New Year, New You, New Dating Profile
As the last strains of Auld Lang Syne fade and a hangover from a little too much New Year’s cheer lingers you find yourself on the first day of 2014 with a pile of resolutions waiting to be resolved. Perhaps a lack of a certain special someone to share a New Year’s Kiss means one of those resolutions is to find a partner in the coming year. And like many others you’re looking to (or back to) online dating as the means to meet that special somebody but finding the process of setting up or freshening up your profile a little daunting.
Maybe you created a profile 3 years and 2 relationships ago. Perhaps you’re reactivating an old account after having been off the market for a bit. Or maybe you’ve got a current account but it’s not getting the attention it deserves. No matterNw what your circumstances taking a critical look at and planning out your profile is the first and most important step and this can leave many feeling like Bambi walking on ice for the first time.
Fear not! Creating a killer (not literally) profile need not be an exercise in grim introspection and self-analysis. Nor need it be a painful writing chore fraught with writer’s block and doubt. Instead get your new or renewed dating career off on the right foot with these profile tips.
This is your dating life you’re dealing with, not a YouTube comment. Everybody gets that writing a profile is tough and staring at a blank screen waiting to fill it with all your wonderful attributes can cause you to feel like a deer in the headlights. However, resist the temptation to leave things blank or fill them in with nonsense. Somebody may appreciate a single quirky sentence but nobody likes a lazy date: a picture of your fish, “I’ll fill this in later” or “THEYSAIDINEEDEDTOFILLTHISIN” is a universal turn-off.
…But Don’t Be Too Serious
A good sense of humour goes a long way, especially in the online realm. You don’t need to be a standup comic, but a bit of self-deprecation can take the edge of of things and show people you’re a good sport and a fun companion.
Don’t Be ‘The Heavy’
It’s good to have goals and there’s nothing wrong with wanting to find your soon-to-be soul mate. However, the opening paragraph of your profile is not the place to describe your boundless quest to find true love and the laundry list of details which comprise your Mister or Miss Right. You’re trying to get an invitation to the ball not see if the glass slipper fits (that comes later!) Remember you’re looking to meet people not size them up for an arranged marriage.
Keep It Positive
We’ve all been in relationships, we’ve all had breakups, and we all know that exes suck. We also don’t need to hear about your tale of misery or why your ex or exes were such terrible people. Stick to the positives and your profile will glow with the light of good karma and lead you to dating nirvana.
Check Your Expiry Dates
To people browsing profiles a stale account stands out like a pair of bell bottoms on 90’s retro night. Keep your profile fresh by referencing a current event, upcoming festival/concert/monster truck rally, or seasonal activity. It creates an opening and maybe even sets up a possible date plus it tells people reading that you’ve been online since Clinton was in office.
Keep your mind out of the gutter—we’re talking about profile length. What’s the right length? That’s highly dependent on who you are and what your personality. Maybe you’re a quiet introvert who loves books or a brash extrovert known for your crazy stories. In general give people an idea of who you are and what you want while still leaving a bit to the imagination. Remember, your profile is the cover blurb on a book or the series summary on Netflix: you want to entice people to read/watch more without giving away all the spoilers.
It’s the Photos, Stupid
This should go without saying…but here were are. We can pretend that looks aren’t important but in the online dating world a picture is worth a thousand words. Or maybe more. So you need current, good photos that show the world the best you have to offer without being over the top.
Don’t have any good photos? Too bad—your potential partners are expecting them and without a captivating snapshot will breeze right by your corner of your chosen dating site. Luckily, everything has a digital camera on it today and it should be easy to take a few selfies; better yet, enlist a supportive friend to snap a few new shots that put you in your best light. Give people a few shots, preferably in different settings and angles. Avoid mirror selfies, ducklips, and of course, old mug shots.
Online dating is not a free lunch (although it’s nice if someone offers to pick up the bill): you get out of it what you put in. And sometimes that means you’ll have to do a bit of work to get the results you want. Don’t be afraid to keep updating your profile based on what’s working or drop things that aren’t making people click hither. Change things regularly and don’t be afraid to try new things.
Most importantly: have fun because online dating can be crazy and there will be a few dead ends and false starts. But at least you’ll have some stories and with a bit of luck and a little work crafting your profile you can find gold.
Ottawa dweller. Marketing consultant. Dad. Handyman. Gadget guy. Photographer. Coffee Drinker. Scotch sipper. [Not necessarily in that order] Blogs at www.davidhicks.ca and spends too much time on Twitter