If you want to give online dating a try, you might feel stuck at the first step: how to write a dating profile. With the right tips, you can create a captivating profile that highlights your unique and wonderful qualities. Here is some guidance on how to get started, as well as dating profile examples that will help you craft your own eye-catching profile in no time.
Key Aspects of a Great Dating Profile
Think of the function of an online dating profile as a way to get a date, similar to how you use a resume to get an interview. You want to grab someone's attention and leave them wanting more, so they initiate communication with you. Some tips for writing a great dating profile are:
Be Brief and Concise
Your profile should be written in a way that will quickly spark someone's interest. Keep it short and sweet but include the key pieces of information about you. (More on what to include is listed below). If your profile is too long, you may lose someone's interest, and everything you write will most likely not be read.
Be Honest & Sincere
Research shows that bending the truth and trying too hard to make a good impression can make people less attracted to your profile. But being honest about yourself increases the chances of people contacting you, because this evokes a sense of trust.
It's important to portray yourself accurately in every aspect of your profile, from your physical characteristics to your educational background to what your hobbies are. Misrepresenting yourself and writing what you think others want to hear is unfair to you and others. You don't want to waste both your time and theirs, and being dishonest only makes it harder for you to be matched with someone compatible. Whether you're looking for a casual or long-term partner, trust and safety is important, and that starts with honesty.
Negativity or desperation is a huge turn-off. Saying you've had negative dating experiences so you've turned to online dating as a last resort, can make someone think they might not measure up for you either. Instead, you want to say something like "I'm excited to try this because my best friend met her boyfriend online."
Set Yourself Apart
Because there are so many profiles out there, you want your unique personality to shine through. Avoid cliches even though they may be true. You may like long walks on the beach, but try highlighting something unusual instead... whether it be a crazy hobby, uncommon profession or an adorable quirk.
Put in the Effort
Though you want to be brief, you also want to be diligent. Believe it or not, much like on a job resume, potential dates do give some attention to grammar. And again, represent yourself accurately. Use language you are likely to use in general, rather than trying to sound like a Shakespearean scholar (unless you are a Shakespearean scholar and want to show that off).
Be Selective With Photos
Though photos are a small part of dating profiles, they are what get noticed first. A good guideline is to share photos that show how you usually look now. Honesty is important in the case of photos. If you've only been camping once and hated it, you probably don't want to show a photo of yourself camping because you think it might be more interesting. Use flattering photos that show off your unique self, and include at least one headshot and one full body shot.
What Information Should You Share?
Since this is the first time that someone is "meeting" you, and your profile is online for many to see, you don't want to include a lot of deeply personal information. Below are the dos and don'ts of what to share and what not to reveal in your dating profile.
What Not to Include in a Dating Profile
Given that you're looking for dates in cyberspace, safety is very important. Do not give specific information that would enable someone to locate you. This includes being aware of the photos you use in your profile, making sure pictures don't reveal your home address or work location. Don't include your last name, your home address, your phone number, your work phone number or where you work. If your email address gives your actual first and last name, or hints at where you work, you will want to create a nondescript email address just for your dating profile. If you have children, don't state that in your profile. This will help avoid potential predators from contacting them.
What You Can Include in a Dating Profile:
- Age range (if you don't feel like listing your specific age)
- Relationship status
- Sexual orientation
- General area of where you live such as "metro area"
- Height, weight, body type
To help get matched up with someone compatible, it is a good idea to include information such as your religious and political beliefs, particularly if you have strong beliefs in these areas.
It's almost always a good idea to include your interests, because not only does this help match you with someone with similar interests, but it also provides more specifics to your profile rather than a vague or general description. To help your profile stand out, include the more unusual hobbies you might have such as skydiving, roller derby, or antiquing.
Writing about your own personality can be tricky. If you're stuck on this aspect, imagine how your friends would describe you. You can even ask your friends for suggestions. Be as specific and descriptive as possible; and paint a picture of your personality instead of just telling people your traits. For example you could write, "My best friend says I have a silly and quirky sense of humor. I laugh a lot, and I'm most myself and relaxed when playing "Apples to Apples."
Share as many insights into who you are as you're comfortable revealing. If you're a math nerd who also likes basketball, it's a great idea to highlight those two aspects of your personality.
Without sounding desperate, it is a good idea to share your goals if they are very important to you. For instance, you can select the "want kids" option, or state that you are not looking for a fling or a one-night stand, or that you can see yourself getting married if you meet the right person. Avoid saying things like "my clock is ticking" and "I want to be married by the end of the year." Such statements could turn away some folks out of fear that you wouldn't let the relationship progress naturally.
Here are some examples of lead-ins to your profile:
- I'm a brainy 20-something seeking an adventurous male between 25 and 35 to keep me on my toes.
- Long walks on the beach are nice and all, but I want a nerdy gal who can beat me at chess in a coffee shop on a rainy Sunday afternoon.
- Spunky ex-cheerleader looking for a man who can keep up on the hiking trails.
- Don't worry, I won't make you go shopping with me. But I might make you watch a game or two.
- You can still go out with the boys when you're dating me.
- No drama. Just kisses, laughs, deep discussions, and the occasional wrestling match on the living room floor.
It is estimated that about one-third of marriages in the U.S. began online, so online dating can be a rewarding experience. Remember that dating should be fun. If you find yourself frustrated from the experience or tired from spending time meticulously looking at various profiles, it is a good idea to take a break from online dating and come back to it when you are in a positive emotional headspace.