Creating an online dating profile may seem uncomplicated or even easy at first glance. But if you are serious about getting what you want out of your online dating experience you need to spend time thoughtfully cultivating a good profile. Remember, this is the primary way a potential mate will view you, so honesty, creativity, and clarity are musts! Whether you are new to the world of online dating, just wanting to improve your dating profile, or wondering what you might be doing wrong – ValiDATE is here to help you every step of the way. Here is a handy guide to creating a stand-out online dating profile.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words and nowhere is that more true than in the online dating world. You need to bring your A game to what, for some people, is the most important part of a profile. Writing an excellent profile is important, but we all know that physical attraction is important in any relationship. This may turn into somewhat of a rant, but online daters of all races, genders, ages, and creeds really need to take some time to carefully curate their online dating profile pictures. Following is a handful of tips for choosing what photographs to include (or exclude) from your online dating profile.
Let’s talk about the meat of your online dating profile: The About Me section. There are several important things to include here but start by writing a stand-out “headline” or a great first paragraph/introduction. This is often the first thing a potential date will read and it can make or break their decision to read on further and then initiate contact. This is a great place to use a thesaurus or read other people’s profiles in order to emulate (not copy) their headline style. This introduction should not include too much personal information but it should clearly state what makes you YOU – what you want, what you do, and who you are.
Your “About Me” section should delve deeper into your unique interest. Do not even bother including things like “I like to cuddle, watch netflix, and order take out” or “I enjoy the outdoors.” Yeah, you make like or love these things but so does literally everyone else. Highlight things that are unique about you! While they might not spark everyone’s interest, you might just find your perfect match if you are specific. For example, if you play an instrument or collect art, be clear and detailed about it. Instead of “I like music” say perhaps, “I am an avid Bluegrass fan and I play the banjo!” Instead of “I enjoy art” say “I collect rare Soviet propaganda art posters.” You might think this is nerdy or even boring, but to the right person who has similar hobbies or interests, these details could seal the deal!
A final word about your “About Me” section, please do not post whatever pops into your head on the spur of the moment. Take your time while writing, save your work, and then come back to it at least one more time before you make your online dating profile. Use spell check and grammar check and if you have a friend willing to read over your profile, take advantage of that!!!! A close friend can be the best editor in the world, catching basic grammatical and spelling errors and giving you content feedback. He or she can tell you when you are giving too much or the wrong information, or they can suggest something you never even thought to include in your profile!
Make simple, bulleted lists of musts, good-to haves, and no-nos! Including a section like this in your online dating profile will help interested parties decide if they would be a good match for you. It tells potential mates directly what you are looking for and what you absolutely do not want. Be honest, do not compromise what you really want, and maybe add a little bit of you humor here.
When you write your list of musts or must-haves make sure you take this pretty seriously. If you have kids this would be a great opportunity to introduce them and include the phrase “Must love kids!” This will help to eliminate people who just are not interested in a relationship with someone who has a family and it will attract people who are interested in children and family!
Including a clear list of good-to-haves is a fun way to talk further about your interests and a way to casually introduce some of your hopes and dreams for the future. If you would like to travel more and would like a partner who wants the same it’s a good idea to say “It would be good to have a passport!” Or “It would be good to have travel experience!” These are not deal breakers or ultimatums, they are just another way to show who you are and what you want in a potential mate.
If you choose to include a list of no-no’s or “deal breakers” try as hard as you can to stay positive. If you have a certain lifestyle or belief system that is simply not compatible with some other ways of life, this is a good place to mention it. For example, if you are vegan and are only interested in other people who do not eat animal products, instead of saying, “No meat eating murderers need apply” say “I am a vegan and I like to hang out with like-minded individuals; No carnivores please!” Avoid negative words like “absolutely not, never, or under no circumstances.” Phrasing like this can make you seem rigid, critical, and close minded and could turn potential mates off.
So you have a good head on your shoulders, you know who you are and what you want out of the online dating experience. But even the most articulate and level-headed among us write the wrong thing in our online dating profiles. Here are 5 common mistakes men and women make in their online dating profile and how to avoid them in yours:
This is a hard and fast rule of every part of your dating profile. Do not waste your time or a potential mate’s time by trying to be something that you are not. This is not to say that you need to be brutally honest about your neuroses or flaws but be honest about what you want and who you are. You cannot control what other users on the dating site want, but you can control what you want and how you present yourself. Do not waste your limited profile space with half-truths and ideas gleaned from romantic comedies. You will lose opportunities to find the ideal mate if you sell yourself short or pretend to be something that you are not.
There is a fine line between over-sharing and honesty and a fine line between under-sharing and retaining some sense of mystery. Again, this is a good place to ask for help from a close friend or a person who has successful online dating experience. Take your time and peruse other users’ profiles. Find what you like and admire and follow that format without copying or paraphrasing.
Taking note of what really turns you off in a profile is also important. For example, you may have thought that several large group photos of you and your friends doing something fun would be a great addition to your profile. But when you come across a profile riddled with photos of large groups of people, you find yourself unable to find the actual person in the pictures or even worse – you are distracted or attracted by someone else in the photo!
A quick word about humor: A little bit of self-deprecation goes a long way, so if this is one of the ways you cope with nerves or what makes you laugh, go easy on it in your online dating profile. Too much self-deprecation can sometimes come across as low-self confidence or as deflecting the truth. Also, remember sarcasm and irony are very hard to write well and even harder to understand through text. If you are a good or confident writer, use your dry wit sparingly. Even the smartest online dater might not understand that you do not really “love 26-mile runs” or “pizza for dinner every night.” Save your wit for later conversations and always be careful in text messages or emails until you and your mate have met and really know each other. Even then use caution – couples married for decades still make this mistake!