We shop online, work online, go to school online, diagnose online; why not date online? In a non-stop world of fast-food, fast coffee, fast cars, text messaging, click, copy and paste, it’s no surprise that people have followed suit in their dating lives. The boom of matchmaking websites have made the dating pool grow exponentially. We now have access to people in cities, counties and countries far away. Whatever the reason for logging onto a dating website, there is certain etiquette we should follow. Here’s a list of 10 things you might want to include in your online dating profile.
1) The Basics – What you look like weighs heavily on whether or not a person will find you attractive. Some of this is biology at work, but a great deal is the handy work of the media. People’s perceptions are largely based on what is on TV, the Internet, billboards and in magazines. Beauty has reached impossible standards. When it comes to online dating, start with the basics; be honest about your height, weight and age, if you choose to disclose them on your profile. Distorting the truth will not only let the other person down, but it will also make you look desperate and dishonest.
2) Married With Children – Two things you should absolutely include in an online dating profile are your marital status and the number of children you have. Whether it’s fair or not, some people find existing children or a previous marriage to be a deal-breaker, and you’d rather they pass you by altogether or filter you out of their searches than find that out after you’ve already become somewhat attached.
3) Pet Friendly – For some people, their children are their lives. For other people, their pets are their children. If you aren’t an animal lover, don’t pretend to be to get a date. When you present a pet parent with an ultimatum, you can bet that it won’t be the cat that gets sent packing.
4) Living Situation – With the turn of economic stability in recent years past, it’s much more common to see 20- and 30-somethings moving back home as a way of saving money. There’s nothing wrong with graciously accepting the offer to move back in with your parents as a grown adult. The only thing you should be ashamed of is lying about it.
5) Employment Status – It’s not necessary to state your annual gross income or discuss your tax bracket in depth, but a potential partner will probably want to know that you are capable of supporting yourself before getting involved with you.
6) Good Eats – While it’s not impossible for a carnivore and a vegan to live harmoniously together, it will add certain stressors to the potential relationship. If you enjoy the standard American fare or delve deep into a raw vegan lifestyle, it can be helpful information to include when searching online for a compatible mate.
7) Religious Beliefs – For many people, their religious beliefs aren’t up for discussion or debate. Stating your religious or spiritual practice could keep you from winding up in an uncomfortable situation with a prospective partner. To avoid unpleasant or potentially offensive conversation, be straightforward about your efforts when it comes to a religion you affiliate yourself with.
8) Hardcore Lifestyle – If you have any habits or behaviors that you’re not planning on changing and have found to be an issue in past relationships, let your future dates know what they’re getting into. Are you an extreme adrenaline junkie? Heavy smoker? Gone for months at a time traveling the globe? Chronic gamer? Cluing your audience into these types of lifestyle trends will help you weed out unsuitable prospects.
9) First Impressions Make a Lasting Impression – Every site is a little different. Some ask for very little information while some require very personal questions be answered about everything ranging from your eating habits to your blood type. Regardless of how extensive you make your profile, remember one thing: if you don’t match your profile, you’re just an impostor. Let your profile really reflect the person you are. You can include aspects of your life that you’d like to improve, but trying to make it seem as if you’re something you’re not is a recipe for dating disaster. By being true to who you are, you can put less focus on making that first impression match up to the expectations set by your profile and spend more time getting to know someone that wants to meet the real you, so you can make a lasting impression.
10) The Cold Hard Truth – Unless you completely lack compassion and a conscience, honesty is the best policy. You will undoubtedly reduce the amount of self-induced anxiety in your dating life by simply being honest.
The point of matchmaking websites is to help you meet people who share similar dreams, passions, hobbies and lifestyles. Leave out minor details that do nothing for your strengths or weaknesses. Don’t give too little information, but don’t leave too little to the imagination. A bit of mystery is appealing, but too much will leave the other person confused and likely to skip your profile in search of something a bit more easily understood. Ultimately, you want to meet someone you are compatible with, so be honest about who you are and what you stand for.