You can look, but you can’t touch


It’s no secret that nobody really loves online dating. It can be nerve-wracking putting yourself out there, and talking about yourself to strangers without any face-to-face interaction can—let’s face it—be weird.

Dating is already hard but, in the COVID-19 pandemic, the difficulty level has gone up an extra notch. Online dating has become the standard for most people looking to date. In Canada, 36% of people use online dating, and, overall, nearly half of 18-to-29 year-olds say they have used a dating site or app.

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So, although there is no such thing as the perfect online dating profile, we’ve put together a foolproof guide to making yours the best it can be. Whether you’re brand new to the online dating world or looking to improve your current situation, keep these six tips to keep in mind when making your profile to put your best foot forward!

1. Know what you’re looking for

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When you’re looking to give online dating a try, it’s important to know what you’re looking for—or at least have a general idea of what you don’t want. This might change over time, but it’s a good place to start.

As some apps are meant for finding committed relationships, whereas others are meant for dating around, knowing what you’re looking for will help determine which platform to sign up for.

Also, no matter the platform you choose, knowing what you’re looking for will make it easier to look through profiles and make sure you’re matching with people you’re compatible with. Even if you aren’t looking for a committed relationship just yet, at the very least, be sure to have a general idea of the type of person you want to find and what your intentions are.

2. Have a quality selection of pictures

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Although we should all live by the “don’t judge a book by its cover” motto, it’s kind of hard to escape it on dating apps.

When picking pictures for your profile, put together a variety of quality, recently-taken shots. Your pictures should give others a first impression of your personality, hobbies and interests—so if you like playing the guitar or hiking, show it! Most platforms only allow you to include six to nine pictures.

Some things to keep in mind when filling those slots:

  • When it comes to selfies, less is more—so limit it to one or two.
  • Include a mix of full-body shots.
  • Only include a shot or two with friends—but make sure they’re not one of your first couple of pictures.
  • Include a couple of action shots or pics of you doing things you love.
  • Avoid shots of you with people that could be mistaken for a significant other—and definitely don’t include a pic with your cropped-out ex.
  • Pick pictures with outfits that stand out—especially in your first shot. This will help you stand out in a sea of neutral colours.
  • Everyone loves a cute puppy pic—but limit it to only one including you. After all, it’s your dating profile so you should be the focus!

Under any circumstances, no catfishing! It might be cheesy to say, but be yourself; everyone else is taken. We attract what’s meant for us. If someone doesn’t like you for who you are, they’re not worth your time. The right people will like the real you!

3. Don’t skip the bio section

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The part of creating a dating profile that everyone dreads the most is writing about yourself. Although you have the option to keep the bio section empty, it’s proven you’ll have better results if you don’t.

Something is always better than nothing. Your bio is your opportunity to tell potential matches a bit about yourself—like your hobbies, your interests, what you do for work or school and what you’re looking for.

Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Keep it short—no one wants to read a novel when swiping on profiles.
  • Avoid cliches—the “pineapple on pizza” question has been asked a million times before.
  • Be honest—no one likes a liar.
  • Stay positive—good vibes only!
  • When in doubt, ask your friends to help you out. They know you best!
  • Last but not least, double-check your grammar!

4. Use your dating profile as an ice-breaker

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Once your profile is set up, the next step is to find potential matches and start conversations. This can be nerve-wracking for everyone – even the most experienced online dater. So, to make that step a little easier, make sure to include conversation starters throughout your profile so that your matches can easily approach you.

There are many ways you can include conversation starters in your profile. Some dating platforms have built-in conversation starters and prompts ready for you to include in your profile. You can also incorporate them into your pictures or bio. Ask questions, include interesting photos, make funny statements,—it’s up to you!

5. Have an open mindset

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We’re all in the same boat: just trying to figure it out.

When swiping through profiles, it’s easy to get carried away and swipe through more profiles than you can count or be hyper-critical of small details. However, it’s important to remember a person’s profile doesn’t fully describe them and that it only represents a snippet of who they are.

Online dating is a great opportunity to meet new people. So, keep your options open and try talking to all different types of people. You never know— it could lead to the best outcome.

6. Don’t be afraid to make the first move

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Making the first move can be daunting—especially if you’re new to the online dating world. To make it a little less stressful, try thinking, “What’s the worst that can happen?”

There are two main answers to this question: one, they reply and you go from there, or two, they don’t so you move on to the next. Better things are waiting for you.

Although there’s no magic opening line that works best, a pro tip is to point out something in your match’s profile that sparked your interest as a fun way to break the ice.

When you find someone you like talking to, the next big move is to suggest moving the conversation to a different platform. Snapchat, Instagram, WhatsApp or texting make for great options. However, don’t be afraid to turn someone down if you’re not ready to take that step with them just yet.

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Now, you’re all set to create a great online dating profile. Good luck!

Check out our tips on how to love during lockdown to help you start a new relationship or make your current one thrive.

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