You just discovered your favorite color is actually royal blue and not regular blue. Time to update your online dating profile? You just changed religions, adopted two children, and moved 80 miles away. Time to update your online dating profile? While this may seem like an exaggerated example (because it is), we wanted to bring your attention to a question that we get asked a lot. How often should you be updating your online dating profile?
Oh, and for those of you that are completely clueless…you shouldn’t worry with the first example, but you should definitely update things with the second. You never know who might be reading your posts these days on the web.
The question is a good one, though. In order to give you the right answer, we want to start by looking at the reasons it’s important to keep your profile updated. As you better understand these, you’ll have a much clearer idea as to when and how often you should be updating things.
Why Updating Your Dating Profile is Important
The entire point of your online dating profile is to show other people who you are and what you’re all about. Other singles use that information to draw conclusions about whether or not they think you two would be a good and compatible match. If your information is incorrect, they’re going to make incorrect assumptions. This means that you’re going to drive away the people that like the real you and attract the people that are more interested in the old you.
On top of that, online dating sites use complex algorithms to calculate potential matches for you. Part of what you pay for with the top online dating sites is their help in pointing you in the right direction of great matches for you. These systems use your profile information to try and gauge what you will and will not like. Again, if the information being fed into the machine is wrong, then the information coming out of the machine is going to be wrong too.
Keeping your information current is the key to having better success dating online. Otherwise, you’re going to be inundated and overrun with requests from matches that aren’t really into the real you and you’re going to miss out on the good ones that you’d really like.
What Dating Information Should You Update
You obviously can’t update every single thing about your life in real-time on your online dating profile. Well, you could, but then you’d lose your mind and that’s probably not helpful to the situation. Here are some general rules about what information you should update and how quickly you should update it.
Anything that is a deal breaker needs to be updated immediately. This is the only thing on the list that needs to be a “drop everything and run to the computer” type of update. If there is something that you would NOT be willing to date someone about and it’s on your profile, it needs to be changed. For example, let’s say that you suddenly find religion. If your profile says that you’re atheist and don’t care what religion your partner is, you’re going to be driving away everyone that you want to find and attracting those you don’t. Fix your deal breaker information ASAP always.
Major Life Changing Events
Anything that is a major life changing event that would affect someone who would date you needs to be changed quickly as well. The important thing here is that it’s something that affects your dating life or will in some way. If a close family member dies, that’s a major life changing event, but it’s probably not going to affect your dating life much outside of you not dating for a little while.
If you adopt a child, though, that is something that will affect your dating life and needs to be changed very quickly as well.
We all change hobbies and what we enjoy doing all the time. Most of us also reflect this information on our dating profiles. While this is not pressing, you should update this periodically when you have the chance. Don’t like hiking anymore but love poker now? It’s not going to be a deal breaker, but you should still eventually get it updated. Things like this should be changed, but don’t lose your mind trying to get to your phone or a computer to make the change.
You should be updating your profile pictures every couple months at the very least. Hopefully, it doesn’t take you that long to find someone special, but in some cases the search can be a challenge. Whether you change your look or not, you should update your pictures to new and current ones at least every two months. Anything longer and you are borderline deceiving the other singles on the sites. You’d want them to have current photos so you should afford them the same courtesy.
If you have a drastic change to your look, you should get your photos updated immediately. There is nothing wrong with changing your look, but certain people are going to be fans of it and certain are not. It’s not shallow to want to date someone you’re attracted to and it’s unfair to lead someone on when you look completely different than what they think you do. This sounds like something else we’ve heard of before…cough…catfishing…cough cough.
The Bottom Line
The takeaway here is that you should update your profile as often as is necessary without becoming obsessive. Deal breakers and major life changing events should be changed as soon as possible. Hobbies and other smaller details should be changed when convenient. Profile pictures should be updated at least every two months and immediately if you make any drastic changes to your look.
Online dating should never feel like a chore, but you should commit to the process and give it a chance to work by keeping your profile up to date.
Written By: Jason Lee
Jason Lee is a journalist and data analyst with a passion for studying online dating, relationships, personal growth, healthcare, and finance. In 2008, Jason earned a Bachelors of Science from the University of Florida, where he studied business and finance and taught interpersonal communication.
His work has been featured in the likes of The USA Today, MSN, The Motley Fool, Net Health, and The Simple Dollar. As a business owner, relationship strategist, dating coach, and officer in the U.S. military, Jason enjoys sharing his unique knowledge base with the rest of the world.