Click Your Way to a New Valentine

online dating profile
February 14 is just around the corner. To some, it’s simply another day, but this year you may be wishing that it was a day with a fun companion by your side. It’s time to update your online dating profile and see if you can make a love connection in a month of love.

I’ve been a professional online dating profile writer for more than seven years. I’ve witnessed some major mishaps and thus offer the following pointers based on my experience.

It starts with putting up five or six really great photos:

Don’t make them wonder: You might think it boosts your appeal to be surrounded by family and friends in your photo, but it doesn’t. If you are posing with your sister or best female friend, a match may think they have competition. Nix that worry by only posting photos of yourself.

Choose a variety: Pick a really great head shot for the main photo, and then give viewers the opportunity to see a full body shot and shots of you engaged in some of your favorite activities like swinging a golf club or sliding down a  zip line.

Be front and center: If you have a decent photo, but it shows more of the background, crop it. You should be the focus in every picture you post. A prospective date doesn’t care how great the sunset was on your latest beach outing, they want to see what you look like.

Forget selfies: You wouldn’t believe how many guys take their shirts off and then snap a shot of themselves in the bathroom mirror to use as a profile picture. Do not do this. It is not flattering. Get a professional head shot or get a friend to snap a photo of you. You want to make a great impression and your main photo is critical.

Make sure photos are current: Sure, your college photo is hot. But if that was a few years back, a potential date wants to see what you look like today. Don’t be a surprise when you meet in person.

If they get past your photos, they may actually read your profile:

Focus on what you want: Tired of the games? The drama? The lies? Don’t say that. Instead say that you value honesty in a relationship and want to connect with a partner who always speaks the truth. If you are uncomfortable with someone who is out of shape or overweight, say “I’m looking for someone who is fit, active, and ready to push me to pedal a bit faster when we head out on a day of cycling.”

Don’t limit the field: Only want to date blondes? You may find that the redhead who just bypassed your profile because you stated “I’m drawn to blue eyed blondes” might have been a perfect fit for you. Don’t narrow the field too much by putting down a specific description of the person you hope to meet.

Talk up your strengths: This is hard for many people. They don’t feel comfortable talking about themselves especially in a public venue. But this is your chance to sell yourself to a partner. What makes you unique? What are things your friends like about you? What do you like about yourself? Make sure to highlight these things in your profile.

Keep it short: Chances are a lengthy profile will just be skimmed over. Keep your profile to no more than three paragraphs—just enough to pique interest and hopefully encourage someone to contact you to find out more. Which leads to:

How to make a connection:

Reach out when you’re interested: Don’t sit back waiting for others to contact you. Actively search for a prospective date and then reach out by email. Compliment her or him on something you’ve seen in their profile. If they say they love sushi, then invite them to meet you a a great sushi restaurant you’ve heard about.

Don’t give up: If you don’t hear back, don’t take it personally. Just keep moving forward and keep emailing until you make the right connection.

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