Creating an Effective Online Dating Profile

poor-judgementDoes the thought of creating an online dating profile feel like an overwhelming, daunting task? That the thought of promoting yourself feels too boastful and like you’re tooting your own horn way too loudly for comfort? And sharing personal information at least (anonymously) makes you feel vulnerable and exposed? And how does one effectively maintain privacy while posting pictures anyway?  You can have a positive growth experience with a rich dating life– here are some pointers to achieve that goal.

1) Begin with Great Visuals That Tell the Story of You

Create an artful gallery of different poses and activities to show your best you and your personality.  My main picture featured me wearing leopard gloves–tongue-in-cheek for sure but a memorable “prop” picture that doesn’t hurt as long as it doesn’t detract from you.  I got lots of positive comments on this picture.  Ditch the bathroom mirror shots or the lovers’ quarrels blacked out faces/torn apart photos.  Have a friend take fun shots of you.  Here’s when you can create a mastermind group that will be a panel of sorts to look through your pictures and descriptions to make sure they are on target with who you are and what you wish to project your profile .

2Highlight Your Points of Difference

What is the best part of you? What are your gifts and talents?  If this sounds like a marketing campaign, guess what, it is.  No one cares if you’re new to online dating–that’s just not interesting nor compelling so you could leave that out.  Write about your paddle surfing prowess or your Etsy craft shop where you sell custom pet clothes. Everyone likes moonlit walks and it’s great that you go out dancing but it’s not real memorable.  If you happen to be plain-vanilla in every way, no need to be apologetic nor self-effacing.  And you can skip saying “drama free” since no one likes temper tantrums anyway.

3Write from the Heart

After your pictures, a good and memorable handle or screen name is tantamount.  I read a profile and this was a guy whose screen name was “trust is a must”. I think that speaks volumes about who he is and what he’s looking for.  What is it you are hungry and yearn for? Believe your life purpose is?  To correct social injustice? Live in the vineyard? Teach senior empowerment courses?  What is it that you’re passionate about and that fires you up?

4Acknowledge That You Have an Audience and That Audience Isn’t Everyone

(And that’s fine although the goal should be to go on lots of dates with different types of people because it’s a numbers game).  It’s not necessary to be everyone’s cup of tea and all things to all people.  You can think of yourself as a boutique or a niche.  Freshen that profile with recent pictures.

5) Maintain a Healthy Sense of Humor 

You may encounter those who rattle your cage (remember those drama free people)?  I had one guy who asked me if I wanted to help clean his house (and also try to get me to paint and tile).  I told him he should try asking someone out to dinner but his idea of that was a pizza parlor. I explained to him that he really had to up his game.  Another one wrote ” just another loser” but obviously was projecting about himself.  Another prospect insisted that I’d be a model for one of his goddess paintings.  Of course that piqued my interest.  Do not hesitate to block anyone who is rude, insulting, creepy or feels like a scammer (they will ask for your email right away without even hardly communicating because they’re not really signed up on the site just collecting emails and phone numbers).

6) Begin with the End in Mind

The goal is to begin the journey where you feel great about yourself in dating market place.  Nothing says desirable and sexy like confidence.  You know who and what you are, so put yourself out there in that brave new online frontier.  Post on three or four different websites concurrently and you can do a mix of free and pay to play.  “Vet” your potential dates via instant checkmate and other security websites.  This will reveal a criminal history but won’t enlighten you to their mental state of health, so be aware of that.  Set up a separate email account for this endeavor.  Get a noncontract phone from Walmart.  No need to have your real number out there –you can always share after.  Conversely, when a potential gives you their number, Google it immediately.  One guy i had very little back-and-forth with immediately invited me to dinner.  When I googled his number, there were several results that came up that he was known scammer who makes dates then is a no show and is also notorious for 3 AM phone calls.  Needless to say,  I deep-sixed and blocked him.

Keep a journal of your dating life.  Be open to the possibility of friendship with these dates even if it doesn’t click romantically.  You never know where it might lead professionally,  personally or even if they could lead to the person of your dreams.  And remain open to meeting people both online and off-line.  I know someone who I encouraged to go back online even after she said “who wants a short, middle-aged black woman”?  She is now living with a guy that she met on one of the free sites–proving there is someone for everyone.  I was just out with another friend last weekend and spotted someone I thought would be good for her.  They’re getting together now.  And I do keep my eyes open for my friends.  I have one couple who got married 12 years ago and one couple who is dating, both offline match ups.  The bottom line is to remain open to all opportunities and possibilities.  There is so many ways to connect with like-minded people now.

photo (21)Dara Tyson is available to help you create a a dating profile that will help you meet many people.  Contact her at [email protected].