Relationship Advice

6 April 2011

Six principles of positive profile writing

by eHarmony

Your profile is the first place that your matches get a glimpse into your personality. What are the best ways to keep this information interesting and upbeat?


You’ve probably heard the expression, ‘you catch more flies with honey.’ This simply means that people are naturally drawn to the positives over the negatives.

While the traits you don’t like in a potential partner may be important in making decisions, creating a profile filled with your deal-breakers may jeopardise your chance at finding a partner. Instead learn the art of positive profile writing.

1. Don’t be too intense
Putting a positive spin on something doesn’t have to mean you’re not being true. For example, if you are a vegetarian and feel strongly about it, instead of saying, ‘I hate the slaughter of animals and don’t eat meat,’ instead try something like, ‘As an animal lover, I choose to be a vegetarian.’ It’s possible to acknowledge facts about yourself without making them a main focus.

2. Paint a positive picture
The words you use in your profile will inevitably form thoughts in the mind of the reader. Because you’re on eHarmony and your match is trying to learn about who you are, they’ll associate you with the words on your profile. Avoid using negative words such as ‘hate’, ‘dislike’ or ‘despise’ that might jump off the page and form misconceptions about you.

3. Chose words wisely
Remember that the wording in the question is ‘what qualities are you looking for?’ Writing your profile is a personal mini essay and you will have an audience reading your work. So when you say ‘no liars’ or ‘no cheaters’ your matches may naturally fixate on the words ‘lair’ and ‘cheater’ regardless of the ‘no’ that came before the words.

4. Spin things positively
There’s always a way to rephrase positively. If you feel the need to include your deal-breakers, imagine what you would want instead of what you wouldn’t: “I appreciate someone who communicates their opinions directly and backs up their words with actions.”

Better yet: don’t include deal-breakers at all, but come up with unique qualities that you’re looking for that not everyone wants. It’s often necessary to meet someone in real life to find out what they’re really like. Writing it in a profile isn’t always going to help screen out unfavorable matches.

5. Spare the details
Avoid putting unappealing thoughts into your match’s head. For instance, writing, “I’m allergic to peanuts and if I go near them I could spend the night in hospital covered in a red body rash,” may not leave a positive impression! Simply stating that you’re allergic to peanuts is enough detail.

6. Look for the silver lining
If you decide to write a disclaimer, you could take it a step further to show how this trait or issue is positive, or how it has taught you something. For instance, you could say, “I’m following a healthy diet and exercise plan and I’m excited that it’s teaching me to be healthier and more disciplined.”

Searching for a relationship is like going on a road trip. While it’s necessary to check the rearview mirror every so often, keeping your eyes on the road ahead allows you to look forward to your exciting destination.

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