Struggling for hits on dating sites? Here's how to improve your score

  • Chaitanya Ramalingegowda, None
  • Updated: Oct 12, 2014 16:16 IST

Most well-educated, urban singles in India are comfortable creating an online dating / matrimonial profile these days. But creating a profile that catches the attention of the average browser is an art in itself. So how does one stand out in the thousands of other profiles that are around?

1 Photos
‘A picture is worth a thousand words’ – this truism is one that online profile creators ought to live by. Do the photos you have put up show off the ‘best’ you? Have you even bothered to upload a picture onto your profile? According to global statistics, the profiles with photos get more hits on average. On the contrary, a bad picture ruins the chances of the attention your profile deserves. For example, you standing in a group (which one are you?) or wearing sunglasses or staring at the camera with a glazed look do not flatter you. A profile picture should have that balance of being candid and elegant enough to present the best version of yourself to potential partners, i.e., a photo taken during a vacation – you’ll definitely be footloose and fancy-free on a holiday, a photo of you decked up in all your glory at a friend’s wedding – lets people know that you can rock both traditional and modern garb with equal aplomb.

Also read: Can you find 'the one' through online dating?

2 True first impression
Humans sub-consciously make snap judgments even when we think we are being rational. The profile headline has to deliver your essence succinctly. This first line will determine if the reader will venture forth to reading the rest of the profile or not. You may not be an eloquent writer, but there is no harm in getting your sibling or a friend to have a look and edit it together. For example, you could use a personal motto, or a quote you live by, or characteristics that define you. And follow it up with a brief explanation of this statement. It should be a seamless read which balances the punch of your first line with a mellow explanation that follows.

3 Spellcheck & Grammar
Most people think it’s enough if you know how to articulate your thoughts verbally. But what they don’t realize is that however articulate they may be, their writing skills will bare their flaws in an instant. Ensure basic spell and grammar checks, using any of the standard word processors (like Microsoft Word). Not only do abbreviations make you seem lazy not to mention less intelligent, but it also suggests a seeming lack of effort and interest in your love-life – not exactly a turn-on.

4 Dump the clichés
“Laid-back”, “smart”, “funny”, “easy-going” – relying heavily on adjectives like these don’t help in attracting a lot of attention. To someone who is thinking of getting to know you, these are vague indicators of who you are. They are yet to know you to be swayed by these clichéd adjectives. And please avoid sentences starting with, “My friends say/think … “ A prospective partner doesn’t want to know your friend’s opinion of you. They want to know your opinion of YOU. You should focus on being specific about the present YOU, not so much your past or future self. Staying clear of too many “I used to …” stories or “I want to do … when I get time,” is a safe bet. Although revealing something about where you come from is nice, your profile is not a memoir. Keep these to when you meet in person and want to get to know each other.

5 Just a peek is enough
Your profile is simply the basis on which to start further conversations. It is meant as much to give information, as it is to keep things private until the right moment. Meaning, it is meant to intrigue and pique their interest while giving them just a peek into your persona, so that it keeps the mystery alive. Talking about multiple topics and arousing just enough curiosity to make your potentials take the next step in contacting you, is the mark of a good and interesting profile.

Also read: Online dating can curb racial barriers in romance

6 Confident yet vulnerable
Think confidence and vulnerability don’t go together? Think again. Exuding confidence in one part of your profile, while making yourself vulnerable in another, is an art. But there is a fine line between being confident and coming across as cocky. Although baring your soul online is a no-no, there are small ways you can show your vulnerable side without pouring your heart out. A slightly embarrassing yet beguiling anecdote is one way to achieve this. For example, an endearing nickname that got stuck since high school, or the time when you thought your professor was the janitor. These vulnerabilities make you look more approachable and relatable as an actual person with flaws, rather than the perfect person you’re trying so hard to come across as.

7 Don’t be stingy with words
Although keeping the word count to a minimum is a priority, don’t be so frugal with your words as to frustrate a potential match with absolutely no insight into you whatsoever. If they can’t get a handle on you as a person, then you’ll be partying with an empty inbox. Make sure to answer all of the questions the site asks you, to show that you’re open to putting yourself out there, no matter the outcome. Show that you’re serious enough about being in a committed relationship and open to the possibility of meeting someone new. Remember – you can’t arrive at this killer profile at one go. You have to keep experimenting with words that best describe you, while being mindful representing the unique person that is you.

(The author is the founder of , )

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