Online dating has been around for over a decade, giving renewed romantic hopes to singles who are having trouble finding love in the real world. All sorts of people join dating sites for a number of reasons, ranging from working at a job with no potential prospects to having a lackluster social life because you’re too busy to meet someone. Dating sites can help you meet others, but before you can meet them, you need to catch their interest first and that begins with creating a dating profile that will reel in many fish in the sea. There’s more to it than just attracting many people- we want to attract the right people.
1. Don’t post only your best photos- Looking your best is essential in any situation, but you may make the mistake of overhyping your appearance if you only post photos you feel are model worthy because you carefully posed yourself and controlled the lighting and angle. The truth is, nobody is constantly attractive (not even you, Ryan Gosling), so you want to make you’re also sharing photos of you in any situation. We don’t recommend sharing photos of you in mid-bite during lunch. This keeps the expectations from going overboard while also keeping it real.
2. Write about yourself, but don’t write a novel – Sad to say, reading is not as cherished as it once was. This is prevalent on dating sites, where users want previews of the people they’re searching and can’t handle an entire biography. Keep your snippets about yourself informative but brief. Write in full sentences and show you’re able to use basic grammar and punctuation. If you write too much, you may lose their interest or come across as a showoff or narcissist.
3. Don’t deal in absolutes- When you say “Only message me if you meet XYZ criteria,” you cut out a potential number of interested candidates who, for all you know, could have been great fits for your dating life despite some differences between you two. Political, religious, and physical preferences are what you see as the most outright stated and not only does it reduce your chances of a match, it makes you seem like a picky person and may scare off other potential suitors. Who says a smoker and a non-smoker can’t date, or that a carnivore and a vegetarian wouldn’t make things work?
4. Write a catchy first message- When you find somebody who catches your eye, you’re going to want to say more than just “hey, how are you?” That doesn’t work out too well, because you come off as shallow and lacking reading comprehension. Try and pick out a couple interesting points of conversation from their profile and ask them about it or relate your own quick story (by quick, we mean 2-3 sentences). Try to go beyond “Oh, you like rock climbing? So do I!” Tell them about your favorite spot to climb. Talk about your favorite thing to cook or ask if they’ve tried something relating to one of their interests. Bonus points if your message seems coherent and well-put together, as you’ll come off as intelligent and well-spoken.
5. Update your photos- If you’ve been on a dating site before, chances are you’ve experienced a period of time where the same matches came up in your searches and you had already decided you weren’t interested in them. Imagine your profile showing up similarly in somebody else’s results- how can we fix that? It’s simple- start updating your photos and change out some of the older shots for different pictures. You might find yourself putting up an image that suddenly attracts people who were previously passing on you or even refreshes your appearance in searches so people who were thinking about messaging you notice you again.
6. Don’t overstate your intentions- What’s the quickest way to scare off anyone when you start dating? Dropping the “L word” will send most running for the hills if it’s used too early, as would any talk of major commitment. Avoid writing in your profile that you’re searching for somebody to share your future with and that you want serious inquiries only, because it will make you seem like you’re forcing it. You need to let love and romance happen naturally and let your profile simply speak about you and your life- not your intentions.
7. Increase your browsing range- It would be convenient to meet somebody who lives right around the corner from you, but it’s not going to be that easy. If you want to maximize the amount of matches you can have, you’ll need to expand your search radius and go beyond 5 miles. Start by thinking about how far you are willing to drive for the right person and expand your radius to that distance. If you match up with somebody who is 50 miles away, keep in mind you don’t have to drive to each other’s neighborhoods right away, as you can pick a middle ground that cuts the distance in half while you get to know each other and better determine if there’s a connection that warrants driving further.
8. Use good judgement in picking a username – This doesn’t require much explanation. If you make a username ending in either 69 or 420 or makes you sound like a sociopath, you’re going to find you’re not getting any messages sent to you.
9. Don’t write a sob story- Confidence is attractive, especially in a profile when these few paragraphs about yourself are supposed to sell another person on the idea of a potential romance. If you choose to write about how 2017 has been a crappy year and you just need somebody to fix it for you, you’re going to be passed by. Nothing screams “Stay away from me” like opening up about what a reclamation project you are. If that’s the case, you need to focus on yourself first and come back to the dating site when you’ve get things in order.
10. One conversation with one person shouldn’t preclude you from other conversations: Let’s say you and another person start talking and the conversation seems to be going well. The next morning, you notice two new messages from other matches in your inbox. Conventional wisdom would be to ignore them because you’re already engaged in some fun conversation with another user, but we’re here to tell you “What’s the harm?” You’re simply engaging with another potential match in conversation and nothing more. You haven’t met the first person you were talking with and there is no commitment to anything at this point. Keep your options open and see what’s out there, as you may find the dynamics of your once-successful conversation change when you finally meet in person. This gives you options and ensures you’re not passing on any potentially good matches.
There’s no guarantee these tips will get you a date overnight. Half of the battle may simply come down to initial attraction to another person. We recommend staying patient and waiting things out, as single people are joining dating sites everyday and others are simply not checking their profiles that often. If you’ve never joined a dating site and you’re on the fence, let this be the encouragement to push you over the fence and help you show the world there’s more fish in the sea than they previously knew.