And Some Quick But Crucial Don’ts
Online dating is more the rule than the exception when it comes to meeting people these days and, while it can be effective, many of us dread the thought of having to come up with something entertaining to say about ourselves. Chin up, dating ninja, as it can actually be fun. First and foremost, though, you need to put some thought into presenting yourself in the best possible light. If you’ve spent hours ruthlessly swiping left on your candidates, you know this to be true. There’s an art to creating a killer online dating profile, and we’re sharing our best tidbits with you.
Sailing across the Atlantic on a boat you made yourself does sound amazing but, chances are, there will be questions. And, really, don’t you want a person you could get serious with to know the real you from the start? It’s a lot like interviewing when you think about it. If you lie on your resume, you might get your foot in the door but what will you do once there? It’s best to be honest from the get-go, as you start out on a solid foundation.
Don’t Be Too Honest
Waaaaaaiiiiit a second. Yes, this sounds contradictory. But you know that person who shares everything from what they had for breakfast to their innermost post-breakup feelings on social media? It makes you cringe, right? Keep some things close to the vest until you’re acquainted.
Take Their Cue
You’ve surely read a dating profile that tickled you. Whether it made you laugh, surprised you for its authenticity or struck a romantic chord, this profile found its way right into your wheelhouse of lurve. When writing your own, consider what it was about a particular profile that hit home, and borrow those elements for your own bio.
“But I don’t want people to like me for the outer me. I want people to like me for the inner me.” PUH-LEASE. You don’t have to be superficial to want to know if there is at least an initial physical spark, so allow others to get that good first impression of you, too. Make sure your photos are current, clear, engaging and not filled with scratched out images of other people or a child who is “not my kid.” Right now, my main dating profile pic is of me making a silly face that suggests I’m thinking of something hilarious. It’s not the most flattering photo of me by a long shot, but I’ve received a ton of kudos for its quirkiness. Choose pics that show off your personality.
Use Your Words
Just like photos matter, you can’t put up an image or three along with a single sentence and expect this thing to explode, no matter how hot you are. In fact, that will almost surely make the other person assume that you are all surface level and swipe left. Swiping right on a hot photo alone is all well and good if you’re on an online dating site for a sexual encounter. But if you’re looking for someone for the long haul (or even just a medium haul), you want to know more about them other than their smile makes you feel all the things.
There’s a rule in copywriting called “KISS”, or “Keep it simple, stupid.” This isn’t the place for your latest poetry sampling or a soliloquy about why you are the way you are because of your childhood. Give the person a quick and ideally enticing glimpse into your life, share your best photos and move along. You can dive deeper once you’ve (literally) met your match.
Go for the Laugh
If comedy isn’t your jam, you can and should steer clear of this advice. Again, authenticity is the key. But if you are even remotely funny, dating profiles are a great place to go for the giggles. It doesn’t have to be worthy of a stand-up routine, but if you make the person reading your profile LOL, you become that much more memorable.
Don’t Just Include the Highlights
Want to include that photo of your rock-climbing trip to Yosemite or the time you met Obama? Go for it. However, you also want to include what it’s like to be you on the average day. You might add something like, “My weekdays are fairly busy with work and exercise, but on a typical Sunday you can find me in front of the TV telling Netflix, ‘Yes, I am still watching Stranger Things.’” In one sentence, you’ve given them a pretty good idea of what your life is typically like, and hopefully made them laugh to boot.
Proofread, Proofread and Then Have Someone Else Proofread
Have we made ourselves clear? One errant “your” vs. “you’re” can bounce someone off your profile faster than you can say, “Grammar Police.” It might sound harsh and judgmental, but there is no excuse for these errors in our day and age of spellcheck and apps like Grammarly. Your profile doesn’t have to read like an Ernest Hemingway novel, but it should be free of obvious errors.
- Start your profile with “This is my first time on a dating app…” We’ve heard that one before.
- Hide your motivation if you’re just there for a hookup.
- Take a photo in the bathroom. Just don’t.
- Unload your past woes with online dating, because that’s depressing AF.
- Include sexual innuendo unless that’s all you’re looking to attract (and then, still, good luck).
Have you created or come across the perfect dating profile? What was it about this profile that made it so? Share that with us in the comments.
For more dating advice, check out our articles on Beyond Swipe Right: Recognizing a Good Contact on Online Dating Apps, Unconventional Date Ideas for the Win, and First Date Conversation Starters to Break the Ice.