4 Vital Online Dating Profile Tips

Having a catchy online dating profile is key to standing out among the competition.

Having a catchy online dating profile is key to standing out among the competition.

The competition for attention on online dating services is intense. So intense, in fact, that some people resort to lying or posting outdated photos in an attempt to attract that next date.

It’s vital that you are honest in your profile and through your photos so that you don’t meet (or interact) with others under false pretenses.

SEE ALSO: Better Online Dating Profile Tips

So then what are some important things you can do to build a better profile? Here are three specific profile tips you can use to improve your profile now:

1) Avoid Negativity

Have you ever gone out on a first date where the person you were with complained about his/her work, ex, etc? Such negative talk is a major turnoff. Likewise, negativity is a major turnoff in your profile. Being positive is like a magnet. Being negative is like wearing a skunk aroma. Here’s how one person actually began her profile:

“To be quite honest, I have been putting this off as long as possible. I have friends who use Match and have had some terrible dates.”

This begs to ask, “what are you doing here?” Now contrast that to this profile introduction:

“I’ve heard online dating is a great way to meet awesome people and that’s why I want to meet you.”

Which one of these profile intros is more attractive? The one who wants to date “losers” or the one that wants to date “winners?” Psychologically, everyone wants to be a winner. Therefore in your profile, avoid anything negative like the plague. Be positive.

If you have anything negative in your profile (“I hate country music,” “the last guy I dated was a liar and cheater,” “I’m sick of being alone,” “I’m sick of the bar scene,” etc.) then go edit it out immediately and replace it with something positive (“I love independent music and artists, like…”). Always be positive; not just in your profile, but also in life.

In your profile, avoid anything negative like the plague. Be positive. Click To Tweet

2) Go From Typical to Unique

Read this profile and tell me if you recognize it:

“I am a fun person who loves movies and music. I like walks on the beach, good conversation, and dining out. I’m looking for someone who is fun and can make me laugh.”

Unfortunately, the above describes most profiles – typical and non-informative. Beef up your profile to be more descriptive and unique. Instead of “I like movies,” say “my favorite movie is ____ because _______” or use a movie character to describe you. “I’m a lot like _____ in ______ because _______.”

Use clever words that are descriptive. Instead of saying “on hot days I like to go to the ocean or on a hike,” say, “on a sizzling day my adventurous side leads me to traversing the ocean on a sailboat or discovering a new waterfall that I can cool off under.”

Instead of “I like to discover new things,” say, “I’m a lot like Indiana Jones in that I love exploring the mysteries of life, while educating my mind to appreciate new things.”

Strive to give your profile some pizzazz by spicing it up sentence by sentence. Be descriptive, unique, and fun!

3) Filter Out Undesirables

Your profile isn’t about getting responses. It is about getting responses from the type of person you are attracted to. With that in mind, you can use descriptions to help narrow your focus to what you want so that you get responses from who you’re looking for.

Instead of “I’m looking for someone fun and humorous,” say, “I’m looking for a lighthearted man between the ages of 24 and 29 who enjoys the humorous side of life. If you are clean-shaven and can hold a conversation during a 150 mile car journey, then we may be a match. Email me.”

In the above example, you created three filters – an age filter (24 and 29), and appearance filter (clean-shaven) and a communication filter (good-communicator). And you did it without offending. But you also created a response filter (“…we may be a match. Email me.”) You’ve helped tell the person what the next step is if they meet your criteria. You’ve created a call to action, which will help direct interested parties to email you versus waiting.

Now some people don’t believe in these type of filters because it may limit your ability to find your true love. If that’s you, don’t use them. However, some people are insistent that they know exactly what they want and don’t want to search outside of those parameters. If this is you, then use filters in your descriptions.

4) Post Fun Photos

Research shows that online dating profiles with photos get a far superior number of clicks than those without photos. Photos you post should be solo shots that show you as warm, fun, and happy. That means to SMILE.

Bonus Tip

Change your header message and main photo often. It keeps it fresh and interesting for people doing searches and increases the chances of it being viewed. Be creative. View some of our Top 10 lists of funny and philosophical profile headers.

A great way to make your profile better is to analyze profiles you really like. What is it that you like about them? What makes the profiles different?

Now what will you do to make your profile unique?

(Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in 2007 and updated in 2015)


Joe Tracy

Joe Tracy is the publisher and founder of Online Dating Magazine, which launched in July 2003 and has been providing original dating advice, tips, articles, reviews, and videos to readers ever since.


  1. NancianneSterling on May 17, 2010 at 11:02 am

    While I agree with most of the points made in the above article on online dating, I’m not in agreement regarding the specific example stated in pointer #3, Filter the Unwanteds. While I do agree with filters, one that is so specific on age (only 5 years) is perhaps filtering too stringently. I’m afraid that a client could be setting too stringent a filter, only to be set up for disappoint. Keep an open-mind and be broad on such drop-box factors (age, marital status, income) whenever possible.

  2. Christophe on May 21, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    Thanks for the informative article!

    I especially agree that you should avoid negativity. I do see some women complaining in their profiles about guys only wanting sex. God, how could that be??? I can’t imagine any men only wanting sex!

    That would make them…. well MEN!

  3. MatchPerfect UK on July 9, 2010 at 7:15 am

    Very helpful information and well written!

  4. Alex Smith on February 21, 2011 at 10:27 am

    How about the info you leave on your profile? do you think it should be the real one? i mean a lot of peoples out there use scam profile to flirt on dating online sites.

  5. RobinInCarolina on February 21, 2011 at 11:21 am

    A well written profile can triple your online success, that is for sure. Switching it up is very effective if you reach a lull.

  6. HK on May 17, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    Definitely helped me reflect and revamp the way I present myself.

  7. Eia on March 17, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    Dear Online Dating Men who have yet to find their potential girlfriend or wife,

    Here are a couple tips if you want to find a decent other.

    1. Do not only have photos of you with your shirt off showing muscles (if you have any), pets, cars, motorcycles, or tattoos. Yes they may be nice but we are dating you not what you have.

    2. Smile darn it!

    3. For goodness sake, do not have a picture with your middle finger sticking up.

    4. No text typing. Use complete words since you have the time to be putting up a profile.

    5. Be as genuine as possible.

    6. Try not to curse if you can help it.


    • Joe Tracy, Publisher on March 20, 2013 at 12:56 pm

      That is GREAT advice, Eia. Thank you for taking the time to share it. I especially like your tip on “no text typing.” That is very true in today’s environment and a major turnoff to many online daters viewing profiles.

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  • Summary

    Before someone sends you a message on an online dating service, they will first read your profile. If your profile is unique and fun the chances of someone contacting you increase. Follow these online dating profile tips…

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