Illustrations: Katya Dorokhina

How to Write Anything

What 5 Serial Daters Can Teach You About Telling Your Story

A great dating profile is about the power of personal narrative

Published in
8 min readMay 22, 2020


This story is part of Forge’s How to Write Anything series, where we give you tips, tricks, and principles for writing all the things we write in our daily lives online, from tweets to articles to dating profiles.

Writing about yourself in any capacity can feel like an impossible task. Ever been asked to write a brief bio for a company website or a class reunion update and come up blank? As a former relationships editor — and, when I was single, a dating-app guinea pig for about every brand imaginable — I say this sincerely: No one is better at telling their own stories than seasoned daters.

Yes, when it comes to dating apps, the actual writing really does matter. Swiping left or right may feel like a gut reaction to someone’s photos, but trust me, even the most chiseled surfer gets at least 40% less hot when all the answers to their Hinge questions are just “whiskey.”

And the stakes are even higher now. With in-person meetups out of the question for most of us, writing our profiles and subsequent texting (and the occasional video “date”) are all we have. In a weird way, the nexus of dating apps and the pandemic offers us a unique opportunity to hone how we tell our stories with those old-fashioned tools called words.

You should use that opportunity. We all should. And here’s the thing: Even if you’ve never used a dating app, or never plan to, or are this close to swearing off Tinder forever, you’re going to have to tell your story at some point. It might be when you have three minutes of face time with someone influential in your field. It might be when you’re trying to make years of random jobs congeal into some sort of coherent “professional narrative.”

Whatever the case, having an empty space to fill with a super-condensed summary of your entire life and your best…



Julia Pugachevsky
Writer for

freelance writer with work in VICE, BuzzFeed News, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Insider, and more.