Writing a Dating Profile

Below are some free tips for writing your dating profile.

Men seeking women online make the same errors again and again, resulting in boring personal ads that leave women frustrated instead of intrigued. These five tips can go a long way towards improving most of the ads out there.

1. The headline is crucial. No one has the time to click on every profile, even all the profiles with good pictures, so people hunt for the ones that sound the most promising. Even though your headline is only a few words, it’s doing most of the work in getting someone to respond to your profile. Make sure you stand out from the pack and are giving someone a reason to click.

Blah headlines:

  • Looking for real women (As opposed to those looking for fake women?)
  • I’m bored! (Why would I want someone who hasn’t yet figured out how to make his own fun?)
  • Seeking a hot lady (Ok, but what’s in it for me?)

Better headlines:

  • SBM seeks White or Hispanic Female Who reads More Than Just Match.com (This headline doesn’t tell us everything about the writer, and a lot of women will object to what can be seen as narrow-mindedness, but it begins to make him less generic. If the woman fits what he’s looking for, she’ll know this is a possibility. Or she’ll know not to waste her time. The writer is also indicating that he has intellectual interests, which is attractive.)
  • Toss around a frisbee every now and then? (Makes the writer seem like someone who’s active and fun-loving.)
  • mona lisas and mad hatters (The writer isn’t afraid to be creative—I have the urge to click just to figure out what he’s talking about.)

2. Don’t be generic. Describing yourself as “normal, intelligent, and spontaneous” gives me very little to go on. Those adjectives could describe a lot of people. Make sure your profile communicates what makes you different from everyone else.

3. Don’t rely on long lists of vague adjectives. Some people think that a lengthy string of words will get across who they are: “I am very laid back, honest, loyal, clean, and athletic.” Take the time to give us examples so we can get a more vivid picture. Instead of saying you’re athletic, say that you’re on a baseball team. Instead of saying you’re good-looking, post your picture, mention a celebrity you look like, or say something like: “women always complement my dark curly hair and great smile.” One technique for coming up with examples is to start with the words: “I’m the kind of person who…” – “I’m the kind of person who keeps his cool when everyone else at work is panicking. I’m the kind of person who returns lost wallets to their owners with all the cash still inside. I’m the kind of person who’s spontaneous enough to plan a quick weekend trip on Friday afternoon.”

4. Show, don’t tell. Don’t just tell me you’re smart or have “an Ivy League education” – demonstrate your intellectual chops in your ad by making it clever or at least by describing the ways in which you’re intelligent. The same thing goes for saying you’re funny. Instead write an ad that never uses the words “funny” or “sense of humor” but makes me laugh out loud. Trust me, I’ll get it. Always think of specific examples that will provide proof for what you claim.

5. Be conversational. When writing your dating profile, imagine that you’re walking into a party or other social situation. How do you get someone’s attention? What do you say to intrigue them?