If you’re new here, welcome! You might have noticed a lot of our posts over the past month have been focused on tips and tricks around how to use Plenty of Fish’s features in the best ways. Even though April has come to an end, we decided to cap off the month by backpedaling a little and walking you through the most important, but often overlooked, topic of all: our registration process.
I’m sure I’m not alone in saying that signing up for a dating site or app can feel really daunting. You’re deciding to put yourself out there and suddenly you have to decide how to package up your personality and put it on the internet in a way that feels authentic, and that can be scary. It’s totally valid if you’re a bit overwhelmed, but we’re here to ease the tension. Creating a dating profile doesn’t have to be scary, and it can actually be fun! To prove it, I signed up for Plenty of Fish and am going to give you a full breakdown of what to expect when it comes to our registration, and my best advice on how to give it your all.
To start things off, you have to decide which platform you want to sign up on. POF is available on desktop web (that’s your OG tower computer or your laptop) or you can download the app from the Google Play Store (for all the green-bubble lovers) or the iOS Store (for my Apple friends). I’m an iPhone user, so any screenshots you see will be from the iOS app. The only thing I don’t recommend you do is sign up on your phone’s web browser. Not to sound techy, but POF isn’t optimized for mobile web, so you’ll likely come across some stuff that looks wonky if you go that route – just download the app.
POF’s sign-up process has four sections dedicated to getting to know you that you’ll notice when you start making your profile: Your Account, Dating Preferences, About You, and Your Story. My first and best tip would be to carve yourself out some time to sign up without any distractions. Take the evening to chill with a glass of wine (or kombucha) and have some fun with it. Registration can take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour, but the more time you give yourself, the better IMO. Finding the love of your life (or the love of your… right now) is not to be rushed!
When you start signing up, you’ll be hit with this lovely screen:
Hit continue and you’re on your way! Next up you have your basic account info – username, name, email address, and password. Choosing your username can feel stressful but doesn’t have to be, just pick whatever pops into your head that feels fitting! If you’re stuck, you can always lean on your city and something you’re into. I picked “VancityFoodie” because I’m from Vancouver and I love food….pretty self-explanatory. We only need your first name after that and you can decide whether you want that shown on your profile later in your settings. When you’re deciding what email to use, make sure it’s one you know you’ll have access to for a long time! When picking a password, make sure you use a strong one that you’re not using on any other sites. If you’re not sure how to make a strong password, you can always use a password generator, then save it somewhere safe like LastPass or in your phone’s password wallet.
After that, you’re just going through your classic identification questions. You’ll be asked where you’re located, your birthday, your gender (you can choose to show this on your profile or not), and your ethnicity. Then, you’ll see a screen pop up about privacy where you can choose to personalize your choices or accept the default. Once you select an option, you’re onto the next step!
Now to the good stuff – what you’re looking for. The questions in this section are meant to show us who you see yourself spending time with, and what you see that time looking like, so be honest!
You’ll notice that first, you have to choose your dating preference when it comes to gender. While you can only choose one or the other as your main preference for now, you can always toggle back and forth later in your search settings (and know that our team is working to improve this experience going forward). Next, you’ll see this screen asking what you’re looking for and what your intent is when it comes to dating:
Keep it real here and be honest with yourself about what you’re really after when it comes to dating, there’s no right or wrong answer. This goes for the rest of these choices too. You’ll be asked what you prefer when it comes to kids vs. no kids, smoking, body type, etc. While it’s always great to have an open mind when it comes to dating, you also know yourself better than we do, and everyone has their own dealbreakers.
The rest of this section is dedicated to getting to know you more, so you’ll be asked a bunch of questions ranging everywhere from occupation, to physical appearance, to whether you have pets or want kids. You’ll notice some of this info (like parent’s marital status) isn’t displayed on your profile, and just helps our matching algorithms, and some info is listed as showing only on your extended profile – this is a version of your profile available to upgraded members. You’ve hit the end of this section when you get to the birth order question. Tap next and you’re ready for the final step!
You’ve made it to the best part! This last section is where you get to let everyone know who you really are outside of a bunch of pre-determined options. Your story has five sub-sections that are all equally important, don’t skimp on these bad boys!
Like the prompt mentions below, your headline is your first opportunity to ask a question, share a fact, or just share something fun in your own words. When other members see your profile preview, this and your main photo will be the first things they see! You can think of your headline as a news article headline, what’s fun and eye-catching and will intrigue someone to read more?
You can really put whatever you want here, just be sure it feels authentic to you. I’m a lover of food, especially pasta, so for me, this says it all. If someone’s not eating a fancy carb-filled Italian dinner with me on a Sunday night, they ain’t the one! You want anyone reading your headline to go into your profile with a little nugget of information about who you are.
Your Written Bio
This text box is your oyster! While looking at a blank box can make you sweat a little, think of it as an open opportunity to share anything you want about yourself. You have a long character limit, so you can go crazy if that’s your jam, but I tried to keep it on the shorter side and recommend giving just enough info to, hopefully, catch someone’s interest.
Think of your story like your own personal “About the Author” page, (which might be why I pretty much copied my bio below, oops). If you had to describe yourself to someone in a few lines, what would you say? Or, if you’re stuck, ask your friends or family how they would describe you. You can always come back and edit this later, but I’d definitely encourage you to give it some thought and get something written in there that will help you stand out. Don’t be afraid to put your real personality out on the line, funny, serious, quirky, goofy, or otherwise.
Your Conversation Starters
This is where you start offering up ways to connect with you!. Conversation starters let other members know some topics you care about, which, in turn, will give them a little more insight into whether or not you might be compatible.
These can be as silly or serious as you want, it all depends on the conversations you’re looking to have! I tried to choose a mix of questions that I’d most want to know about someone if I was looking to form a relationship. In my written bio, I mentioned loving food, adventure, and dogs, so asking questions that related to those topics felt important. As someone who absolutely hates doing the dishes, asking about household chores is a silly little compatibility test for me, and as for the TV/movie question, if someone isn’t going to rewatch Harry Potter and Schitts Creek with me regularly, the future does not look bright. Pick specific things you care the most about, and ask accordingly!
The final written stage of your story is your list of interests, these can be anything under the sun!
I chose a big range of interests to try and best showcase all sides of my personality, and I recommend you do the same! I know it can be tough to think of everything you’re into on the spot, but your lifestyle and hobbies are a huge factor in your dating life. Go through different areas of your life (ie work, casual hobbies, entertainment, etc) and pick the things that stand out the most as important to you.
Last but not least, it’s time for your photos. The photos on your dating profile can be one hell of a hot topic, so let me quickly break it down. Choose high-quality, unfiltered photos that showcase who you are, and you’ll likely see the most success.
For your main photo, it’s always great to see a photo of you smiling, sans any filters getting in the way. For the rest of my photos, I chose one of me traveling, one dressed up (a controversial mirror selfie, I know, but if you’re going to do it, do it well), one with me and my insane number of plants, and one with a puppy. These five photos show who I am pretty well, and that’s the goal. Picking group photos, low-quality car selfies, or photos that you’re not even in is not the way to go, and they probably won’t get approved by our team anyways. This is your last chance to show off your best authentic self, so make it count!
Once you’ve uploaded your photos, synced your cell number for verification (if you don’t have a mobile #, don’t worry, you can reach out to our support team), and agreed to our pledge, you are ready to roll! You successfully created your profile and it’s time to get out there and meet some amazing people.
If any of your sign-up questions didn’t get answered in this post, feel free to leave a comment below!