It seems like all my friends are looking for love online these days. Whether they’re searching for the One or just the One Right Now, they all know that perfecting their online dating profile is a big deal. Your profile has to be honest about who you are, but not too honest. It has to make you seem quirky, memorable, and unique, but not too weird. It has to sell, but only to the right people. It’s the difference between an outright online rejection and a life-changing date with your soulmate. It’s a lot of pressure to put on a single piece of writing.
So to take some of that pressure off, let’s see how some of our favorite fictional characters would fare at online dating in this day and age:
Jay Gatsby (The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald)
Profile Photo: Profile of his face looking out over the water, a greenish glow in the distance
Location: 22 miles from NYC
About Jay: I’m a go-getter, a self-made man. I work hard, play hard, party even harder. I like to throw big parties, the bigger the better, the more the merrier. I may have nice clothes, nice cars, and 99 bottles of Dom, but deep down I’m just a sensitive, small-town guy. I’m a dreamer, I don’t drink, and I treat girls right. I’ve been burned by love before, though, so let’s take it slow.
Ignatius Reilly (A Confederacy of Dunces, by John Kennedy Toole)
Profile Photo: Scowling at camera near a hot dog stand, traces of mustard on chin
Location: New Orleans
About Ignatius: If you’re reading this, then you’ve fallen for the mockery I’m making of this depraved modern mating ritual. Send forth a welcoming missive and I’ll grace your feeble mind with the musings of my godlike one. I’ll read aloud my lengthy indictment of our debased times and tantalize your pyloric valve with an impeccable cheese dip. Must love dogs, food, movies, Batman, and Boethius. Must deplore mainstream society and the prevalent tasteless culture.
Miss Havisham (Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens)
Profile Photo: Sitting in an armchair in a wedding dress
Location: Satis House, England
About Miss Havisham: My adopted daughter Estella told me it was time to “get back in the game,” so here I am. Seeking an honest, reliable, and independently wealthy man who won’t swindle me. I’m a homebody and I don’t go out ever, so you’ll have to come visit me in my manse. There’s plenty of cake here, though.
The Cat in the Hat (The Cat in the Hat, by Dr. Seuss)
Profile Photo: Hat, bowtie, balancing lots of items while riding a unicycle
About The Cat:
I’m the Cat in the Hat and I speak in rhyme
Let’s go on a date and have a good time.
I’m great with kids and I’m always fun
Just hoping that you might be The One.
Emma Bovary (Madame Bovary, by Gustave Flaubert)
Profile Photo: A montage of various duck-face selfies
Location: Rouen, France
About Emma: I love shopping, dancing, going to the opera, gossiping, and having fun. Haute couture and romance novels are my faves. Hate being poor and bored. Love meeting new people and I especially LOVE falling in love. I’m married, but it sucks and I’m looking for romance and excitement elsewhere. If you’re the Prince Charming I’m looking for, message me. Also, please be rich. xoxoxox.
Lisbeth Salander (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Trilogy, by Stieg Larsson)
Profile Photo: None
Location: Stockholm, or anywhere in the world
About Lisbeth: I know your address. I know where you went to school. I know everything about you and everything you do. I’m a hacker extraordinaire with a dark side, an even darker childhood history, and a vigilante sense of justice. I have a soft spot, though, and I’d like to share that with someone special, guy or girl. If you exploit my soft spot, be afraid. Be very afraid…
Elizabeth Bennet (Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen)
Profile Photo: Laughing with sisters and holding a book
Location: Meryton, England
About Elizabeth: Mama has beseeched me to venture online to better acquaint myself with eligible, well-appointed bachelors. Her mind ever points towards marriage opportunities, whereas mine delights in the ridiculousness of this online dating endeavor. Dear Suitors, I am a good walker.
Jean Valjean (Les Misérables, by Victor Hugo)
Profile Photo: Charcoal sketch by Émile Bayard
Location: Paris, France
About Jean: Who am I? Who am I? Can I pretend I’m not the man I was before? Some see me as an ex-convict who broke parole, but I’m truly a good guy who just took a few wrong turns. I am now a successful business owner, an adoptive father, and a humanitarian. I’m well read, God-fearing, and boy can I sing!
What other literary characters would you like to see with online dating profiles?