“What’s in a name?” Juliet Capulet asked Romeo Montague those very words before exclaiming, “That which we call a rose / By any other name would smell as sweet.” For the heartsick teenager’s particular circumstances, the rhetorical question and comparison (or lament) are unassailably valid. No one should be denied love merely by virtue of family ties. A name is really just a word, after all, not the measure of an individual’s worth.
But Shakespeare’s doomed lovers resided in 1597. If the characters were alive today, they’d find out how vital a good dating site username can before achieving right swipes. Because according to professionals, it’s not just your profile pix that are sending blaring messages about you.
It’s your username, as well.
And it doesn’t take a genius to see the wisdom in this.
Why A Username is Important
Humans tend to size each other up pretty quickly, making snap judgments in the process. If someone can size-up your home in 38 seconds, it’s safe to assume they’re sizing you up just as swiftly.
Not everyone wants to use a fake or “statement” name, but sometimes it can’t be helped if their real name’s already been taken. For some people, it’s a matter of maintaining as much privacy as possible, and others just want to give themselves a snappy moniker to stand behind like an alter ego. As it turns out, the latter of the two groups might be right in their approach. Beyond possibly providing a mental boost, it’s been suggested that choosing a creative username from imaginative and evocative words may actually improve your prospects for getting noticed.
On a dating site, your username is basically your first introduction, next to photographs. Think of it as your calling card. Depending on the website or app, people see those two things before ever setting eyes on your profile’s details.
This is especially true on Match and Plenty of Fish, where screen names feature prominently. Whatever cute, quirky, mysterious, or bold name you’ve cooked up for yourself is representing you and the message you want to be conveying. Yes, it’s preferable to stand out from the rest of the crowd, but consider doing it in a manner that is flattering and serves you, not hinders you.
For example, HotMama, SexySue, Heartbreaker, AdrenalineJunkie, DangerDan, and AmericanSniper are all great usernames — if you’re on hookup sites or you’re a hopelessly clueless teen, early twenty-something male on Xbox. Otherwise, you might want to rethink them before continuing on with your bad self.
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Worst Dating Usernames
Several years back, “Women’s Health” magazine did a piece on the “10 Worst Online Dating Usernames” they’d come across. While the names were priceless and the writer’s observations were spot-on, it was a comment made by Whitney Casey, a relationship expert with Match.com., that stood out.
The author noted “you can seriously reduce the volume of winks and incomprehensible tech babble coming your way” by avoiding “putting out the wrong vibe” with ill-conceived usernames. Casey concurred by stating, “You are going to get back whatever you put out there.” That’s it in a nutshell.
So, what do you want to go by? Something that is both representative of you and is at the same time eye-catching. First off, bear in mind which sites or apps you’re using and what your end goals are. What are you searching for?
Relationships and flings require different tacks.
Top Tips to Consider
What’s your personality type? Are you a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of guy or gal? Or maybe you’re an academic who loves to read. If you are, and you’re looking for your soulmate,
AvidReader or Bookworm just might get you a match with someone going by the username TheProfessor or LadyScholar.
Unless they’re looking for a “naughty librarian” type, the names probably aren’t going to resonate with a bad boy or girl, though. So, put some thought into your “message” first. Experts also suggest stepping back from the task and asking your friends to best describe you, if you’re at a loss for words.
Very often, an outside opinion on how we come across is far more insightful than how we perceive ourselves. That’s because it’s easy to overlook your most endearing or attractive characteristics when you’re “in the box.” That holds true for negative traits, as well.
Clever Usernames for Dating
In your search for a creative alias, you will undoubtedly come across countless resources that will insist that they hold the answer to the dating site username conundrum. The most common solution, it seems, is to use a “matrix” for arriving at a clever dating site username with presence.
How does it work?
At its core, it’s as basic as a kids’ game. According to research conducted by PersonalDatingAssistants.com, it’s about taking advantage of colorful, rich language to describe yourself. If you need examples, the site supplies words they’ve identified as “top performers” for PDA members.
Seeing as humans are multifaceted creatures, there are a number of categories to choose from, depending on what personal quality or interest you want to highlight. The lists each contain at least five words. The object is to pick a word from two different lists and combine them to make your username.
So, say, for instance, you choose to represent your inner nerd and your foodie skills. You might select “cupcake” from the culinary word list and “Jedi” from the geek list for a combination of “CupcakeJedi.” That, PDA declares, is a more creative and expressive statement than MaryJo Perkins, or whatever your name happens to be.
The formula these matrixes use isn’t that much different than the party game where you arrive at your hypothetical adult film star name by combining the name of your first pet with the name of the first street you lived on. The results are usually pretty funny, like Fluffy Kincaid or Butch Boxwood. But there is validity to incorporating words that represent who you are, especially those that distinguish you. If you’re stuck, at the very least, a matrix can give you a starting point for brainstorming ideas.
Employing descriptive imagery does help. For instance, if a person who is a writer or an artist happens to be working or attending school out of the country, they could be ArtistAbroad or
WriterAbroad. Both paint a picture rather than resembling a comic book character such as ShadowHunter. Unless you’re wearing a black trench coat and leaping off rooftops, what’s the point? Bottom line: try to avoid pseudonyms that sound like gamer usernames for dating sites.
Tailoring Dating Site Usernames
The sites you’re on will naturally dictate the direction you take — or they should.
- If you’re on eHarmony, Match, or any of the mature dating sites where a strong relationship is the main objective, choose wisely — regardless of the flashy usernames, some “experts” suggest. Sincere types could use PlayingForKeeps. An architect or homebuilder might opt for BuiltToLast or EyeForDetail. A female interior designer or decorator could go by DesigningWoman. A pilot might pick Skyraider, FlyingTiger, or PlaneCrazy.
- For niche dating apps/sites aimed at successful adults, such as Elite Singles or The League, a strong descriptive name is best suited here. Feel free to be bold, but do it tastefully. For instance, CaptainOfIndustry might be a good dating site user name, as would SuccessStory. On the other hand, FilthyRich, MidasTouch, and BlingBaby all sound self-indulgent. Are you looking for a date, or merely bragging?
- What to avoid? Women really ought to avoid selecting names like SpoiledRotten or PamperedPrincess unless their point is to advertise upfront that they’re high maintenance. In that case, they might be better off surfing sugar daddy sites. While a lot of men predictably prefer sexy names for female users, they’d be wise to focus on a name that suggests intelligence for themselves. That’s because women are said to be drawn to usernames that project intellect.
- Apps and sites for hookups are a free-for-all where you can get as imaginative as you like, because you’re really just being judged by your looks and whether you’re “dtf.” Your choice of name is merely frosting on the cake if you want to lean towards suggestive or just be blatant about it. It’s not recommended you pursue this path anywhere else.
What Your Dating Site Username is Saying About You
You don’t have to look far to come across oodles of horrendous screen names when browsing profiles, and it’s certain you swiped left on all of them. So many of them are just sooooo bad, it’s difficult to imagine what these people could have been thinking when they created them. Did they not stop to consider the light they were portraying themselves in?
Obviously, these gems were bound to be gathered and consolidated on “Worst” lists everywhere, destined for Internet immortality. While the names are dreadful enough to make you laugh, it’s the writers’ “insights” into the names that will make you howl. Cafemom’s Jeanne Sager’s biting commentary and wry observations regarding usernames, as well as many others, are hysterical.
Some examples are as follows:
On Farmers Only
- PullingTeats — Please be referring to a cow’s teats, please be referring to a cow’s teats, please be referring …
- YourHero — Oh man, it couldn’t get cheesier if it were a block of cheddar!
On Christian Mingle
- Imhisforever — Well, that doesn’t leave much room for love, now does it?
- pickofdestiny4u — We get it, you have a realllllly high opinion of yourself.
- Creepy_stranger — Isn’t he the one we’re supposed to AVOID?
- hottestguyonOKC — Clearly someone in need of some self-esteem.
- Hurtone4u — Nothing screams creepy control freak like this guy’s screen name.
Admittedly, none of these are great, but some are downright dismal choices.
The point is, put some real thought into it before committing. Not all sites feature screen names prominently, and many other apps and services are phasing out the importance of them by making them optional. But they can be useful tools for successful online dating, so don’t underestimate their value.
Online Dating Synergy
One thing many people familiar with dating site best practices point to is that it’s not enough to have a good username, polled pix, and a favorable profile. There needs to be a synergy between them. In other words, they need to complement and play off of one another to tie everything into one attractive, cohesive package.
PersonalDatingAssistants states that
“The most important quality of an effective dating username is how well it relates to your lead photo. Your username and lead photo should complement each other. Each element working in sync, will support the other, together creating your overall Attractive Archetype.”
eDating Doc Radio Wright says that, like most guys, he didn’t put much thought into his username when he first started with online dating. It didn’t seem that important. When he didn’t see the kind of results he’d hoped for, he began to investigate each facet of his experience step by step. That included his username, profile, photos, and even emails. Then it hit him:
“I worked and worked and worked. I tried everything! Then, all of a sudden — BAM — something happened. I figured it out—Synergy. Synergy between my username + photos + profile + emails + phone calls + 1st dates.”
Wright works with men to help them improve their own dating experiences, offering advice and tutelage for those finding it difficult to navigate the electronic dating seas. He even offers “The
Complete Online Dating Username Guide: A Step-by-Step Guide to Create a Username Women
Find Irresistible” for guys interested in getting better results. It includes “50 Advanced Examples Women Find Irresistible…”
It’s about everything coordinating and working together to produce something great. This can hold true for many, if not most, things. A planned effort usually has a more successful outcome when thought and coordination are enlisted rather than winging it. Yes, spontaneity is fun, but it doesn’t apply to all practices.
Askmen.com recommends not trying to use anything “too funny,” as it may backfire and quite possibly isn’t nearly as funny as you deem it. Their second bit of advice, “Obviously, avoid anything with the number “69” in it, and instead try to pick a username that can be a talking point.” This really should go without saying, but tell that to self-saboteurs Creepy_stranger and NotAnInternetKiller. The selection of those two names should have gone without saying, and they were no doubt attempts at humor, albeit failed. Learn from their missteps, if nothing else.
Username Generator Tools
Finally, we take a look at generator tools. These are basically computerized matrixes if you were curious. Or, if you’re a copywriter, you could liken them to spinning where you write a sentence with a keyword or phrase in a gazillion different ways. When people go with a site or an app that generates a bespoke username, they are encouraged to supply keywords that they might like to work from.
These words can be an attempt at self-description (as they see themselves) or words they feel a special affinity to. By supplying them, they could end up as GentlemanRacer or MileHighDenverite, but just as easily become FlamingEagle, StealthBomber, NinjaViper, or MaverickRising. And there’s not anything wrong with any of those choices in the proper settings.
There are several username generator options out there if you decide to shop around. Many of them double as password managers, too, should you need assistance there, as well. Here’s a sampling of services to get you started:
Dating Site Username Tips
With safety in mind, there are a number of pointers you should take to heart when concocting a screen name. You don’t want to give out too much leading information. These tips primarily apply to less descriptive or elaborate names.
However, people still have a tendency to work in clues that they shouldn’t. Here are six things to consider about username and password creation:
- Never use your full name, parts of your home address, or bits of your phone number.
- Never use the same screen name as your email username.
- Don’t use names that give hints to your passwords, either with words, numbers, or symbols.
- Never create a password that is the same as your username, particularly on important accounts.
- Avoid using the same odd or unique username with different social sites unless you want to be tracked.
- As stated before, do choose a name that is appropriate for the type of site or service that you’re employing, whether it be social, professional, or personal.
All it takes is some thought, creativity, and a little insight to represent yourself in a way that best says who you are while protecting your privacy. Have fun with it. Experiment. Bounce potential candidates off friends and family. Just don’t sweat it. It’ll come to you.
And when it does, you’ll recognize it for what it is: you in a bright, bold, beautiful nutshell. Go ahead, stand out from the rest of the crowd. You deserve to be seen.