I need help with my online dating profile

by singlemomseeking on December 4, 2008

I’m thinking about giving online dating another try. But my profile is one year old — and it clearly needs a tune-up. Can you help me out here?

Let’s face it: if you’re browsing online profiles — whether you’re a man or a woman — you look at the photos first. (If you don’t agree, I’m not sure about you!)

After this, a catchy username might make you pause. And then, there’s the headline. It has to be compelling. Do you agree?

I’m definitely not keeping my former online headline, which went like this: “Are you honest, with a big heart, and no addictions?”

Here’s my favorite so far:

“Single mom seeking single dad…”

I think it’s clear and to the point. But one of my girlfriends has already told me: “You’re being WAY too exclusive! What if he’s a great guy, but he doesn’t have any kids?”

(Note to JDate: I wish you had a way I could search for a man with kids, the same way you can search for certain location, age, etc.)

Your turn: If you have an online profile, what’s your headline? I would love to hear it!

If you were previously online, what was your headline?

And if you’re thinking about trying online dating, let’s hear your headline ideas!

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{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

Alicia December 4, 2008 at 7:20 pm

Rachel, my friend; IMO, you’re over-thinking the headline.

Unless the headline sounds offensive or desperate, it will probably be fine. And need I remind you-you are a writer! The most important part of the profile is a great pic w/ a great smile (you won’t have a problem w/ that either!) Also, try to keep your blurb short & to the point. Let ‘em know you mean business, but in a lighthearted way.

Only giving this advice because I’m trying to commit to finding that someone online, as I’ve given up on “conventional” methods of meeting someone. It’s better than the alternative-waiting for Mr. Special to magically appear on my doorstep!

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Phil December 4, 2008 at 7:34 pm

I agree with Alicia – the headline isn’t all that important. Like you said, the photo is the grabber… and you are very photogenic.

I never had a good headline, so I won’t suggest any alternatives, but I would suggest shortening it to just “Single Mom Seeking…” unless you really only will date single dads.

Definitely don’t use the “no addictions” line! It sounds like you are the recovering addict.

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Trish December 4, 2008 at 7:43 pm

I kinda liked my headline when I was in the world of online dating:

“Sick of playing solitaire.”

It came to me while I was playing solitaire.

Catchy headlines always grabbed my attention…guys that have a creative and amusing way with words is a big turn-on for me. (Maybe because my ex was such a clod with the written word!)

Trish´s last blog post…You have GOT to be kidding me.

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Leah December 4, 2008 at 7:48 pm

Agreed with everything said…I think as much as possible…keep it light and positive. :) They can find out all about how intense we are later.

My headline is currently “Life is beautiful.” Maybe trite but sums up my philosophy!

Leah´s last blog post…Lavender oil on my fingertips.

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Crazy Computer Dad December 4, 2008 at 7:52 pm

Photos are great, but the content of the profile is more important to me and I will look at profiles regardless of whether there is a picture or not. If I don’t like the profile it doesn’t matter what the picture looks like anyway. I never read headlines. I look at how people write, try to discover how they feel about themselves. Is there a lot, a little, what is revealed, what isn’t. Ultimatums are an instant page turner. People that come off as having been hurt a lot are also instant page turners. “Separated” is usually an instant page turner. Too much drama or too wild also turn me away because I can’t be either while being gainfully employed and seeing to the needs of my son.

And that would explain why online dating just doesn’t work out for me. After all that there really aren’t many people left.

It also means that you shouldn’t take anything I said as a suggestion to put or not put something in your profile.

:-)

Crazy Computer Dad´s last blog post…I really have a lot to say…

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Kerrie December 4, 2008 at 8:24 pm

I like a catchy headline…

When I had an online profile I used the Dalai Lama quote…

“Approach Love & Cooking With Reckless Abandon…”

Possibly not quite appropriate if you are using a Jewish dating site though.

Any mention of the word “baggage” was an instant page turner for me, especially the men who mentioned that they didn’t have any…(yeah, as if ??). I prefer to think of my life experiences as leading me to where I am today.

I also checked out profiles that didn’t have photos. I found that those I responded positively to were more than happy to email a photograph, that was fine by me.

It goes without saying that correct spelling, punctuation and grammar is a must.

Kerrie´s last blog post…Leaving On A Jet Plane…

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Denise December 4, 2008 at 10:35 pm

It’s funny, I’m about to post an ad online and was thinking the same thing, I need a catchy headline. I like yours, I was actually thinking of only dating single dads as well; being a single mom. Not sure yet, hoping an inspiration will come to me. Good luck!

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singlemomseeking December 4, 2008 at 11:11 pm

Denise: Send your possible headlines in… we can help! I’d love to hear your ideas.

Phil: Maybe it sounds exclusive… but after getting quite a bit of dating experience under my belt, I do feel that dads “get it.” Although it does sound more intriguing to say “Single Mom Seeking…” Hmmm.

CCD: Wow, you’re the first guy I’ve “met” who reads the profiles that don’t have photos. And if you put that shirt-less photo of yourself in Yosemite online — the one on your blog — I’m sure you’d have NO trouble (Just kidding! Kind of.)

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singlemomseeking December 4, 2008 at 11:13 pm

Trish and Leah:
I LOVE your headlines!!
“Sick of playing solitaire.”
and
“Life is beautiful.”

Alicia: what’s your headline? Let’s hear it?

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jeanie December 5, 2008 at 5:22 am

lol – over here, “password protected photo” worked for me – so my words worked, and when he got my picture he was doubly impressed.

My headline was: “I was wondering, what is your creative outlet?”

jeanie´s last blog post…Happy 2nd Birthday, blog

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Carolyn December 5, 2008 at 6:45 am

My Match headline:

“Looking for an irreverent, caring, passionate, honest soul. Or at least good company for lunch.”

I still have never had the never to make it a public profile. I prefer to finely hone it while avoiding putting myself out there. lol
But in fairness, I’m waiting until the divorce is final.

Carolyn´s last blog post…The One That Got Away

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Crazy Computer Dad December 5, 2008 at 6:45 am

yeah, but, I want women to appreciate me as a person, not just for my blond, blue eyed, strong, tall, and chiseled body. I don’t want to be just an objectified conquest. :-)

The sad reality is that the picture was taken 6 years ago…and while I like to stay in shape, 9 solid months of stress eating changes a person, even if they are fairly active. :-)

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debra December 5, 2008 at 7:04 am

My headline is ‘Looking for the Calvin to my Hobbes’. Some men do read the headlines, and I know that if they comment on the headline, and the explanation in my profile, that they have a pretty good sense of my general lighthearted, playful, active nature.

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JulieR December 5, 2008 at 7:30 am

My headline is “Define “natural” redhead…”

LOL

JulieR´s last blog post…I just want to thank you.

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avigail74 December 5, 2008 at 7:42 am

Ask a question that matches your passion–the last one was: Can you teach me how to sail?

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Phil December 5, 2008 at 8:34 am

A little off topic, but the worst headline I’ve seen was something like “City girl looking for sexy country boy” which would have been fine, but Match only shows about the first 25 characters. The abbreviated version read “City girl looking for sex”.

I emailed her to let her know. It was changed the next day.

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SingleDad December 5, 2008 at 8:53 am

Great headlines, I definitely look at the picture first, then the volume of the content. On the pictures, please show a balance of your activities. I like to see a little travel shot where it is close enough to see your face. Group shots are good too, but make sure there the viewer can identify you in the shot,(otherwise, he falls in love with your married friends!). I personally like family pictures; parents, siblings, even their own children gives me a sense that this woman is confident,centered and balanced. Avoid too many pictures from a distance or full body/bathing suit shots… I can only tell you that I enjoy a little imagination and some women show way too much skin and it can be a “buzz kill”….
I think it is really attractive in a woman who writes her profile with a little humor and refreshing reality. Like, “Hey, I’m trying to juggle my boxing class,my career, my kid and developing a social life; Jump in!”

Hope this helps, from the “Helpless, Clingy-Guy”

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singlemomseeking December 5, 2008 at 9:00 am

Kerrie:
I think Jewish men would LOVE
“Approach Love & Cooking With Reckless Abandon…”

SingleDad: Great photo ideas! Although I think everyone would agree that photos of a man with his arms tightly around a woman — when it’s not clear whether it’s his sister or his ex-girlfriend — are a turn off. Yes?

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Adrienne December 5, 2008 at 9:25 am

I like your headline…if you are really only looking for Single Dads. Otherwise just leave it Single Mom Seeking…
I have always been so fascinated by those that take such a big step on do the online dating thing. I once set up a profile on some single parent match site, never added a picture, never went back to the site to see if anyone ever looked at my profile. I guess you could say that I was not “committed” to the online dating process, huh? However, I NEED to DO something…I haven’t had a date, in God only knows how long! Lol!! Like my aunt used to say, “Well a man is not gonna just come knocking at your door out of the blue…”

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Kelly December 5, 2008 at 11:09 am

Mine says “Looking for a big heart and a nice smile”. I like a lot of the others in the comments much better though!

Kelly´s last blog post…Grown Up Time, Pricey Dog, Weekend Plans

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SingleDad December 5, 2008 at 11:23 am

I agree on the photos with opposite sex friends… Too risky and subject to interpretation when a guy is “groping” his ” female best friend” on a photo… I can say thats probably a “deal breaker”…. Love and Cooking with reckless abandon is cute, but I prefer, SingleMom Seeking.. you own it, now own up to it!

Nominations for Not-So Great Profile Name(s)
Male Category: “Big Hat, No Cattle” or “Big Truck, Little Boat”

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QTMama December 5, 2008 at 11:23 am

You know, you’ve got me thinking. I don’t know that I’ve ever thought much about anyone’s headline that much.

Mine use to be, “Yes, I Own My Own Car.”

*laugh*

Other than pictures, I’m thinking the meat of the profile is what I look for. Oh and if a dude has a picture of himself with a big fish or a dead deer or something? *Poof* Off to the next profile. I actually do read what they write, and I will weed out men that way as well. Many misspellings? *Poof* Off to the next one. Immediately speaks of sex? *Poof* Off to the next one. “No fatties” or “Must weigh under this amount” *Poof* I’m off to the next one.

So for you, I love the Single Mom Seeking Single Dad. Or, of course, THE Single Mom Seeking. ;)

QTMama´s last blog post…Thoughts of Things

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Susan December 5, 2008 at 11:59 am

How about “Single Mom Seeking…You?”

(Too cheesy?! It’s ok to say it, I’m not sure either!)

I honestly cannot remember what my last profile said, and it was less than a year ago! Hmmm, I guess I was relying on my smile and witty words in the text :)

Susan´s last blog post…Holiday Traditions and Tips, Single Parent Style

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badmuthablogger December 5, 2008 at 12:18 pm

I’m about to enter the dating game myself (with 9 month old baby, and being over 40, easier said than done). I’m blogging about it, amongst other things. I’ve got an online dating profile (hidden until I get the courage to post it)and I used the headline “Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained” – Shakespeare. I’m not sure if it sends the right message for the right guy, but for me, it showed I was willing to take a risk to look for love, and also that I have literary interests. Coming up with a catchy headline that reflects your unique character, AND attracts the “right” sort of mate, is definitely an art form. Good luck, I’ll be reading and taking notes for my own journey!

badmuthablogger´s last blog post…Christmas shopping with the bunny

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Honey December 5, 2008 at 12:21 pm

One of my favorites that I saw someone else use was “Single, employed, non-crazy seeks same!” Maybe you could do a spin on that that included the single parent?

The last time I did online dating my headline was from Gorgias’s Encomium of Helen: “For the things we see do not have the nature which we wish them to have, but the nature which each actually has.”

Honey´s last blog post…In Sickness…

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Attainingme December 5, 2008 at 12:49 pm

I love all the headlines in the comments . . why? because they are simple, yet telling. Calvin & Hobbes, Solitaire, Life is beautiful, Creative . . a personality is conveyed through all.
That is what is important SMS.

Definitely lose your last headline! It does not say anything about you other than perhaps you have been really hurt. Which means perhaps you are attracted to those that hurt, which is not attractive. Honest and heart should just be expected . . .

Whatever your headline AND blurb say, have them convey what is essentially you. Someone’s headline was “Partner in Crime.” I was drawn to this, as I sensed an adventurer as well as a companion. My blurb conveys my vulnerability, reflective nature, spontaneity, and love of horses, exercise, thinking and risks. The people who contact me or often great matches . if only I were attracted to them.

Point is, what are your passions. What makes you you? What’s your ideal day with someone? Are you reading in bed, lounging around the house, cooking together, traveling, watching the sunset, dancing? figure this out and convey this

Attainingme´s last blog post…Being Forward versus Being a Gentlemen.

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Attainingme December 5, 2008 at 12:53 pm

Sorry, something slightly off-topic . .
You need to want more than honesty and a big heart. That is a nonnegotiable and should not be something you think about until actions from your partner prove otherwise.
I was trying to track down your post about what you want in a man and I recalled honesty. I typed it into the search and discovered you use this word weekly, if not more . . .
Just a thought.
xx

Attainingme´s last blog post…Being Forward versus Being a Gentlemen.

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Eathan December 5, 2008 at 1:01 pm

I have to admit that the headline makes a world of difference. I think it has to catch everyone’s attention.
The one that got me the most attention was as charged as the name of my site – “Where Da White Women At?”
It’s a line from one of my favorite movies.. and It turned into a guess that line contest.

Try Single Mom Seeking. Sounds good to me.. and it’s catchy.

Eathan´s last blog post…Mormon Girl Returns

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liz December 5, 2008 at 1:41 pm

My friend married a guy she met online. His headline:

I’ve no criminal record.

And I’ve venture that CCD is the one exception among guys – Guys ALWAYS look at the pictures.

liz´s last blog post…Some fun, some flirting

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Mommy to the Monsters December 5, 2008 at 1:44 pm

My last two headlines were:

1. So you think you can dance?

Then I had all these metaphors about dancing or being on the dance floor on my profile, but they were really referring to characteristics I like in a man. (i.e. Have good character, always maintain your best dance moves even when there is no spotlight on you. ANOTHER WAS: Be loyal to your partner. Dancing with other partners is no allowed at the event) And so on and so forth….One of my coworkers came up with it..It’s cheesy I know, but it gets me lots of pageviews…lol

One that I also use a lot is:

Who can find a virtuous woman?

It refers to Proverbs 31 of the Bible….

Mommy to the Monsters´s last blog post…So bummed out!

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