In the world of dating, and especially online dating, it can be hard to separate the ones you’ll click with from the ones with personalities that resemble un-buttered toast. It doesn’t help that for some reason, listing interests in a text box often causes people to resort to clichés and platitudes that reveal nothing about their true selves. If you’re inclined to message someone who astonishingly shares your “sarcastic sense of humor” and love for “exploring,” beware. Those seemingly innocuous statements may actually indicate that he’s a complete dullard. Here's our best online dating advice, brought to you by the most-used profile cliches.
He writes: I'm very sarcastic.
What it really means: I’m not sarcastic at all; I only think I am.
The reasoning: Much like people who claim to be laid back and easy-going, anyone who has to point out what type of sense of humor he has, doesn't have one.
He writes: I'm looking for an easygoing girl who likes to have fun and laugh. Intelligence is very important to me.
What it really means: I'm looking for a girl with big boobs/ nice butt who is down to hook up. Intelligence is not important to me if you possess any of the aforementioned qualities. I'm also the most boring person on planet.
The reasoning: Who doesn't like to laugh or have fun? Who doesn't want to be around someone who likes to laugh and have fun and who is easy going? Who doesn't think of themselves as at least moderately intelligent? If I ever find a profile that says, "I'm looking for a boring, unintelligent person who is down to be miserable and cry with me for extended periods of time," I will ask that person to marry me because I will have finally found someone who is actually sarcastic.
He writes: 30 Rock is one of my favorite TV shows.
What it really means: I like 30 Rock. I am also indistinguishable from just about everyone else on this site and I am trying to strike a desirable balance between mainstream and hipster.
The reasoning: According to OkCupid's data, 30 Rock is the most popular show for singles on the site. Either practically every eligible bachelor and bachelorette are watching 30 Rock week in and week out, creating some sort of collective, virtual laugh track, or something more cynical is at work here. We suspect the latter. Sure 30 Rock is a good show, but it’s also one of the shows you can proudly claim as one you watch, while also conveniently leaving out that you have The Bachelor Pad set to high priority on your DVR. It's quirky without being too weird (it is on primetime after all), and smart without being too pretentious. In other words it's perfect dating material. If 30 Rock had its own profile, it'd be getting laid on the regular.
He writes: I'm not good at writing about myself
What it really means: I want you to think I haven't spent too much time on this profile. I'm going for a sexy stream-of conscious
The reasoning: The truth is no one's good at writing about themselves. Somehow in the time it takes for your thoughts to travel from your brain to the computer screen, they've taken on a slightly different meaning until what you’ve written appears to be just a shadow of who you really are—an approximation, really. In other words, if your online profile was a self-portrait it'd be in the abstract tradition. Still, if you choose to embark on online dating, you’ve got to know that it will require you to list your interests in a text box. That’s how the Internet works. Stop self-consciously commenting on the online dating process and just get on board. We’re all there for the same reason.
He writes: I love exploring (insert nearest metropolitan city)
What it really means: I want to give you the impression that I do cool things when in reality I go to the same bars and restaurants in between long bouts of playing video games.
The reasoning: Behind "I love 30 Rock" this might be the most common phrase ever typed into OkCupid. It's pervasiveness has ruined it for every person who actually means it. If someone really wants to convey their adventurous personality or urban knowledge, better to be specific. As any English teacher will tell you, show don’t tell!
Check out our relationship panel's advice for writing the perfect online profile: