How to Set up a Successful Dating Profile
Okay, so you’re finally ready to brave the world of both polyamory /swinging / kink life and online dating. You know who you are, you know what you want, and you’re comfortable in your skin (mostly). So, it’s time to start meeting people who feel the same way. The question is, how do you set up a successful dating profile that will help you attract the right person or people? Here are a few simple rules to help you get started.
Rules for Creating a Successful Dating Profile
Unofficial rule number zero – Couple’s profiles in the swinging community are not uncommon and opinions of them range from “that’s normal” to “I don’t know about that”. Generally in polyamorous and kink profiles it’s seen as a red flag that a couple is fairly new, there might be some insecurities, or some unicorn hunting. It’s not wrong to have a shared profile, different people see it in different ways, and there are generalities.
Rule number one – don’t over think it! You don’t want to portray some fantasy version of yourself (unless, of course, playing out fantasies is what you’re into, and in that case FetLife is for you!). If you want people to get a sense of the real you and what you’re looking for, just stick to what you know and what you like. Nerdy? Lean real hard into that, a lot of us outliers are already there. You can find a healthy amount of open and kinky people in makerspaces, gaming stores, ren faires, comic cons, and craft stores. And if you need a little help with sharing who you are, ask a close friend or family member – even your therapist – to help you come up with a few descriptive words that make you feel confident about describing yourself.
Rule number two – don’t underestimate the power of photos. Looks aren’t everything, but they do matter to some people and if one of those people is you, be sure to include a headshot. But don’t stop there. Showcase yourself and your lifestyle by uploading a variety of images. You should always be the main subject of your pictures, but be sure to choose photos that showcase your interests and the type of lifestyle you enjoy. You can even give people an extra little taste of your personality by creatively captioning your photos. Fun fact, before OKCupid, the unofficial polyamorous dating defacto app, sold out, it used to do a lot of great research. One thing they found out is men rated women’s attractiveness along fairly normal bell curves. Seeing 50% as above average in attractiveness, 50% below average. Women, however, rated 80% of men as below average in attractiveness. Also however, attractiveness ranked lower on the traits women looked for in long term partners. Example! This is Jean-Paul Sartre, epic complainer of the bourgeois and actual writer of the sentence, “not nothing nothingness”.
Possibly you may notice, he’s not a dead ringer for Abercrombie & Fitch’s summer line up. This did not slow down, at all, his open relationship dating life with (even more epic feminist philosopher) Simone de Beauvior, et. al. – and there was a lot of all. By many accounts his nickname could have been Mr. Hanky Panky not Pants. What I’m saying here, personality is king, and you want to try to show that in your profile. Heads up, MLM, bass fishing, and fluency in sarcasm are not necessarily personalities. What is it like to sit in a room with you?
Rule number three – be clear about your intentions and share what makes you unique. There are probably a round ten zillion profiles (maybe a thousand that aren’t bots) that say things like “I love to travel” or “just looking for a good time.” If both of those things happen to be true for you, that’s okay; you just need to find a way to make those things stand out. For example, upload pictures of yourself traveling and use captions to show people your love of travel. Or describe specifically what “having a good time” means to you. In the Gottman Relationship Therapy Model, we spend a lot of time building Love Maps, understanding each other’s internal worlds, values, and dreams.
Rule number four – triple check for errors and plan to update your profile often. First impressions are still important and a misspelled word or typo can rub some people the wrong way. Plus, an out of date profile might make a person feel like you’re not what they were expecting when you get together in person.
Rule number five – The dating pool may have a lot of fish, but in alternative communities we swim in small schools. It is fairly easy to build a reputation based just on how you message or ghost others.
Rule number six – Dating apps are broken, on purpose! Make no bones about it, they are profit driven, and their primary goal is to use insecurities, wants, needs, and dopamine hits to get you addicted and paying. Joining your local communities can be much healthier for your soul. You would do well by following an early internet rule, lurk moar!, while you learn the local etiquette and vibe of the groups you’re in.
Get Additional Help with Online Dating
Keep in mind, if your profile doesn’t seem to be working for you, you can always make changes. Take some time looking over the profiles of people you like. What is it about them and their profile that draws you in? Analyzing other profiles from that perspective may help you create a more successful dating profile of your own.
These days, it’s a whole lot easier to connect with people online than it is in person, so creating a successful profile is an important part of the dating process. Clear intentions are important when it comes to connecting with the right type of people, and messaging / apps like OkCupid, Fetlife, Discord, and Telegram can give you the freedom and the space to put yourself and your intentions out into the world.
If you need additional support navigating the world of online dating, or building up the courage to get started, a therapist can help. Use the form below to schedule a short, free consultation today.