I am no beginner when it comes to creating an online dating profile, but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t make mistakes each time I did so. Each time I noticed a mistake, I redid my online dating profile.

I also learned from others what works and what doesn’t when it comes to getting the results you want. I realize now how important letting the other person know your intention is, and why you should be upfront and honest about it from the very beginning. To ensure that you don’t make my mistakes, I will walk you through how to create an effective online dating profile based on the online dating site, OkCupid.

Remember that the more time you spend on each section, the better your search results may be. Unless you like to be mysterious, and there is no problem wanting that, the sections below may be very useful for you to know about.

After you get a general feel for what each section asks of you, I will give you a sample of an effective online dating profile. I want to be clear that this sample is not my own and is therefore made to be used as a sample for this article only.

My details

This section is self-explanatory. You need to type in information regarding your height, weight, ethnicity, religion, body type, diet, whether you smoke, do drugs, or drink alcohol, etc. The reason why this section says my details is because whoever views your profile will have a general idea about you, without needing to read a lengthy description first.

What you are searching for

This section is all about what you are actively searching for, whether that is friends, short-term or long-term dating, or something casual. This section is also asking you what age range you are looking and what match percentage is acceptable for you. The search results you get are based off on what you are searching for as well as your answers to questions, but I will get into that section later.

With that said, there is one thing to watch out for, and that is the filter. This is because you may be so in control of your searches, that you get more results than what you intended. You can fix this type of situation by filtering your results based off of match percentage, what you are searching for, and even age range. This can be useful if you are getting too many unwanted messages.

Profile picture

You will want to have a good picture of yourself for others to see what you look like. Try to find a few good pictures of yourself, like an up close picture of your face (not too close though), a full body picture, and one that shows you doing something interesting, like an activity. There are many profile pictures that are inappropriate as well, so watch out for that too. Just don't get discouraged because the ones with the good profile pictures are worth the wait.

If you are shy, you may send pictures of yourself as an attachment to those you are messaging. Keep in mind though that most people will skip over those who don't show their profile picture. This may be because people are more interested in seeing the face of the one they may date.

My self-summary

In a few paragraphs, describe yourself. Get creative as this is the first place a date may look as an indicator of whether or not they will continue reading your profile. Try writing about what type of person you are, whether you are a creative person, a nerd, someone who loves to travel, etc. Really describe who you are as a person.

What I’m doing with my life

Be honest about this. Are you currently in school, searching for better work, searching for an adventure with someone you want to date? Where are you in life right now?

These are the types of questions that also may be asked on a first date because your potential date may ask you a question for instance, what are you up to? You just don’t want to sound boring, so try to have a lot of interest in your hobbies and work. This will come in handy for the next section.

I’m really good at

List all the hobbies you enjoy as of now, and why you like them. Better yet, provide an example. For example, I am a writer, so I may provide a link to some blog I’ve been working on.

Whatever you decide to expand on in terms of your hobbies, make sure you don’t give everything away. Keep some mystery alive so that your potential date doesn’t think you are too eager to get attention.

Favorite books, movies, shows, music, and food

Yes, you may list all the ones you like for each category listed. This will be a way for you to bond with your potential date. It will also prevent your date from thinking you like one thing over another if you didn’t list it. The more you have listed, the more you can talk about when you meet.

Also, over time you may run out of date ideas, and that is ok. If the two of you have different interests in food, music, movies, and even in hobbies, you may always be learning something new and may always have a good time in doing so.

The six things I could never do without

This is a good personal question. You may answer this like you could never do without family, friends, your church, a sense of belonging, meaningful work, etc. Get deep on this question because this is a question targeted at the core of your being. It lets your potential date know what life is all about for you and what matters the most.

It also shows your potential date that you are not a superficial type of person if you don’t list things like food, water, clothing, etc. Everyone needs this, that is a given answer. By being personal with your answers, you also stand out from the crowd, which may get you some positive attention.

On a typical Friday night, I am

Most people may say that they are going out partying, staying home relaxing, etc. What do you like to do at the end of a long work week is what this question is asking.

You should message me if…

This question is simple. What does it take for you to want to message or be messaged by someone? That could mean that you want to meet in person, which you should be willing to do, or that you want to talk online as friends, which most people will not want, but it is an option. So be ready to start a conversation if you see someone you like.

Questions

OkCupid matches people based on what they are searching for, but even more so on the questions answered. To get better matches, it is best to answer as many questions as you can. I would aim for a couple hundred, and I know that seems like much, but most of these questions are easy.

For example, do you like… and you can answer yes or no and what answer you will accept from a potential date. This may take a little more time if you add a description of your answer, but you don’t have to.

The reason for doing this is because you may have answered a lot of questions, but someone who answered just a few may seem like a perfect match. That may be their intention rather than taking the time to really find better matches, even if the search results become fewer.

By answering more questions, you may find a better match with someone who also answered a lot of questions. However, just because you match well with someone online does not guarantee that you will match them offline. So take the time to know someone online before knowing them offline for better results.

Just try not to drag this on for too long because falling in love shouldn’t all be done online. When you do meet, it may get awkward. So be ready to meet in person if someone does match you well with their answers to their questions.

Now that you have a general idea about what is asked of you once you get on OkCupid, or any other dating site similar to this one, I will now take the time to show you a sample profile. I will select a few random questions and I will answer them using a random name. Let's call this person Alice, who is an artist looking for love.

My self-summary

Hello, my name is Alice, and I am currently in school to learn how to become an artist. I am a creative individual by nature, and I just hope to find someone who shares my interest in…

(You can expand on this some more, but hopefully, you get a general idea.)

I’m really good at

Painting, especially watercolor paintings. I have a gallery in my room full of my work which you can see here (insert some link or something to a project if you have one or disregard this part and move on to what else you are really good at.)

Favorite books, movies, shows, music, and food

Don’t be afraid to separate these lists into columns instead of writing a big paragraph. To keep it short, I will just provide you with an example of how to set it up into columns.

Books

(list your favorite genre(s) of books and/or titles of books)

Movies

(list your favorite movies)

Shows

(list your favorite TV shows)

Music

(list your favorite genre(s) of music)

Food

(list your favorite types of food)

The six things I could never do without

You can list this in the way I have done below, or you can write a few sentences about each thing you could never do without. Most of the profiles I have seen are set up in the way I have done below.

Family

Friends

School

Painting

Passion

Purpose

All in all, I’ve seen many different ways an online dating profile can be set up, but I’ve also seen how effective some tend to be. The people who put a lot of time and thought into their online dating profiles may come off as giving away too much too soon, but if you know who you are and what you want, this may be the best method for you in finding a match.

That isn’t to say that the ones who put the least time and thought into their online dating profiles aren’t as effective, they may be just as mysterious and interesting as the ones who are putting in the effort.

It all comes down to how you want that information to be given to you. For instance, do you want to know everything beforehand, or do you want to know a few things in advance so that you and your potential date have a lot of questions to ask whenever you meet in person? It’s all up to you in how you want your first date to go.

To make an effective online dating profile is to really get specific in what you want, which was my main mistake when I was first navigating my way through online dating.

An effective online dating profile will get you the results you want in a faster way, especially if you are in control of what you are searching for.

You don’t need to let anyone come to you whether you are male or female, especially if you are female. Just put in how much or how little information you want and who knows where your next date will be.


Image credit: unsplash

EDITOR’S PICK
RELATED STORIES