If you find yourself on the market in your late 30s or 40s, trust us when we say we completely understand how daunting it can feel. Chance are, if you’re reading this, then you’ve probably made like a millennial and embraced the vast world of online dating. Online dating is a wonderful way to meet and get a handle of what a person is like before agreeing to meet in real life (perfect for all you busy executives). Yet, it can be tricky, especially if it’s your first time wading through the veritable ocean of profiles. Here’s how to make yours stand out from out the crowd, and increase your chances of finding your perfect match.
Your profile photos are key
Looks aren’t everything, but before a person can get to know how wonderful you are inside, you’ll have to get their attention first! Never underestimate the importance of good, clear profile photos that clearly show your face and physique. Your “main” photo should be taken in natural lighting (it’s the most flattering), not be overly Photoshopped, and should tell a quick story of who you are. If you’re into the outdoors, a shot of you at the beach or in the mountains is a good choice. If you’re an animal lover, it won’t hurt to have a photo with your pet. Your other photos should include you in social settings (to show you have friends and you’re not a psychopath), doing an activity you enjoy (you have hobbies) and one traveling (you are curious). You’ll also want to make sure those photos are as recent as possible, ideally taken within the last 1 year (unless your appearance has changed dramatically). It takes less than 3 seconds for us to decide if we’re attracted to someone or not, so make those photos count!
Think about your profile description
Now that you’ve caught someone’s attention, it’s time to hold onto it by writing a short but engaging profile description. As mentioned, looks aren’t everything so it’s important to show that you have some substance! Don’t make it too wordy as people on online dating platforms don’t generally have a long attention span, but not so short that they have no idea about who you are either. A good length would be 100-200 word, and should include your real name, age, hobbies and interests. Never lie in your profile because the truth, as they say, always comes out at some point, and this applies to your height, job, weight and age! We’re not saying you can’t present the best version of you – and you should – but once you’ve been discovered it a lie, there’s no going back and the trust is already compromised, which is not a great way to start a new relationship. You’ll also want to check your spelling and grammar because these mistakes come across as careless or lazy – traits no one is looking for in a future mate.
Now fine tune it
Once you’ve written out the basics, the next tip is to ensure you don’t sound overly generic. Everyone loves traveling, dining out and the movies – what makes you different from the next guy or girl who does? Your profile should convey who you are as a person, whether that is witty, sarcastic (although tone it down a little) or funny. For example, “I am a fun-loving guy who enjoys going to food fairs, but wouldn’t say no to sky diving either”. It’s also a good idea to very briefly discuss what you’re looking for and what kind of person that would be. Are you looking for a long-term partner, or are you just looking to date casually? Would you prefer him or her to enjoy cooking, adventure sports or visiting museums? Make this clear so others know what to expect from you, and you’ll be able to avoid any potential drama.
Don’t sell yourself short
In the world of online dating, less is definitely not more. Again, the online world is brimming with profiles and if you want yours to stand you, you can’t be vague about it! Don’t worry about coming across as a braggart – but maybe leave the fleet of luxury cars you own for after the 5thdate and out of your profile. Sell yourself as a person, and not the things you own and you’ll be just fine. After all, you don’t want someone to date you just for material reasons, right? Avoid adding liners like “My name is _____ and I’m not very good at describing myself but…” You have to be good at describing yourself because don’t forget, you are ultimately advertising yourself. You aren’t going to buy a car that has an ad that says “it’s a good car but we can’t say why, exactly” are you? A good rule of thumb would be to identify some characteristics or hobbies, then going on to explain them. Oh and, don’t make it all about your job either, this isn’t LinkedIn!
Don’t be negative
We’re not saying you have to sound super perky, but leave out anything negative like previous bad dates (it’s not therapy), the ex and how lonely you are being single. Keep your profile upbeat and focus on the great things you have to offer – after all, no one is looking to date a gloomy Gus. Positivity and confidence are often interlinked, and nothing is more attractive than a person who knows his or her place in the world and allows their inner light to shine through.