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How I Settled on My Online Dating Profile

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To reveal, or not.

Creating your online dating persona might be the most difficult step in attracting the right men. Do you share what you think men want to hear or do you share what you think will screen out the undesirables and screen in the desirables? The answer is, yes.

You need good bait to attract and catch the type of fish you really want. This analogy is perfect for my Florida online dating scene, but applicable worldwide.

First, you need a good username, one that will screen in the most promising prospects. Of course, never use your real name and don’t be too cutesy. I picked a username that reflected something important in my life that I hope is important to my future mate’s life.

Most important, make your profile interesting and fun to read. People who are engaged in online dating often read hundreds of profiles, and to be honest at some point they can all start to sound alike. If one more man says he is looking for his soul mate, I think I will scream.

Before you begin writing your profile, I recommend this eye-opening TED talk, “How I hacked online dating.”

In my profile, I tried to show prospective dates that I was happy, healthy, funny and wise. I tried to give the impression that I am not seeking a man to complete me. I am trying to find someone who will make my current enjoyable life even more enjoyable because I have someone special to share it with. That’s not lip service; I truly believe it. Make your life happy and you will attract better prospects.

My profile also included traits I am looking for in a man, not what I am avoiding. It’s a big turnoff to see a list of what someone doesn’t want. It’s also a turnoff when someone is requesting the impossible dream. I truly believe my dream man is completely imperfect, but imperfect in the most adorable way.

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Try to include words that describe how you stay active, particularly outdoors. A Wired magazine infographic shows 380 of the 1,000 most commonly used words in online dating profiles. Words like “surfing,” “skiing” and “yoga” topped the list.

Once I drafted my profile, I showed it to trusted male and female friends. They gave me excellent feedback and helped me improve my profile.

Coming May 28: My initial online hits from interested men.

 *Names and identifying information have been changed to protect people’s privacy and security.

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