There are two things that done well will get you the most reward and least aggravation out of your online dating experience. The first is to get really good at reading profiles to understand what is being said and how to recognize the red flags before ever showing up on a date. The second is to have your own well written profile.
Getting good at reading people takes time and in this environment can be even trickier since the stakes are different than in other areas of our lives. But there are a few tricks that can be learned quickly and will help the newest of us a great deal. I also teach a 5 part webinar that gives even more detail and walks through several profiles line by line.
But since my philosophy is that everything starts with us as individuals and we get what we ask for; I feel the most important thing you can do is know exactly what you want and then create a profile that states that.
For the most part I find people on these sites fall into one of two categories 1.) Looking for a relationship 2) Looking for sex only. So that makes the first part of your job really simple. Just decide which of those camps you are in.
However, this is where it begins to get a bit more challenging. I’ve come to believe in many cases that men’s idea of “dating” and women’s have been drastically skewed to mean totally different things. So if you know you are not ready for something permanent, but you do want to be seen out in public together on occasion you need to say that also. Because if you don’t there is room for misinterpretation that you just want a sex pal and you will never again see daylight with that person.
It isn’t always easy to quantify exactly what will attract us to a person, but most of us can say without doubt the things that turn us off and are deal breakers. In some apps that information is found among the questions they ask, but if it is really important to you, say it in your profile because not everyone reads or even fills out the questionnaire data.
Another thought to keep in mind is that you want to write in the style of the type of person you are seeking. If you are young, hip and do most of your communication via text speak and are comfortable with a partner who does the same then a more casual approach to your profile is fine. But if you are interested in finding a partner with advanced education or who is a high achiever then something with more polish might be in order.
As a writer I know that while I completely understand typos, there are just some grammatical mistakes that will drive me nuts. And made consistently over the course of an entire profile show either a lack of education or a total lack of attention to detail. Those things don’t make someone a bad person, they simply make them a poor match for me. Of course the challenge here is how to state the deal breakers in a way that doesn’t come off as angry or mean spirited.
Listed here are the questions I use in developing my own profile:
- What is your primary reason for being on a dating site?
- Describe the things that are most important to you in a mate.
- What are the things that you just can’t live with? (Think of the worst parts of past encounters or pet peeves in your daily life.)
- How much time do you have to devote to a relationship?
- Do you travel a lot and therefore are only available via phone or text?
- How often is bare minimum for seeing someone and on average how much is too much?
- What things do you picture doing together during the getting to know you phase?
- Is the way someone dresses important to you? If you are going to dinner and your date shows up in sandals with socks or no makeup is that a turn on or turn off?
- If you are interested in just a physical relationship only (and especially if you are on a site specific to that cause), are you open to anything or do you have limitations or restrictions (no need to be graphic, just general in nature).
Having one, or worse, a series of negative experiences with online-dating can really sour our attitudes and make us question the entire process. But if done right it can be a much faster way to come in contact with like-minded seekers.
As always I wish you the very best of luck and welcome your comments below.