By Dr. Terri Orbuch, The Love Doctor®
With a new season around the corner, there’s no better time to freshen up your profile for the incoming Match members to see. I know what you’re thinking: “Does my profile really need a refresh? I feel like it’s in a pretty good spot right now.” This could be true — your profile may very well be in a great place, but in my experience, it always pays off to be mindful of sprucing things up when you can. Altering just a few things within your dating profile could spark more interest than you expect. If you’re not sure where to get started with a refresh, follow my tips below and be on your way to connections that could last well beyond summertime.
1. Refresh your written profile
Take a look at how you’ve filled out all the various sections of your profile. Have you revised them since the first time you wrote them? Online profiles should be up to date in terms of what you’re currently doing, and the types of activities you enjoy specific to the present season (i.e. sledding during the winter or going to the pool during the summer). That way, potential matches have an idea of what you’d be up for if they were to pursue you right now. Also, don’t shy away from being as specific as you’re comfortable being when it comes to describing yourself and what you’re looking for. The more distinct you are about what you want ups the odds of the right people identifying with you. For instance, instead of saying something generic like “I love to laugh,” give examples of what makes you laugh. A good rule to keep in mind in regard to your dating profile is when in doubt, be more specific!
2. Upload recent photos
You know that old saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words”? If that’s true, imagine how much multiple pictures must be worth! Studies consistently show that online profiles with multiple photos result in not only better matches but more messages from other members. Photos have the ability to paint a fuller picture of who you are and what you’re about, so it’s natural for people to respond to that. The more you give them to look at, the better! That said, opt to upload more than one photo of yourself so potential matches can get a better picture of you. Showcase photos in which you’re doing the things you love to do and watch as conversation sparks during the summer months. If you’re tasteful and true in your photo selections, your personality will naturally come through in your profile this summer!
3. Initiation strategies
Once you’ve refreshed your profile and pictures, it’s time to start talking. Sure, information and photos of you are what initially draw someone in, but you’ll never really know if there’s a connection if you don’t start conversing. The beauty of online dating is there’s no limit to how many prospects you can reach out and talk to! To make the most of those first emails, fill them with strong emotional words such as “excited” or “wonderful” rather than “ok” or “fine”; studies show that this type of email leads to positive impressions and more responses because, once again, it showcases more of your personality.
Another messaging tip: When searching through online profiles, train yourself to first look for the positive rather than the negative. That is, don’t go looking for your perfect “on paper” match because, in reality, that may not be the connection you’re looking for! Most online success stories involve people who fell in love despite the fact that they weren’t a perfect match on paper. For example, a person may have lived too far away, didn’t have the hair color you usually go for, or was a few inches too tall or short. If you find yourself making judgments about minor things before you get to know a person, you could possibly be missing out on something wonderful.
Lastly and most importantly, there is no rule for who should send the first message. Just find something within their profile that interests you and ask them something engaging and relevant, such as: “So you love action movies? Are you excited to see the new Jason Bourne movie this summer?” or “I read that you love to travel. Any big travel plans this summer? Where would you go if you could go anywhere?” By initiating contact with these open-ended questions, it not only shows that you’re actually reading their profile and paying attention, but it gives them a chance to answer in a way that hopefully showcases their true colors. Approach conversation this way, and you’ll be able to quickly determine if the two of you are a compatible pair.
Dr. Terri Orbuch (aka The Love Doctor®) is a relationship expert for OurTime.com, as well as a professor, therapist, research scientist, and author of 5 best-selling books, including “Finding Love Again: 6 Simple Steps to a New and Happy Relationship. ”Learn more about her at: DrTerriTheLoveDoctor.com.