The Web has infiltrated every aspect of life from applying for a job to ordering groceries. It’s no wonder that even the most intimate side of our lives, finding a date or a mate, has now attracted major attention in cyberspace.

The first step to a successful Internet fix up starts with your online profile and what you should, and shouldn’t, reveal to the less than perfect strangers who will read it.

5 Things You Need to Put in Your Profile

  1. The first is your basic details. Height, weight and age are always a good place to start. False advertising is a waste of everyone’s time and most people have at least a short list of deal breakers so you might as well be honest about the things you cannot change. If you’re just over five feet tall you won’t fool anyone by claiming to be six feet tall. Being upfront about the facts will save a lot of time.
  2. Include a reasonably current photograph that shows you happy, yet sincere. Avoid the vacant stare mug shot that looks like you’ve just violated parole for the second time.
  3. When it comes to the words you use to describe your interests and expectations remember that less is more. A few high impact phrases will attract favorable attention. Wordy diatribes will be glossed over on the way to another profile with more punch.
  4. If you have definite deal breakers of your own, you’ll eliminate a lot of weeding out by declaring them upfront. If children or smokers are among the top peeves you want to avoid in a relationship, you’ll be doing everyone a favor by saying so upfront.
  5. To stand out among the thousands of other “same old” profiles out there start by identifying something unique about yourself. Everyone likes long walks on the beach at sunset, dinner and movies. You’re more likely to be noticed for your abbreviated roller derby career than for your more mundane interests.

While you definitely want to put your best foot forward in your online profile, you are justified in holding back a few revealing details until some level of common ground is established. Consider those facts you would rather not have to deal with in another person. Use your own best judgment when choosing your first words.

3 Things You Shouldn’t Include

  1. Don’t get on your soapbox about your wacky political beliefs, religious prohibitions or stands on controversial topics. Even people who might share your beliefs will steer clear of radical first encounters. Besides, these are the topics that can spark lively conversations during those dry spells that can come up early in the dating process.
  2. Avoid references to past relationships, dysfunctional family members or unstable career prospects. Also taboo is any lengthy description of health problems or addictions. You want people to discover what they like about you before you reveal what they will have to put up with in order to be a part of your life.
  3. Do not outline a path to long term commitment. A first date is just that, the opportunity to see if there is enough substance to warrant a second date. Set your sights low enough to avoid chronic disappointment.

Internet dating can be a powerful tool in the hectic lives of people who can’t, or won’t, take the time to meet people in traditional ways. Maximize your results by knowing just how to present yourself.

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