How to Write an Online Dating Profile • The Opening

This is Part #2 of a series. Read Part #1 here.

My fundamental approach to profile writing is to show not tell. This means demonstrating who you are by what you do. The opening paragraph has three parts – the setup + the problem + the fix.

#1 The Opening Statement • the setup

We are going to leave behind sentences that start with “I am …”, “I love…” or “I enjoy…” and look at things from a different perspective. Instead of writing about yourself, write from someone else’s point of view.

→ My friends call me adventurous/crazy/brave/cheeky etc. because I …  (subtext – my friends are important)

→ My parents used to call me Wonder Woman/a handful/misguided/a child prodigy etc. because I … (subtext – my family is important)

→ My boss refers to me as the head of all things/the Photoshop wizard/the smooth talker/the selling machine etc. because I … (subtext – my career is important)

Choose something that will provide the theme for the rest of your profile. The theme is the one thing you’re passionate about, the thing that gets you out of bed in the morning, the thing that you want to do with your potential partner.

Example — theme = nature

My friends [my friends are important*] call me Farmer Hoggett [from ‘Babe’ = I love movies] because I love nothing more than hanging out with my two cats, dog, chooks, rooster and ducks [I love animals + I probably don’t live in an apartment in the city]. When I’m exhausted from trying to keep this wild menagerie [I’m not totally pet obsessed] from destroying the vegetable garden [I’m a gardener] I head out bush to relax and recharge [I like connecting with nature + I lean towards being introverted].

*subtext in blue

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#2 Why Things Need to Change • the problem

The next part of the opening paragraph is to highlight something wrong with your current scenario.

→ But I’ve started to notice …

→ But I’m not very good at …

→ But I’m beginning to wonder …


But I’m not very good at reading a map and my sister worries that one day I won’t be able to find my way home and she won’t have anyone to babysit her kids [I love my nieces and nephews + I’m good with kids].

#3 How Can Your Date Solve Your Problem? • the fix

The third part suggests how your potential date might help you out of your predicament. Address him/her directly and ask challenging questions which refer to the activities you enjoy. At the end, get a bit flirty.


Can you steer a canoe in the right direction? Are you able to find the next foothold when you climb? Does your mountain bike have GPS? [I like canoeing, rock-climbing and cycling] And if all else fails, can you build a shelter with your bare hands and find some way to keep me warm? [Bear Grylls gets me hot!]

Is this more interesting than the old laundry list of “I am X and I’m looking for Y”? Would you keep reading?

Continued in Part #3 — The Middle.

{thank you to my anonymous reader who let me rewrite her profile}

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

21 thoughts on “How to Write an Online Dating Profile • The Opening

      1. Thanks I will! My original profile back 13 years ago was really quirky and positive, full of fun. The last time I tried to do it I just failed. I think I’d gotten too cynical and it reflected in my profile haha.

        Hard to write about yourself and who/what you want when you don’t even know yourself.

  1. This is exciting I was wanting to overhaul my profile, I think I’ll give it a go. Looking forward to part 3!

      1. Katie! I’m stuck at the opening. I was able to do the headline fine. I’m on and I can’t put any words together. Please help!

  2. Really great advice! I had an “I am,” “I like,” “I enjoy” profile and I met my current husband, but if I ever did it again, I’d follow this advice. I like it much better!

  3. Your blog is amazing, I am redoing my profile as we speak but am stuck on part two! Talking about yourself is so hard!

  4. Aw, this was an exceptionally good post. Finding
    the time and actual effort to create a very good article…
    but what can I say… I procrastinate a lot and don’t manage
    to get anything done.

  5. Hi Katie,
    I am a soon to be 60 yr young woman who is attractive, relatively intelligent and eager to find that special someone. I have been on dating sights far longer than I care to admit. I have no hobbies, no friends and my family is not close. Having said that I am a great person to be around, I smile easily, laugh as often as possible have a great sense of humor and looking to share my life with a great guy. But I don’t have a clue how to write a profile as you have outlined; I don’t have any of those things one would pull from to make life with me sound exciting. I do know what I would like to do, just want someone to do them with. Can you help? Thank you for your time!

  6. I think it is a great idea to highlight the current problem when you’re writing your dating profile. After all, people want to know what has changed in your life that makes you want to start dating. It can even give readers a little look into your character by showing them what in life worries you and what it would take you to make a change.

  7. Hey, love all your ideas? Are they applicable no matte what age? I’m 56 and want to start dating again.

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