There’s no way around it: the process of putting together your dating profile can be anxiety-inducing, confusing, and off-putting. Most of us were raised to be humble about our looks, talents, and accomplishments but constructing a profile for an online dating site requires us to toot your own horn a bit.
And while this can feel weird, in the online space, we’re the only person to talk ourselves up—there’s no wingman to do the bragging for us.
And what happens if we feel like there’s not much to say? How do we describe ourselves then. Surely putting “Not much to say about me” isn’t going to get the suitors lining up at your proverbial online door.
This brings up two big questions—how do I write my dating profile and how exactly do you describe yourself on a dating site. And good news, we’re going to give you a free resource to answer one and then address the other here today.
If you’re looking for help on the entire profile, start with our guide on how to write a great online dating profile. It’s a top to bottom guide that covers everything you need to know and more.
And if you’re stuck on the about me section or how to describe yourself, stay tuned because that’s what we’re talking about today.
Here are 7 tips on how to describe yourself on a dating site.
1. Honesty Is Always the Best Policy
This is the number one, most important disclaimer for this entire guide. And frankly, it should be a no-brainer. Number one—it’s the right thing to do, and number two—being dishonest online will always come back to bite you. As humble as you may be in your day to day life, you still may be worried that your competition in the dating world is strong enough that you should embellish a bit. Resist the urge.
Your goal is to find someone who likes you for you, so fudging how you describe yourself just isn’t an option. Whatever your intent, rounding up on height, down on weight, or pretending that you’re a millionaire may be fine until it comes time to meet. Being dishonest and being discovered are major no-no’s and an automatic deal breaker to most people.
2. Describe Your Appearance Appropriately
This is arguably the most excruciating aspect of putting together a dating profile. No matter how honest you are about your appearance, the words you use to describe yourself may not be how others would—that’s not a bad thing—again, you may be a little more humble than you think.
One of the first steps in creating a dating profile involves filling out basic demographic information like name, age, height, and hair color—all pretty basic. For these, just remember tip number one. Be honest, and don’t worry about how that might make other people view you.
Next, things may get tricky depending on the information you’re being asked. You may be asked to pick a description of your body type. This is definitely uncomfortable. What one person may consider tall may be what another person considers average height. What one person may consider athletic, another may consider “a little more to love.”
Go ahead and trust your instincts, but don’t sell yourself short.
3. A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words
While this guide is all about how you write a description of yourself on a dating site, there is one caveat that we need to touch on.
Verbal description can only go so far, especially when you’re talking about your looks. And while some people want to stop there and not upload any supporting photos, it’s likely to make a potential date skeptical or feel unsafe about meeting a person who doesn’t include pictures on their dating profile.
Plenty of us are camera shy, but recent, appealing photos really do make the difference. How recent is recent, and how many pictures do you really need?
Try to post pictures taken within the last two years, unless you’ve gone through a major change in appearance like significant weight loss or gain. Even a change in facial hair is worth a photo update. Mustache aficionados may be disappointed to meet you in person if you’ve suddenly gone clean-shaven.
Post three photos at the absolute minimum, and while it’s difficult to imagine in this day and age, try to limit the selfies. In a perfect world, you wouldn’t need to provide a photo that shows the full length of your body, but people do have preferences. As uncomfortable as it is, this is all part of the online dating world.
4. Describe Your Personality the Right Way
We’ve established how hard it is to brag about yourself. Again, it’s a necessity, but it doesn’t have to feel like torture. Talk about the things you love doing, and it will make things easier for potential dates to envision.
If you love to hike and would call in sick to work in a snap to hit the trails, mention it. You could say something like “fun-loving,” but if you’ve got limited online space and readers with a short attention span, getting specific is better—after all, do you know someone who genuinely doesn’t love fun? It’s a matter of what you find fun that will help you connect with others.
Talk about your hobbies, or your travel bucket-list. Talk about what you like to do after work. Do you like to gather with a gaggle of friends and play video games, or volunteer at the local animal shelter? It’s all information that gives a fuller description of who you really are.
Here are a few tips to really help you dial in the about me section when you’re talking about your personality:
- Be as specific as possible where it makes sense. It gives your about me section more life
- Talk about the things you do now, not things you used to do.
- Quirky things can make you stand out to the people you’d be the best fit with.
5. Ask Your Friends
This one requires a bit of trust, but asking your friends to chime in can help in getting a well-rounded verbal picture of yourself. Some people even let their friends write their whole profile and edit accordingly! This can take some of that “am I being humble enough?” anxiety off the table because you’re presenting real reactions to how the outside world sees you.
Of course, this can backfire if your friends want to be smart alecks. Don’t hit save if you think there could be a little snark hidden in there somewhere. You can also write your own profile, then show it to your friends for feedback.
They’ll likely be kind, but they’re also likely to point out aspect of your looks and personality you may not have noted. Plus, “my friends say I’m a good listener” is better than making the evaluation on your own.
6. Read Some Examples
We already shared our exhaustive dating profile writing guide at the top of this article (we hope you checked it out!). Something else that may help you out with some inspiration is reading a few examples of dating profiles.
7. Use the Tools You Have
Don’t be afraid to follow the prompts or answer the questionnaires that dating sites provide. They’re there precisely because describing yourself on a dating site can be difficult! It can be tempting to skip those steps and dive right into looking at others’ profiles, but all of those questions can be worthwhile, so they deserve time.
8. One Last Time: Honesty Is The Best Policy
We can’t hammer this home enough. Aside from presenting yourself as sincere, thoughtful, and serious about the dating process, an honest description of who you are and what you’re looking for gives you the best chances of finding a date or mate that you really connect with.
Whether you tend to be too humble or are bursting with bravado, the best, most successful option is to take that middle road and describe yourself accurately online.
Written By: Matthew J. 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.
Reviewed By: Grady Shumway, LCSW
Grady Shumway, LCSW is a licensed social worker with specialized training in the mental health areas of depression, anxiety, trauma, psychotic disorders, and various other diagnoses. Trained in cognitive behavioral interventions, motivational interviewing, and moral recognition therapy, and holding a Masters of Social Work from Arizona State University, Grady has extensive experience working with individuals and families through various life challenges. At Healthy Framework, Grady serves as a mental health and counseling expert assisting the editorial team in ensuring that dating advice articles, dating app recommendations, and other resources are inline with best practices and provide information in the most helpful manner possible to readers.