If you ask most people what’s the one thing they really find difficult writing or talking about, and they might answer, “about myself.” It seems odd, doesn’t it? We should know and understand ourselves better than anyone or anything, but we find it so difficult to write a profile that’s entirely about us. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what we have to do if we want to set up an effective dating profile.
To help those who find themselves in this situation, we’ve prepared the following tips and advice for setting up your online dating profile.
A Few Important Things to Remember
- There’s no objectively perfect dating profile. Your profile will always be meaningless to some and thus rejected. The goal isn’t to please everyone, but rather attract the kind of person that you want to meet.
- Your goal is to meet your real match. If you’re setting up a dating profile to try and attract the kind of people who have kept you single all this time, then you won’t get anywhere. Be ready to open your mind to people who are a better match but that you might not have considered previously for whatever reason.
- Keep things simple. The best policy when adding information about yourself is to be simple, honest, and straightforward, but also measured. You just need enough information to entice an inquiry. You don’t have to tell your whole life story.
It Begins with a Username
Remember those kooky, but also sometimes creepy Internet chat room handles people used to use in the late 1990s and early 2000s? When choosing a username, it’s a good idea to essentially think and do the exact opposite of that. Your online dating profile username should include two key elements:
- It should incorporate your given name
- It should be easy to read and remember
As to the first point, it’s crucial that you don’t compromise the security of your real identity by using your full name, or any other personal information in your username. Your given name alone offers up nothing sensitive. You could combine your first name with a special character such as “#” or “@”, which may also be required by the platform you’re using.
Keep the name simple and avoid lewd or childish inclusions that you might expect from above-mentioned chatroom handles, or from a teenager’s first email address: big_boobz, giant-douche…and so on. If you’re serious about meeting a dating match from a dating site, silly names need to be set aside.
Writing a Headline
Next, your profile will invariably have a headline or top-line summary that will form the first written impression of your profile that catches people’s attention — apart from your profile photo, of course. So, how can one write a catchy headline that works as an effective hook for those who view your profile?
You can follow basic writing rules used for writing virtually any hook here. Here are some ideas:
1. Use a Quote
A quote that reflects your values and/or interests is a great starting point, especially if you feel you’re not so great with words yourself. We say why try to be Shakespeare when plenty of people have already said it best? Now, of course your quote needs to be thought-out, considerate and also lacking in the same undesirable qualities we mentioned about your username choice. It also shouldn’t be too esoteric, or just there for the sake of writing something.
For example, if you are an entrepreneur who works hard, believes in the value of hard work and determination, and is hustling for a better future, then a quote that reflects that would work: I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.” That’s a quote from Thomas Jefferson. That could reflect your own outlook on life, as well as perhaps your interest in American history. It serves a purpose to attract like-minded people.
2. Write Your Own One-Liner
If you feel more confident with words, try writing a witty or interesting line of your own: “Writing an online dating profile is easy” – No One, Ever. A line like this can garner a simple and brief moment of humor, which is highly effective in spurring the reader into learning more about you.
3. Be Direct
Another approach with the headline is just to be direct and tell your readers who you are and what you are looking for: Hi, I’m Mark and I’m looking for the real thing. Feel free to be as specific as you want here, but leaving it a little open to interpretation is a good way to encourage people to read on and then later make an inquiry.
Another good thing to do here is add in a quick description about yourself: Educated, well-traveled girl looking for someone to read, cook, travel and see the world with. That one is a little bit long, but it shows you the structure, and scope of what kinds of words you can use. Sometimes, this simple approach is the best way to get the job done.
Details to Include
As we mentioned earlier on, this dating profile is not your autobiography. The idea behind the dating profile is to get people to make contact. In that sense, it’s no different from any other form or marketing and advertising. You might think that cheapens the process, but it shouldn’t. It’s just a good mindset to help you pick relevant content for your profile.
Here are some good items to include:
- Your first name, age, gender, etc — basic details (these will likely be displayed)
- What you do
- Your hobbies and interests
- What you’re looking for in a partner or relationship
- Call to action
The middle 3 bullets are the parts people have trouble with. It sounds like a lot we’re recommending you to say, but you should be able to describe what you do, what your interests are, and what you’re looking for in at least 3 sentences, but in no more than 5 sentences. Keep things short, inject a little humor where you can, and don’t give too much away. Having said that, don’t be afraid to show a little vulnerability, too.
For that last point, the “call to action” – all this refers to is a simple line at the end that tells people to message, email or otherwise contact you using whatever method is appropriate or recommended on the platform you are using.
Things to Avoid
Finally, what are the things you should avoid putting in your “About Me” or other main content section? Well, we’ve covered a lot about inappropriate language and innuendo already, so what else is there?
Don’t tell lies. Even small embellished statements will inevitably lead to trouble down the road. Keep everything clear, honest, and straightforward.
Don’t be overconfident. This trait is more common to male profiles. Men whose confidence comes across as pure cockiness is not attractive. Show a little humility.
Don’t be too forward about future plans. This trait is more common to female profiles. Women who fill their profiles with talk of marriage and babies tend to scare people away. It’s fine to want these things, but online dating is often a place where more sensitive people gather and they don’t respond well to pressure!