Step-by-Step Online Dating Profile Creation Guide

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Writing your online dating profile can be a tricky thing. You may want to build yours using other dating profile examples. This is understandable: many of us feel fine discussing ourselves in conversation but put us in front of a computer screen with a few text boxes to fill and we freeze up. This can lead to some of us relying on dating profile examples as the basis for our profile…which doesn’t always work that well.

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I believe that writing a profile from the heart is the best option as it will better show who you are. However, I also know that this can be a difficult process. In this article, I’m going to go step-by-step to creating a basic online dating profile with the goal that you will have a strong dating profile that really reveals to your potential dates who you are. Hopefully this will serve as a good alternative to using other online dating profile examples as the source for your own profile.

Before I begin, I was to recap very briefly the rules I lay out in my online dating guide for creating your profile. I go into great detail into each of these areas there so I’ll just recap here:

Online Dating Guide Profile Recap
Rule Description
Avoiding Elimination Don’t feel that you have to reveal every last detail about yourself.
Brevity Your profile should only take a minute or two to read. If your profile contains screens full of text you’ll want to think about slimming it down.
Avoid Confusing Jokes Don’t obsess with trying being funny. You’ll have plenty of time to win them over when you’re communicating. Trying to be funny hurts far more profiles than it helps.
Stay Positive Being negative in your profile can give people the wrong impression of your personality. Remember: your profile is their first impression of you.
What You Aren’t Looking For Don’t list everything you don’t want. Profiles written like drive away contacts. Again, be concerned with the first impression you’re providing.
Be Honest Don’t use pictures that are 5 years old, don’t lie about your appearance or height or whatever. You will meet some of these people and their first thought when they meet you if you do this will be that you lied to them.

Now that we’ve covered the basics of what you should be keeping in mind as you write, let’s begin looking into a simple way to create your profile.

Step 1: Get Away From Your Computer

The first step is to sit down somewhere quiet and write the ideas I’ll be presenting here down on paper. Trying to create your first dating profile or even trying to get it just right can be an intimidating process. So find a quiet place and grab a pencil and a piece of paper. Also, be prepared to put some time into this. Some people will only spend a few minutes creating their dating profile only to remain dating online for months with a sub-par profile. You should plan on setting aside some time so you can really think your profile through.
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Step 2: Thinking About Who You Are and What You Like

Here you’re going to need to think at least 10 words or phrases that describe who you are and some of the things you like. This may be more difficult than it sounds. If you have trouble thinking of things, concentrate on how you’ve spent your time over the last week. What hobbies have you pursued? Have you looked forward to watching particular shows or are you reading any interesting books? If you didn’t have any responsibilities for the next week, how would you spend that time? Take the time to think about these things and write each item down on your piece of paper. You should have at least 10 items here. Don’t stop until you have that many!

As an example, I would write the following items down for myself:

homebody my dachshund video games reading
church The Office blogging computers
the Steelers Counting Crows Philosophy
my job

Step 3: Fine-Tune Your Personal List

Look at your list. It’s time to identify the areas that will best reflect who you are and remove the ones that aren’t likely to help you find any dates. Review your list and underline any of the areas that you would like to expand on. I’d recommend at least two or three of the items. Be sure to pick the items that you think are most relevant to who you are and items that you can easily speak about. Next, cross out any of the items that you think won’t help your profile much. Don’t exclude anything that makes up the core of who you are even if you think it wouldn’t help your profile! Right now we’re just getting rid of some of the noise that could potentially clutter your profile (remember: brevity!).

From my list above, what I would end up having would look like the following:

homebody my dachshund video games reading
church The Office blogging computers
the Steelers Counting Crows philosophy
my job

I’ve eliminated video games and computers because they’re both a part of my life but by no means do I need them to be a part of the life of the person I meet. Additionally, neither of these areas is likely to help me have a connection with the women reading my profile. I also remove philosophy, not because it’s a bad thing but because trying to make yourself sound smart or funny in your profile can be a turn-off and I want to avoid even giving the appearance of this.

I’ve decided that I’ll talk about being a homebody (that I prefer staying in over going out) because it is a very large part of who I am. I’ll also talk about my dog and my participation in my church because of the role they have in my life and then I’ll talk about the Counting Crows for a little extra insight into who I am. I’ll also include some about my job as it will provide me a good opening to my profile.

Step 4: Making Your List Into Dating Profile Text

Now I’ll take each of these areas that I’ve identified and I’ll incorporate them into the beginning of my profile by writing out a rough draft. Here’s what I would end up with:

Hello! My name is Brad and I’m a software developer in the Pittsburgh area. I work on an application that uses statistics to catch people stealing supplies so it’s a very interesting job. I have a miniature dachshund named Brownie who is a ton of fun. I’m something of a Netflix addict and really enjoy getting comfortable in the evening and watching a movie or catching one of my favorite shows (like The Office or Modern Family!). I’m also very involved at my church and really look forward to getting together with my friends for our small group every week. I am a quiet person and much prefer intimate settings over a loud bar or club…unless I’m going to see something like a Counting Crows concerts (who I’ve seen far more times than is reasonable). Aside from that, I really enjoy reading, blogging, browsing, and watching the Steelers.

In this example, I’ve made an effort to expand on each of the important areas I identified in Step 3. Also, you’ll notice I don’t come out and say “I’m a homebody”. I don’t want to introduce anything into my profile that might be negative but at the same time I really do enjoy a quiet evening on the couch with someone I love over being out. Instead of bluntly stating this, I emphasize this fact as I describe myself throughout this section of my profile.

Step 5: What You Bring to a Relationship

The next section of your profile will be where you “sell” yourself. You don’t want to sound like you’re bragging but you do want to make the case for why you’re worth that first date. Just as before, take some time to think and then write down the things that you’ll bring to a relationship that others would like. This section can be significantly shorter than the first but that’s no excuse to not put in time thinking about this! Identify a few areas of strength about yourself and briefly describe them. Below is my list (including the second step of fine-tuning my choices) and then the next section of my profile is created based on this:

loyal patient independent playful
caring emotionally solid

I’m very loyal, especially to my friends and those I care about. I value the idea of having standards and standing by your word, even when doing so becomes inconvenient. I believe that I’m emotionally steady and very little gets me upset or angry. I’m also very caring and as a line from one of my favorite movies says, it’s just as important for me to love as it is for me to be loved.

Step 6: Thinking About Qualities You Want in The Person You Date

Just as was done with personal traits/hobbies, you’re going write a list of the most important thing you would like to find in the people you date. This list doesn’t need to be as long as the previous one but be sure to really think about what is important to you. Again, this list will be fine-tuned by identifying which areas are most important to you and which ones can be left out. Below will be the list of qualities I would like already fine-tuned and following that will be my next paragraph of my profile:

caring understanding creative willing to compromise
Christian intelligent long-term relationship

The woman I’m looking to date is very caring; she is someone her friends and family refer to as “sweet”. She is intelligent and creative and helps me see the world in a new way. Because of my commitment to my faith, she is either a Christian or open to discussions on faith and learning about mine. If this woman sounds like you, feel free to contact me.

Here I eliminated the qualities that I thought might be misunderstood or, if I’m honest, the ones I had trouble deciding how to describe it.

At this point, you would take each of these sections you’ve written out and create the full profile on your dating site of choice. If you wanted to add any additional sections, feel free to. I realize this profile isn’t very long but I actually think the length is fine. I was able to express what’s important to me which is much more important than the length. If your profile is more than double the length of this sample one you may want to consider shortening it some. Also note that I followed all of my online dating guide profile rules. If you add sections be sure not to break any of these.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this article I think it is best if you personally write your profile so that it most accurately reflects who you are. My hope is that this process will help those with dating profile writer’s block without taking away from the personal feel of their profile.

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About the Author:

Brad initially struggled with online dating but over time became quite successful using it. He met his wife using online dating and has been giving advice and helping people improve their results since 2007. He has written a Free Online Dating Guide to help others find success with online dating. You can learn more about his personal experience using online dating and running this website here.


  1. Jeff  July 16, 2011

    Don’t use humor in your profile? Really? I’m much more drawn to women’s profiles if they’re funny. If she can’t sell me on the idea that she’s clever and funny, I’m pretty reluctant to spend time contacting her, and one great way to do that is to actually be funny in her profile.

  2. Brad  July 18, 2011

    Jeff – more often than not when I review profiles the attempts at humor come off as more confusing than funny. The worst is sarcasm but even general humor just doesn’t work that well in many cases.

    Some people can pull off humor in their profile and I’m not against it if you can. However, if you’re trying to force humor into your profile I would urge caution. I’ve seen attempts at humor hurt far more profiles than I’ve seen it help.

  3. Will  May 26, 2013

    What about sober vs un-sober? Or smoker vs not…. Full time worker vs no worker
    Can or should we add that into our profile?

    • Brad  May 27, 2013

      Will – I think these areas may not have black and white rules. I think it may depend on your situation. If someone is struggling to stay sober, I don’t think I’d include that in a profile (but I also might suggest that person postpone dating online while they work on that area of their life).

      I think putting that you’re a smoker in your profile is fine and most dating sites even include that as an area to fill out.

      If you don’t have a job…I think it would depend on how long you’ve been unemployed. If you just lost your job or if you have some good opportunities you’re pursing, I don’t think I would bring it up. If you’ve been unemployed for years and there’s nothing on the horizon, I guess you should probably list it (although that will be a profile killer and it might be better spending time finding work instead of finding a date at that point).

  4. Brittany  July 24, 2013

    I’m seriously the worst at filling out profiles, and I think this is hurting my online dating progress, I just am the worst at describing myself in full sentences and describing what I want, what should I do?

    • Brad  July 25, 2013

      Hi Brittany – I think many of us feel this way. If this article didn’t help you in writing your profile, maybe ask a friend to write a profile on the person that she sees you as. You wouldn’t have to stick with what your friend writes, but it might give you a good starting point.

  5. Evelyn  October 30, 2013

    I’m 53 years old and want to find the love of my life and grow old together. I also don’t want to grow old with a partner/boyfriend; eventually I want him as my husband. Should I write in my profile that I do, eventually, want to get married again?

    • Brad  October 31, 2013

      If it’s important to you then I’d absolutely include it. Many people say they want to be in a committed, long-term relationship (or something like it) in their profile instead of saying “get married”. I think that either phrasing can accomplish the same thing, but I suspect many people favor avoiding the word “married” because sometimes bringing it up too early can scare people off (even people who are interested in marriage).

      So just be intentional about how you phrase it so that there’s no risk of giving the impression that you think a good second date idea is wedding dress shopping 😉

  6. dakota  July 8, 2015

    I felt my heart break when I read the comment that sounding too smart or funny can be a turn off. oh lord! I would love to find a man who can proudly confess to being intelligent! when did being smart become a turn off? what does that say about our views of being stupid and uneducated? I will not remove anything on my profile that alludes to my desire to continue educating myself. but I will be careful not to come off as conceited. and I am not at all interested in a man who does not appear smart at first glance. i’ll let funny pass though. I’m not too good at humor myself. oh, thank you, I needed to get that out.

  7. Patricia  August 30, 2015

    What size photos are required?? Thank you


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