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Online Dating Profile-Copying Another Identity?


Previously I have stated that one of the best tips to piecing together your online dating profile is to visit other profiles that you find interesting. Study your competition and see what it is about those profiles that drew you in.

Once you’ve figured that out, use the parts of those profiles as a template to work off of but insert your personal info. The most important part of this plan is that you need to make sure to write the things and beliefs that make you unique and will set you apart.

An example of this would be that you’ve seen a profile that drew you in because it quoted the lyrics of a song that you really enjoy.

The use of the song lyric is what drew you in, so incorporate a similar strategy when piecing together your profile. I’m not suggesting that you use that exact lyric, but rather come up with another favorite lyric or line of poetry to help convey your message.

You don’t need to reinvent the wheel, but these profiles were interesting to you and most likely will be interesting to people with tastes similar to yours. It only works if you personalize it to represent you. If not, the people that you’re trying to meet will recognize this as soon as they get to know you and in many cases dismiss you as a fraud.

In the online community, many people aren’t even bothering to put any thought or originality into their own online persona. There’s a fantastic article written by Jennifer Saranow of the Wall Street Journal titled “The Cut-and-Paste Personality” which goes into great detail.

The gist of the article is that there is rampant plagiarism running through not only online dating site profiles but also many of the social networking sites such as MySpace. For a lot of people, it’s much easier for them to copy a dating profile than to sit down and put the effort into creating their own original profile.

Ms. Saranow points out that people aren’t just taking lines or small quotes from other profiles, but that they are actually copying profiles in their entirety. She uses the example of a writer named Hugh Gallagher, who has had parts of one of his college essays from over 20 years ago copied in over 50 different profiles on Match.com alone.

That’s just one dating site. Imagine with all of the dating sites out there how many other times his work has been plagiarized?

The anonymity of the internet makes a lot of this quite possible. It’s quite easy to google any subject imaginable and it will return hundreds or even thousands of pages that reference what you’re looking for. The amount of written material to borrow from is immense, and it grows on a daily basis. I speak from experience as I’ve visited numerous other dating sites and I’ve found many of the articles I’ve written posted on their sites without any credit being referenced back to me.

The bottom line is that when you are creating your online dating profile; make it as unique as possible. Make sure it represents who you are. You may be able to fool someone into clicking onto your profile, but relationships built on false pretenses rarely succeed.

jim mcmenamin is the webmaster and creator of macsdatingsite.com, a blog dedicated to the various issues of online dating. for a limited time, jim is giving away two free ebooks, 10 tips to writing your online dating profile as well as 101 steps to a happy relationship, when you sign up for his newsletter.

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Listed: May 7, 2008 12:09 pm