If you decide to go online and open up the dating buffet, creating an account is just step one. Creating a good profile is the difference between getting good matches and getting: “Why are you even talking to me?”
Admittedly, writing can be hard, but a little time to craft your profile (and to have a friend edit) will lead to better results. Just like writing erotica, the key is to relax and write like you are talking to someone.
But, just like writing erotica, there are some key things you really should avoid.
First, you are not as funny as you think you are. Even if in real life you are hilarious, unless you are a practiced humor writer, trust me when I say that online, you are not funny.
Writing is a very different medium, completely devoid of tone and gesture, which means the line that is hilarious is your head is probably going to fall flat on-screen where your mannerisms can’t carry it.
Even if sense of humor is listed as one of the top character traits people look for, trust me when I say that trying to be funny is just a bad idea.
If you are naturally funny, the humor will come through in your writing. If, however, you ever feel the need to put “haha!” anywhere in your profile, that is a sign that you need to edit.
Second, if you put “message me to find out more!” in your profile, no one will message you. Everyone already knows that messaging you will allow them to learn more about you. When writing a profile, it is your job to make them want to learn more about you. Saying you are interesting and then telling them that they need to message you before you prove it is a losing strategy.
You are better off illustrating all of the reasons that someone should message you. Don’t just say you are smart and funny, talk about your interests and what you like to do and prove that you are smart and funny.
Anyone can say that they are awesome, amusing, smart and the best thing since sliced bread. Unfortunately, that claim doesn’t always pan out. And saying “I’m awesome! Haha, need more than that? Message me and I’ll prove it!” is one the most off-putting things possible in a profile.
Which leads to my third point: don’t be generic. While a list of adjectives is guaranteed not to scare anyone away, it also isn’t going to really grab anyone’s attention either. If you want messages that are more than a bland “Hey, you’re cute, let’s grab coffee,” or if you want a response to your well-crafted message, you need to give people a little bit to work with.
This is a time to air out your quirks that may not be for everyone, but some people are really going to be drawn to. After all, this is an arena in which criteria are easily checked for, so if your ideal mate wants to tango in Argentina with you, then put that life-long dream in your profile.
Don’t just list out your hobbies, talk about them as though you have a knowledgeable audience. That bit in your profile where you talk about the song you just conquered on guitar may be what catches someone’s attention — either because they recognize the difficulty or because it is their favorite song.
Either way, it is a conversation starter that has a little more meat in it than: “I play guitar, too!”
Unlike in real life, where you can rely on a wing man, online you have to sell yourself. And the key to selling yourself is sticking out in an interesting way.
Quirks and details give meat to your profile, and give people opportunity to start interesting conversation about things you both enjoy talking about. Creating an opportunity to learn more about someone from an opening like “Hey, so you go to Cal too, huh?” is not an easy task.
Better to start a conversation with: “You like food? What’s the best meal you’ve ever had?” At the very least, it leads to more interesting conversation than: “So what’s your major?”
Online dating offers an opportunity to find other interesting people, but it definitely has some barriers to entry. Like everything in life, you get what you give. If you put a little time and effort into your profile, and spend the time to answer some questions and look for people the results are going to be better than just posting your picture and sitting back.