Skip Nav
9 Feminist Moments From GOT Season 7 That Will Make You Damn Proud to Be a Woman
Game of Thrones
The 20 Hottest Sex Scenes From Game of Thrones
Game of Thrones
Why That Missandei and Grey Worm Sex Scene Is Such a Big Effing Deal

Ask E. Jean For DearSugar: Am I an Online Dating Dud?

E. Jean is still enjoying her time off, but don't fret, she'll be back December 4th! In the meantime, here's an oldie but goodie. Enjoy!

Dear E. Jean,

I know I’m old-fashioned, but I’ve never tried any of the dating sites. It is now time. Past time! (I’m 30 years old and haven’t had a date in seven months. Awk.)

Ok. So. I put my profile on I worked hard trying to sound smart and funny and cool. Believe it or not, I was frightened I was going to get inundated with guys I didn’t want to talk to . . . and guess what? No guys — not one guy — wrote to me. Nothing! I’m just sitting there. What am I doing wrong? I feel like I should take my profile down! This is not for me! My friends get tons of notice and meet lots of guys, and one of my friends even married a guy she met on The Onion personals. I don’t get it. Help! — Dead on Match

To see E. Jean's answer,


Dead, My Daffodil: Come, come, my darling! Buck up! With just one magic tweak to your profile (and I wish you had given us a link), you will be meeting three chaps for coffee by next weekend — guaranteed.

First, forget your profile. Second, don’t worry about coming off as “smart and funny and cool.” Third: It does not matter what you say; it’s all about your picture. If your picture is charming (intriguing, bewitching), guys will want to meet you.

So hire hair and makeup, bring in a stylist, and pay a professional photographer to take your picture. (Or, ask your chic friends for help.) I’m serious. Why do you think the women in Elle, Glamour, Vogue, and W look so enticing? They spend hours getting ready and then hundreds (and hundreds and hundreds) of shots are fired. Gilles Bensimon, who shoots the Elle covers, will shoot an entire afternoon chasing the “perfect” image. You should do no less.

Then, for Gawd’ssakes, don’t write a profile; tell a story. Keep it short, thrilling, warm, and a tad elusive. And why are you waiting for guys to write to you? If you see a lad you like, drop him an email. Mention something delicious that caught your attention about his picture (or his favorite movies, books, etc.) and voila! A raucous courtship can begin with a sedate exchange about butterfly hunting. Good Luck, Miss Dead! Let us all know how it’s going!

To see more advice from E. Jean visit Elle magazine and

Join The Conversation
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
there's never any rhyme or reason for why people respond or not..but the note here about your picture meaning more than anything - well that's the truth. if you don't have a great picture, then you'll never get people to notice you. that's what you have to go on for online dating...give it more time - people will contact you.
plus_2_kid plus_2_kid 8 years
I met husband on The Onion personals. I had no photo in my profile and got very few responses. HOWEVER I contacted 2 guys. Neither had photos -- both turned out EXTREMELY cute, and very good matches. Dated one for a while, and married the other. If you are shy about putting your photo up, reach out to others who also don't have photos. They are likely like you.
cheersdarlin916 cheersdarlin916 8 years
I most definetly agree that the picture should be good. In my case I gained a bunch of weight since I last put up a profile and when I updated my profile with a current picture I get NOTHING! Just goes to prove that men want someone skinny and won't even try if you look overweight in your picture.
skigurl skigurl 8 years
HAHA i second pics are....indescribably TERRIBLE!
CYL CYL 8 years
I also know this is old..but pictures matter! I met my bf on (free website) but let's be honest, most men are vain creatures, and I have to admit I am too. If a guy is cute that is the first thing that catches my eye to click on their profile so I can read what they have to say! If they are an idiot I am still not intrested but if they are cute and seem fun/intelligent enough I send them a hi or something witty about their profile if they havne't messaged me yet. In regards to the professional pic, I don't think you should. I mean its like the bait and switch. Guy aren't dumb, unless you are prepared to look like that ELLE cover everytime you see them, they will notice how your picture and you don't match. I say, choose a good pic of yourself (recent pic more than 2 years old) of you laughing, having fun at a party, with friedns (crop them out of course) and see what happens. Oh and webcam pics...are the wost..
skigurl skigurl 8 years
i know this is old, but i'll post a comment anyway: the picture matters! of course it does, because guys are shallow. but it doesn't mean that guys who look at your photo first are bad guys and guys you wouldn't want to date. i mean, would you want to go out blind with someone you've never laid eyes on? probably not. attraction is a big part of dating. use your profile to compliment your photo, but make sure you have a hot pic up there. make sure it's representative of yourself, and don't fool them by posting something that makes you look 80lb lighter than you are, but doll yourself up a little bit and use some good lighting! and if you can't possibly get a good picture of yourself to post, then consider overhauling your look. dating is tough. you gotta look hot. you don't want to date fat, ugly guys, and frankly guys don't want to date fat, ugly girls, realistic!
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 9 years
Doesn't offer you your money back if you don't meet a match in 6 months? It can't have been long enough to give up already. I do like Petite42s advice though because you'll be saving time by responding to the guys you're interested in since everyone knows you're already looking.
Ena Ena 9 years
LOL@petite42 I remember the olden days of Yahoo personal (when it was free). I met my husband on there, I didn't even have to try instead I went on a rant about guys and other things. I wasn't "looking" for anyone really, I was having a really bad week and in one of those moods when I wrote it up too. I figured I'd do it to get a few laughs since mostly the guys on there were well "duds" anyway (back then), I got a few ummmm.....interesting offers from a couple of hard up guys (if you know what I mean), I had a pretty decent and funny conversation through ims/emails with one of them turns out he wrote it mostly for laughs as well. I also got a reply from a 80 year old guy to be his "breeder" for his children *shivers* . My husband's was the last one to reply to my personal, his was the most normal and the most honest response, which really got my attention. We clicked almost instantly and have ever since :). My message to Dead on Match is never give up hope, don't try so hard, be honest, and be yourself. If your are dead set on posting a pic of you here are a few things to keep in mind. Take a nice photo of yourself, not a dolled up one. The guy will think the dolled up photo is how you always will always be dressed and such, let the photo show who you really are not a fake image. You don't want a guy who doesn't want you for who you really are.
petite42 petite42 9 years
In the olden days of yahoo personals, nobody had photos. Women got 300 responses to every 1 response a man would get. I met my hubby through match - I responded to his ad. He'd posted a horrible pic - scanned copy of his driver's license photo - really horrible! - but his ad was quite witty. I sent him an email teasing him about how his ears stuck out too much. I was the only woman to respond to his ad, he never thought to ask for my photo before our first date, and the rest is history. OH- and he was MUCH cuter IRL than in his photo! You do have to make allowances, because we all know photos totally lie, or make you look awful.
pink-elephant pink-elephant 9 years
haha! ah, herps...the gift that keeps on giving!
My-Opinion My-Opinion 9 years
:rotfl: sticky!!
colormesticky colormesticky 9 years
Agreed, jiggy and Whip. You shouldn't be putting bad pictures of yourself on your profile or anything, but unless you're only looking to hook up you should probably put the cleavage away and set down the eyeliner pencil. And try another dating site if Match isn't the answer. Yahoo! Personals, eHarmony, Chemistry, and whatever else is out there. Just steer clear of Craigslist unless you want the herps. :rotfl:
MrsJigglesworth MrsJigglesworth 9 years
I think you should be genuine in both areas- photo and info.
EJean EJean 9 years
bellaressa bellaressa 9 years
I am just shocked that people actually review the The Onion personals.
EJean EJean 9 years
Excellent point, Miss WhiplashGirlChild!
WhatTheFrockBlog WhatTheFrockBlog 9 years
Well, then, like I said, I wouldn't want to be with the type of guy who would only read my profile if I had a Glamour shot up there.
tomatoshirt tomatoshirt 9 years
if they dont write to you, you write to them. if they don't ans, who cares. I was on match for a while, i went on a couple of dates. the funny thing is i met my current bf through one of the guy that i went on date with. i don't think online dating is for me. it doesn't make me feel comfortable. so maybe online dating is not for you either. just go to parties, hang outs. i am sure you will find someone there... i hate this saying but it's kind of true, expect the unexpected. wish you luck!
EJean EJean 9 years
Excellent advice, Miss Petite42! As for WhiplashGirlChild----Hello! I am loathe to tell you, but the picture IS all important. Only if guys/girls like the picture will they even bother to read the profile. How do I know? Just massive, MASSIVE amounts of data. I founded (where women recommend their ex-boyfriends to each other.) It was on OPRAH twice-----she called it the smartest dating idea she had ever heard. It was also on The Today Show, CBS Early Show, 48 Hours, CNN (ten times!), the cover The New York Times Style section, etc, etc., etc. I only tell you this because I had a moment-by-moment view of what guys are looking for. And what are they looking for? Not words, not wit, not character. Initially they are ONLY interested in what a woman looks like. (Then, they will glance at the profile.... if they like the outline, they will read more closely.)
petite42 petite42 9 years
Internet dating veteran here: Take down your profile, and instead, answer men's ads. Send along your photo when they ask for it. You will have much better luck this way, trust me! And while you're at it... don't shy away from answering ads with no photos. You'd be surprised how many of these guys are actually quite handsome.
WhatTheFrockBlog WhatTheFrockBlog 9 years
Plus, if I saw a guy's profile with an obviously styled photo, I'd write him off as being vain and kind of douchey.
WhatTheFrockBlog WhatTheFrockBlog 9 years
I disagree. I think that a good picture is fairly important for a first impression but a straightforward, honest profile is most important. Would you really want to date a guy who is only interested in how you look when you have a professional stylist and photographer?
Romantic Gifts For Boyfriends
How to Start Cooking For Yourself
Why Is Summer Romantic?
What Is a Little Black Book?
From Our Partners
Latest Love
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds