- “I’m easygoing”
- “I’m down-to-Earth”
- “I enjoy the outdoors”
- “I enjoy being active”
- “I love to travel”
- “I love the beach”
- “Family is important to me”
- “I’m loyal and trustworthy”
- “I value my friends and family”
- “I love life”
- “I choose to embrace each day”
- “I love adventure”
- “I love trying new things”
- “I love to laugh”
- “I’m open-minded”
- “I love to have fun”
Are you still awake? I don’t blame you if you’re not. These kinds of statements couldn’t be more yawn-worthy. The problem is that they don’t really say anything. They certainly don’t make a guy or gal scramble for the “Email her/him now” link.
Show, Don’t Tell
In fiction writing, every writer learns a very basic rule that’s commonly known as “show, don’t tell.” Showing makes for interesting writing (and reading), while telling inspires yawns. Here’s how it works….
Telling: “I love to cook.”
Showing: “Growing up, I learned to cook at the side of my Italian grandmother. My favorite dishes to make are osso buco, meatballs with white wine sauce, and Tuscan chicken. On a Sunday afternoon, there’s nothing I love more than opening one of my grandmother’s cookbooks and filling the house with the delicious aromas of Italian cuisine.”
Telling = Snore. Showing = A memorable, mouth-watering scene that any profile browser with taste buds and a stomach wants to be part of.
A profile full of “I love to…” and “I enjoy….” and “X, Y, and Z are important to me” does nothing to reveal what makes you unique and amazing. A million people could (and probably do) say “I love to cook” in their online dating profiles. But each of those online daters has a unique story behind their love of cooking, and that’s what makes an impression and shows your personality.
Showing can do something else, too. It often reveals interesting tidbits about a person’s life, values, and personality. The example above not only describes in delicious detail the online dater’s love of cooking, it also tells you something about her roots, her childhood, and her relationship with her family. That’s compelling reading.
It wouldn’t be appropriate to do this with, say, all ten of your favorite activities – your profile would be much too long and sound a bit melodramatic – but creating images or scenes for two or three of the activities in your life you’re most passionate about will give your profile a huge edge over all the dull “I love to…” profiles out there.