I’ve done my fair share of fun activities for stories. I spent a week time blocking, took a cooking class with Rachael Ray, and explored the Friends experience in New York City. But nothing has been as crazy as letting my Instagram followers have a say in my dating life. When I decided to figure out what makes the perfect profile on a dating app, I thought that instead of just running you through a checklist, it would be fun to give you expert insights and make it personal. This is without a doubt the most out-of-my-comfort-zone thing I’ve done for a story, which is honestly pretty thrilling.
For fellow hopeless romantics who dream of running into their future love in a bookstore, or locking eyes across the room and instantly falling for each other, online dating is not the fantasy we imagined. It can be difficult with the endless amounts of potential partners to swipe through, picking and choosing like I'm selecting players in a video game. It also doesn’t help that before you even start swiping, there’s an overwhelming amount of apps to choose from. We chatted with dating coach Blaine Anderson about how your profile can help you find a match — and then asked my Instagram followers to vote on how I should craft my own.
What should I write on my dating profile?
The most important details to write on your dating profile are authentic, energetic, and personal. There’s a good chance you’ll attract someone who vibes with what you publish, so be intentional about the words you use.
How do you describe yourself in a dating profile?
Set yourself apart by describing more unique aspects of your personality. You can talk about your interests, favorite pastimes, or even hidden talents.
What is a good dating profile headline?
Craft a profile headline that is snappy and attention-grabbing, but is also easy to read. We’d recommend avoiding confusing language or run-on phrases.
How do you make a dating profile interesting?
Add in unique and interesting facts about yourself throughout your profile. Post photos from any once-in-a-lifetime experiences you’ve had, or write about your funniest interactions.
How To Craft The Perfect Dating Profile
The first thing to remember when starting your profile is to not take anything too seriously or too personally. Just like other forms of social media, dating apps have an algorithm meant to pull you in, so you’ll want to find ways to stay grounded.
“Singles have dramatically more exposure to the most attractive one percent of people today through social media and dating apps than they did a decade ago,” Anderson says. “This can create an illusion of accessibility — dating apps are literally designed to give you the impression that the perfect match is just around the corner — and this may lead to unrealistic expectations around who singles can actually attract.”
With all that in mind, remember that dating apps are supposed to be fun! You wanna be intentional, but you also wanna channel some positive energy into your profile so it’s fresh and engaging. Crafting the perfect page honestly reminds me of writing — you need a good thesis to hook the reader.
“A good profile is deliberate, and captures the qualities that make you you,” Anderson says. “It tells a story. A good profile also doesn't bury the lead. You get an immediate sense of what the person is like, and whether you're compatible.”
“A bad profile tends to be a generic profile. If someone can't immediately understand what differentiates you from the hundreds of other people they've swiped on, you won't get many matches.”
There are a few different elements to a dating profile, including images and prompts, and it’s important to understand the “why” behind each. When it comes to your pictures, Anderson says that one very important detail is often overlooked.
“The number one criteria for photos for dating apps is face visibility!” she says. “People who view your profile must be able to immediately tell what you look like in your photo — avoid pictures where your face is obscured by sunglasses, dark shadows, or anything else in the photo. From there, your goal is to choose photos that tell the story of who you are. Don't just upload whatever's available on your phone's camera roll — deliberately get photos that reveal details about your lifestyle.”
After you’ve found the most flattering, funniest, and personality-revealing pics on your phone (LOL easy, right?), it’s time for some prompts. “Many people mindlessly answer apps' suggested prompts…without thinking strategically about the information they need to communicate to find compatible partners. Choose prompts, or carve out space in your written bio, to name the activities you love and things that make you happy.”
Take agency with these prompts instead of just answering them mindlessly: “Think first about what the person you want to meet would want to know about you, and then choose prompts that are conducive to sharing that information.”
But as attention-grabbing as you want your profile to be, there are still boundaries that need to remain in place. “Remember, you're on the apps to land dates, not share your darkest secrets or flaws!” Anderson says. “Save any information you suspect might be ‘TMI’ or ‘too personal’ for a second or third date, after you've built rapport and a real connection.”
All in all, it’s important to remember that if you’re looking for a match, the end goal is to meet someone in real life, not to spend the rest of your life on the app.
“Realistically even the best profiles can still feel ‘flat’ relative to an in-person interaction, so the best way to let your personality shine through to prospective partners is to not rely exclusively on dating apps!” Anderson says.
“Don't get me wrong, I'm genuinely enthusiastic about apps like Hinge and Bumble, and literally hundreds of my clients have found relationships on them, but apps are just one way to meet people, and it's a huge mistake to treat them like the only (or the best) way to accomplish your goal of finding your person.”
Letting My Instagram Followers Create My Profile
The first step to actually creating a dating app profile was, well, finding a dating app. After some digging, I decided to go with Hinge because of how it focuses on helping users find the one person they want to spend their life with. (Their tagline is, after all, "The dating app designed to be deleted.")
Since I’ve never set up a profile before, I spent some time exploring the page and figuring out what elements I needed to take into consideration. Then it was time to post my profile options on Instagram and let the people decide.
I chose two sets of three images that are attractive and represent who I am. For both sets, I included a mirror selfie, a cute picture, and a less-polished personality photo. Here are some more things to keep in mind:
Make sure you post multiple photos from different angles and distances to give other users a more well-rounded view. You’ll also want to make sure you pick images that make you feel confident!
If you’re a colorful and cheery person, you’ll want your photos to reflect that. AKA, avoid pics where you’re hidden in darkness. You’ll also want to make sure your smile is on full display.
Your photos are a visual way to emphasize your interests or your sense of humor. Post a couple of funny pictures, fashion-forward snaps, or of you with your favorite hobby.
I didn’t even realize you could include videos in a dating profile so this was a nice surprise! I love to sing so I figured that if I wanted to include a video, that would be a great option.
For this section, I let my followers pick between “Dreamer” by Bethany Dillon, which I performed at a local art showcase, and “the 1” by Taylor Swift, which I sang in my living room. I also gave them the option of voting for no videos at all. Bethany Dillon it is!
I did not realize that you can only show a few seconds of the video in your profile so keep that in mind! It was just enough time to add in the chorus of the song. Hinge suggested I add a prompt to the video, so I went with "A favorite memory of mine," which felt very fitting.
As a writer, the prompts were definitely the part of the profile that I was most excited about. Since Hinge gave me three regular prompts, I made one heartfelt, one funny, and asked my followers to decide which direction the final question should go. (They picked funny, which does not surprise me at all).
In addition to regular prompts, there is a poll option where I asked whether I should include Two Truths and a Lie or date ideas, and the latter won out. For your own profile, take the following into consideration:
You’ll want to put your favorite things, hobbies, foods or movies, in an attempt to get people to understand you and what you like. If you’re feeling sassy, call out that you’re looking for someone who is interested in the same things.
Feel free to make it as personal as you want it to be. You don’t want it to read like a resume! Add some of your personality into it so that people feel like they understand you a little bit when they read it.
You don’t necessarily want to crack jokes throughout your entire profile, but definitely sprinkle in some of your humor. Puns, jokes, and funny quotes are all welcome.
The Finished Product
And voila! Here is my finished profile! I feel much more confident with dating profiles in general, now that I understand them better and can highlight all of what makes up who I am — not just a picture or two. This exercise helped me see that I can find courage through confidence and take pride in what I bring to the table, guitar and goofiness in all. Even if I’m still not totally sold on actually using a dating app, it feels like the door is more open for me, mentally and emotionally now. I'm also kind of excited to see what kind of matches I get ;).