Internet dating profile intro

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Notice the balance in these short profiles: One of the fundamental rules in sales and marketing is to know to whom you're selling.

In this instance, your goal is to appeal to a member of the opposite sex. My gorgeous friend Marion wondered why she wasn't getting e-mail.

Learn how to avoid the mistakes made by 90 percent of searchers and create a profile that captures your strong points and stands out from the crowd.

Every word counts in your opener, including your user name. Your dating "handle" should be anonymous yet descriptive. You might want to zero in on an activity or interest, like I did with my online ID, Golf Nut.

Here are some more examples: You'll notice that good banner headlines are positive, interesting, and humorous. Donna Frank of Nashua, New Hampshire, attracted now-husband Eric's attention with her headline, "Modern-Day Elaine Seeking Her Seinfeld." On the other hand, banner headlines that spook guys are heavy and hostile. Some sites require you to disclose height, weight, and age right up front.

Don't make these mistakes: It's less than 100 words -- sometimes as few as 25 -- but this descriptive paragraph needs to convey the experience of you. If you've been fudging for a while and can get away with shaving a few pounds or years, you might be okay.

One study of perceptions in cyberspace demonstrated that selective nicknames or handles influence the impressions others develop of the person using them. Or consider Happy Hiker, Nautical Gal, Outdoor Lover, Walking Woman, Line Dancer, History Buff, Birder Chick, Bridge Belle, or Hookedon Books.

You may have a fascinating profession to brag about, as did Paleo Gal, Art Lady, and Novelist53.

In his study of marriage-minded men, author and image consultant John Molloy reports that a majority of men over 40 want a woman who is "going to stay in shape, keep her figure, and pay attention to her appearance." Molloy's survey, the subject of his book "Why Men Marry Some Women and Not Others", also found that "half the men over 40 who have dated, lived with, or married much younger women would hesitate to do so again." Share your interests.

The way you spend your leisure time is one of the best indicators of your personality and values.

(If you've been too busy for hobbies, you may want to consider rounding out your life.) Write down the activities that show both your playful and serious sides.

Most sites have a banner headline with the profile -- a six- to 12-wordphrase that offers you a second chance to grab attention and sell yourself. Don't use this important real estate to describe the person you're looking for. Put modesty aside for 15 minutes and jot down your wonderful attributes. Friends can offer a fresh perspective and may be much more objective about you than you are.

If you find that difficult to do, think about how good friends would describe you. In your collection of compliments, be sure that there are adjectives emphasizing your joy and vitality -- "love to laugh," "crazy about fishing." At this stage, what attracts is a happy, healthy person who's warm and open to men, and has enthusiasm about life.

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