Dating for dummies
Because I run Ignite Your Match, I get to see a lot of feedback on profiles as I monitor our reviewers for quality. There are a lot of commonly recurring critiques and I’ll go over several here.
Dating for Dummies 101: Things NOT to do on your profile
- Poor grammar – This is such a common negative that comes up in reviews! Women really care about how well men craft their profiles, and if they come across as intelligent by using proper grammar. I so often see women tell men that they review “I can tell you’re intelligent but you’re not really presenting yourself like it by having so many typos and lousy grammar.” Also, of course, women don’t want men who are lazy, and a sloppily written profile can hint at that. If you don’t take the little effort and time needed to make your profile error free, it may concern women that you’ll be lazy in other areas. Men, however, let women get away with way more grammatical errors, as it doesn’t bother them as much in their choices of who they will message and pursue. Here’s a tip: Copy and paste the text from your profile page into Microsoft Word or any other word processor to have it check for misspellings and major grammar issues. See those squiggly red lines under certain words? Fix them.
- “LOL” – What’s so hilarious? Tone down the amount of “LOL”s and other Internet abbreviations in your profile. Having a LOL-free profile will make you look more serious and dateable. Your humor can easily come across in what you write. There’s no need to punctuate every sentence with “lol.”
- Arrogance – Guys, women want a man who is confident and strong, but not smug and arrogant. It can be a fine line to walk sometimes, but keep your pride in check. Humility can go a long way.
- Self-deprecation – On the opposite of the spectrum, people are less likely to message or respond to someone who bashes themselves in their profile. A little jabbing at yourself may be fine, but don’t go overboard and talk about yourself too critically or negatively. You’re supposed to be enticing people to go on a date with you here, not making them feel sorry for you.
- Income – When a guy talks explicitly about his income on a profile that we review, it’s almost always a negative to our reviewers. The best women aren’t going to go after you because you have a handsome salary, but because you have a great attitude and other important things to offer. Mentioning what you do for work is great, but don’t put dollar amounts on there.
- Talking without explaining – Okay, awesome, you say you volunteer at a kids camp in the summer. That’ll get you points with just about anyone. But you should take a minute and explain WHY you do it and WHY you like it. The same goes for your occupation, if you say what you do for a living. Don’t just say “I’m a veterinarian and I really like my work,” go on in detail about why it’s fulfilling and why you like doing it.
- Wearing sunglasses in pictures – People want to see your face in pictures, and the eyes are a crucial and alluring feature of your face, so don’t hide them. One or two pictures with sunglasses on is fine, but don’t make it your profile picture, and make sure you let visitors see your full face, including your eyes. This is actually the most common critique related to faces in pictures.
- Shirtless pictures – Guys love posting pictures of themselves with their shirts off, boasting proudly of their six pack (or perhaps their beer belly), but it’s a major turn off for a lot of women. You might as well label your shirtless pictures with the tagline “I’m sort of douchey” as that is how it often comes across. If you have incredible abs, let her find out later. Keep your shirt on, pal.
- Look bummed out in all your pictures – You can be pensive in some of your pictures, but having a warm inviting smile in your pictures makes a huge difference. Getting feedback on your pictures will help you learn if your smile gets a little creepy at times, too. You want to come across as charming, not as a potential Dexter. Keep in mind that some people when surveyed literally say their number one fear with online dating is being murdered by a date.
- Be super weird in your profile – If you come across as a weirdo, you’re less likely to get messages. One guy we reviewed randomly put “Bacon!!!” all over his profile. Don’t be that guy.
- Talk about drinking and drugs – Most people drink and most people like going to bars and most people aren’t raging alcoholics, but if you talk about your affinity for beer too much in your profile, people may wonder if you’d be too much of a partier for them. Keep it minimal and don’t make it seem like the biggest thing in your life. Also, not filling out the “drugs” portion of the OkCupid profile (and any other dating site with that question) makes people automatically wonder if you’re some sort of heavy drug user. Fill it out honestly, saying you don’t do any drugs, or just light things like weed, or be honest about whatever you’re doing. It’ll come out in the dates you go on anyway.
- Talk about how you want to get married and have babies ASAP OMG!!! – If you want to start a family, that’s completely awesome, but some potential suitors may be discouraged from talking to you at all if you seem desperate to get a family going. You should certainly mention it if it’s a question (most sites include “Want kids / have kids” in the profile). Honesty is the best policy with online dating profiles, just like most aspects of life.
- Be negative – If you seem bitter or negative, you’re going to hurt your chances of getting messages, responses to your messages, and dates. Have a positive attitude. Everyone’s been hurt before, and there’s no need to dwell on it in your profile, or on your dates.
- Have too few photos of yourself, and make sure they’re low quality – People want to see nice photos of you, with good lighting, that show off your qualities that aren’t just how you appear. Love playing rugby? Put up a picture of yourself in your uniform playing. Have a couple dogs? Get someone to take a quality photo of yourself with your four-legged friends. It’s important to have full body shots on your profile, as well as pictures that show your facial features clearly. Blurry, dark and outdated pictures do NOT belong on your profile.
That’s it for the first edition of Dating for Dummies. If you want to find out what you’re doing wrong in your profile, check out Ignite Your Match and get feedback specific to your page. You’ll be amazed what you learn.