The perfect dating profile: maximise your chances of success

pretty woman working on her dating profile

Successful online dating relies on your a profile that gives a memorable first impression. If users quickly identify something attractive or appealing in your dating profile, prospects are good for future contact. An unexciting profile that fails to instantly impress, however, will be swiftly overlooked and forgotten.

To make the best impression, then, your profile needs to tick all the boxes. To help our users achieve that end, EliteSingles has discovered the four crucial traits that are shared by the most successful profiles. Want great online dating results? Start here.

The four steps to dating profile success

1. Self-describe well

The open text fields in your dating profile are the best opportunity to introduce yourself. Be interesting, distinguish yourself, and express your personality as much as you can. Studies have shown that these self-descriptive parts of an online dating profile influence attractiveness much more than the fixed-choice questions, so ensure you take advantage of them. These clues to your personality are, alongside your picture, the main motivation for a potential partner to contact you. Introduce your personal qualities in order of strength so these are memorable.

2. Give detail and be distinctive

A comprehensive description of your abilities, interests and goals will distinguish your online dating profile from the mass of others on the site. Our personality questionnaire will give searchers highly compatible matches, so their partner suggestions may be outwardly similar. An appealing dating profile is best achieved by avoiding general statements and thinking carefully about precisely why you should be contacted.The way you describe yourself here allows other singles to have a small insight into your life and imagine being with you, so give a true snapshot of your life by writing expressively about who you are and boldly defining the type of relationship you want.

Research suggests that although an online dating profile with large amounts of information encourages relatively fewer contacts, those who do make contact are much more compatible for a meaningful relationship. A more engaging, detailed on-page personality will indicate a more passionate and interesting individual; exploit the room you have to show people your depth of personality. There will be someone compatible, and success is more likely with a profile which boldly defines who you are.

READ MORE: Our Partner Psychologist, Sam Owen, examines the classic mistakes Kiwis make in their dating profiles

3. Regularly update

Ensure that your online dating profile develops with your life. Review it occasionally, add new achievements, or update your interests to best reflect your current character. Not only does this tell people you are an active member and still interested in finding a date, but discovering a new passion might just open up more potential partners. Whether you are now a published author or go sailing every weekend, tell your potential suitors and give them the fullest impression of you that they can.

4. Perfect your dating profile picture

An attractive profile photo is the strongest determinant of whether your profile is generally appealing, and inferences drawn about your personality with first impressions have a proven effect on future relationship judgements. If your profile is visited regularly, but you think you should receive more contact requests, it could be worth changing your photo. Here are some ideas to consider:

i. Research clearly shows that portrait photos are most successful. An online dating profile should naturally focus on you and honestly embody your personality, since relationship success is more likely when a first online impression corresponds closely to the in-person reality. You may, of course, add up to 23 additional photos to your profile.

ii. Think about the personality style projected by your photo. Research in this area provides some suggestive basis, but ultimately the best photos are usually those that present you in a true and engaging way; your picture must complement how you present yourself throughout the profile.

iii. The familiar view is that profile openness is generally encouraged by engaging directly and smiling into the camera, but some interesting gendered nuances have been offered in recent research. In one study, extraversion was indeed positively correlated to success for all daters though, interestingly, male profiles found much more success with a smart and serious style of photo than women.1 Furthermore, in other research, it was similarly established that men were more immediately attractive when they looked genuine and extraverted, while a female dating profile picture was most attractive when appearing gently charismatic, and high in self-esteem.2 It is worth, therefore, considering your style of photograph as you try and present your true self in your online dating profile.

READ MORE: Photographer Toby Aiken reveals how to take a profile photo like an expert.

Your dating profile is critical for your future relationship success; ensure it truly reflects the best of who you are and gives the best impression you can to potential partners on the site.

If you have any questions, please leave us a comment or write to us at [email protected]

EliteSingles editorial, September 2013


1 Olivola, C., Todorov, A., Hortacsu, A., and Ariely, D. (2008). ‘How Do First Impressions Impact Success in Internet Dating?’. Presentation at The Fourth International Conference on Technology, Knowledge and Society, Northeastern University, Boston, 18-20 January 2008. (URL

2 Fiore, A T., Taylor, L S., Mendelsohn, G.A., & Hearst, M. (2008). ‘Assessing attractiveness in online dating profiles’. Short Paper, ACM Computer-Human Interaction 2008.

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