If you're one of the 9 millions singletons in the UK who currently uses online dating, you'll no doubt have spent a lot of time writing and deliberating on what you should and shouldn't include on your profile page.
Well, that's a great start! Your profile is your opportunity to showcase yourself and to attract, not just any partner, but the right partner so it's brilliant that you're putting so much thought into it.
Here are my top tips for creating an online dating profile to be proud of.
STEP 1: CHOOSING THE RIGHT PROFILE PICTURE
Your profile picture is the first thing that people see and, as harsh as it is, they will form an opinion based on your profile picture so it's important to pick the right one.
DO: Keep it simple. A head and upper body photograph is always a good start. It draws attention to features like your eyes, hair, and you.
DO: Think about the image that you want to portray. For example, if a girl is wearing fancy dress or she's pictured holding a neon plastic bucket sucking on a straw from it, I'm instantly put off. That won't be the same for everyone but you have to think what picture you're painting of yourself. If you're drunk and splayed across a bar, you might think you look like fun but others could make a judgment that you're too wild, not settling down material, or that your life is a bit of a mess.
DO: Wear clothes. If you want to attract a long-term lover and not a lothario, you need to create the right impression. Topless shots, bikinis, suggestive poses aren't going to create the impression that you are serious about having a committed relationship and they aren't going to attract the someone who is serious about finding a relationship either. Guys, you know the kind of people the bathroom six pack shot is going to attract right? And ditto for the girls with the beach bikini shot #sexpest. Clothing is sexy too so show you have substance and style by wearing some.
DON'T: Use props. Props such as fancy dress, funny faces and friends will instantly distract the reader. It could also cause them to make false preconceptions about you and could even stop them asking you out on a date.
DON'T: Have friends (or ex-boyfriends/ex-girlfriends) in your profile picture. It sounds silly to have to suggest this but having group shots it actually very common. This is a BIG mistake. Not only will it make the viewer wonder if you're in a relationship or hung-up on another person but it will also make them wonder which person is you. This could lead to some fairly soul destroying explanatory replies 'oh sorry, in that case is your friend single?' So avoid the problem and have a photo that's just of you.
STEP 2: DESCRIBING YOURSELF
DO: Tell the truth about what you like.
This is very important. Girls, if you say you love fishing but, in reality, are a vegetarian who hates getting wet, you can't complain when they take you on a date fishing where you can BBQ the fresh fish you've caught together. Likewise, guys if you say you like cuddling up with a romantic film, don't complain when your date suggests watching Bridget Jones...again!
Your profile gives you the opportunity to tell people what your interests are. Being honest helps you to make connections and to see who you have things in common with. If they really like you, having some different interests won't matter so just be yourself.
DON'T: Be vague about your interests.
There's no point just saying you're into films or music. That's such a huge field. If you narrow down your tastes, then it not only tells potential partners more about you and what you may have in common, but it also gives people a way to ignite conversation. For example, it's much easier to get in touch with someone if you say you love the film Anchorman and they've also listed it as one of their all time favourites. This is the same for travelling, everyone travels but tell me where you've been and it may be somewhere I've been. It will give us something to talk about and opens up conversation.
DO: Be honest.
Trust is very important so be honest from the offset.
A relationship needs to be built on trust and even if you're just telling a little white lie, it makes potential partners wonder, what else you could be lying about. Being honest will also make you more relaxed on your first date as you'll not be worrying about tripping yourself up.
DO: Be yourself.
Don't go overboard about your passions, job etc. or could end up sounding like a modern day super hero, something that none of us can live up to. Your date wants to meet the real you, not Iron Man or Wonder Woman so just be yourself.