Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Online Dating Profiles - Good, Bad, & Ugly.

I spend too much time reading online dating profiles, most of which are terrible. Here are some tips on how to market yourself better in a profile. 

1. The first two sentences. 

The amount of profiles that start off, I don't know what to write here, I'm new to this online dating thing, or my personal favourite - Just ask.  These sentences are not good openers. 

Your first two sentences have to 'hook' the reader and draw them in so make sure they sound confident and tell the prospective date why he or she should contact you. Who you are, who you're looking for. 

Some examples of decent starts are: 

I am easy going and down to earth. Would love to find someone the same. Nice conversation would be wonderful and a lot of laughter.I enjoy travel, a warm beach with an umbrella drink. 

Looking for friends and activity partners. Wanting to try some new adventures this spring, any ideas? Right now doing some martial arts, gym, jogging.

I have been an outdoors person all my life and I love being around water... whether ocean or lake. I would like to meet someone to laugh with and get to know without any pressures of things becoming too serious.


2. The Headline.

Most dating sites allow for a headline to your profile. Some I've seen are terrible, for example here are some bad headlines from a popular dating site.:

...........    -This says you're too lazy or not intelligent enough to come up with something.

Seeing whats out here...   - This says you aren't serious about meeting someone, maybe even married.
Ready to run   - Not sure where this guy is running off to.
insearch of soulemate   - Make sure you can spell soulmate if you're looking for one.
Looking for chemistry   - This says hey I just want sex...

Some Good Examples are:

Looking for a fun smart lady  -  Tell them what you are looking for
UEFA not UFC. Violins not violence. Wine not whine  - Show what type of person you are
Lets get out and play....even in the rain - Say what you like to do
Leonard looking for Penny -  Use Pop Culture to say who you are and what you want

3. The Profile.

Do not leave this section blank or write that you'll get to it later. The point is to tell people who you are and why they should either contact you or respond to you, use it. Write three sections and break each into small paragraphs with lots of white space. 

Section 1. Who you are looking for. 
Describe the person you are looking for. There are many ways to do this, use your personality. If you consider yourself funny, use humour. If you consider yourself serious, be serious. If you consider yourself educated, use big words. Just be you.

Section 2. Who are you. 
Describe those features that best describe you. Those things you want people to like about you or know you for. What are your values, your likes, your personality, your belief system. Once again inject your personality into your words. Flirt and be creative. Whatever you do don't write - I don't know what you..... Really? You are you, be proud of that and tell the world who you are.

Section 3. What are you looking for. 
Are you looking for casual or serious? Do you just want to date or do you want a long term relationship? Describe what you believe a relationship is and how each person should be. Do you like big romantic gestures? Or is coffee being made for you in the morning enough? Do you want equality in a relationship or traditional gender roles? What strengths do you bring to a relationship? 

Make sure the way you fill out each section reflects your personality.  Use one of the following formats or make up your own if you are unique!

1. Point form. Make a list written in point form to communicate what you value in a partner.
2. Story. Tell a story about what you want a partner to be like in a certain situation
3. Paragraph. Write a short concise paragraph outlining exactly what you are looking for. 

4. Photos

Photos are the most important part of online dating profiles because we are all shallow and looking for someone we are attracted to, so make sure your photos are good. 

Most women profiles show that they put some thought and care into their pics because they realize how they look matters to men. On the other hand, men don't seem to understand that how they look does matter to women. 

Your main profile pic should show just your face... no friends, no exotic place behind you, no relatives, no kids... Make sure it's a good pic of your face. Not photogenic? Well put some effort into yourself, hair, face, clothes, and get someone who knows what they are doing to take pics of you when you aren't trying to pose for them. The best pics are the ones that are taken when you are relaxed and don't know someone snapped the picture. 

Other pics... Do not in anyway put up a pic of you with someone of the opposite sex. I don't care if it's your best friend, your sibling, your long lost cousin... The prospective date won't know and will assume that it's an ex. Pics of you with friends is great as a group shot, not just two people getting a close up. However, your friends may not want to be on your online dating profile, so maybe blur out their faces. 

Pics with kids... I'm mixed here. On one hand I want to see that you are a good parent, on the other, I don't think images of kids belong on a dating profile. This one is mixed.

I spend my time looking at guys profiles and men, I got to tell you something... Start thinking about what women will think is cool and not what your guy friends do. If you want a woman who will go dirt biking with you, by all means put up picks of your dirt bike. If you want a woman who will fish, then fishing picks are perfect. However, I don't know a lot of women who like to spend their time getting dirty or waiting around for a fish to bite. 

Then there are pics of men and their toys... Yes some women are all about the flash and the toys. If that's the kind of woman you want to attract, by all means keep posting them. If you want a woman who likes you for who you are and not what you have, leave the toys at home until you know she likes you for you... Then spring them on her. 

Put up pics of you doing things you'd want a woman to do with you. If dirt biking is a guys only activity for you, don't advertise it. Think about your profile from the opposite sex's point of view. Can't do that? Ask a friend of the opposite sex to tell you what they think your profile is saying about you.

Men shirts off, women all cleavage. What do these pictures say to you? If you are looking for hook ups and casual sex, these photos will communicate that. If you are not, well maybe cover up. 

Make sure there is a full body pic, even if you know your body isn't fabulous.... why waste time getting to know someone who won't appreciate you for all of you? Hiding your body is only going to make others suspicious about what it is your hiding and when you meet in the real world, they are not going to stick around because they'll feel duped. No they won't like you once they get to know you, because they won't stick around long enough to get to know you. 

I'm overweight and I've got huge breasts. When I had my full body pic up I received lots of rude comments asking to see them uncovered, asking how big they are, etc. I finally just wrote a note on the pic saying don't be rude and just deleted the rude messages because I didn't want to meet those guys in the real world. I still get messages from men who like what they see, good looking men, hot fit men, I can't explain it, but some 'hot' guys like soft curvy women. Don't sell yourself short. The guys that are hung up on weight, you don't want to meet them in the real world because you will have very little in common. 

Make sure your photos show what kind of person you are. Are you professional? casual? fun? flirty? sexy? slutty? upper crust? or down to earth? All your photos should show you at your best and tell the full story about who you are. Make sure you have a pic of you the clothes you wear to work, in clothes you wear out on a date, clothes you wear around the house.... Just make sure they are all good photos. 

Think about how you analyze an online dating profile. Chances are someone is looking at yours the exact same way.