Don't make the process more stressful than it needs to be.

By Real Simple
Updated April 06, 2015
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If you've joined a dating app or site, you know how difficult it can be to answer those personal questions. Even selecting your favorite movies can feel stressful—how many should you list? How do you strike the perfect balance between cheesy rom-coms and intellectual documentaries? What does each movie say about you as a person?

If that internal dialogue sounds familiar, you need this week's episode of "Adulthood Made Easy." Host Sam Zabell talks with Lisa Hoehn, online dating expert and founder of Profile Polish, for advice on creating the perfect online dating profile. Here's some of Hoehn's advice:

1. Tell a story that illustrates your passion. Avoid saying you love travel—instead, tell a story about the last country you visited. Don't just say you're a baker—list a few of your favorite recipes, and one that you're working to perfect. Too many generic adjectives won't make your profile stand out, and you might miss out on the perfect match.

2. Don't take everything so literally. Just because it says create a self-summary doesn't mean you have to actually do that. If your typical Friday night is spent on the couch, you can talk about some of the things that you do when out with friends—no one will hold you to every word you write.

3. Ask your friends for help. It's harder than it seems to write a profile about yourself. If you're drawing a blank with any section—from listing your hobbies to picking a few adjectives—ask your friends what they think. The answers might cure your writer's block.

4. Let your picture be an "in." Every profile should have a few pictures, but you'll find more success if your main photo is a picture of you doing something interesting. You don't have to be bungee jumping off a cliff—you can be cooking, playing an instrument, or spending time with your pet. You'll find the messages you get are more creative than just, "Hi," because the picture provides an easy conversation starter.

For more advice on crafting your profile, listen to the full episode below, and don't forget to subscribe to all of the Real Simple podcasts on iTunes.