The absolute most difficult thing for most people to wrap their mind around when it comes to writing a description on a dating profile is the same thing that we struggle with in job interviews: selling who we are, honestly. While we don’t want to overload a prospective partner with a bullet-point checklist of our likes, dislikes, and what we’re looking—we do, at least, want them to know some of those things right off the bat.
But with the character counts for text nearly as limited as a garden-variety tweet—how do we go about expressing who we are in such a small description box?
Though a dating profile description will always be unique to the person writing it, and what they’re looking for, there is also a bit of science to the structure—or, at least, method to the madness.
When it comes down it, writing your about me section should let the prospective partner know just enough to get the basics across, make them interested, and then entice them with questions to uncover more—all while, most importantly, still being honest.
Though it sounds like a lot, to help you out on your romantic journey, here are our tips to Write the Perfect Description for Your Dating Profile:
1. Brevity is the Soul
Shakespeare said it and here we are, hundreds of years later, still quoting it. Along with his multitude of sonnets and romantic plays—he knew a little something about love. That being said, don’t quote Shakespeare in your description (unless you simply have to express your love of literature.)
However, in clearly not adhering to the title, the key to a great profile description is in keeping it short and sweet. While it should express a few key things about who you are and what you’re looking for, it shouldn’t do so in a long-winded manner. In fact, with most dating profiles limiting the character count for your descriptions, it’s near impossible to say too much.
That being said, the best way to think of your profile description is as an elevator pitch for a job. In a succinct manner, lay out the fundamentals, and entice them to learn more.
2. Be Conversational When You Introduce Yourself
To add on to the first tip, be a conversationalist in your writing. Instead of listing out your qualities as you would on a resume—talk about them as you would on a cover letter. Introduce yourself with a ‘Hi, my name is …’ rather than ‘CEO, prolific golfer.’
And further, continue that conversational tone throughout your description. Try not to talk about yourself in a bullet point list of your life story and accomplishments, but rather how you might introduce yourself on a first date. You don’t spill everything out, but you do let on what’s most important to you. Where you can bend, be malleable—where you can’t, be firm.
You want someone that accepts who you are as a person, and what you believe—though the relationship might have you both evolve and learn from each other, building a strong, friendly foundation comes first.
3. Mention Your Career
Though it was mentioned above in perhaps the worst way possible, it’s good to let people know what your career is. If you’re between jobs, feel free to be as honest as you’d like. However, addressing this small to large thing is important as to ignore it entirely might give the impression that you’re hiding something. That being said, there are a number of reasons people have for not mentioning a career—and one of them is simply where you value careers as a person.
If that describes you, maybe make a note of it in your description. As mentioned, you’re trying to find someone on a similar wavelength—if you work to live, rather than live to work—let them know.
4. Talk About Your Hobbies
In expanding on things about you, it’s always a good idea to mention hobbies. While you and your prospective partner might not have everything in common, it’s great to find some common-ground. In that regard, list the hobbies that really make up who you are.
If you love to read, talk about where in your house or outside or at the local coffee shop you go to do that. If you love movies, talk about your favorite and when you saw it first. The basic jumping-off point with hobbies is that it promotes wonderful conversation.
If you can talk at-length and almost ad-nauseum about a certain topic, it’s an amazing when someone else can right along with you.
5. Talk About Your Interests
While hobbies and interests sometimes overlap—they don’t always. For example, while you might love to surf, you might be interested in different charities. You might have something in your past that inspired how you interact with the world and how you’ve formed your world-view.
If these sort of interests in politics, the environment, physical or mental wellness are important to you—don’t be afraid to hide them. Though they might seem obtuse to some, even niche, they might just be the reason your prospective partner reaches out to talk to you specifically.
6. Avoid Cliches
One of the most common things you might encounter in a person’s description on dating sites is the simple ‘I don’t know what to write here.’ While it seems original when its written, it’s like post-modernism, it doesn’t really offer anything new—just commentary.
With that in mind, be honest with yourself about who you are in the description, but try to avoid the tried and tired tropes of: ‘I love to travel’, ‘I love long walks on the beach,’ ‘I love my dog.’
7. Avoid Generalities
And, to jump on board with cliches, it’s also important to avoid more generalized statements about who you are. For example, when it comes down to it most people you find might like to travel in some regard. More than likely, they also might like the romance of a walk on the beach. And, if they have a pet—they’ll most likely adore that too.
Though the ideas aren’t wrong in these particular cases, the execution leaves a bit to be desired. To still write about travel, long walks, and your dog—get into the specifics about each.
If you love to travel, mention where and what trip you took. If you like long walks on the beach, give imagery of your favorite beach—and if you love your dog, give your dog’s name and where you got them or a cute mannerism of your sweet little fur-baby.
All that being said, avoid cliches by avoiding general statements. Not that you have to buy into astrology, but to make things simple: if your description sounds like a generalized Zodiac reading, how can you make it sound like one attributable to your own, specific sign?
8. Be Positive About What You’re Looking For
Towards the end of every description, it’s important to invite the prospective partner into your world. In that way, it’s best to ask leading questions—to invite them in a positive manner to find out more about you. While some reading this may have been in the search or a part of the single life longer than they hoped, any negative feelings you have about the prospect of finding a life partner probably shouldn’t be expressed here.
While they might feel honest, they lend an impression of you that you might not hope to portray. As it goes, those feelings are a part of you, but they aren’t what make you. In that regard, even if this is the only space you express it, be positive. Give people an honest chance to uncover all of who you are, rather than closing them off to that opportunity early.
9. Leave Some Ideas Up to the Imagination
Though it can feel like its necessary to mention everything about yourself and your family and your career right away—only express what you’re comfortable expressing. With that in mind, don’t feel obligated to describe every part of your life in the profile description—in fact, feel free to write conclusions that might lead to further questions.
In that way, talk about the future. Talk about hopes you have for travel or in a partner—express the opportunity for growth together, rather than someone whose cup is already full.
10. Be Honest About Yourself
Most importantly, be honest in your description about who you are and what you want. Though you want to express your best self, make sure it is also your authentic self.
Even if an amazing description gets you a ton of connections, if it doesn’t represent who you are then those connections are more likely to fizzle than flourish.
It’s always difficult to interview for job, it’s equally difficult to create a dating profile, as both are designed to accentuate your best qualities, and encourage you to sell yourself. While this can be a daunting process, it’s not impossible to create a succinct description of yourself that’s also honest.
And, though it might be tempting to lie on your profile to get connections, keep it mind that you’re looking for someone you might spend a long time with—and an unsteady foundation of trust is no place to start.
With all that in mind, when writing your dating profile, remember to be your most authentic self—express you interests, hobbies, and values honestly, and positively—because, if you do that, you’re sure to find a romantic partner prepared to be their own authentic self for you.