The Perfect Juggler’s Guide to Dating – Setting Up Your Profile.
Despite my last post about dating I have managed to put together a dating profile or two in my time. There are a lot of apps and sites out there and after 4 years of being single I have tried quite a few. Most have worked in one way or another. All lead to messages, likes, flirts and every now and again a successful date or two! I read books and articles and learnt a lot through trial and error.
I remember setting up my first profile. I had no idea what to write or which photos to add. It was overwhelming and a scary foray into the unknown. My friend dictated most of it via 100 text messages one evening and I edited and finally pressed submit. So, to make it less scary for you, here’s my guide on how best to set yours up.
My first tip – don’t lie.
Your dating profile may be in virtual reality but, if you are looking for anything other than a pen pal, at some point you will want to meet a person in real life. If you have put that you are a Heidi Klum look a like and ‘borrowed’ a few pictures from her Instagram. Or used photos from 2002 when you last fit into your size 8 jeans, then you’re likely to start a date off on the wrong foot. Similarly, if you said you love dogs and your date brings along his pooch to your casual meet up at the park, then coming out in hives from your pet allergies probably wont get you a second one.
Usernames don’t actually matter that much.
Don’t agonise too much over it. I’d probably recommend not going for hornylady69 or iloveknitting75 but pick something and don’t worry too much about it. Is your hair curly? Go with curlygirl. Do you drive a VW campervan, go for VWVanFan. Love Game of Thrones? Then by all means call yourself Daenerys123 or motherofdragons (to be fair, as a mum that’s probably not far from the truth!).
Choose natural photos
Sadly your photos are what will catch people’s attention. Internet dating is a fickle world, but I recommend you accept this and move on quickly. Picking photos is painful, I know. I used to delete all photos I saw of me because I looked hideous. But then the front facing camera arrived, and then filters, and the whole world changed.
Just to be clear, I am not condoning trout pouts and snapchat filters and never will, they are not attractive. However, I am condoning finding what works for you. Practice makes perfect and a gentle Valencia filter always helps to blur any eye bags or stress spots. A full on toothy grin may not be for you but try and look happy, even a mini side-smirk will work if its ‘you’.
Ideally try and get 3-5 photos of you. If you have pics of you mountain climbing and skydiving then be my guest and add them, but only if you actually enjoyed it. Photos with friends are ok but make sure they don’t mind being on there or blur them out. If you do have a furry friend then a cute pic of them cant hurt either. I mention babies and children below.
Don’t write too much
Depending on which dating site or app you are signing up to, whether it be a well known national one or a more local one like the Lincolnshire dating site, the Nottinghamshire dating site, the Suffolk dating site, the Sheffield dating site or the Southampton dating site, I would always recommend you write something in your profile.
Too long and not many people will read it all. Too short and people will think you a) cant be bothered b) aren’t that interesting or c) you aren’t looking to find out anything about one another except what you look like naked. One, or all of these may be true but I would still recommend writing something.
The easiest thing is a quick like/dislike list. You are free to make this as long or as short as you like. This can also give you an opportunity to drop some humour in there or something a bit left field which is a good conversation starter.
If this doesn’t feel right for you then stick with a two paragraph blurb. The first one about you, the second one about what you’re looking for. You could ask a friend to help you with this if you’re rubbish at selling yourself. You can be as in depth as you like but I would always recommend that you…
…but never use these word in your profile. Along with adventurous, wild, ‘will try anything once’ or ‘open to new things’. They pretty much all mean that you are ready to pop down to Ann Summers, buy their most revealing latex ensemble and fanciest whip and go from there. Or it will mean you get couples approaching you for extracurricular activities where three is not a crowd!
Decide how you’re going to play the ‘mum’ thing.
Lets be honest, being a mum and dating is never going to be an easy mix so you have to decide how you want to play it. Do you want to be upfront so the guys know straight away? Do you want to be open and maybe catch the eye of a single dad who would like to meet someone who knows what ‘it’ is like? Do you want to date just as a single woman before you drag the rest of your life into it or do you want to test the waters before disclosing this part of you to the male population in your area?
Only you can decide how comfortable you feel with giving out this information in your profile and if not then, how and when you would tell a potential date that you do have children. I refer back to my first tip though and I would say its probably easiest not to lie if asked. Then at least everyone knows where they stand.
I would however, warn against using pictures of your children on your profile. Yes, they are cute and they are your pride and joy but you don’t know the men that are on the site and sadly they’re not all going to be good guys. So safeguard your children and yourself and leave them off there. If a guy is interested you can show him photos on your third date when you’ve had a chance to suss him out.
Lastly I would just tell you to relax.
Don’t get too caught up in the scary unknown side of it. You’re signing up to start dating again! That’s exciting! Yes there are some knob heads on these sites but just delete or block quickly and move on. I promise dating can be great fun.
No, it may not lead to a long term relationship straight away – although it could. But in the meantime you get the opportunity to meet people you wouldn’t have met otherwise. You get to dress up and go out and get treated like a grown up, not a 5 year old’s sidekick. You get to get those fluttery feelings in your tummy, even just for a little bit and you get to find out what you like and, more importantly, what you don’t like all over again. So relax and enjoy it, who knows what or who you will find.
Disclosure: I was commissioned to write this post.