WRITING the perfect online dating profile can be overwhelming – especially the first time around. Luckily, scientists have taken the time to find out what works best.
Online dating has become increasingly popular, leading to thousands of dates and matches being made every year. And with the dating pool constantly increasing, it is no wonder we want to find a way to stand out from the crowd and make our mark.
There isn’t a ‘perfect’ profile out there that fits all, but Dr Khalid Khan from Queen Mary University in London has identified a set of patterns that explain how our minds work when browsing for dates.
By reviewing thousands of profiles, researchers were able to identify the characteristics needed to make an online dating profile successful and get the more face-to-face dates.
Emma Iversen from online dating site MySingleFriend.com says: “The most popular profiles on the site are the ones that have a good, clear photo attached and tend to be from those people who’ve spent time and effort on their profile narratives.
“This allows their personality and interests to really shine through, giving other members insight as to what makes them tick, and makes it easier for others to find a reason to contact them.”
So what steps should you take to having the perfect online dating profile? Here are some useful tips that are guaranteed to make you noticed.
1. Choose a cheerful screen name
Researchers found that ‘desirable’ screen names are more often associated with attraction than ‘undesirable’ names. This means using positive, descriptive words as part of your screen name.
While men are more attracted to screen names that indicate physical attractiveness like ‘blondie’ or ‘cutie’, women are more likely to take interest in names indicating intelligence like ‘cultured’.
2. Choose the right pic
Research shows that clothes and physical appearance in photos have a powerful influence on how attractive you’ll come across.
A picture showing a genuine smile will make a good first impression, and a slight tilt of the head is likely to get better responses online.
Iversen says: “First impressions count – so if you only have an old or slightly blurry photo to hand, wait until you’ve got a new one taken, before adding it to your profile.
“It may sound obvious, but a shot of you smiling (and looking happy and positive), will help people warm to you.”
3. Write a strong headline
This will be your selling point. It is the first line people read about you and one that it is bound to make an impression.
Sticking to simple language and ditching complicated words will take you the extra mile as people are naturally drawn to words that are easy to remember and pronounce.
Researchers also found that headlines that make you ‘stop and think’ are likely to make potential dates stare at your profile – and picture – for longer.
Iversen says: “As a rule of thumb, think of your profile as an opening conversational gambit – keep the tone light, keep your language positive, and keep the content interesting.”
4. Show you are great company with a group picture
Group photos where you are having a good time with other people will make you more appealing, scientists say.
Pictures where you are in the middle will create a sense of importance, drawing more attention to yourself.
Iversen adds: “There’s plenty of opportunity to include full length pics of you, favourite pets, places etc. The more photos you add to your profile the better – they really will help bring you and your profile to life.”
5. Describe who you really are and what you are looking for
There is no doubt you will want to seem appealing to others to encourage them to contact you, and it may sound like a cliche but ‘being yourself’ actually works best.
Offering an accurate description of yourself will increase the chances of meeting face-to-face with a compatible partner.
According to the numbers, people who detail their personality traits as well as giving a clear sense of what they are looking for, will go on to do better than those who only write about themselves.
Iversen says: “When it comes to writing about your ideal partner – our experience shows it’s best to write about the kind of person you would like to meet, rather than the ones you wouldn’t.”
Researchers also found that desirable traits are far more important that academic achievement, so instead of copying your CV onto your profile, you are better off describing how you see yourself.
6. Recruit a friend for honest opinion
Much like having a wingman, nearly 22 per cent of online daters have asked a friend for help setting up their online profile.
Having someone you trust help you out will make the process easier for you as well as ensure you are sending the right message across.
MySingleFriend offers you the chance to ask a friend to describe you and put out a good word for you.
Iversen says: “Involving a friend in your dating profile is a great way to get honest feedback, both on what you’ve written and the photos you’ve used. We have also found that people enjoy reading comments on MSF profiles as it gives more insight into the members, and helps bring the person to life.
“If they’ve got a friend who’s willing to vouch for them, it makes people feel they are more likely to be a decent person.