There are two significant "sales" a person makes in his or her life. One is the sale of one's skills for successful employment, or the resume. The second is the sale of one's "whole person" for the purpose of a relationship, as in an online dating profile. Few would disagree that the latter is the more important of the two. Also, most would agree that in both instances it is an image one is selling and that image will later be justified, or deemed invalid. The risk in either case is too great to take the sale lightly.
Specific to the relationship sale, online dating services abound and serve a noble purpose. Far better than going to bars, gyms, and other public places, the online dating profile can be used to pre-screen hundreds, or even thousands, of potential candidates for a social relationship. For this reason, the dating profile one creates to present his or her image is crucial and should be viewed like an employment resume is some ways. It should highlight one's very best attributes, without hyperbole or falsehood. But most important, it should reveal as much of the "real you" as is possible in written word. With the above in mind, there are 10 key attributes to observe when creating a good online dating profile.
1. User Name
2. Age and Age Preference
3. Lifestyle Preferences
4. Occupation, Hobbies, and Interests
5. Religious or Spiritual Commitment Level
6. Personality Characteristics
7. Goals, Aspirations, and Passions
8. Recent, Candid, and Flattering Photo
9. Expectations from Others
Let's examine how each should be managed for developing the most effective profile.
1. The user name is the first impression one makes. Flashy names, or boring names, may be passed over, or may cloud a candidate's review of the rest of your profile. “Fast Eddie,” or “Eyore,” or any such name may be meaningful to you and your friends, but it can create an unrealistic and perhaps negative image of you. Try something that talks about you, like “Nature Lover,” or “Sailing Girl.”
2. Never lie about your age in your dating profile, and be realistic when you select the age of your preferred candidate. If you are 65 and prefer to meet someone 30 to 35, you are likely to be disappointed, and you may be sharing something unpleasant about yourself.
3. One's lifestyle and social habits should be displayed as healthy, yet realistic. Drinking, smoking, gambling, hunting, and other activities are best enjoyed with other people who share the same preferences.
4. Honesty is the key word for a good dating profile; therefore honesty about one's work, hobbies, and recreational activities is important. Don't profess to love skydiving unless you are prepared to share that activity.
5. It is well know that people with similar spiritual beliefs will find more to like, and less to dislike, when getting to know one another. Honesty here is also critical.
6. People with Type A personalities can be pleasant, funny, interesting, and attractive to similar people, or even “laid back” people. “No surprises” is the best policy here too. Let the candidate make us his or her mind about how intense, or how bucolic, and evening together will be.
7. Passion is the emotion that sets most people apart or brings them together. While displaying a passion about car racing, or about poetry, in an online dating profile is likely to attract a person with the same passion, it also can create an image about you that can attract someone who sees the holistic person, and not just the written image.
8. A picture is worth a thousand words, but your picture should be realistic, but as flattering as you can make it with expression, props, or lighting. The real you is much more than a single snapshot, but the photo should be a key to who you are.
9. Listing your expectations of another person is not always easy and can be interpreted as arrogant and selfish if not accurately related. Be careful, but be true. Don't say you want to meet someone who loves the outdoors, when you only mean you like to take walks in flower gardens.
10. Above all, the key to creating a good online dating profile is the tone of the profile itself. Sincerity can be conveyed, or lost, through a candidate's interpretations of phrases, punctuation, and subtle humor. Let your online profile speak as you would speak, and that should convey to the world who you are, and attract those who are more likely to appreciate who you are.