Online dating profiles

We have read over 1,000,000 profiles here in the office. That is 1 million online dating profiles! Phew! So we think we are fairly well qualified to offer some advice on what makes a brilliant profile and what makes a duff one.

Here are our suggestions for renewing interest in your profile or getting off to a good start if you're new.

Think about doing this:

  • be honest
  • write about something that happened to you that you found funny/thought-provoking/strange. Your reaction to that situation will demonstrate your view of the world.
  • be positve and up-beat
  • check over what you have written to make sure it makes sense!

Think about avoiding this:

  • writing a boring list of your name, age, status etc. All this info is in the computer-generated introduction that appears at the top of every profile. It's compiled from the data you entered in your profile questionnaire.
  • be negative - so utterly offputting
  • specify too narrow a criteria for who you are looking for. The reader will automatically think "I'll never match up to their standards."
  • strolls along the beach at moonlight, snuggling up with a bottle of wine, open fires and holding hands. They're all wonderful and lovely but somehow they've been done to death.

Sleepless in Settle is 6' 0" tall, 27, and lives in Yorkshire. He is of average build, divorced and has one child. He's a non-smoker who drinks occasionally. He hopes to find a woman for a friendship which might lead to romance.

Description: Ten years ago, I never thought I'd be here - divorced, a kid, on a site like this! Mind you ten years ago I thought the chemistry teacher was the only woman I'd ever love and that a good night out was necking cider round the back of the chippy! I also thought I'd be a poet and that I would find a cure for cancer. Well, still working on the latter as a micro-biologist - she has a lot to answer for, that teacher! - but my poetry seems to have gone down hill a bit! Well, that's according to my resident critic, upstairs. 5 year olds have so many opinions nowadays, haven't they? Still I won't hold that against him. The fact that he beat me at table-tennis the other day, I might!

Ideal partner: If you have the energy to keep up with a five year-old, you're a better man than me, Gunga Din! Not that I'm looking for a man, you understand! Anyway, you wouldn't mind the little one around. You'd probably like reading newspapers in coffee shops on Sunday mornings and walking alongside rivers in the rain. You might just be mad enough to want to join me for a bike ride or become my new squash partner? You may feel passionately about something and be interested in everything, know what makes you tick and want to know what makes me. And, at the end of the day, when the kids are asleep, you'd want to tell me about your day and want to know about mine.

midsummerseve team 2

midsummerseve team 3

This profile is one that we made up, and although I'm sure it can be improved upon, it has a few key elements that makes for a half-decent profile.

It is short (though a bit longer than this would be fine too), informative, demonstrates qualities as opposed to listing them, is friendly and positive and brings up a number of points that can be the basis for a conversation. And not a 'GSOH', bottle of wine or stroll along the beach in sight!

From the intro, we are given all the basics like his name, where he's from and his status. Right, so tell us something we don't know!

In the next two short paragraphs, we are told that he is a single father, that he has a job, rides a bike, plays squash and plays table-tennis ... badly!

We can tell he's an intelligent sort of chap because he knows what he wants and can put it in writing clearly and imaginatively. We can see he has a sense of humour, is a little romantic, is active and is pretty down-to-earth. He seems friendly and sincere.

We also get the impression that he is caring, patient, perhaps a little unsure about looking for another relationship but with a definite feeling that he would like to be in one.

So this is reading between the lines but, put like this instead of a list, there's more of a feeling that this really is what this person is like.