Digital Get Down: Perfect your profile

Laken Howard, Columnist

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What’s one of the most obvious advantages of online dating? You have the chance to tell people all the wonderful things about you before they even meet you. You can put your best (virtual) foot forward and create a profile that will show off how unique and beautiful you are. In this week’s column, I want to share with you the do’s and don’ts of making your online dating profile the best it can be and help you avoid unwittingly scaring off your potential soulmate.

The most important thing to remember when creating a profile is to be honest. If you’re genuine and display your true interests and intentions, it will greatly increase your chances of finding a date you’ll really hit it off with instead of, say, mistakenly attracting a balloon fetishist.

I’m aware that not everyone uses sites like OkCupid to find a girlfriend or boyfriend. If you are indeed looking only for a hookup, mention that on your profile in the nicest way possible, i.e., “At this point in my life, I’m more interested in a casual, short-term relationship.” This way, no one will be misled or have unrealistic expectations if things do progress to the meeting offline stage.

Equally important, you should always find engaging ways to list your interests. Although you may not want to reveal some more personal information such as your religious or political views, you should also keep in mind you’ll find someone more similar to yourself if those important things are out in the open. The tricky part is to not say too much. If you ramble on about every last band you love, once you go on a date with someone, there may be little left to the imagination and conversation could run dry.

If you can, try to do something totally different with your profile, like one of my friends did. She filled out each section of her profile as the game “Two Truths and a Lie” and invited guys to message her to see if they could guess correctly which things she mentioned were true. It makes her profile fun while still revealing interesting facts about her. Most importantly, it makes her easy to message, so she probably receives fewer “Hey sexy, wanna hook up l8r?” messages at 3 a.m.

The bottom line? It’s your profile, and whatever impression you want to give people is up to you. Don’t be shady, though: Always upload honest pictures of yourself and be clear about what you want from the site. Remember: Have fun and stay safe! Happy dating!