How Do I Write A Unique Online Dating Profile?

Making a connection

A lot has changed since online dating first became popular in the 1990s and oughts. Who doesn’t love Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks anonymously bonding over email in You’ve Got Mail? But online dating profiles are a bit more complex now, and there’s been a lot of ink spilled on how to craft the perfect online dating profile (with the studies to back it up)—to your great benefit!

Your profile is a lot like a resume, but with selfies. It’s important to represent yourself in the best possible light. It’s also important to use unique words that show your personality and allow people to get to know you a little bit better by just reading your profile. Common descriptors like happy, nice, and caring may take you one step closer to a “swipe left.”

So, of course, we’re here to help you out with more interesting, thoughtful word choices about yourself. Read on for some suggestions that may help you express your personality shine even brighter.

Disclaimer: only use these word suggestions if they are right for you. Lying in your online profile is a no-no.

If you're an optimistic person ...

Optimistic people, you’re up.

Writing a dating profile when you’re optimistic doesn’t seem like it would be hard. But sometimes words like happy and optimistic are so overused in the online dating world that they get easily glossed over in a profile.

But, as in many arenas of life, online daters do tend to respond to positivity, and that includes positive words. Online profiles are first impressions, after all, and people who make snap judgments tend to value optimism.

So, how do you say you’re happy and optimistic without using those exact words? Cue for some inspiration:

Pessimists, take heart. Even Oscar has Grundgetta. Maybe limit the negativity to a couple key phrases; we’re thinking sarcastic or realist might fit the bill.

If you're a unique person ...

In the world of online dating, everyone wants to stand out. That’s why it’s crucial to highlight your individual qualities, hobbies, and talents.

One generic way of separating yourself from the pack is to declare yourself as “different from everyone else.” Ironically, there’s nothing different about saying that you’re different.

Bestselling novelist Dave Eggers describes the way you catch someone’s attention in a profile as the “hook.” To stand out, you have to “hook people in like you would in a book,” i.e., describe the things you like specifically.

People are attracted to people who are like them, so give them a chance to click with the very real you. Fill in the blanks: You’re unique because …

  • you like ultimate frisbee
  • you’re a good listener
  • you love true crime podcasts
  • you make amazing homemade donuts

Don’t be afraid to put it out there: what makes you you?

If you're a nice person ...

Being nice is a good thing, right? Of course the internet had to go and ruin that too. If you’re nice and want to share that with your potential love interests, here are some tips for writing about that quality.

1. Beware of nice guy syndrome when filling out your profile. Even if you are an authentically kind person, the term nice has gained some dark connotations in the world of online dating. For example, self-proclaimed nice guys on the internet have a reputation for passive aggression and entitlement. Yikes.

WATCH: What's So Wrong With "Nice"?

2. Use words without the baggage that nice has: eHarmony considers warm and generous to be popular words among its most successful profiles. But personally we like:

If you're a curious person ...

Are you a genuinely curious person? Curiosity is generally a quality most people seek because it tends to mean you’re adventurous, eager, into education, and … maybe even a bit nosy or jealous. So that’s why there’s probably some better, more specific, descriptors you can use to explain your curious side.

The problem with curious is that it can be taken out of context … you know, like that whole jealousy thing. Instead, passionate could be a fun alternative that has the same kind of gusto as curious. Some other good options:

Similarly, if you’re a straightforward person who avoids drama, be wary of the word easy.  Try easy-going instead … that extra word makes all the difference 😉.

If you're a respectful person ...

Respect is a great quality, especially when looking at dating profiles. However, if you consider yourself a respectful person and you’re tempted to use a word like gentleman or lady in your profile to convey that … read on before you press “save.”

Listen, we get it! You’re respectful. You open doors for others. You’re a good tipper.  Unfortunately, those aren’t the only prerequisites for respect these days. And using words like gentleman or lady can send the wrong impression to someone looking at your profile who finds those terms old-fashioned or even offensive. In the online dating world today, gender is fluid and being respectful of other people’s genders and pronouns actually shows that quality more than a word in a profile can.

According to a study, the word sweet actually attracts more attention. Try that one on for size. If it doesn’t fit, these might work too:

If you're a fun person ...

Fun is great, especially when it comes to dating. Nobody is actively looking for someone who considers themselves boring. But, what are some words related to fun that say a little bit more about your actual personality and what makes you fun?

The word flirty might work, it says you’re playful and saucy, which might be just what you’re looking for. But if that’s not the case, try something a little tamer.

Oh, quick tip: you don’t have to mention that hilarious prank you pulled off when you were 16. A profile captures who you are right now. What activities are you enjoying in this moment?

If you're a romantic person ...

Being a romantic is a plus, because it shows you have an emotional side. But if you’re an ’80s or ’90s kid and you hear the word romantic, the only thing that comes to mind may be Molly Ringwald and Freddie Prinze Jr. The romcom may have ruined the word romantic for some of us, but don’t fret, because there are a lot of other words that conjure up the caring, loving person you’re documenting in that dating profile.

We personally like the following:

Quick tip: you may want to avoid words like mushy or corny though.

If you're an introverted person ...

If you’re more into staying home and watching a documentary than busting moves at the club, that’s cool! We suggest describing yourself as independent or introverted. Yes, introverted is OK to use in your profile! No bashing here.

Introverts may not open as easily in public settings, but that doesn’t mean your dating profile can’t tell more about you. Word nerds unite!

If you’re quiet and conscientious, make sure your profile shows what a thoughtful or perceptive person you are. Don’t just say you’re a good listener; your profile should maintain a respectful balance of talking both about yourself and about the qualities you’re looking for. A good rule of thumb is to devote 70% of the profile to your own qualities and 30% to a potential partner’s.

And if your idea of a good night is a quiet one—spent reading, perhaps?—you’re note alone. According to eHarmony, “if you correctly use ‘whom’ in a sentence, you have a 31% better chance to be contacted” by a match.

Y’all like grammar. You really truly do!

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