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The dating profile. Nothing to it. Just slap a few words about yourself in the profile, sit back, and sooner or later the man or woman of your dreams contacts you and you all live happily ever after. Well, in theory that's what's supposed to happen, but for many people using online dating services, it hardly ever does. So what goes wrong?

Let's just for a moment imagine that you've been invited to a social gathering, at which there are many potential new friends. How would you present yourself? Do you turn up in a smelly jog suite, looking worn out and grumpy with it? I don't think so! You put on your (elegant) glad rags, be friendly and charming, and knock 'em dead! Writing a good dating profile is the same. You show off your best attributes.

Most often, people don't take enough care and attention when constructing a dating profile to attract their dream mate or best buddy, or even get close. Often they attract people who are just wrong for them, and once you get on this road, it's very easy to conclude that online dating doesn't work, so you give up. Sometimes they don't attract any response at all! However, if you take a bit of time constructing a good dating profile, you can immediately reduce the number of irrelevant contacts, giving you more time to concentrate on following up those more interesting propositions.

Your dating profile needs to do a number of different things as described below. If you don't write your dating profile with these things in mind you won't attract the right kind of contacts. If you think about it, everybody out there who contacts you for the wrong reasons, is just wasting your time and theirs. Now although online dating is a numbers game, just as in the real world, you need people to contact you for the right reasons. The goal is to catch someone's curiosity, but not just any someone. Someone who has the potential to be what you're looking for. So, how do you do it?

Tell people about yourself
Your dating profile is your advertisement to the world. It should tell the world who you are. It should sell you to your ideal mate. Yes, I used that word SELL.  It's strange how that word conjures up uncomfortable images of double glazing sales men, but let me tell you this. If anyone ever tells you that they don't have sales ability and they could never sell anything, then they are either lying, or are the most down trodden and subservient person in the whole world. Why? Well, consider this; have you ever persuaded someone to your point of view? Have you ever convinced someone to take an action you suggested? Have you ever gone to a job interview and got the job? Hopefully most people reading this have (if not, you are probably that poor down trodden person I mentioned earlier and you have my deepest sympathy! :).  Every one of the examples above shows that most people have the capacity for communication and persuasion which is really all 'sales' is about. Communication and persuasion is what your dating profile is about too. Telling interested readers a little about who you are, in order to persuade them to contact you.

Know thyself
You can't tell anyone anything unless you understand who you are, what you like and what gets you out of bed in a morning. Now it's very easy to fall into the trap of turning out lists of your favourite movies, what you like to eat, what you do as a job and so on. This is what I call the military approach (name, rank, and serial number). It's almost as boring as a laundry list. Now, if you're only looking for a friend just to hang out and do stuff with, then this is maybe OK. You will find it easier to get on with someone who likes doing the same kind of things as you do.

However if you are seeking that 'special someone' there has to be more to it than both of you liking John Travolta movies and Pizza! Half the world likes Pizza so what's special about you? That's the real problem with the military approach. It doesn't really tell people what's uniquely special about you.

I have a theory, which is that two people will be more likely to get on well and develop a relationship if they share the same core values and beliefs. It seems to me that in a relationship, all the other stuff can be negotiated and compromised without too much damage (does it really matter if one of you likes smelly cheese and the other doesn't?), but if you have fundamental differences in deep seated values and beliefs, then it ain't gonna work.  So put one or two of your values and beliefs in your dating profile (but not all; got to leave something for the first date!).

Do not lie
Being online, it's very tempting to be a little inventive about your life (I really am an airline pilot and drive an Aston Martin, honest! :), especially if you believe your life is a bit boring. Everything's is done via e-mail or the web, so who's going to know?

The problem is that when you do finally make contact with someone you'd like to meet, they're going to find out you've been telling porky pies (for those International readers - London Cockney rhyming slang; pork pie = lie), and then you put the potential relationship at risk before it's begun. No trust, no relationship.

Three attributes that most people look for in a mate are a sense of humour, integrity and self-confidence, so if you can work these into your dating profile, do so. When demonstrating your self-confidence be careful not to sound too egotistical. It's fine to have some worthy accomplishments but you don't want to get too po faced about it, otherwise people will think you're too serious......


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Updated November 2016


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