“In the beginning…”
“Call me Ishmael.”
“It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.”
“I am an invisible man.”
“Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins.”
First lines are important and so are first impressions. While the above first lines helped make their respective literary works well-known, I would not recommend any of them for the opening lines of your online dating profile. They are trite, obvious, abstract, pessimistic, and downright inappropriate, respectfully.
We often spend a lot of time finding the most attractive profile photo, but not all online first impressions are based on them. One overlooked way to make a stunning first impression is through the first two lines of the “About Me” section of your CatholicMatch profile.
When you write the “About Me” section, you need to consider the impact of your words. Your profile is an advertisement of you. Not everyone is a talented writer, but there are some basic ways to put your best words forward on CatholicMatch. The first 200 characters are of greater importance because they are visible before someone even opens your profile. They appear on member profile pages in the activity stream in the center of the home page and in the “Who’s Viewed Me” section.
Make those 200 characters count. Today’s online world demands that; tweets, texts, headlines and sound bytes are competing for our attention. You don’t want your profile to sound like everyone else’s. Be specific, honest, enticing and optimistic. Craft these two lines into a unique reflection of you. Keep in mind who you are, who you want to meet and where you are: on a Catholic website to meet and fall in love with another Catholic.
Tried & boring
If it was once in a personal ad in the newspaper, don’t use it. If the information is obvious by your photo or general stats (age, race, location or gender) eliminate it. If it isn’t in descriptive and concrete language, revise it. Avoid being negative; none of us are seeking someone who doesn’t believe that love is possible or that they are not desirable. Finally, do not include offensive language or concepts. One would think that goes without saying, but sexist, crude, and sexually suggestive profiles are out there. They may catch attention, but they are not to be trusted.
4 fine examples
At first glance Jenny-872030’s beginning sentence may not seem all that special, but something about it caught my attention. It’s the contrast of the big and the small that makes it sparkle. The man she is looking for will find great value in the gift of her large family and small-town nature. She tells us a lot about herself in that simple sentence of two contrasts.
Matt-61677 immediately caught my attention with his first line. In fact, he commanded it with “Heads up!” Then I just couldn’t help be curious about how he would make a musical out of a shopping trip. I can honestly say that I’ve never seen another man refer to shopping in his first few lines. Matt knows what women like!
If you have a creative and socially adventurous spirit, let it shine in those first 200 characters. Randall-315762 does this in his profile by imitating an answering machine. That’s a charming, inviting, and original approach.
Should you find yourself struggling for the right words to attract your next date that hopefully will lead to the altar, you can do what Tara-539245 has done. She used a quote from Catholic writer and chastity speaker Jason Evert to introduce herself and what she is looking for. She will attract a man who values purity as she does, and men who don’t have her values will likely not pursue her. Usually I would advise not using someone else’s words (some may interpret it as a lack of effort, interest, or seriousness about being online), but Tara’s selection works. It was deliberately chosen, highly appropriate, and it reveals a lot about her and her expectations.
Revise & polish
It is difficult to summarize ourselves, especially if we don’t want to sound cocky, insincere, or common. Online dating is difficult. Let’s face it, finding love anyway, anyhow is just tough. But we don’t need to stack the deck against ourselves by carelessly not appealing to the very people whose attention we desire.
If you get stuck, visit some profiles and study what works and what doesn’t. Don’t be afraid to look at profiles of the same gender. They won’t know you visited unless you tell them. Ask someone else to help — a friend, family member, or another CatholicMatch member (most members posting in the site’s private forums are willing to help.) Brainstorm a few ideas. Then write with a sharp focus. These are the first words from you to the man or woman you might marry.