Dear Anon-O-Box: What SHOULD I Leave Out Of My Dating Profile?

Dear Anon-O-Box,

In a recent article, e wrote:

Since we’ve been around the online dating block so many times that we’ve worn in a groove, we’re experts at knowing what to mention in your profile and what to leave for later discussions.

Okay, what are some of those things that should be left for later discussions?

- Now Or Later

e answers:

Dear Now Or Later,

Fun question! There isn’t a list that’s carved in stone regarding such things. After all, everyone is different (“You are all individuals!“) and what one person might consider to be a dealbreaker might be another one’s turn-on.

(Funny story. I knew a guy in college who had an STD. Bless his heart, he was very upfront about it and very used to getting rejected. But one day, he went up to a girl in a bar, told her he thought she was beautiful but she should know he has genital warts. Her face lit up.  “Me too!” she said. Happily ever after.)

But on the whole, there are things that should best be left for meeting in person rather than integrating into your dating profile.

Negativity – About Anything

Negativity isn’t attractive. Complaining isn’t attractive. If you hate your job, can’t wait to get rid of your idiot roommate, think you’re too fat to attract a mate, or generally write your life like it’s an old school country song, you’re going to send people scrambling for the next profile.

We all have bits and pieces of our life that we wish were better. Don’t draw attention to the worst parts of your world.

Your Ex

You’d think this would be a given, but it’s amazing how many people write about their ex in their profile. Some examples:

  • “I just got out of a five year relationship…”
  • “My friends tell me I need to get out and date again…”
  • “I’m looking for someone who is relaxed and low maintenance…”
  • “Commitment is important to me – if you’re not ready to be monogamous, don’t email.”

This profile should be about you – the standalone model.  Not you, the recentlysingle model. Not you, the scarredbymyex model.  Not you, the ruinedforotherwomen model.  Strip away all the things that refer to your ex, even if it’s part of your “wishlist” for your new mate.

Health & Meds

Again, your profile is about putting your best face forward. At two times in my life, I have been on anti-depressants. While I am lucky not to suffer from chronic depression, there are times when my circuits get a bit overloaded and I need chemical assistance to reboot.

Does this make me an undesirable mate? Certainly not.

Would it have affected how many men contacted me if I had admitted it in my profile? Damn straight it would.

They wouldn’t be bad people to have skipped over me. But they would have thought, “Hmmm, she seems nice, but maybe there’s a similar one that’s a bit less broken.”  These same guys would have written me if I had kept my medicine cabinet out of my profile.  These same guys might have been the type to fall in love with ALL of me, even the part that occasionally needs to pop Wellbutrin for a few months.

Save your health – mental & physical – for later discussions.  If you’re disabled in some physically obvious way, let your pictures do the talking and keep your profile focused on the rest of your life. I met a girl when I was living in Charlotte who met her husband via eHarmony. He’s an amputee who has a prosthetic leg but also uses a wheelchair at times. She was attracted to his personality and their shared values and goals first. The fact that he was missing a leg didn’t matter after that.


I’m of the mindset that sex shouldn’t be mentioned in a dating profile.  It’s not because I’m a prude (thankfully, Y keeps her mouth shut about the things she knows!), but because I see what happens when sex goes into a profile.

Guys: When sex rears its head in your profile, your amount of emails usually goes down. You’re scaring away the girls who want a relationship because they think you’re in this for the booty. The only exception here? If you ARE just in it for the booty, crank that sex up to 11 and you’ll attract the type of women who are there for similar reasons. (But really, that approach works much better for gay men.)

Ladies: When sex rears its head in YOUR profile, your amount of emails will skyrocket. (If you’re already getting too many emails, this will only open the fire hydrant further.) They’ll mostly be from the type of guys who are looking for booty calls and one night stands. There may be a few open-minded, sexy, and GOOD men in that bunch, but how can you tell which are are sheep and which are the wolves?

There’s More…

I’d consider these the big four. Depending on the individual profile in question, there are other things that are best left until later. This is why I love chatting with our clients one-on-one. We’re able to sift through their life story and hand-pick the best parts to showcase in their profiles. We can talk about individual issues and really be sure our clients are able to put their best foot forward in their dating profile, first contact emails, and first dates.

Happy dating, geek friends.

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