A big question for new online daters is, how to describe yourself in your dating profile? Obviously it’s critical to get it right and describe yourself in a way that gets you noticed, and by the kind of people you’ll like. And it should be easy – after all, who knows us better than ourselves?
As you’ve probably found out already, it’s not! Describing yourself in the “About Me” section of a dating profile is surprisingly difficult… and way too easy to get it wrong! There’s a fine line – often invisible to the person describing themselves – between appealing and appalling.
The following tips on how to describe yourself in your dating profile will help you stay on the right side of the line. As you’ll see, there’s no need to make yourself out to be someone you’re not or sweep all those little quirks under the carpet. In a nutshell, one of the essential qualities to aim for when writing a dating profile is honesty.
Sure, you can attract godzillions of admirers with an “enhanced” description of yourself but one of the biggest benefits of online dating is that there’s no need. You can be the “real you” and attract plenty of admirers.
The purpose of these tips on how to describe yourself is to help you do just that – successfully portray the real you.
Describe yourself in basic terms
Most online dating profiles have three levels of “About Me” details, starting with basic (usually mandatory) details such as your gender and age. Most also have “tick all that apply” pages covering interests, ethnicity, religion, smoking and drinking habits, height, weight and so on. Last but not least is the dreaded “free style” section – the part that people have most trouble with.
You’ll find help with the free style essay below but the first tip for describing yourself well in your profile is to complete as much of the basic information as you can. This basic information is important for two reasons:
- It’s used by the dating service’s search tools – it’s the key to getting found by people looking for someone just like you. You can then wow them with your”about me” essay.
- Completing these basic details in full also makes the right impression. Most people don’t bother and the impression this leaves is that that person is lazy, has something to hide or is not seriously interested in online dating.
Describe yourself in your own words
To describe yourself effectively in your profile it can be helpful to think of your profile as a tourist map of a country called “You.”
- Your fully-completed basic details provide a general view of the landscape, attracting visitors who think it sounds like their kind of place.
- Now it is time to deliver the full-color, glossy brochure packed with lots of fascinating local detail – key attractions, features of interest, historical highlights, leisure and entertainment options, and so on.
In other words, describe yourself in your own words. In theory, this “anything goes” part should be fun and easy but in practice it’s not – it’s most likely it’s the main reason you’re reading this article. And there are lots of good reasons for this.
For one thing, some people have a way better way with words than others. For another it’s not easy to step outside of ourselves and see the big picture of who we are. There are many aspects of ourselves that we take for granted, are too modest to mention, or would rather not think about!
Here are some tips on how to describe yourself in your dating profile in a way that captures the whole you.
Enlist the help of friends or family.
They will help you see yourself from a visitor’s point of view, as it were, and describe yourself in your profile more fully and accurately that you might manage to do yourself. They can have fun with this and you might be surprised by what they have to say.
A good way to approach this is to draw up a mini survey. For instance, ask them to list your top five strengths, your top five weaknesses, your most interesting characteristic, your most likeable characteristic, your most annoying characteristic, your skills, the thing they most admire, etc.
Sit down with a notepad and put yourself through a question and answer session.
Make your questions interesting so the answers will add depth, color and personality to your profile. Here are some examples of questions that will help you describe yourself:
- What is your defining characteristic? Optimism, courage, patience…?
- What is the most difficult/interesting/unusual thing you have ever done?
- What is your favorite type of food/color/movie/book?
- What are your greatest passions/pet peeves?
- Your biggest dream?
- What do you most like/dislike about yourself?
- What personality traits do you like/dislike most in others?
- What qualities do you value most in a partner? Which quality counts most?
- What do you think make a successful relationship? Trust, friendship, shared interests…?
- What do your friends and family say about you?
- What kind of environments do you like best? Outdoors, cities, the beach…?
- Are you a loner, party animal, bit of both?
- What is the first thing people notice about you?
- What is your favorite self-indulgence?
- What would you do if you had a million dollars?
- What kind of date do you enjoy?
It is a good idea to do both these things – question friends, question yourself – before you write your profile. Many online daters don’t describe themselves well because they’re not prepared.
Don’t be limited by the Dating Profile
Dating profiles vary enormously from dating service to service, ranging from fairly basic to the mega profiles at eHarmony (review). So, some will match up well with your “about me” information but others won’t. If not, be sure to wrangle in the information somewhere, somehow.
Remember, dating profile forms are just a guide – a starting point – for describing yourself. This is why most dating profiles have “in your own words” sections. By going above and beyond what’s expected, your profile will really stand out and interest people not just because it’s interesting but because you made the effort to make it so.
Some final tips on how to describe yourself in your dating profile
- Be fresh – Ask yourself, how many people have said the same thing in the same way?
- Be specific – Don’t say you like reading. Say why/what/when/where you like reading.
- Be positive – Don’t be shy to flatter yourself, and don’t take yourself too seriously when describing less flattering aspects of yourself!
- Say it right – For instance, if your sense of humor is very dry, be careful. Not everyone will “get it”. See 20 Tips on How to Write a Dating Profile for more advice on this and more.
- Get examples – browse around dating sites and see how other people describe themselves – what works and what doesn’t.
And after all your hard work, don’t forget to save a copy so that you have all your “about me” information ready to hand if you are trying several online dating sites.
Copyright © 2007-2010 Caroline Mackenzie/DatingMuse.com
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