photo: iStock

Designing your online dating profile is about as fun as getting a teeth cleaning. First, you get to scrape through all your best pics to find the most flawless full-body shot. Next comes the hours of drilling your personality down to the perfect profile description. And finally, like a needle to the gums, you numb all fears and better judgement that this will ever really work for you — and blindly hit save.

It’s totally nerve-racking, but absolutely necessary if you want a shot at love, as most Americans now agree that online dating is the way to find your next great relationship. It just gives you better access to other people who are seriously looking to date someone, and helps you connect to a larger pool of candidates. And like anything in life, if you’re diligent and smart enough about it, you can find your next great love in no time.

However, most online dating profiles I see rarely catch this vibe. They're just waiting to be passed over with sarcastic descriptions, weirdly cropped pictures, and a ton of ultimatums. 

Ladies, like a lip wax or Paleo crash diet, if we want to make some changes to our life, we first have to own it. And that includes taking your profile out of the dentist's chair and placing it on a badass throne with great pics, confident descriptions, and positive conversation starters. A great online profile will actually do the work for you, making everyone else totally fall for you before they even swipe right. If you want to wake up every morning with an inbox full of admirers, use the tips below to up your chances for love.

1. Write a short and sweet description. Be pithy and intentional. I've been using this formula to help friends with their profiles for months, and it works. To begin, we will need these four things: 

  • A fun way to say what you do. Be positive about your livelihood. 
  • An activity you enjoy. Think about what you do for fun. Do you run? Like to roller derby? Play soccer? Travel? Salsa dance? Are you in a book or movie club? Volunteer at an animal shelter? Be specific. 
  • A fun food you like to eat. Everybody likes to eat!
  • What makes you happy. Just reading the word happy in a profile gives good vibes.

Why are these four things important? Because they give a potential love interest a good picture of who you are in a way that’s easy to talk about and relate to. And by keeping it short, you give them a list of things to ask about when you finally start your conversations. So, for instance, my profile would read something like this:

Day job: Make muppets look pretty.
Side hustle: Love & sex columnist for Latinas  
Get me on a roller coaster or feed me tacos and I’ll be the happiest girl ever.

Boom! Done. And while the side gig gets guys to swipe right for sure, to my surprise, the first thing most of them ask me about is the tacos. 

2. Get your picture game right. No more aggressively cropped head selfies only with full-body pics circa 2006. On most online dating applications, you only get to swipe once. So just like you wouldn’t show up to a job interview in wrinkled jeans and a dirty shirt, don’t open your profile until your picture game is tight.

The following pictures (in this order) should help you do the trick: 

  • One portrait of you from your head to chest, smiling or looking happy. Think of this photo as a warm greeting.  
  • One full-body shot of you. This one should be candid and show your interests (a ball field, a taco stand, camping).
  • One pic where you look stunning and perhaps a bit dressed up. This plants the seed for admirers to imagine how good you’ll look on dates and on their arm.
  • One more shot of you doing something sweet and looking happy. So they can picture happily ever after with you. 

When you take the time to craft the story of your life, you eliminate the need for others to do it for you. If you don't have these photos, hold back on posting your profile until you take them. You'll be happy you put in the effort.

3. Believe it will happen. I’m serious — know you are worth loving, ladybug. Build your profile with optimism, confidence, and be excited that you have the chance to love. Just like teeth cleanings are ultimately better for your health, so is one more try at finding the right partner for you. Believe it will work. Believe love will happen. And the miracles will begin to swipe themselves into your life. 

Breonna Rodriguez is a Founding Creator and love and relationships blogger. When she's not writing for Vivala.com, you can find her at zenfulie.com.