11 Tips on How to Write the Best Online Dating Profile
Ever read a dating profile that sucked? Ever read one that made you swoon? Probably both if you’ve ever been on a dating site.
There are lots of ways to write a great dating profile. How you write it is up to you. It’s your personality you’re showcasing, after all. Just bear in mind, that there are a few tips and tricks that apply to all dating profiles. No matter how you write it, there are dos and don’ts that apply.
So let’s have a look at the dos and don’ts for writing an online dating profile.
Use a Couple of Different Profile Pictures
A picture tells a thousand words. Right. But just one picture also tells a thousand lies. One angle of your face. A close-up so no one can see your body. A certain light. A certain posture.
People want reassurance when they look at your profile. They want to know you look the same in real life as you do in pictures. As a picture isn’t a moving image, you only get so much from one picture. So have a couple.
You can test which photo works best as the main one. Preferably one where people can actually see you…otherwise, why would they click on it? Because a dot in the distance looks interesting? They don’t have to see all of you, but they have to see some of you.
The Kind of Pictures You Should Have on Your Profile
A couple of photos are needed for your profile, but what kind of photos?
To make it easy:
- one close up of your face in a favorable angle
- one full body image (not naked, please)
- one image where you’re with friends (social proof)
- one image where you do something you love (like a hobby)
- one image where you’re dressed to impress
You can have more images, but these are ones that give at the very least a little glimpse of who you are.
Bathroom Selfies and Other Faux Pas
What does a bathroom selfie tell people about you? That you like looking in the mirror and are so impressed you need to take pictures? That you have no friends who can take pictures of you, so you needed to do it yourself? That you love your bathroom?
You can put ONE bathroom selfie in the mix, but it’s doubtful.
Having only selfies on your profile? Again, do you have friends, or not? Are you obsessed with taking pictures of yourself, or not?
You also have to ask yourself: why would people want to see pictures of the sunrise, your pets, your house, or your car? They’re trying to learn about what you look like, not the sofa in your living room. If you think your car is more impressive than you are…
That’s not to say you can’t have a picture with your dog. It’s just: you have to be in the photo.
"My ex was an alcoholic, so if you like drinking too much, stay away."
Ever read something like that on a dating profile?
"I hate dishonesty. Impolite people really get to me. I’m not interested in people who can’t cook."
The list of negatives people like to put on their dating profiles are as long as they are off-putting. People would like to see you are a nice person. A positive person.
So instead of saying you don’t like dishonesty, say you like honesty. Instead of saying impolite people get on your nerves, say that politeness is a trait you value. Instead of saying people who can’t cook are uninteresting, say that you love it when a man/woman can cook.
Listing all the people you don’t want to meet, instead of all the people you do want to meet, put a lot of people off. You sound like a negative twat, but you aren’t, are you?
You don’t have to give it all away in your dating profile, really, don’t, but nor should you lie. The moment someone meets you, they’ll start disliking you if they found out you lied. You might get a date by lying, but you won’t get a second date.
Don’t Explain How Much You Hate Online Dating
We can say we met on the beach. Really? REALLY? If you’re so ashamed of being on an online dating site, why are you using one? Have you not got enough backbone to stand up for yourself and what you do?
And then there's the other one: explaining yourself. As if you need an excuse for being on a dating site. As if it's a sign of failure that you didn't meet someone in real life, so you have to state that you just don't like the bar scene anymore.
Come on guys, no shame, no excuses. Be happy with who you are, or change.
Frame Yourself in a Positive Light
We all have issues. We’ve all made mistakes. You don’t have to rant about them in your dating profile. The same goes for when you message people If you happen to be without a job at the moment and someone asks, be honest. But be honest abut it in the right light: “I lost my job a month ago, so I’m looking for a new one. Was a bit of a shocker, took me a while to find my feet, but now I feel really empowered. I am finally forging my own way. I just sort of ended up in one job and stayed, now I’m applying for work I truly want. And I just got a temp job to see me over.” This is exactly the same way as you actually should see your life: from an angle that empowers you.
It’s the same as saying: “I’m a windsurf loving beach boy, with enough bad and good in me to make me interesting… ;) Mainly good. Love my dog and my mom. Spend most nights with friends, cooking, drinking wine, chilling on the couch (with the dog and Netflix), or going to the movies (it’s still better than streaming). Have traveled to lots of quirky places around the world. Definitively still open the door for the ladies. I’m the CEO of a successful company. Have been for five years. Before that I was a tennis coach. Before that, believe it or not, I spent a year in jail for theft. I grew up on the wrong side of the tracks. That year changed my life. I became motivated to study. I started mentoring other kids who might make mistakes. I got a good job. I totally turned my life around. And I still help others to do the same. But I do have a couple of tattoos from my bad boy years… ;) You know, to show off when I do yoga…and other things…”
If there’s a negative trait you think people REALLY need to know in your profile (doubtful), then definitively frame it in an empowering light.
Avoid the Cliches
“I love staying home with a bottle of red, but also love going out.”
I’m guessing thousands of people have that one sentence in their profile right now. Why? Because it applies to half the world, or so. It’s boring. If you are to write something, add personality.
“I love cuddling up by the fire with a bottle of red in winter, or having a glass on the porch in summer. It’s the small things. Also love going out with friends, laughing and just having a good time. People are priceless.”
You can say the most mundane things, so long as you add your personality. People want to see who you are, not just some words that could describe just about anyone.
Tread Lightly With the Sarcasm
Lots of people like sarcasm. However, if you fill your entire profile with sarcasm, you might just end up sounding grumpy.
Keep It Simple
You want to write enough so that people get a glimpse of who you are, you don’t want to write so much they get tired of reading. People want to browse profiles, not read autobiographies. But they want enough information to see if you’re worth contacting.
If you aren’t great at writing, hire someone to look it over before you post. You can also just comment about your own pictures — if they tell the story of your life, then use them. Just show you put in enough effort that you actually care. People want to find out a little bit about you. Enough to make them click yes.
Show Your Sense of Humor
Now, if you have a sense of humor: use it. People want to see that you’re enjoying yourself; having fun. They definitively don’t want to hear you moan about writing an online dating profile.
So let’s see: you have a couple of good pictures of yourself, showing you have a life, you have not included too many selfies, nor berated yourself, or anyone else. You’ve written your profile in a positive light, asking for what you want as opposed to what you don’t want. You’ve shown a bit of humor. Told them a bit about yourself, but not so much they felt overwhelmed, or gave up halfway through as they only have so much time in their lunch break.
You’ll also soon get a feel for what you like when browsing profiles — what makes you yawn and what makes you feel like the other person is interesting.