Many writers dream that one day they’ll write the great American novel. I dream about writing the great American dating profile. And why not? I have a few writing chops. The question is: Can I translate those skills into the greatest dating profile of all time? Sit with me and let’s discuss over some crostini with pea pesto ricotta spread. Pair with a crisp pinot grigio.
A couple of weeks ago I realized my dating profile needed retooling. I’ve written 4 or 5 different versions of my profile since I started online dating. In some cases, I approached the task as a profile tear down, building it back up in a new way; at other times I did a modest renovation. I like to think that the latest one is always the best so far.
Side note: More minute changes such as updating “last book read” should be done biweekly or monthly. I know from personal experience that when I make a tiny change in my profile (sometimes just changing a comma to a semicolon), the dating bots highlight my effort to their male subscribers and I get an uptick in views and messages. Try it and see if you notice an increase in interest.
I decided it was time for a tear down followed by all new construction. As with most challenges, I began with some quiet thinking time. I asked myself, what are the most important qualities that I seek in a man? I then thought about my attributes. Both inquiries turned into lists. I then reviewed a dating profile of a 60-something woman who had great success with online dating.
It was time for research and my friend Google. You can easily pull up between 5 and 7 million hits by searching for how to write a great dating profile or how to write a great dating profile for a woman.
One of my best resources was actually a scientific study published in 2015 in the British Medical Journal. This study was a meta-analysis, a study of studies, on online dating. My favorite part of the paper, other than the findings, was the Acknowledgements section: The authors would like to thank the potential dates who turned down one of us repeatedly, encouraging us to think about the effectiveness of online dating.
Ha! You’ve got to love scientists with a sense of humor.
This study, combined with several articles, and some reflection on articles and books I’d read in the last couple of years led me to identify some principles of the written portion of good profiles that I wanted to capture in my new version.
Second side note: I’m not focusing on dating profile photos in this blog post, but they are critically important to your dating success. Make sure your main pictures are current and consider having a professional photographer. Read about my photo shoot.
Good Dating Profiles (for women):
*Use a playful, positive screen name. Try to make it similar to the screen names of men you find attractive.
*Pick a screen name that starts with a letter early in the alphabet so it pops up earlier in a dating site search.
*Choose simple language for your headline.
*Your profile should be 70% about you and 30% about your ideal match.
*Emphasize character traits and hobbies that are people and value-centric. Focus on likeability, not academic achievement. (As I had to tell one guy, this is a dating site, not LinkedIn.)
*Use words such as romance, heart, and love (even if love is in reference to an activity you enjoy).
*Show emotional availability.
*Show your passion and what excites you.
*Make your first few sentences stand out.
*I like to have a theme for each profile (e.g., music, cooking, outdoor activities, etc.).
*Men prefer women whose physical fitness activities are yoga, aerobics, and the gym. (Scratch that reference to power lifting – but continue to power lift since men will love the result.)
After internalizing all of these principles, I crafted a new profile and screen name and rotated my primary photo from my last professional shoot.
I’m on several sites so I’ve been working my way through each of them, deleting the old profile and inserting the new one. The sites always take a little time to approve any revisions so each time I update my profile, I patiently wait for my “rebirth.”
The result of my effort? I have received more views and more emails. Unfortunately, it’s not a magic fix.
The key is to have that new and great profile available online when the “one” joins the site or happens to be searching and finds me.
I’m ready to be found.
Until next week, happy dating or not dating.