a Successful Personal Online Dating Profile
by Caroline Mackenzie
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Creating a Successful Personal Online Dating Profile
is the key to meeting your perfect match at online dating and personals
services so it’s surprising that many profiles are mediocre at best.
With a little extra time, thought and effort, and the help of these
tips, you can make yours a winner and attract a large pool of admirers
to take your pick from.
(nickname) is the first hint at what kind of person you are. It
needs to be original and memorable, while somehow summing you up
- not easy in a dozen letters or so!
For ideas, think
about your interests, background, location and personality. For
instance, an outgoing person from Phoenix might choose PhoenixSparkler,
an avid skier with a wild streak might be SnowTiger. Humor’s great
(I recently spotted MissBehaving) but overly sentimental (LetMeBeTheOne),
meaningless (Vyc2DX) or desperate sounding (SoLonelyInOhio) names
are a turn off.
time: think of a name before sitting down to complete your profile,
as well as a couple of backup options. It’s amazing how many “original”
names are in use already. Most services spit out alternatives but
they’re usually unimaginative and full of numbers.
Write a compelling
line, or headline, is like the first thing you see on an ad: it
should compel people to read on and find out more about you. Don’t
be apologetic about being there - “I don’t normally do this sort
of thing” - and don’t begin (as thousands do) with “My name’s Bob,
I’m 25 and live in Boise.” This isn’t compelling. It’s not even
interesting. “Born in Boise, Heading for Barbados” is more the thing.
It’s intriguing without being confusing, and raises questions: is
Bob a traveler, a dreamer or working for an international company?
Only one way to find out – read on!
not easy. If you get stuck, a favorite line from a song, book or
movie can say lot about you – who you like and/or what you believe
in - and stands out to other people who love it too.
Post at least
For 75% of online
daters, the photo is the first thing they look for when browsing
through profiles. Not surprisingly, profiles with photos get ten
to fifteen times the response of those without. Including a photo
is a must! But beware, some photos do more harm than good. Big offenders
are photos that show you with someone else, or even worse, part
of someone else. (It might not be your ex, or your ex’s body part,
but people have no way of knowing.)
If you don’t
have a suitable photo, get one taken, and keep it real - glamour
shots could come back to haunt you. Think about asking a friend
to pick out a photo that they think looks most like you. Make sure
people don’t have to squint at the screen to see what you look like,
and be sure to smile!
have a hefty component of check boxes – age group, sex, and so on.
It’s a basic thing but when researching sites I do it a lot myself:
check the wrong boxes or forget to change them from a default setting
that isn’t right for me. And I’m not alone. Believe it or not, a
common mistake among online daters is choosing the wrong sex of
their ideal partner. So, take care over these basic but important
grammar and spelling:
You might be
the most intelligent person on the planet but if you rush your profile
and don’t check your spelling and grammar you’re not going to come
across well to anyone who values intelligence. You might like to
prepare your freestyle entries using a program with spelling and
grammar checkers, then paste them into your profile.
a lot of people say the same thing in the same way as everyone else.
It’s boring at best and unbelievable at worst. Can we really believe
that so many people “exercise regularly and keep in good shape”?
Also, use a thesaurus to replace well-worn words like “good” and
“nice” with more interesting, meaningful alternatives that add spice
and sparkle to your profile.
and grammar might be perfect but sometimes your words can convey
a completely different meaning from what you intended. Give your
profile a thorough reading to avoid potentially embarrassing or
your own style:
dating profiles include sections where you can express yourself
in your own words. It’s a chance to make yourself more human and
“real,” and other members can pick up lots of interesting information
about you – clues they might find appealing - from the way you express
yourself. Don’t block the process by suddenly adopting a style and
tone that isn’t really you.
your unique qualities:
It’s our unique
qualities that make us attractive - and to some, very attractive!
When you have a chance to describe yourself, let these qualities
shine. Skip the things that people take for granted (and have in
common) and focus on the things that make you, “you.”
speak another language, have an unusual skill or interest, or something
you feel passionately about. Small things count too. If you change
your hair color every other day or have an addiction to triple hot
chili sauce, say so. People who share or appreciate your unique
qualities will tune right in and they make great conversation starters
if they decide to make a move!
– it’s allowed!:
If you’re good
at something or proud of yourself for something, go ahead and blow
your own trumpet. Confidence (not to be confused with a raging ego!)
is an attractive quality and there are plenty of ways to flatter
yourself while sounding modest: “My friends say I’m–” or, “If I
had to describe one thing about myself that I like–”
can’t resist the urge to be less than completely honest when writing
their online personals profile. Women tend to lie about their appearance
and men about their status and physical prowess. There’s really
no need. Online dating and personals services have thousands if
not millions of members. You’ve got a great chance of meeting someone
who’s attracted to the real you, warts and all. Of course, there’s
no need to tell your darkest secrets – just keep it real. You’ll
be able to pursue relationships without having to worry about all
the lies you’ve spun. Honesty is an attractive trait.
about your passions:
If you have
a hobby or interest that you’re absolutely passionate about, that
takes up a lot of your time and energy, go ahead and rave about
it. It’s better that people know up front how important it is to
you, and fellow fanatics will tune right in!
but a super-dry or tongue-in-cheek sense of humor may not work well
in writing. People don’t know you and can’t see the twinkle in your
eye. You’ll have ample opportunity to display your brand of wit
when you’re communicating one-on-one with other members.
Say it with
Too many profiles
read like a job application with flat phrases like, “I enjoy skiing,
cooking and photography” which don’t really tell us much. Add emotions,
thoughts and feelings into the mix. The idea is to showcase your
personality and make a connection on an emotional level.
say something about the type of person we are but keep them to a
minimum in your profile or they’ll say something bad! Focus on the
things that make you feel good and you'll come across as a fun date.
on past relationships:
Too much talk
of past relationships is a sure way to scare off potential dates.
It doesn’t show much commitment to moving along in life with someone
new. However, some services touch on the subject in their profiles
in which case you can give it a more interesting, positive twist
by talking in general terms about lessons learned, where you are
today and what your hopes are for future relationships.
your ideal match in your own words:
If you have
an opportunity to describe the type of person you’re looking to
meet in your own words, use it. If someone reads your profile and
likes you, they’ll know right away whether or not they’re a likely
candidate for your affections. On the other hand, don’t be too picky
or demanding! One idea is to limit yourself to the three or four
attributes that you value most in a partner and perhaps one big
turn off (you want to keep it positive overall).
the kind of dates you enjoy:
Make it easy
for people to ask you on a date by giving them an idea of the kind
of dates you enjoy. For instance, “I like a relaxing atmosphere
where you can chat and get to know someone,” or, “Doing something
new and exciting together is a great way to get to know someone.”
as a great date:
likes what they read in your profile, they’ll probably wonder what
kind of date you’d make. In other words, you seem interesting and
attractive but would you be the date from hell? Put this question
to rest with upfront information that paints a great picture of
what it would be like to date you. For instance, perhaps you’re
a good listener who likes a quiet, relaxing atmosphere where you
can talk and get to know someone, or a sociable energetic type who
thinks that doing something new and exciting together is the best
way to get to know someone.
When your admirers
know you’re on the same page in terms of dating style, they’re more
likely to take the next step and ask you out, or at least to get
to know you better, confident you’ll be a great date. And if your
dating styles are completely out of tune, at least you’ve avoided
finding it out the hard way - on that date from hell.
Save all your
profile information and entries in a master file so you don’t have
to start from scratch if you’re planning on using more than one
service. Profiles vary considerably from service to service but
many parts will be similar.
Last but not
least, don’t forget that your profile isn’t written in stone! It’s
fast and easy to make any changes you like, so don’t fret too much
Mackenzie is Co-Owner/Webmaster of The Dating Muse, a guide to online
dating services and personals featuring reviews of the top online
dating sites plus tips and ideas for finding friends, dates, soulmates
and sexual adventure online. You can visit her site at DatingMuse.com
and subscribe to her newsletter at datingmuse.com/subscribe
little journal of love is now available for your free download.
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