For better or for worse, your dating profile is essentially a marketing and branding project, and your platform(s) of choice part of a much larger context. This article is designed to take a look at that context in a global way, and to distill some solid practices to empower online daters to put their best selves forward. Let’s talk about how we got here, though, first.
Our Lives Online
Social media is here to stay, in one form or another, and it’s brought a lot of great benefits (and detriments) to the human experience and connecting with others. Unlike ever before, you can keep up with relatives and friends in faraway places and from different iterations of your life, which can be wonderful.
On the flipside, the messaging we receive and generate on these platforms is often highly curated: a phenomenon known as “image crafting,” creating the illusion of perfect and balanced lives filled to the brim with abundance in health, fitness, love, wealth and joy. This can be dangerous for the observer who takes this content at face value and feels slighted or pale in comparison. Careful with this: everyone’s life and relationships, regardless of their age and socio-economic status, is filled with peaks and valleys.
We’re subconsciously incentivized to attract affirmation; those dopamine hits from your “likes” add up, so most of us tend not to advertise and flaunt the hard stuff. To boot, we live in a–thankfully, however slowly–changing society that celebrates success and goes quiet when things get dark.
In short: your photos of Piña Coladas on a sunset Caribbean beach with a golden retriever simply sell better than your gout flare-up. Remember that when you’re feeling envious of the Jones’ next door.
Our Jobs Online
To be fair, this type of image crafting does have some utility. Highly useful networking sites such as LinkedIn encourage and celebrate positive stories of success, innovative problem-solving, and the development of personal branding in a professional context. Attracting employers and clients is a lot more straight-forward than attracting potential partners on dating apps, though, because you can’t quantize your value, relationship style, personality and quirks on a one-pager. So how should we approach this?
Our Love Lives Online – Less Can Be More
Your profile needs to be about the real you as a whole, and should just be thought of as a conversation starter. Your fitness and professional accolades may have some space here, if they help tell your story, but a little humility and silliness can go a long way too. It’s okay to show off a bit, but the entire landscape of online dating profiles would likely be a lot greener if people considered whether their content makes them look fancy and modelic, therefore appealing, or the opposite: entirely unapproachable. Green flags for most online daters often appear in a form that isn’t too ostentatious, so try not to take yourself too seriously, either in photos or in your dating app profile bio itself. When you’re ready to optimize dating profiles, consider the following practices that we’ve found work well.
5 Ways to Improve Your Dating Profile Recommended by an Expert Matchmaker
1. Represent your physical self well, but accurately.
- Use a clear, well-lit, and RECENT photo that shows your face.
- Avoid selfies or group photos.
- Choose a photo that reflects your personality and interests.
- Get feedback from friends and family on your photos before you choose one.
- Bonus pro tip: if your bestie in your pics either didn’t consent to be put on your profile and/or looks drop-dead gorgeous, you’re better off with images of you on your own. Let your own light shine!
2. Write an engaging and honest bio.
- Your dating app profile bio is the first place to make an impression beyond a photo, so show your personality and sense of humor.
- Start with a strong introduction that will grab people’s attention.
- Share your hobbies, interests, and values.
- Be specific and avoid using clichés.
- Proofread your bio carefully and have someone who knows you well have a look before posting it.
3. Set clear match preferences.
- At Tawkify, we make sure to do this legwork for you, but many other platforms make it pretty easy to indicate your age range, location range, and relationship goals. Having this as specific as you prefer will save you and potential matches a lot of time, and highly increase your odds for dating success.
- Be specific about what you’re looking for in a partner.
- Avoid making negative statements about your ex or other people.
- Pro tip: use positive language generally, especially to describe what you’re looking for. We all know there’s a lot of unideal candidates in the dating pool. You’re not one of them, so you don’t have to remind everyone else that they’re out there.
4. Regularly update and maintain your profile.
- Add new photos and updates to your bio on a regular basis.
- Check your profile for any errors or outdated information.
- Respond to messages promptly.
- Be active on the dating site or app. Responding to messages from last year isn’t a great look.
5. Engage thoughtfully.
- Come up with creative and engaging questions before messaging or texting someone new, send voice memos if available, and try to learn a bit about them before seeing about a date or considering moving on.
- Communicate intention. People may ask what brought you to the app. If this app is dating-focused and your answer is “friends,” you may need another outlet for that type of relationship building. If you’re “going with the flow” or “seeing who’s on here,” you may read as though you’re window shopping and just killing time.
Why is it important to optimize dating profiles?
People are swiping left, right, up and down all day on a sea of faces, and a well-crafted profile can make a huge difference in attracting the right potential matches. When you put the effort in to improve dating profiles, you’re showing potential partners that you’re serious about finding a meaningful connection and not wasting their time, which is in short supply these days. There’s even a whole set of lingo a lot of us rely on to “get to the point” more quickly. Take a look at our list of dating acronyms, and find out if you’re looking more for an SO, or a NSA type of connection!
The Tawkify Way
Let’s say you do struggle to find the time or energy to market yourself effectively on an online dating profile. That’s also okay. In a sea of options with almost limitless parameters, Tawkify matchmaking clients benefit from profiles in a confidential database that is only visible to, as well as curated and optimized by highly experienced professionals who are both ethically and financially incentivized to create reciprocally appealing matches between you and your next person.
Matchmakers can help you create a profile that is tailored to your specific needs, values, physical type, lifestyle and goals to help you find what you’re looking for. By working with a matchmaker, you can increase your chances of finding a compatible partner who is looking for someone just like you.