Dear Dr. Phil,
I need help! I'm 40, divorced and trying online dating. My biggest problem is that a lot of younger guys in their 20s want to hook up with me. These guys want to go from "Hi" to sexual in no time flat. I get a lot of messages telling me that I'm pretty, but as soon as we start chatting, it's obvious that all they're really looking for is sex. One guy even sent me an [instant message] asking if I enjoyed oral sex. I just don't get it. I'm totally honest in my profile, but I attract nothing but losers. Aren't there any nice, professional men in their 40s who just want to date? What am I doing wrong?
Deb tells Dr. Phil, "About 60 to 80 percent of the responses I get are from 20 to 23-year-olds, and while I know there are 40-year-old women out there who love to date 20 to 23-year-olds, I'm not one of them."
"I'm not sure. That's why I'm here," she says.
Dr. Phil arranged for some online experts to take at look at Deb's profile. One of them is Jim Safka, CEO of Match.com.
"There's a definite art to how you present yourself on the Internet, right?" Dr. Phil asks Jim.
"Definitely. Take a look at the competition. Take a look at the other profiles out there to see who's been successful," he says.
Dr. Phil shows Deb's profile. "To me, this just kind of jumps out: 'Slightly used, 65 model with a broken heart and deflated dreams seeks technician. Are you up for an adventure? I can promise it will be a ride of a lifetime,'" he reads. "Now, I'm just an old country boy from Texas, but I can tell you, if I'm reading this, that's not sending the right message. I'm not surprised you're getting guys saying, 'I want to talk about that ride.'"
Deb's photos may also be sending the wrong message. "Do you think it's too revealing?" Dr. Phil asks. "The whole thing seems provocative to me, and I don't think that's what you're intending to send. If it is, then no problem. Really, that kind of reads like a 1-900 number. As you see it now, can you see how people might take it in that light?" he asks.
"Yeah," she says.
"And those are the responses you're getting."
"Very much so," says Deb.
One of the good things Deb has done is she posted photographs of herself. "If you post a photograph online along with your profile, you'll get 15 times more responses than if you didn't have a photograph," says Jim. He also recommends she pose in settings that show off some of her interests.
Dr. Phil brings up Deb's headline, "Make me believe again." "When men get into a relationship, they don't want a job," he tells her. "It's kind of like you're deflated, you're bitter, you're down, and a guy's going to read that and think, 'Oh, God, I've got to do therapy before I can take her to dinner.' The headline should be short and fun, something clever and catchy."
"I'd probably get a better response," agrees Deb.
Read more Do's and Don'ts of creating an online dating profile.