9 Top Tips to Tweak Your Dating Profile – YourTango.com

 9 Tips to Tweak Your Dating ProfileNew research shows what words, pictures, and actions are most effective in finding love.

by Alicia H. Clark, PsyD

Almost every dating website has launched recent research on elements of dating profiles that are most successful in yielding a match. In reviewing the data, I noticed several themes that squared with longstanding principles of love and attraction, and clinical experience.  I wrote up some impressions and posted on YourTango. Here are a few excerpts, including resources for help if this all feels like too much:

Words Matter

Many dating websites have collected data on the most successful words used in the dating profiles. EHarmony conducted the most recent study of 1200 successful dating profiles, and distilled the 10 best and worst words to use in attracting a mate. The results make good sense, and here are some highlights.

  • Tip #3: Use words about attachment and love. Within each gender’s top three words were those in line with agreeableness, kindness, compassion, and thoughtfulness. Women are most drawn to men who describe themselves as perceptive, warm, and thoughtful. Men are most drawn to women who describe themselves as sweet, thoughtful, and easy-going, even outranking physical fitness. PlentyOfFish mined data from 1.2 million profiles and found that the words love and friend were among the 5 most popular words used by singles who left the dating site in a relationship. Importantly, these attributes likely signal a partner’s capacity to forge a successful relationship. Our shared need for attachment – our deep desire to feel connected, supported, and love – is foundational to our search for a mate, so consider using these words to describe yourself in your profile.
  • Tip #4: Avoid words that could signal dependency or neediness. Just as we are drawn to independence, so too are we turned off its quintessential opposite:  neediness and dependency. In fact, many singles fear a relationship where they might feel burdened by their partner. Instead, we seek partners whose character traits will benefit us, not drain us. Surprisingly, the study shows that among the 10 least successful words shared by both genders are: Modest, respectful, and good listener. While these attributes can be quite useful to a harmonious relationship, they unwittingly signal dependence, so consider leaving them out of your dating profile.

Pictures Are Worth 1000 Words…
Pictures are a central part of your online presence, and often convey more information than words. Studies show that we take in visual information exponentially faster than we do text or verbal content. Visual content is also on the rise across all digital platforms, and posting pictures and videos has never been easier. But just because it’s easy doesn’t mean it’s something not to strategically plan.

Actions Speak Loudest Still

As much as we take in words and pictures about someone, when it comes to dating, the old adage still holds that actions speak louder than words. Remember that pictures and words are static, and therefore your online and in-person actions convey more about you.

  • Tip #7: Interact on social media in a real way. Be yourself on social media. If you like to engage with others on social media portals, be sure to focus on the interaction aspect, not just posting. Like, share, and comment on your friends posts regularly, demonstrating your perceptiveness, kindness, and sense of humor or playfulness. How you interact online sends important information about you, and your capacity to be a friend, and ultimately a good partner. Look to build and maintain relationships through your social media, flexing your relationship abilities. Your future partner might get to know your social media profile before they get to know you in person, so make sure to take the time and effort to put your best foot forward. If you are in the market to meet a partner, taking the time to optimize your social media profile is time well-invested. That having been said, many people prefer to not engage on social media, or to engage at a minimum. Whatever your level, stick to posting and interacting in real ways which truly represent you, even if that means not using social media much at all. You can even discuss in your dating profile about the level of social media with which you engage.
  • Tip #9: Get help if you need it. There are loads of resources out there, and taking some time to get educated about best practices is worthwhile. Laurie Davis, the eFlirt Expert, writer of Love at First Click, provides superb insights about online dating. Readable and informative, this book fills a need in the ever-expanding forum of online socializing. There are also dating coaches who offer hands-on help, such as The Professional Wingman, providing individualized assistance as well as no-nonsense online dating tips.

Dating, like life, means taking action in order to make things happen. Each one has to do their part to meet someone special. Putting effort into making the most of your online dating profile and social media usage are surefire ways to build momentum in dating. Taking small steps online, and ultimately getting out there, are the keys to dating. With every small step, you put your dating anxiety into action and move closer to your goal of finding true love.

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Alicia H. Clark, PsyD


  1. Alicia H. Clark, PsyD on February 8, 2017 at 10:31 pm

    So glad it was helpful!