We've spoken to the experts to get their top tips on making your dating profile work for you.
Creating a dating profile can be scary. After all, it’s not always easy to big yourself up without sounding conceited or (even worse) desperate. But 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 only 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 dating profile and spotting a great potential partner.
How to make the most of your online dating 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.
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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.
Now you know how to make your dating profile stand out amongst the crowd, why not check out our round-up of the best online dating websites to sign up to? Looking for something a little less serious? These are the best apps for no strings sex – hello Tinder! Already a dating a pro? Then chances are you’ll related to these 12 soul destroying things you only know if you sign up for internet dating.
Whatever you choose, just follow the advice above and chances are you’ll find what you’re looking for.
Happy online dating…