Monday, March 31, 2008

Online Dating: Tips on Posting a Successful Profile

Even a casual reading of online profiles - and the photos that accompany them - reveals a common but easy-to-remedy problem. While cyber romance is fun and convenient, those who don't take time to create a dating profile that adequately represents them to others may meet with disappointing results. But those who have a profile that shines will enjoy unlimited opportunities to meet people they find attractive and interesting.

Here are five tips for posting a successful profile:
Posting no photo is the worst mistake. A majority of those who don't post a photo - both men and women - get no responses at all. Those who do post a photo are perceived as more honest and more serious about meeting someone for a realistic dating experience. One the other hand, posting a haphazard photo is a big turn-off. For example, don't post a photo of you with your ex or with your ex conveniently (and conspicuously) cut out of the picture with scissors. And don't post a photo that is so old that it doesn't accurately represent how you appear today. People want you to look the way you are today, not the way you looked 10 years ago.

Do post a great photo: If you spend a little time and effort, you can get a great professional-looking photo of yourself to post for online dating. It doesn't matter whether you use black and white or color photos, but those who use excellent, carefully composed photos have the best chance of success - and will avoid the mistakes others make when posting bad snapshots. Let someone with a good eye give you advice on dressing and posing. And consider posting two or three photos, in different poses, settings, or qualities of light, to add interest and dimension to your visual presentation of yourself. It may seem like no big deal to you, but a picture is worth a thousand words to those looking at your profile.

Would you try to write your own resume when applying for a dream job? If not, then follow the same logic and get some help - from a professional you hire or from someone at work or in your circle of friends who is a skilled writer - and let them help you compose your profile without any typos, grammatical errors, or other blemishes. Writing a profile is sort of like writing a romantic resume, so have fun with it but don't post something you just scribbled "on the fly" without much thought.

Don't tell your whole life story. Your profile isn't a date or a relationship, it is only an introduction. Nobody wants to hear about all your baggage - and we all have baggage - before you even board the plane or decide to take a trip together. And that applies especially to online dating. If you met someone at a party, would you immediately tell them about your past relationships, whether or not you want kids, and how you expect them to deal with your habit chatting during movies? Probably not. So apply the same approach to your profile when you post it to introduce yourself to others.

Do emphasize in a general way who you are, what things you enjoy doing, why you want to date, and what you're looking for in a romantic partner. Once you get a few responses and the chance to go out on a few face-to-face dates, you can begin to expand on your biography in a natural, appropriate way.

Relax and have fun with online dating. Posting your profile should be taken seriously, but with a good sense of humor and an optimistic, positive attitude. And the cool thing about dating on the Internet is that if you decide you don't really like your profile and want to change it, you can. Experiment, be creative, and above all, be your true self - that is, after all, who people really want to meet and get to know.

1 comment:

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