My top three favorite hobbies of all time are reading, drawing, and re-doing my friend’s dating profiles.

Seriously, I get a little thrill out of lifting the veil to the world of other people’s online dating experiences. I generally know how women act and think — for the most part. But men? Ah. They think about dating in a whole other way. And then there are the worlds of other sexualities that I’ve barely scratched the surface of.

Either way, I love to figure out what works and what doesn’t for dating profiles.

And when it comes to something so personal to a person, it’s easy to want to err on the side of not hurting their feelings. But I am here to be real with you. Because I know the world of dating is vulnerable, sometimes exhausting, and can feel like a scary endeavor. No one wants to waste their time.

The good news is, you can do a few things to change your profile and make it work better for yourself without sacrificing who you are.

It just requires an honest look at your profile and determining if you’re guilty of any of the following:

You look awkward in all your photos.

As much as it sucks, your photos are the most significant determining factor of your profile. You want them to, you know, actually look like you, but a version of yourself that is real.

If you’re forcing smiles and looking like you’d rather be doing anything than taking a photo, then potential matches are picking up on that. Most likely, it’s not ending well for you.

Luckily, there is a relatively easy fix to this, but you’re going to need to take a tiny step out of your comfort zone.

Ask a friend to take photos of you.

This isn’t the 2010’s anymore. Dating apps are the norm. If you want to present an authentic version of yourself, you’re going to want some photos where you look natural and relaxed.

So buck up the courage to ask a friend to take a few photos of you. Have a conversation with them during the shoot; smile, laugh, do goofy things. The more you can just be calm and be you, the better the photos will turn out.

 

You write what literally everyone else does.

I don’t want you to think of online dating as a competition, it’s not.

At the same time, you can’t write what everyone else says and expect great results.

Really take some time to figure out what makes you you. Talk about any unique hobbies you have. Mention a life-changing trip you one time took.

Let your personality shine through. If you’re funny, make a joke. If you’re philosophical, add in your favorite quote.

Just please, whatever you do, don’t write about your love for hiking and brunch.

You’re trying too hard to be cool.

Going back to the idea of being authentic; don’t try to act like the coolest person on Tinder.

You’re not. And that’s ok.

Instead, just be yourself. Post photos of you being natural and doing things you love. Write in a way that you talk with your friends.

But also don’t try to fill your profile only with pictures of you with baby tigers and shark diving off the coast of Africa.

People will pick up on inauthenticity quickly.

You have nothing on your profile.

Let me make a few things clear about online dating:

It’s a scary endeavor solely based on the fact that you’re meeting a stranger.

So many people use dating apps nowadays that you need to stand out in your own genuine way.

Fake profiles and catfishes are very real.

Given all of the above, I hope you can understand why having nothing on your profile but one or two photos is not going to work.

People want to know you’re a real person, get a sense of who you are, and feel comfortable talking to you. You don’t need to add an entire autobiography, but I’d say at least three pictures, and a few tidbits about yourself is necessary.

 

You put emojis over people’s faces.

It’s weird and invokes a lot of questions.

Who is that person?
Why did you feel the need to cover up their face?
Do you feel ill will towards said person?
Why couldn’t you choose a different photo?

If you love a photo of yourself and someone is in it, just use the picture. If the photo contains your ex and you feel weird having it on your profile, then don’t use it, no matter how good you look.

Putting emojis over people’s faces is just plain weird. The only exception is that you want to maintain the privacy of someone in your photo but, again, dating profiles are all about first impressions.

 

Your profile is only selfies.

There’s nothing wrong with a selfie or two.

But there is a negative connotation when all of your pictures are selfies. It seems a bit narcissistic. And really does say much to your personality or what you love to do.

If you only have selfies, then I suggest the friend trick I explained above. If you have other photos, please use them.

You’re not doing yourself a favor by seeming like a person who loves to look at their face staring back at them on their phone.

Add some variety; you’ll be happy you did.

If you aren’t getting the matches you want or are falling flat on making any dates happen, consider these few tweaks.

The important thing to always remember, though, is staying authentic to who you are. If you’re serious about dating, portraying yourself as anyone but your authentic self isn’t going to work well in the long run.

 

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