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10 Match.com Profile Writing Tips to Help Guide Cupid's Arrow

Between the rise in popularity of mobile dating apps and social media networking, online dating has quickly evolved from being stigmatized to status quo. In fact, according to Pew Research, the share of 18- to 24-year-olds who use online dating has roughly tripled from 10% in 2013 to 27% today. Online dating use among 55- to 64-year-olds has also risen substantially since the last Pew Research Center survey on the topic. Today, 12% of 55- to 64-year-olds report of having used an online dating site or mobile dating app versus only 6% in 2013.

That same research shows that in 2015, 5% of Americans who are in a marriage or committed relationship say they met their significant other online. Pew Research hasn't done any more recent surveys (to my knowledge), but when they do, my bet is these numbers will shift upwards.

Online dating use among 55- to 64-year-olds has also risen substantially since the last Pew Research Center survey on the topic.
Online dating use among 55- to 64-year-olds has also risen substantially since the last Pew Research Center survey on the topic. Today, 12% of 55- to 64-year-olds report of having used an online dating site or mobile dating app versus only 6% in 2013.

Due to the lack of more recent statistics, I ran a quick poll on my Facebook feed, asking how many within my immediate network met their significant other through online dating. The stories started trickling in.

"He contacted me. We messaged a few times and he asked me out on super bowl Sunday. I initially told him no because I was afraid I'd miss the game. He said that's how he knew. I agreed to coffee as long as I was home for the game," recalls Crystal, who met her husband, Matt, online, and married him four months later. Jennifer, who just welcomed her second amazing daughter into the world, met her husband, Kellen, online as well. "The conversation then moved to texting," she writes, "and then we talked on the phone. Each conversation leading me to more interest in him as a person. We had many similar views and connected on those things."

So, there are success stories out there. But for those of you stuck at the "tell us about yourself" part of the online dating ritual, here are a few tips to make sure you don't miss out on your once in a lifetime chance to meet the guy or girl of your dreams.

Know the search criteria

Okay, so we've established that a LOT of people are dating online now, which is great. The downside to that is, there are plenty of people behind the profiles that you simply wouldn't get along with, so it's best to weed out the "deal-breakers" at the beginning. I can't tell you what these deal-breakers are, you'll have to figure that out for yourself. But if religion is one, go ahead and narrow your search along those lines. If you absolutely cannot date someone in another religion, you should make that clear from the beginning, to avoid time wasted on the matchmaking end.

For others, the "deal-breaker" might be kids. If you're looking for a partner who loves kids like you do, that's an important point to mention. If you're a single mother or father and will be bringing children into a potential relationship with someone, most people want to know that right off the bat, so go ahead and make that point clear.

Likewise, if family is important to you, say it. If you're not into the bar scene or random hookups, throw that in there, as well. Let your potential matches know the absolute deal-breakers on the front end to avoid wasting your time.

Avoid being "that guy"

It's one thing to have self-confidence. It's something else entirely to come across as pathological. Your dating profile is not a job interview. You don't need to list all of your credentials and highlights, because doing so only comes across as pompous and egotistical. So, phrases like "I'll show you the best time of your life" or "I'm the life of the party" should be avoided.

Show, don't tell

This same rule applies in storytelling—Humans are visual creatures, so use your photos to show who you are. Like adventure? Be sure to include a photo of that last skydiving event you participated in. Enjoy going to restaurants around town? You've probably got a selfie of yourself and a friend while dining out.

Enjoy spending lazy Sundays on the river in a boat? There's a picture of you doing just that somewhere on your phone.

Avoid addressing the crowd

One of the best aspects of dating online versus meeting someone in a bar or club is that online dating helps you weed out the people who have qualities or traits that are absolute deal-breakers for you in a relationship. To that end, it's important to not seem like you're addressing everyone when you're writing your online profile. This means, that "Hey Ladies, I'm the guy you're looking for" is probably not the best way to catch the attention of a unique individual who will appreciate you for who you are and what you can bring to the table.

I get it, I know it's hard to narrow yourself into a few paragraphs. I go through the same struggle every time I write an author bio for a magazine running an article. The point is, there are truly many fish in the sea. As any fisherman knows, certain fish prefer certain bait. So throwing out clichés or "I'm looking for my best friend" are just far too vague, and your profile is certain to attract matches you'd never really want to meet in public.

Ask questions

One of the easiest ways to attract someone's attention is to ask them questions about themselves. You can incorporate this into your profile to spark potential conversations, whether the person on the other end shares your tastes in food, music, hobbies and fun, or not.

Here's an example: "The perfect night out for me would be great conversation over Cuban food and maybe some salsa dancing at a downtown club, what's yours?"

Keep negativity to a minimum

Your Match.com profile is not the time and place to talk about how your ex cheated on you. It's also not the place to rant about politics, religion, how out of touch you think millennials are, or any other conversation that would turn someone off from wanting to connect with you.

Instead, reframe it into what impresses you and what you like. Instead of complaining about cheaters, mention that you value loyalty. If you really can't stand someone who is only interested in the amount of money in your bank account, mention that you are looking for someone who understands what it means to have gratitude and is able to count their blessings.

Have some faith

"I can't believe I signed up for this." "I'm not sure this will work, but…."

A solid rule in dating, whether online or offline, is showing confidence and these statements do nothing other than let others know that you're not very confident you'll find the right person this way. Even if your online dating attempt doesn't work to attract the right partner, having the confidence to make an honest go of it might be all that's really needed to catch someone's eye.

Avoid the checklist

Obviously, you have standards in the people you choose to date. As mentioned earlier, laying out your deal-breakers on the front end is a great idea if you don't have the time to chase after potential dates who you just wouldn't click with face-to-face. However, your profile isn't the place to list every single one of them in bulleted format.

While it's important to mention absolute deal-breakers, don't use your online dating profile as a checklist of everything you expect your potential match to be.
While it's important to mention absolute "deal-breakers," don't use your online dating profile as a checklist of everything you expect your potential match to be. Love, after all, is unquestionably full of surprises.

One interesting fact discovered in more recent Pew research is that online dating is changing the face of "couples" to be more diverse in ethnicity, education, political party and income.

According to the poll, three out of ten of those who say they met their partner online report that their partner is a different race or ethnicity, compared with 19% of those who met their partner offline. People who met their partner online are also somewhat more likely to say that they and their partner do not identify with the same political party (46% vs. 40%). Of those who say their partner has a different political affiliation, many are in a couple where one person leans to or is affiliated with one party and the other is a political independent or undecided.

Going back to my unofficial straw poll on Facebook, Crystal writes, "He was into hiking and fishing and I hated both of those things. He was the polar opposite of everything I was or had ever dated." Now, with four years of marriage behind them, she and Matt figured out that sometimes the "checklist" can be too narrow and should be left open to surprises.

Get a room (no, really)

I'm not trying to be Debbie Downer, just being real: if you're a woman, dating online is pretty scary. Stories trickle in on the news and social media feeds about online dating gone bad, with some scenarios leading to sexual crimes and others leading to psychopathic stalkers. So, in much the same sense that yelling "fire" in a crowded movie theater is a bad idea, so is being overtly sexual on your online dating profile.

If you are honestly looking for a potential partner, advertising your sexual preferences in your dating profile is the same thing as going on a first date and immediately trying to get to third base. Just….don't.

Obviously, a face-to-face encounter will be crucial for determining if there's a physical spark, but don't blow your chances for that encounter by putting the cart before the horse. Consider this: You might end up on a date with someone in your line of work that can help you reach more potential business contacts, where sexual innuendo on the front end would only result in embarrassment, ruining the opportunity of a connection that could have been made. In whatever case, avoid sexual innuendo or references, it will only attract the wrong kind of responses.

Leave out the grammar mistakes

According to this poll, 91% of Match.com members have attended college. So, for this particular app, it's a good idea to check your grammar and spelling. While your online dating profile isn't your resume, it's still published content that should come across as well-thought out. Finding the right partner is a big step, and an important one for a lot of people, so take the time to get it right before publishing it.

Finally, and perhaps most essentially, remember the words of the immortal bard, Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.

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