You’ve probably heard that first impressions are important. The truth is that sometimes a first impression is the only chance you have–especially when it comes to dating. In fact, experts say we size up new people in somewhere between 30 seconds and two minutes.
That’s right. In only 60 seconds many people decide if they are interested in investing the time and energy into the process of getting to know someone better.
Online dating can often feel like navigating a minefield of good and bad first impressions, but if you’re looking to draw in that special lady, you’ll definitely want to check out the following tips on creating a successful first virtual impression.
How to create a good dating profile:
It’s often said that you can find anything on the Internet. For the most part this is a true statement, however when one focuses on virtual matters of the heart, locating “the one” is often a frustrating and fruitless search.
Love–and even lust–much like like the Internet, have their very own etiquette and language. Incorrect use of the two in an online dating situation can further complicate the already difficult road.
Unfortunately it is never as simple as “Boy posts intriguing online profile. Girl views profile and agrees to date. Boy and Girl go to dinner, fall in love and live happily ever after.”
Keep reading for a few ways to stack the deck in your favor.
DON’T BE A CATFISH
Lying is a sure fire way to shoot yourself in the foot. Yes, we have probably all seen the MTV series, and are well aware that ‘catfishing’ runs rampant on online dating sites. Simply put–advertise YOU, not some embellished, incorrect and shinier version of yourself.
Don’t lie about your age, don’t upload a photo of some muscled male model you found on a Google image search, and don’t brag about the brand new Bentley Mulsanne you have tucked away in your garage if you really drive a ten-year-old Ford Focus.
Even on the most minor details it is best not to stretch the truth.
If you are five-foot-nine, but decide you may seem more attractive if you instead say you’re six-two–and your date notices, she’ll immediately wonder what else you lied about. She’s also bound to wonder what makes you so insecure you feel the need to lie in the first place.
Sure, you want to impress your potential Lady love, but you’d also like her to fall for the real you, right?
Just be yourself.
Want to chat her up? Use your real name, talk about your actual job, and enjoy the organic process of getting to know someone.
DON’T BE DULL OR VAGUE
Now let’s move on and discuss the actual wording of your dating profile. Using vague descriptions and ambiguous terminology essentially proclaims “I am pretty boring and don’t really have any interests!”
Think about it: Who wouldn’t describe himself as “fun-loving?” Likewise, using the go-to phrase “I’m generally a pretty laid back and easygoing guy” is practically meaningless–not to mention so many guys describe themselves in this manner that you certainly wouldn’t be setting yourself apart from the competition.
Find a way to describe your interests in captivating detail.
For example, perhaps you are a comedy fan. Don’t use the term “I’m a funny guy.” Instead, explain that your favorite comedian is Jon Oliver, you never miss an episode of “Last Week Tonight,” and recently caught Aziz Ansari perform at your local theatre.
This will give her an idea of the exact kind of comedy you appreciate, and gauge whether your sense of humor is compatible with hers.
TELL STORIES. DON’T LIST YOUR BEST TRAITS OR INTERESTS
“I enjoy cooking, live music, fishing, and working out.” Snore. A better alternative to listing your hobbies or interests is to tell stories.
Just like this:
I adore Indian food, and have recently mastered the recipe for spicy tawa paneer masala. In fact, I’d love to cook for you–you bring the Naan bread and I’ll whip up the main dish. More about me? I’m a music-lover and just saw Nine Inch Nails perform at the Palladium–I can’t believe how great of a performer Trent Reznor is after all these years. I’m also an avid fisherman, as I spent summers during my childhood fishing with my grandfather on Lake Michigan. Lastly, I try to squeeze in a Krav Maga class two or three times a week. I’m a former Marine, so this keeps me in touch with my military roots–it’s almost as challenging as boot camp.
Not only is this more interesting to read, it makes you more approachable. It also shows that you’ll have plenty to discuss on a first date.
NO OVERSHARING, PLEASE
The red flags some guys slip into their dating profiles can be absolutely mindboggling. If you just had a horrendous breakup that has you reeling or you’re currently feeling super depressed about your relationship status please keep it to yourself.
Any hint of sad trombone feel to your profile will likely send quality dates running in the opposite virtual direction.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT KIND OF PHOTOS
Review photos you are considering uploading to you dating site with a critical eye. Deeply consider the message certain shots will send to potential mates. Hoping for a long-term relationship? OK, avoid posting photos of yourself drinking excessively or making duck faces at the camera.
Just looking for a fling? That’s OK too, but skip shots of you with mom or cooking up dishes for your church’s upcoming fundraiser. Please avoid fuzzy photos, creepy, obviously-outdated shots and those with exes “cleverly” cropped out of the frame.
Girls can see right through all of these pathetic attempts at attention.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR A HAND
Even though you may have followed all the outlined steps to a T, it is only natural to be a bit nervous or apprehensive when posting an online dating profile. Plus, accurately explaining who you are, what you like, and the kind of dating experience you are on the hunt for can be an incredibly difficult process.
If you are unsure of how your profile reads or looks feel free to ask a friend—extra points if it’s a good female friend–to look it over for you. Friends can often suggest including things we fail to see in ourselves, and can act as a third party with an editing eye.