Creating Your Perfect Profile

Now this is when things start to get really exciting...and just a little bit scary too if I am honest!

When I uploaded my first profile to the very first dating site I found, it was a bit fraught to say the least, but still really exciting. I had never done anything like it before and was convinced that within the week I would have at least two hot dates lined up for my child-free Saturday that was on the horizon! Well-how wrong I was! Firstly just trying to resize a photo seemed an almost impossible task and then having to write about myself as well nearly finished me off! I ended up basically writing my CV which was certainly NOT what potential dates wanted to see. These days I help friends knock their profiles into shape to make sure they include all the best bits about themselves and have a good chance of getting some great matches.Writing 150 words about yourself sounds easy but it really is harder than you think and it is worth having a few goes at it before you upload your final version to your profile. To start with it is very important to be positive and upbeat. Think about what you would like to know about potential matches. For example, we are not really that keen to hear about how someone’s ex treated them badly, took the kids and all the money and ran off into the sunset with the pool guy are we? It may be a fact of life and the reason that someone is single and now searching for love, but it’s not a great opening line! Avoid overly negative statements that relate to what has happened in your past. After all this is the future! A new beginning and a chance to wipe the dating and relationship slate clean (save for the accepted level of baggage!) This is your chance to shine and appear confident and optimistic about the rest of your life. The last thing you should be writing in a profile is how much you hate your ex wife or husband and how life has treated you really badly. Everyone has a story to tell but it’s not something that you need to announce on an internet dating site-trust me! We all have a reason for being single and have sad and difficult stories to tell, but your profile on a dating site is not the place to start these conversations. In the fullness of time there will be an appropriate moment to talk about what has happened before, but for now concentrate on the positive and optimistic side of life.So how DO you get the most out of your online profile? One way to overcome any problems you may have with writing about yourself, is to enlist the help of a friend and see what they have to say about you. How we see ourselves is different to how others see us, and we tend to play down our strengths and focus far more on our weaknesses-particularly when it comes to trying to attract the opposite sex. It is very easy to fall into the trap of looking at what we lack rather than what we have, and a good friend will do the opposite-taking your strengths and attractive qualities and creating a description that is honest and fair but most importantly well balanced.It is true that you can be whoever you desire on the internet. You can shave a few years off your age, a few pounds off your weight and invent the persona of a superhero if you really want to. It might make you feel better for a short time, and maybe a little more in control but ultimately when you hook up with an enthusiastic downhill skier who has a PhD in astrophysics and a penchant for clubbing and in reality you prefer a walk in the park, and like The Carpenters-you may come unstuck!If you met someone in your local book store, struck up a conversation and got to know each other, would you feel the need to lie to them? Wouldn’t you feel that the very fact you had even had a conversation means there is already a bit of chemistry lurking there under the awkwardness?I have always hated having my photograph taken. For someone who has spent 25 years working in the media and taking photos and filming other people from time to time I always prefer to be behind the camera! Therefore I completely understand why some people just don’t want to have to look down that lens! However, for internet dating to be successful, enriching and not a complete waste of time, you really need to get over this fear of photography and embrace the fact that there will be people out there in cyber space who really LIKE the look of you!Your profile photo is really important because it indicates to other users that you are genuinely trying to have a successful internet dating experience, and you are taking the process seriously. And, of course, it gives potential dates a good idea of what you look like! We all know that the reason we end up with our partners isn’t just down to our appearance, but it is good to be able to put a face to a name-especially on the internet. And remember, profiles with photos get an average of at least ten times more attention than those without.

Internet daters are often accused of uploading photographs that are out of date and bear little or no resemblance to how they look now. I was actually accused of this myself once! I uploaded a photo in April of one year and didn’t update it for about six months. During that time I had lost about two stone and did look different, I also had my hair cut short and coloured a different shade. Although it was obviously still me, there were significant differences. Some of my dates were pleasantly surprised-others thought I was trying to con them! It just goes to show that you can’t please all of the people all of the time, and that what one person considers attractive may be different to someone else!

So you have a fabulous photo and you are now fine tuning your profile. What are the crucial bits of information to leave in, and what should you not reveal at this stage.

You should give details of your age, interests and hobbies and as much information as you wish to reveal about your occupation. Obviously this depends on what you do for a living, and how much you are allowed to tell people.

Recent research by an American university has revealed that women can identify what they consider to be attractive men online-just by reading their profiles. The study suggests that uglier men who try to level the playing field by using photos that gloss over their worst features are wasting their time. Apparently, good looking men were able to convey their confidence and attractiveness in their written self-description and women could spot this without even seeing their photograph...I will leave it for you to make your own mind up about that one!



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