What NOT to say in your ‘About Me’ profile
Are you ready to write your online dating profile? Here’s what to include – and avoid – in your ‘About Me’ profile
It sounds simple in theory; in order to get on in the UK dating scene, online, you just need to post a photo of yourself and describe who you are. Of course in practice this can be tough. You have to walk the fine line between showing how great you are, and still being honest. After all, what’s the point of describing yourself as 6ft 1, when you are in fact half a foot short of that in reality?
Now, in our own opinion – formed after reading thousands of profiles – eHarmony users are overwhelmingly honest. In fact, on meeting many of our married success couples, they will often attest to the honesty of their partner’s profile, and cite this as one of their many great qualities. But, often people just don’t know how to present themselves in both an honest and attractive light.
Science says that an attractive image should be as symmetrical as possible if you are a woman (which suggests health and fertility) and look as wealthy and symmetrical as possible if you are a man, with dark hair and strong features. Unfortunately, there’s no science that can make you fit one of those descriptions. But, to help you along, follow some of our tips for a great profile photo
More bad news, we can’t tell you what to write that will portray who you honestly are. Yes, we could look at your Relationship Questionnaire answers and put something together, but it wouldn’t really be you. What we can do however, is tell you what not to write. Scientifically speaking, there are some things – listed below – that you can exclude, for profile success.
1. Things you can’t spell or punctuate
The most common gripe we hear from women, about men’s profiles, is that they are badly spelled and punctuated – and there seems to be a real gender bias here. Gentlemen (and in fact everyone should do this) double check your spelling. If you can’t spell very well, paste your profile into Word (or any word processor in fact) and let the spell check do the hard work for you.
2. Everything and the kitchen sink
Imagine you’re meeting someone for the first time; you probably don’t sit them down and tell them your life story straight away. The same applies to your ‘About Me’ profile which is your matches’ first impression of you. You should treat your ‘About Me’ profile like the cover of a book, as it should draw people in, without appearing too boastful or desperate. We see many users complaining about ‘subjective incompatibilities’. These are difficult to measure scientifically, but as a whole they represent the things that would never be seen as ‘deal-breakers’ once a couple are in a relationship, but can appear off-putting when presented before they’ve even met.
For example, you may be a great dog lover but if you spend your ‘About Me’ profile talking about how your dog is your greatest friend, someone who doesn’t own a pet may be put off. However, after meeting, your match may come to love your dog as you do – it’s simply a question of being moderate when making a first impression.
3. Negative things
Following on from point two, the overall tone of your profile is very important. Negativity and aggression put people off, so try to avoid saying what you hate (‘politicians really drive me mad’), or describing the matches you won’t communicate with (‘I can’t stand people with children’). That’s why we have the ‘Must Haves and Can’t Stands’ section separate from your ‘About Me’ profile, making it less personal. Try to be as positive as possible, talking about what you enjoy and what you’re looking for in a potential partner.
4. Work and family
Your ‘About Me’ profile, as we’ve explained above, is where you give your matches a tantalising glimpse of the real you. However, if your profile only talks about your work and family responsibilities, then your matches may find it hard to connect with you as a person. Where you may think you are giving the impression that you are responsible and caring, others may interpret this as you having no time for someone new in your life. By all means talk about what interests you, but don’t overdo it.
5. Anything vague
A close second to ‘being unable to spell’ is ‘not saying anything at all’. Some people manage to fill their whole profile without saying anything of interest – if your goal is to show matches you’d be someone great to get in touch with, then you’d better be able to communicate. For example, rather than saying ‘I like to enjoy life to the full’, explain how you do this. Maybe you have an interesting hobby, or you like to go travelling – the most important thing is to provide examples to give your profile some colour. By saying ‘I loved travelling around India last year’ you stand a good chance of drawing in someone who has had a similar experience.
If you find it hard to talk about yourself, then don’t worry; you’re in good company as many eHarmony users feel the same. The key is taking the time to write your profile, re-reading and revising if necessary. If you don’t feel too self-conscious, get a good friend to read it and ask them whether they think it’s an accurate representation of you.
The overall conclusion of our analysis of profiles is that anything is better than nothing. Or rather, in numbers, twice as many people will invite matches to communicate if they have 100 words in their profiles compared with those that have only 10 words in their profiles. If your profile is looking a little bare, it’s time to start writing!
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