If you’ve spent any time here on our dating advice site, you’ll know that both Cosmo and I highly recommend creating a dating profile, and using the online dating apps or sites to find true love.
I hope you haven’t absolutely decided that online dating is not for you.
Since so many 60+ singles use these sites, you’ll seriously boost your chances to meet your true love faster.
Read about which online dating sites are right for you in Top 10 Best Online Dating Sites for Over 60: How To Choose and Use Them.
Read on, if you want to learn how to create an online profile that will draw the right people to you.
How To Be Successful With Online Dating Sites
The trick to being successful with online dating is to create a profile that stands out . . . in a good way.
To attract your ideal partner, tell her or him who you are, specifically, in your online dating profile . . . and generate chemistry for who you are.
There’s not much you can do to jazz up and personalize the multiple choice questions about hobbies, activities, lifestyle, etc.
But the questions on dating sites that require short narrative answers, plus the longer narrative sections where you’re prompted to provide even more information about yourself, allow for lots of content.
Neglecting these sections, in particular, is a big mistake.
Write content that differentiates what makes you unique from others like you.
A profile that reads pretty much the same as every other man or woman on the sites won’t prompt people to want to reach out to you, as much as a profile that makes you stand out from the sea of other potential partners.
But don’t dive into the writing yet (and don’t go on dates yet) . . .
Before Completing Your Online Dating Profile, Do These 3 Things
1. Know yourself, your values and what’s important to you.
The better you know yourself, the better you’ll be at picking the right people to date.
The more specifically you can speak to people about yourself, and write about yourself in your online dating profiles, the more likely you’ll connect with a kindred spirit.
More in my post, Smart Dating Essentials – 7 Steps To Know Yourself Better
2. Know who your ideal partner is.
If you don’t have a clear idea of what kind of person will be right for you – before going on first dates – how will you know them when you see them?
More in my post, Smart Dating Over 60: Who Is My Ideal Partner?
3. Lurk, look and learn.
To get a feel for what makes a good online dating profile, and who’s out there, review other people’s profiles.
You can join many of the online dating sites for free, without putting much on your profile, if you’re not ready to. You may have to answer a few questions, and you’ll have to sign on with a user name and password.
PLEASE, don’t use your real name for your user name, or the actual town/city you live in!
Armed with your name and location, and whatever else can be found by Googling “your name”, nefarious people can piece together enough about you to potentially steal your identity.
[Try Googling “your name” yourself. You may be surprised by how much sensitive information about you is already “out there”.]
No-goodniks aside, anyone can find out where you live if you put your real name and town/city on your dating profile. It’s best to keep that information under your hat, until you’re ready to reveal it to the people you date.
- For your user name, think of a clever word or short phrase that describes you.
- For your location, use a town/city right near the one where you actually live.
Now that you’ve done the initial prep work, you’re ready to complete your online dating profile.
How To Build Out Your Online Dating Profile
The various dating sites function differently and prompt you to provide different kinds of information. Some provide more narrative sections, where you will provide information. Others rely only on yes/no and multiple choice questions. Some offer a mix.
Typically, the first step in creating your profile involves responding to queries about your appearance, lifestyle, hobbies, interests, etc.
Answer them all truthfully . . . and don’t pretend to be someone you’re not.
Think this through.
If you put on your profile that you’re interested in various activities or sports that you actually have no interest in (thinking you’ll attract more people), what do you suppose will happen on a date with someone who is truly interested in those things, and wants to share them with a partner?
You’ve probably blown your chances with that person . . . and you’ve wasted your time and theirs.
You may attract more people in the short run, but they’ll quickly find out that you lied. Then, you’ve set yourself up as someone not to be trusted, along with the fact that you won’t have those activities to share.
Cosmo wrote about a first date he had with a woman who outright lied on her profile about being into cross-fit . . . in more than one place on her profile. Then, on their date, she lied again and said this wasn’t on her profile.
Needless to say, that red flag (among several others) drove him to nip things in the bud with her.
Dating profile lies that I experienced.
My biggest complaint about lying or misstating on online dating profiles (or when dating in general) concerned alcohol consumption.
I don’t drink and I was looking for a man who didn’t either.
I came to understand, after several dicey dates, that I couldn’t rely on what was in a profile to help me distinguish drinkers from non-drinkers.
Although the dating sites give the option to check-mark “non-drinker” on profiles, members don’t have to choose any option. And many members don’t check anything for this query or address the issue anywhere in their profiles.
But even when some did check-mark “non-drinker”, it turned out they were what they called “social drinkers” . . . kind of a vague designation.
Conversely, I think there are plenty of non-drinkers trying to find other non-drinkers on the dating sites, but they’re afraid to say so in their profiles. There’s still a stigma about being in recovery, and they probably don’t want to turn people off so early in the game.
I suppose people fear what they may be getting themselves into, if they date someone in recovery. To play it safe, many of those in recovery don’t put their drinking status in their profiles. They wait to come clean about this until they start communicating with others or meet in person.
It’s a dilemma.
After a time, I realized I couldn’t limit myself only to men who had check-marked “non-drinker” on the sites. It was something I brought up early in our communications, or at least by the second date, if things went that far.
Taking and Choosing Profile Photos That Accurately Depict You
Although you hope that people won’t judge you solely on how you look, your dating profile photos are extremely important.
They are the first things people will see on your profile, and probably the only things they’ll notice when the dating sites circulate your profile thumbnail, when matching you with others.
People connect better with content about someone if it includes at least one photo. So, attractive photos will make whatever you write in your profile hit home with more people.
Taking photos has become very easy these days. No need to go to a professional. Most smartphones have very good photo-taking capabilities.
Selfies can work. Check out this article on Lifewire on how to take the best selfies.
But you’ll probably get better results if you have someone you know take the pictures, using a smartphone or digital camera.
Tips to take good dating profile photos
Take some headshots and some full body shots, from various distances, in various poses and locations. Wear clothing that is attractive and fits you well.
Be sure that your close-ups, or headshots, convey warmth and approachability. Take lots of photos and choose the best ones. It would be a good idea to have others help you decide.
You’ll need someone to take your full body shots. Maybe take a few of you doing activities you love, and make note of that in the photo caption.
I hope it goes without saying . . . but I will say it. Don’t post any lewd or overly revealing photos. Keep a little mystery in the game.
You don’t need tons of photos. Five or six is good.
Clean up any photos that aren’t quite right
Pay special attention to choosing your main profile photo, if the site gives you that option. That’s the photo that will follow you everywhere on the site, in your profile thumbnail. This one should be a close-up or headshot, not a full-body shot.
Take a close look at that headshot. Do you look pretty good in it, but the overall photo isn’t great?
- Is the image crisp, with no blurriness?
- Is it framed well? That is, are you positioned well within the shot?
- How is the background? Is it distracting or are there things showing up that you don’t want people to see?
- Is there shading on your face that makes you look unappealing?
- Can you see your face and expression very clearly?
If your headshot needs to be spruced up, you can use Photoshop, probably the most popular app for editing photos, or other similar tools.
If this is beyond your capability, there are many services that will do the retouching for you. My own professional headshot needed some work so I had The Headshot Wizard clean it up.
Their photo guide offers a few more tips for the best photos:
- Set your camera or phone to the highest resolution setting.
- Don’t crop your image too tight. Have some space around either side of your arms.
- NEVER use a flash!
- Take the photo during daytime in natural even light.
- NO direct sunlight.
- NO ceiling lights.
- The camera should be slightly above eye height.
Very important – don’t post outdated and/or misleading profile photos.
Your photos don’t have to be taken yesterday, but they should have been taken within just a few years, and closely represent what you look like now.
I had a few big surprises on first dates when the men looked nothing, or very little, like their profile photos. One guy had gained 50 pounds since he took his one profile photo.
I saw profiles of 60+ year old men with the only photo being their high school yearbook pic.
I saw a surprisingly large number of men’s profiles with only photos of their beloved cars and the view from their houses.
Of course, these kinds of photos do little to convey who those men are, and didn’t compel me to want to reach out to them.
One man told me about a dating experience of his, where the woman used her daughter’s photo on her own dating profile. Imagine his surprise when a much older woman showed up for the first date!
I don’t mean to put too much pressure on you about your photos. Don’t go the other way and neglect posting any photos on your profile. That’s a mistake, too. No matter what you look like, people will assume you have something to hide, and may pass you by.
The last thing you want to do is prompt people to jump right over your profile, for the next one.
Entice them to stick around and read your profile. Choose photos that are alluring . . . in the right way.
How To Write Content For Your Online Dating Profile That Will Attract Your True Love
Next, or at some point in creating your profile, you’ll come to the “bio” or narrative sections. That is, the areas where you do more than check-mark multiple choice or yes/no answers.
For these sections, you’ll have to actually come up with interesting and compelling things to say about yourself.
Don’t expect to quickly throw together some thoughts and slap them up on your profile. Unless writing comes easily to you, you’ll need to put some time into writing this stuff.
My best advice? At all costs, avoid over-used phrases like “I love long walks on the beach”.
Cliches don’t really say anything. They don’t make you stand out. After all, who doesn’t like to walk along the beach?
If walking on the beach is something you really want to say, try thinking of another way to say it, that will better capture attention and say more about you.
Don’t be afraid to differentiate yourself.
And it’s okay – in fact, preferable – to include things about yourself that won’t appeal to everyone.
Because that’s the whole point. You don’t want to appear the same as everyone else. You want to distinguish yourself.
Write specifically about the kind of person you are and what you care about most. Write specifically about who you’re looking for.
If you’re not clear about these things, you’ll probably get a lot more people reaching out to you . . . but most of them won’t be suitable.
You’ll be wasting everyone’s time by going on dates with people who are not right for you.
Better to weed them out at the get-go.
You’ll save time, go on more quality dates, and avoid much stress if you narrow the playing field by stating in your profile what kind of person you want and what you’re looking for in a relationship.
Are you seeking someone for a committed, forever romance and relationship? Say so in your profile. Then you won’t be bothered by people who are only looking for quick hookups.
Writing tip: Compose an opening paragraph that will capture attention and make people want to read the rest of your profile.
Here’s how I led my Match.com profile:
I smile a lot. I’m easy going, cheerful and down-to-earth. The little things in life mean a lot to me – the beauty in nature, a good joke, a hassle-free day, an unexpected kindness, making someone’s day with a simple gesture. I’m grateful for what I have, not fretting over what I don’t.
At the time, Match allowed for a “headline” too, which was prominently displayed with the profile thumbnail. This was my headline:
Looking for an accomplice for a fun, romantic and meaningful relationship?
Make your profile an interesting read. Embrace what’s unique about you. Generate chemistry by writing about it.
The Importance of Storytelling in Your Online Dating Profile
Rely on storytelling to write content for your profile that will truly make you stand out.
Storytelling is the best way to differentiate you from the sea of other similar people and draw like-minded people to you. It helps people connect to who you are.
Having a profile that reads pretty much the same as everyone else gives people little reason to want to reach out to you. In that case, they’ll mostly rely on your photo, which isn’t the best way to assess anyone for a long term relationship.
The idea is to be specific, using actual examples. Build a story around a few important things about you.
Pick a few character traits that most represent who you are and some of the things you most love doing . . . then expand upon them using storytelling.
Instead of just saying “I love to laugh”, give an example of what kinds of things make you laugh, or who your favorite comedians are. Or tell a little story about a funny incident in your life.
Instead of just saying “I love to travel”, write a sentence or two about one of your favorite trips and what made it special.
Try using a thesaurus to help you pinpoint better, more interesting words about yourself.
It may help to ask those closest to you to provide feedback about these things. It may be hard to step back and have perspective about yourself. Ask them to describe a few of your best character traits, and give you examples.
Three Important Tips About Writing Your Online Dating Profiles
1. Keep the content upbeat and positive.
Nobody likes a downer.
You want to give a good first impression of yourself. People are more attracted to, and want to be around, those who have a positive outlook on life.
Don’t rant about your ex or exes. Conversation will deteriorate quickly if one or both of you get into running your exes under the bus. It won’t be pleasant.
If you can’t manage to stay positive and avoid running down your ex(es), maybe you’re not good relationship material, or maybe you’re not ready to date. Maybe it’s time to sort through your issues, move on from past bad relationships, and learn how to be happy . . . before you foist yourself on someone else.
2. Be careful using ALL CAPS in the content.
CAPS can be used sparingly for emphasis. Too much content in all caps conveys anger.
I remember seeing quite a few men’s profiles with all of the content in caps. It was like a slap in the face, landing on those profiles. Not to mention that the content itself was filled with rage.
If you can’t manage to control your anger when writing your online profile content, what kind of message do you think that will send to potential dates?
Maybe you need to deal with your anger issues, before you lay them on someone else.
3. Create the content in a document first and proofread very carefully for errors, before posting it to the dating site.
Although most people won’t fault you for typos and errors, why not make a great first impression with a spotless profile?
Bring It All Together and Get Yourself Out There
Next steps . . .
- Reach out to people on the dating sites.
- Respond to those who reach out to you, whether or not you’re interested. Politely decline further communication if they’re not right for you.
- Communicate a little with potentials first via email and phone (I feel texting is too impersonal at this point).
- Go ahead and make a date to meet them, if they fit enough of your ideal partner criteria and if they don’t send up any major red flags.
Get your dating on track and find the right partner for you faster with our two guides:
The Mature Dating Game Plan – The Low-Stress Way to Find Your Soulmate After Divorce or Loss Without Getting Played
Mature Dating Challenges – Problems and Road Blocks That Can Keep You From Finding Your Soulmate Later in Life
I wish you great success in the dating game!
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Alex D'souza says
A great profile can certainly help you in winning dates. And to be honest, it’s all about impressing the other person when it comes to online dating because fancy stuff sells. The best part is that you can impress anyone with great profile obviously by manipulating and exaggerating it. But be on your guard, you can also be a victim of this.
Thanks for commenting, Alex. It’s really all about being truthful, but presenting yourself in a compelling way. Of course, always be on your guard for people who stretch the truth in their dating profiles.