How to create the perfect online dating profile

Ready to take your love life to the Internet? Don’t fill out your profile without reading this first

Zachary Dorsey, Rick Lax, Abby Tegnelia

Team Weekly shares tips for the straight woman, straight man and gay man


The biggest pitfall for men is throwing up a bunch of “active” shots and forgetting to include at least one close-up of their face. Women like to see three photos: one of your face, one full-length and one shot showing a little personality. Too many athletic photos can turn off a woman who’s worried she isn’t athletic enough for you. Curb the instinct to show every sport you’ve ever played in your profile. If you get to the third date, there will be plenty of time to tell her all about your activities. –AT

Ladies, this one is the most important, and not just for obvious reasons. At first, your photo is the only thing we see, what determines whether we click on your profile and learn more about you. So don’t be afraid to show off your best asset. If it’s your smile, then smile. If it’s your body, wear something that shows it off. If you want us to read what you’ve written, you’ve got to catch our eye first. –RL

About Me

Describe why you’re on the site, what you’re looking for, your occupation and what kind of scene you’re in. And please use complete sentences. Don’t say that you just ended a three-year relationship or that you’re looking for someone to spend the rest of your life with. Don’t tell me your favorite sexual position, the last time you were checked for STDs or whether you’re into bondage. We can discuss that later. –ZD


Be honest here. This is a deal-breaker in so many relationships, and one benefit of dating online is that you can get this out of the way up front. If you’re not a religious guy, don’t pretend to be. A woman who is into her faith is more likely to date someone willing to let her raise her children according to her beliefs than someone extremely religious but not of her religion. This matters less the older you get. –AT


It’s probably best to stay away from politics and religion here. Oh, and this isn’t the time to complain about your previous relationships. (Obviously those didn’t work out or you wouldn’t be here.) Say something positive, fun, maybe silly. And if you don’t know the difference between “your” and “you’re,” have a writer friend proofread your tagline before you post it. –RL

Appearance/body type

Seeing how a guy views himself can cut down on psychological trauma later. So if you’re slender, average, stocky, athletic, twink, bear or cub, say so. Some guys don’t list anything—those tend to be the immature ones. –ZD


Be truthful about your job and proud of what you’ve accomplished. Just remember that you’re trying to connect with her during the hours not spent in the office. Don’t reprint your résumé, and be careful not to come off like a workaholic—even if you are one. –AT


Feel free to leave this section blank. A lot of guys don’t care how much money you make. And sometimes, big salaries intimidate guys, while small salaries might scare guys into thinking they’ll have to pay for everything. –RL

Education Say whether you graduated high school or went to college. Also: Punctuation, spelling, grammar and word choice say a lot about your education. Too many shortened words (LTR, yngr, azn) could mean you’re always in a rush. Or that you text during dinner. –ZD

Drinking habits

Want to stay on the safe side? “Social Drinker/Drinks Occasionally.” If you’re a teetotaler, that’s fine, but you might not want to advertise it. It can come off as bragging. Besides, are you trying to attract a Catholic priest? Oh, and if you say you’re a lush, you’ll reel in guys looking for a quick hook-up. So don’t … unless that’s what you’re after. –RL

Men, stay honest. Saying you drink “a few times a year” indicates that you’re a straight-and-narrow guy, so you’d better not get plastered on the first date. If you drink often, don’t say you drink once a month; the party girls might not write you back. –AT

Political Views

Do list an affiliation. And if you don’t vote, don’t just say “I don’t vote”—tell me why. –ZD

Sports and exercise

Women are trying to picture you in their life, so keep that in mind when you talk about sports. If you’re an avid snowboarder but don’t need to date one, mention that you love it and ask what she likes to do in the wintertime. But if you’ll only marry someone who will join a his-and-hers soccer team, say so. Otherwise, you might end up with a volleyballer. –AT


This one’s easy: List as many interests as you can. Guys are looking for a point of connection, something to say when we first write you aside from “ur hot.” So even if you’ve only played poker three times, go ahead and list it as an interest. It could start a conversation ... and might even lead to a poker date. –RL

Want kids?

This is one area where anything but the absolute truth could ruin you! –AT


Previous Discussion:

Top of Story