How To Write an Online Dating Profile

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Your First Step? Create a User Name, or, Dating Profile Handle

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Next to choosing a dating site, writing your online dating profile is the most important thing you can do to attract someone for a date or relationship. What follows is a comprehensive five step process describing how to write a captivating online dating profile to attract a date. So without further ado, let's jump right in.

After filling out the basic demographic questions (age, sex, location) on the dating site that you chose, the next question usually is, "What is your handle?"

A handle (or user name) is the name other members of the dating site will use as your "name". On most dating sites, a handle cannot be used by two different members, thus making it a unique identifier. Very few online dating companies who ask for your real first name like Yahoo Personals does, but in these cases it is highly recommended that you create a fake user name anyway, to ensure your own personal safety.

But not only does your handle need to be unique, it also needs to be personal, interesting and somehow indicative of who you are, without being off putting, too long or a challenge to pronounce. Although pronouncing your handle may seem counterintuitive, (this is online dating after all!) it will come in handy once you start meeting people. Because some people use only their handles as a personal identifier for some time, many online daters will come to use your handle as your "name", and may even greet you by your handle upon meeting face to face.

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Next Up? Craft the Tag Line

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The next thing anyone will see on your profile is your tag line. For those who don't know, a tag line is the one-liner that introduces you to the other singles surfing the online dating sites. On most online dating sites, the tag line is found at the top of every dating profile and next to everyone's photo and handle when appearing in a search list. Some of the newer, younger-focused or speed dating sites ask only for a tag line and nothing else - even more the reason to ensure yours is well crafted.

Tag lines are very similar to handles, in that they offer a very short space with which to impress or attract someone. They differ in that they can be easily changed and provide a bit more space to describe whatever it is you feel relevant.

Quotes from famous people that you admire, agree with or want to emulate are quite popular in tag lines, as are truisms and lines from famous movies or songs. The problem with using any of these kinds of pieces as your tag line is that others are probably thinking the same thing. Peruse a couple of dating sites and you'll quickly see what I mean: "I'm the one your mother warned you about," is still a favorite after more than a decade of use, and many online daters steer clear of anyone using this tag line because of it.

So what can you use in your tag line? Try for thought-provoking, unusual and/or intriguing one-liners. Light and fun works well for dating or friendship-based profiles, but you can be a little bit more serious for relationship-oriented profiles. Racy or adult-natured tag lines are only appropriate on adult dating sites.

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Know Exactly What You Want For Your Dating Profile

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Before you can move on to write your dating profile, you'll first need to know exactly what it is you are looking for, or what you hope to attract into your life by posting a profile on an online dating site.

This step may seem redundant in that it's obvious you are looking to date someone new by putting up a profile on a dating site. But as there are different types of relationships, you'll want to define what it is you're after before sitting down to write your online dating profile, so as to avoid the overused, "Just checking things out" line.

As well, different online dating sites have different relationship categories with which to choose from. A select few, like Lavalife have different sections to choose from where you can post your profile (Lavalife offers Dating, Relationships and Intimate Encounters sections), whereas others are only geared to long-term relationships, such as eHarmony.

Knowing what kind of relationship or interaction you are looking for before you carefully craft your online dating profile will save you time by ensuring you only post your profile at the most eligible and suitable dating site(s).

Related Content:

  • How To Choose an Online Dating Site
  • Relationship Expectations

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Now It's Time To Start Writing Your Online Dating Profile Essay

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The meat of your online dating profile is the "about me" section, which is called various things on different dating sites. No matter what its title, most online dating sites will require a paragraph or two from you in essay format, describing who you are and what you are looking for. If this part of the process seems too daunting to you, or if you'd rather not invest the time, sign up at one of the online speed dating sites instead, as most don't use essay introductions in their profiles.

Quickly brainstorm what you'd like to share in the essay portion of your dating profile on a piece of paper. Hobbies, interests, work and family are all things to consider. Then, circle three to five things that you think are the most interesting or engaging. These points are what you'll focus on weaving into your essay next, using what I call the "Fly On the Wall" technique.

First, of the points you circled, does one of them imply a place that you spend a lot of time in? If so, try writing a sentence or two that describes why that place is special to you. For instance, you may spend a lot of time in coffee shops writing on your laptop, reading a book or chatting with friends. Keep whatever your reasons are in the back of your mind as you move to the next step.

Using the coffee shop example again, imagine yourself at the coffee shop. Would someone waiting in line to order notice you, and if so, what would they see, hear or experience coming from your general direction?

For ideas and examples, move on to Step Two of writing your Dating Profile Essay.

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More Dating Profile Writing

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Ready to finish up your online dating profile essay? Great. Then let's get to the actual writing of it.

From the coffee shop scenario in step one (or whichever locale you chose that is specifically suited to your personality and interests), write a very short story for the person reading your profile, so they can feel like they've actually met you already. A paragraph or two is more than enough.

While writing this "Fly On the Wall" dating profile essay, try integrating the items you circled in the first step of this process. Maybe your coffee shop stint ends quickly because you have to rush off to a soccer game or to pick up the kids from school. Perhaps other patrons would overhear you belting out an impromptu song in preparation for an upcoming gig or see you playing a video game on your laptop. Or maybe few people would notice you sitting in the darkened corner as you scribble furiously on a pad of paper, with earphones blaring your favorite songstress' newest album. In the end, it doesn't really matter as long as you make the story your own.

Next, invite the person reading the profile to contact you, so they can join you in doing something you've just intimated you are interested in or passionate about. Folks new to town can easily ask for tour guides to show them around, and people more familiar with the area can suggest a date activity. Bolder singles with confidence in their writing abilities can even go so far as to write their Mr. or Mrs. Right (or Right Now) into their short story, detailing what they'd like in a partner or date through their own fictitious observations.

Finally, read over your finished work, and make sure to spell check it. If you like you can even email your dating profile essay to a friend for review before posting it to your chosen dating site.

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