SUNDAY TIMES - 10 golden rules for creating a kick-ass internet dating profile,,
Sunday Times Lifestyle By Oliver Roberts, 2016-02-17

10 golden rules for creating a kick-ass internet dating profile

According to some random study guys displaying tattoos in their profile pic get more responses on internet dating sites.
Image: iStock

Competition is fierce on online dating sites, so you want your profile to stand out from the crowd - and not because it's a contender for one of those lists of the weirdest or creepiest profiles ever.

Oliver Roberts shares 10 tips that'll help you create a highly 'clickable' profile that's memorable for all the right reasons

1) Avoid cliché

I like travelling, movies, being outdoors, picnics, popcorn, watching episodes of 30 Rock while eating popcorn, cats. Blah blah blah. It seems everyone on every dating profile likes the same things and that makes everyone, well, the same.

Discard the banal and spice things up a bit, e.g. Likes – pinching that area of slack skin by the elbow joint (my own and others), driving on an cold August night with the all the windows down and the heater on full blast, the smell and feeling of the warm steam that hits me just after I open my dishwasher, etc.


2) Be seen to be doing something worthwhile in your profile pic

I don’t mean handing out aid or letting someone have your last Rolo, all I’m saying is don’t post that picture of you slumped on the couch, looking like you suffer from a condition where your body is devoid of all bones, with a game consol thingy in your hand and a fast-food packet in the foreground. Surely you have a photograph of yourself committing some kind of physical exertion, even if it’s walking on the beach or throwing a Frisbee. If you only went abseiling that one time like seven years ago don’t post the pic of you abseiling because people might think you’re some kind of rock climber. (See tip 4).

3) What’s with all the neg?

A little sarcasm and cynicism is funny when someone knows you have a bright side too, but with a dating profile you have very little time to make a good impression so don’t pile on the self-snark, e.g. My friend forced me to go onto this site because she thinks I’m lonely and depressed but I’m not, I actually don’t NEED people in my life, not since my ex cheated on me after three years together, I’m actually over it.

4) Don’t lie

A little elaboration, like saying you enjoy reading when you only ever read on holiday, is fine. But don’t tell outright fibs like saying you’re adventurous when your actual idea of adventure is drinking milk that’s three days past expired, or saying you have ‘a great sense of humour’ when you’re merely drunkenly skilled at repeating someone else’s jokes.

5) Grammar, grammar, grammar

Super important if you’re hoping to attract someone of reasonable intelligence (surely?). Stop it with the ‘your’ instead of ‘you’re’ and the ‘it’s’ when you mean ‘its’. And you don’t like ‘expresso’, you like ‘espresso’. Seriously. And don’t use words like ‘gr8’ or ‘gonna’ or ‘amazeballs’; you’re an adult now.


6) Keep it short

As in not like this: "So I’m going to try this dating app thing. Basically because I’ve tried normal dating and it’s just not worked out for me. But the world is changing now, isn’t it? I mean, there’s nothing to be ashamed of with regards to online dating anymore is there? Everyone seems to be doing it. My only worry (because I’m a romantic) is that I’ll meet the person I end up marrying online and then whenever people ask us how we met we’ll have to say, “on the internet” and that, to me, is a little sad. Like why is the world the way it is now that we can’t meet in a normal way anymore? Is it because we’re all just too busy or ironically because we’re too busy on dating apps like these, looking for someone? I long for the days when men road around on horses and people wrote letters to each other with quills and an ink pot – that was real romance. Anyhow, where was I? Ha-ha. Oh yes, so my friend recommended I try this dating app thing and…"

7) Make sure that at least some of your hobbies are sociable ones

Sleeping and chasing your cat around the house are not really accessible activities for the person you’re hoping to attract. If you are a loner and borderline recluse, at least say you like going for coffee or trying out a new restaurant. At the same time, if you think a nightclub is like some sort of brain seizure, don’t claim you like clubbing. Again, you’re an adult now – it’s okay if you think music is too loud.

8) Guys – you should possibly get a tattoo; girls, not

According to some random study guys displaying tattoos in their profile pic get more responses. Maybe it’s the whole bad boy thing, or the way hipsters are infiltrating everything. However, the opposite is true of girls apparently, so make sure you keep that tramp stamp covered up.


9) If you have children, they absolutely should not be in your profile pic, no matter how much you love them

Total left swipe. Telling a potential mate that you have children is something to be revealed when the conversation gets more real. I mean, kids are lovely, but they can be kind of a romance killer.

10) No fancy dress pics

You might think you looked hilarious that time you dressed like a sweet wrapper, or a crayon, or a traffic cone, but if that’s the best you can do for your profile pic nobody’s going to think you’re zany, they’re going to think you’re a total idiot.