Midlife & Beyond Dating: Illa Lynn
Back on the dating scene? Then you are probably no stranger to dating apps.
Dating Apps Worldwide:
Recent statistics estimate that 323 million people use dating apps worldwide.
“So many of you that I spoke with are overwhelmed and drained from the dating apps.”
That tells you something, doesn’t it? Your special someone is out there searching for you right this moment. Exciting, yes?
As I shared this with my client Amanda, she gave me an overwhelmed look and a big sigh.” I really don’t like dating apps, Illa.” She proceeded to tell me how lonely they make her feel and how she finds herself in her head wondering if she will even find anyone. She feels like one drop in the ocean whenever she gets on these apps and most nights ends up crying herself to sleep.
Amanda is not the exception. So many of you that I spoke with are overwhelmed and drained from the dating apps.
It is easy to drown in the sea of swipes and get caught in the comparison trap. This does more harm than good and not only damages your self-esteem, but challenges your faith in love too. It may seem unattainable for you to find any matches this way.
But don’t worry. This new way to connect has a strategy to make you stand out from the virtual crowd. There are ways to optimize your dating profile!
Here are three science-proven ways to amplify your dating profile and raise the bar on the quality of people lined up to connect with you.
“Natural beauty is pretty rare these days, and you want to be rare and original.”
Step 1: Stop The Scroll Headshot
After auditing some dating profiles, including Amanda’s, complacency and lack of creativity were apparent. People just didn’t put much effort into their profiles or have used a cookie cutter template to create them, especially their selfie pictures. Horrid lighting, odd angles, and choice of attire were screaming desperation. Men and women, equally, made identical mistakes.
Please do not use filters to alter your appearance as enticing as it might be. Natural beauty is pretty rare these days, and you want to be rare and original. With today’s technology, the human attention span is about eight seconds, and you only have a fraction of that to catch someone’s attention before they’re off onto the next thing. The quality of your photos is therefore crucial.
The Best Photo Choices:
Your main picture should be a headshot taken in daylight with a natural smile and no weird angles or glasses. Behavioral research conducted by the Science of People determined that tilting your head to the side slightly makes you more approachable and likable. Keep that in mind as you explore some new shots in the next few weeks.
“As for the remaining images, they should showcase you doing something you enjoy”
The Full-Body Shot:
The second image should be a full-body shot that accentuates your favorite body part. Avoid provocative clothing and aim for sexy but elegant. Leave something to the imagination. A group or a solo full-body image will work great.
The Lifestyle Shots:
As for the remaining images, they should showcase you doing something you enjoy and where you are in your element. For example, if you enjoy interesting unique hobbies (i.e fencing, polo, water aerobics, unique collections) – these are great choices.
If you love to travel to interesting destinations or enjoy art shows and galleries, display that proudly. Keep in mind to always be the front and center in those images. While the scenery might be breathtaking and interesting, you are the object of affection here. Our Jack Perez does this exceptionally well in her amazing photos of her solo travels.
Keep Pets Out Of It:
Last, but certainly not least even though we all love our pets, posting pet pictures can draw attention away from you. Whenever possible, avoid posting photos of your pets. You can always mention your adorable pet and explain your love of animals in your bio, which we will get into next.
Step 2: Make Your Biography Memorable:
People best connect through stories that ignite emotion and feeling. Your dating profile bio should do the same.
“It is recommended that 70% of your bio be about you and 30% about your desired match.”
Write it in a story-like format and describe who you are. Think of how you can best paint a picture of your life for someone else. As they read it, they will most likely try to picture themselves doing it with you, which will activate certain parts of their brain, enticing them to take action and message you.
When expressing your emotional availability, use words such as “I enjoy”…, “I love” or “I would love”…..It is recommended that 70% of your bio be about you and 30% about your desired match.
That means if you write four sentences about yourself, add two or three about your desired match. Think, what type of person do I want to meet, what do they enjoy, what might their lifestyle be like? Take your time with this one.
Be honest if you are looking for a commitment, and if you are looking for a casual connection state that as well. Honesty is the best policy. You don’t want to give someone false hopes if you are not ready to give them what it is they are looking for.
Understand, that you will not be everyone’s cup of tea and that’s great. Your bio should repel those who may not be the right fit, thus saving you time and energy having to vet them in your DMs.
Step 3: Create A Catchy Username:
Choosing a catchy username may not be your strong suit and that’s ok. My experience was the same. Fortunately, there are some ways how to go about choosing the best one, but before we jump into it here are a few things to avoid.
“Choosing a catchy username may not be your strong suit and that’s ok.”
- Your first and last name – unless the dating app requires you to do so, do not go with “JsmithNYC”)
- Numbers gap fill (i.e 27, 1964, XVIII)- this is better suited for emails i.e “foodlover66”
- The letter X or XXX – it is perceived as sexually charged i.e JuicybunsXXX
Use a combination of your traits and descriptive words like love, fun, laugh, happy, easygoing, kind, caring and alike. You may also consider using words from your favorite song, book, travel destination, etc. Confidence sells- incorporating words like, tall, driven, fit, bold, lovely, etc. will also grab attention.
You might say, “Ok but what if I lack the creativity gene?”. No worries. Here is one of a number of tools that might come in handy as you set on upgrading your username. Let’s optimize your dating profile and get you moving towards that wonderful relationship.
About the Author:
Illa Lynn is a former corporate health care leader turned Life Coach who specializes in Relationship Coaching for women. In addition to her ten years of academic and professional training, she specializes in dating after 40. Specifically dating after divorce, or toxic love. Using her psychology background and intuitive nature, Illa helps women open up to love again. In three steps, Illa guides women to create lasting, authentic relationships founded on transparency, respect, and trust. Follow Illa on LinkedIN for more tips and tricks on dating.