How to Create a Catchy Online Dating Profile

online-datingSo you’ve taken to the online dating scene, and you’re wondering how to reel in your Internet soulmate, or at least someone you wouldn’t mind going on a few dates with. From someone who has tested the waters of the e-dating world with unlikely success, here are some tips for creating a profile that will attract more attention, get more responses and help you meet the kind of people you’re looking for.

Be honest

Don’t lie or exaggerate to try to make yourself more attractive to the e-dating crowd. The truth is going to come out eventually — and the sooner the better. If you’re 100 pounds overweight, “a few extra pounds” is probably not the correct choice to describe your body type. If you’re a drug dealer, “self-employed entrepreneur” isn’t going to cut it. Just be honest about who you are. The idea isn’t to deceive people into thinking you’re something you’re not so they’ll consider going out with you — it’s to find someone who’s going to accept you for exactly who you are, which will never happen if you’re always pretending to be someone else. 

Post attractive (but accurate) pictures

Pictures are a key component of a successful online dating profile. You don’t have to be Mr. Universe, but you at least need to give people a chance to decide whether there is an attraction there.

Pictures should ideally be of you by yourself, or with as few people as possible. There’s nothing more annoying than seeing a picture taken from 20 feet away with 8 people in a crowd and trying to figure out who’s who. Your pictures should be from a variety of angles/positions — some head shots and some of your body, so that people can get a complete sense of what you look like…not just a neck-up sense.

Post several pictures and keep them recent — things tend to change over time, so posting a pic from 10 or even 5 years ago isn’t really fair to the viewer, as you most likely don’t look the same. Your pictures should show you in an attractive light, but not an inaccurate one. If you look like Rob Schneider but have one pic that realllly makes you look like Antonio Banderas, post it if you must, but post several other pics that let people know what you actually look like too.

Again, it comes down to being honest and letting people see who you are so they can decide for themselves if they’re interested. The truth is going to come out eventually, so why not let it come out now?

Be specific and unique

Please, please, please avoid cliches. No one wants to hear that you like long walks on the beach. The idea is to convey a bit of who you are through the admittedly sterile environment of a web page. To do this, you need to think about what qualities, interests, hobbies or views most define you as you.

It’s also a good idea to be specific about what you’re looking for in another person, as well as what you’re NOT looking for. In fact, describing what I wasn’t looking for was one of my most successful actions as an online dater. It immediately weeded out 9/10 of the people I wasn’t interested in and saved me countless hours of reading messages like “hey babiiii ur sexi wanna com over to my hottub tihs weeknd?”

Don’t write a book

No one wants to sit through a 16-page mini-dissertation on who you are. Leave something to be discussed in a message, over the phone, or on a first date. Be detailed but brief — summarize the key points about yourself and what you do and don’t want in someone else. Let your personality come through, whether that’s through your style of writing, some humor, a quote, or some other unique touch. Provide enough information to get someone interested, and let them contact you to find out more.

Proofread

By all means, proofread what you write. Read you profile over to make sure it’s interesting, written in complete sentences and free of spelling and punctuation errors. No one’s expecting you to be Shakespeare, but when you’re trying to make a first impression and your main tool is words, it’s never a good idea to have 16 spelling errors in a two-sentence profile.

The idea behind an online dating profile is that it’s a stand-in for the real thing: you. Put your best face forward while being honest, so that you can attract someone who shares your interests and likes you for who you are, not who you’re pretending to be.

And as a note to any skeptics — I scoffed at online dating when I first started out, but it led to more than one serious relationship, so all I can say is, don’t knock it ’til you try it!

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