Tag Archives: online dating how-tos


How to write a great online dating profile

Writing a compelling online dating profile is a make-or-break step. This is your advertisement of what you have to offer amongst all the competing profiles on online dating sites.

Three three key areas to consider when crafting your profile:

  • Know what you are looking for. Although the profile is all about describing what you have to offer, knowing what you WANT is also key.  It allows you to choose the best of your qualities to highlight and answer the questions / criteria that sites use that then determine who will respond to you. You need to look appealing to the kind of person you want to attract, so it all starts with understanding what that person would be like.
  • Decide what you want to convey.  What are the top qualities that reflect you as a person?  Get beyond generic statements to those unique qualities about you that reflect your personality.  Ask your friends (of both sexes) to describe the top three qualities about you that would be attractive to a partner.
  • Decide what  distinguishes you from the thousands of other profiles in your demographic.

Sites often have a catchphrase or headline to be the first thing that the reader sees on your profile.  It’s often easier to come back to that once you have written the body of your profile so you can capture the essence of what you are about.

Make your first sentence compelling to ensure the reader is motivated to read on.  Read it out aloud to see if it stands alone as a hook to encourage someone to respond to you.  Then cover the key points that tell the most about you and finish with a sentence that encourages action on the part of the reader.

‘Do’s’ for writing an online profile

  • Be confident without being boastful.  There is no point being so humble about your qualities that you blend into the pack and appear bland.
  • Be specific. Tell a story about yourself, describe situations that show the reader something about you. Don’t say you like music or travel (doesn’t everybody?), talk about your favourite album and why you love it, or the destination you’ve loved the most or is top of your bucket list and why.
  • Be multidimensional.  Much of your life might revolve around your work and there is no harm in describing what you do, but this person is looking for an understanding of what you enjoy outside of that.
  • What are your goals in life?  What is really important to you?  What are you looking for?  You need to get these points across succinctly in a profile.
  • Be authentic.  Don’t surf the site for the best sounding profiles and emulate those or try to guess what you think a partner would want to hear.  When you first meet it will be obvious if your profile really reflects who you are.  If you are an alpha type looking for another alpha type, ensure your profile is written in a style consistent with that.
  • Check your spelling and grammar.  Have someone else check your spelling and grammar.

‘Don’ts’ for writing an online profile

  •  Negativity.  Don’t write about what you don’t want, focus on what you do.  Don’t allude to a string of prior online dating disasters. Don’t bring the baggage of prior relationships into your profile.
  • Exclusion.  Don’t write in such a way that could unnecessarily exclude people from responding to you.  Sites have ways of ensuring that you can show and apply any dealbreaker criteria easily and filter out those that are not of interest, you don’t need to focus your profile wording on this.
  • Lying / exaggeration.  Attracting someone on this basis is no foundation for a strong ongoing relationship.
  • Don’t be disparaging about online dating. So many profiles say things like ‘I won’t mention we met online’, ‘don’t know how I found myself here’, or something that indicates embarrassment with the process. Again this suggests you feel that there is something vaguely wrong about using this method to meet someone which may be insulting to your reader.
  • Don’t include a long laundry list of accomplishments.  This is not a CV, a linked-in profile or a job interview process.
  • Don’t be a clone.  Avoid phrases which are so generic they really say nothing about you eg ‘nice, smart, easy-going, fun-loving, sweet, down-to-earth, laid-back, just as happy partying as staying in on the couch, love travel/movies/my friends’
  • Don’t be heavy on political / religious views – unless this is truly a dealbreaker.

Recognise that this is not set in stone.  Based on the responses to your first published profile, you will be able to consider whether you have cast the net too widely or too narrowly or if there is something in there that is attracting the wrong type of person and you can revise it accordingly.

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Is there one thing holding you back?

There are several areas where you may experience some hurdles in online dating, and its very likely to be one or two easily rectified things that are preventing success.  Never assume that you can’t succeed!

Lets have a look at areas that may be barriers to your success.

Initial Contact

Have you ever sent a contact request to someone you thought would be perfect for you and wondered why you got a reply saying something like “Thanks but no thanks”. Chances are you are not alone. Depending on your self-esteem and personality there are many different ways to react. At the extreme end there would be those who instantly log off and don’t go back for a significant amount of time – if ever. Some might see it as the other person’s problem which is entirely possible. Others may look a little more objectively at why they were rejected and use it as motivation to succeed.

The reality is that there could be a myriad of reasons you got this response, ranging from that person already having met someone else, to you having been one of a thousand others that all look the same. Some of these things you can control and change and others are in the lap of the gods. But what if it is something obvious to others but not to you that creates the wrong impression such as a blurry image of your favourite photo or an overgeneralisation on your profile. These things can be make a huge difference in terms of getting an initial response. The great thing about online dating is you have only lost one opportunity but with some revision to your profile, many others lie beyond.


So you have graduated from “thanks but no thanks” to “you sound interesting would love to know more about you”. Once you have been given the opportunity to make contact then the next steps of communicating and setting up an initial meeting can be equally as daunting particularly for those who have unexpectedly become single. Do you take a detailed approach and write a long winded email as to all the reasons you think you will hit it off and attaching a copy of your personal CV for reference?  Or do you keep it short and to the point and offer to meet at the nearest motel and provide your contact details. Well chances are the answer lies somewhere in between but thankfully there are many accepted norms for this and if you follow a rough template of these chances are you will be able to set up a meeting.


The final frontier of online dating is the personal contact. It is by far the trickiest and most important of course so unless you are content to be pen friends you should invest plenty of time preparing for this. Again there are many accepted norms that can guide you here from safety and comfort tips to grooming and appropriate dress. It is more likely at this stage than the others that one thing could trip you up. There are countless possible reasons for this but we recommend that regardless of whether you are getting a first date but not a second, or are you only getting to a month or a year, that you spend time trying to understand and improve yourself.

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