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Dating Profile Do’s & Don’ts

Categories Lifestyle

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The way to woo the ladies online – and what to avoid

1.DO… Post Authentic Photos

Studies have shown that women are much more likely to respond to profiles that feature at least four photos.  That’s because it shows you didn’t get lucky with one good pic and that you’ve got nothing to hide. You want your photos to be accurate, recent, show you in a happy and relaxed mood and include at least one clothed full-body shot. Women also respond well to photos that show you engaged in an activity (whether it’s sport, travel or a hobby) and pictures that show you’re capable of having relationships (with friends, family and pets) so that you don’t create a lonely vibe by being solo in all your pics. Not George Clooney in the looks department? Don’t worry too much: dating site OK Cupid’s research found that women message gents of “average” good looks more than they do guys in the “most attractive” category.

DON’T… Post Lame Pics

Why would you post an unflattering, badly lit or out of focus shot? You want to make a good impression so ensure your photos show you off to your best effect. That said, don’t go for shirtless, naked or “funny” Zoolander-style shots because you’ll just come across as a sleaze, an idiot or both. Also: skip the selfies. A large number of dating profiles use them and you can stand out by having photos that look more polished. Use a camera with a timer or get a friend with a good eye to take some snaps.

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2. DO – Be Honest

Think of how pissed off you get at false advertising and apply it to yourself. If you’re of average height and weight and work in finance there’s no point to claiming you’re 6’6”, buff as Brad Pitt and have spent a decade as a special ops soldier. Instead, present your self-description as positively as you can, focusing on the best things about you. If you’re not the outdoorsy type, don’t apologise for it but turn it into a positive, with a description like: “There’s nothing I like better than to entertain at home, whether it’s cooking for friends or sharing a Netflix night with that special someone.”

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DON’T – Be Too Honest

Yes, your ex-girlfriend broke your heart when she ran off with your best mate after high school. Sure, you sometimes suffer from irritable bowel syndrome. True, you were once arrested for offensive language after a few too many beers at a rugby match. But, really, are any of these things relevant in your dating profile? If anything, they’re stories you share with a trusted partner waaaaay down the track in your relationship. The last thing a woman wants to read in a dating profile is anything that raises a red flag.

3. DO – Be Specific

“I like music and walks and sports”. A line like this tells your prospective hook-up next to nothing about you. You might dig Metallica, three-day wilderness treks and be mad about table tennis, while she’s into Ronan Keating, beachside rambles and competitive archery. Not a lot of crossover there. So, without going into War & Peace-style length, ensure your dating profile contains a few details about your interests and your dreams. Use colourful language, tell a story and/or include how you feel. So rather than a list, try to create an image. “I like surfing” isn’t as impactful as “There’s nothing better than the feeling of freedom I have when I’m surfing as the sun comes up.”

DON’T – Make It All About You

While you want about 80 per cent of your profile to be about you, you also need to indicate who you’re looking for and why. Again, be specific and honest without being too crazily detailed. For instance, “I’d love to meet a woman with a great sense of humour” leaves the field pretty wide open. “I’m looking for a woman with a keen sense of the absurd, who can’t help laughing at so-dumb-they’re-smart movies” gives a clearer picture of what you find funny.

4. DO – Set Yourself Apart

Imagine you’re being interviewed for 60 Minutes and telling your life story. What would be the feelgood wow moment? What would be the most surprising or entertaining thing about you? What would viewers remember? So long as it’s not a downer or overshare, Try to incorporate that moment or moments from your life into your dating profile. “I love to travel and count among my favourite memories a seven-day cruise I did along the Nile River in Egypt” or “I believe life begins at the edge of your comfort zone, which is why I’ve recently taken a month off to pursue my passion for stand-up comedy” are the sort of statements that attract true interest and aren’t likely to be replicated elsewhere.

DON’T – Boast

Don’t be boastful in your profile. There are few things that are more of a turn-off that a dude bragging about his fitness level, financial status or finesse in the sack. That said, be confident without overselling yourself. “I thrive on the challenges of my career as a medical researcher and enjoy the reward of knowing I’m doing something to help humanity” is a knee weakener. “I’m a respected leader in my field with tremendous earning capacity” makes you sound like an overcompensating David Brent type.

5. DO – Be Bold In Your Intro

Look at your favourite books. The first sentence will usually be a grabber, ensuring you keep reading. Treat your profile the same way. Don’t go for the obvious – “I’ve never tried online dating before”, “I’m here because I want to meet someone” – and instead go for something blunt, funny or daring. Intros like “Perfect moments – that’s what I think life’s all about” or “Heavy penguin – I just wanted to say something that’d break the ice” stand out and encourage her to keep reading.

DON’T – Forget to ask questions

Everyone loves to be asked questions because it offers us a chance to talk about our favourite subject: ourselves. So including a few questions in your profile “starts” a conversation. Writing something like – “I’m always on the look out for new restaurants/walking tracks/art galleries to try/conquer/see. Do you have any favourites you want to share?” or similar creates the impulse in her to say, “Well, yes, I do” and send you a message.