One of the hardest things we have to deal with when deciding to date online is writing our profile. Most of us have a hard time describing ourselves in person, let alone in the written form. Am I bragging too much? Am I not bragging enough? Am I interesting enough? How much am I supposed to reveal?
Those are the common questions my clients ask themselves, and so in turn I ask them to describe themselves to me. “I like music, fitness, going to the movies, and eating out,” one of them replied. That is the pretty standard and common answer I’ve received, and even witnessed on people’s profiles in the past.
While online communication can be a bit different (enter emojies, acronyms, and words like fleek), it’s not that far off from holding one in the real world. Your online dating profile happens to be the beginning of that conversation.
Just like in the real world, a very general topic will elicit a very general conversation. If you want to attract better quality conversations online, you must begin the conversation with some detail.
Details are what people hold on to. Details are where we find our common ground.
Have you ever asked someone how their day was and gotten a general response, like “it’s good.” There’s no room for that conversation to grow, but when someone replies with some actual detail about their life, the conversation flourishes.
This concept holds true for your online profile and for how you communicate with potential dates online. And it doesn’t end there; details are what will get you that second date as well, but it all starts with your profile.
Go back into your profile and see what you’ve kept general. It’s likely around hobbies and how you describe yourself. Start picking apart the details of that hobby. Let’s take fitness as an example.
What type of work out do you do? Lets say you like to run. How long have you been doing that? Have you run a marathon? Is there a run that you did that you’re particularly proud of?
Let’s explore the difference this makes. The first draft of your profile was “I like to stay active.” When you enter the details, an example could be this: “I love to run. It really helps me clear my head, almost like a form of meditation. Seeing the sunset as I finish my run is always the best part of my day.”
The first draft example can only elicit one question from a potential suitor. “How do you stay active?” while the second example elicits emotions and an infinite amount of topics that can be discussed. Running, sunsets, different trails, meditation, and scenic viewpoints are just some of the topics that can be discussed when the second example is read.
Let’s break down another general topic. Music. This is a topic that is so personal, yet people treat it like it can be generalized. What kind of music do you like? What’s the last concert you went to? What song is playing on repeat in your car?
If you were going on a road trip with your partner, would the music played during the drive matter to you? If it would, you can’t generalize this. You want to find common ground in music with your potential partner, so be specific with the details.
Keep asking yourself questions about the topic. What’s important to you? What specifically do you do within that general topic? Do you want to find someone who can share them with you? If you do, it’s in the details.
When you kill the general answers in your life, you’ll begin to build meaningful relationships with people on and offline.
This article was originally written for eHarmony. Republished with permission.