11 Reasons Your Online Dating Profile Sucks and How to Fix It


How To Fix Your Online Dating Profile

If you’ve tried online dating, you know that it can be a real toss-up. One day you can meet someone who seems like they have real potential, and the next is a horrible never-ending freak show.

If you aren’t attracting the guys you want,  it’s often written in plain sight on your profile.  Check out these reasons you might be sabotaging your online dating experience.

1. Bad Photos

Eliminate photos with duck face, a mustache, you in the car, selfies in your dirty bathroom, your 24 cats, artsy photos that don’t actually include you, pics when you were slimmer or heavier, all group photos (which one is YOU?), your cleavage by itself, broody black and white portraits, weird angles that are a misleading trick, anything from more than one year ago, party photos, photos of you with kids, that cute pic with your ex cut out (or left in) and anything that would make your grandmother glare at you disapprovingly.

Aim to provide 2-3 accurate head-shots and 2-3 accurate full body photos. Use good lighting.

Get someone of the opposite sex who you trust to take a look at the photos that you’re considering. Tell them to be brutally honest about how you appear. Then have them take more photos of you.

2. You Didn’t Fill Out Your Profile

Instead of writing something about yourself in the ‘about me’ box, instead there is something along the lines of “I hate filling these out” or “I’ll fill this out later”.

This comes off in two ways. Either you have the intelligence level of a centipede or you think you’re too cool to be doing this whole online dating thing. Both are clearly unattractive.

If you don’t know what to write, think along the lines of who, what, when and why. Who you are, what you like, the place you’re at in your life and why you want a mate.

Think of your profile like an advertisement. When you see one of those dumb ads where you can’t figure out what they’re advertising, how does that strike you? Do you go out of your way to figure out what the ad means or do you just move on? Probably the second one. The empty profile is like that.

Your mission is to get lots of emails from cute, sweet guys who have minimal hang-ups and like the same stuff as you. These guys aren’t going to come back to your profile later to see if it’s still under construction. They’re going to glance at your photos, see that you didn’t take the time to fill things out and then move on.

Sure you can still get some random emails if you’re a total knockout, but not nearly as many or from the same quality of men as you would if you spent a little more time to tell them who you are.

The right guy will DEEPLY care what you’re like on the inside. The picture might get him interested, but trying to get him to email you will be an uphill battle.

3. Angry, Negative Language

Explaining how you’ve been burned super badly in your past and now you’re bitterly searching for the right person isn’t exactly a siren call to the menfolk.

Neither is mentioning that you dislike cheaters, games, drama, man children, bullshit, heartbreak, blondes, liars, meatheads, bar flies, jocks, pictures of penises, brunettes, assholes, goths, creeps, losers, chubby guys, Jersey Shore extras, skinny guys, commitment phobes, and/or sex addicts.

Weeding out men who are wrong for you is a key skill in all dating. However, you don’t achieve this by telling guys what you don’t like seeing on your profile. You weed out the wrong guys by taking a look at who emails, reading what they say and judging how THEY come off.

Writing out a laundry list of undesirable traits makes you look bitter, shallow and mean to the same guys you’re trying to attract. Just think, are liars and creeps going to go “oh, I guess I’d better not email this one, she doesn’t like liars and creeps”? Hell no.

The negativity is just an equal opportunity repellent. Aim to get as many emails as you can with a positive, inviting, upbeat profile. Then do the weeding out privately.

4. Your Profile Contains Long Lists of Things But No Actual Substance

Is this relatable?

“I like Fifty Shades of Grey, Star Wars, travel, beer, shopping, frisbee golf, coffee, friends, nice guys, jewelry, Christmas, dolphins, sunsets, flowers, sunrises, The Notebook, food, sports, Modern Family, green tea, motorcycles, sun dresses, Dexter, Despicable Me, photography, Ernest Hemingway, blah blah blah”

Maybe you’ll get lucky and he’ll pick out one or two things on the list and write you a message that says “OMG I ALSO LOVE JEWELRY AND SUNBATHING!!” but the probability isn’t good. It’s hard to relate to a list and easier to just skim over it.  While you should be mentioning your interests, it’s better to tell the reader a story about you.

Something like:

“I really enjoyed traveling to Madrid last summer with several good friends. We visited a fun beer hall called Naturbier which has beer taps at each table. I also loved visiting the Royal Botanical Garden and seeing the Japanese garden.”

This way you’ve told me you’re interested in travel, friends, flowers and beer without making a meaningless list.

5. You’re Boring

You said the same thing about liking new things, your family, dolphins and sunrises as the last woman’s profile. You say that you like going out just as much as staying home and dressing down. Then you mention that you want someone funny and intelligent who knows what he wants. This reads like everyone else’s boring form letter.

Try a different angle with your profile using the unique information about you.  If it sounds like a cliche when you’re writing it out, it probably is.

6. You’re Not Funny

Nothing quite like saying “I have an amazing sense of humor and you should too” then moving right on to the next point. Ok, I guess I’ll take your word for it. If you’re funny, write something funny.

Don’t tell when you can show.

7. You’re Full of It

Don’t lie. Don’t embellish. This includes your photos. Don’t invent an interest in your local sports teams to try and seem interesting to guys. Tell the truth. You want someone to meet you in person and think you’re even more amazing than your profile.

The guy shouldn’t feel bait and switched once he meets you and finds out what you’re really like. Also, making yourself sound like the most interesting woman in the world brings out healthy skepticism. Even if you ARE the most interesting woman in the world, don’t try and sound like it. Just let it flow naturally.

8. You Mention Sex

Make sure your profile is in the correct category and then leave it at that. Mentioning sex makes you seem cheap and shallow. People are already thinking about sex all the time. No reason for you to bring it up in your advertisement.

9. You Don’t Optimize

Say you’ve been on your first 435 coffee dates and no one was remotely like someone you might want to date long term.  If this is the case, it’s time to think about optimizing your profile.

Have a friend or family member take a look who you know will be brutally honest.  Often a fresh set of eyes is really helpful.  So is deleting the whole mess and starting fresh.  Change things up and see if you start attracting different people.

10. Your Responses Suck

This part isn’t exactly part of your profile but it involves how you respond to the guys who take the time to email you. I’m a full believer in karma. Say you get an email from someone you just aren’t attracted to or who happens to mention several of your absolute deal-breakers in his profile.

This can go either one of two ways. You can write back a short note mentioning that you don’t think it’s a good fit (don’t give reasons, you aren’t breaking up with anyone) and wish him luck, or you can just not respond and then delete the email.

I’ve tried both, and had mixed responses from the first approach. The guys who respond either say something like “Thanks, best wishes to you also” and immediately raise my respect for them, or they get all offended and say something rude. Either one doesn’t require a further response.

The thing to absolutely NOT do is say something rude, no matter what kind of email you receive. Do not criticize, call the guy a creep or even say anything if it’s really bad. Do not be offended by the way he approached you or mention that you’d like him to say more than just “hi”. If he isn’t for you, just move on.

Think “class” in all of your interactions.

11. You Just Aren’t Ready

There is no sooner way to disappoint yourself and a total stranger than to be unsure of what you’re doing. If you’re hung up on someone else, have recently broken up or are half-in, half-out of a relationship, step away from the computer. Heal first, then date.

MORE: Ladies, Listen Up: Your Worst Online Dating Mistakes (According to Men)

Elizabeth Stone

About Elizabeth Stone

Elizabeth Stone is a bestselling author, head love coach and founder of Attract The One and Luxe Self.

Through her coaching, writing and online programs she has helped thousands of women reunite with their men and create amazing, soul-level connections. She is thrilled to have helped so many couples reignite the spark in their relationships.

Tirelessly focused on helping people improve their love lives, her work has gone viral on Your Tango and Thought Catalog as well as been featured on EHarmony, Zoosk, Popsugar, The Good Men Project, Tiny Buddha, Bustle, Fox News Magazine, Ravishly, She Knows, Mind’s Journal, Read Unwritten, Madame Noire, Digital Romance Inc. and many more.

One Comment

  1. Bobloblaw.

    January 5, 2016 at 3:59 am

    If your profile if flawed, chances are good those flaws will be visible on the date. So having someone else write your profile is pointless. A bad profile is just a indication of a bad personality.

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