5 Common Dating Profile Mistakes You Should Avoid
Online dating platforms and dating apps have made finding a romantic partner easier than ever. However, merely creating an account on one of these platforms doesn’t guarantee finding the right match. To optimize your chances of finding love (or at least people to casually date, if that’s your preference), you need to optimize your dating profile.
That doesn’t simply involve knowing what to do right. Plenty of articles explain what to include in an online dating service profile. While that type of advice is certainly valuable, it’s also important to know what not to do if you want to create the best profile possible.
The following guide will help. It covers common online dating profile mistakes you need to avoid.
Are You Making These Profile Mistakes?
Using the Wrong Profile Photo
You need to strike a delicate balance when deciding which types of pictures to include in your profile. You want your profile photo (and any additional pictures you include) to depict you in a flattering way, but you also want it to be accurate. Sometimes, for reasons ranging from unique angles to unique lighting, a picture of you may not look like you. Additionally, choosing the best profile photo can be difficult when you consider that research shows most people don’t actually know what they look like.
That’s why you need to adhere to certain rules of thumb when deciding which picture would make for the best profile photo. They are:
Don’t Use an Old Picture
A picture that’s more than a couple of years old likely won’t give someone an accurate impression of what you look like now. Because the change may have been gradual, you might not realize how differently you look today compared to how you looked two years ago.
Don’t Use a Vague Picture
It’s important that people be able to clearly see your features in a picture. Choose one that at least clearly shows your face, if not your body as well. It’s also smart to avoid using pictures in which you’re wearing sunglasses and/or a hat. These can obscure your face to a greater degree than you may realize.
Don’t Use Group Pictures Without Indicating Yourself
Including pictures of yourself with friends in your dating profile isn’t an inherently bad idea. On the contrary, such pictures can indicate to potential dating matches that you value your friendships. This helps potential dating matches learn more about your character in general. However, if you’re going to include these types of pictures, make sure you somehow indicate which member of the group you are. Also, if a picture looks like it could be one of you and an ex, you might want to leave it out.
Writing a Bland Description
Knowing how to describe yourself in a dating profile can be understandably challenging. While some online dating services, such as eHarmony, help you find matches with online dating questions, the way you describe yourself in your profile will still play a major role in the impression you make on other users of your chosen online dating service.
The problem is, despite the fact that all of us are unique individuals, you may not know how to describe yourself in a dating profile in a way that will showcase your unique qualities.
For example, many people writing the bios of their online dating profiles make the mistake of using clichés or listing interests that many others share. Such a bio for a generic “dude” on Tinder might, for example, say “I like watching football, movies, craft beer, and hanging with my friends.”
There’s nothing wrong with those interests. Unfortunately, because so many others also have essentially the same interests, listing them in a bio can make it difficult to stand out among the various other users on an online dating platform.
This doesn’t mean you can’t list your interests at all. It simply means you also need to find a way to make your bio uniquely you. How this manifests will depend on your personality. You might include a joke that shows off your sense of humor, a quote that reflects your values, an interesting fact about yourself to serve as a potential conversation-starter, or anything else that sets your bio apart from the crowd.
By the way, proofread your bio. You don’t want to miss out on a match because a basic typo gave them the wrong impression.
This is a very easy mistake to avoid. Strangely, it’s one many continue to make.
You naturally want to sound as impressive as possible in your dating profile. That said, you’re not setting yourself up for any long-term success if you lie about your height, age, occupation, etc. Some people even try to create accounts on dating sites that appeal to members of a specific group or demographic, such as EliteSingles, despite not actually belonging to that group themselves. This type of dishonesty may help you get a date, but the moment your date realizes they were lied to, you can be sure they’ll lose any interest they may have otherwise had.
Being Negative or Confrontational
It’s important to establish standards for how you want to be treated by online dating matches. For instance, some online dating service users have received unwanted sexual messages from matches in the past, and thus feel the need to state in their profiles that they won’t tolerate that behavior from future matches.
It’s entirely fine to let people know there are lines they shouldn’t cross if they want to get a date with you. However, you need to avoid being too negative, aggressive, or confrontational when doing so.
Consider how you might phrase the standard described above:
“I know there are a lot of fun and interesting people on here, but I’ve also matched with some in the past who thought it would be cool to bombard me with sexual messages. There’s no problem if two people are both into that type of online dating experience, but I’m not, so if you’re looking for someone who is, I’m probably not the one for you. Good luck!”
“Let’s get one thing straight right now: I AM NOT HERE FOR YOUR GROSS MESSAGES! If all you want out of me is someone to sext with, you can promptly swipe left (and maybe even trying growing up?). I.AM.SO.SICK.OF.IT. What is wrong with you sick people?????”
The frustration in Option 2 may be completely justified. That said, even if a person has a good reason to feel that degree of frustration, expressing it in a very negative and aggressive way sets the wrong tone for a dating profile. The focus should be on positivity. As Option 1 illustrates, there are ways to establish standards and boundaries without giving potential matches the impression that you’re a chronically bitter person.
Keep in mind this principle also applies to complaints that may be unrelated to online dating. For example, if your online dating profile is simply a list of complaints about your job/colleagues/roommates/parents/etc., you’ll come across as someone who is always complaining in general. That’s not the type of person many like to be around.
Various online dating services provide users with a range of tools and resources they can leverage to boost their odds of finding a match. For example, they offer online dating questions to establish similarities between users. Users can upload multiple pictures. They have space where users can write bios. People can list their occupations and other basic data about themselves.
Those are merely a few examples. Some of them are optional features. For instance, on many dating apps, you can write a bio, but you don’t have to. Thus, some users limit themselves by not writing bios, uploading only one profile picture, never answering optional personality questions, and more.
Don’t make this mistake! Those tools exist to help you create the strongest online dating profile possible. Use them accordingly.
Avoid Mistakes, Find More Matches
Here’s another error you should avoid: forgetting about these tips when making your online dating profile. Again, these platforms can help you find the exact type of romantic experience you’re seeking. They’re more likely to do so if you don’t make these common mistakes.