They say first impressions are often the most important ones, and we make snap judgments about the people we meet within the first few seconds. I believe this applies as much to online dating profiles as to any other situation. Your first sentence either intrigues the reader and makes him want to continue reading and finding out more about who the author is, or it will make your profile blend into the sea of thousands of other generic profiles.
A perpetual autodidact. I’m an endlessly curious individual who loves entertaining alternative perspectives. I prize tolerance and compassion, and hold a policy of non-judgment. Academics entertain me to no end and I love exploring the abstract and the obscure, but for my idealist tendencies I’m still practical and grounded. I care about everything but mind almost nothing.
or, how about this one:
I may challenge you to a duel and use dirty, underhanded maneuvers to win at any cost. I will dress up so you can appreciate the differences between our bodies, both magical and banal. Every time I experience something really beautiful or paradigm-shifting or absolutely hilarious, I will seek you out to share it with you. I will revel in learning new things from you and with you. I will force you to listen to a new song I’m in love with just for “this daring part in the bass line,” or “that sick drum fill.” I will make you dissect the news and put you on grill duty at the potluck. And I will aspire to always bring a fresh idea to the brainstorming session.
Compare the to the following excerpt from yet another real female profile:
I consider myself fun, kind, well-educated and attractive. I grew up in the east coast and recently moved to the west coast a few years ago. I enjoy traveling, trying all the variety that SF has to offer, and am always up for new experiences. I am a foodie and love cooking as well.
– Although there is nothing inherently wrong with it, it is so painful commonplace and so unprovoking.
Now lets “distill” the situation even further and just look at the first sentence of each example above:
1. “A perpetual autodidact.”
2. “I may challenge you to a duel and use dirty, underhanded maneuvers to win at any cost.”
3. “I consider myself fun, kind, well-educated and attractive.”
Now, ask yourself – considering that the women who wrote all three profiles are equally attractive – which of the above first sentences would capture the attention of a male reader who is looking to meet a funny, interesting, non-run-of-the-mill woman?