04/01/2015 01:07 EDT | Updated 06/01/2015 05:59 EDT

How Do You Write a CV for Love?

love button showing concept for online dating
love button showing concept for online dating

Financially secure man who enjoys cuddling and kissing, traveling to warm places, running on endless deep sandy beaches, antique hunting and working out, looking for a woman who is smart, sexy, slim, open-minded and even-tempered with a sense of humor, and full of love! If any of this resonates, let's meet.

I've recently rejoined the dating world at 60. After 30 years of marriage and brief period of rest after it ended, it's like entering a foreign country. No, wait, I know how to do that. This is way more alien.

The "dating" part is easy enough, if you can call meeting for a drink or coffee a date. Sitting down with someone I don't know and yakking for an hour or two comes easily to me, even if I don't find them particularly interesting. My parents taught me etiquette and it's coming in handy.

But the finding part is really difficult. I participate in a variety of things where I meet eligible men but love is a statistical game -- hundreds rejected to find the one that fits -- so I thought I'd try filling the funnel online. Yikes.

I start by checking out what men say they're looking for in a partner. It's market research. The most common: Confident, no drama, passionate, loves to cuddle, fun loving, a sense of humour, good conversation, is honest and genuine, takes care of herself.

In other words, present yourself half decently, laugh at their jokes, and don't turn them down for sex. Oh, and never bring up any residual issues you may have about your ex because that reminds them of the residual issues they have with theirs. All that seems pretty much like all dating through the ages. So how's a girl to stand out?

As a writer and a marketer, I'm cursed with a need to fiddle endlessly with my profile. I want to test headlines and rearrange photos and alter my positioning statement in order to best package and sell the product. Should I say I'm smart? That can be intimidating. Warm and caring? Insufficiently unique. Passionate? I can't even write that without laughing; it's been so long I don't remember anymore. Should I be so bold as to admit I don't golf, when apparently one of the key things men my age are looking for is a reliable golf partner? Maybe that's a confession for date number three.

Then I realize the product is me. And I don't want just anyone to buy.

Writing about yourself for a dating profile is like writing a CV for love. In the same way that you want to stand out to potential employers, you're trying to do the same for all those searching prospects who are out their shopping, but it's way more personal. Most people -- men and women alike -- have a lot of trouble figuring out what to include, what to leave out, and what tone to strike.

There's a striking paucity of imagination in the men's profiles (the only ones I get to see; possibly this it true for women's too), and an even more striking use of the clichés men believe will attract women. I like to cuddle on the sofa and enjoy a glass of wine with my sweetheart at the end of the day! I love to cook! I love long walks on the beach at sunset! I like holding hands and showering my love with little acts of affection! I love anything that involves you! My reaction to these promises -- essentially please, no -- either tells me I'm just not a romantic, or that I have a thing about clichés. Online dating is a great way to learn things about yourself.

What I really want to know is, do you clean toilets? Empty the dishwasher? Take the dog for his 7:00 a.m. walk even in the dead of winter? Maybe I'm too pragmatic for this.

In the end I opt for a profile blurb that's short but covers what I consider to be the important stuff. Because, really, if 99.9 per cent of the men don't find that stuff attractive, that's OK. I'm interested in the 0.1% who do, because with them I'll be able to be me. And in any case, experts say that men tend to judge by the photos first, then breeze through the written profile to make sure there are no red flags (Drama! Insecurity! Lack of passion!).

By keeping mine short I make their lives easier. Surely I'll get points for that?


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