How to write a successful online dating profile

Write a successful online dating profile

Are you tired of swiping right without getting matches on dating apps? Or are you getting matched but not with the right people? I get you. I’ve been there. And now I want to help you write a successful online dating profile to hook the partner of your dreams.

When you write your online profile, you are basically marketing yourself online to a world of strangers. No wonder it’s confronting!

In the tricky process of trying to portray ourselves as interesting but not too crazy, it is natural to put on a front. We all do it. However, the result is that we lose our authenticity and either come across as the same as everyone else or entirely different to who we really are. As you can imagine, neither of these creates the smoke signals for your perfect potential match to pick up on.

Having been on nearly every dating app and written countless profiles for myself (and several friends!) I know the tricks to write a successful online dating profile.

Further reading: Genuine online dating advice you won't have seen elsewhere.

Pick the perfect profile pic

When you write a successful online dating profile, the first stop is your main profile picture. It is super important. Think of it as your resume that gets you through the door for an interview (a man search is a bit like a job search!). You want as many people clickin’ on this pic as possible.

Having said that, you still need it to portray a true first impression of who you really are. The amount of times I’ve clicked on a guys profile pic, only to scroll through the rest of his photos to see he actually looks totally different.

Many dating apps have algorithms which rotate and test your images to see which get the most clicks, it will then use this as your profile picture. It might not be the photo you thought it would be, but it’s a great way to gage your best image.

I also run my photos past my friends as they have a different perspective. The last time I did this, I had a pic I was super proud of but they told me to ditch it as it didn’t look like me. Gutted – but this is the kind of advice you need.

Show who you are through your photos

A picture paints a thousand words, you know that already I’m sure. That’s why I suggest that you allow your photos to tell a joyful and real story about who you are when you are creating your online dating profile.

In this age of intense social media influence, it is very easy to be pressured to post photos that show an airbrushed and ideal version of us. Maybe you are tempted to post that photo from that time you wore a skimpy dress at the club (which you tugged at all night and never wore again), or that photo taken in Bali 10kgs ago, or that selfie you took with that amazing makeup filter you discovered on your niece’s TikTok.

If those photos don’t show and tell who you are, they will be doing you a disservice. You will be attracting people who are expecting the qualities and version of you which don’t exist!

I am not saying that you post what you look like when a fire alarm rings at 3AM, although that would be a great conversation starter. Just don’t go overboard with the editing, include photos of you doing things you actually enjoy, and add images of you wearing the style that make you feel confident and comfortable.

Remember, it’s the energy and authenticity that you exude through your online dating profile that will help you attract the right matches.

Write your profile from the heart

Maybe you are tempted to put up a wall while writing your online dating profile bio and portray yourself as someone hard-to-get or a little cold-blooded so you don’t look “desperate”.

And while I encourage you to always prioritise your privacy and safety online, I also believe that you should open yourself up (cautiously) and create a sincere online dating profile.

Are you hoping to meet the one who will meet you down the aisle and love your crazy self until you’re both old and grey? Say that on your profile. For all you know, someone your type, in your city, is also looking for the same.

Do you not wish to participate in the current hookup culture and you prefer to fall in love for a length of time before deciding if you want to be intimate? Don’t hesitate to include that in your online dating profile. After all, sex and intimacy is an important aspect to courtship and dating and it’s important that you and your match are on the same page.

If you are going through some emotional struggle, recovering from a bad breakup, or you have high hopes for finding the right person, you can be honest about it. Most people are not expecting a perfect person, instead they are inspired by someone who is honest about their imperfections and is working on themselves.

Be honest about who you are

Most of us are not entirely honest online. Although this might seem wrong, it’s done with the best of intentions.

For example:

  • You worry you’ll come across as boring so you elaborate your interests and click that you like skydiving even if the balcony of your mates third floor flat scares the sh-t out of you
  • You like the odd cigarette but think it will put most guys off so present yourself as a non-smoker
  • Your favourite pastime is collapsing on the couch with crappy TV but it sounds so much better to say it’s running, kayaking, studying … or something equally impressive

I totally get it. But please don’t do it.

The only way to find the right partner without wasting time is to be 100% honest. That way you’ll find the guy who also hates heights, likes the odd rollup and loves nothing more than cuddling on the couch with you.

Be honest about who you are looking for

I actually think that in online dating , sometimes, being forthright about what we want can be harder than just being honest about ourselves. This is because we tend to think that self-deprecation can be funny, but being frank about others can sound self-important and therefore, off-putting.

But it’s not. It helps you filter your prospects and it also helps others to not waste time if they’re not the right fit for you.

Are you allergic to cats and you prefer people who has no furry friends? Mention it in your bio. That way you won’t end up on date No.3 at somebody’s house, requiring antihistamines instead of Netflix-and-chilling while your date is already planning how to end things because there is no way he is giving up his 5 year old cat.

Aside from pet issues, these are some of the other factors that you may want to include in your preferences.

  • Intentions: Are you dating to marry or for the long-term? Or do you just want a FWB on the weekends?
  • Kids: Whether you are not ready to date a single parent, or you are looking for a partner who also doesn’t want to have kids in the future.
  • Long distance relationship: If you are not ready to date a person who either travels a lot for work or is looking to move far away soon, make that clear.
  • Interests: Do you really want someone who is into sneaker culture, surfing, gardening, or horror movies? Don’t be shy to talk about this in your online dating profile.

Showcase your character

Don’t be afraid to show the things that make you YOU. But don’t exaggerate or make up things to make yourself quirky or extra unique either. This is super important when you write a successful online dating profile.

So you like telling puns or corny jokes – don’t hold back. Are you uncomfortable with sexy talk? Do you like suggesting date ideas or actively participating in making plans? Make yourself heard.

As long as you are courteous and sufficiently polite, natural traits like having a cackling laugh or chatting in your sleep are nothing to be ashamed of. It’s actually great if you can mention it on your online dating profile because you want somebody who won’t be turned off by your thick accent, your tradie sneeze, or your appetite for food and life.

Highlight your interests

Your interests will set the tone and identify the commonalities between you and an online dating match.

If you are an adventurous foodie, you will have a hard time getting on with a picky and allergic eater. If you are leading a sober life, you don’t want to be with someone who parties every weekend or likes to frequent vineyards.

Remember, when it comes to finding a partner, you don’t need to have identical interests. Just because he likes surfing and you don’t and you like reading and he doesn’t, that is not the end of the love story. Often, different interests make a couple. He can surf while you read and then you can spend time together doing something you both enjoy.

Most dating apps will match you based on interests and location only, which is a bit shallow. Others, such as eharmony, go much deeper into choosing matches and don’t make it all about interests, which I personally prefer. I feel there is more to me than my love of Thai food and cats.

Make your values clear to write a successful online dating profile

There are things that might not come across immediately when you are in the early stages of online dating (the talking stage, as the kids call it) if you don’t set it straight with your online dating profile.

For example, you two might be very engaged texting each other because you like the same kind of movies or you are into the same workout (possible Crossfit buddies?). Then, it all ends in disappointment at your first date when you find out … shock, horror … that he doesn’t recycle and has no respect for the environment.

Values are fundamental to who you are and how you approach everyday life. Which means it’s best to meet people and date someone who shares similar values in order to maintain harmony and satisfaction in your life.

Are you religious? Family-oriented? Individualistic? Vegan or into ethical conscious living? Are you a workaholic who prefers someone who doesn’t expect you to be around all the time? Are you big on regular counselling and therapy? Is being punctual very important to you? Touch upon these things when making your online dating profile.

Share what you don’t want (without being negative)

I get it, you don’t really like a loud snorer. But there is no need to say, “If you sound like a truck speeding down the highway when you sleep, get gone.”. Instead, you can say, “Note: I’m a very light sleeper, and I need absolute silence every night.”

The way you use your words also reflect your character. Sure, someone who doesn’t snore might see your profile, but if you write the former statement, that person might just swipe left because they perceive you as rude.

My pet hate are the guys (and there are many of them) who say they are looking for a “lady with no drama”! It doesn’t matter if he looks like George Clooney, he’s a swipe left. Think about how you word your conditions and what a potential match might read into it.

And avoid negative language. Some words (no, never, go away, can’t, I don’t, gross, disgusting, weird) can render your language negative and paint a whine, snobbish, or disagreeable perception of you.

Remember: Your words are energy and you manifest what you speak. Speak negatively, and negative things happen. Speak positively and the man of your dreams is more likely to pop-up and sweep you off your feet and the dating app!

Further reading: 10 Online dating mistakes we don't want you to make.

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Sally Love

About the author

Sally Love is a pseudo single mum author who has been writing about single motherhood, separation and divorce for 8+ years. She has been a single mother for 10+ years and has two daughters, one of whom she co-parents and the other she solo parents. Sally has experienced all aspects of single motherhood from legal, financial, parenting, dating, travel as a single parent, re-partnering and re-building a career. She is an integral part of the Beanstalk community chatting and helping single mothers across the globe, as well as sharing her expertise, experiences and genuine reviews with major national newspapers and appearing on nation-wide television shows.

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