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Online dating has changed the game for singles in many indisputable ways. For example, they have more access to more compatible people than ever before, and they can specify exactly what they want from the get-go in their dating profile.
However, sometimes after spending so much time on their own profile, some singles only spend five seconds looking at the profiles of potential matches. That means they miss the opportunity to gain valuable insight into a potential love interest’s personality. You can learn a lot by reading every word and really taking in every picture. Here are four of the most common things you can learn about a potential match by analyzing their dating profile.
One aspect of online dating I appreciated when I was single was when I came across someone who spent time thinking about the variety of photos to include in his profile.
For example, if he has a lot of photos of him with his dog, then you can tell right away that he’s an animal lover and this pet is a priority to him. It’s up to you to weigh the pros and cons of taking on that responsibility with him if you two start dating. If you’re an animal lover, it’s probably no problem. If you’re not, you have some things to think about.
If all of his photos are mirror selfies showing off his physique, you don’t get a sense of his day-to-day life. Sure, he may be nice to look at, but who is he as a person? What are his values and beliefs, and will those values and beliefs line up with yours? This can be a sign that he’s somewhat vain and superficial.
If most of his photos are of him traveling to different countries, it may appear that he has expendable time and money. I love an adventurous spirit, but my lifestyle dictates traveling as a treat and not something I would do almost every weekend.
These examples may sound like slight judgements, but the content of a profile, including photos, are all you have at this stage of the game to draw conclusions about someone’s personality. You want your potential date to somewhat enjoy or respect your hobbies and interests and vice versa. I believe a majority of singles feel the same way to some extent.
Try to apply the conversations you’ve had with unsuccessful first date experiences. Take note of important lifestyle points in a person’s dating profile and compare them with what makes you happy or comfortable or interested.
When I was single and online dating, I always made sure to take note of what a potential match was wearing in his profile photos. This would give me a clue about his style, and his style would give me a clue about who he is.
I believe most single gay men want to date a guy who can equally dress up and look good in jeans and a T-shirt. It can be a bit intimidating for someone to appear in all of their profile photos dressed in luxurious suits at prestigious events. Similarly, profile photos of someone in a computer chair, unshaven, and looking like he hasn’t showered may not tell the total story.
That’s why a selection of profile photos that show a potential match in different activities and styles gives a more complete idea of who they are. If your potential match has balance in his style, that means he probably has balance in his real life, too.
I understand that a lot of people don’t care about using proper grammar and punctuation. Shorthand is especially used a lot in online dating, but there’s a time and place for it.
When you’re reading someone’s profile, try to imagine his delivery as if he was saying it in person. Oftentimes, you can decipher his tone, and that’ll give you insights into how he lives his life.
However, it’s a bit troubling if someone abbreviates words like he’s still in high school (i.e. idk, thx, or tbh). Unless you are a teenager, constantly abbreviating words is not an appropriate way to positively resonate with someone if you are looking for a more serious relationship. It’s more effective to write succinctly but clearly, using plain English and a conversational tone that reflects your character.
As a professional matchmaker, I will ask clients to write about themselves in their intake profile before I take them on as well as after I set them up on dates. It’s nice to know how people view themselves.
If someone ever writes, “I’ll fill this out later” or “We can speak about this more in person,” a red flag goes off. You should feel the same way if someone writes these sentences in their dating profile.
These are the type of people who will be time-wasters — no matter how attractive or eligible they think they are or you think they are. The verbiage someone uses to describe how they grew up, the career they have or want, and what they’ve learned from previous relationships indicates readiness to take your time and dating seriously.
When I was more actively single, I had a bullet-pointed list of my top five dealbreakers on my online dating profile. I remember receiving many messages saying “This was the best profile I’ve read in a while.” My writing expertise aside, I felt that a lot of gay men who read my profile knew exactly who I was, what I expected from them, and what I was willing to compromise on and what I was not.
I can say that online dating was almost always fun for me because I set a written precedent of what I and my potential date can expect from our encounter. You should do the same, and you should look for someone who does the same.
I’ve taken a lot of notes on how clients said they feel about online dating over the many years of my career as a matchmaker. I’d estimate that about half of people really enjoy online dating, and the other half not so much.
For the people who aren’t fans of online dating, I’d argue that maybe they aren’t being tactful enough. You have to be willing to take the time to study a person’s profile and messages, and read between the lines. You have to be willing to do a bit of research and be purposeful in your actions.
I believe most gay men who are frustrated with online dating haven’t spent enough time taking themselves or someone else’s profile seriously.
All in all, I believe online dating is a great tool that can help create more dating successes than failures. Just make sure you do your homework and due diligence, and your work ethic will lead you to someone surprisingly special.