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The Aurora killer had a Match.com profile. What does that tell you?

James Holmes The Match.Com Profile

James Holmes
The Match.Com Profile

The Aurora killer had a Match.com profile. What does that tell you?

TMZ has reported recently that James Holmes, who killed twelve people in the Batman premiere last week, had a Match.com profile. He described himself as an agnostic student looking for a “sexy time.” Match.com removed his profile as soon as they learned about it but you can see a screen capture of it here.

I’m sure Match is sweating over this PR disaster. They’re probably having strategy meetings right now about how to recover from this. But is it the site’s fault? Would it have helped if they had had background checks in place?

Match.com doesn’t screen its members, and even if they did, they couldn’t guarantee that psychopaths wouldn’t make the cut.

Background checks can help eliminate people with a criminal background but they can’t stop people with no criminal history like this murderer. How can Match.com possibly know what someone will do in the future? If someone can get a gun, he can get a dating site profile.

You and only you are in charge of your destiny.

It’s up to online daters to read between the lines of a dating site profile. We have to use our gut feelings and our instincts. In this particular case, it was easy! James Holmes’ profile headline was:

“Will you visit me in prison?”

He knew he was about to do something that would put him behind bars.

So tip #1 is: Don’t ignore suspicious headlines.

Sure, you could dismiss a headline like that as a sign of a kooky sense of humor. But he could be serious and with so many other options online, why take a chance? This kind of a headline is a HUGE red flag.

(And on the flip side, when you’re creating your own profile, don’t use a headline that could raise eyebrows. Create curiosity. Summarize your life. But don’t wave a bright red flag.)

Here’s another example of a headline that should raise your suspicions. This is a real headline that… ahem, a “friend” of mine answered:

“One in a million.”

That headline could simply indicate confidence. In this case though it turned out to be a sign of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. People with this psychiatric problem often have grandiose tendencies. They tend to overplay their accomplishments and think very highly of themselves. (You can read more about dating a narcissist and how to avoid it here.)

So while you’re keeping an eye out for mass murderers and wannabe jailbirds, pay attention to signs of an arrogant attitude or people who claim they are the best thing in the universe. They could end up being the worst thing you ever dated.

Headlines aren’t the only place you should look for red flags though…

Tip #2: Read the rest of the profile carefully. ALL of it!

Pay attention to:

  • Baggage – Does the profile mention how hard it was to get divorced or what a psycho their ex wife was or how hard it is to date or how all women are gold diggers? Run, baby run! It’s too much baggage for anyone to handle!
  • Life attitude – What’s their take on life? Do they complain and blame everybody else for their problems? Are they pessimistic? Do they feel limited in what they can accomplish?  Or are they upbeat, optimistic and responsible? Those are views on life; make sure they match yours.
  • Values – What kind of values does the profile show? What do they care about most? If they emphasis that they are looking for someone “fit” or someone who “models” or “used to model” you can see that appearance is very important to them. What would happen if you were to gain a few extra pounds and a couple of wrinkles? There is more to someone than just how they look. Can they see it? Will they see it in you?
  • Occupation – This is a lifestyle issue. If the person behind the profile works 9-to-5 in a cubicle and you’re a free-spirited entrepreneur, you could have a lifestyle conflict. You might want to go for someone who is as free as you are. If they do art and are a bit on the dreamy side, but you’re super logical, you could run into frustration down the road. You might want someone more grounded.
  • Income – if you’re hoping for plenty of vacations and five-star hotels, don’t pick the guy or gal who makes less than $15,000 a year — unless of course, you don’t mind paying for everything. It’s not about being shallow; it’s about compatibility. You should find someone who matches your spending power.
  • Pets – Notice what they write about their furry, feathered or scaly friends. Is their dog their best pal who sleeps with them in the same bed? Do they have more than two cats… as well as twenty birds and a neckload of snakes? If you feel the same way, you’re match. Otherwise…

Reading someone’s profile can’t tell you everything about them but it can reveal a lot. Read the profile a few times. Pay attention to everything they write and even more importantly, notice how the profile feels in your gut. Your intuition can say NO even when their profile is perfectly written. It can also say YES when the profile doesn’t match your expectations.

If you find this article helpful, please share it with your friends, it can help them avoid meeting the wrong person online.

 

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Merav Knafo

Merav Knafo

Merav Knafo is the co-founder of LookBetterOnline.com, She's a Usability expert, a web product designer, technologist and an active online dating user.

Comments (5)

  • Avatar

    Giles

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    Great article Merav !

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Julie

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    Scary…Imagine being the girl who was “Matched” with the serial killer! I feel bad for Match.com, its an impossible task to screen millions of people, great article Merav!

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Selina

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    I agree with Julie. You take the same chances when you meet a guy at the bar or at the park… he doesn’t seem sketchy at first but he may be psycho

    Reply

  • Giles

    Giles

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    Yes I agree with Julie and Selina, thank goodness that the vast majority of people are good; Merav brings up some really valuable points about checking people out, and I also think that “Gut” feelings or intuition play a huge part in keeping us safe!

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Nora

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    Great advice. I am firm believer in intuition! Even if someone looks great on paper and seems like all the right things that fit your list, follow your gut. You don’t owe an explanation to anyone and if you ever get the feeling that something is “off” follow it and honor your feelings.

    Reply

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