I’ve always approached online dating much like Europe approached the Black Death back in the 14th Century — full of fear, foreboding and frank confusion. It was sort of like this mystical creature that I just didn’t understand. Or at the very least, a desk from Ikea that didn’t come with a set of instructions.
But I did once write My Imaginary Online Dating Profile. I did sort of find my footing on Facebook. I can perform a mean Google search — “Google is the new background check,” I once proclaimed. And let’s not forget my utter charm over email. Yes, something wasn’t adding up, and you know what journalists say when something doesn’t add up…
Well, that’s exactly what I did. I interviewed a few online dating experts to get their thoughts and tips. Look for their expertise in the coming weeks, but first up: Stephany Alexander, author of Sex, Lies and the Internet – An Online Dating Survival Guide and one of the foremost relationship and dating experts. Here, she breaks down the essentials of a winning profile and how to separate the studs from the duds!
Making an online profile seems so easy, yet why does it seem so hard to get it ‘just right’?
You should treat writing your online profile like you would doing a research paper. You need to take time to write it, check for spelling and
grammatical errors and give details about what your likes and dislikes are and what you are looking for. Out of the millions of online dating profiles out there, your goal is to make yourself stand out.
What are your top five tips for a great online profile?
1. Include 3-5 photos of yourself doing different activities, not just one. You could include one glamour shot, 1 candid shot and perhaps a few shots showing you do some of your favorite hobbies. Profiles with photos are much more likely to get responses than ones without.
2. List your hobbies and interests in detail. For example, don’t just simply write that you like to travel. Explain where you have traveled to, where you wish to travel to and why.
3. Include the type of person you are looking for. If you are looking for a Jewish partner who has never been married with no children, then say so. The more specific you are, the less time you will waste filtering out people who don’t match your criteria.
4. Don’t brag. There is something to be said for being humble. It is okay to let people know some of your accomplishments, but if you go on and on about how great you are, you will come across as being self-centered and vein.
5. Don’t lie or over-exaggerate. Lying in your profile not only starts everything off in a negative manner, it also makes you look insecure and shows you are liar who may continue to lie in the future.
What are some strange things you’ve seen people put in their profile?
I’ve seen them pose with their exes or a portion of their exes cut off or scribbled out in their online profile. I’ve seen women who show nothing but their cleavage and men who are too focused on their abs. I’ve seen photos that look old and dated and also photos that are obviously taken in a glamour studio.
What should you be weary of when looking at someone else’s profile? What are the ‘red flags’?
Too much bragging can be a sign of an ego-maniac. If it sounds too good to be true, you could be dealing with someone who is lying to make themselves appear better. Typing in all upper caps could mean you are dealing with a control freak or someone bossy. People who have been married 3+ times could have relationship issues or be serial marry-ers. People who focus too much on materialism in their profile may be shallow.
Is there anything else you think I should know?
Online dating is like conventional dating on steroids. It is up to the individual to determine what type of dating they feel most comfortable
with. Online dating has the advantage of being able to cross borders quickly and easily without leaving your house and there are online dating sites for everyone. However, even when you have everything in common and you seem to get along via email, text, chat and phone, when you finally meet, you can still end up missing the “click.” I met someone online and he seemed like the perfect man for me and we got along perfectly while communicating online. Nevertheless, when we finally met, there was simply no “click” for either of us and we couldn’t figure out why because technically, we were a match. There is something to be said for meeting someone face-to-face the old fashioned way and being drawn to them because of how they communicate and present themselves.
Thanks so much for your wise words, Stephany!! Do you agree, friends? Are you “yay” or “nay” when it comes to online dating? Any crazy experiences you’d like to share??? I’d love to hear all about it!
[Photos via We Heart It]