We’re fast approaching the busiest time of year for online dating sites
New year, new single you.
Sprucing up your dating profiles with better photos and shorter bios with upbeat key words and deleting bad selfies can help boost your chances of finding a prospective suitor online, experts say.
And now is the peak time to meet that special someone. Online dating sites are at their busiest between Dec. 26 and Feb. 14, according to Match.com. The dating site reports 50 million messages sent and 1 million dates occurring during this time.
If online dating feels like a second job, it’s because there is serious work involved in maintaining your image as approachable, easy going and fun — and you have to have a lot of patience, dating coach Bela Gandhi tells Moneyish.
“People think that dating is like Amazon Prime, [but] you’re not going to find someone in two days,” she says. “You have to stay active and committed.”
Match is predicting that Sunday, January 7 will be online dating’s busiest day of the year, particularly beginning at around 9 p.m. EST when the dating site expects to see a 42% spike in new singles coming to the platform to find a potential suitor. So grab a glass of wine and get busy.
Here’s how you can upgrade your profile:
1. Delete selfies
If you want to be taken seriously, it’s time to realize that low-res mirror pics, sports bra photos at the gym and selfies in cars are not cute. “Have someone take a photo of you,” says Gandhi. “The bathroom selfies just don’t do it. Even if you’ve got a banging body, leave something to the imagination and put your clothes on.”
Gandhi says selfies turn people off because they can come across as narcissistic, and the use of clever angles can misrepresent what you really look like.
2. Swap out your photos
The photo of you at college graduation six years ago needs to come down. Gandhi suggests having four or five solid photos of yourself in different outfits and places that have been taken in the past six months. Avoid head shots and get a full body photo, otherwise a prospective suitor will think you’re hiding something. Photos with other people in them can be confusing to others who might not know which person you are so replace them for a solo shot of yourself.
“No sunglasses, no not looking at the camera, no kids, no pets, no friends and no pics of the food you ate,” says Gandhi. “Show your personality, smile. You don’t have to lay across a piano, they’re looking for someone who looks happy and trustworthy, the rest will come out in person.”
So that means don’t Photoshop or use filters on photos, your date will know you cheated when you meet in real life. “Spring for good photos that are high resolution and well lit,” says Gandhi.
3. Pick only two dating platforms and stick with them
Less is more when it comes to fishing for a match. With dating apps like Tinder, Bumble, Match.com and Okcupid it’s exhausting to monitor more than just two and nearly impossible to carry on authentic conversations. That means using too many dating sites can mean you’re less likely to meet someone you actually want to have a relationship with.
“It’s like dating ADD,” says Gandhi.
4. Use keywords in your profile
Having positive and optimistic key words in a profile is attractive, says Gandhi — so try to incorporate words like “fun,” “sweet,” and “thoughtful.” Never include things you do not want in a partner because it will shed light on the negative, and avoid words that might be interpreted as overtly sexual like “cuddling,” says Gandhi.
You should also avoid words like “independent,” Gandhi says. “A lot of the time when someone reads the word ‘independent’ they read ‘I don’t need a man,’ or ‘I don’t need a woman.’ I steer away clients from the word independent because it looks abrasive on paper. There’s a tone around it that’s never positive in writing,” she says.
If there is a space on a dating profile to list your faith or political affiliation that’s fine to do, but don’t mention it in your bio. “Leave religion and politics out of it. Make your bio about you,” says Gandhi.
5. Stay active
Gandhi says you must update your profile at least once a week by subbing in a new photo or changing up your bio to keep it fresh.
“Set an alarm each week to remind you. These algorithms preference people that are active on their own profile and with other people. Reach out. Give people something new to look at, don’t just wait like a honey pot,” she says.