Anyone who’s tried online dating has seen it. The online profile of that “too good to be true” financier from the East Side. The one that went to an Ivy League university, speaks three languages and toured all of Europe…twice. Not to mention they look like they just stepped out of a magazine.

Is it just me, or are those profiles more intimidating than they are appealing?

I’d like to meet the rare individual who has the confidence it takes to step up to the plate and ask this person out!

And even if this perfectly profiled person has a hundred great qualities, you would never know. The only thing you can tell by their profile is that they have an impressive list of accomplishments and interests. What they don’t tell you is who they really are.

Listing your favorite foods or hobbies on your profile is far from a true reflection of your personality. While you don’t have to pour your heart out and write about every detail of your childhood or how devastating your last break-up was, a little sense of humor or honesty is always more attractive than the narration of your entire life.

Understanding the importance of expressing who you are and not just what you do is the first step in finding someone that you are genuinely compatible with.

When writing your online profile, it’s really important to be able to articulate those qualities clearly and in a way that reflects your true essence.

Consider these tips for communicating your personality traits online:

  • List your top five personality traits. We each possess traits that distinguish us from one another. Whether you are driven, creative, intuitive, sarcastic, passionate or courageous, identify what makes you you.
  • Apply your personality traits. For each trait, explain why you chose it and how you demonstrate it in your daily life. For example, if you define yourself as “compassionate,” explain why you volunteer at the animal shelter or visit your grandparents every week.
  • List your top five emotional needs. Identifying your own needs will help you figure out what kind of person you are looking for to fulfill those needs. It will also help that person understand your expectations for your future spouse.  Emotional needs are expressed in the form of “to need, to feel or to experience” (i.e., to experience passion, to feel cherished, to have new experiences).
  • Identify what you are looking for in a spouse. By knowing what kind of person you want to spend the rest of your life with, you can save yourself a lot of time and energy. Identify the traits you want in a spouse so that you can look for those who have matching values and eliminate those who don’t.

Is someone going to love you because you’re a world traveler and speak exotic languages, or will they love you because you can travel the world together without ever running out of things to talk about?

With online dating profiles, you only have a few paragraphs to define who you are, so choose your words carefully and make them count!