In describing who you're looking for, it’s okay to be a little general and vague. You don’t want to limit yourself too much, after all! Stick to a couple of the most important qualities you’re looking for. But you do need to list something. To list nothing says you have done no reflection on this topic and have very little insight about people (which may be true, sadly). A woman is more likely to respond to a profile when she thinks the woman you are describing is her. So mention whatever is most important to you: must love animals, be smart or appreciate a sarcastic sense of humor, for example.
Do not include “deal breakers.” No, you do not want to date someone who has no personality of her own and is clingy and dependent. But to write that tells a potential date that you just got out of a relationship with that type of woman and you’re still bitter about it. It presents you as a negative person. Speak in positives instead. Say what you *are* looking for instead of what you’re not looking for. Say you want a strong, opinionated woman instead of saying that being clingy is a deal breaker.
Do not include physical descriptors. First, why limit yourself? Second, it makes you sound like an ass. You only want to date thin, tall women? I’m a thin, tall woman and I would not date someone who stipulated that in his profile. I’m not alone in this. Women, by and large, do not like shallow men, and naming physical traits you want in a woman makes you sound shallow. And, by the way, women don’t typically date men who are out of their league physically. So if you’re a fabulously good-looking guy with a great body, there are very few unattractive, fat chicks who will have the chutzpah to email you, so don’t worry. Although, for some reason, ugly, obese guys do try to pick up petite blondes… .
Up on Friday: What to Write When You Email Her