When creating a profile for an online dating service, the very first thing to consider is a pseudonym.
This important piece of information is the first part of your profile you are asked to supply and will be how people think of you and refer to you until you disclose your true identity (if ever you actually choose to).
How does one choose a name?
Some people mention their interests; others use a thought-provoking word or phrase; and others throw together an odd assortment of jumbled letters and numbers.
When creating my own moniker, I first tried the name I had used for a previous blog. That, however, was already taken. Few things are as lame to me as adding a number to the end of a phrase. It’s like saying, “Hey! I couldn’t think of anything original, so let me advertise my lack of originality!” So it was back to the drawing board.
I settled on a blend of whimsical words that represent my personality as well as some of my hobbies: Euphonic_Charity
I can’t claim that I came up with the name on my own—It was actually the title of a mixed CD a friend made in high school (Take all the angst of high school drama, throw in a few heaping tablespoons of emo boy band, an acoustic guitar, and some whiny-voiced singers, and that’s pretty much the gist of the CD. I still love those songs, and I’m forever grateful to Shane and Ashley, who are the primary parties responsible for the expansion of my musical awareness ^_^).
But even though I was not the originator of the name, it suited my personality and my purposes ideally.
First, it uses pretentious verbiage—something I am a huge fan of (and manage to sprinkle throughout my conversations both consciously and unconsciously on a regular basis).
Second, it used FABULOUS synonyms. As a former English teacher with a passionate love of words, synonyms make me happy. Euphonic charity is a pretentiously complex rendition of “musical love.” A nice double meaning since I love music, and this is a dating website where it seems that everyone and their brother is seeking true love.
Unfortunately, not everyone puts as much thought into their online alias as I put into mine (I literally stared at my computer screen for twenty minutes while proposing then rejecting different options. So perhaps if you are thinking of creating an online alias—whether for dating purposes, blogging, or other forms of web-based interaction, you might want to brainstorm ahead of time before sitting down to actually create the profile.)
Keep in mind, as a girl, I am only presented with guy profiles, so my perspective is quite one-sided. But I can imagine that the general principles behind name-choice remains the same. People may be advised not to judge a book by its cover, but I definitely judge a book by its title. Grab some popcorn, and entertain yourself by browsing through this list of awful names I’ve compiles just by a few minutes of browsing through the section PlentyofFish, in its not-so-infinite wisdom, has deemed my “matches”:
- 19lookingforyou83 (Ummmm. No. Keep looking buddy, because you sound a bit desperate.)
- Mann1enough (man enough for what? Sounds like someone has either a huge ego or really low self esteem.)
- Dlish23 (Not delicious at all. Are you the 23rd person to consider yourself delicious or just a 23 year old who can’t spell?)
- Brianislookingagain (Way to advertise how fantastically successful you weren’t at previous attempts)
- Guy_next_door_4u (Had it ended at door, it would have fallen into neutral territory, neither good nor bad. The addition of the ‘4u’ plunged it straight into the category of desperate Jr. High Angst.)
- Nice_now (Were you not nice before?)
- Lookingfortheone312 (Congratulations, you are the 312th person on this site who could come up with nothing more original than, “looking for the one.” Who isn’t?)
- Prettygoodsingleguy (Only “pretty good”? What is this? A monument to mediocrity?)
- Bringthepain (What are we? Masochists? How is this supposed to represent you as a figure a girl would want to meet? Either you enjoy physical pain, or you have a worst-case-scenario perspective when it comes to relationships.)
- Funnyguy_4u2nv (The only thing I envy is your complete oblivion to proper spelling. I hate to inform you, dude, but other guys can’t see your profile, and envy is NOT one of the cornerstones for a healthy relationship between you and a girl).
- Fun111222333 (This is like a bad episode of Dora the Explorer, where they repeat EVERYTHING endlessly.
- Eligiblebachelor79 (If you weren’t eligible, would you be on this site?)
- Imastar1987 (Just…. Just. No.)
- Jagbombed (Because putting your alcoholism in your alias is a sure-fire way to get a date.)
- Man218 (You’re the 218th man on this site? Or the 218th person who couldn’t think of any, more original noun?)
- JamesBond00788 (Identity issues, anyone?)
- Dreamguy_83 (Sigh…. Really?)
- M33tf (You want to meet females?)
- Beerdelivery_88 (Again with the alcoholism? Super suave. Obviously you are bringing your A-game.)
- Wis3_one (Wise… but not smart enough to spell wise correctly.)
- Thephantommennacesucked (of all the things particular to you, the one you want everyone to know is how much you hate this movie?)
With the exception of two, I know just by looking at those names that I probably wouldn’t be interested in reading the profile or interacting with the person the name belongs to.
Keep in mind, these were all names I stumbled upon in only ONE DAY of browsing.
Now that we’ve seen several examples of what not to do, let’s look at some examples of names I found creative, intriguing, or witty.
- Dividebyzero321 (I still hate the numbers at the end, but at least it’s better than “dream guy 321”)
- Interesting_adventure (A bit bland, but still, much better than the above options)
- Noodles135 (Numbers—still obnoxious—but a tribute to a favorite food? Not too shabby)
- PeterNicompoop (This could honestly go in either category. I don’t know why you would want to describe yourself as a nincompoop—it isn’t exactly high on the list of desirable traits women seek in their men; but it’s definitely intriguing.)
- Celticmechanic (Cultural heritage AND a job. nice)
- Stateparkman (Hooray! It’s not the most intriguing, but it’s definitely a step up from “RUthe1_4_me
- NorthernXposure81 (again, numbers? really? But this is the first time I’ve found the grammatical discrepency clever as opposed to obnoxious)
- Colliderinblue (Collides with what? I like things that inspire questions about the person)
- Good_Knight_Owl (Homonymic double meaning? Awesome)
- Liberty_keeper (Defender of freedom? cool)
- The_rain_maker (loved this)
- Illusoryaxiom (Maybe a bit intimidating, but definitely unique and intriguing)
- Getbusylivingor (or what? I love the way this name ends)
So there you have it. What’s in a name? At least half of your first impression. When I’m not on the PlentyofFish website, I get emails telling me who has sent me messages–no information about the user except for their user name. If the name implies desperate for attention or illiterate, chances are, I won’t make reading your message a priority.
But choosing a name is only the first step. After that, you have to actually WRITE ABOUT YOURSELF and POST PICTURES.
Stay tuned to read the good, the bad, and the horrifically scary of online dating profiles.
(By the way, remember Doug, my coworker whose date with Andrea Gorgeous compelled me to consider the realm of online dating? They are on their second date tonight. ^_~)