Writing An Internet Dating Profile
Writing an internet dating profile is easy. For the most part the dating sites do it for you. Sort of. First you tick the boxes that apply to you. Then you select the characteristics of the person you’re searching for.
There is no mystery to that other than the need to be sensible about what you’re searching for, and realistic about yourself.
Your profile can also be enhanced (on some sites) by the answers you give to questions, and the opportunity to add a paragraph or two to describe yourself and what you’re looking for. In my opinion the more you can “free style” the easier it becomes to stand out from the crowd.
Putting a paragraph or two together is easy. Almost anyone is capable of writing that much. Right?
Writing an internet an internet profile to attract the right person is much, much harder.
Too many profiles are:
too similar too blandwrong emphasiswrong tonetoo desperate too serious too formal
The list goes on..
Why so much wisdom about writing an internet dating profile fails
Here I must reveal my prejudices.
Having read the perceived wisdom on writing internet dating profiles, I disagree with 80% of it.
The problem seems four-fold.
Most of the time the people giving opinions about writing an internet dating profile have a) never tried internet dating themselves, and b) are writing almost exclusively for an audience of inexperienced twenty somethings, and c) assume you’re just after a date and d) offline practices are applied to the online world.
What could go wrong? Quite a bit as it turns out. Many people are not doing themselves justice.
It’s all in a name
Names (and summaries and headers/titles) are important. That’s true whether we’re talking headers or subject lines, or usernames. Basically anything that other people viewing your profile can see.
BLOND AND HAPPY 21 just doesn’t cut it. Neither does “Atlanta Muscle Man Needs Love”.
Could do better.
I sometimes wonder not how people really see themselves. But rather why they say what they write to try to impress others.
Do NOT follow the crowd, don’t get lost
You will have far more success if you do not follow the crowd. There is of course a right way and wrong way to do this. But following your own path, when it comes to the information you display, will serve you well. As long as you make choices you’re comfortable with.
There are upwards of fifty million people looking for love online.
There are also thousands and thousands of internet dating sites out there. It is easy to get lost.
Now, I’d be the first person to let you know that looking for a partner online takes time. But there are limits. I
Therefore my approach to writing an internet dating profile has always been to make my profile stand out from hundreds and hundreds of others: for all the right reasons.
The approach described here assumes:
You’ll put effort and thinking into your searchYou’re not looking to make a career/hobby out of internet datingYou’d prefer to meet fewer people, if they were the right kind of peopleYou don’t want to have to respond to lots and lots of approaches from off beam individualsWhether you’re male or female you’ll be OK at making first contactYou’ll only meet people you can build an online rapport withYou’ll only meet people you can build an online rapport withYou’ll always listen to your gut feeling / intuition about whether to meet people or continuing a correspondence
Specific points on writing an internet dating profile
Therefore here are some very specific points about writing an internet dating profile. You may find what’s here contrary to other things you’ve been reading. You have to make your own mind up..
You Are Not Your Questionnaire
Sites will ask you to complete a questionnaire. The answers form the basis of your profile for search purposes.
To explain. Most sites have a facility whereby you search what you’re looking for, according to a few parameters.
I may search:
Male, Aged 40-50, Over 6ft Tall, Aries
According to the boxes you tick, people can find you when their search preferences match the boxes you select (Looking For, About Them).
You should always complete the “about you” section truthfully when it comes to your physical profile. The boxes you tick about the person you’re hoping to find should be completed realistically.
With many sites you can’t use most of the functions on the site unless you complete the questionnaire in full, although others will allow you to complete it bit by bit.
However, it’s best to have a couple of alternative usernames to hand right up front (they have to be unique to the site) as your username is typically something you login with and it gets displayed too.
Do not use the same username on multiple sites.
My advice here is complete your profile in draft and save it. Or complete as little as possible to gain access to the site to have a look around before spending hours on your profile just to decided it’s not your kind of site after all. However some sites let you do a few searches without logging in or let you login as a guest. This is an opportunity to have a look around and decide if the site is for you.
The main part of writing an internet dating profile may be created from answers to a series of questions. For example: Tell us about yourself, What type of relationship are you looking for? And so on
Sites can also offer a whole section where you can get to describe yourself or what you’re looking for. This is basically your online personal ad.
Usernames /Screen Names are probably less important than subject headers, unless you can only see the header by clicking into individual profiles via a username.
Screen names / usernames are most important for chat rooms (for those you dare to tread. Stay clear of the usual formula of first name plus a number.
Your essay/ personal ad
Writing an internet dating profile is 75% about what you type in the box where it gives you an opportunity to answer questions freestyle or add “anything else you want to ad”. Try to convey who you are and what you’re looking for by reference to more than physical features or interests.
Less is more – WRONG.
I am firmly of the view (based on experience) that it’s better to write long rather than short unless you’re exceptionally succinct at conveying important aspects of what you’re like / looking for. And I don’t mean a physical description either.
But you must reveal the right kind of stuff!! Generally men tend to underwrite their profiles and women can overwrite length wise and perhaps reveal too much of the wrong kind of information.
Either pitfall could seriously reduce your chances. Writing an internet dating profile that’s compelling, stands out and doesn’t alienate for the wrong reasons can be a difficult balancing act. You need discipline.
Titles / Headers
You may need a heading. This is a great opportunity to stand out from other profiles.
This is an important part of your profile and should tie in with what follows in the part of the profile where you can write free text.
Create an impression. Remember you’re writing to catch someone’s eye as they read or more likely skim profiles.
You can ask a question, be funny, take a stance / be philosophical, hint at what your looking for, use one of your major characteristics (preferably personality ones!) and express an opinion and or attitude or link it one of your most favourite things..
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