5 Ways to Spruce Up Your Online Dating Profile

The new year is officially here, and now's the perfect time to set out on some new dating endeavors. If you're on the online dating train (and who isn't these days?), Wired has just released 25 infographics on how to create the perfect online dating profile. It's all very interesting, but here's the gist:

Learn to surf, listen to Radiohead, mind your grammar, use Tinder, OkCupid, Match, and Grindr on Sunday, watch Homeland, stop listing your eyes as your best feature (nobody cares), and please, please make eye contact with the camera and smile with teeth in your profile picture.

Some of the advice gleaned from these stats is practical — how to take better photos, when to log on, etc. — but the problem with getting specific with likes and dislikes, body types, and such is, well, we aren't robots. If you write that you enjoy surfing and watching Homeland just to make your profile more attractive, you're going to attract people who are looking for a fake version of yourself. And that's not the best way to start a relationship. It doesn't need to have broad appeal, it just needs to catch the eye of the perfect fit for you. That said, if you feel like your profile isn't working, or if you're getting loads of messages from people you're not into, maybe it just needs freshening up. Here are five easy ways to breathe new life into a tired online profile.

  1. Get a new picture. Forget a picture of just your face. I know you think it's your best, but a potential suitor is going to want to see what you're working with. Whether you're a teeny tiny lady or you're rocking some gorgeous curves, a head shot without a body shot is a little bit of a red flag. You've got it, so flaunt it! To make the whole thing feel a little more fun, think about inviting some friends over, get all dressed up, start shooting some new profile pictures, and then hit the town.
  2. Get real. This may seem superobvious, but please, don't lie. Why would you want to set strange or unrealistic expectations of who you are — or what you're not — before you've ever met someone in the flesh? Go back into your profile with a keen eye, and pretend that you have a red pen. Take out all the things that sound or feel inauthentic, and in their place, say what's real. Put in your age and occupation, if you have kids, and most importantly, what kind of relationship you're actually looking for. Not what you think some hot dude wants to hear.
  3. Get confident. No need to be superhumble here. As strange as it seems, you're trying to sell yourself a little bit here, sister. And get a little sexy! If you're not getting the kinds of responses you want, try putting yourself out there a little more. Talk about the things you love, what you're good at, and what you're really looking for in a relationship.
  4. Get a new username. Someone mundane or boring won't catch anyone's eye. If you're feeling like you're in an online dating rut, pick a creative username to show that you've got a little personality. Think about your hobbies and things you love, and go from there. Remember to keep it light and sexy.
  5. Get positive. If you write down all the terrible things that have happened to you, how you can't seem to find a guy who will stick by you, or how you just can't get a date, it's going to sound negative and desperate. Neither of those things are going to help you on your online dating mission. Keep up your optimism and positivity; it's the only way you'll attract a guy worthy of the truly amazing you.

Any other tips for sprucing up your online dating profile? Chime in below!

— Additional reporting by Tara Block