When trying to find your life partner, it’s always best to put your best foot forward. In real life meet-cutes, that would mean selecting the perfect outfit, or picking out the picturesque venue for the first dinner date. In the realm of online dating, doing one’s best means having a clean, and pristine profile. I’ve made it my business (literally and figuratively) to study profiles on Muslim matrimonial apps. So, here are a few pointers from someone that helps people freshen up their profiles.
If I have to pause longer than a few seconds to study your photo because I can’t see your face, that’s a problem. It’s crucial to have at least one solid headshot. While it’s important to vary the types of photos you share-- a photo in a social setting or in a more serious setting-- it’s most important to just show people what your face looks like. I don’t care about how expensive your Nikes are, or how many cool hats you have. If I can’t get a clear view of your face, then it’s probably not a great start.
Funny story: I used to do this quirky thing where all my photos involved me wearing sunglasses (because I just think they sit nicely on my nose, and UV-ray damage to the eyes is totally real!) My friend who used to play matchmaker would always yell at me when I gave her photos of myself wearing sunglasses. I wasn’t trying to hide my face, but it certainly looked that way to the guys! All that to say, don’t hide in your photos. Choose something where we can see all of you, not "You're cool " outfits or raybans 😎. Just you 😌.
It’s a bit awkward writing about the qualities you’re looking for in a spouse. Maybe you’re just starting this courtship stuff, and are still learning how to articulate what you want in another human. Fine. You don’t have to be detailed for that section. But please, take some time to write a few sentences about who you are. What defines you? Is it your job? Is it your weekend hobby or side-hustle? Are you a proud single father or mother? Are you very devout in your Deen? What can you say in a few words that gives us just a little clue into who you are? Don’t try to write for the crowd, just be yourself.
Call me old fashioned, but I sure do appreciate honesty in a potential spouse. If you’ve been married before, don’t be ashamed to check the “divorced” or “separated” box. It’s important to let the other person know what type of relationship you’ve been in before, and what stage of your life you’re in now. I’ve met some guys that leave out that they’re divorced, and instead tried to rope me into the conversation by waiting a full twenty four hours before slipping in, “last time I was married…” Umm hello? When did that happen? There’s no shame in divorce. It’s allowed in Islam, but hiding the ball and not being open with a potential about your marital status is no bueno.
Are you an avid traveler? Have you skydived? Did you do a road trip to all fifty states? If so, share that! Tell us something fun and exciting! Share a photo of you in an adventure moment, laughing with friends or family. Give us a glimpse into your happy days. Even if you don’t think you do exciting things, share some activity that brings you joy. When swiping for a spouse, one often tries to imagine themself with their spouse doing day to day things. Give the person swiping on you an idea of what a life with you would look like.
When writing your profile, be sincere about what you’re doing. If you are just looking to “test out the waters,” or “make a new friend,” then say so. It’s okay if you’re not on the apps to find your spouse just yet. But be honest about that. Tell us what you’re looking for, and what we can expect. If you’re looking for a serious relationship aimed at marriage, don’t be afraid to write that too. Those of us looking for the same, will be more likely to swipe right just because we’re on the same page in terms of objectives.
So don’t be nervous. Put your thinking cap on, and jump right into writing that profile. Happy swiping!