that's different.”
  • “I am not angry, obsessed, dysfunctional, or weighed down with a ton of baggage. Just dealing with changes as positively as I can. I wager most here would probably agree it isn’t easy. Mentally packed my bags couple of years ago.”

I’m not saying everyone who writes something similar is unconsciously telling the world that he’s the exact opposite of what it says in his profile. I’m just showing you how I evaluate possibilities when reading a hypothetical paragraph of text.

read tips about how to date on internet - boomerinas

Is He Over Past Relationship?

Online Dating Tip 4. Is the Man Stuck in the Past?

Are there indications the guy is still getting over his last relationship? Sometimes you will see indications of his previous relationship problems. I don’t want you to nurse a guy back to emotional health just to have him dump you and move on when his ego is restored. Look for clues of bitterness that MAY point out details from his past relationship.

  • “I am honest in that I live true to my word and don't mislead people. I am committed in that, once I agree or choose to do something, I go at it fully. I am kind, because I value interactions and strive to treat everyone as I would like to be treated.”

My Take: The bio (above) sounds like a man who is comparing himself to his ex-wife. He is trying to tell the world that he is not like his evil ex. Reread the words and let me know if you see what I see.

To me, the man is still dwelling on his ex’s dishonesty, her misleading lies, her inability to commit fully to their relationship, and her uncaring nature towards other people (him). Maybe his wife slept with his best friend. Maybe she lied with every breath. Maybe he’s a sociopath who is mimicking language he’s heard before. I have no way to know for sure, but I think it’s more likely his wife ran off with the FedEx guy.

Any man who has ever been in a relationship will talk about his horrid ex-wife to some extent, either directly or indirectly, like above. It is unreasonable to look for a man who won’t. What you want to examine is whether the man is so bewildered and hurt that he is not ready to move on to a new relationship with you.

*NOTE: I am not saying the man in the profile is bad. He might be a very nice guy. I’m just pointing out what I would look for in a profile.

Sometimes, a man who’s been dumped may be so damaged that he isn’t psychologically ready to date. Conversely, a man who’s been dumped may try harder in his next relationship. To me, this guy sounds like the latter, but I would want to know how long he’s been divorced before dating him.

Some men get over relationships in a day. Some men need more time.

  • “I am single. Last girlfriend was 41 years ago. She used me and took advantage of me. I bought her anything she wanted. I paid her bills for her and her rent too.”

Online Dating Tip 5. Is Everything He Says a Cliché?

It’s okay to use a few clichés, but sometimes the whole bio is a cliché. Song lyrics, pop-culture quotes, and lines stolen from others don’t tell you much about a man’s character.

  • “Looking for long-term relationship, no games, no baggage, just fun with lots of affection.”  (Thought provoking.)
  • “Must have a sense of humor, be able to communicate, love to go places, travel, or just hang out. I'm the kind of person who is relaxed and down to earth. I'm not into drama and try not to create it. I like to go camping…” (Drama… does he mean talking while the game is on?)
  • “We need that special person to make us happy and feel loved. I'm ready to start over and I would be more than happy to meet someone special.” (He sounds so special.)

There is more!!! Please continue reading on page two by clicking here: How to Read a Man's Bio - Online Dating for Women (page 2).

Photo Credits on page 2.

Tina Boomerina (AKA Christina Gregoire) is a Baby Boomer born at the end of 1952. Her mission is to make the internet a kinder and gentler place for Baby Boomer women around the world. Tina's specialty is fashion for women over 50.

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