Online dating can feel intimidating. The initial setup of your profile can sometimes make you feel pressured to make it perfect. But here's a secret: there is no such thing as a perfect profile. No matter what you put out there on the Internet, you've just got to stay true to yourself. That authenticity will shine through when the right person reads it.
However, I get asked a lot what a "good" profile looks like, so I wanted to supply some tips today that may help you when you're getting started.
1. Choose your best, most current photo.
Choosing a picture of yourself that shows you at your thinnest, youngest and in your prime can be tempting, but DON'T. Just as you expect prospective love interests to be completely honest with you, you want to do the same for them. Don't false advertise. Find a current picture (within the last six months) that makes you feel confident and attractive, and go with that.
2. Tell your story, but not every detail.
There is a perfect balance between not writing enough on your dating profile and writing too much; finding the space in-between the two is where you want to be. A minimal description of who you are is just as much of a turn-off as writing a small novel about your life. You want to leave your browsers with a good idea of who you are and what you're looking for, but you don't want to overwhelm them. Share a few good details, but save most of the particulars for an in-person date!
3. Don't post too many extra pictures.
A few different angles of yourself, including a full-body picture, will do just fine. Try not to give too much away with pictures of friends, pets, family members, etc. Again, the idea is to show what you're all about without giving away the best parts before you meet someone face-to-face.
4. Create it yourself.
This one seems like a no-brainer, but I can't tell you how many people I've talked to who think it's better for their friend or family member to create their profile for them. No matter how well your friend may know you, it's not your voice and it needs to be your voice. After all, you know your story best, and you know exactly how you'd like the rest of the online dating pool to see you.
5. Be confident and have fun with it.
Of course, this is the most important tip I can give you. Online dating shouldn't be something you dread -- it should be an exciting, happy, fun part of your day! Always remember to have a good time with it, no matter what.
In addition to being a world-renowned comedian, talk show host, philanthropist, husband and father, Steve Harvey is the Chief Love Officer of online dating site Delightful.com. He draws on his personal experiences and the stories that millions of people have shared with him over the years to help more people find and keep the love they deserve.