What’s in a (screen) name?
I have often been asked by readers and dating profile clients what makes for a really good online dating name.
Well, think about it—especially you folks who complain that your fellow singles “only look at the pictures anyway.” This is your chance to be clever, cool, fun, witty, and alluring.
That is, If you don’t totally mess it up by coming up with something stupid, self-obsessed, or downright uninteresting.
I find it’s helpful to answer the question about handles with a question or two of my own:
Guys, in real life, could a woman possibly feel a hot animal attraction to you if you were to introduce yourself as Bob4UOnly? Dubious.
Or, if you’re a woman:
How enthralling would you be to the handsome guy standing in line with you at Starbuck’s if you were to open with, “Hey there, I’m TwilightObsessd!”
In my last post I explained why online dating is a numbers game—and why your one and only task in creating your dating profile is to convince vast numbers of profile visitors that you are someone they must learn more about.
Well, you may ask, how in heaven’s name do I go about being so charismatic? Great question. And what better place to begin getting down to fascination tactics than your user name? I want to talk beginning your online profile with a fantastic user name—but first I feel compelled to offer a little
rant advice on what makes a handle horrid.
1. The “Ew” Factor
For men: Saying anything that presumes you know what every woman would find sexy. Or pretending that you’re only on the site to please the entire female population there. Or, perhaps most repellant of all, insisting that you’re not yet over the hill. (In other words, “StillSexy4U” will make every woman of every age and every background throw up a little in her mouth. Guaranteed.)
For women: Being wistfully spiritual in a fakey-fake kind of way. Or being a rabid fan of something incomprehensible to the average male. “MySpiritDances,” for example, reeks of talk show self-helpy drivel. And Twilight references reveal you as the sort of nitwit who only read celebrity gossip magazines until a syrupy vampire series made you feel you might actually be sorta literary.
Please, I beg you: stay away from Oprah-style mantras and chick-lit fan raves—or your average male profile visitor will run to hang a string of garlic around his neck.
2. The “Sexual Sorceror” Factor
For men: Any handle that conveys your faith in your amazing sexual prowess—or the presence in your bedroom closet of a pleasure chest full of accessories—reveals you as a clueless narcissist. Both in life and in bed.
LuvToys69. No bueno.
For women: An online dating name that suggests you can cast some sort of hypnotic siren spell over ever whole rooms full of unsuspecting men. Or that you think you’re a dead ringer for an iconic sex symbol.
MarilynMnr0. Now that’s just silly.
3. The Snooze Factor
It should be self-evident that boring user names will, uh, bore people. But since so many people commit the cardinal sin of being dull from the user name on, let’s talk about what to avoid.
For men: Referring to the countless hours you spend melting into the sofa cushions while you watch other men run around a field.
- Redskins4Me. My response? If I’m going to skip the gym on a Sunday afternoon to drink beer, it won’t be with someone who’s staring at a 100-inch screen.
For women: Anything that paints you as the sort of chick whose hobbies all somehow involve the consumption of baked goods.
- CupcakeGrl. Sorry—those little goodies may be all the rage, but your identifying yourself by them means you’ve agreed to accept a life of unending, frosting-saturated dullness.
So What is a Good Online Dating Name?
Any name that makes for a sizzling introduction to the single-and-looking world. So don’t make yours icky, smarmy, sexually grotesque, or sleep-inducing.
Have I made my point?
Excellent. Next post we’ll move on to some examples of spot-on screen names–and a few prompts for coming up with a good online dating name. And I’ll show you some examples of why the best ones are just a teeny bit bad. (In the classiest of ways, of course.)