Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Swipe Right: How to craft the perfect online dating profile

Wednesday, May 4, 2022
Graphic by Emma Kratky

In today’s day and age, online dating plays a big role in meeting new people and making romantic connections. But for many, creating a profile can be daunting, and it can be hard to even know where to start. But don’t worry! I’m here to give you all the insider information on how to create an irresistible online dating profile.

Before you start

Think about who and what you want to attract. Do you want something long-term, or just a hookup? How you present yourself and what qualities you show off will affect who swipes on you, and being selective about how you portray yourself and what information you include is a must.


Use candid photos. Sarah Kuborn, assistant professor in the department of child and family studies, said candid photos are almost always better than posed photos. Boring, static pictures don’t give very much information about who you are or why people should swipe right.

Optimally, each picture should show a different aspect of your personality and interests.

“What research has found is that candid photos seem more genuine to the viewer, and they can show more of your personality, which the person viewing your profile wants to know about,” Kuborn said.

Show off action shots. The goal of an online dating profile should be to display what’s likable about you and “sell” you and your personality. Pictures of you playing a sport, engaging in a hobby like creating art or practicing music, or even doing something you love related to your major are all great options.

Make it an active goal to take pictures of yourself doing what you love, and don't be afraid to ask your friends for help!

Include photos with friends. The goal of photos with friends should be to show you having fun and engaging with a group, not just posing. Also, make sure it’s abundantly clear which person is you!

“When people see photos of you with friends or spending time with other people, they’re going to associate that with you’re a friendly person, you’re a social person, you’re open. They see it as attractive, and they see it as you’re emotionally stable,” Kuborn said.


Be honest about who you are, but not *too* honest. It’s important to be authentic to yourself, but also to put your best foot forward. You might not want to use pictures of yourself in a super messy room, for example, but let the topic of you being a messy person come up naturally once you get to know the other person a little better. It’s also a good idea to be vague about personal and location information until you’re sure you trust someone.

“Let them get a good sense of who you are before you start saying things that people might not be as likely to be OK with right away,” Kuborn said.

It’s OK to be weird!

“Even if you feel awkward about it, or you’re like, ‘That’s not really cool, it’s actually kind of weird,’ somebody else might think it’s the coolest thing in the world,” Kuborn said. “I would hate for somebody to hide who they are just to get a date or a relationship. Because how happy are you actually going to be in that relationship if you’re hiding who you are?”

Always proofread. Nobody wants to swipe right on someone who has spelling or grammar mistakes in their profile, and an easy way to get more matches is to make sure your information is clear, concise and correct.

Other considerations

Be kind. If someone isn’t being receptive toward your advances, it’s important to always stay respectful and conscious of how your actions might make them feel. For example, insulting or threatening someone is never OK.

“Women tend to get harassed a lot when online dating, especially with this age group, so for those who are interested in women, don’t do that,” Kuborn said.

Have a friend look over your profile.

“They’re your best cheerleaders. They’re the best people to point out all your strengths that you’re forgetting about, that you may not even think about, that you may overlook,” Kuborn said.

Friends can help proofread, as well!

Try to avoid snap judgements. It’s easy to make an instant decision about someone when online dating, but people are complex, and looking at someone’s profile for a second or two will never give you the full picture.

“Give yourself more than two seconds. Give yourself five, at least!” Kuborn said.