You may think you’re a pro when it comes to online dating and your dating apps, but I think there’s always more to be learned. For instance, there’s a lot of factors, right? Think about it — aside from choosing profile pictures that best represent you, there’s what to say in your online dating profile. While pictures are important — and maybe some people (okay, a lot) seem to swipe right based on pictures alone — words are, too. Some think “a picture’s worth a thousand words,” but they do not always tell the whole story.
“It can be so easy to just look at pictures on your dating app and swipe right,” Antonia Hall, psychologist, relationship expert, and author of The Ultimate Guide to a Multi-Orgasmic Life, tells Bustle. “You’re in a flow, and they’re so attractive. What could possibly go wrong? But you’ll actually save yourself time, frustration, and potentially disastrous messaging/dating later if you’ve taken the time to read their profile from the get-go. Otherwise, you risk missing critical information like, ‘In an open relationship. Wanna join us for some fun?’ or ‘Just out of prison. Let’s do this!’ There are a lot of very attractive, but undateable, people out there.”
Yes, there are people who don’t write anything in the “bio” section. But several dating experts I spoke to recommend filling in the blanks. I used to write people’s dating profiles, and I’m telling you — having one makes a huge difference, i.e., more well-suited matches. Below, you’ll find what you should write in your online dating profile, according to the pros.
1. List Your End-Goal For “Why” You’re Dating
“The partner who knows what they want is the partner who’ll get what they want. Far too often, we enter dating without stating our true desires. We wrongly assume that will reap greater results. Yes, it will open your profile to more interest — but not to the type of person you want to date. Without your end-goal clearly stated, your prospective partners will have a greater opportunity to push their agenda. Don’t be afraid to say what you want upfront. Our ‘why’s — i.e., ‘I want to date and have fun,’ ‘I’m looking for a committed relationship,’ or ‘Looking to marry and start a family’ — need to be in sync with those we date. It saves time, energy, and a battle of wills.” — Susan Winter, relationship expert and bestselling author of Allowing Magnificence
2. Include Info That Will Start Conversations
“A lot of individuals need to have fodder to make conversation. It’s very difficult for people sometimes to put themselves forward and try to make that first move. Tinder’s double opt-in makes the process of understanding whether another person is interested in you incredibly transparent and efficient. Making the first move and initiating a conversation still may not be easy for some people because they may not be naturally confident engaging in conversations with new people. For some, thin information may feed the lack of confidence because they don’t know how or where to begin a conversation. By providing a bio, you are including information that matches can easily draw upon to get a conversation going.” — Tinder Sociologist Dr. Jess Carbino
3. Show, Don’t Tell
“Paint snapshots of your life rather than listing adjectives and your likes. Who are you and what is the essence of your life and hobbies that you want to convey? Plenty of people claim to be an adventurous lover of life who loves to travel. Give them a visual of how this is true: ‘Packed a bag and met my friend in Japan with 24 hours’ notice!’” — Antonia Hall, psychologist, relationship expert, and author of The Ultimate Guide to a Multi-Orgasmic Life
4. Include Your “Must Have”s
“Don’t be afraid of openly stating who and what you are. It will all be revealed in time, anyway. Might as well start from the best position possible. Give your prospective dates a true idea of how you live your life. Include information about the kind of hobbies, interests, and values that define your personality. Being your partner means being in agreement with your day-to-day lifestyle. Stating important truths up front will aid your ability to match with the type of ‘resonant others’ you’d like to date.
If you’re a dedicated athlete, that means you live a healthy lifestyle. You won’t want to waste time with someone who loves clubbing till 4 a.m. when you’re getting up to run each morning at 5 a.m. If you’re newly sober, include the fact that living a clean lifestyle is important to you, and that you neither drink nor take drugs. If you follow a specific religion or spiritual path that defines your daily lifestyle, that’s also important information to share. This can also include your sexual preferences for expression. If you know your sexual lifestyle dictates a specific type of partner, don’t be subtle. State your needs clearly to avoid future conflict.” — Susan Winter, relationship expert and bestselling author of Allowing Magnificence
5. Be Upfront About Your Relationship Status & What You Want
“If you’re interested in hookups, don’t contact people who don’t have that included in their profiles. The likelihood of you not getting a response is about 95 percent.” — Clarissa Silva, behavioral scientist and author of the relationship blog, You’re Just A Dumbass
“Your online dating profile is a great opportunity to do some of the work that dating in person would normally do if you didn’t meet online. In other words, you can use your online profile to filter for what you do and don’t want. For instance, if you’re looking for someone who’s not separated, but truly divorced, say so. Lots of people think they’re single because they’re living alone, but the reality is they’re separated and have been for years with no divorce paperwork in the process. Ask now! Save yourself some time, energy and money.” — April Masini, aka “Ask April,” New York–based relationship expert and author
“My friend began a serious relationship with a man who stated he wanted a ‘calm’ woman. She tried in earnest to amend herself for him, but what he really wanted was a seriously committed submissive. She broke off the engagement and he was stuck with having bought a home for them.” — Susan Winter, relationship expert and bestselling author of Allowing Magnificence
6. Be Honest
"Whatever your current life circumstances are, just be honest about it. Ultimately, the person you want to be with will be supportive.” — Clarissa Silva, behavioral scientist and author of the relationship blog, You’re Just A Dumbass
“Eventually you’re going to meet and date this person, so don’t lie about yourself, your hobbies, or skills. No one wants to plan a date for a ‘surf lover,’ only to discover that person can’t swim.” — Antonia Hall, psychologist, relationship expert, and author of The Ultimate Guide to a Multi-Orgasmic Life
7. Be Positive
“Keep your wording positive, confident, and succinct. At best, you get about 10 seconds to wow your perspective sweetheart. If you fill that space with negative language, what you’re not looking for in a partner, arrogance, or long, run-on sentences, you’ll be dateless.” — Antonia Hall, psychologist, relationship expert, and author of The Ultimate Guide to a Multi-Orgasmic Life
8. Show Your Sense Of Humor
“I encourage a sense of humor, something that makes your reader smile and think, not just wonder if there is attraction or not. Remember, a good match doesn’t make us feel great — we feel great because we feel great around them. If I’m smiling to myself because of what they say or write, imagine how great I’ll feel in their presence!” — Jeffrey Sumber, MA, MTS, LCPC, psychotherapist and bestselling author of Renew Your Wows!
9. Avoid Clichés
“Clichés are overused in life, but even more so in dating profiles. What makes you different and interesting? Play that up, keeping it fresh and unique to stand out from the easy-going, glass-half-full crowd looking for their ‘partner-in-crime.’” — Antonia Hall, psychologist, relationship expert, and author of The Ultimate Guide to a Multi-Orgasmic Life
After all, the more you know about someone, the more you’ll have to go on when trying to see if the person would be a good fit for you.
Images: Fotolia, Giphy