6 Steps to making a Better Online Dating ProfileWritten by Kirk, Thursday, March 11th, 2010 in Dating Columns, Sex & Dating
I have covered online dating profile creation before for a very big reason: many guys now utilize such services for dating. It’s certainly nothing to be embarrassed about- a surprising percentage of adults now use online dating services of various import to find love, and it’s shaping up to be the new face of dating in a big way. Because of this, crafting an attractive profile is paramount- so here are 6 ways to fundamentally improve your profile and, implicitly, your chances of getting a date in the future.
1 – Have good pictures, improve them whenever possible
I cannot stress this topic enough: have good pictures and make damn sure they are recent, interesting, and flattering. At least one of these pictures should be a good facial shot, and at least one of these shots should be a not-too-blatant shot of your body. Both of these are absolutely essential.
Under no circumstances should you ever post “myspace shots” (odd angles, mirror shots in the bathroom, etc), pictures of yourself that are edited in photoshop, or group shots that make your identity difficult to ascertain or imposing. Never take photos wearing sunglasses, hats, or other items that may indicate creepiness or being in a state of balding. Do not try to show of “the guns”, that’s stupid. The best photos are ones that are flattering and attractive without being staged, usually taken in interesting places or scenarios (meaning you are an interesting person), and ones that, while not blatant about it, show yourself in enough contexts to show your general looks, including your body shape. Feel free to throw in any conversation starting photos, pending they are legitimate conversation starters: pictures of yourself in your mother’s basement in a kimono carrying a katana you purchased online is not a conversation starter as much as it is very excellent woman repellent.
This should not need mentioning, but I will do so anyway: no nude photos or “sexy photos” or anything even possibly related to those categories. For one thing, you will not do them right. For another thing, they are usually not attractive to women for a bevy of reasons. Do not bother.
2 – Detail is nice, but mystery is also important
Yes, you absolutely must put information on your profile: generally, the more, the better. However, there is a limit to the amount of information you can put on- and at a certain point, you seem excessively wordy and really really boring.
The best example most people are guilty of is posting excessively long lists of favorite movies, music, or books. While these are, much like pictures, phenomenal conversation starters, these also don’t represent you very well, and should be kept relatively terse in terms of other information about you. In a very similar vein, do not post long blocks of information about your past relationship history, your work history, your scholastic achievements, or the like. Frankly, no-one wants to read that, and such information is best divulged gradually through conversation, not explosively through huge swaths of text online. Feel free to go into detail about yourself from a wide angle: just don’t go too deep.
3 – Avoid negativity
Under no circumstances should you ever be negative in your profile- that includes any sort of deriding comment, bitchy rant, or even a long list of requirements you have for women.
The reason for this is fairly obvious: negativity breeds negativity, and you want the reader of your profile to come off with a good taste, not a bad one. There is absolutely no reason you should complain on a stupid short dating website profile. If you want to learn the effect of this negativity, go find a girl’s profile with a lot of complaining on it- undoubtedly, you’ll find her stuck-up, slightly unsavory, and possibly even outright bitchy. If you have issues with the wrong kind of women (or men) sending messages to you, deal with them quietly and without much fanfare.
Do not lie and fill the profile with excuses as to why you are on a dating site. No-one believes your friend dared you to go on the website. No-one believes you came on the site as a joke or on a lark. Few will believe you if you say you came on to see who you got matched up with for “laughs”. Be outright and cop to your interest in dating: no-one is being fooled.
Furthermore, avoid posting stuff that most would find aversive. As I implied above, no creepy Japanophile crap. Do not run your mouth about your creepy fetishes, interests, or obsessions. Do not mention mental disorders. Mention diseases only if necessary (always mention things like AIDS, herpes, and the like- pretending they are not there does not make them disappear). Do not imply any sort of Oedipal connection to your mother, or otherwise confess any sort of strange obsession or situational issue. Indeed, you should mention if you still live with your parents and do not have a job or otherwise have colloquially “failed to launch”- just keep the information terse, do not try to weave a sorrowful tale of your own ineptitude.
Also, a quick addendum: under no circumstances should you ever say a phrase along the lines of “I just got out of a bad relationship” or “Looking for a real woman” or “I want something real“. These are all subversive ways of indicating a bad relationship history, which is not only negative, but incredibly off-putting. No-one wants to be a rebound or a “repair girl”.
4 – Avoid stating the pointless/obvious/common
As mentioned above, everyone on dating sites likes to excessively list favorite music, movies, and similar “favorites”. Further, dating websites tropes exist- little phrases and concepts that seemingly everyone says that, after being repeated so ridiculously often, mean utterly nothing in the big picture. Discard them.
You only need to look at other profiles to see what I’m talking about: get rid of phrases like “fun-loving”, topics like how you’re “just a romantic”, boring repetitive crap like “I’m just a laid back person”, and anything else that you see on other profiles. Don’t insert inane inside jokes, pointless “shout outs” to friends, or other things that will be nothing more than stumbling blocks to the streamlined presentation of you. Trust me, if you don’t delete such useless text, other people will mentally delete it for you.
5 – Don’t be hyper-exclusive
Avoid making excessive lists of demands about your potential date. This is not only negative (see above) but also just really really prohibitive to finding interesting people.
It’s not uncommon to see many profiles laden with what are veritable laundry lists of demands, ranging from “must like [sports team]” to “must be a good cook”. These requirements are basically trash: they are ridiculous requirements that really are not necessary in the search of finding a good mate. Get rid of them. No-one finds it clever that you require liking a band to dating you: rather, it looks arrogant and pigheaded, like a child who refuses to play with other children unless they have the same toys. Open up the “range” of possible dates in virtually every sense- ethnicity, age, locale (within reason), political affiliation, and the like. You’ll be surprised the bevy of amazing people you will find.
6 – Be active and aggressive
This is the defining line between the people who end up making dating sites work for them and others who complain about them not working. Aggressiveness is everything.
Do not be, in the terms of the Japanese, a herbivorous man. Sitting around on a dating site expecting women to come to you is a losing battle: the dating world is still very much a hunter-prey system, with men firmly cemented into the role of the hunter. Because of this, you- yes, you- are expected to initiate contact, continue discussions, and pursue dates. When you want a dating site to work for you, if you pay for it or not, you need to be willing to get on often, message people often, change your profile and pictures often (even if entirely arbitrarily), and generally consider the entire affair an active process, not a passive one. You are not paying a matchmaker; it is entirely up to you to find your mate- a dating site is merely an advanced tool.
So basically, get your butt out there and work at it. It’s that simple.