In the August issue of Glamour, Mila Kunis described Internet dating as “online shopping. [My friends and I] get together with our laptops and have a glass of wine. Then we message the guy.” Presented this way, these girls look at online dating the same way they would shopping together – looking around, pointing out what they think their friends would like, and too often, just teasing ourselves without actually making a purchase. But how can the rest of us get the most out of the experience? Here are the three ways to get the greatest value when you shop online – I mean, date.
Picture this. When you’re shopping, an attractive display is what gets you in the door. The same goes for your dating profile. With this in mind, take the time to choose attractive photos of yourself – preferably one close-up and one full body shot. If you have pictures of yourself doing different activities (think skiing or from an exotic vacation), these pictures will act as a handy conversation starter for all visitors. And since you want someone who loves you for who you really are, stay away from blurred or heavily edited pictures. Lastly, bright colors tend to pop for profile picture thumbnails.
Put it in writing. Once you’ve gotten in the store, it’s the item descriptions that get you over the hump to pull out the credit card. That’s where the written part of the profile comes in. Your About Me section should be like the perfect dress: long enough to cover the essentials, short enough to intrigue (ideal length: 2-3 short paragraphs). And because this isn’t a job interview, you’re free to keep your tone light, using stories to describe your life and yourself. Don’t over think it. Your goal is simply to show that you are committed to meeting someone on the site because you’ve taken the time to write something thoughtful (you’d be surprised by the number of profiles with a single line of text).
Shop wisely. You know which stores carry the kinds of styles you like. Likewise, the prettiest pictures and best-written profile will get you nowhere if your dating website is misaligned with your goals. Are you interested in quantity (lots of people to choose from) or quality (a few well-tailored matches)? Are you looking for a quick lay, a summer fling, or a lifetime partner? Plenty of Fish, OKCupid, Sparkology, and eHarmony all have different feels. Take the time to read the site’s literature as well as independent reviews by qualified journalists (don’t listen to websites who claim to compile reviews as those typically get paid for referring new customers to the sites they feature).
With some great photos and an easy to read About Me section, you will be on your way to matchmaking success. In the words of Mila: “If I didn’t do what I do, I would do Internet dating instead of going out to bars. In two seconds I would. It makes so much more sense.”
Michelle Mazzarella is the Head Tastemaker at Sparkology, the exclusive, quality-driven dating site for young professionals.
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