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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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