Changing My Profile

I had four choices when it came to dealing with the problem of scaring off men: do nothing, be even more transparent in my profile than I already was, strip remaining identifying information out of my profile, stop writing about my dating experience in my blog, or, the most extreme choice, give up on online dating.

Albert Einstein’s admonition came to mind: The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results. I abandoned the notion of doing nothing.

Becoming even more transparent in my profile by fessing up to my blog was appealing because it fit with my commitment to directness, authenticity, and transparency. Before I began writing about my dating experience, I had joked that to write about it might weed out the boys from the men. It had probably done that, but it seemed to be scaring off otherwise perfectly good men too.

The third possibility was stripping identifying information from my profile. I had already made a change to my profile by changing my online moniker. It had been connected with my business name, thereby making it almost effortless to find me quickly. I gave myself a moniker that could not identify me. I had also stripped out some of the references to shamanism because it obfuscated things. The primary identifying words remaining in my profile were writer and editor. It seemed easy enough to eliminate those words, and I reminded myself that close female friends had been urging me to give less information about myself on my profile for some time.

The fourth possibility was to just stop writing about my dating experiences in my blog. Of course, the blog posts I’d already written could still be found unless I took more drastic action, but anyone finding the blog would at least be able to tell, from the date of the latest post about dating, that I had stopped writing about it. I wasn’t ready to give up blogging about dating.

The last possibility was to just abandon the online dating world altogether. It seemed a defeatist approach, but I did want to consider it. I was a member of two paid online dating services. I received endless views and contacts through one of them, but some of those views and contacts were from men out of state and few of the rest were from men I would choose to date. And when I did a search using geographical and age parameters, there was almost no one I found appealing. The other site had a much larger pool of possible partners, but I had less views and contacts from men on that site, and I had enough experience with my messages to men being ignored to tell me that even when I reached out, I wasn’t getting much response. Of course, I had to admit that the problem of my transparency might be impacting that. I wasn’t ready to give up on the idea of online dating, though I was ready to look at what other sites might be better for me when my paid memberships were up.

It seemed that the most sensible approach was to revise my profile, stripping out any identifying information. There were a couple of others things I could do too. When asked my name, I had been telling men that I reserve giving my name until I have a phone or face-to-face meeting with a man. Instead of saying that, I could just as easily give them my middle name. I couldn’t be easily identified from it, and it is a real part of my full name. The other thing I could do was to avoid giving out my cell phone number. A reverse search made me quickly identifiable from that number. I had attempted using a Google number at one point, but that hadn’t worked well. Just holding the phone number in reserve until a meeting seemed the best route. Alternatively, I could give my land line number because, thanks to a quirky issue with how it is listed, I was hard to track down from it. But I would need to screen a man before doing that.

I went to both online sites and not only stripped out identifying information, but also refined my profiles. Then I sat back to see what would happen.

Just changing a profile or adding photos tends to bump a profile up in the page listings on these sites, so I had to take that into account. And I had read the first part of the year always brought an upsurge in online dating activity, so I also had to take that into account. But I not only received a bit of a burst in views, I received new requests for back-and-forth communication and, ultimately, meetings.

One thing I hadn’t changed, though, was my commitment to being up front about my blog once I met a man. When I had done that in the past, few men seemed to be put off by it. Would that still be the case? Or would the sheer number of posts, coupled with the erotic quality of a few of them, scare off any man who left a first meeting with me and did a little blog reading?

There were many unknowns, and I was back to being a dating anthropologist.


Copyright 2017 by Melanie Mulhall


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4 Responses to “Changing My Profile”

  1. astanton01 Says:

    Hi Melanie, I think it’s safe to say you are a unique and unconventional woman in today’s mainstream culture. Your interest in shamanism, for example, does not represent typical Americans’ spiritual beliefs. It’s my guess that when men read about it, they don’t know what it is or what to think about it, so they look elsewhere. That’s why I’m wondering if it would help to specifically look for men who also believe in Shamanism and your other belief systems (past lives?) since those men would potentially “speak your language.” Then you would know right off the bat if your new man rightly appreciates and values your unusual views. Rather than keep it secret, I say, flaunt it! But you’ve probably thought about this and tried it already. I wish you luck finding the right guy – you’ve got courage. I’d be too doubtful to even look.
    XOXO Andy

    • Melanie Mulhall Says:

      Andy, there is so much I could say about this, it could be a blog post. Hmm. Now there’s an idea. I have discovered that some men are put off by the very mention of shamanism, some don’t have a clue what it means, and some are attracted to the idea. Of those attracted to the idea, some seem ungrounded and others seem to think it means I’m into mind altering drugs. I’m a very grounded person, and I don’t use drugs in my practice. They aren’t needed to enter an altered state of consciousness. So the reality of my connection to shamanism just seems to obfuscate things. On top of that, I have found that it isn’t really necessary for a man to be into shamanism to be a suitable man for me. My late husband wasn’t, for instance. I’ve also come to understand that the principles of shamanism are really not that far from mainstream, at least not in Colorado. (Smiling at that.) I’m not looking for someone like me. I’m looking for someone compatible, and I know that you know that is a mysterious and somewhat complex thing.

      Thank you for your thoughtful and insightful comment. I so appreciate it.

  2. nancy hogue Says:

    Hi Melanie, IMO you have been doing everything and more to be up front and approachable, which ought to be refreshing and inviting to anyone who views your dating site info.

    Please do all you can to keep your private info secure, as you have been doing so far, as evidenced by the safety actions you have already done.

    Men can seem a skittish bunch, but I would bet the farm that there are plenty out there who would rejoice to meet a woman willing to put her cards on the table and play fair. And who is also interested in enjoying the perks of dating, as a lively and willing participant, if the chemistry fells right.

    My 2 cents, you are just experiencing the laws of averages in spite of doing everything great and somehow, someway, the clouds will part and the sun will shine.

    Good luck and whatever you do, know you have what it takes to brighten anyone’s day! For real.

    • Melanie Mulhall Says:

      Nancy, it appears that being upfront has been working to my disadvantage. But there is only so much a person as transparent as me can do. I’m going to be transparent. Yes, I do stay safe. There are a load of scammers on these sites, and we all need to send them packing without becoming jaded. I could use your voice in my ear when I drift into that jaded territory. 🙂

      Thanks for your comment and your support.

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