Sitting with my friends the other day listening to their online dating adventures was fascinating. It’s become part of life and they all take it in stride and have enough experience now to wade through all the swipes to find some potential coffee dates. It’s mind-boggling. So, if you’re someone who’s never done this before, where do you start????

Carmelia Ray is our go-to dating expert. She’s an internationally acclaimed matchmaker for men and women. She’s also a TV personality from shows including Mom Vs. Matchmaker, The Real Housewives of Toronto, and A User’s Guide to Cheating Death coming out this Fall 2018. She’s also a frequent contributor to AskMen, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, OK! Magazine, The Marilyn Denis Show, Elle and countless others.

We were very curious about how to create online dating profiles. It seems sooooo overwhelming! If you’re thinking about jumping on board, or feel like you need to refresh,  Carmelia gives us her best advice.

Here are her tips:

A lot of singles I’ve been speaking with are still suffering from post-Valentine’s Day hangover. I spent last Valentine’s Day in Los Angeles interviewing young couples on the Santa Monica Pier. They were swooning over one another, walking hand in hand, eyes locked in loving gazes; the sort of thing that would make any lonely, single person want to eat a big tub of ice cream and a bag of chips in front of their TV watching The Notebook.

According to Match.com, the peak season for online dating between men and women was December 26th, 2017 – February 14th, 2018. Don’t worry about missing the digital dating boat, there’s plenty of singles online, who haven’t given up on finding love. Millions of available singles are turning to online dating sites and mobile apps in the hopes to meet their soulmate. Successful digital dating means having a smart and effective online strategy. Here are a few helpful tips to help you create your best online dating profile.

POST A FUN AND FLATTERING PHOTO:

We are visual people.  We will always be drawn to an attractive profile photo. Within 3-7 seconds, someone will look at your online dating profile photo and decide if they are going to swipe left, swipe right or click further. You definitely want your picture to instantly flattering. The secret sauce to a great profile means making the best impression. Keep fun and flattering in mind. Your main profile photo should be a very real likeness to who you are in person. Photoshopping your face and body features to drastically alter your appearance will backfire when you end up meeting your match and misrepresenting your appearance. Profile photos using Snapchat filters are a big turn off and also very deceiving. Your profile photo should be taken in bright natural lighting and you shouldn’t be wearing sunglasses, a hat or any accessory that would hide your face, neck or hair. For some of you who dread taking photos and think you’re not very photogenic, I would highly recommend you work with a professional photographer or a caring friend who can help take some flattering photos of you. Put some time into taking care of yourself. Even having your hair and makeup done, and using a great built-in camera on your smartphone, is far better than using filters and photoshop.

USE A GREAT CAMERA WHEN TAKING YOUR PHOTOS:

Most modern-day smartphones have the capacity to take a professional quality photo in the right lighting, without much set-up. Selfies are fine but you need to be conscious of your background. Be sure to clear any distracting clutter that might take away from you, who should be the focus point of the picture. My Valentine’s Day gift to myself was a new smartphone, the Huawei P10 with a built-in Leica lens. The phone itself has a Kirin 960 processor making it super fast and stays fast. As a dating coach I think it’s important especially when you’re running and managing multiple dating apps and several conversations. I’ve been raving about this camera because the image quality has turned me into a professional photographer overnight. My selfie game is top notch and the portrait mode features are beyond impressive. Most of the modern dating apps, including Match.com, are launching video platforms, live streaming and photo exchange when messaging online. Your image quality needs to be exceptional when you could be expected to have a web chat at any moment.

ALWAYS BE POSITIVE IN YOUR BIO:

A common mistake women make is writing a long list of the things they DON’T want in their partner. Instead of describing who they DO want to meet, they write a laundry list of bad traits and characteristics they want to avoid. When someone reads a list of “don’t message me if” list, that person will automatically thinking you are bitter, high maintenance or have been burned one too many times. If you’re the type of woman who know she doesn’t want to date a cheater, a liar, someone broke, no anger problems etc… you can easily communicate this by turning things around in a positive voice, and ask for someone who bears all of those attractive traits. For example, I’m searching for an honest, stable, loving, communicative and reliable partner to share my life with. There’s no need to communicate the things you want to avoid.

BE SURE TO WRITE ABOUT THE KIND OF PERSON YOU’RE LOOKING TO MEET:

A lot of profiles I read online will always describe the person’s goals, traits, needs and wants and neglect to tell the reader more about who they want to meet. When I’m reading through dating profiles, don’t forget to add a section “About You.” There’s already an “About Me” section and most people want to know if they have the characteristics and personality traits you’re seeking. A great way to filter messages from people who are not your type is to be clear about the kind of person you want to be messaging you and responding to your profile. Example: “If you’re debt-free, gainfully employed in a job you love. You love the outdoors, have great communication skills and can see yourself raising a family plus a hyper dog in your near future, don’t be shy and be sure to apply :)”

FILL IN ALL THE BLANKS!

Online dating sites spend thousands of dollars on research and development to help you find, meet and match with your most compatible partner online. A way in which they strive for this is to ask as many questions they can to recommend someone who most closely fits your criteria. The quality of the introductions will boil down to how thoroughly and accurately you’ve completed your dating profile. I always advise my clients to complete 100% of their profile giving their most authentic answers. Don’t say you work out 4 times a week when you haven’t been to the gym in the last 6 months. Don’t say you love to walk when you choose to Uber to any distance greater than 500 meters. It’s in your best interest to answer honestly and thoroughly in order to meet your most ideal match.