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How to Make a Good Dating Profile

Updated on February 9, 2020
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Amy is an avid writer and a travel junkie and lifelong expat. She writes on topics from literature, to dating to sex. She has an MA in Eng.

"And it often does feel like looking for a needle in a haystack, but for those who have found that person, they will tell you it is absolutely worth it."

Wanting to Meet "the One"

Of course, most of us want to meet "the one". The one person we can sit across from in the morning, looking our worst and they smile when they see us. The one person we can cry to and lean on in the hard times and still be sure they will stand by us. The one person that will laugh at our stupid jokes and will make us laugh too. And it often does feel like looking for a needle in a haystack, but for those who have found that person, they will tell you it is absolutely worth it. Romance novels sell because we all, deep down, believe it is worth it. The challenge? To catch that one person's eye in the digital world. How though? We need to make that profile that walks the fine line of interesting and informational.

Eye catching profiles

Now, I am no expert but as a woman I know the exact things that are going to make me immediately swipe left or right or make me pause to at least read a profile. Of course, I've not seen women's profiles, except that of my friends, but I have given these tips to them as well and it seems to have worked for them. I have also seen, from complaints men have written on their profiles (more on this later), so I know both sexes are guilty of these profile crimes.

"The quality of your photos are important, if not the most important thing."

Profile pictures

Do use quality face front photos. Try to keep your friends out of your photos. They didn't sign up to be part of your dating adventure and just serves to confuse potential dates as to which one you are. Don't use snapchat filters or duckface/lips. Are we teenagers? Even if you are attempting to show your silly/funny side this is just juvenile. There are better ways to demonstrate your sense of humor. Leave a joke, or a funny quote but don't use snapchat or duckface.

The quality of your photos are important, if not the most important thing. Let's be realistic you are not being judged for your fantastic personality at first. This is one of the major downsides to dating in the digital age. By going online, you are accepting this aspect of it, so post face front, non-grainy photos.Why are grainy photos even a thing? Don't post bar photos or scantily clad photos if you want to be taken seriously. If you post all no shirt photos or all bathing suit photos, a potential date is going to think "This person is in love with themselves and there isn't any room for another person in their life." As my grandmother would say, "Leave room for a little mystery" and leave the hot bod photos off. Use photos with nice backgrounds, try not to use your employee photo with its drab background and straight face if you can help it. You usually look stiff or in pain in those photos. Which leads to my next part. SMILE! Seriously. For myself, I am more inclined to linger and check out someone's profile if they have a great smile, than if they don't, so smile.

Regarding your appearance, posting photos of you doing activities are okay if: a) the potential date can see your face and b) you don't look sloppy. Sure we want to find "the one" that will accept us at our worst, but you will never get there unless you put your best foot forward. Along that same vein, men with facial hair, though I am not a fan, (why is this the latest trend?) if you're going to have it, keep it clean and groomed in your photos because like attracts like. So, if you look like Grizzly Adams or the Unabomber, that's what you will get (no judgment if that's your thing).

Finally, this tip is for people with children in their lives. You love them and that's awesome; but if you love them, protect them. DO NOT post their photos on your dating profile. Think about the creepy horrible ways their photos could be exploited. It is so easy to do a screenshot or a screen grab and then reuse those photos on kiddie porn sites. If you love them, protect them and leave them off. If you want to show your loving side post your pet photos, because last I checked the deranged haven't ventured into exploiting doggy photos...yet.

"If you'd lie about something so basic, what else would you lie about?"

Be Honest. Don't Catfish.

Be honest and don't catfish people. For the unfamiliar, catfishing is when someone posts photos that are not even the person whose profile they are attached to or the pictures are so old that in person they are almost unrecognizable. Catfishers are either players with no serious intent to date and who will probably just breadcrumb someone and eventually ghost them when the fun runs out or someone who is unhappy with themselves and hopes the potential date will meet them and see past their appearance and like their personality. One problem with this idea. It's extremely dishonest and most people are going to walk away before ever giving you a chance. If you'd lie about something so basic, what else would you lie about? This is the way most people think. I've been catfished twice. Once by a guy who used someone else's picture and was an entirely different ethnicity than the picture posted. Told me white women wouldn't talk to him otherwise. I told him, I guess he'll never know if I'd be the same because he lied and that is a showstopper for me. The second was a guy who posted his post college photos and was in his 30's. In the photos he was trim and fit. In person, he was sloppy and grossly overweight. He had deceived me, so his appearance made no difference. And that is the point, don't be a liar.

"No one wants to be your 'just anyone will do'".

Don't Be a Lazy Dater

If you post a profile that includes an external link to your SMS for where potential dates could message you, then you are a lazy dater. It tells the potential date that you expect everyone to come to you and do all the work and you know what? That is likely how you are in a relationship as well. Posting links to circumvent a dating app matching system tells them you can't be arsed and they will not take you seriously and that you don't really care who you meet, because anyone will do. No one wants to be your "just anyone will do".

Also along this line, if you really want to meet someone stay active on the site[s] you sign up on. Don't sign up and never check it again. Nothing is more annoying than matching with people and messaging them to have them never check it.

"Your profile is about you. Keep it about you and try to keep it positive."

Your Profile Content

Your profile is about you. Keep it about you and try to keep it positive. It's okay if you have one or two musts. For example, I have asthma, so I really can't date a smoker. If you are a really active, healthy person, it's okay to say you prefer people who lead a similar lifestyle. That is positive and doesn't put anyone down, it just states a preference. Try to stay focused on you and don't waste your limited profile character space to complain about others' profiles or about the ones that have done you wrong because that'll make people swipe left really fast. You want a bitchfest, talk to a therapist or a good friend but on a dating profile it leaves a bad impression. Instead talk about your passions and what your looking for. Stay away from bragging or cliches.

Empty Profiles

C'mon, folks, put in a little effort. Even a few lines or a favorite quote. A blank profile tells the potential date you're not even trying, so why should they try you out? Unless you are cheater, an ENM, or seeking a hookup, put something in your profile.

"You really never know what's going to happen until you take the leap, so don't limit yourself."

Don't Be So Serious

Yes, most of us want to find "the one" but don't take the experience too seriously. Just go on dates and enjoy the experience. It is not life or death. Putting "seeking LTR" isn't terrible because it does keep the DTF people away but it does limit you from other lovely people who might want to go out on dates to see what's out there. You really never know what's going to happen until you take the leap, so don't limit yourself. Long before the digital age, people just went on dates and there wasn't this massive interference of sex or pressure to find "the one" quickly. We've been spoiled by having so much information so quickly at our fingertips that we treat dating like a drive thru and dismiss people easily by unreasonable criteria without ever just dating them and trying them on for size (in person). Have fun and enjoy it!

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