The best writing exercise to improve your online dating profile

Whishlist

Often when I ask a client what they’re looking for in a potential partner they don’t know how to answer.

Creating a dating wish list is relatively simple to do and will definitely improve the quality of what you choose to include in your profile. It’s a valuable writing exercise because once you are clear in your own mind about what you are looking for your entire outlook on online dating will change.

With any dating profile you’re writing as much about yourself you are also writing about the matches you hope to attract. Your profile should always include a section specifically addressing who your ideal match is and creating a portrait of them. This information should also be included throughout the rest of your profile.

After completing this exercise your profile will be clearer and more concise. It will also help screen out people who don’t match up with your particular brand of awesome.

It’s also nice to have the list around for reference so you can compare people you go on dates with to your own, self-defined standards.

Here is a quick how-to for this simple but highly effective writing exercise:

Step 1: Write out a list of every characteristic, personality-trait, or interest you can think of that your ideal match might possess. Include everything you can think of, be it mundane or mandatory. Don’t censor yourself; just write it down as it comes.

Here’s a sample wish list from a hypothetical geeky woman looking for love. This list includes some things she’s looking for in a match:

  • plays D&D
  • geeky sense of humor
  • enjoys cooking
  • vegetarian
  • affectionate
  • cat lover
  • enjoys attending anime and fandom conventions
  • supportive of my career goals
  • financially stable
  • adventurous and likes to travel
  • intelligent
  • health-conscious
  • nonsmoker
  • shares some of my nerdy interests
  • interested in astronomy
  • has green eyes
  • great relationships with their family members

Tip: Try to focus on writing what you’re looking for in positive terms instead of negatives ones. For example, “financially stable” is a stronger statement than “doesn’t have huge amounts of debt”. That being said, in some cases like with looking for a nonsmoker it might be harder to come up with a positive wording.

Step 2: Create categories of “Mandatory” / “Would Like” / “Nice, but not necessary”

Once you’ve written down anything you can think of, it’s time to create your sorting categories.

I usually suggest creating three or four categories, which will help you rank each of the characteristics into groups from most to least important.

You may also want to include a “Not important “category, in case you wrote anything down in the brainstorming process but now realize it really doesn’t carry any weight for you.

Step 3: Sort into categories.

Now it’s time to sort each of the qualities into the categories you’ve created. This is the part of the wish list exercise that is the most helpful. It will help clarify what really matters to you.

To use some of the examples from the list above, our hypothetical online dater might rank her list in this way:

Necessary:

  • geeky sense of humor
  • affectionate
  • supportive of my career goals
  • nonsmoker
  • intelligent
  • health-conscious
  • adventurous and likes to travel
  • great relationships with their family members

Would Like:

  • shares some of my nerdy interests
  • enjoys cooking
  • cat lover
  • enjoys attending anime and fandom conventions
  • financially stable

Nice, not necessary:

  • plays D&D
  • has green eyes
  • interested in astronomy
  • vegetarian

With this ranked list a picture begins to emerge of who her ideal match is. For this woman, it becomes apparent that she values intelligence, travel, demonstrative affection and health consciousness.

Those are the things she is not willing to compromise on, but she’d be more inclined to allow a bit of wiggle room around meeting someone who might fulfill that criteria but isn’t necessarily a green-eyed vegetarian.

Once you have finished ranking each quality and characteristics, it’s time to incorporate them into your profile.  

Step 4: Incorporate into your profile.

See where you can work relevant points from your lists into your profile. Write a paragraph about who your ideal match is using the characteristics you’ve ranked most highly.

There are likely also places throughout your profile where you can include some of the lesser important characteristics. If they are traits you feel you possess yourself, you can also include them in your self description.

If you need some extra guidance, we’re always here to help create a sparkly, brand new dating profile that highlights your best attributes and attracts who you’re looking to meet.

We’re curious to hear about your own dating wish lists. What are you looking for in a partner? What is most important to you in prospective dates and partners? Leave your comments below. 

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