Lots of things freeze over in the winter, but online dating doesn’t. It’s the New Year and as we lead up to Valentine’s Day, we’re in the midst of peak online dating season. If meeting someone – or even just going on more dates – is on your to-do for 2017, there’s no better time to be online.
That said, the world of online dating can seem really daunting. Almost everyone is online these days. How do you stand out as the unique and lovely snowflake that you are?
If you’re hoping to make the most of this season, here are a few easy tweaks that will help you get noticed online.
1. Freshen up your photos.
If you’re still using the same photos you uploaded a year, two years or (gasp) three or more years ago, it’s time to switch things up. In case you haven’t noticed, it’s not uncommon to see the same matches come up more than once – especially if you’re living in a smaller sized place. A fresh set of photos (like that awesome shot you took a few weeks ago while on an epic hike) might show you in a different light – literally – and attract the attention of the right person.
Also, despite the plethora of articles exactly like this one, terrible online dating photos continue to multiply like Gremlins. If most of your photos are selfies, poorly lit, blurry or (god forbid) all of the above, get a friend to take a couple of well lit, flattering photos of you.
2. Be honest in your profile.
While you maybe don’t want to share that you love watching Netflix for 14 hour stretches without pants on, if you’ve got a quirky interest – share it. Maybe you’re obsessed with going to unusual museums, make your own yogurt or are obsessed with putting together expertly curated Spotify playlists for every occasion imaginable. Adding an honest detail about how you love to spend your time will help bring you to life as an actual person. Case and point: my friend listed in her profile that she likes “wandering around the aisles of Target late at night” – a statement that attracted the man she now calls her husband.
3. Ask your friends for help.
Often your friends know you better than you know yourself. If you’ve always felt kind of awkward about writing an online dating profile, now’s the time to reach out. Grab a bottle of wine or a few beers with your best buds and ask them what they think you should put in your online dating profile. How would they describe you? What are some of your best attributes? What makes you awesome? You might be pleasantly surprised to learn what your friends have to say. Use their feedback to create an online dating profile that is authentically you.
4. Keep it short, sweet and grammatically correct.
“I love it when people spell terribly and don’t use proper grammar!” – said no one ever. Many people find poor grammar and spelling a turn off, and even the best of us can make mistakes. Have a friend(s) proofread your profile for spelling and syntax. Don’t have time to consult someone else? Put your profile into Word and use your computer spell check for peace of mind.
Also, be mindful of length. You want to write a profile that has all the necessary details and gives whoever reads it an idea of who you are as a person, without resorting to a wall of text. Use keep it concise and use paragraphs to make it easier for someone to read.
5. Be specific and avoid cliches.
One of the biggest turnoffs for me personally is a profile that’s littered with non-specific cliches. For example, people who state, “I like to have fun.” Great. What exactly does that mean? Also, who doesn’t like to have fun? Maybe you really do enjoy “long walks on the beach” but if that’s the case, figure out a more interesting and non-cliched way to say that. For example, “I love being outdoors. One of my favorite things to do is to grab some coffee, and take my dog for a beach walk.” So much better, right?
6. Say something other than “hey” in your first message.
Literally anything. Your first message only has to be one or two lines but make it original. Comment on their profile. If you see that they’re a foodie, ask, “I saw in your profile that you’re a foodie. What’s your favorite Dim Sum spot in town?” Making the first message all about their interests is a great way to set yourself apart from the “hey” and “what’s up. UR hot” crowd.
7. Don’t put yourself in a corner.
You wouldn’t go to a party and hide in the bathroom the whole time if you wanted to meet a bunch of new people. So, don’t do that online either. The online dating world is full of lurkers, so one of the easiest ways to stand out during this busy season is to let people know that you’re there. If someone looks potentially interesting, send a message to say hello. If someone messages you and you’re interested, write them back as soon as possible. Being prompt, timely, polite and showing your interest in a sincere and enthusiastic way is sure to set you apart from the masses.