Creating an online dating profile can be scary. After all, it's not always easy to big yourself up without sounding conceited or (even worse) desperate. So, we've spoken to the experts to get their top tips on making your online dating profile work for you.
Did you know that one in three couples now find love online? In this fast-paced, social media-dependent world, we rely on the Internet for everything - from keeping in touch with old school friends and career networking to ordering takeaways and finding a cat-sitter for that weekend away. So, it seems logical you would use the good old Internet for finding that special someone, too.
That said, the world of online dating can be daunting if you've never tried it before, so here are our top tips for making the most of your profile and spotting a great potential partner.
HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR ONLINE PROFILE:
1. Ask your friends for help: Get a friend to help you write your profile. Sometimes they know you better than you know yourself.
2. Avoid clichés: Even if you do like “walking on the beach” or “drinking wine in front of a roaring fire” leave it out – everyone says that. Think of something interesting that could be a conversation starter.
3. List sociable hobbies: ‘People have to imagine how they’ll fit into your life, so describing yourself as a “bookworm and internet addict” makes them feel they’d never see you,’ explains match.com’s relationship expert Kate Taylor. ‘Play up your love of anything sporty, outdoorsy or public – like concerts and exhibitions.'
4. Choose action shots: Wouldn't you know, profile photos that demonstrate you playing your guitar or downhill skiing – even if your face isn’t showing – get more messages.
5. Stay positive: Avoid negative tones and always be positive about yourself. Your profile is essentially your dating CV. You wouldn’t want a future employer to read anything negative, so why would you want a potential partner to read anything that isn’t positive?
6. Be honest: Lying doesn’t get you anywhere in the dating world. Honesty is the best policy!
7. Be specific: Talk in specifics to give a full flavour of who you are. If you love travelling, say where your favourite place is and why. Anything concrete like this brings you alive to anyone reading.
8. Update regularly: Keep your profile up to date. Make the effort to renew your profile on a regular basis with relevant information about yourself.
9. Check your grammar: Many people find poor grammar and spelling a turn off, and the best of us can make mistakes, so be careful on this point. Put your profile into Word and use your computer spell check for peace of mind.
10. Say cheese: In a recent poll, we found that 96 per cent of people would rather see a big, happy grin in a profile photo than a sexy pout.
11. Choose recent photos: If they are more than a year old, don’t use them. One of the most frequent complaints about online dating profiles is “they may have looked like that once but they certainly don’t look like that now”. Looking better in the flesh is better than the reverse.
12. Keep it short and sweet: ‘You wouldn’t introduce yourself to someone in a bar with your entire life history, so don’t do it online,’ says match.com's Kate. 'Women have a tendency to write too much because we enjoy reading long profiles. Men are not like us! Imagine you are doing an icebreaker introduction where you have to sum yourself up briefly.’
13. Have fun: Most people want to find someone who can make them laugh, so show people you have a sense of humour. If you can make someone laugh, it’s a great icebreaker and could get your conversation off to a great start.
14. Be the focus: Don’t choose a picture where you are not the main focal point.
15. Summer lovin’: ‘Our latest research found that people in summery photographs were seen as more attractive than in their winter pics,’ says Kate. ‘Go back through your Facebook holiday album and find some recent summertime photos.'
HOW TO SPOT A GOOD DATE:
1. No negativity: If someone mentions anything cynical about relationships or comments about their “annoying” ex, move along. You don’t need a date with Mr Angry.
2. No arrogance: Avoid Mr It’s All About Me. It’s good to love yourself but there is a line that should not be crossed.
3. Check their photos: Are they in a bar or nightclub in every shot? If so, don’t contact them if you’re someone who likes to be in bed by 9pm.
4. No waffling: A long and very detailed profile could be an indication of what’s in store when you meet them in person. Nobody likes a waffler.
5. Kindness is key: Look for people with a good character. A profile that mentions family and friends, volunteering, and enjoying spending time with kids is a good sign.