Online Dating Profiles 101: Begin Here
First it was singles bars and personal ads in in the back of magazines and newspapers, as well as classic advice from Esquire about striking up a conversation in the produce aisle of your grocery store. Then came Craigslist and AOL's single's chat rooms.
Come on. Online dating is a reality, folks. It works and it's not going away until virtual reality dating takes off. In the meantime, here's how to get started to create a smashing and effective online dating profile.
It's the first-of-the-first things the dating service will ask you to provide. It's a come-on of sorts. If you feel a pit in your stomach when confronted with a blank screen, one great technique for choosing your profile name is to combine two of your interests or qualities into one name.
2. Create a tag-line or headline for your Profile.
We've written several pieces about the Best and Worst dating headlines, so feel free to browse to get your creative juices flowing. The dating profile headline is a one-time lightning-quick opportunity to show a little flair, and highlight something about your personality or a special interest.
3. Choose Profile Pictures
4. Learn From Examples
It's difficult to start writing a dating profile from scratch. That's why you'll want to start by looking at examples of dating profiles--good, bad, and rewritten.
Yes, it's instructive to look at the bad dating profiles. Bad examples resoundingly shout to you "Don't do this!" in a way that a thousand words of gentle advice cannot do.
Examples of Good Profiles:
Examples of Bad Profiles:
- Profile of 49 Year-Old Woman with Too Many Demands (OKCupid)
- Extremely Short Dating Profile from 44 Year-Old Woman (OKCupid)
Examples of Rewritten (Bad-to-Good) Profiles
5. Write Out a Rough Draft
Novelists sometimes write 10-20 versions until they get their piece right. You don't have to write that many drafts, but we do recommend a rough draft followed by a final draft.
Writing the first version as a rough draft frees you up to write with abandon.
6. Rip Out the Bad Stuff
You've read it. Your best friend has read it. What kind of feedback did you get?
Chances are, you're overwritten. But that's fine. First drafts are all about expansiveness. Second drafts are about paring things down to size.
What can you cut?
- Excessive Sarcasm, Glibness, and "Wit": A little goes a long ways. Most wit in dating profiles is leaden and unfunny--often verging on hostile. We recommend keeping paring this down drastically.
- Word Count: We have seen profiles that stretch for 2,300 words. That's ridiculously long. Keep your profile to 500-600 words.
7. Watch Out For the Super Red Flags
Red flags aren't simple problems like typos, grammar, sarcasm, or word count. Red flags are so critical, just one can doom your entire profile.
- Mixed Messages: We found a classic sexual mixed message in one woman's PlentyOfFish profile. Her profile has numerous photos displaying lots of skin, tits, and ass. Yet she expresses anger and impatience with guys who see her only as a body. What did she expect?
- Complaints about the opposite sex: Bemoaning why the "ladies on this site are so superficial or only looking for one thing" is a sure-fire way to keep the ladies away. We've seen this time and time again.