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3 things to look for when reading Online Dating Profiles

The fact is, much of what you find on most profiles actually tells you very little. When you see a profile that says, “My friends would describe me as…” you can usually expect the usual series of adjectives that include reliable, attractive, honest, dependable etc., all of which are probably true but don’t really tell you what makes the person unique—or uniquely attractive.

Pay Attention

Often, all you need to pay attention to is the first thing that someone puts on their profile:

dating profile 001I’m a Christian woman. I’m not perfect and I have my faults but I know the difference between right and wrong and try to live my life that way. I don’t drink or do drugs and wouldn’t date a man who does. I like the smell of rain, barn dancing, slow drives in the country and long evenings in front of the fire.

Believe it or not, you’ll find lots of profiles like this on dating sites, profiles in which the very first sentence tells you everything you need to know. The writer has placed her values front and foremost, and it’s fairly clear what kind of relationship she’s looking for—and what kind of man.

Not all profiles are that obvious though. You certainly might find plenty of profiles that say that the single behind it likes Britney Spears or Christina Aguilera, choices which speak volumes about their musical taste and makes clear that there’ll be no fighting over the music collection if things don’t work out. But how someone writes can reveal as much about who they are, where they’re from and where they’d like to go as what they write.

It’s often possible to spot a number of small signs that give a clue to the writer’s background, personality and most important, compatibility.

1. Spelling

There are two kinds of profiles: those with spelling mistakes and those without. And it’s not just the misspelled words that tell you about the writer’s writing skills—or their ability to use spellcheck—it’s also the use of numbers instead of letters, dodgy punctuation and missing capitals.

dating profile 002This happens a lot in online communications and there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with skipping spelling rules (although it’s always best to follow them, if only for the sake of clarity). But a tendency to leave writing laws in the dust does say much about the person doing the writing—and whether you’d make a good match.

In general, people who write “4 u” instead of “for you”, tend to be young, trendy and… a bit lazy. They’re more comfortable with SMS messaging and online chatting than sitting and writing words in full.

That’s fine if you’re the same. If you can’t understand why “too” has three letters instead of two, especially when you can write it “2”, then dating someone who’s “looking 4 u” could work out just fine. But if you’re infuriated at people’s inability to write properly, then dating someone who likes to take the shortcut to creating sentences might not be for you at all

2. Humor

When you’ve seen a lot of dating site profiles, you’ll quickly notice that just about everyone online seems to be looking for a date with a sense of humor. The Internet is not a good place for po-faced dullards to find their other halves.

Unfortunately, few profiles seem to show the qualities their writers are looking for. Most people tend to take a pretty straightforward approach to creating their profile. That’s not entirely their fault. There aren’t many great jokes that begin “About Me And My Match” and even Chris Rock would find it a challenge to be funny in the small amount of space you can find on most dating site profiles.

That means that on the one hand, it’s not a good idea to hold a lack of wit against someone you see online. They might be a scream in real life and your date might be filled with unending laughter but when it comes to getting across their humor on their profile, they could have just come up a bit short.

On the other hand, if you do see someone who looks good and has a profile that makes you smile, send out an email as soon as you spot it. If someone can make you laugh with what they squeezed into their self-description, imagine how much fun the date will be!

3. Integrity

It would be great if you could judge the level of someone’s integrity just by seeing what they write on their profile. But it’s just not that easy. No one ever writes in their self-description, “I’m unreliable, unfaithful, deceitful and selfish. I’ll hit on your pals, stand you up on dates and if you think I’m really going to hang around for a long-distance relationship, you can think again. At the first sign you’re getting serious, I’ll be heading for the hills.”

No one ever writes that, but you might find ages that seem at odds with the look in the picture, income ranges that are pitched way too high for someone who works in catering or retail, or occupations that just don’t seem to match the level of education.

Now, it’s perfectly possible that there’s a perfectly good explanation for what to you looks like a strange discrepancy. But if you’re already raising questions about your potential date’s integrity, do you really want to enter into a relationship with them—and begin by having to decide whether you believe their answers?

Trying to read between the lines of the information you’ve got on a dating site profile isn’t easy. But with so little to go on before you send out that first email and so many people to choose from, you’ll find yourself doing it without even noticing. In all, the best policy is to trust your instincts. If something someone writes gets your goat, the best policy is to give them the elbow. If you find yourself attracted to the wit in someone’s self-description, then shoot them out an email and see what they say back!

Another important thing you need to know…get good dating profile pictures

Having  great dating profile pictures is the single most important thing you can do when dating online, so visit www.LookBetterOnline.com and find out why more than 98% of our customers get better dates, and see how with great online dating photos we can help make your online dating experience successful and more fun than you thought possible!

13 things TO AVOID when posting Dating Profile Photos

I’m not sure exactly why so many people ask me  “What Should I avoid when it comes to dating profile photos?” Perhaps it’s because we’ve al lseen our share of awful dating photos.

Here’s a list of things to AVOID when posting your dating profile photos (And a link at the end of the article to tell you what to do too!)

1.NO “Bathroom-Mirror-Self-Portraits:

Bathroom Selfies” make you look like you’re a loner and a loser.

2.NO Blurred/Dark photos.

People want to see if they find you attractive. Blurred and dark dating profile photos are a FAIL!

3.NO Sunglasses or a Cap.

So what are you trying to Hide?  If you’re balding, who cares, some women love bald men and the eyes are the window to the soul, which is why you shouldn’t hide behind your shades. People want to look into your eyes to see who you really are. your matches want to see your sparkling eyes (Eye contact can be just as engaging in a photo as it is in person)

4.NO frowning photos.

Smile…In social situations if we see someone smiling then we assume that they are approachable and happy and people who don’t smile are often Moody and difficult!~and it’s the same with online dating profile photos…so smile a little.

5.NO Drinking photos.

Dating profile Photos holding a drink give people the impression that like to drink…a lot. So unless you’re a partying college kid leave them out…otherwise you’ll just look like an alcoholic.

6.NO Photos with people cut out.

Do you really not have any photos without your EX?  Don’t cut the ex out of the photo, so that there’s an obvious gaping hole, or use a piece of paper to block out their ex.

7.NO Old photos.

A rule of thumb is to never have a photo over 3 years old.

8.NO Kids in photos.

While you might be a great parent Photos of children just don’t belong on a dating website

9. NO Pics of your parents.

No one wants to see a grown man hugging his mother on a dating site, It just looks odd!

10. NO photos where its not obvious who you are.

Which one are you?  Your date shouldn’t have to guess which person you are in the photo.

11.NO messy backgrounds…

Watch your backgrounds. Last thing we want to see is your dirty place…this is a huge FAIL for a dating profile photo.

12. For Men-No bare chests or flexed muscle

Unless you want to look like a complete “tool”.

13. Don’t post glamour shots.

A glamour shot is not about The Real You, it’s about the photographer creating the image that they find the most pleasing. The photographer will use heavy makeup, hair styling, unnatural lighting and heavy post production retouching. The result is a fantasy image, and it fails online. People avoid these type of dating profile pictures because they feel that no one looks like this, or they avoid you after the date because you didn’t measure up to the dating photos on your profile.

OK, So I’ve told you about all the things to AVOID…now CLICK HERE to read my article  called Good Online dating Photos that get results

 

Online dating tips: How to write a first message that gets results (Part 2)

Writing a first email to someone with an interesting profile is dead easy. Follow either of the models we’ve supplied in our last article CLICK HERE, back it up with a well-written profile with an excellent picture, and you should get a positive response.

A few things you should NEVER say!

There are a few things that you should never say in a first email though.

First of all, never ask for personal details in a first email. That will automatically raise a red flag and toss you out of the game. You wouldn’t expect to walk up to someone in a bar and get a phone number right at the start of a conversation—and you won’t get it right at the beginning of an email conversation either.

At some point, when you’re both feeling comfortable, when you’ve sounded each other out and decided that you have enough in common to make meeting up worth the time, you can exchange details or at the very least arrange to meet in public.

But that kind of trust takes a little bit of time to develop. It certainly won’t come with your first email

Similarly, you shouldn’t ask for a date in your first email.

Your goal

The goal of your first message is simply to make contact, to persuade someone to look at your profile and write back with questions of their own. It’s a chance to get a feel for each other’s personality, to begin to see how compatible you are and to decide if you want to meet in the flesh and check out the chemistry. That doesn’t usually require a huge amount of time. A handful of emails zipping back and forth is often enough for you to figure out whether you find each other interesting enough to take it further. Ask for a date right at the beginning though and the answer is most likely to be a big fat no

Chat up lines

And finally, steer clear of corny chat-up lines.

Chat-up lines tend to have pretty limited success offline. Online they’re completely unnecessary. One of the biggest advantages of dating across the Web is that you get the time to think up something smart and witty to say. You don’t need to churn out some old cliché quick before your intended target leaves.

Online, chat-up lines just make you look a bit sleazy. Actually, they pretty much do the same offline too.

How To Reply When You’re In Demand

When you have a great profile with a professional picture and solid, original descriptions, there’s a good chance that you’re going to get a lot of emails. In fact, it’s not uncommon to find that your inbox picks up several hundred emails in the first few days.

That’s a good response and it gives you wide range of possible dates to choose from. The chances that not one of the emails that you receive is a good prospect to get to know a little better is pretty small. (And if you can’t find anyone out of several hundred applicants, it’s more likely that your criteria are too strict than that there’s no one on the site worth meeting.)

Obviously though, you won’t be able to write back to everyone so you’ll have to make selection. Not everyone writes a perfect first email, just as very few people produce the kind of outstanding profiles they really need to get results.  Many, if not most, of the emails you receive will say far more about the person doing the writing than the writer

More tips

Get more tips in our next post How to write a first message that gets results (Part 3)

Think About This!

Having great online dating photos is the most important thing you can do when dating online, so visit LookBetterOnline and and see how with great profile pictures we can help make your online dating experience successful and more fun than you thought possible!

Dating Profile Photo Secret from Top Californian Photographer

Today I want to Spotlight one of our talented dating profile photographers

Meet Stuart

Stuart is an internationally renowned Southern California photographer who found his calling when he was 17. Since then for 35 years, he has photographed literally thousands of people…

An impressive resume

And Stuart’s resume is impressive…He’s a Graduate of UCI BA in photography, Is a past President of Professional Photographers of Orange County and  has learned with the best. Dean Collins, Monte Zucker and Ken Marcus to name a few of the photography masters of this century
As you can imagine Stuart loves both people and photography and his down-to-earth character makes everyone he photographs feel completely at ease…

On Location OR Studio

Southern California offers some great settings… When I asked Stuart about his favorite locations he told me about some of the amazing beach and ocean front settings that he has available…these settings can’t help make anyone look like a million dollars, and get you the dating profile photos that get results.

Stuart also has a studio located in Newport Blvd. It is cozy and fully equipped with a make-up area, lights and a dressing room.

Stuart has been featured in Eye on L.A., Two on a Town, Hour Magazine, The Love Report with Fredrick , People are Talking (CBS), People Magazine, The Wall St. Journal, The London Sunday Times and Der Spiegel among others.

Photo Secret

When speaking with Stuart on the telephone today I asked him to share something with me that would help people get great photos and here’s what he had to say.

So here’s the dating profile Secret…….it’s so simple it crazy!

“The night before you take your dating profile photos don’t forget to get a Good night’s sleep!” 

Good practical common sense if you ask me (And Why is common sense not common?)

Fail to do!

99% of people fail to do this….

They spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on buying the right clothes (And for women hundreds more on getting their hair just right) and then they forget to get a decent night’s sleep!

…Then when they see their photos they are aware that they need more sleep…think bags under tired eyes!

Get a good night’s sleep the night before, drink plenty of water to Hydrate and I guarantee you’ll look better in your photos…and as we all know Better photos mean Better Dates!

To book your own photo-session with Stuart go to:
http://www2.lookbetteronline.com/Photographer_Costa-Mesa_4490_92024.html

Stand out from the crowd! The Perfect dating profile part 3

What You Should Never Put On A Profile

All of the things that we’ve recommended for you to put on your profile in this chapter are things that you like to do. If you enjoy hiking, say you like hiking and say where you like to do it. If you like reading, say you like reading and put a word or two about the last book you read. If you’re into cooking, say you spent a lot of time in the kitchen and mention which type of cuisine gets your taste buds flowing.

But don’t say what you don’t like to do.

Your dating site profile should always be positive. It should show that you’re a happy, contented person who wants to be even happier and more contented, not a sad, lonely person who wants someone to cheer them up. Nothing puts people off more than the whiff of desperation. No one wants to be a cheerleader for a losing side; they want to be part of the winning team.

Stick to the great things

online dating profile tips and great dating photos 004It doesn’t matter how keen you are to find a partner, how many times you’ve been burnt in the past or how much you know what you don’t want, stick to the great things you have and the even greater things you want to have.

Saying on your profile that you’ve just come out of a difficult divorce or that you don’t want someone who plays head games for example, will do nothing but put people off writing. It simply declares that you’re carrying giant, heavy trunks of baggage and anyone who dates you is going to be in for a rough ride.

A happy life

Your profile should read like an advert for a happy life. It should look like a real estate ad that lets readers imagine how happy they’ll be if they dating advicecan just get past the admissions committee and win a chance to live with you. Of course, no one really believes that what they see in the ad is going to be completely perfect in real life. Every property has dust in the attic or cobwebs in the corner but no realtor puts that in the brochure.

Your profile should sell the joys of a life with you. You can then choose which person actually gets the sale. By the time your new partner finds the cobwebs and the dust, they’ll already be sold enough to look beyond it. So keep the negatives out and accentuate the positive.

We said that the idea of your profile is always to get as many prospects as possible but that doesn’t mean you want timewasters. If you’re looking for a serious relationship with someone, you don’t want your inbox bothered by people looking for quick flings. The best way to keep out the people you don’t want to meet—without putting up a sign that’s also going to put people off that you might want to meet—is to simply keep all references to sex off the profile.

 Your online name

That includes the name you choose as your online identity.

One of the biggest mistakes that you can make when dating online is to choose a tag that reveals your real name—or to choose a name that puts across the wrong message.

Names like SexyAngel, Hot4U or Randyandy can say far more than you intended.

It’s much better to create a bland name with a string of strange numbers than to try to attract passing singles with a tag that says more than you want. If you think your name is creating the wrong impression, it’s worth making the effort to change it. Unless you’re looking just for sex, never refer to sex on your profile.

Another important thing you need to know…get good dating profile pictures

13Having  great dating profile pictures is the single most important thing you can do when dating online, so visit LookBetterOnline and find out why more than 98% of our customers get better dates, and see how with great online dating photos we can help make your online dating experience successful and more fun than you thought possible!

 

Stand out from the crowd! The Perfect dating profile part 2

In Part one of our article we spoke about what to put on a profile about you and what to leave out.

Describing Your Ideal Date

Writing about yourself is actually the easy bit. At least you know who you are and what you’re like.
Writing about someone you’ve never met requires a whole new bag of skills.

The goal here is to come up with a description that does three things:

  • Shows originality;
  • Describe the person you’d like to meet;
  • Invite anyone you might like to meet to send you an email.

Of these, the first is the least important and the last is the most important.

Lots of emails

When you first post your profile, you want to get as many emails as possible. If you find that you’re getting too many responses, then you can rewrite your description so that it’s a bit more selective. In practice if that happens, you’ll probably be too busy dating to bother looking at your profile again.

The best way to approach writing about your ideal date then is to forget about trying to picture your dream person and describing them. The factdating profile tips and online photos 003 is, your ideal person probably doesn’t exist but there are plenty of great people online any one of whom would make you extremely happy.

But how can you describe a whole bunch of real people you haven’t met? Clearly you can’t. And describing personality traits that you quite like is likely to be either too exclusive or too inclusive. Most people think of themselves as having integrity and compassion, and believe that they’re kind and considerate. Saying that you want someone who knows how to listen will cut your ideal person down to about… everyone.

Similarly, you might quite like the idea of settling down with someone who likes budgies as much as you do but it’s unlikely to be a deal-breaker and you could be just as happy with someone who doesn’t give a hang about birds.

Instead of trying to describe an imaginary person, it’s best to take a different tack: describe what you’d like that person to do for you or what you’d like to do with them:

My Ideal Partner:

My ideal partner would be smart, warm and witty, up for trips to the San Francisco Asian Art Museum and down with getting dirty on a muddy Sequoia trail. She’ll be happy to stay in and sip coffee, to cuddle up on the sofa with a good book or two and ready to try Yoga, strange types of massage and the kinds of mushrooms you only find in farmers’ markets.

The big idea then is to use the space given over to describing your ideal date to describe the things that you like to do. After all, ideally you’re looking for someone who’s prepared to share your life and fit in with your habits. You don’t really want to meet someone who hates everything you like and with whom you have nothing in common.

Again, being specific about what you want and what you like will let your personality shine through. It will show that you’re an interesting person and it will let a potential date picture you together doing fun, exciting things. A good Ideal Partner description should act like an open invitation to people who like the things that you like to write in and ask to join you.

In part 3 we’ll cover what things you should NEVER put in  a profile and

 

Think About This!

Having great online dating photos is the most important thing you can do when dating online, so visit LookBetterOnline and and see how with great profile pictures we can help make your online dating experience successful and more fun than you thought possible!

Stand out from the crowd! The Perfect dating profile part 1

What To Put On A Dating Site Profile… And What To Leave Out

Your dating site profile is the most important tool you have to find love online—and fast. It’s the identity that you put forward to other online daters, it’s what people see when they’re looking for people like you and it’s all you’ve got to make a first impression and pull in the proposals.

No Exaggeration

While its true that outstanding photos are the key to online dating success, a well written dating profile makes a difference too. In this 3 part series on profile writing tips we’ll show you how to get it right!

It’s not an exaggeration to say that all that lies between you and the end of your single days is partly to do with the skill with which you complete your profile.

The kind of information that you’ll be asked to reveal about yourself will vary from service to service. Dating sites put a huge amount of effort into coming up with the right questions to make matching easy without putting off new members. Some sites for example, will ask you to tick just a handful of boxes and write one short paragraph. Others will have section after section that grill you about your personality, your interests, your hopes and your history.

Fill it all in

In general, it’s a good idea to complete all the sections of a dating site profile however many they may be. You don’t have to do it all in one sitting and you can certainly come back to fill in the gaps later, but as long as you have spaces in your profile that remain unfilled you can give the impression of looking evasive and less than completely serious.

The good news

The good news is that the bulk of the profile won’t take long to complete. Even the most demanding sites don’t ask you to write more than three or four mini-compositions about yourself and your ideal date, and the majority of just about any dating site profile is always a series of checkboxes about your likes and dislikes and mostly they help the site’s matching engine far more than the dater looking for a match. The fact that someone likes jazz more than rock, or comedies more than documentaries, doesn’t really tell you whether they’re going to like you—or whether you’re going to like them.

A few checkboxes though are important. When you come to tell the world the age range of the person you’re looking for, it’s important to be realistic. Many men in particular like to think that because there are so many women on the Internet, they can use it as a way to meet women half their age. That’s not impossible but at best it’s going to need a long wait and at worst, it’s going to be a complete waste of time.

All sorts of people

Online dating can bring all sorts of people together. It can certainly match people up who are looking for something very specific—and even a little unusual. But when you begin looking for someone online, you want your dating profile to be as inclusive as possible. Once the emails come in, you can then start to focus on the most attractive responses. If you’d like to meet someone in their early twenties for example but would also be happy with someone in their mid-thirties then it’s best to choose a wide age range that casts a big net than focus on one particular group and change when you feel you’re not having any luck.

Be Honest

When it comes to describing your own age range though, honesty is always the best policy. There’s always a temptation for online daters in their early-somethings to shave a few years off and slip back into an earlier decade. It happens a lot (and it’s a good reason to be suspicious of people who claim to be aged 29 or 38 etc.) But it’s just not worth it. At some point you will have to spill the beans and spilling them in front of someone you really want to impress is far worse than being honest to someone you haven’t met and might never meet. If the passing single really doesn’t want to date someone your age, it’s best not to meet them at all than date them and get the rejection face-to-face.

How To Write Descriptions That Stand Out From The Crowd

You shouldn’t really have to think about the tick-boxes too much. What you will have to think about though—before you even begin typing your description in the text-box—is what you want passing online singles to know about you right from the beginning.

Just about every dating site—even those with minimal profiles—have space for you to write about yourself and the person you’d like to date.

This is one of the most important parts of the profile. It’s the one chance you get to use your own voice and describe exactly what makes you tick and what you’d like to make your heart tick faster. How you describe yourself, the parts of your personality you choose to describe and the words and phrases you use to put yourself forward can either help you stand out from the online crowd or make you look like just another online hopeful.

A description that attracts singles, invites emails and gets your dating life rolling faster.

It’s important to remember that whatever you mention on a profile will always look far more important than it does in real life. You carry a whole range of different identities, characteristics, likes and dislikes. When you meet someone, they meet the whole package at once; no one aspect of who you are dominates. When someone sees your profile, they only see what you choose to put on it—and those few facts will paint completely their picture of you.

Be careful on what you focus

If you mention specifically that you’re a vegetarian for example, meat-eaters will assume that you’ve mentioned it because you don’t want to date one of them. After all, why did you highlight what you eat and not the fact that you like reading thrillers or watching CNN? If you say that you’re a conservative, liberals will believe that you’re only looking for a small-government type, otherwise why bother putting your political views front and center?

Readers Assume

Because they don’t know anything else about you, readers will assume that what they see on the profile is not just one part of you, but the most important part of you.

That means before you even begin filling in the spaces, you have to decide which parts of your life you want to highlight and which parts you want to hold back and slip into the conversation during the first date.

Some things will always be worth highlighting

Such as the fact that you have a child at home or that you have a disability or that you spend every spare minute looking after an aged parent. Parts of your life that you can’t negotiate should certainly be included on your profile and not hidden. That way your profile won’t just be a net to catch free-floating singles, it will also have holes big enough to let out the fish that you wouldn’t want to waste your time trying to catch anyway. If someone isn’t looking to become a stand-in parent, it’s best to let them know that that’s included in the job description right from the beginning.

Picking out the other characteristics to include in your self-description though is a little trickier. You only have a few hundred words to give potential dates a taste of who you are, and while that’s very little space to sum up your entire personality, it does keep the whole thing mercifully short.

The easiest way

The easiest way to write a great description is to use a tight structure that covers the most important parts of your personality, lets people know a little bit about you—and makes them curious to find out more.

The most basic structure you can use has three short paragraphs. The first paragraph will talk about your work—the part of most people’s life that takes the most time; the second paragraph will discuss what you do in your free time; and the third paragraph will talk about your personality:

Self-Description—Type 1

I work as a tax attorney but I try not to talk about work too often. Few people let me. The work is actually less boring than it sounds and there are times I even catch myself wide awake in the office. I promise not to discuss work on a first date (unless, of course, you insist.)

Fortunately, I’m not the kind of person who can call my work my hobby. My hobby is sailing. I have a fifteen-foot boat that I take out on the sound most weekends. There’s room — and sail-work — enough for two and the views of the town from the sea are fantastic. If you’ve ever fancied taking a slow, very cramped, boat to China, I’m sure we could arrange something.

I find that I laugh at an odd mixture of things. Tom and Jerry still cracks me up, but so does Groucho Marx, the captions in the Economist and Section 342, Paragraph c of the corporate tax code. (That one makes milk come out of my nose). I do laugh a lot, but I also listen a lot too and I get a kick of helping when I can. I can be thoughtful, passionate, inhibited, sensitive and opinionated — but only in a nice way.

That’s a basic model for an effective self-description.

The first paragraph answers the first question that most people ask when they meet someone new: “What do you do?”

You don’t have to go into great detail—and it’s rarely a good idea to go into detail—but describing your occupation is an easy way to introduce yourself and get the description rolling. You should also describe how you feel about your job (remember, no one’s going to know who you are so there’s no danger that your boss will read it and make you change your description to ‘unemployed’). But you should still stay positive; no one likes to go out with a whiner. If you don’t like your job, you can say something like: “Right now I’m working in sanitation so I’d be a liar if I didn’t say my job stinks. It does. But it’s fine until I finish medical school and can start treating sick people. (I promise to wash my hands first).” If you’ve got nothing good to say about your job—or you don’t have one—then the best bet is to say nothing and talk about the job you’d like to do.

For the second paragraph, simply pick the one activity that takes up most of your spare time. It doesn’t matter what that activity might be. In general, good—and easy—topics for this paragraph include your favorite sports activity, your top-choice hiking destination or the place you most like to kill an afternoon with a cup of coffee and a good book.

Be honest. If your evenings, weekends and holidays seem to be filled with reruns of I Love Lucy or trips to the zoo with your son, don’t try to hide it. You can mention it, boast about or make a joke about it. On the other hand if you’re a bit embarrassed by the fact that your spare time seems to be eaten up by the Playboy channel, you can pick the activity that takes up the second largest amount of free time.

The one general rule that’s always worth keeping here is to be as specific as possible. Don’t say “I like reading”; say “I like reading the early novels of Zhang Ailing — she’s a bit maudlin but I just love her introspection.” Instead of saying “I like to spend Saturdays hiking,” say: “On Saturdays, I tend to head up around Los Olivos, taste a bit of wine and see if I can wear a hole in my boots.” The more specific your description, the more you’ll give a taste of who you are and not just what you like to do.

The third paragraph of this model is the toughest. It’s always hard to pick out aspects of your personality and character and describe them. It’s almost unnatural. No one ever does this. You might tell someone what you like to do in your spare time. You almost certainly tell people what you do for a living. But only for matchmaking services are you expected to describe your personality; usually people make their own minds up—and then keep their opinions to themselves.

There is always a temptation here to begin by saying, “Friends say that I’m…” or “I’ve been known to be…”. It’s an easy solution but it’s a bit dull and shows a lack of imagination. Probably about half of all dating site profiles grab at that straw. A better bet is to grab the bull by the horns.

A positive impression

online dating profile tips and great dating photos 004Starting by talking about what makes you laugh is always a good way to make a positive impression. Again, be specific and cover the full range. If slapstick makes you giggle, put it down. If Woody Allen gets you going, put that down too. It doesn’t just tell a potential date what kind of humor they can expect from you, it also tells them that you’re the kind of person who laughs easily.

To round the description off, you can pick up a thesaurus and find yourself a handful of cool descriptions that describe the bits you didn’t cover. Steer clear of the kind of boring clichés that you can find on just about every profile. Using the kind of words that people don’t use every day shows off your education, moves you out of the pack and makes your profile a more interesting read.

A profile like this is pretty straightforward. An alternative method is to be a little more creative. Instead of using three paragraphs, you can do the whole description in two, starting with a general comparison before moving onto a specific event that gives an idea of who you are:

Self-Description—Type 2

I’ve always wanted to have the cool sophistication of Cary Grant, the laid-back loucheness of Johhny Depp and general oddness of Ewan McGreggor. I think I just got the oddness right but without landing the nifty accent.

It’s probably because I’ve never been to Scotland. I have been to Africa though. I spent a year there with the Peace Corps digging wells for villages. They took us to holes in the middle of nowhere and made us dig more holes in the middle of nowhere. I’ve never seen so many people made so happy by something so simple. If I could spend the rest of my life making people that happy, I would be a very happy man too.

Again, this is a very simple model that’s very easy to copy. It contains just two ideas but that’s enough to attract interest.

The first paragraph

For the first paragraph, try to think of three celebrities that you resemble or would like to resemble. That will leave the reader not just with some idea of who you are but who you’d like to be and the kind of style you admire.

The second paragraph

For the second paragraph, pick one incident in your life that you found particularly meaningful. Ideally, it should be something unique and interesting: the most fascinating thing that you ever did in your life. If you once climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, then find an excuse to write about it. If you took a cruise to Antarctica and it made you think deeply about the environment, write about that too

Remember though, this one event is going to stand for your entire personality and leave a lasting impression in the reader’s mind, so whatever you write about it has to be something that made you the person you are.

If you say that your service in Desert Storm led you to think deeply about international conflict and led you to return to school in order to study international relations, anyone who writes to you after reading your profile will want to meet that internationally engaged person. If you’ve changed your mind since then, there’s a good chance that your first date is going to be a little disappointing for both sides.

One event

Try to think of one event in your life that sums up your personality, and writing your self-description should be a breeze.

A third way to write your self-description is to toss out the rule-book altogether. Instead of talking about yourself the way the dating site would like you to do, by laying out your details in neat paragraphs and sentences that lead from one to the next (just as we’ve described so far), you could interview yourself.

Questions

Think of five (or so) questions that you wish the site had asked and which you can answer easily, and list them in the self description:

Self-Description—Type 3:

Best thing I’ve ever said:

“What about Zambia?”

My biggest regret:

Agreeing to go to Florida instead of Zambia.

My favorite book:

Used to be Dr. Zhivago but lately I’ve been leaning away from the Russians. Probably now The Rock by Kanan Makiya.

Person I’d most like to have lunch with:

Gandhi. He was vegetarian like me. But he didn’t eat much so we could share.

Person I’d most like to be:

Kofi Annan because I like meeting people from around the world and I’m sure he has more influence than he’s letting on.

The biggest Advantage

The biggest advantage of using this model is that you get to say more by writing less. Each answer is just one sentence so you don’t have to beat your head against the wall trying to come up with nice flowing paragraphs. The questions also say as much about you as the answers and because you’re only going to ask questions that you can answer well, this kind of model doesn’t take long to write. Finally, on a site stuffed with paragraph descriptions your mini-interview should help you stand out as a creative thinker.

Think About This!

Before you get a date you need to attract someone special!
Having great online dating photos is the most important thing you can do when dating online, we all look at the photos first! so visit LookBetterOnline and and see how with great profile pictures we can help make your online dating experience successful and more fun than you thought possible!

Online dating Safety tips

Its not often that I ask my readers to pass on a blog article to their friends, but here’s an exception, if you know anyone who’s online dating then forward them this article or post it on your FaceBook Wall….It might save a friend of yours from becoming shark-bait!

How to Land the Catch of Your Life… Without Becoming Shark-bait

However you like to do it, dating can be a dangerous game. Not talking to strangers might be sound advice to give to kids but as a strategy to stop being single, it has at least one obvious drawback. Unless you want to marry your cousin, finding someone to settle down with will involve making eye contact with total strangers, engaging them in conversation and meeting them one-on-one.

Two dangers

There are two obvious dangers here. The first is that your new friend might appear to be a complete charmer but could actually be a cold-blooded philanderer with a record of heart-breaking. They’ll think nothing of leading you on, playing games and trampling over your emotions. That’s bad enough and you’ve probable had enough of people like that already.

The second danger is even worse, even if it is a great deal rarer. The attractive stranger that you meet in the bar could actually be an escaped convict from the local sanatorium. Instead of finding someone who makes you feel safe and secure for the rest of your life, you pick someone up who’s going to put your safety at risk and require you to take out a series of court orders and new alarm systems.

Although the chances of meeting someone like this online is extremely small, it is worth making the effort to be cautious. In this chapter, we’re going to talk about how to steer clear of this second group and stay safe online.

Anonymity Cuts Both Ways

When you meet someone in a bar, the initial pick-up is as much a safety check as it is a check-out. If you spot someone attractive sitting alone at the table next to yours, before you even give them a look—before you make any kind of contact at all—you observe them for a few minutes to see how they behave with the waiters, by themselves or with people who pass by. If they are rude, arrogant or just downright unpleasant, it doesn’t matter how much of a looker they are, you’re still going to look right on by. Only if you’re sure they’re a normal, civilized human being do you try to make eye contact, pluck up the courage to face rejection and make your move.

And once you do make that move, you’re always looking out for little signals that tell you that the person you’re talking to is less than normal. There are all sorts of clues to help you do that: the way someone dresses, the way they talk and their body language to name but a few—and you notice all of them without even realizing that you’re looking for them.

A cowboy hat and a Texas drawl for example, tell you instantly where someone is from and where they stand in the country’s cultural divide. Bleached hair and sentences that end with ‘dude’ tell you much the same. Nervous twitches, roaming hands and peculiar scratching all say something about the person you’re sizing up and help you make a decision about whether you should make a date or make an excuse

Face-to-face, you’ve got a ton of different signals that tell you huge amounts about the person you’re thinking of chatting to.

Online, you’ve got nothing to go on but what the person puts on their profile and writes in their email.

“Unlike real-life relationships where you have some idea of what a person drives, what they really look like, how they live, etc., online you have none of that,” says Lisa Hupman, a veteran online dater.“You give more trust than is actually due because you have no choice.”

 Little Choice

And the reason you have no choice—or more accurately, little choice—about the level of trust you give is that the main tool that protects you online is the same thing that protects the occasional nutcase who roams the Web: anonymity.

There is no way for two people who exchange emails online to know the real identities of the people they’re writing to. The email you receive lands in an inbox located on the site.

Bear no relation

The name you choose is one you create and should bear no relation to your real identity.

As long as you don’t let your real, full name slip out before you’ve built up a certain amount of trust, you start an online relationship fully protected by the fact that the person who writes to you has no idea who you are, where you live or how they can get hold of you outside the site.

When you date online, the dating identity that’s doing the looking exists only on the Internet. There’s a complete barrier between your online self and the real you—and that barrier is your best protection against any wacko you might be unlucky enough to meet online.

If you have the bad luck to meet a loony at a dating site, as long as you’ve kept your identity a secret, there’s no way that they can bother you in real life.

Of course, that works for them too. Because there’s no way for you to check the identity of someone you meet online, you’ve got no idea whether the doctor who sent you an email got his or her degree certificate from Harvard, as they claim, or ordered it from a website in Romania. You’ve got no idea if they were really working for the Peace Corps for the last two years or spent that time sewing mailbags in a state penitentiary. And you’ve got no idea whether the person who described themselves as passionate will leave you alone once you tell them you’re not interested or hang around outside your front door waiting for you to come home from work.

If only there was a checklist

It would be nice if there were a checklist that you could go through when you meet someone online. If they mentioned ‘knives’ more than three times in the first email, you could tick a box. If they mentioned that they served multiple sentences for violent crimes, that would lead you to tick another box, or if they talked about their friendship with Osama Bin Laden that would strike them out.

But it’s not that easy.

The best way to keep yourself safe online is to follow three simple rules: keep your anonymity as long as possible; remember that if something feels wrong, it probably is; and cut them out quick and completely as soon as you smell something fishy.

1. Keeping Your Name (And Everything Else) To Yourself

There’s no reason at the beginning of an online relationship for you to say who you are, where you work, where you live, what your telephone number is or any other identifying detail that you might later regret.

When you start exchanging emails, you can chat about your hobbies. You can talk in general about the kind of work you do. You can say that you like walking in Central Park or heading out to Sequoia. But tell someone you’ve never seen, never met and whose real name you don’t know that you live at 123 Killmenow Road, Apt. 103 and it’s certainly possible that you’ll have reason to regret it when you find yourself looking for a new apartment.

It’s enough to say that what they’re not supposed to do is draw out personal information that would allow your new pal to find you offline.

If they ask exactly where you work, you can just say a big law firm in the city or a clothes store in town.

2. If Something Looks Wrong, It Probably Is…

That’s because on the Internet, it pays to be suspicious.
The vast majority of the people you meet online will be as honest, direct and truthful as the people you meet offline. It’s unlikely that you’ll come across many angels who will lay out their entire life histories, warts and all, right at the beginning, but it’s also very unlikely that you’ll be unfortunate enough to come across any axe-wielding psychopaths or the stereotypical man masquerading as a woman—or vice-versa (most of those seem to have run off since the early days of the Internet).

For the most part, you’ll find that the vast majority of fibs you encounter on dating sites tend to concern age, weight, income and of course photo, with ten-year-old graduation photos passing as up-to-date snaps.

That’s certainly bad enough but it’s not a threat and you can decide, when you uncover the real story, whether the truth has been stretched beyond the bounds of forgiveness.

You can also get a feel for when someone’s lying online—even if you can’t see the way they behave when they’re spinning you a story and you can’t hear in their voice that not even they believe what they’re saying. It’s hard to keep a story straight and there are often little inconsistencies the tell you that something isn’t quite right.

If someone born in 1974 for example, talks about having been in their current job for twelve years and their previous job for fifteen, then that should set alarm bells ringing. If a potential date who claims on their profile never to have been married mentions a stay with ex-in-laws, that should raise a red flag. And if someone says they don’t like spending time with the police that should send out a serious warning.

These are exactly the kind of tell-tale signs that tell you that something isn’t quite right. And when you get those signs, it’s always a good idea to trust your instincts.

3. Cut Them Out Quick

We’ve already mentioned that you might come across two different kinds of deception online: the more common truthful economies that exaggerate positive qualities such as youth or wealth at the expense of complete honesty; and the total lies that obscure a character that likes to stalk, harass or otherwise make life miserable for their unfortunate victim.
When you come across the first type—and there’s a fair chance that you will come across the first type online, just as you’ll come across milder forms offline too—you can decide what you want to do. If you’re dealing with just a mild little exaggeration you might be willing to forgive them their trespasses (just you might be hoping that people will forgive you yours).

But if you get the feeling that the person you’re dealing with is even close to being on the dangerous side, the best thing to do is cut them out quickly.

Just about all dating sites allow you to block emails from members who are bothering you. Add them to your blocked list and if you’ve managed to keep your identity details secret, that should be the last you hear from them.

Don’t think twice

Don’t even think twice about it. With millions of people searching for singles online, with such a huge reservoir of people to choose from, there’s absolutely no reason for you to take any risks at all on the Internet. The dangers are just too great and the alternatives too many for you to bother with them.

Red flag waving

The moment you see even the slightest hint of a red flag waving, cut, run and move on to the next likely prospect. There are far too many fish in the sea for you to waste your time and your safety swimming with the sharks.

Millions of people have used online dating sites without ever coming across the slightest hint of danger, risk or deception. If you do see a flag, it’s more likely to be the light pink of a couple of years shaved off a birth date than the throbbing red of a psycho looking for a victim. While it’s perfectly possible—and even easy—for someone to misrepresent their qualifications online, it’s no less easy for you to protect yourself from any danger and look for someone more honest.

To keep safe online, and to protect yourself from nasty surprises such as lying Lotharios and deceptive divas, you’ll need little more than common sense and a sensitive nose for the whiff of deceit.

 

Another important thing you need to know…get good dating profile pictures

Having  great dating profile pictures is the single most important thing you can do when dating online, so visit LookBetterOnline and find out why more than 98% of our customers get better dates, and see how with great online dating photos we can help make your online dating experience successful and more fun than you thought possible!

Dating profile photo tips from a top Beverly Hills photographer.

Interview with a top Beverly Hills photographer

As we get lots of requests from people who want online dating photos in the Beverly Hills and Los Angeles areas, I thought I’d showcase one of our talented photographers in  Beverly hills, ask a her a few questions on preparing for a photo-session so that you can get the best dating profile photos possible!

los angeles photographers dating photo article 001

Meet Charlotte and her impressive resume.

With a background as an international photographer, Charlotte travels between Europe and the U.S. shooting people from all walks of life. She is equally enthusiastic photographing mega celebrities as she is regular folks.

Charlotte knows a thing or two about being in front of the camera herself and is always happy to guide you through the session and make it an altogether positive, relaxed and fun experience. Especially if you think you are the world’s least photogenic person and you absolutely loathe having your picture taken. She takes great pride in helping you present the best possible face to the world.

Some Questions for Photographer Charlotte

How should someone pose for online dating profile photos?
The customer’s only job is to show up and leave the rest to the photographer! Unless you are, in fact, a professional model, you are not required or expected to know any modeling poses at all, or know which one is your “best angle”. If you are fretting over real or imaginary flaws and how they will look on camera, just let your photographer know so that they have a chance to work around them during your shoot.

If we are doing a natural light session, don’t be alarmed if you get asked to pose in the most mundane location, like a doorway, back alley or garage entrance. The background won’t be noticeable in your headshot. It’s all about the best lighting for your face and what light makes your eyes “pop”

Remember that, by the time you arrive for your shoot, if you’ve decided what to wear and  done your grooming – there’s really nothing else to worry about. The only thing for you to do now is be yourself in front of the camera. So relax and have fun!

What should people do before the shoot?
Get everything together for the shoot well in advance, so you don’t have to worry about it on the day of the shoot. Put your freshly pressed clothes on hangers – not in a bag.
And Get a good night’s sleep. Stay off the alcohol. It will show on your face, the last thing you want to look is tired on your dating profile photos!

Any advice for the day of the photo-session?
Don’t wear any eye or sunglasses for a few hours prior to your photo session as they tend to leave marks on the bridge of your nose that even make-up can’t hide.

If you normally wear regular eye glasses, and would like to wear them in your pictures, it is very important that you bring a plain pair without photo-chromatic (darkening) coating, so that the camera can see your eyes. On the other hand, anti-reflective coating works well to cut flare.

Make sure you know how to get to the location where we will be shooting. Give yourself plenty of time in case of traffic. The last thing you want is to arrive late, flustered and in a hurry, since you need to be as relaxed as possible for the shoot. Arriving late, or not quite ready to start shooting, will cut into your session time, and chances are, there are other clients scheduled right after your session. So be punctual and we will utilize the time we have set aside to the fullest.

What would you say to people who know that they need great online dating photos, but aren’t sure if they are photogenic!
“If you have beautiful eyes, we”ll make them sparkle. If your mega-watt smile is what draws people in, we’ll make sure to capture that. You might not even know what your best features are – but we will find them! Everyone has something that is worth playing up in pictures, to capture the true essence of who they are. Never cheesy or contrived; we will simply concentrate on bringing out the very best of you.”

And it really works. As you look at the sample pictures here above, you might be surprised to learn that only ONE person had had any prior modeling experience. All the others were first-timers in front of the camera!

To see more of Charlotte’s work or book a photo session with her please visit
http://www2.lookbetteronline.com/Photographer_Beverly-Hills_3521_90210.html

 

Outstanding Dating profile photos for New Yorkers.

An Online dating photographer, a few questions and a tip

As we get lots of requests from people who want online dating photos in New York, I thought I’d showcase one of our talented photographers in New York, ask a her a few questions about dating profile photos and get you a tip on preparing for a photo-session so that you can get the best dating profile photos possible!

dating photographer melody 003

Meet Melody and her impressive resume

Melody is a native New Yorker, a fine art and portrait photographer, she regularly exhibits in galleries in NYC and currently has a one-woman-show at Pratt called “Beauty in the Beast”.

For the last two years she’s produced a cable TV show on MNN called Melody’s Media Mix. And in 2005, she won the award for outstanding photography and graphics instructor of the year from the Association of Graphic Communicators.

Melody has been a photographic and digital graphic instructor at Pratt Institute for 18 years, and teaches photography and the “digital darkroom” at CUNY.

An “on Location” Photographer

Melody is an “on location” photographer. “On location” means that rather than go to a photography studio that you meet the photographer in a relaxed out of studio location.

Some Questions for Photographer Melody

What Locations are perfect for taking Dating photos in New York City?
I have scouted many locations so that I have the perfect place no matter what the weather is doing! I love Interesting indoor/outdoor hotel lobbies, urban retail centers, private pocket parks, galleries, the Met, Central Park of course, Riverside Drive Park, by the Hudson River, and most recently, The High Line, a public park built on an historic freight rail line elevated above the streets on Manhattan’s West Side. Also I am always open to a suggestion of a special place you might like or feel comfortable.

Why do you prefer creating online dating photos for people on location?
I think that shooting outside of the studio environment get s people remarkable results when it comes to online dating photos. I think people can be more spontaneous, relaxed and at the same time stimulated by a non-studio environment for natural unposed expressions …often studio shots end up looking tense and posed and actually backfires on peoples wish to have a natural real and flattering photo of them when they choose an on location venue.

How do you make people feel comfortable when you take online dating photos?
I make people comfortable with relaxed humor. I will talk to you while I am shooting, like a director might, trying to evoke that special expression. I try for that you’re-at-a-party-and-someone’s-called-your-name-and-you’re-looking-over-and- laughing look.

Even if you never had professional photos taken, (and most people have not) you will have a relaxing and fun experience while getting to discover your best, and sometimes hidden,

A Tip for preparing for a photo-session from Melody
One tip I have is that prior to a photo session is to take the time to wear the clothes that you want to be photographed in front of your mirror! Find out which clothes make you feel more confident when you’re wearing them, don’t wear new clothes for the first tie when at a photo-session, look at yourself wearing them in the mirror. Your photos are important so take the time to prepare and bring a compact mirror and lint roller with you, but most of all bring a smile and know that I’ll be helping you relax and bring out the real you!

To see more of Melody’s work or book a photo session with her please visit
http://www2.lookbetteronline.com/Photographer_New-York_1615_10003.html