Back to the basics: Profile Writing 101
ERIKA ETTIN Want to connect with Erika? Join her newsletter at eepurl.com/dpHcH.
St. Louis Post Dispatch
When I started my business back in 2011, the only online dating sites in existence were ones with long profiles that you can only check on your computer (Tinder didn’t come out until 2012). Now, people have options — paid vs. free sites, “traditional” sites vs. apps, and the list goes on. One thing that hasn’t changed, though, is the need to put your best foot forward in the profile. Let’s have a little refresher on how to make your profile stand out from the crowd: 1. Keep things positive. People would prefer to read what you are looking for, not what you don’t want. I see profiles all the time listing things like, “I’m not looking for a one-night stand,” or “If you hate camping, we won’t get along.” Try these instead: “I’m ultimately looking for a committed relationship,” and “Camping is a big part of my life, and it would be great to share that with someone. Grab your bear spray!” 2. Talk more about you than what you’re looking for. Many profiles forget that online dating is a chance to essentially sell yourself. It’s not, however, a menu at a sushi restaurant. “I want spicy crunchy tuna, but leave off the spicy mayo, and add brown rice.” “I want a woman who is under 5-foot-6 and fit, but she’s not a gym rat, and she likes going to breweries.” Notice the similarities? Stating what you want isn’t inherently bad by any means. But also share what you have to offer — a few hobbies, places you’ve lived, etc. 3. Find the “Goldilocks” length. On sites like Match.com and eHarmony, I recommend a few short paragraphs. On apps like Bumble or Tinder, a few sentences will be enough to get across what you need to. Don’t leave the profile section blank. That essentially tells people that you’re lazy or not invested in the process, or you think your photos are all you need to make people interested. And on the flip side, if you write too much, people will pass over you because they don’t have the patience to read the whole thing, or it makes you look a bit self-absorbed. 4. Avoid empty adjectives. “I’m funny, smart and attractive.” “My friends tell me I’m kind, generous and selfless.” That’s nice. These examples include what I call “empty adjectives,” or words that really have no meaning until you get to know someone. For example, “funny” is very subjective. I just met a woman whose idea of humor was making fun of people for their meal choices. That’s not funny to me. Now, let’s look at two examples of a Bumble profile: one that does not follow this advice and one that does. Does not follow: My friends tell me I’m funny, smart and attractive. I want to meet someone who doesn’t sit around all day on the couch and who is smart enough to know the difference between “to” and “two” (seriously, why are people so dumb?). I’m a person with a plan, and that plan is to meet you over Facetime first so I can screen you to see if you’re being honest about your photos. Let’s get real, I want someone in the Top 5% of looks. Like I said, my friends think I’m awesome, and you will too. It’s a given. Does follow: I like my peanut butter crunchy, my weekends spent outdoors hiking or biking, and my reading material to be paper books over Kindle. Call me old-fashioned … though I do like my iPhone 13. Looking for someone who has ambitions in life but knows when to just take in the moment. Is that you?