- How do I make my profile stand out?
- What kind of profile pictures should I use?
- How do I know if a match is right for me?
- Are long-distance matches a good idea?
- Skip to Chapter 4 :: Using Your Words: How Do I Go About Communicating?
1. How do I make my profile stand out?
There are a wide variety of ways to make your profile stand out from others, but since we’re talking about online dating for Christians, we think it’s best to focus on how to make your profile stand out so that like-minded Christians will take notice of it. If “judge a book by its cover” ever applied, it’s in the realm of online dating.
::Use your words.
When I was online dating, I found so many variations of people who called themselves, “Christian.” I decided when I wrote my profile that I would talk about Jesus a lot. Mainly because that’s who I am, but also because I felt that if a guy was uncomfortable with how much I mentioned Jesus and things like my church involvement or Christian books and music I was into, then he wouldn’t be the guy for me. Conversely, I felt it also let like-minded guys know that my relationship with Christ permeated every aspect of my life and wasn’t just some adjective I was using.
::What makes you different?
I can’t tell you how many guy profiles looked the same: a few selfies (some with shirts off), lots of talk about working out, their grandfather was the person they most admired, and the most recent book they’d read was Rich Dad, Poor Dad or The Purpose-Driven Life. There wasn’t much that made those profiles stand out, so when a guy came along who didn’t follow the same formula, his profile automatically caught my attention and gained favor over the others.
We are not telling you to pretend you’re someone you’re not. What we are saying is to put some thought into what you post. What makes you different from other guys? Find photos that support that, take a few minutes to write down thoughtful answers, and see what happens. When guys talked about mission trips they’d been on, serving in their local church, or even wrote sentences correctly, those profiles got moved to the top of the list.
Girls, the same thing goes for you. What makes you tick? What are you passionate about? What sets you apart from other girls? That is what you need to present on your profile.
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2. What kind of profile pictures should I use?
Most online dating advice is going to tell you to use honest photos of yourself–and we agree. When it comes to profile pictures, less is not more. While 1 photo is certainly better than no photos, we think 4 pictures is a good number. Here are a few other pointers:
::Headshots are great, but they don’t show the entire you, so throw at least one full-body picture in the mix. Online dating is a visual medium. The last thing you want is to be nervous on the first date because you haven’t exactly been honest through your photos.
::One or two group shots are fine, but don’t make your matches have to figure out where you are in each photo because you’re in a sea of friends. Crop yourself out of group photos, if you have to, by using free online photo-editing software like Pic Monkey.
::Guys, we realize you might not have a ton of photos of yourself. Typically, the ladies probably have more of a photo collection. We also realize that online dating might not be something you want to share with your friends. Still, everyone, guys and girls, needs to fight the urge to post a bunch of selfies–especially mirror selfies We’re not sure why so many men and women feel that selfies should be taken in one of two places: the bathroom mirror and the front seat of the car. What we do know is we’ve seen more than our fair share of selfies, and it doesn’t help your cause. In fact, it can hurt it because it makes it seem as if you don’t have much else going on in your life. Find a trusted friend who has a few good photos of you and ask them for copies. Whether or not you tell them that you’re going to use the photos for online dating is up to you.
::Be careful with Instagram filters; they can make anything look glamorous. And while they’re fun and fine to play around with, your goal here is honest photos.
::Are you into sports or have other hobbies such as fishing or traveling? Do you have a dog? Show some of your interests in your photos, but remember to not go overboard. Showing yourself on a fishing expedition is enough. You don’t need to include photos of the 35 fish you caught. Take a pic with you and your dog, but don’t let your dog take over your profile picture collection. Balance, friend. Balance.
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3. How do I know if a match is right for me?
This is a question only you can truly answer. One thing we’ve learned in our adventures in online dating is to go with your gut. Every time we agreed to go out with someone out of curiosity (and not because we thought the person was a good match), we have come home saying that we should’ve gone with our first instinct.
The best way to decide if matches are right for you is to start communicating with matches who have profiles you find interesting. Don’t communicate out of desperation. If none of the ones you are interested in are communicating with you, but someone who you really have no interest in whatsoever tries to chat you up, don’t lower your standards simply because you’re lonely. However, be careful about being overly picky. Maybe a profile didn’t catch your eye, but that match reached out to you. Just be sure to give people a chance.
It’s a fine line, and it takes a little bit of trial and error. But the more time you spend in the online dating world, the better you’ll be able to judge which profiles are good matches for you and which ones are not.
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4. Are long-distance matches a good idea?
Long-distance relationships are a matter of personal preference, and they should be approached a little more cautiously. Because you are not able to see each other as easily as others who are in the same town, it’s harder to discern what a person is really like in everyday life. Not to be alarming, but it is easier to pretend you’re someone you’re not when neither party has to meet each other in the immediate future.
Then there’s issue of who is going to make the first trip to see the other person. We hold tightly to the idea that the guy should travel first, but we’re old-fashioned like that.
Sometimes there are only temporary reasons a match is in another geographic location–like work or missions. In that case, the distance isn’t permanent and major life changes wouldn’t be required to make the relationship work.
Like any other matches, seeking the Lord on the matter of long distance is our best advice.
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