Online dating brings with it multiple considerations: from which site to use to how you portray yourself and, of course, which candidates are lucky enough for offline shenanigans. Arguably, your profile is one of the most important choices you can make as it may dictate which kind of attention you get and from whom.
A lot of your friends have tried a lot of sites and they'll have a pretty good sense of the "demographics" for each. Ask around. Anecdotally, free sites like Plenty of Fish might lead to people looking for plenty of hook-ups. Guardian Soulmates has a reputation for attracting people who are more serious but potentially a bit older. You get the picture: choose carefully and tailor your profile appropriately.
Nicole, a marketing executive from London, met her long-term partner, James, on My Single Friend, the site that allows your friends to sell you to the opposite sex. Given that she'd previously tried a few sites, we sought her advice on what attracts a real prospect. She starts with the best advice of all: "In a way, it’s when you're writing your profile that you determine whether you're ready to start dating at all, because in order to be attractive to other people, you have to be in a place where you are happy with yourself. So be honest with yourself — don't put that you like outdoor sports or hardcore clubbing if you can't bear those activities — you won't impress anyone by fibbing or by hanging off a cliff face in the pursuit of 'extreme adrenaline' when you'd rather be in a bar."
With Nicole's help and a bit of our own advice, we've got some quick tips to get that profile written.
For further expertise we consulted online dating site OKCupid, not only because it has an amusing and detailed (adult-content) blog but also because it's purported to have a Stephen Hawking-kind-of-smart algorithm that equals successful matches. At the end of the day, they admit it's all about the picture. So smile, ladies, and consider the following.
Finally, be authentic. As Nicole reminds us, "Choosing a good picture is important but it needs to be realistic. There's no point starting off by trying to pull the wool over the other person's eyes."
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