The first step to mastering the art of online dating is to make sure that you know how to build a winning profile. The two best dating websites are eHarmony and Match.com, but there are also many more to explore, such as Plenty Of Fish, OkCupid, Zoosk, Christian Mingle, DateHookup, and more. The purpose of dating websites is to present yourself to other singles so that you can find a potential partner. Your profile is the first thing that your potential dates will see and it’s how they will learn more about you. All dating websites have a profile option, where you can add photos of yourself and talk about your personal qualities, values, and interests. Creating a winning online dating profile is a challenge for both men and women. Many people may think that they can spend five or ten quick minutes making their profile and it will get them lots of attention, but it will not get you the best results. Ideally, you should make your profile a “resume” that brings out your personality, interests, and values. The purpose of an online dating profile is to sell yourself to another person, just as if you were trying to sell yourself to a potential employer. Therefore, it is critical that you make an outstanding profile.
One thing that you need to keep in mind is that there is a huge difference between the amounts of attention you will receive based on whether you are a man or a woman. A woman can put up just an average profile and still get her inbox flooded with messages. For men, it is a whole different story. You will really need to make something special in order to get some attention, and even if you have the greatest profile ever, you are still going to have to put in a good amount of effort contacting women with intelligent messages, otherwise you are unlikely to see any good results. To put this in perspective, a woman can make a nice profile and in one month easily get over two hundred messages from all sorts of men. On the other hand, a guy can make a nice profile, and over a month it is not uncommon for him to not get a single message from a woman.
I used to be extremely frustrated by this. I couldn’t understand why women wouldn’t contact me. I had a nice profile, college degree, fit, healthy, good family and friends, etc. But over several years, I think I had one, maybe two women go out of their way to message me. Now I did get plenty of messages from scam artists, women with beautiful pictures and saying all the right things that a guy wants to hear. You will have to watch out for this. While internet dating has cleaned up in the last several years, beware of anyone who sends you messages with a hidden profile or an incomplete profile. Especially if they want to contact you outside of the dating site. These are scam artists, so be wary.
So after a lot of frustration, I decided to do some research. One critical piece of information that I found out was that if you live near a large city, it makes it much more difficult to date online. The amount of messages women will receive from all sorts of men goes up tremendously near cities. I personally live right between Baltimore and Washington, so if I search for women within thirty miles it covers both of those massive cities and everything in between. So the competition is just incredible. I talked to several women and asked them how many messages they were getting, and the result just blew my mind. They were getting at least ten messages a day, and some were getting over fifty messages per day, to the point where they would just build up in their inbox! So to be successful in high competition areas like this you will need to put in the work to be successful. With this in mind, below are some great tips for building an attention grabbing and intriguing profile.
Tip #1: Don’t Start Off Alone
Get a close friend to help you fill your profile out. This is especially a good tip for those who are shy. A good friend will help you figure out what your best qualities are, as many times he or she knows you better than yourself. Having a friend help you out will also prevent you from coming off as narcissistic or conceited. A friend can help you point out your strengths, good qualities, the funny things about you, and the wonderful things about you. When picking a friend to help you fill out your profile, try to choose someone who you have known for a very long time. This way, they can differentiate between your short-term qualities and long-term qualities. You can say something like this: My friends say that my best qualities are…
Tip #2: Highlight Your Personality
Be descriptive about yourself. Research has found that both men and women think the most important quality about a potential partner is personality, followed by looks, sense of humor, and education. Avoid describing yourself with generic terms such as “funny,” “nice,” or “caring.” Your personality will naturally emulate those qualities. In addition, think about all the other men and women who use those terms as well. The trick is to really stand out and make yourself unique (because you are!). Using unique adjectives will make you come off as exciting and interesting instead of redundant and boring. For example, instead of describing yourself as “caring,” you could say that you love helping others or volunteering at a local animal shelter. This way, if there is another person who likes to volunteer helping out others, your profile will catch his or her attention. Also avoid using generic descriptions for your hobbies, such as “watching movies” or “traveling.” There are many people all over the world who like to do those things. Think of ways to make your hobbies specific and descriptive so that you can find somebody who likes the same things as you.
Tip #3: Your Profile Headline
This is one of the most important parts of your profile. Be sure to spend some time on this so that you come up with something really great. Since the headline is one of the first things people will see when viewing your profile, it needs to be good. One great strategy is to make your headline playful and humorous. Playful and humorous headlines have a much higher click through rate. You can also pose your headline as a question, with the only way to see the answer is by clicking through to see your profile. Keep the headline positive, try and avoid any negative words, and try to be as intriguing as possible so that people will want to click and read your profile. If you are having trouble coming up with a headline on your own, simply put “dating headlines” into your local internet browser to reveal hundreds of possibilities. Be sure to stay away from overly sexual or ridiculous headlines. You want to come up with three or four good headlines, and switch them up every 2 to 3 weeks to keep your profile looking fresh.
Tip #4: Avoid Negative Phrases
Do not try to separate likely candidates from unlikely candidates. For example, do not write phrases such as “do not contact me if you still live at home.” Phrases like that will make you come off as negative or high maintenance and will turn many people away. They will focus more on wondering what you’re going to hate about them than what you are going to like about them. After a quick glance of picky and negative profiles like this, the first thing most people will do is delete it and move onto the next. Resist the urge to write about what you don’t want in your profile and dedicate a little more patience to evaluating every candidate individually as they come along. You can always hit the “delete” or “block” button, or simply ignore the message if you don’t like the profile. For every 10 duds that you may find, you may end up finding someone really great by simply giving them a chance.
Tip #5: Don’t Lie
Be honest, but not too honest. For example, you do not have to tell your life story on your profile. Try not to include details that may sound “off,” such as having to take depression medications or having to overcome image issues. You should save those details for when you really meet the right person, and even then not until after the third date. You should be honest about topics like your values, your short-term and long-term goals, and your interests. On the same token, do not lie about anything, either. Studies show that the top three things that men lie about are their age, height, and income while women tend to lie about their weight, build, and age. Stand out from the crowd and be honest in your profile. This will work out better for you in the long run.
Tip #6: Stay Positive
Be positive about yourself. If you cannot love yourself, it will be very hard for another person to love you. If you talk about yourself in a negative tone, it is more likely to turn off people than attract them. Again, think of it as if you were applying for a job—don’t write anything about yourself that a potential employer wouldn’t approve of. Most people are only going to spend a short amount of time evaluating your profile, so don’t give them any reason to delete it after a quick browse.
Tip #7: Create a Winning User Name
Some dating websites allow you to create a user name to go with your profile. Make sure that you create an excellent, catchy user name that will attract people to your profile. For example, do not use anything boring like “singleperson111” or anything desperate like “givinguphope34343.” Instead, have some fun with it and make it reflect your personality. Many people like to include their nicknames or interests in their user name. Also, do not make it too vulgar, otherwise some people may be turned off and under the impression that you’re just interested in hooking up. Try and find a username that describes your personality in a positive light. For example: Love_Nature, Ballroom_Dancer, Playful_Musician, Fitness_Lover, etc. Your username is critically important, so take your time and find something you really like. If you can naturally tie your username into your profile headline, that will help increase the strength of your profile.
Tip #8: Keep It Simple For Women, Longer For Men
If you are a woman, when writing out your dating profile do not make it too long. While many women enjoy reading long things, most men don’t. Limit yourself to 3-4 short paragraphs. Most of the time, men will not bother to read anything that is too long. Think of it as writing an elevator pitch for yourself—if you only had enough time to ride an elevator from the bottom of a building to the top, what would you say? On the other hand, men will need to put a lot more effort into their profile. With the incredible competition out there to be noticed by women, your profile should be at least 6-8 paragraphs long.
Tip #9: Check Your Spelling/Grammar
Although it may not seem important, bad spelling and grammar is a huge turnoff for many people. Always proofread your content, even if you’re the greatest speller in the world. Even the best writers make mistakes. You can simply write out a rough draft in a word processor and use the spell-check option to check it. Read it over several times to make sure that it is clear and coherent. You can even ask a friend to read it over to make sure that it’s well written and even get some good advice. It is estimated that 30% of men who use the word “whom” are more likely to get more attention from women than those who don’t.
Tips Especially For Men
Tip #10: Avoid Selfies
Studies have found that most men found “selfies” or pictures you take of yourself, attractive for women, but most women did not approve of male selfies. There are more tips and tricks for selecting pictures.
Tip #11: Use the Word “Women” Instead of “Girls”
Men who refer to women as “women” and not “girls” or a similar synonym had a 28% higher chance of getting more messages from women. Keep this in mind when filling out your profile or messaging other women. It may help you stand out from the crowd.
Tip #12: Mention Your Interest In Sports
Men who mention the sports surfing, yoga, skiing, golf, biking, running, and hiking got more attention than those who listed basketball, baseball, or kickball as their sports of interest. Surfing ranked the highest and running ranked last on the highest list. If you’re not good at one of those sports, it is a good opportunity to mention that you might like to learn one. It can serve as a great conversation starter and if you find a woman who is interested in learning the same sport, you already have a potential date night. For women, yoga ranked the highest and biking ranked the lowest on the list. Women also listed dancing and tennis as their favorite sports interests.
Tip #13: Disengage Yourself From Gender Roles
Men who used keywords about children for their interests in their profile got more responses than those who listed their interests with keywords such as “electronics,” or “cars.” Interestingly, women who mentioned their interest in “electronics,” or a male-oriented activity got more responses than if they listed their interests as children.
Tip #14: Career and Retirement
Men who use the keyword “retirement” concerning their career and work in their profile are more likely to get responses than those who don’t use that word. Interestingly, it is the second most unattractive keyword in a woman’s profile. Also, men and women who portray their career in a positive light in their profile had higher response rates.
Tips Especially For Women
Tip #15: Switch Your Default Profile Picture Often
Women who tend to change their default profile picture often can increase their chances of getting responses. By changing your default profile picture, men who passed you over the first time are more likely to give you a second look when they do not see the same picture continuously.
Tip #16: Make Yourself Open to New Experiences
Having higher levels of openness has a direct correlation with getting more responses. For example, if you are open to learning how to ski and you come across a man who is an avid skier, you not only have a conversation starter and a common interest but you also have a potential date.
Tip #17: Know Which Body Parts Men Are Attracted Too
Studies show that men are most interested in a woman’s stomach, arms, legs, butts, and feet. The most popular hair colors that men like to see on women are blonde, brown, and black, although a good number of men don’t mind what your hair color is. Knowing this can be helpful in selecting pictures to post.
Tip #18: Know How to Present Yourself
Although it may seem like men are only attracted to your looks, almost half of men prefer a woman who is on the modern career path. 34% of men prefer the “girl next door” look and 24% prefer the “hottie” look. On the other side, most women prefer the “nice guy” type while the second most popular preference is a mixture of “nice guy and bad guy.”
Tip #19: Prove that You Will Fit in With His Friends
One of the things that men find most attractive is the ability to fit in with his friends. That’s not to say that you have to act like a man, but if you can get along with his guy friends and know how to have fun with them, a man will be more likely to want to date you. Fitting in with a man and his friends also means that you will likely form a solid friendship, which is the foundation for any successful relationship.
Tip #20: Don’t Sweat Little Details
It’s pretty obvious that men dislike nagging and complaining, so if you can present yourself in a way that shows you don’t sweat little details, you’re most likely to get more hits and find somebody who is right for you.
Tip #21: Send Out A Few Messages
As mentioned earlier, it is extremely rare for a man can be contacted by a woman on a dating website. Just like women like to feel important, men do as well. Women can greatly increase their chances of finding someone special by doing some profile searches on their own and contacting the men they like. The majority of men will be extremely flattered by this and you will immediately put yourself to the top of the list.
Tip #22: Don’t Appear To Be High Maintenance or Money Hungry
One of the most unattractive qualities a woman can have is to appear to be high maintenance or money hungry. If your profile is filled with all the fabulous destinations you want to travel to, all the fine dining areas you want to go to, or all the fashionable clothes you want to wear, that is a quick way to turn off most men. Instead of thinking about what a great woman you are, the first thing a man is going to think is: “My goodness this woman’s going to cost me a fortune!” and move onto the next profile.
More Tips For Men And Women
Tip #22: Using Popular Keywords In Your Profile
There are certain words that generate a lot of attention and will increase your chances of being matched up. Some of the more popular words you may want to consider sprinkling throughout your profile are: Family, Friends, Cooking, Dancing, Helping other people, The Beach, Traveling, Animal lover, Music, Laughter and Humor, Art, Fitness, The Park, Health, and Being Social.
Tip #23: Don’t Come Across As Needy
Being seen as needy can be unattractive to both men and women, try and keep your profile as upbeat and strong as possible.
Tip #24: Be Mysterious
Don’t tell everything about yourself in the profile. Just say enough to get the other person interested and wanting to know more.
Tip #25: Check Out The Competition
It is a good idea to search other men’s or other women’s profiles to see what they are doing and what you may like. This should give you several good ideas that you can easily add to your own profile.
Tip #26: Call To Action
Be sure to end your profile by asking to hear from the reader. For example, the last sentences of your profile should be something like: “Congratulations on making it to the end. Enough reading, I would love to hear from you! Simply click the button to contact me now!” The goal is to encourage as many people as possible to reach out and send you a message after reading your profile.