This article originally appeared on Self and was reprinted here with permission.
You: Fun-loving, goal-oriented, try-any-workout-once kind of girl. Him: Healthy-living, adventurous stud who loves to spend his weekends breaking a sweat. Sounds like a perfect match, but how do you meet him? By overhauling your online dating profile to reflect your active lifestyle.
1. Work your screen name: If this is your first foray into online dating or if you’re trying it again after some time away, create a screen name that reflects your interests. “Screen names should be fun, flirty, and memorable,” says Julie Spira, online dating pro and founder of CyberDatingExpert. “If you love yoga, call yourself ‘YogaLoverinNYC.’ If you’re a skier, perhaps ‘JillLovestoSki’ will send the right message.” Don’t treat it as a throwaway because you’re excited to get to the meatier stuff.
2. Details, details, details: It’s easy to mention that you care about staying healthy, but specifics will really catch a guy’s eye. “You need to convince whoever is looking at your profile that you’re fit and active, so just saying it won’t cut it,” says Dr. Helen Fisher, a Biological Anthropologist and Chief Scientific Advisor for Match.com. Instead of writing something like “staying fit is really important to me,” get down to the nitty gritty. Go for something like, “I run five miles every morning, but on weekends, I’ll crank out ten a day. Lately, I’ve been obsessed with the new Adidas sneakers because I swear they make me feel like I’ve traded my feet in for wings, and I love squeezing in pushups during lulls in Game of Thrones.”
3. Nix the selfies: Pictures are obviously one of the most crucial parts of your online dating profile, so proceed with caution. This is the perfect opportunity for you to show, not tell, how much you love to be active. Throw in some shots of yourself finishing that triathlon or competing in the CrossFit Open. Bonus points if you’re wearing red gear! “Men love viewing and writing to women who wear red outfits in their profiles,” says Spira. Keep it to around five pictures to hit that sweet spot of intriguing but not overwhelming.
4. The Royal We: You have to make it clear that you would bring this dude into your active world instead of leaving him in the dust, says Fisher. “After you talk about your interests, it’s important that you say something like ‘I would love to do these things with someone else,'” she says. Also, show that you’re keeping an open mind about what activities you’d do as a couple. “You can say, ‘I like running and trail biking, but I’d also love to learn someone else’s interests like sailing and scuba diving,’ so if they’re not really runners or trail bikers, they can still bring something to the party,” Fisher suggests. Spira agrees. “In so many profiles, women talk only about themselves and overuse the word ‘I.’ A man needs to know what his life with you would be like as a couple,” she says.
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5. Keep it short: “Men will look at the photos and read possibly the first few sentences of your bio, so leave the novel at home. Plus, if you tell your life story right away, there won’t leave much to talk about on the date,” says Spira. That’s why it’s important to get something about your love of fitness in there early. It’s all about hooking them with a glimpse of what matters most to you. This is especially important to keep in mind if you’ve decided to send someone a message. It can be tough to figure out exactly what to say to someone who seems like a good fit, but under-doing it is better than overdoing it. “Send your potential date an email that’s 3-5 sentences long,” Spira recommends. Get specific about something fitness-oriented that you saw in his profile. If he says he loves to ride bikes, ask how many miles he rides a week and even bring up your favorite trails. He’ll know you’re the real deal.