Choosing an Online Dating Profile Screenname

Hotstud85 was taken??? SmartandGorgeous was not available??? Ok, so we’re really not that shocked at all. Online dating has been around for over 20 years, and a lot of the “good” dating profile names have already been scooped up.

That being said, with a little creativity, you can still come up with a great online dating profile name that says a lot about you and makes people smile when they see it.

In this guide, we’re going to walk you through the task of picking out your perfect profile name. If you’re here, we assume you’ve already run head first into the frustration that is picking out a profile name. If you haven’t given it a go yet, be prepared for the first 20 ideas you come up with being taken. Sometimes it’s a sad realization that we might not be as clever as we think we are 🙁 …or we’re just late to the party.

Either way, we’ve got you covered. Read on, and we will walk you through everything you need to know to pick out the perfect online dating profile screen name.

1. Be careful of security.

The most important thing you need to consider when creating a new online dating profile screen name is security. You want to make sure that you aren’t giving you any personal data or information that you don’t want random strangers having. For example, if your screen name were Bubbly_Girl_1_16_85, any stranger with half a brain that comes to your profile is going to know your birthday.

Why is this a big deal? Well, with identity theft on the rise, the less information you can give to complete strangers the better. You’d be amazed at how little information someone needs to hack your accounts. Remember, your security questions for your online banking and other online accounts usually revolve around semi-personal details.

Your best course of action is to leave out any personal or identifying information from your screen name. Ask yourself after you’ve come up with a screen name if someone could look at that screen name and differentiate you from anyone else. If there is personal information that helps them do that, it’s time to pick a different profile screen name.

Things to watch out for:

  • Birthdays
  • Phone numbers
  • Addresses
  • Pin numbers (we wouldn’t say it if we hadn’t seen it)
  • Common words in your passwords elsewhere
  • Middle names and nicknames
  • Family member’s names
  • Pets names (especially if you use those as password reset questions on other accounts)

If you’d like to learn more about being safe online, check out the online dating safety and security guide we’ve put together which outlines how to keep yourself safe dating on the internet.

2. Utilize special characters.

One of the easiest ways to get your super-awesome-clever screen name to work is to use special characters. Often, you’ll come up with an amazing screen name only to find out that it’s already been taken. Once you deal with the crushing blow of all of your dreams collapsing (ok, we just felt like being dramatic), you can try inserting some special characters to get something original.

For example, let’s say you’re getting started creating your online dating account and you come up with the awesome and clever screen name of HilariousHeather. There could not possibly have been any other girls named Heather that have joined this dating site who think they are as funny as you are. WHAT! Screen name has been used!!! SHOW ME THE IMPOSTER!!!

When you finally calm down, here are some ways that you can try mixing things up.

  • Hilarious_Heather
  • HilariousHeather_
  • Hilarious|Heather
  • Hilarious.Heather
  • HilariousHeather.

These are just a few ideas of how you can try mixing things up with special characters.

Find out what you are allowed to use on the site and try out a few different combinations. Try placing these special characters in the middle of your screen name idea or at the end. Heck, you could even put them at the beginning if you want. We promise that Hilarious_Heather will have the same effect as HilariousHeather when you send someone a new message online. If not, you can come back and yell at us and take us off your Christmas card list for this year.

3. Leverage your interests.

For some reason, people tend to think that their online dating screen name can only have descriptive words about them in it. What they forget is that you can include words that showcase your interests and talents to potential suitors. If you’re really hilarious, do you need to tell someone that or aren’t they going to figure that out from your profile or from talking to you? Instead, why don’t you try telling them what you’re into?

Instead of HilariousHeather, what about YogaHeather (or Yoga_Heather)?  You get limited space on your online dating profile, and people have the attention spans of five-year-olds. Take advantage of your screen name to show off something you’re into or good at. It’s the first thing that someone is going to see plastered right next to your profile picture.

4. Remember, you’re an adult.

Sigh…we’re a little saddened that we need to go over this, but after spending about five minutes online, you’ll see why we are. You are an adult now. Whether you are 18 or 45, you are officially an adult. Congratulations. Are you interested in attracting another adult to go out with? If you are, you’re going to want to display an ounce of maturity when you’re creating your online dating profile screen name.

We’re looking at you Fartboy11, Bouncy_Jugs85, and CrapSandwich1. While these might have been funny to you when you created your online gaming account or your AIM screen name back in the day (when they existed, RIP), the online dating arena is not the place to display your “comedy”.

Choose a screen name that your mother would not be offended by.

If you’re trying to meet a man or a woman of substance, you’re going to need to at least act like an adult out of the gate. We could make the recommendation that you need to make some life changes in general, but we’re going to take things one step at a time.

5. Don’t over think it.

Is your online dating screen name important? Yes. Is it so important that you need to spend hours and hours trying to come up with the perfect one? Nope. The only things that are super important are that you don’t break some of the cardinal rules we came up with above.

Don’t have something perverted, something that compromises your security, or a screenname that gives off the wrong image about you. Other than that, you can’t really go wrong.

Even if you think your screen name is boring, that’s ok. No one is going to skip out on talking to you if your screen name is Heather333. They will probably skip out on talking to you if your screen name is Heather_FartJokes, though. And they won’t NEED to talk to you if your screen name is Heather_514DawsonStreet because they’ll be able to come find you and figure out everything they need to know.

Biggest Dating Profile Screenname Mistakes

We’ve already touched on a lot of the biggest mistakes that people can make when picking out a dating profile name. What we wanted to do, though, was to add a few more down here to really make sure you don’t do anything silly.

  • Choosing something too polarizing (like involving politics or a hot-button issue)
  • Trying to be too flashy (JonCorvetteDriver71 is not a great idea)
  • Being rude, racist, or offensive (we touched on this already, but wanted to mention again)
  • Lying in your screenname (Dr.Lisa45 is not a great screenname if you’re not a doctor)
  • Misleading by accident (If you put your screenname as TacoTim2003 because you were born in 2003, some people might assume that’s the year you graduated high school and think you’re much older than you actually are)

How to Pick The Perfect Dating Site Screename

Alright, if you’re this far and you still need a little extra help—that’s okay. Here are some helpful steps you can follow right now to help you come up with some good dating profile names.

  1. Make a list of all the adjectives that you think describe you.
  2. Make a list of all the hobbies that you take part in.
  3. Make a list of any other things that might define you (the abbreviation for the college you went to, things that are your favorites,
  4. Come up with some numbers that you like or mean something to you that don’t give away anything too personal. Things like the last two digits of the year you were born, your favorite number, your favorite athletes number, etc.
  5. Start trying to mix and match these words with each other or with your name. If you find one you love but it’s taken, try tossing in one of the numbers on the end or one of the special characters that’s allowed.

Remember, don’t overthink this. As long as you follow the basics we’ve outlined here, you should be good to go.

The Final Word

Find something that works and stick with it. There’s no need to beat yourself up if it’s not “perfect”. As long as you aren’t putting yourself at risk or putting off a negative image of yourself, you’re going to be okay. Boring is fine, and no one is going to ignore you because you don’t have a super creative and funny screen name.

Online Dating Screen Name
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Author: Matt Seymour, MSF

Matthew J. Seymour is a dating industry expert with over a decade of experience coaching singles, reviewing dating apps, and analyzing trends within the industry. Matt is a published author with his most recent work “Get More Dates: How to Master Online Dating Apps” that hit shelves in 2023. With a Masters of Science in Finance (MSF) degree from the University of Florida and extensive knowledge of the innerworkings of the online dating industry, Matt frequently serves in an advisory role to some of the largest dating apps on the market. In Matt’s current role with Healthy Framework, he leads the interview team that regularly interviews key dating industry leaders, and leverages his financial knowledge and dating app experience to review and share what singles need to know to get the most out of dating online.