So you’ve decided what online dating apps to use. Now you need to create the perfect online dating profile. Don’t worry. I’ve got you. While each app and dating site has different profile requirements, the same basic rules apply, no matter where you’re looking for love.
1. Use Your Description to Tell a Story
There are three elements that make up a great online dating profile description.
- Information about who you are
- A little bit about what you’re looking for
- A conversation starter
If your description doesn’t start to tell me who you are, I’m unlikely to swipe right. This is your chance to be creative! It’s also nice to let someone know what you’re looking for so they can figure out if you are both on the dating apps for the same reasons. Last but not least, include at least one conversation starter to give people something to message you about. I like for guys to send the first message, but it’s only fair for me to give them plenty of material to work with!
You don’t have to write a novella to achieve all of these goals. The best profile I’ve seen recently simply said “I’m a 6’2″ UVA grad working in finance and looking for a salsa partner”. That tells me that they’re probably pretty smart and driven, that I can wear 4″ heels and still be shorter than them, and that they are likely looking for more than just a hookup. It also gives me a great conversation starter – “So, how’d you get interested in salsa?”
- Take this seriously, and write more than just “[INSERT FUNNY STORY]”
- Let people know what you want, e.g. “plus if you play soccer, are a comedian, or have a pup”
- Use proper capitalization and punctuation
- Show your sense of humor
- Tell me why you’re great
- Be positive and honest
- Take yourself too seriously, e.g. “I don’t have time to play games”
- Come across as demanding, e.g. “MUST BE sporty, funny, and an animal lover”
- Use clichés, e.g. “looking to meet new people”
- Substitute jokes for a description of yourself
- Use endorsements from your mom (or anyone)
- Be an asshole – saying things like “please don’t be bitchy”, or “no fatties” is unnecessarily mean
So here’s my dating profile language. The first three sentences tell you about who I am. The fourth sentence tells you what I’m looking for. I don’t come right out and say “I’M LOOKING FOR A RELATIONSHIP” because that would be insane. But references to #goals couples makes it clear I’m looking for more than just a one night stand. The fifth and sixth sentences give even the most tongue tied gentlemen some ideas for a first message. “What kind of tacos do you like?” or “What’s your go to karaoke song?” or “You grew up in Japan? Tell me about that!” are all perfectly acceptable first messages. Look at all that we’ve accomplished in less than 500 characters!
2. Let Your Photos Paint a Picture
I know that picking your pictures can feel like the hardest part about completing your online dating profile. I’m going to let you in on a little secret – you can crowdsource this conundrum! PhotoFeeler.com takes all the guesswork out of picking your online dating profile pictures. You upload a picture, then choose whether you’d like it to be graded by Business, Social, or Dating standards. (Keep this in mind the next time you’re trying to choose a new LinkedIn profile picture!) It takes time for the votes to roll in, but I always learn a lot! Here are some examples of how I’ve used PhotoFeeler recently.
these are two photos of myself that I really like.
I thought I’d get a more positive response on the swimsuit selfie, but it turns out guys thought that photo was too revealing. Voters indicated that the one on the right was better – it shows some skin, but doesn’t look like I’m trying too hard. So I’ve kept them both in my profile, but have the swimsuit one set as my last picture.
I like to include photos that are a little unusual and that show my personality. I tested both of these to see which one did a better job of accomplishing that goal. While friends told me that I looked super cute in the picture on the left, the internet did not agree. The photo on the right shows personality, but also does a better job of showing what I look like. So, the coat picture is not in my dating profile, and the patriotic picture is.
- Include photos with interesting, non-distracting backgrounds
- Show what your whole body looks like with at least one full body shot
- Feature one or two photos that show you with friends, as long as they’re not your first pictures
- Keep it current – I’m not talking about beard vs clean shaven, I’m talking about 25 years old vs 38 years old, or 175 lbs vs 280 lbs
- Include photos taken in cars or bathrooms. They will never convince someone to date you.
- Show too much skin (this means no shirtless photos, guys!)
- Feature photos of you with members of the opposite sex (if you’re straight), or more than two non-solo photos
- Use photos that are obviously selfies (and definitely don’t include your latest Snapchat dog filter photo)
The photos in my online dating profile may not all be perfect, and I look like a total goof in half of them, but they give you a feel for who I am, which is the most important thing.
3. Be Upfront
The last piece of advice that I have to give, is to be upfront, no matter what app you’re using. You may think that everyone on Tinder is looking for a hookup, just like you. Or you might assume that anyone who uses Bumble is looking for a serious relationship. You know what they say about assuming. So figure out what you want, and then make sure your profile conveys that.
Just looking for a hookup? Don’t tell me you’re the world’s greatest uncle. Want to meet someone and start ‘going steady’? Don’t say that you ‘just want to have fun’, because you think that’s what you’re supposed to write to seem easy going.
Aside from being honest about what you want in a relationship (or lack thereof), it’s always best to be up front about a couple of other things, too. Do you have kids? Better to get that announcement out of the way now. Are you married and searching for a side piece? Come clean about that now. Are you remarkably tall or short? Let potential suitors know now rather than later.
If there’s anything big about you that could reasonably be considered a deal breaker to another person, just be open about it. Maybe you’ll meet someone who doesn’t care that your married, 6’7″, and you have three kids. Who knows! But that’s not the kind of information you should keep hidden.
Bottom line – if you really want to meet someone online, it’s important to create a great online dating profile. But the good news is, it’s not that hard! If you follow these easy steps, you’ll have a perfect profile in no time at all.
Have suggestions for my profile? Feel free to share! Want help perfecting your own profile? Let me know! There are few things I love more in this world than helping other people find love.