This weekend, we took to OK Cupid to see how women were portraying themselves to potential suitors.
We’ve posted before on OK Cupid’s interesting research into what does, and doesn’t, make a profile successful, but today we want to talk about something we saw again and again on women’s profiles: “being awkward.”
Women listed it as one of their talents, as one of the first things people noticed about them, as a main point in their “about me” sections.
American culture definitely rewards self-deprecation. A person who mentions his accomplishments is seen as stuck-up elitist, while a story-teller who manages to make himself look as clumsy or getting by on luck alone is called “down to earth.”
But when you’re trying to attract a partner (or really even friends, for that matter), it’s much harder to make yourself look desirable when you’re so busy pointing out your flaws.
And “awkward” is a particularly hard flaw to sell.
There’s nothing worse than being on a date with someone who can’t make conversation. He says the wrong things, he gives one-word answers, he makes you uncomfortable just looking at him. No one wants to go on a date with someone who’s so awkward she has to warn you about it ahead of time.
But, of course, these women probably aren’t that socially inept. They’re just trying to be funny, or “real,” or they think it’s a hip thing to put on a dating profile—to show that they don’t care as much as you might think.
We’re not going to devote a whole post about how absurd we find the whole concept of awkward, of how the people who are sensitive to awkwardness are rarely the cause of it, about how as soon as you decide that a situation isn’t awkward and carry on as though you couldn’t be more comfortable, the person/people you’re with feel immediately at ease.
But we will say this: “awkward” never appears on a list of traits people are looking for in a partner.
So not only are these women guilty of false advertising, they’re making themselves out to be less desirable than they really are.
Do yourself a favor: if you have the word “awkward” anywhere on your OK Cupid profile, go in and delete it, immediately.
If you don’t, we might just have to edit your profile for you.