So You’re Gonna Go On…

Yahoo recently announced that will become Yahoo’s online dating site provider.   This means that if you’re on Yahoo Personals and want to keep a profile up you’ll need to update your profile; if you’re not on already.  I wanted to take this opportunity to walk you through setting up a profile, and what NOT to put on it.The Questions
Lets step through each particular question  on — Not the essays.  While you’re mostly on your own there, I may cover those later. — and see if I can help you avoid the answers you shouldn’t put…because I don’t like them.  I’ve included some of my major pet peeves as well.  (No patience? If you jump to the end you’ll find the one single piece of advice that will help you more than anything when it comes to answering these questions.)

  • Username
    There are far too many bad examples that I can show you.  Just remember, this is going to stay with you and will be the first thing that the person you’re trying to attract will see.  Choose wisely.
  • Password
    Whatever you choose, send it to me so that I can fix your profile later.
  • Birthday
    When it comes to your age, don’t lie!  I don’t care if you look/feel/screw like someone 5/10/15 years younger.  Don’t do it!
  • Zip Code/City
    Why would you put down anything other than where you’re at…or where you are moving to within a month!  I honestly do not believe that such a high percentage of people live in Beverly Hills as the profiles I see indicate.  If you live in West LA, accept it.

  • What is your relationship status?
    If you’re married, like “married” married, you’re looking for another site.  If you’re “Currently Separated” that’s fine.  But, if you’re still living in the same house with each other, see each other daily, “figuring out” what you’re going to do, or having a “trial” separation, then your are NOT separated!
    The people that add “we’re legally separated” to their profile kinda annoy me.  If you live in California — I suspect this is true for other states as well — the only real reason to be “Legally Separated” is because you’re not getting divorced and wanted the courts to decide money, custody, etc.  In some states it’s a required stage on the road to divorce, but not here; it’s an entirely separate status.  If you tell me your “legally separated” I have to assume you’re saying you do not plan on divorcing your partner (such as for religious reasons), or you don’t really know what you’re talking about.

  • Gender:
    They showed a film in 5th grade to help you figure it out.

  • Who are you looking for?
    Pick “Men” or “Women”.  This has nothing to do with your own gender; you can pick whatever you want.  (We’re on, not eHarmony after all.)  Again, I can’t help you with this.  Just pick: boobs or dick?
  • Ages [for the person you’re looking for]:
    See my earlier post, Algebra in The Dating World

  • Where should we search?
    I recommend picking a radius from your zip code, instead of a region; unless you really wanna stick to that region.  (Picking a city seems limiting, and a state too large.)  Be aware though: a radius of 5 miles is about 78.5 sq miles, while a 30 mile radius is over 2,825 sq miles.
    Did you get that Do you see how limiting your location settings are on the iPhone app? That’s a hell of a jump in number of possible matches!  Could you fix that?  Maybe throw in a 20 mile option? If you want a better idea of just how much your selected radius will cover, try this tool. If you really feel it’s appropriate to put down a 1,000-3,000 mile radius, YOU better be prepared to travel; don’t expect them to come to you.

  • I only want to see matches who have photos
    Well.. do you?  If you select this you better be willing to pony up a picture of yourself as well.
    Quiet down… I put a picture up on Twitter… for a bit.

  • Where did you grow up?
    Again, its all on you.  I can’t tell you where you grew up.

  • What’s your sign?
    I don’t really believe in astrology — I find the “predictions” too general — but I’m not going to prevent a potential partner who does believe in it from contacting me.
    Hey Match: you already asked my birthday.  Why don’t you limit my options to “Libra” and the I don’t care choices?

  • How tall are you?
    Once again, don’t lie; especially guys!  This one is even worse that lying about your age!  As soon as you meet that someone they’re going to see that your scrawny 5’5″ frame isn’t the 5’10” athlete you claimed to be.  No matter how sparkling your personality, it won’t make up for the deception.

  • Which of these best describes your body type?
    Just because you and everyone you know are 30 pounds overweight, that does not make you “About average”.  You should also put down something that matches your photos; if you have a muffin top in a photo, I’ll know you’re not “Athletic and toned”.  I’ll be able to tell.  Trust me.

  • What is your eye color?  &  What is your hair color?
    Mirror… get one… use it.

  • What sort of sports and exercise do you enjoy?
    Do not check off everything.  Nobody enjoys “everything”.  Check off what you really enjoy…today.  If you’ve played racquetball but haven’t even seen a racquet in 10 years except for when you cleaned up the garage, then you are not into Racquet sports.
    Oh yeah, “Other types of exercise” is NOT a euphemism; you’re not being cute.

  • What common interests would you enjoy sharing with your dates?
    Again, do not select everything.  It will not significantly expand your pool of potential matches.  It will just mean that you’ll end up spending a Saturday shopping for antiques, going to the museum, then helping out at Saturday Evening Mass, when you don’t really want to.  Put down what YOU enjoy and what you would enjoy SHARING with a date; if you don’t want them joining you at your weekly poker game, don’t select “Playing cards”.

  • The kind of movies I like:
    This one is actually hard for me.  You can pick more than one, and it’s a struggle to not select everything.  Sometimes I like Comedy, other times a Drama or sitting down with a classic.  The one thing that saves me is Foreign; nope, not for me.  Just try to pick only what YOU like.

  • How often do you exercise?
    Exercise: activity requiring physical effort, carried out esp. to sustain or improve health and fitness.  That does not include going up and down the stairs in your apartment building because the lift is out of order, nor does it include walking to/from the pub because you’re too blasted to drive.

  • Do you smoke?
    If you do, don’t say you don’t, nor underestimate how much.  People that don’t smoke can smell it more than you realize.  If you say that you’re trying to quit and you’re not, you’re almost guaranteed to meet someone that’s going to try to help you quit.

  • How often do you drink?
    Another question I’m not crazy about.  If I drink twice a month — you know, like only during the weeks when the kids are aren’t around — isn’t that “Regularly”?  If you’re a moderate drinker does that mean that you can’t be a social drinker?  I guess if you only drink with others then you’re a “Social drinker”, but if you have a beer at home alone every night that’s “Moderately”, or “Regularly”?  If you drink, you drink… just say it.  If you don’t, then say you don’t.  Be yourself and answer honestly.

  • What do you do for a living?
    There is no “Unemployed” answer, so pick what’s close to what you do, or have done rather.  Fill out the “Tell us more:” section too.
    Oh yeah, and if you’re reading profiles, don’t assume that “Other profession” or “No answer” means they’re unemployed.

  • Do you have children?
    You do know if you have kids, right?  You know how many…right??  RIGHT???
    I personally think it says a lot about a person when they answer “Yes, and they live away from home” and  the kids are young — like pre-teen or so.  Why aren’t they with you, at least sometimes?  Really, please tell me.

  • Would you like to have more children?
    For me, this is a hard one to adequately convey an answer.  I don’t “definitely” want another; not a requirement for me.  “Someday” means the same thing in my book.  But I don’t definitely not want another one.  If I find that someone When I find that someone that I want to spend my coming years with, and if that person I love wants a/nother child, who am I to say “no”.  You’re on your own on this one; I put “Not sure”.

  • What’s your current annual income?
    I don’t like answering this one.  Is the person reading my answer looking for someone that is capable of providing for them, or are they simply materialistic.  Yes, to me it’s that black-and-white.  The person that wants to be with me shouldn’t care about how much money I make; I don’t believe we’re defined by the paycheck we bring home.

  • Which pets do you have (or you like but don’t have)?
    Once again, if you say you like cats — but don’t — you better be ready for someone with cats to contact you.  Same with dogs, horses, and…what the heck qualifies as an “exotic pet” nowadays anyway?
    Apparently I can “have”, “like or don’t have”, or “no opinion”.  What if I “have but don’t like”?  What if I just “don’t like”?  Hey Match, couple more options for the real world please.

  • Which ethnicities best describe you?
    I do like that you can pick multiple options here.  Call your parents if you need help with the answer.

  • What is your faith?
    Why can’t I have multiple answers on this one?
    Dear Match: it’s really not always that cut and dry.

  • What languages do you speak?
    You probably should have more than 1 year of high school Spanish if you’re going to check it off, otherwise you might be embarrassed at El Torito.  mas tequila por favor!!

  • Describe your political views.
    Why oh WHY do they not give a “no answer” option!?  Politics suck.  THIS, is not black-and-white.  “Ultra conservative” (seriously?) to “Non-conformist”.  What if you have different viewpoints on different topics?  Can you be a gun-toting pro-abortionist?  (hyperbole… didn’t say I was!) (didn’t say I wasn’t either though.)

  • What’s your level of education?
    Don’t lie about it, but it’s another one I don’t like.  I get it that there’s a difference that matters a little between only finishing High School or having a PhD, but does “some college” vs “bachelors degree” define you?  I’m all for education, but instead of living in a dorm, try raising kids that turn out awesome.  (I should be getting a degree for that… and it takes longer than 4 years.)

  • Tell us your birth order
    WHY the hell do they let you choose multiple answers?  So, according to them, I can be “the only child”, “from a large family”, “the oldest”, and born in “the middle”.  That just ridiculo… oh, wait, that is me.

  • If my friend and I ended up at a party where I didn’t know anyone else I would:
    Really?  This is a question?  Fine… The obvious answer is missing from here: “Hope they don’t realize that we crashed the party and end up kicking us out.”

  • I’m most drawn to charities that:
    Hey MATCH!  I give equal amounts to Heal The Bay, Surfrider Foundation, United Way, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and I donate time to others.  Can I please pick more than one?  Oh… sorry… you did say “most”.

  • Which of these comedians makes you laugh the most?
    Seriously, are some of these people even still funny?

  • Let’s say you got a big bonus. What would you do with it?
    Not talk about it on Match, that’s for sure.

  • If I had 2 weeks off and could take any vacation I desired, I’d:
    Like the movie genre, this shows you pictures to help you choose, but this time you can choose only 1 answer.  This one is your choice again.  There’s no answer I see as wrong or odd, unless it’s not true.

  • How tall should he/she be? Eye color, Hair color, Body type:
    Pick what you like.  I actually support picking “No preference” here, unless you feel that strongly one way or another.  I’m of the mindset that there is more than just the physical appearance that matters.

  • Ethnicities, Religion, Education level, Languages spoken:
    I like that these questions let you choose how important they are; “Must have” or just “Nice to have”.  Pick what you want, but don’t go too broad.  If you’re not attracted to a LDS, Native American with a PhD who only speaks Urdu, make sure those aren’t the only answers you check and that they’re not all a “Must have”.

  • Job, & Salary range:
    Did you see the part above where I talked about what you do and how much you make shouldn’t define you?  I wouldn’t let it define the person you’re looking for either.  If you feel you must, then do it, but you may end up having someone awesome skip past you because they feel like they don’t match what you want.

  • Smoking:
    This one I have no problem that you should check exactly what you want.  I know people who never smoked, as well as former smokers, that can’t stand the odor.  If you’re going to be uncomfortable around someone that smells like cigarettes, then you probably should choose something other than “No Preference”.

  • Alcohol:
    I drink.  Just wanted to get that out there, in case you didn’t know.  I’ve been friends with and have dated people that don’t drink.  I’ve had some people say that after being around me they need a drink, but I don’t believe that you have to drink to have fun.  I wouldn’t recommend selecting anything on here, unless you fall to the end of the spectrum that you don’t drink and only want to be with someone that also doesn’t drink.  I understand that one.

  • Marital status:
    I’ve seen profiles that have selected only “Never Married” for the person they seek.  Seriously?  Why would someone have a problem dating someone who’s divorced?  Do you think they’re damaged?  Problem dating someone that’s a widow/widower?  What, are they cursed or something!?  Get over it!

  • Want kids?
    This should coincide with your own answer about what you want.  If you chose that you want (more) kids, you should probably try to find someone that wants them as well.

  • Has kids?
    I’ve actually seen profiles of people who have kids, they want more, but want someone without kids.  Seriously?  I think you have bigger issues there.  If you have kids, why would it be a problem that your partner has some too?
    I hate this answer though: “Yes, as long as they live away from home”.  Really Match?  That just sounds a little harsh!

After all is said and done, it took me entirely too long to get through all these questions; and that’s not even counting the essays.  Why are there so many questions?  Why do I have to talk about myself so much?

There is a profile who’s headline reads “Shouldn’t this be easier?”  No, it shouldn’t.  People are using these sites to try find someone that they MIGHT connect with.  In this day and age, the online world is the way to meet people, especially if you’re out of college, been married, have kids… We don’t live in the same world that previous generations lived in so we don’t get to have all the same comforts that they did.  If members of the previous generation split up they didn’t have the option of going online.  They had to attend single mixers, or hang out in bars and hope.  It doesn’t always work that way anymore.

So no, this shouldn’t be easier, not if you’re serious about finding that someone.

Answer the questions, and you’ll be successful.  I told you at the beginning that I would give you the single most important piece of advice when it comes to answering these questions.  Are you ready?  Here it comes….

Be honest

If you are honest with yourself, and answer all the questions honestly and openly, then the person that is right for you will find you.  Don’t twist an answer.  Don’t exaggerate.  Just be yourself, and let the rest of us enjoy you!


About Fresh Start Dad
Early forties, divorced dad of two teenagers, surviving back in the single world. Here to share stories and any survival skills I pick-up a

2 Responses to So You’re Gonna Go On…

  1. Lisa says:

    I can’t understand why someone wouldn’t be honest on these things. It doesn’t make sense! People are a-holes, man.

    And, I just reactivated my profile, because it said I had two emails and I was curious to see who wrote em. *sigh* The world gets to overlook me for another month or two.

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