I get a lot of questions about how to write a good online dating profile. Usually it’s because someone isn’t getting many responses to their emails, or she/he just isn’t generating good matches. After all, the goal is to attract the right men or women to you. I have two suggestions that could turn things around, so don’t roll your eyes and say that online dating sucks. Cuz it doesn’t.
Typically people need a couple of tweaks to their descriptions, or help in making their writing less generic. Many of us are tempted to write more benign stuff (i.e. “I like long walks on the beach..” or “I like someone who makes me laugh..”) Gag. Seriously, who doesn’t like to laugh or walk on the beach? I need to meet you.
The fix is easy. But it requires you to do a little self-reflection, which makes some people squirm. Being generic is so easy! Plus, people won’t think you’re strange! But writing a good description takes time and effort, and most people don’t have either. If you want results, you have to make your profile description a priority. I’m serious.
So, the self-reflection part. This will be an exercise in walking a tightrope – you want to engage people and strike up a conversation, which requires you to talk about yourself, your strengths, and what makes you awesome, but you also can’t look like you’re bragging. The idea of describing yourself and why you’d make a great date/partner/hook-up makes some people uncomfortable and others arrogant a-holes. If you feel compelled to list all of your accomplishments or great qualities, shorten the list. Pick your favorites. Then think about your faults. I’m serious. Nobody wants to date someone who is perfect, or thinks they are perfect. They want to date someone who is genuine.
I will say it again. People want to date someone who’s genuine. Who can see you for who you are, faults and all.
This means that you can also include a couple of lines about how you will try to cook but will probably just burn toast, or how you can’t carry a tune. A little self-depricating humor can do well with online dating.
Now, if you’re the shy type, it’s best to enlist a friend’s help. Likely you won’t be willing to write outside of the generic profile box because you want everyone to like you. This was me. But it didn’t serve me in online dating. I had to come out of my shell and talk about all the fantabulous things about me. Friends are good at this – they see the wonderful quirks and personality traits that you ignore or forget about. They can brag about you, so let them tell you what you should include in your profile.
The bottom line: not everyone will like you, but that’s not the goal. You want people who are attracted to who you are, who will strike up a conversation about that time you fell off a sailboat or because you’re obsessed with the band Twenty-one Pilots. Be yourself – don’t let fear drive you.
2. Choose good photos.
I know it’s tempting to post that picture from your Mexico vacation five years ago when you were tan and ten pounds lighter, but that’s not who you are now. Nothing is more infuriating to a date than misrepresentation. If you’re not happy with recent pictures, have a friend who’s good with a camera take some. Wear your favorite color. You’ll feel better about yourself because you are who you say you are.
For those of you posting selfies in front of the bathroom mirror, this needs to stop. I know, who can resist a low-quality, shirtless photo with a giant flash over your face? Sexy! But really, even though this works on Instagram, it’s not a good look for your online dating profile. Have someone else take your picture, and please…wear a shirt.