If you want to create an online dating profile that will attract the kind of person you want to meet, then my tips, along with some dating profile examples, will get you started in the right direction!
But first, before you put your dating profile on a dating site, ask yourself what your goal is for being on a dating site.
- Is your goal to forget your ex by having another man in your life?
- Are you looking for a companion?
- Do you want to expand your social life and do new things?
- Are you looking for a friend with benefits, a hook-up or a long-term relationship, possibly leading to marriage?
- Do you want to find the one?
Whatever your goals are, just own what you’re looking for and be clear about it on your dating profile. This will help limit the potential disappointment and frustration for you and the men or women you’ll meet.
Along with being clear about your reason for being online, you’ll need to have clear criteria about the type of person you want to meet. When you have clarity on your must haves and dealbreakers, you will set yourself up to succeed and avoid a lot of wasted time and frustration.
An online dating profile is an introduction.
Imagine that you’re going up to a stranger at a business event or party. It’ important to put your best self forward, from the way you dress to how you introduce yourself. The same applies to your dating profile. It’s best to appear open and approachable and speak about topics that invite others into a conversation with you, and that will lead setting up a phone call or first date.
If you’re looking to meet someone, the photos you choose for your dating profile are everything! You want to initially get a man’s attention with a polished headshot that shows you in good lighting looking directly at the viewer, eye to eye, and smiling as you would when you’re being introduced to a stranger.
People are very visually oriented. If a man’s pictures show him frowning or giving off a negative vibe, we’re not going to take the time to read his profile. We’ll move on to photos of men who look confident, friendly (safe), are smiling and we’ll pass on profiles with unsettling close-up shots where you’re looking up their nostrils, or photos of them holding up the fresh fish catch of the day.
Dating profile examples:
Let’s start first with a dating profile example of what DOES NOT work.
Dating Profile Example #1:
- On the positive side, this woman does have standards for herself. It’s important to be clear about your standards, your must haves and dealbreakers. You need standards to guide you through the dating process to make the right choices.
What doesn’t work:
- This entire profile is worded from a negative perspective. It’s a long list of the types of men she doesn’t want to meet. This approach will always turn good men off and send them to the next profile. It’s understandable that she is looking for men who are not misogynists, but to mention this in her profile insults all the men who are not misogynists and focuses on men’s potential negative qualities. To men, this woman comes off as very jaded, bitter and demanding.
- There also aren’t any positives in her profile about herself, about her life or men. This gives an indication that this person is generally unhappy or at best, someone with a negative attitude.
- Because she hasn’t shared any of her interests or anything about herself, the reader has no way to start a conversation with her. This profile doesn’t engage the reader with questions directed to them. All of the negatives listed are used as a shield of armor to protect herself from future pain. Unfortunately, this shield will also keep love far away from her.
- If you’re recently divorced or currently separated, it’s understandable that you’re not going to be feeling your happiest or most confident, and you’re probably deep in grief, shock, anger and a lot of other heavy emotions. It’s especially important for you to avoid any negatives in your essay and any references to your ex, or soon-to-be ex. Most people don’t want to be on the receiving end of the emotions that you (legitimately) need to process. It’s best for you and anyone you interact with if you have the right support group or therapist to process the divorce/breakup and avoid sharing details with your dates. Just as you want to meet someone who’s interested to get to know you, men also want to know that you’re interested in them and you’re not still focused on your ex.
- Depending on the dating app you’re using, this profile would also be too long and goes into too much detail. Many of the dating apps offer very limited space to write about yourself so you want to use that space to present your very best qualities.
- This profile did not include a photo which is what men focus on first. If there are no photos, they will not even stop to read about you and you should also pass on profiles that don’t include any photos.
How to improve this dating profile:
- Frame anything you say from a positive perspective and avoid negatives. For example, you don’t want to include a laundry list of negatives that you’re trying to avoid from your previous relationships (such men who were cheaters, abusive, clingy, stuck on their ex, narcissists, liars). State what you are looking for in a positive way, for example, by saying that you’re looking for “a man who is ready for a committed relationship and the love of his life”. When negatives are used, they repel and turn quality men off. Conversely, if you notice negatives in any profiles you read, please pass on those people.
- Try to use your natural vocabulary, the way you normally speak in person. Include enough information about you so that anyone interested in starting a conversation has several topics or points of connection with you. For example, if music is very important to you, include your favorite artists or songs from your Spotify list. If you’re an avid reader, include a sentence on what you’re currently reading and what intrigues you about the book. If you’re looking for someone who’s also a reader, take the next step and ask a question about what they’re currently reading.
Dating Profile Example #2:
- She’s looking straight into the camera, making eye contact, smiling and showing her femininity, she’s playful and a little bit flirty.
- She provides a number of topics from which a man can determine potential common interests with her and use them to begin a conversation. She lists several of her main interests, but doesn’t go overboard and list every single one of them.
- The text feels upbeat and positive. This profile gives the feeling that she’s open and adventurous and she mentions how people who know her say she brings to those relationships. This gives a reader an idea of what they can expect when they meet her. Some of the top qualities men look for are caring and kindness. She just nailed it on those qualities! Plus, she seems friendly and approachable. These are all green lights for the right people to contact her.
What doesn’t work:
- The lighting on her face in this photo could be better (less shadow) and it could clearly show both of her eyes.
- To improve upon this profile, she could tell a brief story about one of her interests. She could mention that she enjoys a specific movie genre and indicate why one of them has been her favorite. She could mention what the new things are that she wants to experience when she’s traveling. Even more inviting would be for her to paint a scene in which the reader could imagine himself with her.
- What is missing from this profile is a conversation starting question to the reader to which they could easily respond and start a conversation.
- If it’s not already listed anywhere else on her profile, the reader needs to know what she’s looking for. Does she need a travel buddy, a friend, a lover or a partner? Your profile should be clear about what you’re looking for. If you are seeking a long-term relationship, then state early in your profile that you are looking for a LTR (long-term relationship) and describe the type of person you’re looking for.
Dating Profile Example #3:
- Lana is on Bumble where there is more limited space to write about yourself. She provides examples of things that she likes without just listing those things.
- She’s speaking directly to the reader, which creates a feeling of intimacy and shows interest, while also using humor (most people love humor).
- Her face is well lit and she’s smiling in a natural way. The reader can get a sense of her personality even with a few sentences and this initial photo.
- On most apps, there’s a separate question asking what you’re looking for so it’s likely she’s already specified the type of connection she wants, whether a relationship or something casual.
What doesn’t work:
- To improve upon this profile, a question to the reader, such as “what’s your favorite part of a burrito?”, would create an invitation to a conversation with her.
Dating Profile Photo Examples:
Woman playing with dogs
- She’s beaming with joy playing with her babies. She seems fun, playful and warm, all qualities men desire.
- She’s wearing hot pink! Men are highly attracted to hot pinks and reds.
- We see her entire body in a natural setting, doing an everyday activity she loves.
- Who doesn’t love dogs!
Woman in red dress
- Her smile is inviting you into her living room for a romantic evening.
- Her entire body is visible and she’s standing in a way that reveals she feels good about herself. Confidence is key!
- There’s a little bit of mystery, romance, flirtation and sassiness in her expression. She doesn’t have to list those qualities because they are evident in this photo. A picture does paint 1000 words!
- She’s wearing a red dress. Red is the #1 color that draws men’s attention and so do dresses, ladies!
What doesn’t work:
Woman playing with dogs
- The water hose could be distracting, but overall, this photo is natural and well done. Sometimes a very innocent object in the background can distract a viewer. Do your best to minimize such distractions.
Woman in red dress
- Again, make sure the background is not distracting the viewer from focusing on you. There’s a lot in the background behind her but it all looks tidy and the focus is still on her.
General tips on your photos:
The goal is to spark interest so the viewer will contact you to learn more about you.
- The most common photo mistakes are the use of photos that are taken too far away, that are dark, poorly lit or blurry.
- Other mistakes are those with facial expressions that are frowning, not smiling, using filters (men hate these) or including photos taken more than a few years ago. Men are turned off when a woman conceals her age and ends up being 10 or more years older than her photos. This is considered false advertising.
- Have someone take photos of you, ideally a professional photographer, and don’t use selfies.
- Start first with a headshot where you’re smiling, looking directly at the viewer, your face is well-lit (no shadows or blurring of your face).
- Limit the photos of you wearing sunglasses to no more than 1 photo. Whether male or female, viewers want to see your eyes.
- The 2nd photo should be a full body shot taken close enough for someone to know it’s you and can see your facial expression.
- A dating profile is about you and your potential connections with men so you don’t want to include photos of your children or group photos of you and your friends.
- If you’re looking for a long-term relationship, don’t include overly sexy, seductive photos (i.e., too much cleavage, extremely tight or short clothing, suggestive poses). These types of photos get the attention of people who are only looking for sex, hook-ups or at best, something casual.
- Men like to see a story about you through your photos. Tell them about who you are and what you enjoy most by including a few photos of you doing your favorite activities.
- Ask a question at the end of your essay that the reader can respond to. For example,
- Let the part of you that sparkles with joy and curiosity shine through in your essay. For example, if you’re a huge Grateful Dead fan, mention your favorite album or the best concert you attended. This will draw a kindred spirit to you.
- It’s better to tell a story or two about things you most enjoy, instead of a long list of everything you like to do.
Ask your closest friends to give you feedback to make sure that what they know and love most about you is reflected in your profile. Confidence is the #1 quality both men and women are looking for. So be confident about who you are and what you have to offer and you will attract those who are interested in someone like you!
Most of all, don’t stress about putting up your profile. Just get it out there and know that you’ll be able to tweak it any time you wish. It’s going to be a work in progress, just as you are constantly evolving as a human being, right?
Good luck and remember to have fun with this!
Maria Spears, M.Ed., CPPC is a Dating and Love Coach who guides women through a powerful integrative process that is based on extensive training in human development, professional coaching, Progressive Energy Field TappingTM, neuro-linguistic programming, hypnosis, the law of attraction, and nearly 25 years of relationship and personal growth research, including coaching hundreds of women and men to overcome blocks to the love and the life they want.
Her process is based, in part, on the steps she took to overcome divorce and heartache from a lifetime of relationships with the wrong men. She teaches women to break free from old patterns, understand how a lack of knowledge and self-worth can lead to unhealthy relationships, and provide them with the tools to thrive in relationships and live as their authentic selves moving forward.