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15 Ways to Optimize Your Online Dating Profile

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1 Three in ten US adults have tried out online dating. So, if you’re thinking about joining, you’re in good company.But before you start chatting with other singles and going on fun dates, you have to overcome one major obstacle: creating your profile.

Trying to define yourself with a couple hundred words and a few photos is challenging. Luckily, researchers have taken the mystery out of what makes a great profile.

Here is a list of tips to optimize your profile so you look sexier, attract more dates, and increase your chances of finding love.

Master the Art of Photo Storytelling

Go for 5-7 photos, each highlighting a different facet of your life. 

Think about your photos as an opportunity to tell a story about your personality.

For instance, instead of five selfies in your bedroom, consider a candid shot capturing laughter, a photo in your favorite reading nook, and another mid-action in a hobby. 

Every piece of text you write and every photo you include should serve a specific purpose.

Here are a few photo ideas and what each might convey:

  • Hiking picture = You are adventurous and enjoy nature.
  • Travel photo at a famous landmark = You have a passion for travel and exploring different cultures.
  • Playing a musical instrument = You are creative and have a passion for music.
  • Participating in fitness activity = You are health-conscious and dedicated to fitness.
  • Reading a book or in a library = You are intellectual and enjoy learning.
  • With pets or animals = You are caring and love animals.

You get the idea! Whatever pictures you include communicate a lot about you. So be thoughtful in your different photos and what each says about you.

Action Step: Pick out five photos of yourself that each capture a different facet of your personality.

Smile and Tilt

2 Researchers at the London School of Medicine analyzed 86 studies about psychology, sociology, and behavioral science to discover what makes an effective online dating profile. 

They found that the most attractive profile pictures, especially for women, showed them smiling genuinely at the camera with their head slightly tilted.

Action Step: Tilt your head and think about something happy before taking your profile pic so you have a genuine smile.

If you’d like more smiling tips, you might enjoy this article.

Ditch the Generic, Embrace Specifics

Replace generic descriptions with specific details. It’s similar to the power of storytelling

If someone tells you they love to laugh, you might believe them but then soon forget. However, if they tell you a story about how they had a laugh attack on a train and got everyone around them laughing for minutes, you’re far more likely to remember.

Action Step: What statements in your profile can you replace with specifics?

Instead of “I love movies,” say, “I’m on a mission to watch every Oscar-winning film from the last decade.”

Instead of “I enjoy hanging out with friends,” try “my friends and I have a tradition of thematic dinner parties. Last month’s theme was ’80s Retro’, complete with costumes and a synth-pop playlist.”

Write About What You’re Looking for in a Partner

When writing their descriptions, a lot of people try to cram as much information about themselves as possible. This innocent mistake can greatly reduce the amount of messages you receive.

The most successful profiles use about 3 70% of their profiles to talk about themselves and the remaining 30% to describe what they’re looking for in a partner.

For example, you could say:

“I’m an adventurous person who loves to spend time outdoors and am looking for a like-minded individual to share fun experiences with.”

This is the same principle central to 4 marketing copy—when people read a website that describes who they are, they are more likely to feel seen and want to engage.

Action Step: Think about what you’re looking for in a partner and write your description using the 70:30 rule. 70% about you, 30% about who you are looking for.

Show Emotional Availability

Social Psychologists Stephanie Spielmann and Geoff MacDonald conducted experiments to find out what matters more on online dating profiles: attractiveness or emotional availability. 

When given the choice between a sexy but emotionally unavailable person or someone who is less attractive but appears caring and emotionally responsive, both men and women were more drawn to the more emotionally available person.

How do you show emotional availability?

Avoid insensitive statements like: “I am a highly driven person who is focused on my career and am willing to do whatever it takes to succeed.”

Remember, you’re looking for a relationship, not a promotion.

Instead, write things like: “I enjoy going to music festivals and am looking for someone who shares my love of music and spending time with people.”

Action step: Focus on your hobbies and character traits that are people and value-centered to show that you are emotionally available to develop meaningful relationships with people.

Use the Word “Love”

Looking for love?

The dating site PlentyofFish wondered what types of profiles led to the best relationships. After examining 1.2 million profiles, they discovered that people who used the word “love” in their descriptions were the most successful at engaging in committed relationships. 

Men, in particular, benefited from using similar words like “heart,” “romantic,” and “relationship.”

Special Note: If you aren’t looking for love–don’t use it.

Action Step: If you’re looking for love, make sure to mention it on your profile.

Choose a Strategic Username

Following your picture, your username or screen name is the most influential tool you have to get people to check out your profile (if you’re using an app that allows you to make a creative username). 

Studies show that straight men tend to zero in on female usernames with words that suggest physical attractiveness, such as “cute…”, “sexy…” and “blondie…” Meanwhile, straight women are attracted to usernames that sound successful, like “cultured…” and “driven…”

Also, among all sexualities, 3 there tends to be a preference for usernames whose first letter is at the beginning of the alphabet. One possible explanation is that we subconsciously associate names at the beginning of the alphabet with success.

Action Step: Choose a username that either a) matches what your preferred partner is looking for or b) starts with a letter in the beginning of the alphabet.

Be Honest About What You Want

If you’re looking for a casual, low-commitment romance, be honest! Otherwise, you’re going to attract people who expect more from you than you’re willing to give. 

And if you want something long-term, be honest about that rather than trying to seduce a casual dater into becoming your soulmate. 

Whatever you want is totally valid. And there are other potential matches who want the same thing. So help them find you by broadcasting it 🙂  

Action Step: Get clear on what you are looking for in a partner, and if there’s room, consider placing it in your profile.

If you sometimes struggle to be authentic because you’re afraid of what others might think, then you might appreciate this free course:

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Take Off Your Sunglasses

According to data that 5 Tinder released, wearing sunglasses in your pictures can decrease your swipe-right rate by 15%.

And it makes sense—your eyes communicate so much of your personality. Wearing sunglasses is effectively like wearing ⅓ of a mask!

Action Step: Replace any sunglasses pictures with ones that reveal your full face.

Avoid Negativity

It’s hard to imagine someone wanting to swipe right on a profile that says:

  • “I hate this app, can’t believe I’m still on here,” or
  • “Tired of games and drama.” 

We all have negative feelings, but if you lead with them, you might come off as bitter or toxic

Instead, it’s more effective to frame your profile in a positive light, focusing on what you enjoy, your passions, and what you’re looking for in a partner. 

And you can still mention that you have a dark side if that’s part of your personality, but even that can be done in a way that’s inviting!

Action Step: Scan your profile for any negative sentiments. If you find something negative, either reframe it as a positive or ditch it.

Positivity is Magnetic

Consider writing out your profile right after doing something you love. If you like to play soccer, imagine writing your profile right after a soccer game when positive 6,euphoric%20state%20following%20intense%20exercise. endorphins will be bursting through your fingertips.

Plus, if you engage in an activity that puts you in a 7 flow state, you can bring your writing process into that flow.

Action Step: Consider blocking off 15 minutes to work on your profile right after doing something fun.

Don’t Bring Your Baggage Into Your Profile

While it’s a great policy to be honest and authentic, it’s also important to remember that your dating profile is a place to highlight your positives and what you bring to a potential relationship, not to air past grievances or process past relationships. 

Action Step: If it feels important to say something about your relationship journey, try to reframe it as something you’ve learned or a way in which you are growing.  

Instead of “I’ve been through a lot of disappointing relationships that never seem to work out. I don’t want another toxic ex who plays games,” you could try something like

“My journey in relationships has taught me to value communication, honesty, and mutual respect. I’m looking forward to meeting someone who shares these ideals 💕”

Maximize the Power of Prompts

If your dating app of choice has the option to answer prompts, do it! 

For example, at the time of writing this article, Bumble allows you to pick prompts to respond to, such as:

  • “My most useless skill is…”
  • “I will never shut up about…”
  • “Something I’m optimistic about”

Take advantage of these questions…or add your own! The more information you can provide about yourself, the better.

And when choosing which prompts to answer, don’t just pick randomly! Go for the ones that would speak to your ideal partner.

Invite Engagement

In the world of content marketing, there is a term called a 8 call to action.”” A call to action is essentially the thing you want people to do on any given website page. This could be signing up for your newsletter, reading another blog post, or booking a consultation. And every good marketer knows you should end every post with your call to action!

The same applies to online dating.

Consider ending your profile with a question or a playful challenge to prompt a message. Something like, “I love books that turn my world upside down—tell me one that changed your life,” or “I love staying active. What’s a fun workout you recommend?”

This will filter out who has actually read your profile and provides an easy conversation starter.

Action Step: Can you close off your profile with a short invitation into a conversation?


Studies suggest that making typos in your online dating profile will make you appear less attractive.

And it makes sense—having obvious spelling or grammar errors on your profile might subcommmunicate that you lack attention to detail, are not putting in much effort, or might not be as conscientious about other aspects of your life. 

Action Step: Copy and paste your profile into Google Docs, and then try using an app like Grammarly to do a thorough grammar check.

Takeaways on Optimizing Your Online Dating Profile

Best of luck on your dating journey! Just remember these tips when filling out your online profile:

  • Write About What You’re Looking for in a Partner: 70% about you, 30% of who you’re looking for.
  • Show Emotional Availability: Show that you are open for connection.
  • Use the Word “Love”: Include words like “love,” “heart,” and “romantic.”  
  • Choose a Strategic Username: Select a username that reflects attractiveness or success.
  • Be Honest About What You Want: Clearly state whether you’re seeking a casual or serious relationship to attract the right potential partners.
  • Smile and Tilt: Use profile pictures where you are genuinely smiling and slightly tilting your head..
  • Master the Art of Photo Storytelling: Use 5-7 photos to tell a story about different aspects of your personality.
  • Take Off Your Sunglasses: Stick with pictures that show your full face.
  • Ditch the Generic, Embrace Specifics: Replace vague statements with specific details and stories.
  • Avoid Negativity: Nobody’s looking for a Debbie Downer. Too much negativity can be a turnoff.
  • Positivity is Magnetic: Write your profile in a positive and happy state of mind.
  • Don’t Bring Your Baggage Into Your Profile: Don’t vent. If you must, focus on what you’ve learned from past relationships.
  • Maximize the Power of Prompts: Anser prompts that would resonate with your ideal partner.
  • Invite Engagement: End your profile with a question or challenge.
  • Spellcheck! Use an app like Grammarly to fix typos.

If you find a good match and want to set up a real life first date, you might appreciate this article on science-backed tips to make an awesome first date.

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