In our social media-dependent world, particularly mid-pandemic, we literally go online for everything. We’re on Zoom daily for business meetings and schooling. Shopping online and entertainment streaming have become more normal than going to the mall or the movies. So, it’s no surprise that you’d go online to find that special someone, too. With more than thirty million unique visitors per month on U.S. dating sites alone, your chances of meeting Mr./Mrs. Right online have never been better. But first, you’ll need an amazing profile.
A Necessary Tool
Creating an online dating profile can be intimidating. It’s not always easy to write about yourself without sounding conceited or, even worse, desperate. But reframe the task in your mind and approach it like a necessary tool. Didn’t you write a killer essay to get into the college or grad school of your dreams? You took the time to write the best possible resume you could, to get the job you wanted. If you want to ditch the single life, you have to craft a stand-out profile. But don’t fret, we’re here to help! Here are 10 simple secrets for writing a dating profile after 40 that will set you apart.
#1 | Get Insight from Friends
The easiest way to get started on your profile is to get a close friend (or two) to help. Your best girlfriends will sometimes know you better than you know yourself. Ask each of your friends to write bullet points about you, highlighting your unique and alluring characteristics. Have them be honest while focusing on your most positive qualities. Use that information to put together a paragraph that makes you stand out. Are you a spontaneous adventurer? Do you have a quick wit? Are you passionate about a cause? Write about it.
#2 | Use Recent Photos
One of the most common complaints about online dating profiles is that “they looked nothing like their profile photo in-person.” Looking better than your photo (in the flesh!) is more preferred than the reverse. If your photos are more than a year old, don’t use them. Whether we like it or not, men are visual creatures. So, put time and energy into getting the best current photo for your profile. Have a friend who is a great photographer take a bunch of pictures until you find one that makes you say, “Yeah, I look good!” Find Erin’s tips on how to look good in every picture you take in this video.
#3 | Make Your Photos Pop
Did you know that profile photos showing you doing an activity, like skiing or playing an instrument, even if your face is covered, get more messages? According to Marie Claire, a recent poll found that 96% of people on dating sites prefer seeing a big, happy smile in a profile photo, rather than a sexy pout. As you look into the camera while taking photos, think about whatever brings a twinkle to your eyes and gives you a real smile. Take additional photos that show you in your element—whether it’s in a kayak or with your beloved puppies. Do not, however, include any other people in your images.
#4 | Skip the Clichés
Even if you really do like “walking on the beach” or are “equally comfortable in a jeans and t-shirt as in a cocktail dress,” leave it out. According to eHarmony, everyone says that in their profile. Instead, think of something interesting that could be a conversation starter. This goes for your screen name and headline as well. To differentiate yourself from all the other women out there, your screen name, headline and profile have to be real, upbeat and a clever representation of who you are.
#5 | Be Detailed
Use specific examples when you’re writing about your interests, to help give a well-rounded picture of who you are. If you love to travel, share your favorite place and why. If listening to music makes you spontaneously break out in song, expand on that! Concrete and interesting details like this bring your profile to life while someone is reading about you. Be careful, however, not to get detailed in the things you don’t like.
#6 | Be Positive
To paraphrase the proverb, you really do attract more bees with honey. Avoid negative tones and self-deprecation in your profile. You want to come across confident and secure with yourself. Adam Lodolce, author of Men Love Confident Women writes, “Men deeply desire a woman who is independent and self-reliant but also knows how to radiate her feminine presence.” Think about it in the reverse, would you message a guy whose profile says, “I’m going through a divorce and I don’t want to get hurt.” Next!
#7 | Be Real
Lying doesn’t get you anywhere in the dating world. And I don’t mean just lying to your potential partner. I mean lying to yourself. I know #4 says to skip the clichés, but honesty really is the best policy when writing your profile. If you only want to date someone with grown kids, within a specific religion or without an AARP card, that’s totally fine—say it. If you want a deep, authentic, committed relationship, then put it out there. You’re not in high school anymore, so don’t worry about being cool or popular—be real. Remember that whatever relationship comes your way won’t last if you’re not being honest with yourself.
#8 | Use Spellcheck
Many people, particularly over 40, find poor grammar and spelling mistakes to be a turn-off. Even the most educated of us can make the occasional typo, so double-check yourself before you post. An easy way to catch errors is to type up your profile in Word prior to putting it online.
#9 | Stay Up to Date
Make the effort to refresh your profile on a regular basis with relevant information about yourself. On a number of sites, recently updated profiles are ranked higher and can increase your visibility. You don’t have to do too much to qualify. You can tweak your info by changing up your hobbies periodically. On some sites, you may even come up as “new” again if you simply delete a sentence in your profile and then replace it.
#10 | Have Fun!
Most people are looking for someone who makes them laugh and makes them happy. Show people you have a sense of humor. If you can make someone laugh in the profile stage, it’s a great icebreaker and could get your conversation off to a great start.
Do you have successful online profile-writing tips you can share? What are some of the weirdest profiles you’ve read from potential matches? Let us know in the comments below!
If you’re just getting back into the dating game or want some inspirational tips for navigating the dating scene, read this helpful post. Plus, ideas on what to wear on your first, second, and third dates are in this post!
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