11 Rules for Writing the Perfect Online Dating Profile

Spellcheck is your friend. Photoshop, not so much.

Since both men and women are waiting longer to get married, it’s become harder to find people using traditional methods such as marrying your high school or college sweetheart. Once out in the world and working full time, opportunities for meeting people begin to diminish. Between the responsibilities of work and the reality of your friends getting married and having their own kids, meeting and greeting people in the dating world has become more difficult. With the realities of dating in the new millennium, online dating sites happen to be one of the best ways to get to know new people. A recent study shows that one third of Americans now meet their spouses through online dating sites, and that the number of people using these sites has increased dramatically over the last decade. Fifty million people in the U.S. use some form of online dating; 40 million stay on the dating sites for an extended period of time. With this latest trend in mind, here are some guidelines for writing an online dating profile that will really help you stand out in the crowd.

  • Do put your best foot forward and be honest. Don’t augment personal details like weight or height, or else you could literally come up short to the person you are trying to connect with. You want to attract like-minded people by being positive and upbeat.
  • DO NOT WRITE IN ALL CAPS. This is totally off-putting.
  • Do be specific about education, religion, age and location. You want to make sure that the type of person you are seeking is the person who is reading and responding to your profile.
  • Do not share personal details such as names of your kids, where you live, or where you work. Remember … this is the Internet.
  • Do highlight your accomplishments, interests and passions. It is important to present yourself in the best light possible, both professionally and socially.
  • Do not write anything negative or superficial. Focus on likes, not dislikes. Be happy and positive and show some depth of personality. No talking about shopping or Snooki and JWoww. Save that for a few dates down the road.
  • Do check grammar and spelling. Make sure you dot your i’s and cross your t’s, and then have a friend proofread and give input.
  • Do not Photoshop pictures, as you might look more like a magazine cover than someone a person would want to have dinner with. Keep the pics flattering, casual and not overly provocative.
  • Do update your profile yearly. Write it yourself, as you want it to be your voice and not someone else’s. As far as what you are looking for: Be realistic and open-minded so you cast a wide enough net to attract someone. This is not the time to be too restrictive or picky.
  • Do not post group or family pictures. You want to present yourself—not your friends to your left or right. Don’t risk highlighting someone other than yourself. As far as family goes, if you are divorced, right now is the time to focus on your singlehood, not you as a mom or a dad.
  • Do definitely be clear about your goals and priorities. Whether it is marriage, a long- term relationship, children or where you would like to live, this is the time put it out there.

Not only are online dating sites a popular way to meet people, but research shows marriages that are a product of this method tend to be more satisfying and less likely to end in divorce. So don’t delay. Start writing the best profile possible and begin the path towards meeting your significant other.