Whether you are thinking of trying out online dating for the first time, or returning to the dating scene after a long break, it can seem like a daunting proposition. That’s why, before you start...
Letting You Shine on your Online Dating Profile
By Kim Baker
I was sitting at my kitchen counter on a barstool, cozy in my pajamas one Friday evening, browsing a couple of online dating sites. I scoop a spoonful of cereal into my mouth as I read some cute women's responses to the opening questions. A couple responses are vague and then I come across one that is downright rude. I let my spoon rest on the side of the bowl for a moment and mumble, almond milk dripping, "Are you serious? That's the best you got?" This gets me thinking about my answers on my own dating profile, which I quickly peruse for similar vagueness or negativity. I'm reminded of my honors English writing teacher's advice and attempt to be authentic, concise, and vivid in my profile answers. Since there are numerous good reasons to go online to look for love, here I share tips for the four typical questions dating websites pose.
1. Tell a little about yourself
Ironically, this is the hardest question of all for many women. We simply don't like talking about ourselves in this way - it feels like a job interview. After making some edits to my own profile, I found that I was connecting with more compatible women. First, I focused on character traits that make me who I am: I am kind, independent, outgoing, health-minded, and spiritual. I took out any details about my appearance since readers can see that in my pictures and other details listed on the first page. I added a few descriptors about what makes me unique. I am a mix of ands: I value connection and I am fiercely independent. I love to travel and I consider my home my refuge.
2. What is your ideal date?
Since many of us are more complex than choosing just one ideal date, we have a tendency to overcomplicate this question with too much information. I edited my profile to encompass this truth: I love many kinds of dates but if I have to choose one, it would be cooking dinner together, sharing a glass of wine, and chatting outside on the patio. What my answer reveals is that I like to cook, I like to share experiences with my date, I enjoy wine, and I like being outside.
3. What are you looking for
Experts warn against focusing more on what we don't want rather than what we do, or on surface level details such as appearance. Appearance matters, but what you really want to know before you go out with a woman is do we have enough in common to enjoy spending an hour together over coffee? Since mutual hobbies alone don't equate to yes, I edited my profile to talk about the character traits I'm looking for. I am looking for a woman who knows herself, laughs often, values her emotional and physical health, and can communicate her feelings. Ideally, she is active, professional, kind, generous, and consistent.
4. What do you do for fun?
While it may be tempting to be brief here and list just a couple of hobbies, I found that when I added more detail to my profile, I got responses that were more compatible with me. I love the water and can be found boogie boarding at the beach nearly every weekend (when it's warm enough), I feel most myself when I am dancing, though I'm not particularly good at it, and I love dining out and trying new restaurants around town, particularly with friends and loved ones. What's better than talking about life over a plate of food?
Profile questions need not evoke feelings of drudgery. With just a few tweaks to your profile, you may find that there are more compatible women available than you thought.
For more online dating advice, check out our expert tips on lesbian dating.