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Dating Profile Advice: Avoid Excessive Glib

The Dating Gurus find that most people need to add more wit to their online dating profiles.  Too many profiles are dull, plodding information-communication devices.  Let's have a little fun here, folks, okay? But this can swing too far in the other direction of excessive wit.  Unfortunately, wit merges into less-savory conditions:  glibness, flipness, smarmy-ness, pretension.  We find that both men and women are guilty of excessive glib.  Predictably, we find most of these too-glib profiles on OKCupid.

Here's an example from that site.  A 43 year-old woman writes a whopping 2,300 word profile (to put this in perspective, 2,300 words equals 10 double-spaced pages):

The same can be said for "liking to have fun." People who bravely forge untrodden paths such as "liking to go out sometimes and, alternately, sometimes liking to stay in"–you people inspire me. You speak to the primal, dueling forces within me that are either constantly craving either a): strobelight, and the combined olfactory crosswinds of Axe body spray and Aveda fixative hair products; or b): a battened nest of down duvet and coverlets, reading Margaret Atwood while Iron and Wine, Glen Hansard, and Bryan Adams are on heavy rotation. Who has tasted these delirious things called "variety," or "moods," and what could be their allure?!

It's smart, it's witty.  How can this be bad?  For one, it's oozing sarcasm.  Just in this one paragraph, we have 4 words or phrases with quotes around them, quotes usually signifying sarcasm.

For another, even though it's all phrased as a clever joke, it rears its ugly superior head.  It mocks clubby men with their Axe spray and women with their Aveda.  It equally mocks people who like to stay in, accusing them of reading Margaret Atwood and listening to Bryan Adams, neither of which are cool enough for this profile-writer.

The subtext of the entire profile is:  I will always be grabbing the higher ground.




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