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A Guide to Online Dating: Creating Your Perfect Dating Profile
Dating - New Love

How to Write the Perfect Dating Profile

You’re over forty and re-entering the dating world. You never thought this would be you, but alas, it is. Still, you aren’t keen on sitting in bars drinking calories with drunk strangers. Or hitting nightclubs where the average age is younger than your youngest. So, what’s a girl to do if she wants to find a date? She goes online. Yes, I said it. So, where do you start? How do you even make a dating profile?

80% of people who date do so online. 30% of marriages today started online. The paradigm for dating has changed since the carefree days of our youth. Instead of meeting our paramours at work, in school, or through friends, many of us go the swiping route. With the stigma of online dating all but gone, and confidence in dating technology increasing, dating apps continue to grow in popularity. The bottom line, online dating is here to stay. It works. It’s fun. It’s easy. And you too are just a swipe away from happily ever after (if that’s what you’re looking for), or a man-feast worthy of a queen (if that’s what you’re looking for). So, get comfortable, get your phone, and let’s get started making your dating profile.

Step #1: Select Your Photos

Most free apps work off your phone (Tinder, Bumble, etc.) but the following approach also works for paid dating sites (Match, E-Harmony, etc.). When it comes to choosing profile photos, be honest. Don’t hide what you perceive to be negatives. Own it. If he doesn’t get how beautiful you are, just as you are, you don’t want him. Plus, there is nothing worse than showing up for a date only to face a face of disappointment. Yes, we all know it’s what’s inside that counts, but unfortunately, it’s the outsides – the superficial – that starts the ball rolling. Play the game until you find that someone with the complexity and depth to appreciate what you’ve truly got going on.

1st Photo: Headshot

dating profile

This is your primary photo and your one shot to grab his attention. This picture will determine if he actually takes the time to read your blurb. Ergo, put your best face forward. Choose a shot that features your face, in focus, captivating enough to stop him mid-swipe. No sunglasses. He’ll want to see your bright eyes, your sparkling smile, and the color of your hair. Your face should reasonably fill the screen so that a man will stop, intrigued, and explore the rest of your profile to learn more about wonderful you.

Since your primary photo features your face, the rest of your photos should feature you and your life – a snapshot of your world.

2nd Photo: Body Shot

dating profile

And I don’t mean naked body! Simply choose a photo that shows you head to toe… so he knows you don’t have a tail. And if you do, own it! The same goes for your weight, height, or any sort of disability. There are men out there who dig it all.

3rd Photo: Active Shot

surfing photo - dating profile

This is where we see you using your body, as in not sitting on a couch drinking a beer. Go for a “sporty” shot or hobby shot: tennis, surfing, skiing, gardening… What is it you like to do? Again, be honest, because what you do will speak to what he does as well. For example, don’t post a picture of yourself in a wetsuit carrying a surfboard if you don’t surf.

4th Photo: Dealer’s Choice

Author visiting an orphanage in Uganda in 2019 - dating profile

Author visiting an orphanage in Uganda in 2019.

Think of this photo as an opportunity to show another slice of the pie that is you – be it philanthropy, intellectual pursuits, homemaking, whatever it is you want a potential date (or mate) to know. Volunteering with an animal rescue; leading a Scout troop; playing the piano; even frosting a cake. After all, every man fantasizes about Martha Stewart. Don’t let them tell you they don’t.

5th Photo: Sexy Photo

dating profile

NOTE: I did not say “sexual.”
DOUBLE NOTE: If you are looking for a hookup, a shag, a “wham, bam, thank-you, man” then post your sexy pics, don’t bother with a blurb, and go with God. But please watch “Looking for Mr. Goodbar” first!

This is the shot where we remind the guy that you are 100% woman. It could be a you at the beach, out dancing, in a hot (but reasonable) dress with heels, or simply you in a T-shirt and jeans with that “look” in your eyes. And let’s remember, nothing is sexier than a woman when she laughs.

Optional 6th Photo: Mom Shot

There are opposing opinions on this shot. Some want to keep their kids out of their dating profile, others want to put it out there that,“Yes, I am a mom.” No matter, if you decide to share a photo of your children, make sure it is tasteful, non-exploitive, and that you are in it as well.

Profile Photo No-no’s

  • Too many pictures (stick to six at most)
  • Montages (when you cram a bunch of photos into one frame using that handy-dandy montage app)
  • Too many selfies (you are self-involved)
  • Blurry photos (you are hiding something)
  • Over and underexposed photos (you are hiding something)
  • Step away from the Facetune (you are hiding something)
  • Your baby picture (or any picture that is not you NOW)
  • Group shots (who’s who?)
  • You making duck face
  • You with your ex cut out of the shot
  •  You far, far away
  •  You kissing your cat

Step #2: Write Your “Blurb”

Photo of female Hands type on computer keyboard lit by monitor

You have 200 letters to land Mr. Right. Don’t waste them on haiku or song lyrics. Rather, in an informal, friendly tone using an efficient amount of words to sum up who you are and what you are looking for. Not easy. I know. But I have faith in you.

Do’s and Don’ts of Blurbing

  • Don’t try to be funny as humor is subjective.
  • Do be witty.
  • Don’t brag.
  • Do be upbeat.
  • Don’t be snarky or negative.
  • Do indicate what you are looking for in a man. “Seeking a man with an adventurous spirit who likes children.”
  • Don’t be too specific. “Must have blue eyes, blonde hair, an athletic physique, and over six feet tall.”
  • Do mention your hobbies, likes, and maybe even a fun fact.
  • Don’t denigrate online dating or qualify why you are doing it. “I’m only on Bumble because I’m too busy to meet people the natural way.” It can read insulting and grandiose.
  • Do spell check (!)
  • Don’t leave your blurb blank. In online speak this means you are only looking for a hookup, or you just don’t give a s**t.

Ask yourself how you would respond to your dating profile if you were the man. For example, I automatically swipe left on any guy who says, “Not looking for drama.” (Yes, a lot of men say this.) I find it denigrating and illogical. (Because, you know, we women just love drama.)

The following is my blurb. I’ve chosen to keep it short and to the point. Feel free to borrow it:

Independent, fit, fun, creative, and steady-in-her-life gal seeks pretty much the same, except a guy. Maybe you even love to surf? Tall is a plus. I’m 5’11”… seriously.

Think of it this way: Your dating profile is an advertisement for yourself, and an advertisement for what you want. Keep it simple, honest, and have fun with it. If you don’t like your matches, change it up, trade out pics, keep things fresh. Play. After all, love is a game. And online dating has leveled the playing field. Now get out there and score some goals!

How to write the perfect dating profile

 

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