If you’re engaging in online dating to find a partner who is an aligned match for you, then you have to think of yourself as the product and your profile as the sales page.
Added: 10 January, 2018
Your photos, words, and the decisions that you make in crafting your profile are the things that could either lead you to finding your next lover, spouse, or significant other… or going on crappy dates with people you don’t match with, and/or remaining single. To say that your profile matters in attracting the right partner is an understatement. It is absolutely imperative.
No matter what online dating site you’re using, here are some important ground rules that will help you craft a better profile and ultimately attract an aligned romantic partner in a more efficient manner.
Above all else, your profile must be honest.
There’s this ass-backwards belief that you have to put your best foot forwards in an online dating profile, to the degree that you litter your online dating profile with little white lies.
No. Just no. Do not engage in this strategy. It is a no-win game.
Saying you’re taller than you are gets you nowhere. Saying you love your life more than you do gets you nowhere. Pretending that you surf, hike, and love cats (when those things aren’t true) gets you nowhere.
It’s better to lean towards brutal, radical honesty than to have your real-life date find out, right off the bat, that you’ve spun a web of lies to try and attract them into your life.
This point is especially true for the things that you think are your flaws/weaknesses.
Often we think that things about us are flaws because one or more of our past partners shamed us around our greatest strengths and gifts. It might have happened so consistently that we started to believe that it was, indeed, a flaw in us. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. So feature your quote unquote ‘flaws’ and there will be a sub-set of the population who is desperately seeking someone with your exact character trait(s).
(Examples: you might see yourself as too restless, someone else sees you as lively and energetic. You might see yourself as too emotional, and someone else would see you as beautifully empathic and appropriately sensitive to life. You might see yourself as too logical and analytical, whereas the person who is searching for you would label you as grounded, conscientious, and brilliant. It’s all about perspective.)
2. Know what you’re looking for, and be consistent with your desires
Before you set up your profile, make sure you know why you’re setting it up. What exactly are you looking to get out of online dating?
Are you looking for hook ups? Are you looking for new friends? Are you looking for a short-term boyfriend/girlfriend? Are you looking for someone to date for a while because you’re in a new city? Are you looking for your husband/wife/spouse? There is no right answer, there is only your answer.
You have to figure out what it is that you’re looking for in advance of setting up your profile because the consistency and alignment of all of your micro-decisions will affect how responsive your ideal candidates are to your profile.
If you say in the first paragraph that you’re looking for someone to marry (which is totally fine, and even advisable) and then you subconsciously drop three to four hints throughout your profile of how commitment terrifies you and you don’t really like the gender of the person you’re trying to attract, then you’ll likely scare off any potential matches that would have been willing to message you.
Figure out what you want from online dating, be consistent and aligned in your desires, and don’t be afraid to name your ideal outcome explicitly in your profile.
Your ideal set of photos has to be uniquely calibrated to who you are at your core.
What are your core values? What are the biggest things in your life that really speak to your heart the most? What gives you goosebumps? What makes you tear up with joy? What situations do you find yourself in that make you feel the most alive?
Those are the questions you want to ask yourself, sit until you have the solutions, and then let your photos represent those parts of yourself on your profile.
Again, don’t over inflate or lie about what you’re showing the online dating world. If you’ve only ever gone surfing once, it probably isn’t best to have one of your photos be you on a surfboard (unless what you’re trying to communicate is that you love trying anything once and you are the happiest when you’re making a fool of yourself… because then that photo would be an aligned choice for you).
If you use group shots, make sure you say (in text) which one you are. People move quickly in online dating and they don’t want to waste their precious time identifying you out of a lineup.
A good rule of thumb is to have 1-3 photos of just you, being your awesome, happy self, 1-3 photos of you doing things that you love, and 1-2 photos of you with friends/family/other people to show that you aren’t a total loner (blur out the other people’s faces if you can, as it’s a considerate thing to do unless you’ve asked for those people’s consent to be in your profile).