The latest online dating tool is actually not that high-tech. In fact, it’s typically just a Google Doc. Instead of answering prompts and crafting witty bios with tricky length requirements to find matches, many people are ditching the apps and turning to “date-me docs.” In other words, it’s a dating-resume-meets-personal-ad.
If it seems a little simple, or “charmingly low-tech,” as one dater put it, it is. And that’s kind of the point. But how do you write a date-me doc exactly, and where do you share it? Daphney Poyser, a matchmaker, dating and relationships coach, and founder of Fern Connections, answers all things date-me doc, including why they’re gaining popularity, and what information to include (and to avoid). Plus, we made a downloadable date-me doc template to get you started.
What is a date-me document?
Think of a date-me doc as a modern-day personal ad. It can be a Google Doc, PDF, or personal website. Most importantly, the word count is limitless and it usually only gets into the hands of people you want to see it. Date-me docs often include a lot of the same information you’d find in a dating app — gender, age, and a few photos — but with room to expand on your personality and desires. “This is what people did a long time ago,” says Poyser. “They would put these personal ads in the newspaper.” So why are daters doing it in 2023?
It may have something to do with single people being “sick and tired of dating apps,” she says, frankly. That tracks, considering research shows that some people are becoming dissatisfied with dating sites and apps. Then there’s the impact that swiped-based apps can have on mental health. So it may come as no surprise that some are looking for an alternative.
What to include in your date-me doc
Date-me docs have no prompts, structures, or character limits, so you can really make it your own. That said, you’re going to want to include the basics:
A summary of your personality
A few pictures
A description of the type of person or relationship you are looking for
Before you start making a dating profile document, Poyser has a few tips to offer when it comes to curating the ideal date-me doc.
Keep yourself as the focus. “Don't [use] a lot of group photos,” she says. This can make it difficult to tell who’s who. Let yourself shine.
Show your personality. “If you're an active person, show that you're an active person,” says Poyser. Example: Feature pictures of your favorite outdoor adventures or workouts.
Keep it short. Don’t feel the need to share everything. “Stick to one page if you can,” says Poyser. “When you get [a] date with someone, that's when you want to share more information about yourself.”
Steer clear of sensitive information. That includes addresses and other sensitive details. This is a public document, after all.
Focus on what you want. “Talking about what you don't want or who you don't want is not beneficial,” says Poyser. “Flip that around and talk about all the positive things you're looking for.”
If you’re still unsure where to start, we’ve got you covered. Use our date-me doc template here. All you have to do is make a copy for yourself as a Google Doc or download it to a Word document and customize it to your needs.
How to share your date-me doc
Unlike a Tinder bio, there’s no instant way for hundreds or more people to view your profile. Poyser recommends linking your date-me document in your social media bios. Or, if you want to reach a larger pool of potential daters, try submitting your doc to a date-me doc database.
Swiping right might not be the move for many online daters anymore. If dating apps aren’t working for you — or they’re just making you feel crappy — a date-me doc might be a simpler, refreshing alternative. While it may take an extra dose of patience to find a match, someone who takes the time to read it could be worth the wait.
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