Before online dating starts working, you may have had some bad experiences that make you feel embarrassed about meeting a decent match online. You can’t stop asking yourself such questions as, ‘Is online dating really worth a shot?’ or ‘Is it that easy to meet that special someone who will tick all your boxes?’ Let’s face it. First, stop wondering just what’s wrong with you. Do not give up early on. It’s important to learn things that will help to guide yourself from possible mismatches and ultimate time wasters. Let’s start by talking about your online dating profile.
The Site Matters
Finding the site that appeals to you may be one of the harder aspects of beginning your online dating experience, as you don’t want to join the first site that you come across—the matches could be totally wrong and the core values of the site and the other members may not be align to what you believe. Of course you have your popular sites that have commercials on television and in magazines which is geared toward a large demographic, but there are also a lot of sites that cater to specific preferences. For instance, if religion plays a big role in your life, you can search for a site where the members believe the same principles as you. At this stage, researching the site is very important.
Create a Unique Username
Now that you’ve found a website that you feel comfortable with and believe will bring you the best chances of finding that special someone, you are tasked with creating a username. You may be tempted to use your old standby that you use for all of your social media outlets, but you will want to avoid doing that. You may be asking, “Why?” Well, do you remember that party from the Fourth of July? Those drunk pictures of you may not be on your Instagram, but your friends could have tagged you on their post and now…? You are searchable and those unflattering pictures are out there in the open, ready for your potential suitor to find with the help of Google.
Instead of using old faithful, you can create a profile name that gives a person an idea of who you are. You can combine an adjective with a hobby like Vivacious_Dancer or Eloquent.Poet. This is your chance to use your creativity!
Some things you want to avoid when creating a user name is:
We are visual creatures so it should be no surprise that these dating sites as you to upload a picture of yourself. Now while it isn’t necessarily required, it is highly recommended. You’ll find that you will get a better response to your profile with a picture than without. When it comes to choosing your picture, there are some do’s and don’ts.
Your profile will also ask if you’d like to include other photographs. You may want to consider doing this because it will give people a better understanding of what kind of person you are, what you look like, and some of your interests. For the additional pictures, you will want to choose between 5 or 6 pictures and of these pictures, you should include at least one full body shot. The rest of the photos can be group shots with your friends doing a variety of activities (but keep the boozing pictures to minimum—you don’t want to come off as a lush!)
The Meat and Potatoes of the Profile
Let’s think of the picture as the appetizer of the profile, as it gets you excited for the main course, which in this case is the general profile. This is where you can show that you’ve got the personality to go along with that pretty face of yours. While the format of the profile varies from site to site, they all follow a general template.
The Tagline (or headline) is a sentence that sums up you as a person and it usually shows up under your Username and vitals when people do a general search. When you create a tagline, you want to be creative and avoid sentences like: “Down-to-Earth guy looking for a fun-loving gal.” It’s unoriginal, boring, and so cliché! You want to stand out, be witty, and even be humorous!
It can be hard to talk about yourself that doesn’t sound like you are bragging (or you may be overly modest and gloss over some incredible achievements), so you may want to enlist the help of your friends to create the About Me part of the profile. Your friend is an excellent candidate to write this part because they already like you and will be able to objectively highlight your best qualities.
When you get to the What I’m Looking for section, you don’t want it to read like a to-do list with the things that you do and do not want in a relationship. Instead, you’ll want to use colorful language that draws the reader in and captivates them. Use this section to describe the person you are looking for and highlight the qualities that is important to you (just nix the obvious ones like “trust-worthy,” “honest,” and “attentive.” Those are kind of a no-brainer). When you are working on this section, avoid talking about the things you do not want but focus on the positive traits.
In the technological world, we are constantly bombarded with chat-speak, abbreviations, and emoticons. Far too many people rely on these to convey a message. But, since they are becoming a common place on the internet, they will invariably make their way onto the profiles of single men and women across the world. The key is to know when to use them and how often to use them.
A good rule of thumb is to use them sparingly and only when you are exchanging messages. The profile itself should be unmarred by chat-speak and emoticons. Instead, the profile should show that you are an intelligent human being that understands proper English and grammar—oh, and correct spelling is a must. It can be a huge turn off if someone is reading your profile and they have a hard time understanding it.
Also when you are filling out your profile, you want to use positive language. The words you choose should create the picture that you are charismatic, fun-loving, and ambitious (among other things). You don’t want to use language that could portray you as a wet blanket. This means avoid clichés like “long walks on the beach” and “romantic candle light dinners,” even you do like to do these things. To the reader, by saying the cliché lines means you lack imagination and you aren’t really invested in trying to find someone you want to connect with.