- Dating profile users who use creative writing come off as funnier and smarter, according to a new study.
- Reviewers said profiles with specific examples, metaphors, and evocative words were more eye-catching.
- We asked dating experts their tips for making a profile more unique, and they shared some ideas.
The words you use to describe yourself on your dating profile could impact your chances of finding a match, according to new research.
Researchers at Tilburg University in the Netherlands asked 775 people to review five dating profiles from a pool of 308 profiles on two Dutch dating websites. For each profile, they had to say how funny, intelligent, or attractive they seemed.
Separately, the reviewers ranked the profiles based on originality — i.e. those that used words in unique yet socially acceptable ways, like being specific but avoiding clichés.
In the study, published October 19, the researchers concluded that people who had more original writing in their profiles, in the form of metaphors, underused adjectives, and specific examples, ranked higher in the perceived traits of humor, intelligence, and attractiveness.
Insider asked dating experts for their tips on how to make the written part of a dating profile more original and eye-catching so it leads to more matches.
Use examples, not adjectives
According to the study authors, the profiles that ranked highest in originality used metaphors and mentioned specific objects or personality traits to set themselves apart. One profile, for example, said “Coffee and a cracker with cheese or jam are essential in my morning ritual,” instead of the more simplistic, “Food is essential for me.”
To make your profile more creative, write with examples of things you’ve done or would like to do with a date, therapist and men’s dating coach Sara Tick previously told Insider. Examples offer ways to show the type of relationship you’re looking for, and what that might look like.
Instead of saying “Let’s see where things go,” saying something like, “I would love to take you out to a brewery and relax over drinks, or if you’re feeling adventurous, I’m up for a go-kart race,” Tick recently advised as part of Insider’s Dating App Clinic.
Using examples can personalize a a nearly-universal hobby like traveling, which most singles cite as an interest, Meredith Golden, a veteran dating app ghost writer and founder of Darma Dating Inc., told Insider.
To stand out, mention a specific place you want to travel this year, or an adventure you finally checked off your bucket list.
Enlist your best friend for help
If you’re stumped on how to describe yourself and your unique interests, get the people closest to you to help, Tick said.
They can recall meaningful experiences you may have forgotten, especially ones that illustrate traits you embody.
For example, if you want to explain that you’re dependable in your profile, you could write, “I’m the guy you call when your car breaks down on the side of the road,” Tick said.
Tow the line between specificity and pickiness
Though being descriptive is a great way to stand out, being too particular could work against you in your dating profile, the study authors found.
Focusing on what you don’t want, or writing in the negative (as in, “I don’t want to date someone who has a pet cat”), could come off as overly judgmental, relationship coach Rachel DeAlto previously told Insider.
DeAlto tells her clients to limit their deal breakers to four, and make them about “values and foundational things that make people’s relationships work,” like living child-free or finding someone with similar religious values.