10 Common Online Dating Mistakes (and How to Fix Them)

Have you decided to give the wonderful world of online dating a try? Or have you been trying for a while without any success? After scouring the Internet to find the biggest online dating turn-offs, here are 10 common ones that came up on several lists:

  1. Let’s face it, your photo is one of the most important aspects of your online dating profile. So why would you ever post a photo that’s out of focus? Three other crucial rules for your photo: (1) Never post a photo that shows you with a member of the opposite sex (and do NOT think cutting the person out when you can still see their arm around you is okay); (2) Do not post a photo where you’re so far in the distance that it’s impossible to see your face (unless you have lots of other photos on your profile already that show your face clearly); and (3) Do not post only group photos, forcing people to scroll through them all and try to determine which person is the one constant in all of them.
    Instead make sure you choose a flattering yet accurate up-to-date photo of yourself by yourself with your face clearly visible. Posting a photo of you 10 years or 20 pounds ago won’t help – eventually you’ll meet face to face and the other person will see the real you.
  2. Don’t act embarrassed about using an online dating service. Everyone on there is using the service, so if you’re embarrassed you’re insulting everyone else on the site. Examples of this include starting your profile with “I can’t believe I’m doing this….”
  3. Don’t use bad grammar or incorrect spelling anywhere in your profile. It’s just apathetic and lazy not to double check what you’re writing (not very appealing traits) – take the time to make a good first impression.
  4. Ladies – Don’t talk solely about your desire for a relationship or what you’re looking for in a man. It’s okay to put some of that in, but you need to show that you have your own life and interests and will continue to do so even once you have a boyfriend. Similarly, women often use the common cliché: “I’m as comfortable in jeans as I am in a fancy dress.” Find another way to describe that you’re flexible or have a variety of interests.
  5. Gentlemen – Don’t say “I know how to treat a woman.” Lots of guys say this. But what do you consider “the way to treat a woman?” Do you open doors for her? Offer to do the dishes while she relaxes? Be specific on what you would do to treat a woman well.
  6. Don’t put a salary range in your list of criteria. First of all, guys who have money do worry that it’s the only reason women want them, and secondly people can easily lie on these sites and inflate their salaries to get your attention. Focus on other qualities instead.
  7. Avoid talking about how great you are, even if you are truly exceptional. Describe your hobbies or interests instead. The way you talk will give others an insight into your personality and the activities you enjoy tell perspective dates far more about you than a list of all the qualities your friends or mom say you possess.
  8. Don’t say you give great massages. Both men and women commonly put this in their profiles. And most people think they give good massages, even if they don’t.
  9. Don’t talk about how much you love sunsets and walks on the beach. Who doesn’t? Give details specific to you.
  10. “I work hard and play hard” is one of the most over-used lines in online dating profiles. While it may be true, find another way to say this. Talk about working hard at [insert your job here] but on the weekends you like [insert fun “playing” activity here]. It gets the same message across while telling people something interesting about you.
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