Love & Lust

5 profile tips for getting exactly what you want out of online dating

As the old saying goes, you never get a second chance to make a first impression, and that is certainly true when it comes to looking for sex and love online. Your online dating profile is the window to the World of Wonderful You, and when your future ex-lovers have just a few seconds to check out your page, your profile should look its best.

So whatever your online dating, or “dating,” app of choice is, here are five important tips for a profile that pops, not flops.

1. Be brave

A wise woman once asked, “If you can’t love yourself, how the hell you gonna love somebody else?” Nothing is sexier than someone with a healthy dose of confidence. That starts with accepting who, and what, you are, warts and all. Say your real age. Say what you want in a relationship. Give a little info about what you do for work or what you do with your life every day, and show everyone that you think you are interesting enough to deserve a little attention. Lying about your age or your income (or that critical part of pitch) may help you get laid once in a while, but once you admit the truth, the memory of that little lie will linger like a red flag. Yes, it’s hard. Many people exaggerate, so there has been a kind of “profile inflation.” But in the long run what will shine through is your integrity.

2. Pick a great pic

We are into the second decade of the 21st century, and every cell phone comes with a very good camera. There is no reason to post a profile photo that is grainy, blurry, or so small that your face cannot be seen. If you want to know what you really look like, have a close friend pick your photo for you. They see you for who you really are, and you can be certain that they don’t think you look like that mid-workout gym selfie you took 5 years ago. Show a little personality. Use a photo from a (recent) vacation (and then be ready to chat about it when someone asks, “Where is that photo from?”). Or post a photo posing with a dog. That’s always a winner.

3. Be honest with what you want

If you are looking for sex, say so. There is no shame in looking for sex. In fact, sex is good. But fret not, romantics, because lots of people are looking for love without jumping right to the sack, so keep things simple and make it easy for prospective suitors to sort through the field for eligible applicants. There is nothing more confusing than a self-proclaimed romantic leading with a butt shot. Yes, navigating the boundaries of love and lust are difficult. But mixed messages are not sexy. They are simply exhausting.

4. Be accessible

We all have standards, but do you really need to make prospective suitors run a gauntlet to get a simple date or even hook up? Long lists of the things you don’t like in a mate, even when legit, make you appear to be a person who is impossible to please. And, yes, the phrase “no fats, no femmes” is offensive and says a lot more about you than anyone else. Say what you like–not what you don’t like–and put positive energy out there. And saying something like “I’m single because I don’t believe in settling for less” just means “I would prefer to be alone than compromise on anything, so you probably shouldn’t waste your time trying to make me happy.”

5. Don’t be an a$$#0!e


You do not live a life so burdened by your own sexiness that you have the right to ask entire ethnic, racial, body type, or gender-expressive groups of people to not contact you because you find them generally undesirable. Keep your bigotry to yourself. Your selfish motives are not important compared to the hate you create with your marginalization of other human beings. Of course everyone has favorites, and if you have a “type,” a preference for, say, beefy blond guys, or Pacific Islanders who look great oiled up and shirtless, then say so and happy hunting. But also, everyone deserves a chance to feel that someone is dreaming of finding them, and they don’t need to be informed that they are undesirable. And you may think, for example, “I’m not into black guys,” but if Taye Diggs stepped out of “How Stella Got Her Groove Back” and walked into your bedroom, stripped down to his Speedo and licked his lips, you would take that moment to confront your racial preference and you would get over it in a hurry.