Writing a good personal description

July 26th, 2007

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If you are not used to writing about yourself (which, let’s face it, most people aren’t), the thought of writing a personal description can be pretty scary.

What I’ve discovered, though, is that there is no need to be a professional or even a particularly skilled writer to come up with a personal description that would make people want to get to know you.

After all, you want your profile to be a good representation of who you are, not a novel or an epic poem.

Some of the best profiles I’ve seen in the line of my work were written by people who were obviously not professional writers but had simply sat down and written from the heart.

Rather than think too hard and try to be overly clever, there are a few simple things you can do that can make your personality show through.

  • Externalise
  • Self-promotion can be a right pain. We’ve all been there: you don’t want to sound arrogant, but you don’t want to come across as a loser either, so where do you draw the line? The answer is nowhere. Instead of writing about yourself per se, show yourself by using external things. For example, you can write about your hobbies, daily life, things you do, things you’d like to do (places you’d like to visit, new skills you are learning or want to learn), things that make you happy (or unhappy, though generally, it’s best to stick with the positive as much as possible), etc.
    Such things would tell the other person much more about you than simply trying to describe yourself directly. It’s also far easier to write about your hobbies than to try and think of a personal description.
    For example, while some things may make you come across as slightly arrogant, there is nothing wrong with writing about past or present achievements that make you proud. Writing about how you taught yourself guitar from scratch , for example, would make a better read than simply saying “I am a great musician”.

  • Describe your idea of the perfect relationship
  • Once you’ve spoken about yourself for a bit, it’s time to tell the world what you’re looking for. If this rings a bell with the other person, you may well get a good response. Are you looking for someone who shares your hobbies? Is your perfect partner someone who likes going out every evening or someone who prefers quieter times? Maybe both? Are you looking to eventually settle down and have children or just companionship? Adding a few desctiptions of activities you enjoy that you could share could also work, though obviously avoid any X-rated ones unless you are dating on that kind of site :) )

    Things to avoid:

  • Long lists of adjectives
  • There’s no point saying you are “generous, funny and fun”. What’s funny to one person could be deathly boring to another. Instead of listing traits, bring them to life by externalising them as explained above.

  • Cliches

  • Ultimately, there are always going to be some things we all enjoy doing, but if you want to stand out, you will need to go deeper than the obvious.
    If you really do like long walks on the beach and cuddling in front of the telly with a good bottle of wine then by all means, do say so, but keep in mind that every other person on the site will probably say the same. Try to think of other things you enjoy doing that could set you slightly apart from the rest.
    Similarly, you should uses phases like “always up for a laugh” , “down to earth”, etc. sparingly, as they are heavily used all over dating sites. If you must use them, try to add more varied material to your description as well.

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Entry Filed under: Online Dating Tips

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. DatingPro  |  July 26th, 2007 at 2:41 pm

    Great blog… I like this article giving me some tips on how to write the personal profile

  • 2. Dating Man  |  July 31st, 2007 at 7:13 pm

    I think people should stick to about 50 words any thing longer gets a bit boring plus if everything is said what questions do you ask!

  • 3. angrypenguin  |  September 12th, 2007 at 11:37 am

    What I always find most off-putting in personal profiles people post on dating sites include the following:

    — bitterness from a previous relationship shines through

    –someone’s social background is utterly transparent, but they painfully try to sell themselves as ‘classy’ in a cheap way

    –the ‘don’t contact me unless you are honest’ – I’m scared for these people, its almost like they are lining themselves up to be done over by a con artist.

    My favorite: video profiles where people just sit there and say nothing, or worse do their makeup in front of the camera – what does that tell me? If being able to put your lippy on straight gives any clear indication as to someone’s character, maybe the boys need to do video profiles proving they can pee straight?

  • 4. Betty  |  September 15th, 2011 at 10:09 am

    Hey there, thanks for the tips.
    I started my dating site, while ago, but since than try to promote it.
    The infos you provided here are more than precious.

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