As the adage says, "You never have a second chance to make a first impression." The way that somebody initially perceives you largely determines their future relationship with you. This is especially true when speaking of romance and dating; if you are not particularly intrigued or interested by the person you are speaking with, what reason do you really have for continuing your efforts? Conversely, a successful matching of personalities and interests can lead to stimulating conversation and future romantic possibilities.
When it comes to dating, then, it becomes vitally important to convey to adequately convey to the other party exactly what kind of person you are and what comprises you. However, doing this within the setting of a bar or nightclub is often easier said than done. It is difficult to demonstrate your wit and intelligence when you are screaming in the other person's ear in order to be heard over the din. Additionally, the window to demonstrate exactly what kind of person you are is severely limited; as mentioned above, if one fails to grab the interest of the other party fairly quickly, the chances of starting anything meaningful with them become relatively slim.
With online dating profiles, the window of opportunity to convey your personality is markedly wider, and thus your chances of successfully doing so are higher. Think about it: You are free to write and create without worrying about external influences or pressures, and the other party is able to leisurely browse your information without having their senses bombarded from every side in a bar-type setting. The two parties are more likely to discover actual meaningful information about each other via online profiles than through hasty conversations at a bar.
What, then, constitutes a "successful" online profile? Several factors will determine whether somebody takes the time to read through your information. As mentioned above, it is important to attempt to convey the type of person that you are within your profile; the last thing that a person wants is to be unpleasantly surprised when future conversations reveal you to be nothing like your profile indicated.
Tell of your interests and your passions. You may alienate some profile viewers, naturally, but the ones that take the time to read it are genuinely intrigued by you and thus more likely to take the next step and contact you.
As in life, intrigue remains an important component of romance. Try not to answer every question about yourself in the context of your online profile; you want the other person's interest piqued, not sated. If somebody learns all there is to know about you in a three-page profile, they are less likely to feel compelled to communicate further.
Conversely, a veiled question or some measure of intrigue in your profile may be just enough to spark an inquisitive email.
Finally, try to include a photograph of yourself in your online profile if possible. Physical attraction remains a vital component of dating online or off, and many people are leery of investing too much time in an online prospect without knowing what they look like. In fact, people will often filter out profiles without pictures when browsing online dating sites. Including a picture with your profile will ultimately increase its chances of success.
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