Now it’s time to actually write something people who are interested will read and respond to.
Remember, a dating profile is an advertisement. The “call to action” in marketing speak is messaging you.
So the key isn’t to entertain yourself, but to drive up interest in other’s wanting to know more about you and eventually meet you.
Exactly what you write will depend on your gender identification, sexual orientation, physical location, etc.
But the same general rules apply to everyone. If you follow some of the general guidelines, though, you will find that your success rate goes way up.
Before we start, let’s state some disappointing facts.
People Don’t Read Profiles… Usually
Jon Millward showed in an experiment, for instance, that the one guaranteed way to get responses is simply to be a very attractive woman. http://www.zdnet.com/article/ten-fake-profiles-one-okcupid-experiment-okcupid-on-trial/
Other experiments even show that the profile of attractive females could include downright psychotic messages, and they’d still be messaged at crazy rates. http://www.cracked.com/blog/4-things-i-learned-from-worst-online-dating-profile-ever_p2/
But Let’s Ignore Them! I Do!
The good news is that statistically speaking… I’m like you. IE — I’m not a super attractive woman, just an average man. Also good news is that average women and average men tend to do about the same in terms of getting messages from others.
So, if you aren’t super attractive, we have something else in common: We have to “work” for our dates. This advice works for both sexes.
If you are reading this, you are likely polyamorous or nonmonogamous. As you can guess, it’s hard enough to find one partner. Try finding 4 good partners who also can get along with each other in certain circumstances!
Dating for many polyamorous people comes down to one word… HOW?!?
If this doesn’t describe you, and you just want some pro tips, no worries. This still applies to you as any modern human looking for another human using the magic internet box.
Dating Profile Rule #1 — Honesty
Be honest about your status, whatever that status is. If you are polyamorous, state it early in the profile. As in, if it’s not part of the profile questions, state it upfront. OKCupid allows this, few others do, so you’ll be writing this yourself.
Nobody needs your entire coming out story, it just needs put out there in simple, easy to read terms. Some people have said that being wishy washy about it can be less off putting. I’ve found that this only increases the false positives. A false positive is someone who shows interest, until they find out that one deal breaker fact, and never messages you again. Or worse, they send you a hateful message and then disappear.
If you are poly, say you are poly. I’m a polyamorous, bisexual man.
But how do I say that in my profile?
“I am a polyamorous, bisexual man.”
Both of those things about me are often instant “no”s from many people. And that’s fine. If they don’t like it, I don’t want to talk to them.
This does require the ability to come out. Not everyone can. But if you can, you really should. You’re actually better off hiding your real name (always until you decide to meet) and much of your face from your profile, rather than the fact of who you are.
You aren’t reducing your pool of potential partners by doing this. Those people were never in your pool to begin with, and you’ll only deal with more rejection later rather than them never messaging you to begin with.
I know so many that want to work a clever way around this. I’ve never seen it work, but give it a shot if you like. All I can tell you is that when I get the sense that someone can’t come out with something that important up front, I personally lose interest in reading further.
Dating Profile Rule #2 — Never Go Negative
I can’t stand people who talk only about themselves, and I’m tired of all these broke people with no cars, no jobs, living at home, and asking me to split the check on a date!
You know that profile. The anger that comes across is palpable. Someone did them wrong, and they’re going to list all the bad qualities they found about that person and list each of them they want to avoid again.
It feels good to write it. But it looks very ugly to readers.
Remember, drama of any kind is an instant turnoff for most people. And do you really want to find people attracted by drama?
It’s good to have things you want and don’t want. But you can put them into a positive light.
When you put negativity on a dating profile, you look like you attract a lot of bad partners, and that’s very unattractive. It makes people who read that think, “I’m much better than that, so I can probably do much better than them.”
Negativity chases away the very people you want to attract.
I want someone I can have great back and forth conversations with. I’m also a sucker for some old fashioned romance, where I’d get all dressed up, and they’d come pick me up and treat me to a fancy restaurant!
Doesn’t that sound much better and say the same thing? It’s not even my cup of tea, but I find the second profile much more appealing!
Benjamin Disraeli said it best, “Never complain; never explain.”
Dating Profile Rule #3 — Keep it Brief
Don’t be so short that it fits in a tweet, but keep it to a short paragraph for each section. Create interest, not your autobiography. Simply write a few highlights up about yourself and your wants that relate to the topic asked for.
If you need a short second paragraph, go for it. Make sense?
Dating Profile Rule #4— Do All The Things
You know all those questionnaires and personality tests? Take them.
But no, seriously, take them. This will help you lower your time later on sorting through profiles.
Many sites like OKCupid provide compatibility ratings. And if you use the questions correctly, they actually work. I put very few questions as a required agreement, and the rest as don’t care.
But if someone else really cares about a topic that I answered differently on, do I really want to match them?
I answer questions that matter to me, such as being ok with nonmonogamy and being sexually adventurous. I also put that politics and religion don’t matter to me, but that I’m a moderate and agnostic which will disqualify me with someone who that matters a great deal to.
Don’t take the tests too seriously, but use them. For instance, I’ve actually answered several hundred questions on many sites. I take the purity tests (I’m not pure in the least). And I find that people do fall either above 80% or below 40% making my choices of who to focus on so much easier.
And according to my own checking, these numbers are actually very accurate for me.
Dating Profile Rule #5 — Ask Your Own Questions
I find that few people actually ask questions of potential suitors in their profiles. Not me!
People are horrible, absolutely hideous, at starting conversations.
If you are tired of getting 50 “hi” messages a day, you can change that. I ask people to tell me things about themselves the moment they message me.
“Do you think sushi goes better with beer or sake?”
I also put riddles and other questions to confirm people actually read my profile. And I do state, “If you skip this riddle, I’ll ignore you.”
This is a gatekeeper function that provides great benefit to people not just looking to hook up. People who just message you “hi” can be outright ignored.
I know what I’m about to say will offend a few people out there, but if I literally give people something original to say to me when they message, and the best they’ve got is still just “hi”, I’m blocking them for stupidity.
Side Note: If you are that person who did something like that, there’s a great way to fix that! In the next article in this series, I’ll cover something more important than what you write in your profile… what you write to get someone else’s interest. I usually get someone’s attention greater than 9 times out of 10. Gentlemen, are you getting that response rate? I know you probably aren’t, because no response is just about all guys talk about when the subject comes up.
Dating Profile Rule #6 — Update Often
If you are active, I believe you should update what you wrote in your profile at least once a month.
Adding new content puts you back at the top of the list, also shows your update in related feeds to people logged in, etc.
Also, people are often on the fence about whether or not to message someone and add them to their liked or favorited lists. Have something original to tell them when they look again!
How often is too often? I’d suggest not updating more than once every month besides small tweaks.
If you are inactive, make sure to deactivate your profile!
A first message is hard to get back. It’s like hitting on someone in public who didn’t hear you. When they finally turn around and notice you, you’ve already felt rejected and just excuse yourself and leave. It’s just human behaviour.
The longer your profile remains online, you are hurting not just the general situation (dating sites full of inactive profiles), but yourself (they won’t likely message you again).
You also get the advantage of being seen as a fresh/new profile when you reactivate it later!
- Be Honest
- Never Go Negative
- Keep It Brief
- Do All The Things
- Ask Your Own Questions
- Update Often
Next time, I’ll talk about how to approach people online and message them. Never again say “hi” or spend 15 minutes writing the “perfect” reply and trying to copy/paste it.