Creating a Perfect Online Dating Profile

How many times have you seen a person’s online profile and thought…

Creepy! or Boring! or Needy! or OMG! This one is so skeevy I need to take a shower right now!

But have you ever looked at your own online profile and wondered if someone was saying those things — or worse — about you?

We checked with friends who have worked at Match.com, eHarmony, Gay.com and MyLife.com and compiled a list of helpful hints for creating a perfect online dating profile.

1. Your Profile Picture

Show your real face.

People want to see it, and if it’s not there they assume you have something to hide. Like a boyfriend or girlfriend you’re cheating on and worried his/her best friend may be on this same site, see your face, and break it up.

No, we don’t think YOU would ever do such a thing. But if you leave your face off your online dating profile it’s suspicious, people won’t trust you, and it will most likely stop someone from contacting you.

Don’t crop yourself from a larger pic.

You know, that family photo where you look cute but Aunt Sandy has crossed-eyes so you just crop her out? Well, having a profile photo with someone else clearly cut out looks like you broke up with someone and tore that person out of the picture. So don’t use it. Take a new one. Chances are good that if you took one amazing photo in the past you’ll be able to do it again.

Don’t use crazy snapshots or pictures of pets.

The person wants to date you, not your pet cat. And while Skittles the Cat may be part of the package if you end up marrying this person, that’s a ways down the line. At this stage you just want a date, so don’t put that cuddly critter as your profile.

And you know those “wacky” photos that you think make you look fun? They don’t. If a person doesn’t know you, chances are you look ridiculous. So save them for something you and your date can laugh at over drinks later.

2. Photo Tips

Have more than one picture.

Potential girlfriends or boyfriends want to know that the profile photo isn’t a well-Photoshopped work of art. It also lets them know a little about your life. So put in at least three from three different events that show off your personality. It never hurts to have one where you’re dressed up, one that’s causal, and one that shows a little skin. (When “showing skin,” see notes below.)

Use a real photo of you.

If you’re serious about dating, don’t start the relationship with a lie. No matter how much you think that person looks like you, he or she is NOT you. Don’t do it.

Use a picture from today.

You may think you look like yourself from 10 years ago but no one else does. It’s pathetic and will ruin your chances at a second outing.

Photos can be copied and e-mailed.

Make sure you only post pictures that you’re comfortable with coworkers, siblings and parents possibly seeing.

Don’t give it all away.

Mystery creates excitement, and offering too much can often send the wrong message. Guys end up looking douchy and arrogant, women can look slutty.

Shooting a sexy picture in a mirror?

Make sure there’s nothing embarrassing in the reflection or people will post it on their Facebook and Tumblr pages and mock you. Trust us, we’ve done it.

3. Profile Info

Use your real stats.

This can be the biggest red flag of them all. If you don’t start your relationship from an honest place, it will not move in the right direction. Lying about your age, weight, and height just makes you look insecure.

Be up front.

Let the other person know who you are and what you want, and it will save everyone time. That said, don’t be mean or judgmental about it.

DO SAY: I enjoy the outdoors, dancing, fun nights with my friends and honesty.

DON’T SAY: I hate all the games people play. Why can’t people just be honest?

Don’t sell yourself short.

Talk about your interests and inner qualities to let people know you’re a catch.

Don’t get too cocky.

Confidence is cool but if you’re filling your profile with too much of your ego it will turn people off.

4. Things to Avoid

Random discrimination.

“I won’t date anyone in the (818).” Seriously? That’s just dumb. There could be hot people in the (818) who are willing to move the second they meet you.

Spelling Mistakes.

It may not seem important to you, but people who don’t check their writing look either stupid or lazy. All it takes is a simple check in Microsoft Word or Dictionary.com and you’ll be good to go.

Criticizing online dating like you’re above it.

You’ve read them before on profiles.

  • “Can’t believe I’m really doing this, but…”
    That tone implies you think something is wrong with online dating.
  • “Don’t be a flake like all those other girls online!”
    If there were that many girls, it implies the problem is really with you.
  • “READ MY PROFILE FIRST BEFORE EMAILING ME!”
    Seriously? You just used all caps? Stop screaming! People will think you have anger management issues (which you may) and they won’t contact you as a result.

Here’s the thing: You are dating online. There’s nothing wrong with it, but criticizing it just shows everyone you’re messed up.

Using internet slang.

Hey, boi! Use real wrds in ur PF, k? Not dis txt stuff. Chicks won’t get U. Werq! 😛

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