How to Write an Online Dating Profile • The Headline

Let’s face it – online dating can be a nightmare. Your dating profile either gets attention from the wrong type of person, or gets totally ignored. Sometimes you doubt anyone is going to love you again.

But it’s not you, it’s your profile. If your profile is sending the wrong message, then that gorgeous, fascinating, almost perfect partner is not going to notice you.

But never fear — I’ve done the online dating research for you and I’m here to share what I learned.

My time spent internet dating was short and sweet. It took me exactly two and a half weeks to find the man of my dreams. Within two days I had made it to number #3 in the top 100 women in my age group.

None of this was because I’m exceptionally stunning or unique. My internet dating career was successful because of my profile.

What I stumbled upon accidentally, turned out to be my greatest asset. I did one simple thing to make me stand out from the crowd.

I sold the benefits, not the features.

Instead of presenting a laundry list of who I was and what I wanted, I created a story about what my partner’s life would be like with me in it.

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Item #1 • The Headline

Most dating sites give you a place to write a heart stopping headline. This is your first impression — the cover of the book, the opening sentence, the hook.

Here are a few examples from current profiles on a popular site:

  • Looking for someone special
  • Looking for that unspoken connection, my best friend first and foremost
  • Genuine caring fun happy
  • Calm and resilient
  • Not really looking for love right now, but some entertainment would be great
  • I am looking for my best mate, is that you?

Now be honest, do any of these headlines intrigue you, or make you want to know more about the person? Not really.

My dating profile led with a quote instead of a position description. A quote works on more than one level. It has content (what the quote actually says), it has tone (beautiful, funny, sarcastic, solemn), it reveals something important about you in relation to the author (a Homer Simpson quote says something different to an Anais Nin quote), and it attracts someone who has a similar cultural or literary taste (again Homer Simpson vs Anais Nin).

Chose a quote about love because after all that’s what you’re here for. If you don’t have any ideas, look at a Pinterest board like this one. Even though I’ve just gone on about the source of quote, don’t worry too much if it doesn’t have an author — it will still do the work for you.


Here are some ideas:

  • The earth has music for those who listen
  • Chemistry is you touching my mind and setting my body on fire
  • Hearts are wild creatures, that’s why our ribs are cages
  • Her mind is deliciously improper, and her body an aphrodisiac — Albert Cano
  • I meant to behave, but there were too many other options
  • I don’t just want your heart. I want your flesh, your skin, your blood, your bones, your voice, your thoughts, your pulse, and most of all your fingerprints, everywhere — Isobel Thrilling

What do you think? Any better?

Pay attention to your headline — find an interesting, flirty, funny, sexy, mysterious, or cheeky quote. Surprise your potential date and make him want to know more.

dating profile T

What quote would you use for your internet dating profile? (Even if you’re well and truly off the market, have a go — it’s a lot of fun)

Do you want to know what my quote was? It’s in the comments.

Part Two — The Opening.

dating profile headline

About KatieP

Embracing my midlife sexy while exploring modern love & relationships • Devoted to all things beautiful • Master of Arts in creative writing & non-fiction writing

25 thoughts on “How to Write an Online Dating Profile • The Headline

  1. I agree about those snooze-worthy headlines you found online.

    I’m pretty sure, though, that most of those romantic headlines bulleted would scare the living bejeezus out of any man I’d want to date–except for 4 and 5. Those get right down to business! Because no matter what men say, it really IS mostly about sex. Sure, we call it “chemistry” but…it’s sex.

    But. My online profile drew the kind of men I wanted to date because it told them what they’d be getting: someone smart, sassy and with a good vocabulary. That sure weeded them out!

    1. It would seem my own personality was showing in the kind of quotes I chose!
      Men might be ‘mostly about sex’ but I don’t see that as a bad thing. I’d rather have a hot-blooded guy, than someone who isn’t that interested in my body. But that’s just me — it’s a good thing we’re all different 😉

  2. LOL I love it ALL! I just think a lot of men are frightened of women who “want their flesh” although maybe not, given the zombie and vampire genre! Maybe I’ve just got old-school notions!

  3. I’ve got to redo mine…but I’m reluctant to get ‘sexy’ though it’s on the top of my list of compatibility… thinking I might add a spicier header…so thanks for that nudge.

  4. The whole online dating thing scares the hell out of me to be honest. I have had too many experiences just on regular social media where a man looks at my profile picture and doesn’t even read anything about me before sending me messages to “hook up” I’ve been single for three years now though and I’m still not ready. I know that’s what it comes down to, being ready to put myself out there but I like your idea of using quotes. If I ever get ready to do the online dating thing, I will be sure to use a quote. I love quotes anyway so it’s an excellent idea!

    1. Don’t be scared – treat it as an experiment or a game. If you take away the expectations, it’s a lot more fun.

      Just trust your instincts — once you weed out the dickheads, there are plenty of good’uns left.

      Good luck for when you’re ready x

  5. Hello, I just started the online dating thingy….lol and all I get is men wanting sex, we’ll okay maybe not a bad thing, but I’m 50 yrs old, I wanna mans heart and soul, not about his sexual needs, even though Mars is calling him….lol I would know if you could help me please with my profile heading, and about me, my heart. Thank you for all your help,

    1. I dated on-line for several months. Has some men just wanting sex, but also many men that were looking for a relationship. I spent a great deal of time on my bio. It was funny but clear about my value system and who I am as a person. Some men did read it and they got it. Some men totally responded just because I had a “cute face.” But the one that mattered, did get it and I’m happy to say he was worth all the weeding through those that didn’t. I had many men comment on my bio. It was fun to read. I enjoyed it when I found the same on a mans bio. Make it entertaining!

  6. Hi Katie,
    I’m struggling to write a Tagline for my online profile…

    I had “Bubbly with a dash of randomness;-)” however, a male friend told me it’s not a good representation of what I’m looking for as sounds like I’m after something casual which I’m not..

    Any advice or guidance would be greatly appreciated! Many thanks in advance 🙂

    Christie x

    1. Sorry jumping in….If you want to stick with the bubbly bit you could do something like ” Bright like glitter and bubbly like champagne.” Or go with something like “Sunshine mixed with a little Hurricane.

  7. I got annoyed at one point and changed mine to “Looking for a trout not a slough shark” guess where…lol

  8. Thank you so much for the great idea! I’m just getting back in the dating game and can’t wait to find a quote to fit my needs!
    My tattoo says “there is always hope…”

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