Take a look at that dating profile you made 5 years ago. Not just a quick glance, but a really good, hard look. Now ask yourself some questions.
Do you still work at the same job? Do you still own three cats and a dog? Do you still drink at the local pub three times a week? Are you still looking to date someone between 25 and 28 years old?
Even if you can answer "yes" to all of the other questions, that last one has almost certainly changed. You were five years younger when you created that profile. For most people, five years is practically an eternity, especially when it comes to hobbies, interests, and most importantly, dating preferences.
If you haven't updated your dating profile recently, you should, not only because you want to be honest, but in great part because an updated profile increases your chances of dating success. How does it increase your chances of success? That is a great question.
It Gives You Increased Exposure
Online dating sites recognise the value in updating your profile and provide a very simple reward for that behaviour. Every time you update your profile, you receive increased exposure in a number of ways. First, your profile is temporarily moved to the front of the pack as a highlighted profile. This means that when you are a good match for someone, your profile is more likely to be showcased than someone who is an equal match but hasn't updated recently.
Additionally, most online dating sites allow members to create a list of favourite profiles. When you update your profile, people who have chosen your profile as a favourite may receive a notice that you have made changes to your profile.
It Improves Your Matches
When you were in university, you drank three beers a day and wanted someone who parties as hard as you do. Those days were fun, but now you drink, at most, a glass of wine a week and prefer to get a full night's sleep, even on weekends. There is nothing wrong with either lifestyle and there are plenty of potential partners out there who will be a great match for either. However, if your profile still tells the world that you are a party animal, you are going to be getting date invitations from people who are almost certainly terrible matches for your current lifestyle.
It Shows Commitment
Can you imagine walking into a pub wearing a sign that says "Date me, please," and then waiting patiently for someone to walk up and ask you out? While it might be a fun gag, it isn't likely to be fruitful. People who create a dating profile and then never update it are basically doing the exact same thing. Unsurprisingly, they often have roughly the same results as you would wearing a sign as a pick up line.
Continuing the analogy, updating your profile is akin to walking around the bar, playing darts, discussing the Olympic games, and showing off your new tattoos. It is the kind of activity that shows that you are actually interested in interacting with others and actively pursuing those interactions. A regularly update profile is much more likely to receive messages and date requests than one that hasn't been touched in weeks, months, or years.
It Helps You Discover What Works
There is a lot of information you can potentially put in your dating profile. Some will help you find love. Other information will end up with you watching reruns of Downton Abbey on Friday night. The best way to discover which information is positive and which is negative is to experiment a little.
This isn't a suggestion to lie, but simply to judiciously edit your profile of information that may turn off a potential partner, at least until they get to know you. Yes, your collection of dead wasps is intriguing, and according to Guinness, the largest in the world, but that is probably a revelation that is best saved until the 5th date, rather than revealed before you ever meet.
By updating your profile regularly and actually paying close attention to how much interest you see after various edits, you can get a sense of what information is positive for your dating life. In fact, you should be able to apply this information to your first couple dates as well. The same kind of stuff that turns people off before they know is just as likely to be a poor choice to discuss during early dates where your partner is just beginning to get to know you.