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Online Dating Advice

Five simple online dating tips to transform your profile

Time Out's resident dating expert shares her advice for a better online dating profile

Written by
Charly Lester

Writing an online dating profile should be simple – all you’re doing is writing about yourself.  But there’s a reason we don’t all work in marketing and self-marketing is particularly tough when your love life is on the line.  

So how can you make sure your dating profile attracts the right people?

1) Do put some thought into your photo – it’s the most important part

Yes, yes, I know we’re all bored of Tinder, and it’s fashionable to write it off as superficial, but in reality most of us actually need to be physically attracted to a match.

Thumbnails are vital, so think carefully about the photos you choose. What do they say about you? Have you included full-length shots as well as close-ups? 

Profile tip: Avoid the frustrating clichés: sunglasses, babies, drugged-up tigers, cock shots, trout pouts, and group images where no one can tell who you are. 

2) Do be honest

Not just with other people, but also with yourself. Unlike Facebook, on an online dating site, you’re chatting to strangers. Which means it’s not the place for overly flattering photos, or pretending to be someone you’re not.  

Profile tip: An incredible dating profile might get loads of first dates, but if it’s unrealistic, it won’t lead to many second dates.

3) Do look at other profiles

Most sites allow you to easily alter your search criteria, so why not check out the competition? If you don’t know what to write, see what other people are doing, and think about how you react when you read it.

Most of us are trying to attract a like-minded person, but it’s a lot easier to view a dating profile objectively when it’s not your own. Look at the length of other peoples’ profiles, how much information they share, and their tone of voice. If you like what you read, don’t be afraid to borrow their style. 

Profile tip: Don’t write an essay, but focus on a couple of interesting things about yourself that will make you stand out in the crowd. 


4) Don’t talk about what you want or don’t want in a match

Dating sites have filters for a reason – trust them to do the selection, so you can concentrate on showing yourself in the best light possible. By outright stating what you do or don’t want in another person, you will either sound demanding, or dismissive. And in reality, most of us don’t actually know what we really need or want, until he or she is staring us in the face.  

Profile tip: Be honest about what you’re looking for but don’t spell it out in your profile. And don’t dismiss potential matches prematurely.

5) Don’t spend too long on it

When you’re on a date, and you’re asked a question, how long does it take you to answer?  Probably not three hours. When you’re creating your profile, don’t agonise over every detail.  Go with your gut, and answer the questions as if a friend is asking.  

Yes of course check your spelling, and be careful with grammar (if you don’t, some smart arse may well contact you just to correct it!). But don’t treat it like a dissertation. 

Profile tip: Don’t feel like you need to tell your life story, just offer an accurate glimpse of the person you are today. You’ll have plenty of opportunity to fill in the gaps on the date.

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