What’s the key to writing a great dating profile? How do you stand out from the hundreds and thousands of profiles that someones swiping through? More importantly, how do you capture someones attention in the 3 seconds it takes for them to swipe left or right?
Halal dating can be a strange, frustrating and exhausting experience. There are so many variables, so many questions and so many moments of miscommunication, misinterpretation and misrepresentation – really makes a girl feel like getting that cat is a great alternative to a partner!
I’m calling it. Halal dating has more complexities and confusion than your regular Joe has to deal with when he’s swiping through tinder…and it’s exhausting. The multiple questions running through your minds as you both ‘talk’. Is Amir on the same wavelength? Can you send that emoji? Is that meme inappropriate? Do they drink? Did I offend them by saying hi instead of Salaam? I rolled my sleeves up, is that too haram for him? Is my hijab too halal for him? Will his family agree to this? Does he want to get married in 3 months? Do I need to live with his family? Is our halal haraam ratio compatible? Does he put pineapple on his pizza?
…. I could keep going. So if you’re reading this and nodding along, go ahead and pat yourself on the back. Because If you’re still putting yourself out there, and remaining hopeful admist this circus of confusion – you’re stronger than you give yourself credit for!
So, whether you’re about to take your first steps into the online/app dating world or you’re on app number 3 and could really do with some pointers – here are 5 tips for writing a great dating profile!
1. A great photo
I cannot stress this enough. A photo will be the first thing someone sees on your profile. Whilst we all know (or at least, I hope we know!), that character is paramount, some level of initial attraction is not only necessary but it is also often what determines whether you swipe left or right. Does that mean you have to be the most attractive woman on earth? No. In fact, this has nothing to do with what you look like and everything to do with the quality and composition of your images. That means take good quality photos, don’t use filters that give you bug eyes, or have daisies floating round the screen and choose photos that really showcase your personality/character or hobbies!
Love to play the piano? Love cycling? Our hobbies and interests are all part of who we are and a photo will showcase this so much more than words on a page ever will.
2. Stop telling people who you are
Let me demonstrate. ‘Hi, I’m Zahra. I’m an outgoing, family oriented person. I’m quite adventurous and my friends would say I’m quite fun to spend time with. I also love to travel’.
How’s that? Personally, unless he’s after vanilla, I wouldn’t be surprised if Ahmed91 swiped left on that. Binge watching Netflix sounds more interesting that starting a conversation with me. I’m doing a great job of writing a CV that lists my personality like they’re qualifications. But like any great interview, what gets you the job isn’t the list, it’s how you demonstrate the very things you claim to have in abundance. So how can I demonstrate all these character traits through words on a screen?
Let’s try again.
‘Hi, I’m Zahra. Yep, that’s me at the top of Ben Nevis looking like I’m ready to pass out. Not quite completed the 4 peaks challenge but I’m on my way.
So other than my obsession with hiking. On the weekends, you’ll find me taking my niece out for our regular hunt for the worlds best gelato – not sure anything can beat the gelato in Rome, but a girl can dream!’
See what I did there? If I can say so myself, I’d like to take Zahra out for some gelato, I know just the place 😉
3. Don't write about what you don't want in a partner
Don’ts and No’s on a profile tend to fill you with a sense of negativity as you read through a bio. So whilst most people have some kind of a deal breaker, it’s always best that you leave that for your conversations.
So avoid writing statements such as:
‘No time wasters’
“No stuck up people please’
“If you think travelling to Dubai makes you cultured, swipe left’
‘If you don’t reply to messages fast enough, press the x button’
These statements are not going to suddenly help you weed out all the time wasters or slow texters. The only thing they will do, is serve as a red flag for anyone reading your profile. You may have a heart of gold, but writing what you’re trying to avoid means you risk coming across as being arrogant or conceited. Remember, the person reading your profile doesn’t know you or your heart. So first impressions from a profile are all they have right now.
4. Honesty is the best policy
Divorced? Widowed? Have kids? Drink? Smoke? Not practicing at all?
Life rarely ever goes to plan and you are human. You are complex and wonderful. You’re continuously learning. You have lived. You are on your own journey and no one but Allah (swt) has the right to judge you.
So, with that being said, do you really want to live your life with someone that would never accept you for who you are? And do you want to start a potential relationship with lies?
Being true to who you are and being honest about this from the beginning is so crucial. Just remember, the nitty gritty should always be left out of your profile and discussed in your conversations together. But, when it comes to the usual profile questions – be honest. Be you. And leave the rest to Allah (swt).
5. Live life to the fullest
Want to give life to your profile? Then go out and LIVE.
You should be living life to the fullest, first and foremost, for no one other than yourself! Having said that, your interests, passions and hobbies are often the conversation starters. They help you grow, learn and know more about yourself – who you are and what you want from life. So if you’ve been putting life on pause for far too long – it might just be time to live a little more boldly.
Disclaimer: I am not a licensed relationship expert/coach. Advice and responses are solely based off my own experiences and opinions. Please use your own judgement and seek professional help where needed.
If you are searching for Islamic guidance, this is not the place. Please contact an imam/ respected scholar etc who can can guide you appropriately inshAllah.