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Online Dating: The (Mr.) Right Profile

Make the right first (virtual) impression with these tips to the best online dating profile.

Don’t hang yourself with a dull rote

Vague adjectives signal “dull” and appear in far too many profiles, Robinson warns. “‘I’m a laid-back, easygoing guy…’ Such terms are practically meaningless. Even high-strung people often think they’re ‘laid-back.’ Find something more descriptive.” Other common terms to be avoided: “cool,” “awesome,” “funny.” “Nearly everyone ‘loves to laugh’ and ‘enjoys fun.’ None of that sets you apart. Instead of saying, ‘I’m witty,’” Robinson suggests, “say, ‘I’m one part Ricky Gervais, one part Jon Stewart, and a soupcon of Fred Flintstone.’ That paints a more vivid picture.”

Avoid lists. Tell stories

I like surfing, reading, swimming, jogging, and cooking. “Bzzz—dull!” says Robinson. “Put yourself into a potential date's shoes on this one. If you saw a list like this on a cute girl’s profile, how would you possibly respond? ‘I also like surfing. What’s your favorite thing about surfing?’ Blech—that conversation is a total wipeout.” A better alternative, she explains, is telling stories. “ ‘Last summer, I went surfing at the Jersey Shore nearly every day with my dog Rufus. It was a fascinating anthropological experiment. Buy me a beer, and I’ll tell you more.’ Something like that gives a date plenty to want to talk to you about—plus you sound like an active, interesting person, not just a list of gerunds.”

Don’t lie

Don’t stretch the truth, even on minor details. “Let’s say you're five-foot-ten, but you decide you’ll seem hotter if you say you’re six-foot-one,” Robinson says. “It may be a superficial detail, but if/when your date notices you fudged the numbers, she’ll wonder what else you sugarcoated. It’s not about the inch or two; it’s a sense that you’re insecure enough to be lying. You shoot yourself in the foot immediately.”

NEXT: What could possibly be worse than lying? >>

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