Setting Up Your First Dating Profile

I think my friends are completely taking over the OKCupid scene in the DC area. It’s the first website I recommend for girls who are looking to start online dating because it’s super simple, free, and a little bit less of a hassle than other sites since the guys typically come to you.


My best friend joined recently and asked for some advice on setting up a profile, and I realized I actually had a lot to say on the matter. Here are the first five things you should do when initially setting up a dating profile:

  1. When choosing a screen name, choose something that represents you, but doesn’t give away any personal information. Do not use your name, numbers that signify your birthday or area code, or the school you attend. An OKC profile is public, which means anyone in the world can see it. Some ideas for a username could include a sports team you root for, an activity you enjoy, or a pop culture reference. Something like TeamRavenclaw, RedskinsFan, or Swiftie13 could be a good start. The people you will potentially date don’t have to understand the reference, but it can be a good conversation starter for those who do have that interest in common with you!
  2. Answer only questions that are truly important you. OK Cupid has a nice little feature that shows what percentage you and a match are with one another, and this can be super-helpful if you’re trying to sort through your matches quickly. If you’re not looking for a hookup, smoking is a deal-breaker, and you only want to date someone who is neat and tidy, answer those questions so that the percentage will reflect what’s really important to you. Questions like, “Do you enjoy discussing politics?” or “Is astrological sign at all important in a match?” may end up messing up the algorithm if those questions don’t matter to you very much, whereas questions about religion and seriousness of a relationship have more importance.
  3. Use recent photos that reflect who you are. When I was on OKCupid I started off using some of the best photos of myself that I had — some of which were from modeling I did in college. I had a couple of “regular” photos as well, but quickly switched over to all normal photos of what I looked like in my everyday life. When I used the glammed-up photos I actually felt more insecure about my profile, as I felt like guys might think I was catfishing them when we met up and I didn’t meet the standard of my perfectly-lit, lightly airbrushed photos. I felt a lot better knowing people were looking at the girl who would show up to the date we had planned, rather than the more perfect version of myself.
  4. Change your location to wherever you’d like to meet up with your dates. For example, if I technically live in one city, but am closer to DC than most of the rest of my area, I might just say my location is DC to eliminate an explanation of why I’d like to go on a date there instead of in my own town. Plus this makes it just a tiny bit more difficult for someone to track you down on Facebook.
  5. Fill out the entire profile, but don’t write a novel. I think making your profile reflect your personality is important, but the messages you exchange with someone will definitely play more of a role in whether or not you want to meet up with someone. A profile is a good place to write about a few things that are really important to you and showcase your personality. Don’t be afraid to put one or two things that you want in a date on your profile, but be careful about crafting it in a way that doesn’t sound like you’re being demanding of your dates. For example, I always wrote that I wasn’t looking for a hookup in my profile, as I didn’t want guys who just wanted a very casual date sending me a message. That saves both parties time and energy that they can use on other people on the site.


Bonus tip: Don’t take online dating way too seriously, and have fun with it! The more pressure you put on trying to find something meaningful, the harder it is to relax and let things fall into place naturally. I know online dating can get old quickly — and sometimes get frustrating — but instead of giving up on it, take a break, enjoy some time with your friends, and come back to your profile when you feel like you can take things slowly again. There are so many fish in the sea, which is great because you have a lot of options, but it also means you’ll probably go through a lot of people who aren’t right for you before getting to a good match. Breathe, pace yourself, and enjoy. You never know when you might meet someone who will put an end to your online dating days, so enjoy this season of your life while it’s still around.

7 thoughts on “Setting Up Your First Dating Profile

  1. When I was on the site, months ago, one of the things guys like to see is a body shot, not naked, but to see what you look like. I had one of me in my jeans, flip flops and summery shirt just smiling that my friend took of me. They are visual creatures (as are we) and many complained to me that women used old photos and lied about their weight.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, that is something I often hear guys like to see on profiles too. I always put a body shot similar to that too, and people always commented on how “tall I looked,” haha! I am almost 5’10, so I put that on my profile in case that was a deal breaker for anyone. Thanks for your comment! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I haven’t been interested in dating for years, but I read your post with interest because I’m usually curious about trends these days. I’ve got a couple questions, if you will.

    First, how often do you go on a date with someone you met through a site like OKCupid that works out compared to how often you go on a date that doesn’t work out?

    Second, how easy or hard is it to screen out the jerks and creeps before you go on a date with one?

    By the way, even though I’m voluntarily celibate, and make no secret about it, I get hit on rather often on websites I frequent. Those aren’t dating sites, but rather just plain old forums for discussing various topics, such as religion or music, etc. That’s made me wonder if a good place to find someone might not be one of those sites. I mean pick an interest, find a forum for discussing it, and then meet people that way. Does that make any sense?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Paul, thanks for your comment and questions! I always love talking to people about dating, so am kind of excited to have some to answer today. 😛

      So if I understand your first question correctly, I think more dates than not end after the first one because one or both parties realize they’re not a match. Sometimes you find someone you’re interested in getting to know, and they feel the same way; I’d say that was about 1 in 7 or something for me. I always enjoyed even just the first dates, as most of the people I went out with at least had interesting stories or something to make the date fun, but it definitely takes a LOT of work and patience to find people you reallyyy click with.

      The second question is a bit more tricky… I feel like I’m pretty good at vetting people, but sometimes I would go out with someone and be floored at the way they treated me on the date. That was maaaybe like, two people out of a lot, though. One guy I thought I knew well ended up being incredibly rude to me, though, which says to me that it does take someone awhile to show their true colors sometimes. I think as long as you are incredibly careful in choosing who you get attached to and how quickly you do, things often work out better.

      That’s interesting about the forums you are on! I am sure you must meet some really cool people there too. I honestly don’t have experience with that, so wouldn’t be able to say, but as with anything online, I would just say proceed with caution and be careful with who you meet up with (And always make sure it’s in a public place!). Guys can even never be too careful these days.

      Thanks for your comment, I hope you keep reading even though you aren’t into online dating! I really enjoyed hearing what you had to say on the matter, and love hearing other people’s perspectives.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks so much your answers! They make a lot of sense. If I ever decide to get back into dating, I’ll remember your advice. And I’m sure I’ll continue reading — I’ve got the unquenchable curiosity of a chimpanzee.


  3. To build on number 5, I would also say, “Be wary of guys that barely write anything on their dating profile.” I noticed that the guys who wrote one two or words or the ever elusive, “Message me if you want to know” are not very serious. Sometimes who is joining the site to genuinely try to meet someone will usually put at least some effort into their profile.

    Liked by 1 person

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