How to Write the Perfect Online Dating Profile Tagline

30. November 2010

Aside from the profile picture, the tagline is the first thing that you see when seeking potential matches in the online dating world. With so many users on dating sites these days, it’s important to stand out right away.

Jim, 27, a Captain in the U.S. army living in Germany says, “If they put something in there that interests me, it can make [their profile] stick better [in my mind].”

Alternatively, someone might dismiss you based on what you say. You want to be intriguing and get someone to read more about you. Here are some do’s and don’ts for creating your perfect tagline. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule…

1. Be Interesting and Intriguing

DO: Talk about yourself.

Rather than talking about what you’re looking for in a partner, write about your own qualities. You’re trying to get someone to read more, so make them interested in you. Otherwise, a prospective match might be sitting there wondering if he or she fits your criteria. Obviously, later in your profile you’ll detail the qualities that you look for in another person. However, in the beginning, be as inviting as you can.

EXCEPTIONS: Combination taglines.

There are ways to say something about what you’re looking for and say something about yourself at the same time. For instance, “Looking for someone to curl up on the couch and watch the Colts game” or “I’ll cook, you bring the wine.”

The first tagline shows the user’s love of Colts football, snuggling, and hanging out at home, while showing that these things are important attributes in potential dates. The second tagline shows that the user is a food and cooking enthusiast, and hopes that the other person would at least be a wine enthusiast.

2. Be Truthful

DON’T: Lie.

If your tagline doesn’t fit in with your profile, it will come back to bite you sooner or later. You can lie on the Internet, but the truth will come out when you meet in real life. Be yourself.

Kate, 26, a computer engineer in Ann Arbor, MI, says, If you want to find a relationship, not just something casual, you need to say what you mean so people know up front.” In fact, Allison, 38, a project manager in Bellevue, WA uses the tagline “As real as it gets” because, she says, “a lot of guys [I’ve met online] tell me a lot of people [they have met online] are disingenuous.”


There’s really no exception here. Don’t say that you’re a globetrotter if you’ve never left the country. However, you might say, “I’m interested in exploring the world with you,” which identifies you as someone with an interest in traveling and new experiences.

3. Be Specific

DON’T: Be vague.

Remember back during school when writing teachers told you to “show, don’t tell?” Adjectives aren’t always helpful. Everyone is looking for someone nice. Ditto for funny. And after scrolling through a few pages worth of profiles, seeing the same sort of “nice girl looking for a funny guy” means less and less.

EXCEPTIONS: Not all adjectives are bad.

That’s not to say that all adjectives are bad. Words like spontaneous, easy-going, loyal, insatiable, open-minded, lively, or bold are all great. Actually, in lieu of a tagline, some sites invite you to give three words to describe yourself. Doug, 29, in Seattle says, “If someone can be interesting in three words, that says a lot about a person.” Dan, 29, a designer in Seattle agrees, “You want to show wit.” So get that thesaurus out and get to work!

4. Use Famous Quotes

DO: Borrow from others.

Got a favorite quote? Use it! Just make sure it is somehow reflective of you. If you are into going out around town, Dorothy Parker once said, “As only New Yorkers know, if you can get through the twilight, you’ll live through the night.”

Perhaps a song quote is more up your alley. You might try something more sentimental like, “We are one, but we are not the same,” from “One” by U2. Or if you are a movie buff, “Anybody want a peanut?” from The Princess Bride might not say anything directly about you, but it shows that you like film, and have an off-beat sense of humor that similar people will admire.

EXCEPTIONS: Not all quotes are perennial classics.

You risk dating yourself (no pun intended!) by quoting say, a children’s movie from your childhood. If you have a large age range, then remember that when The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles came out, someone who is now 20 was just born. On the other hand, quoting from a recently popular song can be dangerous, as six months from now might be passé. In that case, just remember to update your tagline frequently.

5. Stay Away from Religion and Politics

DON’T: Bring religion or politics to the table.

By using a Bible quote, for example, you might scare someone away, even if they share your beliefs. Your tagline with your picture is the very first thing that someone will see, and however wrongly stereotypes are created. Similarly, saying “Sarah Palin, 2012!” can disturb some people. You might even turn off some people who share your political viewpoints, but don’t like your prospective candidate or may assume something else about you based on what you say.

EXCEPTIONS: Be bold if you want.

If you absolutely want your date to be a Green Party member or a Muslim, then go ahead. Kate says that she is a Christian in her tagline, I didn’t really care if less people answered because I knew it was a much smaller group I was applying to. I also know the statistics. Single Christian men are usually swept up pretty quickly. I do feel it might have scared people away, but [that] wasn’t important to me.”

6. Be Serious and Think Positive

DO: Take it seriously.

Treat it like an interview. Saying, I’m bored, so here goes nothing” might as well read, “I don’t really care about finding you, or about internet dating, but my life is so boring that taking the time to sign up fills some minutes of my day since I have nothing better to do.” And even if that is true for you, it could come off as offensive to others who take finding someone online very seriously. Allison says that, someone with this sort of tagline has “poor social skills because they think that it’s original.”

Dan recalls being turned off by someone’s attitude in their tagline when they had written, “if you have a kid, don’t bother.” Whether he has a kid or not wasn’t the issue, but the attitude behind the line. So think positively! To show that she’s an optimistic, up-beat person, Kara, 43, a Realtor in Dallas uses the tagline “live a happy life”. Similarly, Sally, 36, an Occupational Therapist, also in Dallas uses the line “Start where you want to go.”

Once you do have something that you like, check it for spelling and grammatical errors. You might not be a grammar Nazi yourself—you might not even notice mistakes in someone else’s tagline or profile—but some people will pick up on it. And for those who do, you will come off as less educated or intelligent than you are.

EXCEPTIONS: Don’t be overzealous.

Don’t say something like “only the best need apply” or “all comers welcome,” which can come off as offensive. Though you probably don’t really mean that you are hiring a date, that connotation can seep through. It also can seem narcissistic to some people, as if you have a whole group to take your pick from. Remember that the other person is going to want to interview you too.


Taglines are very important when trying to grab your potential partner’s attention. Creating the right tagline can be extremely difficult, but you can make it fun too! People can hear confidence through good taglines and this is what you are shooting for. Don’t give up and you will find the person of your dreams.

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