Creating a Profile

A profile, on average, will contain the following components.

• A profile photo and additional photos of yourself, often with captions.

• A subject line that describes you or what you're looking for.

• Your basic stats (selected from options they provide).

• What criteria a potential date must meet (again, selected from their options).

• An area for you to write whatever you like. You can choose to write a few paragraphs on who you really are, what kind of relationship you're seeking, your ideal date, a recent memorable experience, or anything you hope will attract the type of person you're looking for!

If you're not a good writer, coming up with a clever profile can feel like writing an essay for English class all over again. How can you possibly describe yourself in a paragraph? Where can you come up with a witty subject line to entice viewers to read your profile?

If the prospect of creating a profile is making you frantic, enlist the help of your friends. Your friends often know you better than you know yourself. They can offer suggestions, ideas, and the perfect way to sell you to all those available women out there. Just don't cross the line into having them write the whole thing for you. Your profile should be your creation.

Here are some tips to keep in mind as you write your profile.

• Create a fun, quirky username. Start standing out from the pack by choosing a username that intrigues or tickles the imagination. Whether or not you choose to identify yourself by your real name is up to you. Many people don't; they only divulge their first name once they've started a conversation with someone. Spend some time thinking about a username that suits your personality.

• See what tickles you in other profiles, and do the same yourself. It's not plagiarism unless you use their words verbatim (and why would you, since this profile is about you?). So take advantage of the tricks of the trade!

• Know what you want before you start. You need to have a clear idea of what you are looking for in a woman before you start online dating. There are tons of women online, and you're going to need some criteria to sift through them all. Being specific in your profile about the kind of girl you're looking for can help, but be too specific and you risk the chance of no one replying at all. So the best bet is to make sure that you clearly indicate whether you're looking for a long-term relationship, casual dating, or just a friendship.

• Don't talk about what you don't want in a potential partner. Do talk about what you do want. If you talk about what you don't want, you'll be seen as a negative person. Better to expand your horizons than limit them.

• Attract the kind of girl you want. If you really like dating particular types of girl, then make sure that your profile is tailored to appeal to that type of person. Do you want to attract a business professional? Then mention your career experience and love of Armani suits. Do you want to attract an outdoorsy gal? Then mention a fun camping experience and your favorite hiking trail. If you want to try dating someone in a completely different field that you have no knowledge of whatsoever, then mention that you're fascinated by it and would love to learn more about it. (This is a great tactic in general, because women will take that as an invitation to teach you!)

• Describe who you are, not what you look like. A lot of online daters waste their time describing their appearance when anyone can see what they look like by looking at their photo. Don't waste space trying to make a girl believe that you're the hottest guy since James Dean. Leave that up to her to decide. Instead, use your valuable space to describe your personality, interests, where you are in life, or what you'd like to do someday.

• Write like you talk. If you find yourself getting stuck, then talk yourself through what you want to say out loud. Let what you write reflect how you talk. DON'T use overly formal language or that three-part essay structure

you learned in school. Instead, imagine yourself on a date for the first time. What would you say? How would you break the ice? What anecdotes would you tell about yourself?

• Avoid lists. I've seen so many profiles filled with lists of words. "I'm happy, fun, energetic, attractive, athletic, uninhibited, exuberant, enthusiastic " Stop, please! Or there's the hobby line: "I like reading, cooking, visiting friends, sewing, road trips, art house movies, classical music, nice restaurants." Avoid lists wherever possible. They'll just make your reader tune out.

• Make yourself memorable with details. Most people write such generic profiles that you forget them the moment you move onto the next. Profiles that stand out are profiles rich in details. For example, instead of saying, "I enjoy hiking, photography, and being outdoors," say something like, "I climbed Mt. Shasta last summer and won a photography award for my picture of the summit." Instead of saying, "My ideal date is hanging out on the beach," say, "I love how the feeling of cold sand under my feet contrasts with the warm skin of my girl as we walk along the beach." Get the picture?

• Friendly—Upbeat—Approachable. These three words will get you more dates than any other. That's because the world of online dating can be daunting. Your profile may seem standoffish without your even realizing it. That's because it's easy to get intimidated when you think about how many strangers are going to read your profile and make a judgment about whether or not they'd like to get you know better based off from a few paragraphs. Get over that paralysis fast by pretending that you're writing about yourself to a friend. By assuming that the person reading your profile is well-disposed to you, you'll convey a warm, friendly, genuine tone. You'll let the reader in on you inner thoughts, hopes, and dreams.

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