How To Create an On-Line Dating Profile that ROCKS

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Image via Wikimedia Commons

By Kristen Lamb

So you want to take the leap and give on-line dating a try. GREAT! The profile is critical, yet there are a lot of oopses we can make that will turn on the wrong people or turn OFF the right people. Again, tempus fugit. Time is fleeting and we want to make the most of every day. One day spent with the wrong person is one day less with the perfect person.

Follow these steps, and odds are you’ll do better at attracting the right people. There are all kinds of whack-a-doodles, time-wasters and crazies out there. But, with the right approach, you can make your on-line dating profile more attractive to the right kind of potential mate.

Step #1—Gather At Least Three Images

ONE image is often a signal of something fishy. As we talked about on my post that discussed on-line predators, cheaters and players don’t want to be easily recognized, so they frequently will limit to one picture. Other “one-pic offenders” are people who aren’t being truthful about age, weight or looks.

We live in an age where pictures abound, so when you only post ONE? That sends off warning flares.

You want to post at least three images so you aren’t unintentionally setting off warning flags. I don’t recommend posting more than five images, or we look like we are building a monument to our egos.

Back when I was on Match.com I would frequently go check out other female profiles just to see what other women were posting. What I found funny were women who posted 22 pictures of themselves, but, in their profiles, demanded to be “taken seriously and wants a guy who loves me for my intelligence and personality.”

Ok. Then what’s with the gold bikini and fish-lip selfie?

Step #2—Make Your Images Appealing

Feel free to doctor images a little bit. No one will fault you for removing red-eye, cropping out a cluttered background or even changing the resolution or saturation. We’ve all had a picture taken that was awesome, but the background was too dark or too washed-out. I highly recommend Pic Monkey. It’s free and easy to use.

If you don’t have any good pictures, take some. Have a friend or family member help. Make sure the person taking the picture is always taking the shot from an angle looking down on you, or you could end up with more chins than a Chinatown phonebook.

For women, try taking a picture wearing more makeup than you normally wear. Photos can wash us out, so we need extra color to make the image true to life. There is a reason actors and anchors pile on makeup.

Don’t post cropped photos that look like you’re posing with an ex. I know the picture could be you and your favorite sister, but women on-line won’t see it that way.

Step #3—Be Careful What You’re Advertising

When it comes to pictures, be careful they reflect what you really want. Guys, if you want a woman who’s after a relationship with you and not your bank account, then avoid pictures posing in your half-million-dollar home or posing in front of your new Porsche. If you post images that clearly show your Presidential Rolex, it’s gold-digger bait, so don’t be shocked when that’s what you catch.

Ladies? If you want a man who’s interested in more than sex, then avoid sexy-come-hither images. I can’t count the number of profiles where women posed in bikinis, short shorts, and, yes, lingerie but then whined that they wanted a deep relationship based off more than sex.


Step #4—Start Making Lists

Most of you are not professional writers, so you will need time to gather your thoughts. Often, when we write things like:

I love to walk on the beach.

I want a man who’s honest.

It comes from failing to prepare ahead of time, so we just write the first thing that pops in our noggins.

Before you sit down to fill out all those fields, try making a list of what you want in a mate and also what you have to offer. This step will not only help you keep profiles brief and interesting, but it will also help you write profiles that “include” your potential date. If you know you love all things sports and you want a gal who loves them too, it’s easier to write:

I’m a huge football fan and have season tickets to the X Sports Team. My ideal match would love grilling hamburgers at the pre-game tailgate party and cuddling in the cold while we cheer.

Step #5—Enlist the Help of a Friend

Frequently, we don’t see ourselves as clearly as others do. We can’t see the forest for the trees, so we can default to only focusing surface traits like physical looks or financial status. A real friend can point out that we’re good listeners, helpful in a crisis, fabulous cooks, or great at making other people laugh. Those are the qualities that make for enduring relationships, thus they’re a better choice for including in a profile, than say, a picture of us in a jog bra and skimpy shorts.

Especially the guys. Please no pictures of you in a jog bra and skimpy shorts.

Kidding! …ok, not really.

But you can see how lack of perspective can have a guy talking about his fancy boat instead of his ability to make other people feel good about themselves. A car is surface, but a tender heart is vulnerable (and also appealing). A tender heart also keeps its value longer than a speedboat.

Step #6—Check for Errors

We live in a world with spell check and grammar check. Use them. Give a Grammar Nazi friend or sibling a chance to look over your content. DO NOT USE ALL CAPS BECAUSE YOU’RE AFRAID OF YOUR OWN WRITING SKILLS. Most people will just assume you’re yelling at them and will steer clear.

This isn’t to say that only people with good spelling are great mates. But, if we have a profile that’s crammed full of errors, it’s distracting and doesn’t portray the best you have to offer.

Will your girlfriend or wife forgive the stains on your favorite college T-shirt? Sure. But don’t wear that shirt on a first date. Same with profiles. Once someone meets you and likes you, they could care less about your chronic inability to spell. But that first impression? Make it count.

Step #7—Check the Correct Boxes

Most on-line sites will have you fill out various fields of who you are and what you’re looking for. This is so they have enough data to plug into the algorithm that will search for potential matches. If you leave a lot of stuff blank, you will be deluged with choices, which is fine if you have a lot of free time to search from Kansas to Kalamazoo for someone appealing.

If you don’t want to date someone much taller or much shorter than you, set those parameters. If you don’t want to date someone with more education or less education than you, check the right boxes.

Also make sure you know what all the boxes mean. I recall being on a date and asking a guy why he’d date a Mormon. He said he wouldn’t, but he’d checked that LDS Christian was acceptable in his profile. The Latter Day Saints are Mormons, so unless you’re open to potentially converting? Might want to not check that box.

I know it can seem like a brain-bender having to go through and check boxes and set parameters, but this is so the site can send you choices that fit your wants. If you set a radius of “won’t date a woman more than 50 miles away,” then the algorithm knows not to include women who live two states away. The algorithms only work if we do our part.

Step #8—Be BRIEF

This is a profile, not a memoir. We do enough reading already. Give enough to entice, but leave enough out that the other person wants to learn more…on an actual DATE.

Best of luck! I’ve been happily married almost 5 years and NEVER would have found my soulmate without on-line dating, so I wish you all the best.


Kristen is the author of the new best-selling book, Rise of the Machines—Human Authors in a Digital World in addition to the #1 best-selling books We Are Not Alone—The Writer’s Guide to Social Media and Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer. She’s a contributing humor blogger for SocialIn, a blog that reaches 2.5 million and blogs for The Huffington Post. You can also follow her author blog here.She is also the Social Media Columnist for Author Magazine. Feel free to follow her on Twitter at @KristenLambTX and on Facebook.

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