If you are looking for love online, a great profile is key. Of course you need compelling photos, but those who are looking for a real relationship will look beyond a pretty face to find out what you are about. It would be nice if everyone could give you the benefit of the doubt and magically see what a fascinating, unique, loving person you are, but that's not how online dating works.
A generic profile that doesn't say much or says the wrong things will be overlooked by the very people you truly hope to connect with. There are lots of quality singles online. If you hope to meet one of them, speak to them, not the masses!
Imagine that your ideal partner is going to read your profile. How will he or she recognize you as their perfect match?
Follow these crucial tips to make sure you are attracting the right people online!
1. Give a snapshot of who you are, how you live your life and the relationship you are seeking.
Your profile should start out by describing your most prominent and positive character traits. Are you funny? Outgoing? Creative? Loyal? Affectionate? Intellectually curious? Choose 3 or 4 adjectives that best describe your personality. If you're at a loss, ask your friends for help describing you. How would they describe you to someone they were setting you up with?
Be sure to also include what you care about. Don't use the crutch of describing your job and moving on. It's not a resume, and your job should get little focus. If you love your job, say so. But more importantly, what are you passionate about?Do you care most about making music? Helping others? Winning a pro surfing competition or rescuing stray dogs? If you care about learning new languages and taking trips to test your skills, say so! The right people are going to think that's awesome.
Lastly, be honest about what you are seeking. Don't hedge and downplay you desire to be in a committed relationship, or your desire for the opposite! Remember - you want to attract the people who are looking for what you are looking for. If you want a relationship, say so!
2. Who you want to meet - the character, not the characteristics.
I can't emphasize this enough. Please be sure to say who you want to meet in your profile, without sounding overly specific as to their characteristics. Avoid listing your ideal partner's hobbies, height, body type, education and interests.
When you focus on character, you are being specific as to your values, which will resonate with like-minded people. If you focus on characteristics you risk sounding superficial, rigid, or overly picky. These are not attractive qualities!
For example, rather than specifying the characteristic of "having a fit body," you should state the character trait of "active" or "valuing health and fitness." The first example is about an outcome (fit body), the latter is about a way of life (being active and taking care of yourself). The former excludes people who don't want someone who is overly concerned with appearances (even if they themselves are fit), and the latter includes those fit people who care about more than the superficial.
Remember - you have already started your profile by saying who you are and what you're into - if someone is still reading, they're already intrigued by you and what you care about. If you really want to meet someone who loves sailing because sailing is your passion, that person who also loves sailing is already hooked as soon as they read that sailing is your passion! If they hate sailing, hate the water and hate sailors, they're already gone.
3. Show, don't tell.
When you are writing about who you are and how your live your life, be sure to show the reader what that looks like in action. You are trying to attract the right people to you, and to do that you need to be specific.
For example, many people say in their profiles they like to travel. "Travel" could mean anything from a trip to Disneyworld to hiking the Appalachian Trail to a Mediterranean cruise to a luxury safari in Kenya. Don't assume that the reader is going to know which of these you'd be into!
Talk about your favorite travel destinations, your dream vacation or the best trip you ever took - the person who loves your kind of travel - or is intrigued by it - will take note!
Rather than saying "I love to have fun" say "I love having fun - my ideal weekend includes bowling, a Netflix binge and a pancake brunch." That's not everyone's idea of fun, but if it's yours - own it!
If one of your defining values is loyalty, show what that looks like in your life. When you are in love, are you your partner's biggest cheerleader? Have you stood by your beloved losing baseball team? Or your childhood best friends? Look to your life for actual examples!
The added bonus of specificity is it gives people who want to reach out to you a "hook" to mention in a message to you.
4. Leave out the negative and the snarky.
It amazes me how many people use their precious profile real estate to talk about what they don't want or about their cynicism, bitterness or pessimism.
Negativity is so not sexy!
Not only do you come across as negative, but you also give the impression that you are the very thing you claim not to want. If you say "drama queens need not apply" I will assume that you have tons of relationship drama, which means you don't have the self-awareness to see how much of it you create!
The better you are at attracting the right people, the more the wrong ones won't be attracted to you. Besides - you can't avoid being contacted online by some people you don't want to date - that's par for the course. Your focus instead should be on being contacted by those you do want to date!
It is more effective to focus on attracting the right people than repelling the wrong ones.
Another common pitfall is sarcasm in the profile. You might be sarcastic, and that might be what people who know you love about you. But sarcasm doesn't translate well in an online profile, especially if you are a woman! Women might be more forgiving, but very few men will be instantly drawn to a woman who leads with sarcasm.
5. Decide the story you want to tell.
Your profile tells a story. It shouldn't be a novel (consider this a bonus tip!), but a short story that captures your personality. It might tell the story of an athletic, ambitious world traveler, or a geeky, sincere introvert. Or it could tell the story of a bitter, demanding perfectionist. Review your profile, photos and text together and ask yourself:
Who am I showing up as? What story am I telling of my life?
Your story is dictating who is attracted to you, so make sure you are grabbing the attention of the right people. If you aren't able to be objective about your profile, ask someone you trust to read it for you. Is it highlighting your best qualities? What are you saying between the lines? Is it what your ideal partner wants to hear?
Are you expressing what is both unique to you and what is attractive to who you want to date? If you can do that, you are winning! And you just might meet the perfect person for you online.
6. Check your spelling and grammar.
Since we're talking about writing a profile, I have to mention spelling and grammar. There is a lot of bad spelling and grammar out there. And there are a lot of online profiles that list spelling mistakes and bad grammar as a pet peeve. And some of those same people have spelling mistakes and bad grammar in their profiles!
Plenty of people will be forgiving of typos, but don't risk turning off someone just because you didn't use spellcheck.
The thoughtfulness and care you put into your profile will show and be appreciated by others. So make the effort to clean up your mistakes!
Francesca is a professional dating coach and matchmaker. You can catch her as a regular expert guest on NBC's The Today Show, and on The Hoda Kotb Show on SIriusXM. Get more free dating advice, including a guide to your perfect online photos at www.francescahogi.com!