HOW TO WRITE AN ONLINE DATING PROFILE March 1, 2013
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WRITING ABOUT YOURSELF FOR YOUR ONLINE DATING PROFILE
Typically, online dating services ask you to write something about yourself. Everything you write here is extremely important. To write the best possible online dating profile, you must:
Maximize your strengths, and minimize your weaknesses
Carefully select photos to convey or reinforce messages
Choose your user name carefully. It's typically the first thing people see, and will be an instant "plus" or "minus" to the reader. Usually a clever name is best. Never use anything raunchy or remotely objectionable (unless that is what you are trying to convey).
Heading/Catch Phrase/Tag Line is critical. Online dating services typically show someone browsing through profiles a photo, a user name, and this heading/catch phrase/tag line ... a short phrase that will hopefully entice the reader to go further, and open the profile. These headings can be difficult to write - and my own suggestion is to go with something fun and inviting and/or something that has some sort of reflection upon you, as a person.
First few lines of your profile are MAKE or BREAK. This is true with a lot of different forms of writing - you either hook them, or lose them with the first few sentences. And the very first sentence is the most important - so craft it carefully. Think of it as a one-sentence introduction to you as a person ... and remember when you are writing it that you want to target it at the type of woman or man you want to date. If items 2) and 3) sound difficult - they are - and that is why so many online dating profiles suck ... because people don't know how to write them!
Keep things brief and simple - no more that 250 words, typically. When someone is going through an online dating profile, the last thing they want to read is a book ... so keep things tight and concise. Write just enough to give them a taste of who you are ... and don't go into too much detail, as there will be plenty of time for that later.
Check your spelling and grammar. I use Microsoft Word to write everything - as it has an excellent spelling and grammar checker. Then I cut-n-paste into whatever web-based form I need to insert the text into. Nothing can kill an otherwise great profile faster than poor spelling or bad grammar.
Pay attention to the close. Just as the first thing you stated in your profile was critically important - so is the last. You have to entice the reader into acting - so keep that in mind, and write something inviting. You could frame something within a clever question, or simply use anything that makes the reader want to know more about you.
How to Come Across
Be confident and fun. Being both sure of yourself AND being light-hearted in how you communicate will win you points with the opposite sex.
Be realistic and open-minded. If you are 60 years old, don't say you only want to date women in their mid-20s (unless you are Hugh Heffner). Just keep your expectations grounded, and try not to be too exclusionary. Of course, if you hate cigarette smoke, you should politely excuse smokers. Or if you are extremely religious, and only want to date someone similar - you need to use some nice language which reflects that preference.
Sound adventurous, and illustrate whenever possible. For example, if I were writing this about myself today, I could say something about how much I enjoy traveling - having just returned from a trip to Spain, France, and Italy. And I could add that for fun, I sometimes rollerblade with the 8- to 10-year old kids that live on my street.
Convey your goals. Whatever your relationship goals are - long-term, short-term ... you need to communicate them in the best way possible. You don't want to sound like you will marry the first person who responds - so don't sound desperate. Just convey what you are looking for, and why it is important to you.
Discuss other things that are important to you, and why. Everyone is different - and so by calling out what you think is important to you, you will be giving the reader a sense of who you are. Just be honest with them, and with yourself. Maybe family is important to you ... or possibly the rapport you have built with your psychoanalyst or parole officer. JUST KIDDING. You get the idea.
Things to Avoid
Avoid negative or exclusionary language. If you use negative or exclusionary language, you will come across as a negative person - and that's not attractive. I've seen things in profiles like "No short or bald men. College-educated only", and I think JEEZ that woman is obviously a major pill. Would it not have sounded better to say something instead like, "My ideal man is tall with a full head of thick hair that I can run my fingers through ... someone professional and educated." You get the idea - you can communicate something without sounding negative!
Don't brag. In my mind, only extremely dumb people are impressed by the bragging of others. So if that is type you want to attract, then brag away - otherwise, I truly believe that being humble is a much more attractive quality. I recently saw a 60 Minutes interview with Beyoncé, and one thing she said really stuck out in my mind - she said that, "Ego isn't attractive", and I fully agree with her.
Don't lie or embellish. If you read more of midlifebachelor.com, you'll discover that I'm a firm believer in karma - which means that whatever you throw out there in life will come right back at you like a boomerang. So don't practice deceit or lying because it will always catch up with you sooner or later. For a modern day example of this - look at former presidential candidate John Edwards - he was living a lie ... as he had an affair, even fathered a child out of wedlock while his wife, Elizabeth, was suffering from cancer. He now has lost his entire political career, as more details (and a sex tape) emerge. The negative karma he generated was so bad that it is coming back at him 1000 fold today. So don't lie nor embellish - live a life of truth ... it really is so much easier!