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Online Dating Do’s and Don'ts - Profile Basics

Online Dating – Profile Basics

When it comes to dating, everyone thinks they know what’s right for you. Your mom, grandpa, favorite aunt, your high school best friend – all offer their advice on how to find a significant other. They tell you to just get yourself out there, and you’ll find “your person” – not realizing how much dating has changed. You may notice all these people already have partners they met in college, through work, or at a mutual friend’s get-together.

But the days of meeting your boy/girlfriend at a soda shop are OVER!

With the development of technology, many aspects of life have gotten easier, especially when it comes to dating. Just by you being here, reading this article about online dating, means are you already know how normal it is!

Specialized dating sites and apps help you to connect with prospective partners or find a summer fling. Even though it may seem like online dating is a piece of cake, there are certain things you can follow and paths you can avoid if you want to be successful in finding your new boo. In this article, we are focusing on your online dating profile by offering you some of the best and worst profile practices to help you navigate through the stormy seas of online dating:

 Profile Picture PSA

Online Dating Profile Pictures

It goes without saying that this is one of the most important aspects of your dating profile. The profile picture is the very first impression you have and the deciding factor when someone is choosing to contact you or not. This photo should always be your own photos, of yourself!! This means no stock images, pictures of models, or pictures of someone you know.

It is super easy to google the picture and find out that isn’t you, not to mention most people will probably ignore your profile because you aren’t taking it seriously enough to put up a real picture of yourself.

Best Type of Profile Pictures

Now that we have established you should always use your own photos; our next tip is what type of photos you should post. Always aim for a photo that accents your qualities in a clear and fun way. One must-have is a photo of your face and at least one picture of your (clothed) body. In addition, restrict yourself to no more than 1 selfie and try avoiding mirror pictures at all costs – this isn’t Myspace, folks!

Some other ideas to keep in mind when choosing your pictures:

  • Use well-lit photos – don’t make people guess what they’re looking at
  • Try to get at least one photo of your face straight on and without sunglasses
  • Include several pictures (aim for at least 5 that look different from each other)
  • Use pictures of you out with friends, or doing something you love
  • Pictures of you doing your favorite activities are great
  • If possible, choose pictures of you taken by someone else – preferably at a distance and/or in a cool location
  • If you have a pet, include a picture with your furry friend!

Personal Info

Sharing too much personal information online is dangerous. While it’s ok to have your first name and basic interests displayed publicly, you should never post any personal information that can potentially compromise your safety – such as your home address, work address, cell phone number (until you get to know someone), or even places you frequent on a consistent basis.

Even though the majority of people you will meet online are great, you can never be too careful with your information and your safety. Keep yourself protected.

About Me

The About Me section is a place to let your personality shine and talk about your favorite things to do in a way that catches your potential date’s attention. So, what does this mean? Try not to write broad statements that everyone has, like “I love animals” (who doesn’t??), instead try to give a little window into your life/personality, with something like “When I’m not _______ [at my normal 9-5/standing up for reproductive rights/trying to save the world] I enjoy spending time with my first love – my hedgehog/dog/cat/turtle/etc!”.

Some things you can include in your bio:

  • Some of your favorite authors, books, or movies
  • Your favorite weekend hobby
  • Your favorite vacation spot
  • What motives you/what are you passionate about?
  • What you’re looking for in online dating (Serious relationship? Casual hookup? Activities Partner? Being specific will help people decide if your intentions align)
  • Anything that will give insight into your personality (ie: try to write your profile like you talk! Tell a joke if you consider yourself funny!)
  • How you like to spend your time
    • Are you a partier? A hiker? Do you love to play pool? Well, these are all things that could catch someone’s eye as their perfect partner!

Remember to be as concise as possible, and leave something to the imagination. You want to give the reader enough information to know you’re not a serial killer, but you still want to have something to talk about on your first date!

What are some things you always or never include in your online dating profile?? Tell us in the comments below!

Vibrant Staff

The Vibrant Staff writers are a group of sex-positive cis women and queer folks employed by Vibrant. Our contributors are passionate about educational advocacy, sexual autonomy and freedom, healthy relationships, and sharing their experiences with you!

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Vibrant Staff

The Vibrant Staff writers are a group of sex-positive cis women and queer folks employed by Vibrant. Our contributors are passionate about educational advocacy, sexual autonomy and freedom, healthy relationships, and sharing their experiences with you!

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