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Tips for Creating an Online Dating Profile

I have a master's degree in psychology and enjoy offering advice to others about dating.

This article will provide tips to help you craft your online dating profile.

This article will provide tips to help you craft your online dating profile.

The way people meet and interact has changed with the rise of the internet and technology. Instead of approaching someone in hopes of getting to know them more, a person simply has to post an online dating profile on one of the many sites that are available.

You may have a million questions running through your head in regards to what to write, how much information you should provide, and whether this whole internet dating thing is truly going to work for you. Lucky for you, I’ve done the hard work and have provided you with a list of dos and don’ts for creating an online dating profile.

By the time you are done reading this, I hope that you feel more comfortable and confident with the process!

  • Match.com
  • eHarmony
  • Plenty of Fish (POF)
  • OKCupid
  • Zoosk
  • Christian Mingle

Your Basic Information

When you first sign up on an online dating site, you are going to be asked to answer a series of prompts. The first prompt usually asks you to choose a username that you would like to be identified by.

Dos of Choosing a Username

  • Keep it clean: Your online dating profile is not the place to post some grotesque word!
  • Keep it simple: This makes it easier for users to remember
  • Make it somewhat personal: Choose a word or phrase that reflects something about you. Some people also use their initials or their first name and an adjective

Don’ts

  • Don’t be obscene: You are going to look like a shallow person who doesn’t want anything more than a physical relationship
  • Don’t use your full name: I have seen people do this before, but it’s best not to put all of your personal information out there right away. Get to know a person first!

Now that you have your username chosen, let’s look at some of the other basic information sections you will be asked to complete:

  • Relationship status: I recommend being completely honest here
  • Age: Be truthful. A lot of people will use age ranges in their search for potential matches. Besides, you wouldn’t want to find out later that the person you were talking to was actually ten years older, would you?
  • Location: This is also very important information to include in your online dating profile because it will affect who shows up in your results, as well as whose results you show up in.

The 'About Me' Section

The ‘about me’ section of your profile is absolutely crucial when it comes to finding a potential match through an online dating site. The reason I say this is because this is where people go to find out how the person communicates, what they enjoy, and what they are looking for. Take the time to write up at least a good paragraph or two about yourself, your hobbies, goals you have, and what type of person who are looking to date. Here are some ideas for what you could include in this section:

  • Short description of current profession
  • Career goals and/or personal goals
  • Musical interests
  • Favorite foods
  • Hobbies you enjoy
  • Books you have read
  • Exercise habits
  • Pets you have now or would like to have

Once you start writing, you will find that you have plenty of things you can talk about in your online dating profile. Just make sure youavoid doing any of the following:

  • Don’t make partying your primary focus or hobby
  • Don’t use obscene language
  • Don’t talk negatively but also avoid sounding conceited
  • Don’t mention that you are only looking for people who fit a certain look. The whole purpose of internet dating is to find people you may not have met out and about or who you would be too afraid to approach in-person. Don’t let your own shallowness get in the way of being open-minded… you could miss out on someone great if you do!

Here is an example of a good ‘about me’ section:

“My name is _____ and I have lived in the area for about five years now. This is the second state I’ve lived in and I have to say that I’m really enjoying it here! Some of my favorite activities include hiking, going to the beach, watching sports, working out, and eating pizza (I know it’s not the healthiest food in the world, but it’s just too delicious to give up). I work a typical Monday-Friday, 8-5 job and like to spend my weekends hanging out with friends and family, although I highly value my relaxation time as well.

I’m looking for someone who knows how to balance work with play. It would be great if they enjoyed working out so that we could do that together. Also, goals are important to me, so having someone who has a plan for life and knows what they want is a huge plus. Brownie points if you like pizza and wouldn’t mind eating it once a week! I want someone who is adventurous but is also content with just sitting on the couch and watching a movie some nights.

If I sparked your interest in any way, I would love to hear from you!"

Profile Picture and Supplemental Photos: Choose Wisely!

I could spend an entire article talking about online dating profile pictures and photos, but here are some suggestions:

  • Make sure your face is clearly shown in your profile picture.
  • Don’t use photos that are years old, especially if you look significantly different—if you do choose to use an older photo, make sure you put in the caption how long ago it was taken.
  • It’s okay to have pictures with your friends, but be cautious when posting photos of you with someone of the opposite sex. If that other person is family or a good friend, say so.
  • Don’t go on selfie overload—showing your face from ten different angles is a complete waste of picture space!
  • Do include a full body picture.
This photo would not be a good option because it doesn't show the person's face. Also, the lighting is very dark.

This photo would not be a good option because it doesn't show the person's face. Also, the lighting is very dark.

Other Random Information

Depending on what online dating site you use, your profile will contain different sections that ask you for your height, body type, favorite restaurants, alma mater, and so on. It’s up to you how much information you want to include, but keep in mind that more information is typically better than no information. Some users like to use the search option that is available to find someone who has similar interests. If you leave your supplemental information blank, then you won’t have a chance to show up in these results.

Here is an example:

"Joe is looking for a female who is between 4’10” and 5’10”. He also would like to find a woman who graduated college and enjoys eating Italian food. Joe filters the search with this criteria and is provided with a list of women who meet these guidelines. Joe notices a girl named Kelly and clicks on her profile. After reading through her information, he finds that not only does she like Italian food and graduated from a four-year college, but she also enjoys being outdoors and going to car shows – both things that Joe really likes to do! He decides to send her a message to see if she is interested in getting to know him more."

In this example, Joe was able to find Kelly because she included enough information about herself to be included in the search results. If you met all of the criteria but didn’t post any of it for viewing, then you just potentially missed out on a great guy!

Reflect Who You Are

Your online dating profile should accurately reflect who you are. If you include falsified information, then odds are that internet dating isn’t going to work for you. By being honest, you are more likely to find those people that you could truly match well with.

You may be anxious to just post a little information at first so that you can login into the site and see all of the members. Although this may be tempting, I highly recommend that you take the time to create a good online dating profile first so that you have a clear head and aren’t writing your responses in hopes of attracting someone who you just viewed.

Now that you’ve finished your profile, it’s time to start messaging people who have attracted your attention! If you would like assistance with messaging someone, I recommend reading Online Dating: First Message Tips.