Last update on July 18, 2019

Catch the eye of a potential partner with the essential tips for making an online dating profile for expats.

If you’re seeking a partner to share in your international adventures, expat dating sites can increase your chances. To maximize your shot at snagging your dream date online, the key is knowing how to write a dating profile that intrigues and impresses.

What works wonders might not be what you think. You don’t need a dating profile photo that looks like an application for the Mr. or Miss Universe contest. Nor is the best dating profile one that implies you’re an Olympic athlete who writes novels on a yacht when not brokering Nobel Prize-worthy peace deals…unless you really are, that is. Being honest about who you are is the kind of quality that will land you a Valentine’s Day date. The ultimate online dating profile tip is to be yourself.

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International online dating profile photos: The key to romance

The top dating profile tip is truly to be honest and open – even in your photo. That means that if you have curves, freckles or grey hair, your photos should reflect that. The potential dating pool searching through the thousands of online dating profiles is a diverse bunch of expats with varying tastes, and the only way to mutual love and happiness is to be real.

couple smiling

Take the best online dating photos and use the right ones by following some simple advice:

  • Smile! Friendly and confident wins hearts, no matter where in the world an expat is from.
  • Check the whole picture. Make sure the background sends the right message. So do a little Photoshopping or choose another picture if you’re standing next to, say, a table full of empty beer bottles or a laptop open to an unsavory website.
  • Lights, camera, action! Use an action photo that reflects your interests, e.g. traveling around your foreign country, skiing down the slopes, fishing, painting or anything else.
  • Be self(ie)less. If you are featuring a few pictures, avoid using too many selfies. Include both face shots and full-body shots.
  • It’s all about you. Avoid – or at least limit – group photos, no matter how cool your clique of international friends may be.
  • To be hot or not to be hot? Consider carefully what kind of person and relationship you’re after, and what your clothes and pose might convey.
  • Keep it fresh. Make sure your photos are from at least the last year and replace your main photo every now and then.

How to write a dating profile for expats: Be just the way you are

You want to show yourself in the best light, but if you try to appear as someone you’re not, you will either attract someone who’s not right for you or disappoint your date when you meet in person (awkward!).

Be upfront about children if you have any. Remember, however, that other expats scanning your online dating profile want to discover who you are, not your kids – so focus on yourself and mention children as just one important part of your life. For expats far from their home countries, family can take on special meaning. It’s certainly nothing to hide (though your dating profile is decidedly not a good place to talk about your ex).

Be clear regarding about your search: you may be after casual dates to keep you company while living abroad or looking for another expat with whom you can get serious. Providing clarity will help down the road when you start flirting with dates in-person.

Dating profiles for expats: But be your best self

Though you should definitely be honest, you can still cast yourself in a good light:

  • Create a catchy headline and username. If the online dating site features headlines and customizable usernames, take some time to think about them. Your headline should spark curiosity and say something about you – perhaps including the name of your home country, native language or a hobby; it should also suggest the type of person you hope to meet. Browse other international dating profiles for inspiration, noting what types of profiles bowl you over.
  • It takes two. Focus on activities and interests you could do together with your potential partner instead of highlighting your solitary hobbies.
  • Be positive. Say what you like and what you want rather than complaining or saying what you don’t want.
  • Go deep. Don’t just say you like reading – mention your favorite genres and titles. If you like cooking, tell them you’ve been learning to prepare dishes from the foreign country you’re living in. If you love walking on the beach, describe why you’d like to share that experience with someone special.
  • Keywords are key. Include words that someone might search for or might quickly tell them about you.
  • KISS. Wait, kissing already? Not that kind! We mean KISS: keep it short and simple. Don’t be too wordy or make your expat dating profile too long.
  • Look smart. Take the time to check your grammar and spelling. That doesn’t mean you need to take a formal tone, however, or use fancy words you’d never utter in person. This is for pleasure, not business.
  • Think international. Don’t use too many colloquialisms, especially if you’re meeting people from different cultures. Remember, other expats reading your online dating profile might not be native speakers of your language. You want possible dates to understand exactly what you mean.

For more tips on online dating, see Expatica’s expat dating series: