There are some phrases and themes that seem to pop up over and over again in less than fabulous online dating profiles.
More often than not, people are simply unaware that some seemingly innocuous sounding things can actually be huge turn-offs. (Of course there are extreme versions of crazy stuff people write too, like this dude.)
We’ve compiled a list of the top things you should never include on a dating profile and some helpful hints about how they can be corrected.
1) “I don’t know what to write here” or “I’m bad at writing about myself” or “Ummm Idk?”
These phrases, or variations upon them are one of the most common things you’ll see in a poorly written dating profile.
While they usually are true (writing about yourself can be difficult), they’re not appealing to read. Including these phrases will make you come across you either lacking in self-confidence or just being plain old boring. Many users will over look profiles that say this and move on to someone else.
Instead, focus on addressing different areas of your life: career/education, hobbies, social or family activities, if you volunteer anywhere, etc. If you’re still stumped, make a list of everything you’ve done in the last week or two. Figure out how you spend your time and what your favourite ways to spend a day are.
If you’re lacking in things to write about, that might actually be a good wake-up call too (e.g. if you don’t have any hobbies or interests – find some!)
2) Bragging about substance usage
On the one hand, if you do use recreational drugs or drinks regularly, this is good information to be open about with potential matches. However, usually if you go into any detail about your substance usage you’re just going to come across as immature, or at worst, substance dependent.
Most dating websites have a drop down menu where you can indicate these types of lifestyle choices. That is the appropriate place to indicate these preferences.
Also note that if you’re holding a beer glass in every photo on your profile it can come across a major red flag.
3) “I like to spend time hanging out with my friends”
Unless you are a recluse or hermit, this is pretty much a given. Most people, even complete introverts, enjoy spending time with their friends. Given how obvious this statement is, it will come across as redundant and unimaginative.
Be more specific about what you do when you see your friends. “I like to have tabletop gaming nights with my friends”, or “Every Tuesday night I play ultimate frisbee with my friends”, or “I have weekly potluck BBQs with my best friends from college” is much more specific. It will gives other users a clear idea of what your interests are.
4) Unintentional Tirades about your ex
Ask yourself – do you really need to write statements like “please do not contact me if you have a criminal record”, or “no married people, please”, or even “liars and cheaters need not apply” in your dating profile?
If someone choses to include information on their profile like that you, there’s probably a good chance that their ex-partner fits that same description.
If you are have a mental list of things you deal breakers, that’s great, but don’t highlight them on your profile.
5) Your dislikes of x, y, or z
This is closed linked to number 4. In general, try to keep your profile as positive as possible, frame everything you say in terms of things you like and are looking for, as opposed to what you are not.
Too often you’ll see someone going on a rant about their dislike of going clubbing, on whatever their personal pet peeve might be. Instead, try to think of how you can say the same sort of thing, but in different terms.
For example, you could address not being into the bar scene by saying something along the lines of “My ideal Friday night is one spent having dinner with friends, seeing some live theater, and then going out for dessert afterwards.”
While this statement doesn’t directly address the disliked activity, it does highlight what you are into, which is actually much more important for attracting compatible matches.
What kinds of statements raise red flags for you in a dating profile? What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever read in a profile? What drives you crazy about other users’ profiles?
As always, if you need some help sprucing up your own dating profile, the GDG team is here to help. We offer complete profile rewrites, dating coaching, photo feedback and more!