Maybe you remember putting together a brag sheet for college with all of your volunteer work and extracurriculars. You've likely been asked for your resume and cover letter more than a few times throughout your career.
Now, singles ready to mingle are assembling a dating version of these documents. They're called "date-me docs."
"A date-me doc is essentially a modern-day personal ad—almost a resume for your love life and dating," says Holly Schiff, Psy.D., a licensed clinical psychologist who helps people with romantic relationships at South County Psychiatry. "You describe what you are looking for, who you are and anything else you think is important."
But wait—don't we already have dating profiles? Well, yes, but experts share that people are finding that these profiles aren't helping them find their perfect match.
"Single people quite honestly are sick and tired of dating apps and burnt out, so they are now turning to date-me docs," Dr. Schiff says. "You can present a version of you that might not present as obviously on a dating app."
In short, date-me docs allow people to swipe and tap more intentionally.
"Sharing such in-depth information on date-me docs is a wonderful way to learn more about one another before the first date," says Heather England, Ph.D., a licensed clinical psychotherapist, an AASECT Certified Sex Therapist and host of the "Great Sex" podcast. "Hopefully, that will fast-track meaningful conversation and drive a deeper connection."
Fostering that connection requires crafting a date-me Google doc that screams "you." Experts share exactly what to put on a date-me doc (and what to avoid at all costs).
What Is a Date-Me Doc?
A date-me doc is like a resume-cover letter hybrid but for your love life.
"A date-me doc...[describes] what you are looking for, who you are, your interests, and anything else that will spark the interest of a potential partner," says Lee Phillips, Ed.D., LCSW, a psychotherapist and certified sex and couples therapist.
Where does one create one of these date-me docs? There's no one-size-fits-all all.
"This can be in the form of a Google doc or a PDF," Dr. Lee says. "You can get as creative as you want. People can link them to their social media accounts."
Why Are People Creating Date-Me Docs?
Date-me docs are born out of dating app burnout, explains Jason VanRuler, LPC-MH, LMHC, CSAT-S, author of Get Past Your Past.
"Date-me docs offer a different way for daters to describe who they are and what they are looking for without limitations on the amount of text they can use or how they can share information," VanRuler says.
Another expert shares that people viewing date-me docs also benefit.
"It can bring you some peace to know that someone took the time to write out exactly what they’re looking for," says Gabriela Reyes, LMFT and Chispa App’s resident relationship expert. "A person who takes the time to create a date-me doc and give you details about their lives is more likely to be serious about dating."
What's the No. 1 Thing To Put on a Date-Me Doc?
Don't skip out on the chance to showcase your personality. "The best advice and the number one thing to put on a date-me doc is a summary of your personality," suggests Dr. Lee.
Dr. England agrees, emphasizing the need to show off your authentic self.
"[Include] an honest description of who you truly are, not a description of what you think others want," Dr. England says.
Why Is Sharing Your Personality on a Date-Me Doc Important?
Sharing your personality allows you to sell yourself, but cookie-cutter dating app profiles don't always give you this chance.
"You can present a version of you that might not present as obviously on a dating app," Dr. Schiff says.
That's critical, particularly if you're looking for a long-term relationship rather than a seasonal fling.
"When people are looking for a serious romantic relationship, they want to know what you are looking for in a potential partner, but they are looking for what makes you unique and stick out from the rest of the crowd," Dr. Lee says.
Showcasing your personality also lays a foundation for the person reviewing your date-me doc to like you for you right off the bat.
"One of the biggest mistakes I see people make when dating is presenting a curated, perfect version of themselves instead of a genuine representation," Dr. England says. "The key to being happy in a long-term relationship is being fully accepted and loved for who you are, not who you think your partner wants you to be. Starting out trying to impress someone sets the stage for you not being able to show up as who you truly are. That’s the opposite of what you really want."
How To Share Your Personality in a Date-Me Doc
Dr. Lee suggests a show-don't-tell approach to showcasing your personality in your date-me doc.
"If you are a foodie, you can take pictures of your favorite foods," Dr. Lee says. "If you are an outdoor person, you can include photos of you on a hike."
However, words are important too, and you can sprinkle in hints of the real you throughout your doc rather than limiting it to one specific "personality" section.
"If dad jokes are your thing, throw a few in there," Reyes says. "Your person is likely to appreciate those and laugh with you...If these things turn anyone off, they’re not it for you anyway."
Other Items Your Date-Me Doc Needs
1. Your intentions
If you're serious about coupling up long-term (or not), a date-me doc is the place to explain.
"Be clear about the type of partner you are looking for and why," VanRuler says.
Reyes agrees 100 percent.
“'I’m not sure what I’m looking for, but I think I’ll know when I find it' sounds cute and chill," Reyes explains. "It also leaves way too much room for interpretation if what you’re looking for is a relationship."
2. Deal breakers
Don't want kids? Obsessed with your cat and can't cope with someone with a kitty allergy? Be upfront.
"This will help you find more quality suitors and skip the small talk that typically goes nowhere on the dating apps," Dr. Schiff says. "This should optimize the process and screen out people who wouldn't be compatible with you."
You want to highlight your strengths in these documents like you would during a job search. Think of things like making a mean chili and helping troubleshoot work problems. Or, maybe you're a pro at lending a listening ear without interjecting and picking the best Netflix movies.
"Let them know where you think you excel and why," VanRuler says. "This reveals a lot about your perspective."
Having problems coming up with someone? VanRuler suggests asking some pals.
"[Share] how you are told others see you," VanRuler says. "This can be helpful in demonstrating insight and awareness."
4. Your values
Dr. England explains that your values divulge a window into what gives your life meaning.
"For example, if family, friends and fun are your top three values, then a potential partner will know that you value relationships and having a good time," Dr. England says. "If they are an introvert who likes to stay home and watch TV or work is their top value, they’ll know they aren’t a good fit."
5. The 4-1-1
While date-me docs go deeper than the basics, experts share it's a good idea to make sure you still cover some of the less creative details. Dr. Lee says these essentials include age, gender and sexual orientation.
Reyes suggests including hobbies and interests like what you do on weekends, physical activities and favorite music to skirt typical first-date small talk.
"Answer any of the questions that you are frequently asked in the dating process but get tired of answering," Reyes says.
Examples include your favorite music and way to exercise or what you like to do on weekends. Be specific about how often you do the last one.
"For example, if you go out bar hopping and enjoy it, but your social battery only allows you to do this once a month at most, it’s important that you add that tidbit so you’re not attracting someone who thinks you’re down to go out every weekend when you’d rather be six pillows and two blankets deep on your couch watching stand-up comedy," Reyes says.
What Not To Put on a Date-Me Doc
Experts say it's important to distinguish between "deep" and "too personal."
"I would not air out your dirty laundry or share things that are too personal. Giving potential dates a snapshot of who you are is essential on a dating doc," Dr. Lee says. "Some things are better said on a first date."
A big no-no? Trashing an ex.
"Dating should always be a forward-thinking act," Reyes says. "Mentioning an ex to describe what you like or dislike tells potential partners that you’re stuck in the past. I don’t see very many people wanting to date you and all the grudges you’re holding with your ex."
And make sure you keep basic safety in mind. Your resume may have your address, but your date-me doc should not.
"Steer clear of sensitive information," Dr. Schiff says. "Do not include any private details such as your address or any other sensitive information since this is a public document."