Online dating – you are front page news!

You’ve signed up for your brand new dating site, your re-shot, just-so new photo is ‘synced’ with your PC, ready to upload to your profile and you are excited. Something in your water tells you that this is the one, the last time you’ll ever have to fill in a profile and sign up to a matchmaking site again!

All goes well, but then you get to the ‘about me’ snippet – the ‘alt text’ of your photo that’s going to grab a prospective partner’s eye whilst they eagerly await your .jpeg to load – and you grind to a miserable halt.

More than anything, this one- or two-sentence overview is the difference between you getting clicks through to your profile or whether your hyperlink will just be used as a stepping stone to an online dating résumé that is more creative in its introduction than yours, a real headline maker!

Your snippet is your welcome mat and can potentially communicate more about you than anything else in your dating profile. There are many ways you can say hello to your new dating site community – how you convey your greeting will be the difference between being greeted with a cheery smile and swift, chirpy response or simply being flipped the bird. It is pointless having a professionally crafted dating site profile if your headline dissuades members from reading any further than the introduction.

keep your dating site profile light and upbeat

It is very important to stay true to yourself, but accentuate the positives – a negative vibe will put prospective partners on a downer even if they are dogged and proceed to read the rest of your detail. Do not lead with phrases such as ‘I am only here because the divorce has just come through’ or ‘I didn’t want to do this, but…’ – this type of phrase only suggests that your heart’s not in it and you’re here to satisfy someone else’s ill-advised intentions, not for your own reward.

Another mistake people make is quoting a lyric from a film or TV series. There are a couple of issues with this type of approach. Firstly, catchy it may be, but it was written for a certain script in a specific setting – you may dig the reference, but it could be totally lost on other dating site members. Also, if an association is made by someone checking you out, what does the film say about you regarding age, taste and style? You may be unnecessarily alienating yourself with your choice. This train of thought can also apply to an inappropriate literary reference or song lyric. Okay, Shirley Bassey has a great voice, but she does tend to have an overtly ‘sweet’ following.

To greatly improve your chances of a response – this may sound backwards – make your opening gambit less about you. Ask an indirect question, one that invites explanation rather than a blunt ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Oh – and avoid politics and religion; really, more people are likely to admit to having had an affair than reveal their preferred party or deity!

And make the answer not so blindingly obvious that you come across as uneducated; invite answers that will help you build rapport, understand the schematic and encourage a broad section of the dating site community to contribute. But make the question appropriate to you, with some end design in mind; you will still want to be involved, even if the ‘clique’ dating site members try to muscle in on the thread. After all, it’s your headline and you want to attract potential partners to you, not the competition.

Here’s lookin’ at you, kid…