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The answer is simple:  the truth. Many people have a cynical relationship with online dating and discovering Little White Lies in your introduction is a bad start to a good relationship.

Writers are told again and again, “show, don’t tell,” and that applies to public profiles as well as other kinds of writing. A photo with you on a horse, or dancing, hiking, reading, cooking, or drinking wine will “show” others what they need to know. One man posted two photos, one of him dwarfed among the roots of an enormous tree in Brazil, and another of himself half naked astride a motorcycle in his living room in Texas. What do we think of him? (I was intrigued.)

Instead of I have a good sense of humor, post your favorite joke.  Or write I love Buster Keaton, Monty Python, and language play (“Man Found Dead in Graveyard”). I also love impersonators, like Kate McKinnon playing Hillary Clinton, or Eddie Murphy playing Mister Rogers. By the way, have you discovered comedian Mo Amer yet?

While you’re fiddling with your profile, try making different ones. I did this experiment with three profiles; a sporty one, an academic one, and a musical one. They were posted on three different dating sites and attracted three different sorts of response. Give some thought to what kind of person you want to attract. That should be the driving force behind your profile.

No mixed messages. A woman who writes that she wants to get married and settle down shouldn’t mix her message by posting a just-short-of-erotic photograph. Do you think that the man whose pictures showed him in Brazil and in his living room on a motorcycle was mixing his messages? I got a single one; he’s adventurous, eccentric, goes outside his box quite often.

By the way, while writing truthfully for others, I found myself discovering some truths about myself.