We were asked on a recent TV show what it is that can make or break your online dating experience. Without hesitation, we went straight for that part of dating that makes your blood run cold. No, not that first date, but the dating profile. Although you may not know it yet, the free dating profile you set up at FreeAndSingle is the best thing you have in your armoury to ensure success when starting to date online. If it’s not up to scratch, then all those potential dates will simply pass you over.
We frequently get emails from members saying they’re not getting much success from all their efforts. They’re getting in touch with members on the site, but nobody seems to be getting back to them (more on getting that first email right later on). Then we take a look at their profile, and it’s usually the place where more work needs to be done, and some simple pitfalls avoided.
The good news is that putting your profile together is not difficult. In another article we’ll give you some tips on what to put into your profile, but here we’ll give you some of the Golden Rules we’ve picked up as a result of reviewing literally thousands of new profiles every week.
Get the Photo right
Try and find a photo that you think reflects who you are. And if you can’t find one, have a friend take one for you. Remember, the photo should be about who you are, not how glamorous you can make yourself look. Here’s an idea – show the photo you’re looking to use to your best friend. Best friends are great at being brutally honest, and will give you valuable feedback on how your photo will be received.
Here are some types of pictures to be avoided:
- standing proudly by your supercar (or the one you drove for a day)
- uploading poorly-taken photos of you from your mobile phone
- photos of you with your children (you love them, of course, but people want to get to know you first. Your children will come later if things go well)
- photos of you when you were clearly much younger
- photos that don’t leave much to the imagination (if you know what we mean)
- mugshots, where all that’s missing is a prisoner number hanging round your neck. Be happy and let it show in your profile picture!
There’s been heaps written about people exaggerating, or telling downright porkies in their dating profiles. And that’s because it’s true! Women are more likely to lie about their age, men about their height. The fact is, this exaggeration makes no sense at all, as you’re going to be found out when you meet for real.
Be honest about yourself. OK, by being honest I don’t mean you have to go too far (whether you snore or dribble, why you’ve got smelly feet)…you just have to be truthful about who you are, what your values are and what you’re looking for.
If you’ve got kids, be PROUD of that and say so. Don’t say Children: None, only for someone to find out later.
Writing a truthful profile is what it’s all about.
Everybody likes to moan now and again. And that’s fine. But it’s not great if your profile is downbeat. People are dating online for a fun and uplifting experience. They’re not likely to get in touch with someone who’s headline is “Why do I never get a date?”, now are they?
Stay positive. You’re not a negative person, so don’t do yourself down by making people think you are in your profile. Try writing your profile with a smile on your face, and imagine the person reading it smiling back.
Don’t talk about other relationships
Ooh, a big no-no. However you’re feeling about a previous relationship, it’s best not to mention it in your profile….or on your first date, come to that. In fact, they’re best avoided until you’re totally sure it’s a safe topic of conversation.
Check your spelling & grammar
We don’t mean to get all school ma’amish, but one of the biggest issues people have with a profile is if it’s littered with spelling mistakes, poorly constructed sentences, and slang (yep, slang!) The logic goes that if you’re not diligent enough to check your spelling and re-read your work to make sure it all makes sense, then you can’t be that bothered about online dating either.
When writing out your profile, we’d recommend:
- reading it out loud to yourself to see how it sounds
- thinking to yourself (as honestly as you can) “If I was reading this for the first time, would I like to meet this guy/girl?”
- using a spell checker if you’re not too sure about any spellings (in fact, use one anyway).
Reading back through these, they do all seem like common sense. Which, in fact, they are. Take some time over your profile, and you’ll be rewarded many times over.