What do you associate with online dating? Frustration? Lack of motivation? An emotionally draining experience? Feeling you are not matching with any men you might like? Thinking online dating might not be for you? And how about your dating photos?
We all want to get back to meeting each other in real life: but for now, dating apps are where it’s at, and so it’s worth us spending a little bit of time making sure your profile is working for you. (You can read here all about how to date during coronavirus!)
A great profile and messaging strategy can make a big difference to the quality of matches you get, and more importantly how much you enjoy the experience of online dating.
Trust me, it’s not that guys online never make any effort, or you never meet anyone you like; there’s enough men out there so this is a signal to adjust your approach, and not throw in the towel altogether.
Are my dating photos serving me?
Here’s a couple of examples of really strong online dating photos from real women's profiles, and yes they look like a cover of Women's Health to me too!!
(Note: these photos were supplied by online dating photography group Hey Saturday, they’re amazing please check them out!)
I want your photos to be this good!
The best investment I made this year so far was a simple light ring from Amazon. (Note: I’m not paid to endorse light rings, I just think they're so useful in the age of the zoom call!!)
Good lighting can make or break a photo, always make sure you’re facing a light source, like a light ring, or golden hour sunlight through a window.
Lots of pixels create a grainy image which doesn’t pop out as much.
Instagram influencers’ pictures often look so good because they were taken with a professional camera. If you don’t happen to have a digital camera, personal stylist and a make up artist lying around then portrait mode on smartphones are a good shout to get higher quality images.
More recent pictures will also be better quality.
Be careful of using images sent through an app like WhatsApp too as these tend to compress file sizes and make the image lower resolution: if you have arm twisted a friend into taking your pictures, get them to airdrop or google drive the image instead.
What’s in your background?
You’ll notice the photos I’ve suggested above all make good use of colour in the images. Colour can really make your photo stand out.
Try standing against a wall that has some interesting graffiti on it, or don a red dress for your pictures. Just keep the rest of the background simple.
Is my profile showcasing my personality?
When someone reads your online dating profile, they should get an immediate sense of what you’re all about.Try to avoid creating lists of things you like: "Brunches, yoga and Schitts Creek..." etc.Instead say something which conveys an aspect of your personality.
For example if you’d consider yourself bubbly don’t write, "My friends tell me I’m bubbly..." . Do write, "The first person onto the dance floor, and the last person to complain about a rainy day..." . Or, "Always the first person on the dance floor ... but could you name the song?"
Of course as I’m all about getting him to invest in you, you may as well throw a small challenge into your profile like the one above.These kinds of statements are also very helpful for telling who has actually read your profile!! Start using filters like these so you can zero in on the men who are most engaged with your profile.
For more detailed advice on this, watch the video below:
For want of a better expression - how `forward’ should you be when you’re using dating apps?
Where is the line between being proactive, and still being feminine?I know it's nice when he sends you a high quality first message, that actually references your profile. Big box check right there.
If he likes one of your pictures, but doesn’t send a message, you could use that as a filter (i.e. not enough effort for you to initiate), or if you’d like to chat to him, send a short, fun message that still leaves him plenty of room to make an effort to get to know you.
"I don’t believe you made me make the first move!" Or you can use the *eyes* emoji to signal, `who goes there?’
You can also bring proactivity to the table by working on a great messaging style. This is a huge topic, but a teaching point I often cover in my coaching sessions is the power of a message that is half as long, twice as strong.
Don’t feel pressure to keep the conversation going, or to tell him everything about yourself in one message.Instead concentrate on 1-2 line messages that are full of personality, keep him on his toes, and give him something to build on, rather than the whole conversation fully built.
Try replacing: "My week has been good thank you! Lots of zoom calls today for work, then I think I’ll go out for a run later. I’ve been getting into fitness a lot during lockdown, do you do any sports?" With: "My week has been interesting! Just heading out for a run, and working out what playlist is going to keep me motivated :-)"
Here he could ask for more details about why your week’s been interesting, or even give you a playlist suggestion.It is also a little less eager to please than the first message, which I am going to dare to say is often a good thing!!
Am I using the best platform for me?
A question I get asked a lot is, `which online dating has all the good guys on it?’
Whilst it would be much more efficient for all the emotionally available men to just pick an app, or a postcode, and stick to it; of course in reality this isn’t how it works.
There will be men who are aligned (and absolutely not aligned) with the kind of relationship you want on most platforms, so it’s less about where to find a great guy, and more about how.
If you’re not currently meeting enough of the men you want this doesn’t mean online dating is broken, or modern men are useless (!) but it does mean you need to adjust how you’re currently going about meeting them.
This could mean a profile re-write, new photos, a change in tac on your messages, or aiming to have more video conversations to figure out if there’s a connection there.
Who are you choosing?
With dating it's pretty easy to develop a narrative that you're just a magnet for bad men. No matter what you do, they will find you, charm you and disappoint you!
I also know from personal experience what it’s like to feel like you have just been dealt one abysmal option after another: but (and this is a big one) the truth is they’re not finding you, you’re choosing them.
I know this is a bitter pill to swallow, if you’ve just had a disappointing interaction with someone, you probably don't want to read in a dating coach's email 'it's all your fault' but taking responsibility here is actually really good news.
If it really is a case of how you’re choosing people, versus them finding you, then that is something you can definitely change!
I will be telling you how in my next blog.