Ever wondered ‘what’s wrong with my internet dating profile?’ ‘Why aren’t I getting more interest?’ Internet dating can be a tough, cruel and shallow world. Below is some advice on how you can make your profile more appealing, to improve your chances of attracting Mr or Miss Right.
It’s not a secret that I have been online dating recently. I’m pretty open about it. I try to be honest in my profile and I try to use recent pictures. I’m always dubious of people that don’t have photos and tend to avoid them. If you haven’t been in front of a camera in the last 24 months or you’re too embarrassed by online dating to put a picture on, then don’t do it. I always think you’ve got to be comfortable with your decisions. I don’t think there is anything wrong with registering for online dating and that being an admission of wanting to meet different people and possibly “that special someone”. Dating’s changed and there is nothing wrong with embracing it. You’ve got to be comfortable to put yourself out there.
I have tried online dating several times in the past, but I only tend to do it for a month at a time, because that seems to be long enough to get through all the people you’re going to want to find out more about. Then I remove my profile for a good six months to allow for churn. There is no point in paying out £29.99 just to ignore the same faces for another month. The marginal benefit of that additional 28 days is small. You might want love to happen, but not at any cost.
Failing that, keep it fresh
However, if you really don’t want to miss out on your shot at love in the intervening months, mix it up a bit. Change your photos, change your main photo, try some new hobbies and update your profile to reflect this. Change your writing style, your format, your search options. I’m a Web Analyst, I’m essentially telling you to step test your profile. See what gets you the best responses.
You’ve got to be realistic. It’s so tempting to put up photos of you looking super hot 5 years ago and even if you think you still look like that, you might be wrong. Try and stick within the last 24 months, 36 at a push. Now, I’m mainly checking out men’s profiles, but as a woman I don’t want to see:
- You with another woman, whether she’s your friend, sister, ex, whatever, it just doesn’t make a great impression. They provide the wrong subconscious cues.
- You with a child or baby. Even if you explicitly write on your profile that you have no children, it’s a subconscious thing again. It also makes me wonder if you’re broody, because I’m not.
- Bad cropping. If you’ve obviously cropped out a woman it makes it even more probable that it’s your ex. You don’t want to be reminding a potential new girlfriend of your baggage, no matter how well the break up went down.
- Your car, any car. Just a photo of a car, not you. What are you trying to prove? I drive a Peugeot 206, I’m very proud of it, I love it, it’s called Rooster Booster, but I sincerely hope this car isn’t swaying people’s dating decisions. I don’t need to see your yacht either. Why not just put up a copy of your bank statement and be done with it (or your tiny *cough cough* …just saying).
- A dog, cat, parrot, whatever animal. If it’s you and the animal, I’m OK with that, but again, it’s unnecessary alone. People look through profiles so quickly. You want to utilise their attention to the maximum. I truly don’t understand why people put up photos of landscapes and monuments either.
One small request from me though. There seem to be a disproportionate amount of men with military links on Match.com. This is not a problem. But it wouldn’t hurt to throw up a few photos of you in your uniform. I’m totally OK with you going all Officer and a Gentleman on me. Just a personal preference there.
Your Personal Statement
I’d put up a tag line if you can think of something catchy, but that’s not vital. Remember, people are largely just scanning profiles, don’t waste their attention. Don’t write ‘errr, I’m really not sure what to write here’ or ‘I’m new to this, where to start.’ Sure, you might be thinking that, but if you don’t know what to write, do a little research, what have other people put? Write something about yourself that people can comment on , write about what you’re looking for, but try to be specific, though not so specific that you put people off. Mmm, that is a little tricky. OK then, just avoid using the word ‘nice.’
Get Off The Site
Whether it’s by providing an email address, friending on Facebook (not my preference), texting, calling (big bonus points for this) or getting in on going out on a date quickly, if you’ve found someone on there you like and you’ve sent some onsite emails, try and move them off the site. This serves several purposes:
- People will check their phone and personal emails more frequently than their online dating site emails, so they’re more likely to get the message and hopefully respond.
- It means the other person is open to letting you infiltrate their everyday life a bit further rather than containing you within the dating site.
- If they don’t have to log on to communicate with you, there is less chance of them being lured away by someone else.
- If you cancel your subscription you can still keep in touch.
However, I should caveat that you do need to be careful who you give your personal details to. If you’re going on a date, always let someone know where you are going and what time you can be expected back. This should be the same whether you meet someone at the bus stop, in a bar, at speed-dating (really? You met someone speed-dating?), for safety and because it’s fun to chat about dates!
Have fun out there. Oh, and if you get a date, here are some first date pitfalls to avoid.
Do you have any online dating tips? What are the worst things you’ve seen on dating profiles? What are the oddest pictures?