How to write a catchy online dating profile

How to write a catchy online dating profile

 · 7 min read
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Not channelling the bard himself as of late? Not to fret. Here are some tried and tested tips for creating a great dating profile—no matter your age.

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Not channelling the bard himself as of late? Not to fret. Here are some tried and tested tips for creating a great dating profile—no matter your age.

Include pictures

People want to find out who you are before committing to as much as a like, much less a message.

Firstly, they want a good close-up of your face. And do choose a flattering one.

Secondly, they want a full-body image, so they can get an idea of your build.

Lastly, they want a couple of different photos to get to know you better—photos that show you doing things you enjoy, be that gardening, travelling, or driving a motorbike. It’s preferable to include some photos where you are socialising as well, as people feel comforted seeing you have friends. It’s something referred to as social proof.

People don’t generally want pictures of your house, car, cat, too many selfies, or low and behold—bathroom selfies. Selfies make you look either narcissistic or lonely—couldn’t anyone else take the picture? Of course, one selfie is fine, and selfies with a group of people are also acceptable. Just don’t go overboard with them!

Avoid clichés

I like staying at home and watching a movie on a Friday night, but I also like going for a drink at the pub, or attending a dinner party.

This describes about 90% of the adult population. If you want to say that, then make it unique.

“I like the pub around the corner as much as I like a good old dinner party and a movie on Netflix on a Friday night. That said, I’m not sure the pub likes me. I once set a curtain on fire when I tripped and hit a candlelight. In front of my boss no less…”

Include humour

As with the example above, humour lends personality. It allows people to see you can laugh. And laughter, as the story goes, is contagious.

That said, don’t overdo it. If the entire profile is a joke, people can’t see the person behind the jokes. They want to get to know you, not just your jokes.

Avoid too much sarcasm

A little bit of sarcasm can be funny. A lot comes across as negativity.

People are drawn to happy people. While everyone has ups and downs, and we all hit rock bottom at times, people seek those who look for the golden lining. Those who seek happiness. Those who can turn misfortune into fortune.

In short, in your profile, stay away from too much sarcasm as it’s often misinterpreted. And frankly, not all that funny.

Share your quirks

Sharing a quirk can add charm and personality to your profile.

Describe what you are looking for in positive terms

There is nothing quite as off-putting as finding a profile that describes everything a man or woman is not looking for. Saying you don’t want to date a dishonest, ill-humoured and alcoholic person, doesn’t paint you in a good light. People start thinking this is the kind of person you’ve dated in the past, or that you’re the one who is ill-humoured.

Think about it this way: you’re here to find someone you like. So put down what you’re looking for, such as an honest and happy person who loves a glass or two socially, but no more. And to add a touch of humour—end it by saying your days of getting so pissed at the pub that you can’t find your way home are over!

Karen Marwood from Karen's World endorsed this point, telling Age Times: "When writing your profile be positive about everything. You can make it feel real by mentioning a place you go, like a pub name or gym it gives your hobbies a true feeling. Plus if you meet them accidentally it takes the nervousness away from the first meeting."


There are different ways to write a profile. For example, you can do a simple one in bullet points. See below.

I’m a happy go lucky kind of guy looking for a soul mate to share my days. I love to: 

  • Constantly learn
  • Fly propeller planes
  • Get a big dollop of cream on my hot chocolate 
  • Flip pancakes on a Sunday morning
  • Anything that smells of adventure (and Chanel n\No. 5)

I am: 

  • A bit of an intellectual
  • A definite exercise-o-holic 
  • A movie buff
  • Down for new restaurants and old haunts (a balance)
  • Able to recite entire Shakespeare poems (love it or loathe it)

I am looking for someone who: 

  • Has as bad a sense of humour as mine
  • Can go on hikes with me on some weekends
  • Loves weekend getaways
  • Appreciates a good meal and a glass of wine
  • Is looking for true love
  • Appreciates the need for great communication in relationships
  • Can handle an intellectual conversation (and feel stimulated instead of bored!)

Looking forward to meeting people for a coffee and taking it from there!

If you prefer, you can write in full sentences instead. See below.

Hello, hello! 

I am the man next door who, thankfully, does not live with his mother. Though I see her every week (and she still thinks I should eat, just a little bit more to grow big!). I have had a rollercoaster career in advertising and now work from home as a freelancer. I like a glass of wine and a book at the weekend, or a dinner party with friends. I’ve also been known to appreciate a good road trip or weekend getaway. Adventure is alluring. When going to the city, I like cultural stuff—movies, theatre, museums, but I’m also the kind of guy who wants to watch a game at the local pub!

I am looking to get to know new people and hopefully find someone I can share my life with. Someone on the same wavelength who enjoys good conversations, bad Netflix shows, and great food!

As you can see with these two examples, the person’s personality comes through. And that’s what people want.

Keep it short, but interesting

As a general rule, no one will read an essay. The shorter, the better…but it has to be long enough to be interesting. Give away some hints as to who you are.

A great way to find out what works in online dating profiles is to have a look around. Go online and start reading some. You’ll soon discover what the run of the mill online dating profiles look like and how boring they are. You’ll also discover profiles that stand out and what makes them stand out—usually great photos and some personality in the writing.

And remember—keep it positive. You may be in the gutter, but so long as you’re looking at the stars, people will empathise with and like you.

Maria Montgomery
Maria Montgomery
Maria joined Age Group in 2020 and specialises in content around dating and mental wellbeing. She has lived in seven different countries, has an entrepreneurial streak and is the owner of Magique and That Woman Is A Woman Productions. Her blog, Confessions of a Dizzy Blonde, offers her life learnings, sprinkled with a large dose of humour…and sex!