As some of you may know, this year I have been dipping my toe into the waters of dating. It has been fun; I have met some lovely people. I've also skimmed over a lot of dodgy-looking profiles without a second glance.
Here is what I have learned about composing your dating profile:
- Think carefully about your profile picture. A lot of people will take one look at your main photo, and make a snap decision as to whether they want to bother looking at your profile. Not very PC or charitable, but nature.
- If your photo shows you drinking/in a nightclub, people will assume that's how you spend most of your time. Fine if you do; not so great if that photo was taken on the one occasion you left the house last year.
- Men: I don't care if you caught a fantastic fish. I don't know any ladies who are on dating sites looking for men who are able to catch great big fish. It is not on anyone's list of must-haves when looking for a potential suitor. Unless you go to a really, really specific site.
- It sounds simple, but you'd be surprised by how many people add a photo and don't even bother to turn it the right way up. Likelihood is, when faced with 50 photos to look at, I'm not going to make much effort to focus on the one that also requires turning my head to one side.
- Don't use a photo of you alongside someone else as your profile picture; it's just confusing. A photo of you with your arm around someone of the opposite sex is just ridiculous.
- If your photo shows you half naked, that says something about you. To me, it mostly says "look at me, I really love how my body looks and you should too!" Sometimes it also says "twat" in big, shiny letters. But usually only when there's a bottle or a mad "shouty" expression accompanying the half nakedness.
- Don't put in your profile that you don't smoke and rarely drink... and then upload several profile pictures of you smoking and drinking. You will only attract people who are too stupid to put the two together.
- Be positive! You wouldn't believe the number of profiles I've come across that include such cracking lines as "you probably won't be interested" or "I doubt I'm what you're looking for." You guess right, buddy! Nobody wants to date Eeyore; if you really are that miserable, perhaps you should look at resolving that issue before looking for a partner.
- Be honest about what you are looking for! I know plenty of people, male and female, who have used dating sites purely for casual hook-ups. If that's what you're after, say so!
- Don't be creepy! I met one guy online who, as soon as he knew my real name, Googled me and began to stalk my online profiles: Facebook, Twitter, this blog, you name it (for all I know, he still is). By all means, Google a person - but don't be nosey, don't be creepy, and don't say things like "did you hurt yourself when you fell over last Thursday?" That is not classed as being attentive; it's classed as being stalky.
- Remember that your online dating profile is not a way of tricking people into going out with you; it's a way of showing them who you are. There's nothing wrong with putting a positive spin on things, but don't write something that will leave people disappointed when they meet you; it's a waste of both of your time.
- Finally, get someone else to read it through before you send it live! You might think it's fabulous; a fresh pair of eyes might wonder who you're describing, or why you've never heard of punctuation.
So there's my list.
Do you have anything to add?
I'd love to hear about your experience of internet dating!