Dating coach Connell Barrett answers your questions on how to write a dating profile and how to make sparks fly on first dates.
Photos are the most important piece of real estate on your dating-app profile, but if you’re not getting the kinds of matches you want, odds are you have to learn how to write a dating profile that resonates with women.
The first rule of online-dating success (after having great photos): Write a Badass Bio!
But sadly, most dating-app bios suffer from a dreaded case of I-Like-Long-Walks-on-the-Beach-itis.
They’re dull, have no personality, and they read like a résumé.
1: Clarity. Women want to burn minimal mental calories while reading about you. If you confuse, she will snooze, and you will lose.
2: Personality! It should be light, fun, and authentic. Humor is a major bonus. Making her laugh is better than having six-pack abs. (Take it from me… I haven’t seen my abs since I ran track in high school…)
3: Positivity. Good vibes only. This rule is unbreakable.
4: Brevity. Less is more. But don’t write NOTHING.
5: Sincerity and heart. Let her glimpse the real you, with specifics. Use some “chick bait,” that is, stuff that women are drawn to: chocolate, dogs, yoga, champagne, the beach, surfing, a cool job, delicious foods such as guacamole. (One study by the dating app Zoosk noted that men who mention guac on their profile saw their match rate increase by 144 percent on average.)
6: A call to action, such as a fun question (“Would you rather date: Tyrion or Jon Snow?”) or telling her what she should do. (“Swipe right if you love Pop-Tarts.”) More on the importance of a good call to action in a minute.
Negativity, such as listing what you DON’T want in a partner.
Any variation of “no drama.” Women hate this because it’s like saying, “Have no emotions and be perfect.” Most women who read “no drama” will immediately swipe-left.
Vulgarity. No f*cking bad language… capeesh, mother-truckers?
No blank bios. Write something! If you leave your bio blank, she’ll consider you a blank.
Fat-shaming, slut-shaming, bi-shaming, and STI-shaming (e.g., referring to yourself as “clean”). This won’t work, it’s gross, and may get your profile shadow-banned or outright banned. And it’s VERY HARD to get back on a dating app after you’ve been booted.
And here’s another important tip, when it comes to learning how to write a dating profile.
Be Captain “Hook.”
The first sentence is the most important part of your bio, on apps like Tinder and Bumble. (Hinge is a different beast, where there’s no bio—just various prompts.)
I call it the hook. If your first line doesn’t hook her interest, she may bounce and find someone who’s got more to offer.
Things to avoid are clichés, like “giving this a try” (well, duh!) and “seeking a partner in crime” (don’t use this tired line, unless you’re an actual bank robber).
Generic greetings like “Heyy, whattup, ladies?” will fall pancake flat. Another turn-off? Writing “I’m bad at bios.” Umm, would you buy an iPhone if Apple’s slogan was “We’re bad at technology”?
And PLEASE… no quoting your favorite movie or TV show. (Great, you like “The Office” and “The Simpsons”—most of humanity does.)
Here’s how to write a good hook.
The best way to grab her attention is with a good quip. Make her smile. This is more art than science, so here are some examples my clients and I have had success with.
“DANGER! My profile *may* make you fall in love with me.”
Why it works: The all-caps breaks her pattern, and the “challenge” issued creates curiosity. You’re daring her NOT to keep reading.
“A man on the street and a dad bod in the sheets.”
Why it works: Even if she doesn’t know the Usher song lyric that this alludes to, it’s silly and self-effacing. Most guys brag on Tinder. You’re talking up your dad bod.
“I’m 6'2", so I’m the perfect big spoon.”
Why it works: It combines two things women love: tall guys and spooning.
“My million-dollar idea: Pulled. Pork. Ice cream.”
Why it works: Just plain stupid, in the best way. If she laughs, she’ll keep reading.
“My heart is bigger than Kanye’s ego.”
Why it works: A snarky dig at Kanye while saying, “I’m a good guy.” That’s an attractive combo.
“Back in my day, we made booty calls on pay phones.” Why it works: A funny way to tweak Tinder.
Include a few details in your bio about you. What do you want women to know? What makes you different, awesome, a great catch?
Show (with specifics), don’t tell (with vagueness). “I live for rock climbing in Colorado” paints a clear picture. “I love to travel” or “I like the outdoors” says nothing.
End your bio with a fun call to action that compels her to match with you. This is especially important on Bumble, where women send the first message; you’re helping her write her opener to you. “Would you rather” questions work well because they’re playful and easy to answer.
Such as, WYR . . .
…have dinner with Lennon or McCartney?
…shower in Evian or swim in Cristal?
…date the Tin Man or Scarecrow?
…eat a potato, or BE a potato?
Calls to action can simply tell her what you want her to do, the same way we’re all told to “Call now!” or “Like and subscribe.” The secret? Make her want to swipe.
“Swipe right if you love Ben & Jerry’s.”
“Swipe right if you’re too sexy for this app.”
“What kind of puppy should I get? Message me!”
“Tell me… Thin-crust or deep-dish? (Pressure. There IS a right answer.)”
Learning how to write a dating profile is trickier than it looks. But if you follow all of these guidelines, and write a great hook, you’ll “hook” more women’s interest, and get a LOT more matches and dates.
I’ve been reading a lot of tips and advice—including your book, which I loved! But I have a problem. I get a lot of dates, which is awesome, but I feel very “shoved in my head” during the dates. It’s hard to keep all these moves and techniques straight in my mind. This results in me not having fun or feeling confident, and I’m not getting second dates. How do I smash out of the first-date friend zone, while also feeling loose and confident?
—Robert, 29, Philadelphia
Robert, you need to think less, and give you next date a present: your presence.
Look, I get into theory and practical advice as much as any guy—hey, I literally wrote the book on it! But on a date, you need to clear your mind of the 127 pointers you’ve soaked up and just be present with her.
How? By embracing the “essence of the craft.”
The term comes from a top mental-game coach named Jim Fannin, who’s trained elite athletes such as Alex Rodriguez. Fannin also coached me.
Fannin teaches a concept called “the essence of the craft.” He has top athletes distill complex tasks into one simple phrase so that they don’t overthink things. At the plate, A-Rod used to tell himself, “I hit the ball flat with an accelerated bat.”
When you’re interacting with a woman, the last thing you need is to try to remember tons of tips and techniques. Your most attractive, authentic, awesome self will have a clear mind.
To get into the moment on dates and keep things simple, create a short mantra (10 words or less) that captures the essence of the first-date craft for you. Here are three that me and my clients have used for better dates.
“Be authentic and make her smile.”
“Flirt, connect, and have fun.”
“Learn what makes her fascinating, while being your real self.”
If you’re real and can put a smile on her face, there’s a great chance for a romantic connection. Plus, these reminders shift your mind away from your insecurities and doubts and lets you focus on giving her a great time.
There’s nothing wrong with learning tips and moves. But when you’re with a girl on a date, keep things simple. Embrace the essence of the craft.
The right moves will arise, as needed. Get out of your head and into the moment.
Give her the present of your authentic presence.
Connell Barrett is a dating coach for men who helps clients attract women and find the woman of their dreams. His book Dating Sucks But You Don't provides important dating advice to get you started. Connell has appeared on the Today Show, Access Hollywood, and more. Book a complimentary call with Connell here.
NYC Dating Coach Connell Barrett
106 W 32nd St, New York, NY 10001