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Online dating is a minefield. Do you swipe left, or right? Are they genuinely interested or just after one night of fun? Are they even real, or is just a fake profile? Worse — what if the only guys who reach out to you are absolutely not what you’re looking for?

It’s easy to lament that all the good men are already gone. But this may not be the case.

Here’s the brutal truth: First impressions really do count. Not only do people ‘sum you up’ in a few seconds, their first impression determines how they perceive you. 

Another thing you should know: the decent fellas do read your description, contrary to popular belief, and will make a summary of you in their heads from what you write.  

In other words, your profile makes or breaks what you get. How you portray yourself there is an important factor in whether you attract the appropriate guy. If you have a photo of you hanging off a cliff, they’ll assume you’re an adrenaline seeker, although you may have only done it just once as part of a work trip. Have a sassy photo of yourself in a bikini? You can be sure the nice guys won’t come knocking.

But the great news is, you can change your profile, stat. Follow our guide below and get going on putting out your best self. Here’s to finding your dream dude.


1. Make your first image a headshot portrait

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Set the right scene from the get go: You’re confident in yourself, you’re happy with who you are, and you have nothing to hide. Just like how you’d hesitate swiping right on a man whose face is half covered by a snapback, he’s going to want to see you too.

Make your first image a clear image of your beautiful face so potential guys can immediately see what you look like. Choose one where you’re smiling — for obvious reasons. This is your ultimate first impression, so choose one that shows off your personality.


2. Make your second image a full length body shot

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So you’ve shown the person how you look facially, now follow up with a full length shot. This is to, once again, showcase that you have nothing to hide and to portray your body confidence.

It also gives off the perception that you’re seriously looking for someone decent, because you’ve created a profile that is sincere from the beginning. Make sure you’re dressed appropriately in your personal style.


3. Don’t choose black and white images

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Black and white images are artistic, granted. They can also help hide a multitude of sins. That being said, when someone’s entire profile is made up of monochromatic images, it suggests that person is not confident / happy with how they look.

Or that they are trying too hard to present a certain image. Colour is personable and relatable, and gives the viewer a proper insight into ‘you’, so avoid using black and white images just to inject a sense of mystery.


4. Don’t use childish filters

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Filters that help you improve yourself are fine. Want to photoshop those open pores? Go for it. Getting rid of that pimple? Sure. But avoid any filters where your entire face is altered or obscured, like Snapchat’s or Instagram Stories’ filters that shove a dog’s nose over yours.

Men know it’s a filter. They also know it’s being used for a reason. Many men won’t even entertain a profile if every image has a silly filter over the top, and can you blame them? They can’t actually see what you even look like, so they’re not going to take the risk. Plus, it makes you look a tad immature. Chuck em.


5. Don’t pick lots of images with lots of friends

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If they don’t know which one you are, they won’t bother to contact you. It’s a given. The odd group shot is fine if you want to showcase an aspect of your life; after all, it does show that you are a well-adjusted individual with a social life. But only add it in after your headshot and full body shot.


6. In your description, remember to showcase your best qualities

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Aside from the standard age and occupation, your description needs to highlight you as a person. Humans are naturally attracted to positivity, so keep it light, happy and full of life. It’s also a time to spark intrigue and make you stand out from all the other profiles on the site.

Are you an animal lover? Have you done volunteer projects? Do you travel a lot, and to exotic places? Do you have a special hobby? Let your description ‘sell’ you, so to speak.


7. Don’t overshare in your bio

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That being said, don’t spill your life out into your bio. No one likes an over sharer, but more importantly, these are complete strangers that are gaining access to ‘you’. Some will not be who they say they are, so there’s a real element of danger here.

Never give out personal details such as location of work or home, but also, don’t divulge personal and intimate information such as past divorce, money issues and medical issues, to name a few. Open up to someone only when they’ve earned your trust to do so.


8. Comedy is always a good thing though

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A sense of humour always helps to draw someone in. If you come across as dull, or worse, uptight, you can be sure people will swipe left on you pretty quickly. People like to laugh and are attracted to those who can see the lighter side to life too.

So any throwaway comedic comments are great to include. Be witty, dry and self-deprecating. Don’t take yourself too seriously. That always helps.

Disclosure: Typed out knock knock jokes may not give the same effect.


9. Don’t list things you’re not attracted to in a partner

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When you’ve been repeatedly let down and hurt, and have semi-given up hope on finding someone decent, it’s natural to put barriers up for self-protection. It’s also tempting to write down such stipulations to avoid the same mistake again, such as: “No time wasters / no ex-issues / no kids / no broke guys / no users / no liars”.

But this is a big no-no. It gives off an instant negative vibe, making you seem completely unattainable or a little high maintenance. It doesn’t say “I was previously hurt, please love me” which is really what is going on here. Instead, it says “I am very picky and you’re in for a hard time being around me”.

Try avoid doing any listing of what you don’t like in a partner and let things flow naturally instead. Besides, does anyone actually know what they need anyway? We all know what we want, but often what we need is something entirely different.