How to Write A Good Online Dating Profile: 10 Dos and Don’ts

October 23, 2018

how to write a good online dating profile
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One of the worst things about online dating is that you can’t scrape by using your in-person wit and charm. You must know how to write a good online dating profile.

But, this means you actually have to be good at writing and getting emotions across via the written word. GASP! Most of us hated english class and writing online profiles can be so boring.

So you jot down the first things that come to mind: “I like hiking, long walks on the beach” and call it a day. Then you wonder why no one (or no one you like) is reaching out to you! Well here is a list of dos and don’ts for how to write a good online dating profile.

how to write a good online dating profile: 10 things to do

#1 – Make one

It sounds silly but many people just skip the profile part all together! Especially on dating apps like Tinder or Bumble. If you leave your profile blank, you increase the chances of attracting the wrong guy. The kind of guy that isn’t putting in the effort to learn about your personality.

Making a profile shows that you’re serious about finding someone. It shows that you are confident in yourself and have taken an interest. Those are very attractive qualities that are coming across just by filling out your profile.

#2 – What’s in it for them?

When someone is reading your profile, you want them to see the answer to the question “what’s in it for me?” In other words, you want to show how your personality traits and interests will make you a good partner.

Let’s say you are a Type A planner kind of person. You can say “I am a very type A and organized person so I can take care of booking everything if we go on vacation”. Or “I am very blunt and honest so you don’t have to worry about me keeping secrets.”

Focus on spinning your traits so that he can see how those traits will make you a good girlfriend to have around.

#3 – Show don’t tell

You will easily fall into the trap of looking generic if you simply “tell” your interests and personality traits. Anybody can say they like hiking, but not every one can say they hiked to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro. If that’s something you’ve done, you definitely want that in there rather than just saying you love hiking.

You want to show the person your personality by giving examples.

So instead of saying “I really enjoy live music.” You can say “One time I slept on the city streets overnight to get a great spot in line to see my favourite band.”

Giving examples is what will separate you from the crowd.

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#4 – Use humour

Humour is something that can really shine through on the page and make your profile stand out. Everyone is funny in their own way and even really cheesy and over the top jokes work well with online profiles.

I personally think humour works well because people browsing online dating profiles aren’t necessarily having a lot of fun. Going through all the profiles and matches on your own can be exhausting and really feel like a chore.

When your profile is funny, it gives the reader a little break from the monotony of browsing and they will be more likely to be interested in you. It will also attract men who are more lighthearted and don’t take things too seriously.

Psst… Are you tired of going through online dating profiles on your own? Have you been in the dating game for a really long time? You might be interested in my dating coaching. Click here to learn more.

#5 – Mention a few things you’d want them to be/have

A small portion (even just one sentence) of your profile should be dedicated to the kind of person you want to meet. Make sure to keep this short so that you don’t come across as super picky and like you’re up on your high horse. Just keep this list down to the essentials so that you can weed out some of the guys you absolutely would not want to date.

I find this little sentence works best toward the end of the profile. So something like: “so if you enjoy living a healthy lifestyle and are willing to be my travel buddy, shoot me a message!”

See how I pointed out two very key things but I didn’t give a laundry list of things they must like or be into? It works a lot better to be short and sweet on that part because you can easily come across as someone who is uptight.

#6 – Use pop culture or references to you advantage

A little inside joke or reference will work wonders on a reader if they understand that reference. It is a great way to build a little bond even before you’ve started messaging. It also works well as a conversation starter.

For example, you could say “I’m a film buff and am super into indie or obscure movies. YOU’RE TEARING ME APART LISA!”

That quote is from a very popular cult film and most film nerds or people into indie or obscure culture will understand it. Anybody who doesn’t understand would simply move onto the next paragraph but someone who does is going to feel a special connection or bond to one of your interests and they will be very likely to message you.

It’s also a great way to attract someone that is into the same things you are.

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#7 – Be confident

Working as a matchmaker has made me realize that a lot of people do not like talking about themselves! This makes sense as most of us are fully aware of our own personal flaws and insecurities and so we forget about our good traits. People who are in the dating scene are constantly being judged by others and it can get exhausting.

It is for this reason that you have to remind yourself that you ARE a catch. There is someone out there for you that is going to love you unconditionally.

In your dating profile, do not be afraid to put your best foot forward. Saying things like “I started as a temp and in three years become the General Manager” shows that you are committed and hard working. It’s not bragging.

The only thing that would come across as arrogant or bragging is if you talk about money or if you compare yourself to others.

So don’t ever talk about how much money you make or have made and don’t say things like “most people my age are still working at Starbucks but I’m the General Manager of my company”. Just keep it to your personal accomplishments or things you are most proud of.

#8 – Tell stories

The best way to stand out from the crowd is to tell stories. Stories are what make you unique. Think about it this way, no two lives are the same yet all of our dating profiles always look like they’re describing the same person. How can that be?!

The answer is because no one is adding their personal touch to their profiles. Tell the story of how you dislocated your shoulder while snowboarding for the first time. Tell the story of how you flashed everyone at a party once because someone opened the bathroom door on you. Mention the time you climbed up to the top of a mountain to watch a meteor shower.

You’re the only one that can tell those stories.

#9 – Include a conversation starter

At the end of you profile you should include a conversation starter. This will help encourage people to message you and get things rolling.

You can give them a question to ask you, like “ask me about the time I got lost in a forest in Hawaii” or “ask me about my star wars collection”.

Or you can them a questions, something like “Enough of me rambling, now it’s your turn: pineapple on pizza yay or nay?”

Keep things lighthearted and simple so that they don’t feel like they’re being put on the spot. You also don’t want things to get super deep and personal right away.

#10 – Keep it short and sweet

On dating apps like Tinder and Bumble you only have 500 characters for your profile. In this case you should use up all 500 characters because it’s not a lot of space to get across your personality.

On dating sites you have a lot more room to play with and it’s important to keep things short and sweet. Keep paragraphs and sentences short so that things are easy to read and follow.

You don’t want someone to be intimidated by a giant wall of text! Just get what you need to say across without rambling on too long.

how to write a good online dating profile: 10 things NOT TO DO:

#1 – Make generic statements

EVERYONE likes to “have fun” “listen to music” “watch a good movie” “go on a nice dinner”.

These statements are the death of online dating profiles. If you’re looking for someone to “have fun with” then you’re not going to find them anytime soon.

As I mentioned above, you need to show them your personality and your interest rather than telling them. You do this by telling stories and giving examples that come from your life. This is what makes you unique.

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#2 – Talk about weaknesses or insecurities

We all have weaknesses and insecurities, but they don’t need to be revealed on our profile. You don’t need to say that you have never found love or that you’re a “late bloomer” when it comes to your career.

A dating profile is very much like a resume for a job. You would NEVER list you insecurities or weaknesses there so don’t do it on your profile either.

I’m not saying you have to be perfect in your real life, I’m just saying if it were up to your dating profile, you’d be canonized as a saint.

#3 – Give them a giant checklist of qualities they must have

I mentioned above that you should include a sentence or two at the end of your profile with things you’d like them to have. A short sentence like “So if you’re down to be my travel buddy, shoot me a message”.

A sentence like that is great because it points out something very important that you’d like your partner to have. The problem is when you include a laundry list of things you’d like them to have or be.

“So if you live an active lifestyle, are happy with your career and want to have kids in the next 5 years, shoot me a message”, just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

Just pick one or two really important things and don’t include anything else about the other person. Finding out about them is what the date is for!

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#4 – LIE OR EXAGGERATE

Don’t lie about your age or say things about yourself that aren’t true. It’s important to remember that online dating profiles are public information. You have no clue who might be searching on those sites and could come across your profile.

Your boss, family members or friends might all see that you’re trying to be five years younger and are listed as “slender” when you should be “a few extra pounds.”

A good relationship is built on honesty and trust and if you’re heading out the gate with a lie, you’re setting yourself up for failure and heartbreak down the road.

#5 – Mention dating or give excuses

Don’t mention dating or online dating at all. “I’ve been single for a while so I thought I’d give this a shot”. Or “Online dating isn’t my thing but I thought I’d try it.”

If you’re online dating, it’s your thing. If someone comes across your profile on an online dating site, online dating is their thing too.

You’re all on the same page, no need to make excuses or make up reasons why you’re on the site. There’s no shame in wanting to find a romantic partner, humans have evolved for many years with that need engrained into their DNA.

Also if you’re single, you’re single no need to mention how long it’s been or how many other things you’ve tried.

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#6 – Say what you’re not looking for

You don’t want to sound negative on your profile, ever. Giving out a list of things you’re not looking for makes you sound negative and judgemental.

“Don’t message me if you don’t make at least $100K a year or if you don’t live an active lifestyle”.

A message like that is turning away the wrong guys, but it’s also scaring away the right guys!

Yes, a sentence like that is going to stop the guys who don’t make enough money and don’t work out but it’s also going to stop many of the guys who do fit those criteria. It makes you look like you’re above everyone else and like you judge people who aren’t up to your standards. This may be true behind closed doors but you don’t want your profile to scream “uptight and judgemental.”

You want it to scream: “easy going, friendly and fun!” all of which are untrue if you have a negative sentence that excludes 90% of the population.

#7 – Complain

While we’re on the negativity train, I thought it would be good to mention that you should never complain on your profile.

Above, I mentioned that checking out profile after profile while online dating is exhausting and a huge chore. That list thing someone wants to read on the hundredth profile they’ve looked at is someone complaining. Online dating is already not that fun, why would you want to make it worse by being a negative Nancy?

This includes absolutely any kind of complaint. Even small ones that you don’t think are “that bad” should just be left out.

“Work has been so exhausting lately so it would be nice to find someone to relax with” – That is a complaint about work. You are looking for someone to help you solve your problem. That is NOT FUN for the guy.

“Watching re-runs of the office isn’t as fun as it used to be so I’m looking for someone to switch up my routine”.  – That is a complaint about how you are bored.

Humour is a much better way to frame you profile. You want to try to make this fun and easy on the person checking out your profile.

#8 – Reveal deep and personal information

You don’t want to get too deep or emotional in your profile. These things are much better revealed in person, to someone you’ve been on at least a few dates with.

So stories about eating disorders, mental illness or insecurities should be left out of a dating profile.

If you feel the need to talk about those things in your profile, this might be a great chance to re-frame your mindset and think about what truly makes you amazing. Your insecurities and flaws are just one side of you. There’s a whole other side of you that brings joy, satisfaction or some kind of skill to the world and others. Now is a great time to focus on those things.

If you find yourself struggling with this, I recommend reading up on some of my self care articles. Self care and self esteem is the first stepping stone to a successful dating experience.

You also don’t want to reveal personal information for safety reasons. Things like your address, phone number or email address should not be included in your dating profile. Just in case!!

#9 – Mention your ex

I’m going to keep this one short to make a point. The word “ex” does not belong in your dating profile.

No, not even then.

Just never.

#10 – Skip the pictures

I wanted to save dating profile pictures for another article but I wanted to mention here that you should never try online dating without including pictures of yourself.

First of all, you’re absolutely destroying your chances of getting quality responses. Most people who are serious about online dating and finding someone are not going to waste their time with a profile that doesn’t have photos.

Second, it’s an algorithm/search thing. Most dating sites won’t even allow you to create an account without photos and if you don’t have good quality photos that show your whole face, they are going to hide your profile so that it gets seen by very few people.

I hope you guys enjoyed my giant list of dos and don’ts for how to rite a good online dating profile. If you are struggling on the dating scene, be sure to check out my FREE dating mistakes eCourse or inquire about my dating coaching here.

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2 Comments
    1. Great article, Lana, as always 🙂 Definitely all of these are important, and I especially liked the idea with the conversation starter. At least a profile with one of those would save the pain the other experiences when they have to contact you. A profile with a conversation starter would do the half job for them 🙂

      1. Yes, conversation starters are a great way to seem approachable and friendly which can be a huge challenge in online dating. Thanks for your comment Rachel!

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