Online Dating: 8 Rules for a Standout Profile

by Michael on September 1, 2010 · 2 comments

That can't be good.

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If you’re just catching up, over the past couple of weeks I’ve been guiding you through the world of online dating, from choosing a dating site to signing up and answering the many questions used to match you with the girl of your dreams. There’s still a gaping hole in your online profile, one piece that can convince her that you might be the man of her dreams or turn her off forever. Not the photo—we’ll get to that. It’s your bio, or “about me” section.

It’s easy to stand out among the other guys on your dating site of choice. Just look at their profiles and don’t do what they do. Right now I’m looking at the first 10 profiles that come up, and among those profiles I see:

  • 3 guys are “easygoing”
  • 3 are “passionate”
  • 7 are “career-focused” or just spend a lot of time at work (“I’m here because I have no time to meet women”—unfortunately, these guys forget it takes time to date women)
  • One only listed what he wants in his woman
  • One has some serious TMI about his past relationships, which he obviously sees as a strong point because they lasted 2 and 3 years (hint: if she says “yes” as soon as her old boyfriend comes back and proposes, maybe your relationship wasn’t that great).

Out of these ten profiles, only one was what I’d consider a boost to his chances rather than a hindrance.

The biggest secret to creating a great online dating profile bio has nothing to do with what you put in it: it’s what you leave out that’s most important. A well-known pickup artist once created a profile consisting of Chuck Norris facts with Chuck’s name deleted and the PUA’s written in. A woman who stumbled upon it likely thought the profile was funny as hell, and it left just about everything to the imagination. A very successful profile I once had was titled, “You Don’t Want to Get Mixed Up With Me” and included profundities like, “the instrument I love the most is the bass, and you know what that means.”

Here are some important rules to live by when you’re composing your bio.

1. It’s Who You Are, Not What You Do

The most mind-numbing profiles in the entire online dating world are those that list what he does, what he’s done, where he’s been, his perceived personality traits, and what he’d like his ideal woman to be like. Don’t do that. If there’s one rule you follow religiously, this is the one.

If it’s critical to you that your woman like something you like or understand what you’re passionate about, write about how you feel when you do that specific thing. Paint a mental picture. Make her feel.

2. Don’t Brag

Guys love to talk about their accomplishments and their stuff. The reason that’s a turn-off to women is that it’s incredibly boring to read. There will be time for her to know you love fast Italian automobiles, and that time is when you pull up at her door in one. Don’t even ask when she needs to know you’re well-hung.

3. Don’t Describe Your Ideal Woman

Because no woman who’s worth a damn will think she measures up. There is an alternative to this that is fun and a little mysterious, which is to ask questions to which there’s no obvious answer. (Actual examples from a successful profile: “Journey or KISS?” “Someone bumps the table and your wine spills on your new dress. How do you react?”)

4. Avoid Cliches

Overused tidbits like “My friends say I’m…” “Work hard, play hard” or “I can go from a tux to jeans and a t-shirt” instantly push you back into the masses as just another guy. Again, looking at the competition will give you a leg up on the repetitive eye-glazing boredom she finds elsewhere.

5. Keep the Mystery Alive

Believe it or not, you don’t actually have to say much about yourself in your bio in order to attract women. You can convey your personality without actually stating plain facts about yourself. Describe something interesting you saw once. Recount the funniest Facebook or Twitter statuses you’ve seen. Give her just a piece of who you are so she wants to know more. (Examples: “Where would I be without words? Maybe homeless.” “It was the biggest bear I’ve ever seen, and I was seeing it way too close up.”)

And in a choice between too short and too long, a too-short profile wins every time.

6. Keep It Light

If there’s one place to actually display a sense of humor and easy-going nature, it’s online. The vast majority of women will react positively to a fun profile, and it’s a starting point for the flirting you’re going to want to do when you successfully contact them. Explaining that you’re a little shy after your fiancee dumped you for a circus midget won’t make her want to meet you immediately so that she can dry your tears. Show the side of you that can have fun.

If you’re actually a dour person, you’ve probably already found it difficult to meet women, and that won’t be any different on the Internet.

7. Be a Grown-up

You will severely limit your prospects with “HOLLA IF UR HOTT!” Skip the rap slang (unless you’re being funny and the joke is obvious), remember that with a full keyboard you can actually type full English words, and use spell-check. Please use spell-check.

8. Test

No fish biting? Try new bait. When I was in my concentrated online dating phase I changed my bio entirely about every couple of weeks. The same women who wouldn’t give me the time of day the first time I messaged them would suddenly be up for meeting me after I revised my prose. Write a few different profiles and try them on different sites. Maybe leave out the part where you bow-hunt for deer next time and see what happens.

If you follow these guidelines, you’ll end up with a profile that won’t repel women. That’s all we’re really looking for, because the profile is simply an amuse-bouche for your e-mail contact. Give her the smallest of tastes, and leave her with questions she’ll want to ask you.

Next up: the photo!

2 comments… read them below or add one

MsM April 25, 2013 at 2:42 am

Glad guys are NOT taking your advice. Datings sites are filled to the brim with vague, pseudo-funny guys who lack substance don’t need anymore…


Michael May 3, 2013 at 6:11 am

You’re contradicting yourself. If no one was taking my advice, you wouldn’t see so many guys who appear to be taking my advice, right?

But good luck to you in your quest to find an unfunny guy. To each their own, I guess.

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