Talking About Your Hobbies On Dating Sites

online dating Nov 03, 2023

What Are Your Hobbies?

I’ve gotta tell you. I would cringe when somebody asked me that question on a dating site. It’s hard to say why, it just makes the whole thing sound like a predictable job interview. Luckily, I never needed to attend job interviews. If I ever wanted a change, I just called my old buddy, Craig.

But we will come on to first conversations later.
Right now, I want to look at how to deal with Hobbies, Activities, and other drop-down menu questions.

Although it can seem a bit tedious and dull at first, the Activities section, as we are going to call it, can be quite useful as you can get a lot of information across without having to convey it in your bio, which, of course, is going to be a shining example of your fantastic personality and not a boring list of likes and dislikes.

Also, the more you fill in on online dating sites, the more likely you are to get a match. The algorithms seem to be biased towards people who give up a lot of info and so, the more the better. Plus, you actually may have a genuine common interest with someone, which is a great start to any relationship.

A few notes, though.

Some sites or apps ask what languages you have. If you did two semesters of German at school, don’t be tempted to put ‘German’ or you’ll only look silly if someone tests this.
You are often asked what kind of relationship you are looking for. My problem with these sections is that sometimes the different alternatives do not seem to make sense. I suggest putting the nearest to what you think is the most relevant to you.

I was once on a site which was asking about education; some of the alternatives were: Undergraduate Degree and Postgraduate Degree. If I were still studying for my first degree, I guess I would put Undergraduate Degree. But what do I put if I already have a degree? I’m no longer an undergraduate but nor am I doing a Postgraduate Degree which would be a Masters or a Phd. See what I mean? It’s asking if you like black or white when you only like grey. These elements of dating apps are what I would describe as clunky. If in doubt, leave it out.

Another app gives the option to choose a ‘real relationship’ – as opposed to what? Likewise, you are given a limited number of options to describe your attitude to marriage. And quite often, none of them makes sense.

I don’t know who writes these things, but sometimes I don’t think they live in the same universe as the rest of us.

Sometimes, the questions are much more factual eg, what is your marital status? But what if you are actually living in the same house, leading a different life to your ex partner but for technical reasons, you are not divorced yet? Is it OK to lie and put ‘Single’.

Actually, I don’t even really think that is a lie – if you are emotionally available and are free to do what you want, you can always explain this when you speak to someone. It will make for an interesting conversation. Some will have a problem with it, some won’t.

We’ve talked about kids before. Unless they’re at least adolescents, I would not mention your kids, if possible. Sometimes, that might turn out to be difficult, but you need a strategy in place if you are meeting new people and you have younger children.

Smoking and vaping.

You are still a smoker if you only have a few cigarettes with a drink at the weekend. If you lie about smoking, you WILL get found out and now your Rightswiper is pissed because a) you lied and b) you smoke.

Some people simply will not date a smoker or even a vaper. Sometimes, there’s an option to say you are trying to quit. If this is true, come clean.
But otherwise, don’t try and mislead Rightswipers from the hard facts.

You will occasionally be bombarded with multiple choice questions like: are you...

• Not romantic at all
• A little romantic
• Romantic
• Very romantic

How the hell are you supposed to quantify how romantic you are? And who defines romantic?
In these situations, I would be tempted to signify the option one in from the extreme. Eg, don’t put Very Romantic, just put Romantic. Your Right Swiper can judge exactly how romantic you are later.

It always amuses me when you are given ONE genre of music to choose from many. C’mooon, we all like all sorts of music but I guess if you have to choose, just put in your favorite. It’s sometimes useful if you like going to gigs to know what kind of music someone likes. I was just checking one site for this, and I noticed that ‘Classical’ was not included. Nor was country. Weird. Jazz was mentioned, though, but if I ever saw Jazz, for me that was an immediate LEFT! Craig and I both hate jazz. To me, it’s a form of musical masturbation where nobody ever climaxes.

One more thing on the music, harking back to the bio section. NEVER write that you like an eclectic mix of music. First, it doesn’t even really make sense as eclectic basically means ‘mixed’. So you like a mixed mix of music?

And it sounds really pretentious. No one ever uses the word ‘eclectic’ in normal conversation, any more than anyone ever used the word Sapiophile before dating sites. Actually, on the one occasion someone did use the word eclectic to me, I thought they had said ‘electric’. I gasped at the thought that they had electric taste!

Favorite films are a good way to get the attention of a Right Swiper. Sometimes there is an option for this. Always put Shawshank. Everybody loves Shawshank.

Talking of Shawshank, if you’re ever asked to put a ‘headline’ up for your written profile, a great one is:

Get busy livin’ or get busy dyin’.

This is a quotation from Shawshank and signals your good intent to get serious about finding a partner.

The Hobbies Section.

This always seems like a bit of a filler section to me. You’re presented with a humungous list of stuff and you have to go through laboriously and tick whether you like playing board games or not.

I suppose it’s a good idea to fill these out as, again, it does increase your chances of matching with someone, but I hardly think that an affinity for Monopoly is going to spark a brand-new romance.

Although, you never know.

Do you say what you do for work? Or what your income is?

Some sites do ask what your income is. If you’re happy to put it, then do so, but I can’t help thinking that this particular section could be significantly abused. If you earn megabucks and make it known to Rightswipers, you’re inviting a bunch of gold diggers to get in touch. If you don’t earn a great deal, or work part-time, be who you are and put this, because the worthwhile Rightswipers won’t let it affect their impression of you.

It almost feels that if you don’t fill in a particular section here, you’re trying to hide something. Don’t fall for this, if something is private to you, don’t share it. There is no obligation and no shame.

As for saying what you do for work...

The first thing is, if the question is, what do you do for a living, please don’t reply with; I work.
It’s not clever and it’s the equivalent to sticking your tongue out on your profile photos.

You really have to make a personal decision here.

Does your job say much about who you are? Maybe you’re unemployed. There’s no shame in that, and it means you have lots of time for a relationship. Perhaps you’re retired, just say so, no big deal.

The only time when you should be a little wary is when revealing your job could cause you, or, importantly, someone else, some trouble.

Perhaps if you’re a doctor or psychiatrist, it would be better to give a broad description, such as you work in the health industry. If you get talking to a Rightswiper, it’s then up to you to decide when to reveal that you have won the Nobel Prize for Medicine.

Do not mention your actual company if describing your job, as your comments may be taken out of context and could get you into trouble, or someone could identify you with less-than-honest intentions. But do not appear over mysterious, either. For example, if you describe yourself as a manager at a large retail outlet, it’s also going to sound a little pompous.

If you have an exciting job and think it helps represent an important part of who you are, then it’s probably a YES on mentioning it. But if you are a traffic warden, I don’t think it’s going to make you many friends.

I interviewed a man who got talking to a lady who said she was a retired detective. It said it spooked him out a little, but they did get together for that coffee date. He said she practically had a full dossier on him, and that was the last time he saw her.

I would have told her to maybe tone that one down a little!

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