The sometimes-crazy world of online dating can be daunting to navigate for those who have just decided to try it out. In his new e-book “Poke Me: A No-Nonsense Guide to Online Dating and Offline Loving,” author Kabir Chopra shows readers how to create a profile that suites their unique personalities. The author shared his advice on what to say in that all-important first message, how to pick the perfect profile photo and the mistake he thinks all online daters should avoid.
You write in the intro to “Poke Me” that you’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to dating profiles. What’s the one mistake that online daters seem to make the most?
The number one mistake is that people are not highlighting their personalities in their profiles. Some people arestill shy about online dating, so they are very skimpy with their answers. The profile questions give you the opportunity to show your passions. I think the one mistake people make is that they aren’t telling people enough about themselves.
Can you give our readers some advice about what to write in that all-important first message?
Focus on whatever pops out at you about their profile. Basically, you want the person you are messaging to know that 1) you are a normal person that has actually read their profile and 2) that you have engaged their comments and mentioned whatever appealed to you about their profile.
In addition to being a writer, you also work in film and are a photographer. What makes a good profile pic?
The first thing is that it should be a good quality image and well-lit with a nice background. You should be the center of attention in the photo — I can’t say how many profile photos I’ve seen where there’s a huge group of people and you’re like “who does this profile belong to?’ Don’t do that.
How many photos should you include in a profile?
I would say five is a good number. You don’t want to have too many because you might come off as vain. I’d say that you should use photos of yourself in different environments, and that one or two selfies are okay.Your photos should also show a bit of your interests. If you are outdoorsy, take a photo outdoors. If you like biking, use a photo of you on your bike. And this should be self-explanatory, but you should look good in all of the photos and have a nice smile.
And what’s the one photo you absolutely shouldn’t use?
If you are a guy, don’t use pictures of you with lots of other girls. It makes you look like a player and turns women off. With girls, it’s basically the same thing. You don’t want to give off the impression that you already have a boyfriend or girlfriend.
Follow Lakshmi Gandhi on Twitter @LakshmiGandhi.