How to Talk Yourself Up In Your Online Dating Profile

A woman writing an online dating profile.

Filling out an online dating profile is kind of like performing an audit of your personality, your interests, and your values. You’re essentially forced to acknowledge your talents and your triumphs head-on, which can be hard for some people. Completing your profile is an exercise in complimenting yourself, and that makes some people squeamish. But selling yourself doesn’t have to be uncomfortable—it can be fun.

What do you do for a living? What’s your ideal Saturday night? What interesting things make you a desirable and unique individual? If you have good responses to these questions, you owe it to yourself to make your answers shine. The online dating community will thank you. These are important questions that help your potential dates understand your likes and dislikes and decide if you’re a compatible match. Chances are, the things you pay close attention to when you evaluate others are the same things they’re using to evaluate you. And yet, some people tend to sell themselves short in their own profiles, or don’t recognize that certain details are attractive to others. They don’t give themselves enough compliments.

Why? Maybe they’re worried about revealing too much, or seeming too forward. While it’s important to make a good first impression, you can’t worry too much about how other people will perceive your profile information. Maybe you’re worried your PhD will make you seem brainy, or you’re hesitant to share that you have a child. These details—these compliments—are what make you, you, and your true self should be celebrated. As long as you’re honest with yourself when you fill out your profile, you’ll attract the right kind of people.

What is a compliment exactly? It can be anything from being a good listener to being an excellent dancer. They’re accomplishments people commend you on, traits you’re proud of, and achievements you’re working towards. Complimenting yourself might feel unnatural at first, but you aren’t making information up—you’re just showcasing the special parts of your personality.

Let’s look at two example sentences and compare:

Bio 1: Hi, I’m Janet. I work in accounting.

Bio 2: Hi, I’m Faith. I work in accounting, but my real passion is making people laugh, and my friends say I’m pretty good at it. The only thing funnier than my jokes is my laugh—it’s pretty loud.

Who would you rather go on a date with: Janet, or Faith? I’m willing to bet you’d choose Faith, because her profile reads as more interesting and human. There’s nothing wrong with working in accounting, but simply stating the fact is a little boring. Faith knows there’s more to her job than meets the eye, so she added a quick personal anecdote that you can ask her about. She also gave a nod to her loud laugh. Coupled with the photo on her profile, she’s helping you envision what she’s like in real life. You’d choose Faith because with just one sentence, she already seems dimensional.

You can do this too!

Don’t be afraid to elaborate on yourself in your profile like Faith did. You don’t have to stick to just the facts—you can pepper in anecdotes that help paint a clearer picture of your personality. When you compliment yourself, you realize your strengths and see what others find attractive about you. Then, it becomes easier to identify even more of your positive, desirable personality traits. Soon, you’ll have so much to say, you won’t know when to stop. I’m officially giving you permission to color outside of the lines on your online dating profile.

You might be hesitant because complimenting yourself can feel like gloating. And in a way—a good way—it is. But don’t think of it as bragging. Instead, think of it as packaging your strengths and personality traits. If done correctly, it’s like bragging rights you earned. When you venture into the online dating waters, talking yourself up isn’t boasting—it’s doing the work you came to do. Trust me: You’ll be much more likely to find the right match for you if you do a little selling.

So, this is my challenge to you: Give yourself a compliment. Hey, give yourself two or three compliments—the more the better. Take a minute to write a list of things you like about yourself, things you admire and accomplishments that you’re proud of. Then, see how what you wrote compares to the information you present in your online dating profile. If you’re clearly and honestly representing your strengths, good for you! If your strengths aren’t coming across that clearly in your profile, try adding one or two into the mix. If you see it, believe it and say it, others will, too.

Elizabeth Entenman

Freelance Writer

Elizabeth is a freelance writer, editor, and advertising copywriter in Brooklyn. Right now, she’s probably somewhere Instagramming her dogs.

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