March 2, 2016

You haven’t written your online dating profile yet?  robotsAs any intrusive relative (we all have them) would say, “You’re not getting any younger!”  This is before the requisite pinch cheek, of course.  When you’re ready to take the leap and either subscribe to or update your online dating profile, here are the top 15 Quick & Dirty Tips for Your Online Dating Profile:

  1. Make sure your photos are representative of you, especially the first one.  You would rather have someone meet you in person thinking, “He/she is much better-looking than the photos,” not “Those photos were a lie… or taken five years ago!”  Be confident, and be truthful.
  1. Less is more when it comes to photos.  People will look for the one bad photo (um… the one with the empty wine bottle in front of you and your lips looking extra red?) and decide not to write to you because of it.  Three to five photos are recommended.
  1. Have at least one clear “face” photo.  Blurry photos make people wonder if you’re hiding something.
  1. Be by yourself in the shot.  Too many reasons!
  • Don’t give someone the opportunity to compare you to the other people in your own picture.
  • Don’t try to show that you’re social. We know you’re social.
  • If it’s someone of the opposite sex, we think it’s your ex… or current significant other.
  1. Have one photo doing something interesting.  Many people have no idea what to say in the initial message to you, so give them something to comment on, or “message bait.”  Ideas: you making a delicious loaf of bread, you doing underwater basket weaving, you riding a horse… you get the idea.
  1. Include a full-body shot.  For the same reason as #1, it’s important that you portray yourself accurately.  Also, when people don’t have information (as in, what you look like below the neck), they assume things, and often they assume the worst.
  1. Take your time writing your profile.  Many people think that writing an online dating profile is a one-time job, and they rarely change it based on its success (or lack thereof).  They also try to write it as quickly as humanly possible. This is one thing that you should really spend your time on.  You are putting yourself out there for the world to see, so you want to put your best foot forward.
  1. In your profile, provide a bold introduction.  Try not to bore someone to sleep or sound just like everyone else.  Make the first line memorable and interesting.
  1. End your profile on a positive note.  “Need not apply” need not be in your vocabulary.
  1. Do NOT write a novel.  Anything over three paragraphs on a “traditional” online dating site like Match.com is much too long.  And on the apps (i.e. Tinder, Bumble, etc.), short and sweet—and quirky—is the key.

Example

Things I’m good at: remembering which direction the North Star points, swimming in really cold water, making pizza from scratch, writing limericks and ridiculous Tinder profiles

  1. Stand out from the crowd.  If the stranger sitting next to you on the subway might have been able to write the same exact profile, then it is too generic, and it’s time to spice it up.
  1. Avoid “empty adjectives.”  These are words like “smart,” “funny,” “attractive,” and “loyal” that are subjective and cannot be proven until someone gets to know you.
  1. Proofread and edit.  If someone spells “your” incorrectly, I don’t assume carelessness; I assume stupidity.  Don’t make people think you’re stupid.
  1. Make sure you’re realistic, not idealistic.  Your profile should be representative of you today, not the you in your head… who we know is a rock star.
  1. Remember that online dating is not represented by any one bad (or good) date.  Don’t quit online dating after one bad date.  First, that person is just that—one person.  And every bad date is a good story.  (I have one about how I inadvertently went out with the same person twice… six years apart!)

Looking for more?  Feel free to grab a copy of my book, Love at First Site, on Amazon if you need additional help and motivation.

Want more dating advice? (You know you do!) Click Here for your very own dating cheat sheet of 25 secret dating tips you can use immediately.

15 Quick & Dirty Tips for Your Online Dating Profile

17 thoughts on “15 Quick & Dirty Tips for Your Online Dating Profile

  • March 2, 2016 at 12:38 pm
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    Thank you for your great advice. I am extremely frustrated with online dating, and I am seriously considering asking for help. I am beginning to wonder if there are just so many great single women out there and not so many single men worth taking the time for.

    Reply
    • March 2, 2016 at 3:13 pm
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      Thanks for writing. There’s no denying that the process can be frustrating. There are good men out there. It just takes some time and energy to find them. Always happy to chat.

      Reply
    • September 5, 2016 at 3:46 pm
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      I’m single and I think I’m a great guy with a lot to offer someone but I can’t even get a date!!!

      Reply
  • March 2, 2016 at 4:34 pm
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    Hi Erika,
    I still need to deal with my healing broken foot, an online Master’s course and getting to work and physical therapy. I have no current shots of me since I changed my cut and color so I’m not even updating my profile until I have the time, then I may contact you for assistance. It’s not that I don’t want to date, at this point I don’t have the time.

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    • March 3, 2016 at 11:25 am
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      I don’t think anyone actually has the time. It’s about making the time. I don’t have the time to read for pleasure, but the reality of it is that I just don’t make the time because I’d rather be doing other things. I suggest getting the photos done, whether the time is right or not, and then we can get started. Happy to answer any questions.

      Reply
  • March 3, 2016 at 8:51 am
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    Erika, I’d consider myself above average looking guy. Women tell me I’m a handsome guy. Every since I ended my last relationship 9 months ago, I have had the worst luck meeting quality women. I’ve been played over and over again. I recently read on line on another dating expert blog that “women do not like nice guys” — I am no push over. I guess my age 50 does not help either. What is your take on “nice guys”? I’m on my dating sites than I care to say, almost to the point of being embarrassed. Look me up. You will recognize me. You wrote my profile 3 or 4 years ago.

    Reply
    • March 3, 2016 at 11:28 am
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      I do recognize you, and I can certainly attest to the fact that you’re handsome, so I have no doubt you have no problem getting dates… it’s getting the right dates with the women who appreciate you that we can work on. As for the “nice guy” question, I do believe that nice guys can finish first. Don’t change who you are to try to be aloof or a challenge. Be you, and the mature woman who wants a nice man will find you.

      Reply
    • September 5, 2016 at 3:48 pm
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      Truth. Women don’t like nice guys. We’re no challenge. Women need something to “fix”.

      Reply
      • September 5, 2016 at 4:29 pm
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        I don’t think we can generalize like that. Trust me when I tell you that in the long run, the women want the nice guys. Don’t change who you are.

        Reply
  • April 26, 2016 at 10:24 pm
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    Whenever I update my profile, I always ask for feedback from a few close female friends first. What words and phrases pull them in? Which ones push them away? Which ones don’t do anything? Then I revise according. Your profile is an ad; like all ads, it should be tested with the target audience. Otherwise you’re just guessing. My advice for women: please don’t say how much you love your children, how proud you are of them, how wonderful they are etc. We get it. We already know your children are the most important people in your life. And we don’t care because it has absolutely nothing to do with how you are a potential partner. it is a turn-off. PS – I have two teenagers whom I’m absolutely crazy about!

    Reply
    • April 27, 2016 at 12:29 am
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      I’m glad you crowdsource your profile. Your friends, though, are biased since they already know and like you. More important is feeling like the profile is true to who you are, less what you think people want to see.

      As for the comment about women’s children, while I wouldn’t say it in so many words, the reality is that you’re putting the profile up to entice people to date YOU, not you and the whole family. 🙂 Both men and women are culprits of including too much.

      Thanks, as always, for reading!

      Reply
  • June 2, 2016 at 11:06 am
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    The first one is such a given, you will never get a second date with someone when your picture is a lie. Often times the first one even gets cut short because of it too. All of your photos need to be you, and they need to be recent enough that they aren’t showing off what you look like now.

    Reply
  • July 3, 2016 at 4:22 pm
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    Words of advice about online dating:

    1. Posting pictures on your profile is paramount. But unless the people who are viewing your profile are interested in photography, they are only interested in pictures of YOU. They are NOT interested in pictures of your family, pets, vacation, etc.(unless you’re in these pictures). So don’t post pictures you don’t appear in on your profile.

    2. If you make a date and want to break it later, have the decency to call the person on the phone. Only cowards break a date by sending an email or a text message. Also, don’t act like a real jerk by either completely avoiding any contact with the person after you make a date….that is, not calling them, not answering their phone calls, and not returning them……., or waiting until they call you before you tell them you can’t keep the date. Again, have the decency to call them, and make the call when you know you’re not going to keep the date.

    3. If someone sends you a message on an internet dating site, and you’re NOT interested, DON’T reply. Sending a reply will probably entice the person to keep sending you more messages. But if you do, don’t say something stupid like you’re already dating someone. It’s not believable….if that’s really your situation, then why are you on the dating site?

    4. When you’re talking with someone from a dating site, on the phone, or in person, don’t ramble on and on endlessly about yourself. That’s a major turn off, and something you should know from basic common sense. But many people do it.

    5. If the main picture on someone’s profile is appealing to you, and you’re thinking of contacting this person, have the common sense to look at ALL of their pictures, and anything else on their profile that may be important to you, BEFORE you decide to send them a message.

    6. If you receive a call from someone you’ve given your number to, and you can’t talk to them at that time, then YOU should return the call. DON’T tell them to call back. They took the initiative to make the call, and obviously didn’t know it was a bad time for you to speak, so YOU should have the decency to make the return call.

    7. If you’re going to be bringing someone with you on the initial date, TELL THE PERSON YOU’RE GOING TO MEET BEFOREHAND. Bringing someone with you without telling your date, can create an uncomfortable situation for the person you’re meeting, which can cause an otherwise good date to go bad. Don’t think bringing someone with you is “no big deal.” It could very well be a big deal to the person you’re meeting.

    8. If someone wants to meet you, but doesn’t have a cell phone or doesn’t want to give you their phone number, my suggestion is to not meet them. What can happen and what has happened is that your date could show up very late or not show up at all for one reason or another, and they may not call to tell you, and you obviously wouldn’t be able to contact them. Also, it’s very unusual these days for anyone who doesn’t have a cell phone. So I really have to wonder what’s going on with people who say they don’t have one.

    9.If you’re thinking of traveling out of town to meet someone for the first time who doesn’t live locally, you should first view at each other live through Skype, then you both can decide whether or not to meet. If either of you needs a web cam, you can buy one very inexpensively on Amazon. Viewing each other live doesn’t guarantee that there’s going to be a connection if you do decide to meet, but it will reduce the chances that there won’t be. If the person you’re thinking of meeting doesn’t want to do the live view….DON’T MEET THEM.

    10. Don’t let your friends use your profile to browse through a dating site, especially if you’re a paid subscriber with full membership privileges. Sometimes the friends will contact other members on the site without your knowledge, the recipients will think it’s you, and when they find out it’s someone else, the outcome is not always friendly, …..OR your friend could contact someone you’ve already met and the date didn’t go well….and you could run into them in the future which could be embarrassing……OR your friends could do something that violates the dating site’s terms and conditions which could get you kicked off the site. Most of these dating sites offer a free membership, which may not allow communication with other members, but do allow viewing other member profiles. So when your friends ask you if they can use your membership to log onto a dating site that you belong to, tell them to sign up for their own free membership.

    11. Post the CORRECT location where you live in your profile….not a place where you used to live, where you want to live, or where your friend lives. It sounds like basic common sense, but intentionally posting a city, state or country where a person doesn’t live does happen. If you’re contacting someone on a dating site, and you tell the person you live somewhere different than what you have posted on your profile, it’s a real turn off, especially if you live in another state or country.

    Reply
    • July 11, 2016 at 8:56 am
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      It’s like you’ve read my mind! In #1, I can’t stress this enough to my clients. No one wants to see your “lifestyle.” They want to see YOU! Thanks so much for reading and for the insightful comments. Keep it up!

      Reply
  • July 6, 2016 at 1:09 am
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    Frustrations are really common in online dating as it is a time consuming process that requires patience. Your online dating tips can really help people in avoiding that frustration. Everything should be done with precision in online dating from choosing a profile picture to posting any comment. There are many things that people still need to learn about online dating and one of the important thing among them is how to cope with the online dating frustrations. https://medium.com/@Petrovaelena/10-tips-to-recover-from-online-dating-frustrations-387831447de7#.umwy6ugap, these tips are really helpful and worth for a person to know if he is involved in online dating.

    Reply
    • July 11, 2016 at 8:56 am
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      Thanks for reading and for your awesome comments!

      Reply

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