A Dating Coach Explains How Men Can Create Authentic And Attractive Dating Profiles
Online dating isn’t about being the best, it’s about knowing (and showing) the best about you, says dating coach Blaine Anderson.
By Mark Travers, Ph.D. | December 1, 2022
Dating apps were supposed to make the process of finding and wooing a potential partner easy and accessible. But lopsided sex ratios, saturated marketplaces, and an abundance of options have taken that story in different direction, especially for men.
What would you have to say to someone who probably needs dating coaching but is skeptical about dating apps and dating coaches in general, maybe because they're still waiting for their 'fairy tale' love story?
Even guys who hire me are skeptical of the value of coaching. This skepticism tends to be rooted in self-doubt: many men have a belief that's like, "I'm not supposed to need help with dating," or as a corollary to that, "There's something wrong with me if I need help with dating, and therefore I can't be helped."
My goal is to communicate that, as much as dating can feel highly personal and unique, it's still a skill. And like with any other skill (e.g. playing tennis, or speaking Spanish), once you understand the organizing principles and practice, you will see quick and meaningful improvements.
How would you describe the role of a dating coach to the uninitiated?
A dating coach is someone who can help you understand and master each step in the dating process, from building confidence in yourself and what you bring to the table, to meeting more prospective partners you're attracted to, to creating romantic chemistry and deeper connections, to deciding who to enter into a relationship with.
A good dating coach will bring a structured approach to each step. They'll help you both understand what you need to do, and the psychology behind why you need to do it.
What, according to you, is the biggest and most common mistake men make when creating their online dating profile? How do you suggest they solve this problem?
The biggest and most common mistake men make with their online dating profiles boils down to not being deliberate about what they share. Different dating apps have their nuances, but your profile is essentially the same no matter what app you're using — you get just 6 photos and 3-6 sentences of written text to communicate who you are.
That's not a lot of canvas, and the competition is fierce, so each photo and word matters if you actually want to meet an awesome partner online.
What would be your top three pieces of advice for a man who is just starting out in the online dating world and is struggling to create a good profile?
- First, invest in getting good photos. I've worked with 1,000+ men, and I don't believe I've ever worked with a client who came to the table with 3 (let alone 6) terrific, dating-app-ready photos just ready to go on their iPhone camera roll. You'll have to make an effort to get great photos, but it's worth it.
- Second, don't mindlessly follow the app's prompts when writing your bio or prompt responses. Think critically about what you want a prospective partner to know about you — things like what makes you unique, what makes you fun to be around, and how they can tell if you're compatible — and answer accordingly.
- Third, remember that you aren't your profile, and that apps are just one way to meet new people. If you're not getting the results you want online, it's rarely (if ever) because you're unattractive — it's usually because your profile is bad. Get help from a pro, or focus on meeting women in-person, but don't just keep spinning your wheels.
How much do research and statistics inform your coaching style and masterclass topics?
Research and statistics heavily inform my coaching. I regularly run census-style surveys to better understand men's and women's views on dating — one example is the survey data on what women actually mean when they describe a behavior as "creepy" that you and I discussed HERE!
I do my best to draw on a wide variety of sources, both academic and otherwise. I've found that real-world observations and experiences are no less useful for illuminating concepts than formal research, so I incorporate both into my content and coaching.
Do you think it's necessary for someone to exaggerate or over embellish their profiles to make them seem exceptional?
Exaggerating is neither necessary nor a good idea, though I definitely understand why you'd ask.
To illustrate the point, imagine a guy taking embellishment to the extreme (e.g. Photoshopping his photos to look more handsome, more fit, and more successful) — this guy might get more matches, but it sure wouldn't help his dates!
Basically, you create new problems for any you solve by stretching the truth. The good news is that you don't need to be more than who you are to attract quality partners online — you just need to put your authentic best foot forward.
Like we discussed earlier, the biggest problem for most men with online dating isn't that they're unattractive, it's that they don't do a good job of communicating who they are already.
Having coached men for so long, you must have distilled some insight on the mistakes women might make when it comes to dating as well. Would you have some words of advice for women in the dating and online dating world?
I tend to describe dating for men as a marketing problem — great guys can have a hard time standing out, and helping women see that they're quality partners. Women have the opposite problem — 6 photos and 3-6 sentences of text aren't enough to identify who is (and isn't) a quality partner.
With this in mind, my advice to women tends to be something like, "Don't judge a book by its cover." There are lots of awesome guys out there who are bad at marketing themselves, but would genuinely make terrific partners.
While coaching can be a great catalyst for upping your game, what would you have to say to someone who over-strategizes when approaching women?
This is a great question, and it's a challenge I often manage with clients. Many of the guys I work with are highly analytical, and it's often easier to think about dating than to actually stick your neck out and date!
We talked earlier about how learning to date is like learning to play tennis, and I think that analogy can help here, too. In tennis, there are enormous benefits discussing your serve or footwork with an expert, but the value of strategizing like this is capped by your willingness to physically step on the court and hit balls.
Likewise, with dating, the right blueprint and strategy can be very helpful, particularly if you've been trying without success for a while, but you won't land your dream partner by staying at home and thinking about the perfect approach. You have to take action.
What would you say is the one mantra every man should keep in mind when dating to find their long-term partner?
I don't know if it qualifies as a mantra, but if I could give just one piece of advice to guys who are single and struggling, it would be to remember that nothing matters more for dating than what it feels like to spend time with you, and this is 100% in your control.