Some days, online dating feels like a terrible page of Where’s Waldo? So many guys, but everyone blends together. It’s because they all say the exact same things: “I’m easy-going and love to have fun. My friends and family mean the world to me.”
These guys are screwed.
They don’t stand out. For a girl to look twice at a guy’s profile, he has to grab our attention. We know every guy is unique and different, but they’re not showing us how.
There will always be something about you that’s more unique and more interesting than your competition.
You just have to highlight it.
1. Your online dating profile should be a conversation-starter.
It’s your job to write your profile in a way that makes it easy for girls to
1) Find common ground with you, and
2) Start a conversation with you.
WHY: Girls are more likely to respond to a message after we look at a guy’s profile and see things we share in common or want to learn more about.
HOW: The key is being more specific. Instead of saying you’re “fun-loving,” actually say what you think is fun. This helps show your personality, and shows girls what you share in common.
It’s also great because it makes a girl think of questions that would start a real conversation: “Where do you go rock-climbing in the area? How did you get into yoga? When do you play Ultimate Frisbee? Can I come?!”
Focus on what makes you tick. Do you have any unusual hobbies? What makes you excited to get up in the morning? What new thing are you looking forward to doing/experiencing/trying this year?
You’re awesome and unique. Do yourself justice!
2. Profile pictures matter even more than you think.
WHY: Even when a guy writes a great profile, it doesn’t mean shit if his pictures make him seem like a raging douche bag. Lots of pics at the bar, not smiling, and multiple selfies make me think a guy’s an alcoholic, depressive, narcissist with no friends.
Girls look at your profile pictures to check out more than your looks. We can learn a lot about you from just photos. If you’re smiling, showing some of your hobbies – maybe kayaking, playing Catan, or home-brewing some beer – we think, “Cool, I like those things, too. That’s a guy I want to get to know.”
Your pictures prove you have friends, a life, and enjoy some of the same things we do. So you’ve also given us something to talk about when we reply to your awesome first message.
3. Proofread your profile.
WHY: When a guy ignores simple grammar, or writes in text-speak, he seems like a lazy jackass, at best. At worst, he looks illiterate and flat-out stupid.
HOW: The fixes for common grammar mistakes are simple and worth knowing. Here’s a good place to start.
Once you check spelling and know the difference between “your” and “you’re,” pretty much all you have to do is write like a human, not a cell phone from 1999. Take a second to look for typos, and you’ll be golden.
4. Don’t throw yourself a pity party.
WHY: 35% of relationships now start online.* And research says those relationships could be happier in the long run than relationships that start off-line.**
So be proud of yourself for being proactive. And be thankful that we live in a time that allows you to date without leaving the house or putting on pants!
An online dating profile is not a place to feel shame, feel sorry for yourself, or list all the ways you’ve been damaged. This terrifies girls. Let’s keep this space positive and productive.
5. Be honest about who you are.
Some guys try to hide their “flaws” on their profiles. This is stupid and pointless.
WHY: No second dates are won with this strategy. When a guy chooses deceptive profile pictures, and meets a date in person, she’ll see he lied.
A guy who is honest about himself also losing opportunities to meet girls who like his so-called flaws! Crooked teeth can be raffish, bald can be sexy, and some extra weight can be great for cuddling.
If you hide who you are, the right girl won’t be able to find you.
HOW: Just be honest on your profile. It’s OK to be a work in progress. We all are. Your so-called flaws are suddenly no big deal to the right girl when we see you’re confident in who you are.
6. Be awesome.
WHY: This is one place where you get to be yourself. It’s so attractive when a guy knows who he is, and what makes him happy. I’ll message him first.
HOW: Think about what makes you awesome and tell us about it!
If you think you’ve got stuff you’re working on, it’s OK to mention that, too. You’re a man of action! Self-improvement is really attractive, too.
Being awesome at online dating is also about being cool to everyone around you. We’re all in the same boat. We know it can be awful.
Be decent to people.
Give the benefit of the doubt when you can.
When I get a really nice message from a guy who’s just not right for me, I take two minutes to let him know I appreciate his message, and wish him luck. If a girl does the same to you, pay it forward! Celebrate the people who are making a real effort.
Being awesome is about making online dating a better place for everyone.
* “Online Dating: A Critical Analysis From the Perspective of Psychological Science,” a 2012 research article published in Psychological Science in the Public Interest
** “Marital Satisfaction and Breakups Differ Across On-Line and Off-Line Venues,” a 2013 Study by U.S. researchers in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences