If you haven't dipped your toe in the online dating pool yet, the prospect of diving in can be overwhelming. With hundreds of dating sites and hundreds of thousands of potential partners, even knowing where to begin is difficult. Start by finding the dating site that's right for you and your budget. Then, do your research; think about what you are looking for, and find out how to attract that kind of person. You'll want to write a profile that represents you and what you're looking for. To help, we've compiled a few online dating profile examples and enlisted the help of relationship experts Laura Schreffler and Craig Donaldson to get you on your way to writing the perfect online dating profile for you.
Selecting a Username
Bad: Laura111119, SexGoddess922, RUMySoulmate
A good username should tempt potential partners to open your profile and learn more, Donaldson says, so you want it to stand out. Using just your name implies that you didn't put a lot of thought into it; plus, it's generic. Schreffler also advises against usernames that might make you look like a show-off.
Great: MagicMike, TheFun1, TheCityGirl, DontOpenThis, TheTotalPackage
"You want something fun, that shows off who you are and is not boring," Schreffler says, "Be clever, or use a play on words. Go for things that can be easily recognized."
Writing a Headline/Tagline
Great: "The girl who has everything... but a 1957 Fender Strat."; "My hidden talent is..."
"The purpose of a tagline is to create an icebreaker for users to reach out to you," Donaldson says. "Remember you are marketing yourself, and you need to write a tagline that reaches the type of match you are looking for." Guitarist seeking guitarist? Appeal to their musical side. Looking for a funny guy? Be funny. When in doubt, Schreffler says: "Choose one or two key facts [about yourself], and insert them into your headline. This works, because, again, you're keeping them guessing."
Bad: "I like playing trombone."
Boooooring. There are hundreds of thousands of online daters, and many of them also play instruments. Why should they remember you? What makes you special? When describing yourself, be specific and avoid cliches, too. "Never ever say that you like long walks on the beach," Schreffler says, "even if you do."
Great: "I love playing trombone... remind me to tell you about that time I free-styled with Johnny Depp."
"Make your self-summary short but significant. No more than three paragraphs," Donaldson says, "A good example includes interesting information about yourself, your hobbies, and what you love about your life." You want to represent yourself and intrigue potential partners. Leave them wanting to know more about you.
Picking Profile Pictures
Bad: Not having pictures; pictures with your cat
Pictures aren't optional; they're essential to catching the eye of a potential partner. "Men are visual," Donaldson says, "So if you don't appeal to their sense of beauty, they will not write to you." He recommends one or two photos minimum but never more than four.
Schreffler stresses the importance of content: "Great dating profiles do not have shots of women with their cats. Just don't do it." You may love Mittens, but potential partners do not.
"What works the best, weirdly, are selfies. Don't ask me why, but it's what men react to." Schreffler says. "However, you need to have a wide range. For example, if you have just selfies of your head, a guy will nine times out of 10 not write to you because he's wondering why you haven't shown off your body."
The Dating Profile Golden Rule
"Stay true to who you are. If you create a dating profile based on a woman that you think a man would like, you're never going to find the man that's right for you," Schreffler says. "When I was writing my book, I created many dating profiles. I was the cool girl, the funny girl, the sexy girl, the shy girl. Nothing really worked until I was the 'real' girl—myself."
Now, you're ready to start writing your own great online dating profile.