American Culture

Online dating tips for women: how to write a winning profile

New scientific analysis provides insights for women seeking Mr. Right. Works for OK Cupid, eHarmony, Zoosk, Tindr, Christian Mingle and Plenty of Fish, too.

I’ve seen a lot of women’s dating profiles over the past five years. Thousands of them, literally. And I’ve had plenty of conversations with other online daters, men and women alike, as I have sought to better understand this fascinating new (well, relatively new) mode of social interaction.

In the process I have noted a broad range of patterns and tendencies and have come to a highly scientific understanding of what works. Ladies, follow these simple steps and you’ll be reaping the rewards of your successful new dating profile in no time at all.

1: Always – always always ALWAYS – use the word adventure. You can use it two or three times if you like, or even more – when it comes to adventure there’s no such thing as too much. Roughly 90% of women’s profiles stress that they’re seeking adventure, and for good reason. No man wants a boring woman, and nothing demonstrates that you’re exciting and compelling as effectively as repeatedly mentioning how adventurous you are.

It doesn’t matter what you mean by the term, either. Whether your idea of adventure is hunting kodiaks with brass knucks or taking the scenic route to Whole Foods, the details are irrelevant.

2: Make sure to talk about how much you like travel. Research demonstrates that “travel” is used only slightly less often than “adventure,” and again, the reason is simple: there’s no place men would rather be than someplace else. By the time he’s finished with your profile, the reader should be wondering why you even have a place here in town. Surely you can crash on a friend’s couch a couple nights a year, right?

If you actually have traveled, be sure your profile includes at least one shot from every place you have ever visited. If you haven’t traveled, try misdirection: talk about how you love to travel. Not that you have traveled – eventually all online dating lies will catch up to you. In this case, include a couple of scenic photos of places from other parts of the country or the world with no comment. Mr. Right will assume you’ve been there and that you took the picture, even if it’s one you swiped off of

car-selfie online dating3: One of your profile pictures – preferably your main photo – should be a car selfie. No man wants a woman who can’t drive him home when he’s liquored up. (77% of all women’s profiles include a driver’s-side selfie.)

4: If you have children, write that they are amazing. “Incredible” works, too, as does “awesome.” If your children are just like everyone else’s, though, you might have to expend a little extra effort selling it. Try this: “I feel blessed to know them.”

5: When it comes to style, be all things to all men. You do this by saying that you’re comfortable in old jeans but you also clean up really well. Boots and heels. Hanging in sweats on the sofa or getting all girlie for a night on the town. You get the idea.

6: How often you do yoga a week? Tell him, and add a session or two just to be safe. Guys like flexible women. If possible, include a picture of yourself doing Tree or Standing Bow Pulling Pose somewhere completely random, like a golf course.

7: You love your career. It’s rewarding/fulfilling/exciting.

8: Include picture of your pets. If you have a dog, include a photo of the two of you at the top of a mountain you just hiked.

9: Mention that you’re trying to take advantage of all that [insert name of your city here] has to offer.

10: Are you too needy or not needy enough? Guys want to know this up front. Decide before you write the first word whether you don’t need a man at all or whether you plan on spending every remaining moment of your life stuck to him like a remora. Examples of the former include statements asserting that you’re just fine with your life, you love who you are, you’re whole, you’re complete, you’re ecstatic with how things are, you don’t feel like your life requires a man in it, but, you know, you’d be open to something maybe if you found someone really special. That didn’t require any effort, you know. For the latter, you’re looking for commitment. You’re looking for that special someone you can totally, pathologically immerse yourself in, indulging every insecurity you ever had. Perhaps beginning as early as the first date. (Try to avoid terms like “smother” and “restraining order” – for some men these are red flags.)

Finally, a couple more quick photo ideas:

  • Include all of your best photos. Then, towards the end, drop in one that makes you look like you just got back from laying siege to Helm’s Deep.
  • Either include the hall or bathroom mirror selfie. These sorts of shots demonstrate your commitment to putting your best foot forward.

These are just a few ideas to get you started, and there are any number of other strategies you can employ. The best way to do this is to surf the profiles of other women and imitate them. To make it easy, go ahead and do a simple cut-and-paste. This highlights what you think other women think men are looking for and it saves guys the trouble of having to sort out any nuances or subtleties that make you seem special. After all, men are only after one thing and they never look at anything other than the pictures, right?

Happy hunting, ladies, and let me know how it goes.


Read the rest of S&R’s ongoing online dating series.

19 replies »

  1. Clever, and mostly true, but I cant imagine that people already aren’t using bots to do this just as they do and resumes. There have to be templates guaranteed to generate max responses that you can buy from the sites, right? Just like PG used to have ad copy templates.

  2. Except Ashley Madison, of course, where about 90% of the women’s profiles were totally fake.

  3. Car selfie? Really? I’ve only ever taken one and it was for something car-related.

    So is there anyway to write a sincere version of this?

  4. I’m with Cat. I think this might be even more interesting if backed with a little quantitative content analysis. My guess is there are two sets of words that get used and re-used. The first is common words, that are in almost every profile. Then there are probably choice words, half of which are in one type of profile and half of which are in another. However, you cut it, there probably are a very limited set of archetypes out there.

  5. “The best way to do this is to surf the profiles of other women and imitate them. To make it easy, go ahead and do a simple cut-and-paste.”

    They do say that imitation is the highest form of flattery…

  6. This article, in the end, is hysterical mostly because it’s true what most women have in their profiles seems like they took this article to heart. That is, the ones who didn’t take the effortless route to say “want to know more, just ask”. Obviously this article was written retrospectively by someone who’s spent a lot of perusing profiles…I should know. It’s exhausting.

  7. Ha ha ha! Loved this. I didn’t realize women were also following the same standard profile crap as men. I am guilty of the “adventure” and “travel” vocab in my profile however.

  8. This article has nothing to do with success. It is merely stating how many other women do the same thing.
    I’m a guy and I have gone out with six women from these sites in the last 8 to ten weeks. My opinion:
    1) Pet picture is a waste. I care about you not your dog or child. Child pic is info that yeah they are with you.
    2) Don’t put up too many pictures of you with your friends. Especially not the first picture. Because I can’t tell who you are, and if you’re not the prettiest in the picture, it just reminds me of that fact.
    3) Car picture is a waste. I’ll assume what I want. I’ll picture you as successful enough to drive.
    4) Every girl loves to travel, every girl loves the beach, so you’re not telling me anything special when you say that.

    Be different this will help.
    But smiling in the pictures is the biggest thing!!!

    Good luck.