You never get a second change to get a first impression but if so many people are familiar with this old adage, why is it that people continue to fail miserably when it comes to creating a dating profile?
For those of us who’ve had the pleasure or displeasure of delving into the world of online dating, you know exactly what I mean. In fact, I was so annoyed with the types of men encountered on one of the well known sites I’d given up. A few weeks ago, however, I signed up on another site purely for comic relief and blog material and yes – the madness continues.
To have viewed some of the most ridiculous dating profiles elicits many reactions ranging from laughter to surprise, shock to disgust. So thinking back on my experiences with online dating and the characters that come with the profiles, I’ve made up my very own list of what I think are the Top 6 turnoffs and here we go….
6. The Story of Your Life Okay I get it, there’s a reason for a dating profile and it is to introduce yourself to the world and give people a brief description of who you are. Key word here is brief. This is not the time for your law school personal statement or when your work experience should be provided. I don’t need to know that your first heartbreak was in the second grade when you didn’t get a candy gram and could care less about how many trips you’ve taken our pet on. A few lines about what you’re looking for and a little detail on what you like to do on dates should be good enough.
5. Masterpiece of Minimalism While I’ve mentioned how people go overboard with their profiles, the flip side of that is not enough detail and I’m on the fence about which is worse. Would I rather get tired of scrolling and clicking to see what you’re all about or is would I rather wonder where the rest is? Just as these sites have a maximum number of words per section, there should also be a minimum but please understand it should say more than “Ask me later”.
4. Lame Profile Names Crappy name or a photo of a shirtless man with what looks like taco meat on his chest? Both can be deal breakers for me but I’ve come across some profoundly insane profile names. These are on your profile PERMANENTLY so you should think of this like a tattoo. You better make sure it makes sense; it cannot be changed and will have a lasting impression to all who see it. Profiles that have made it to my hall of shame include PlumberzCrack (yummy), Orgasmicman (high pressure sell?), Cypress714 (ooh, how creative) and Booboogarcia (is this how you smell?). To imagine someone sitting at their computer saying to themselves “Now THIS name is a winner” is hilarious.
3. Ridiculous Headlines Next to your photo and profile name, this is another important attention grabber that can make a difference between coming across as an interesting find or making someone regret they even took a second glance. I understand there’s a lot of pressure when you’re just a fish in the ocean trying to get noticed by all of the others online, but I’m amazed at the stupid and outlandish headlines people come up with. Unflattering statements about your anatomy, risqué innuendos, or desperate or bitter headlines will get you nowhere. For example, some of the worst I’ve seen so far include: Age Does Not Protect You (Megan’s Law candidate?), Lover After Dark (the cheater), Enormous One (related to Orgasmicman?), 20% Less Douche Bag (so what 80% remaining?), Married in 80 Days (no pressure) and the classic My Membership is Now Expired (cheapskate). Come on people, think!
2. Bad Grammar Do you think presenting yourself as a 4th grade drop out is a good look or is great selling point? Believe it or not, people care about your spelling and grammar in dating profiles and because of some of the atrocities of the English language, I’ve actually ignored some pretty nice looking men. Why? I am not fluent in butchered text-like writing or Ebonics and my head hurts from trying to read run on sentences. Allow me to share two actual examples that bring to mind three sweet words – Hooked On Phonics:
“Looking for a women who drama free and interested in knoing a cool women who like to have fun. Njoy long walks on the beach, picncs and gr8 conversation over dinner and wine. I kno the finer things in lyfe and would like to meat my soul maet. I’m hardworking, honest and love laugh…”
“hi there how are you doing today i see that you are from los angeles and you are not to far from me i live in belmont shore have you been down here to eat here there is really great food.. i am the mgr of the apts where i live its really nice here where i live you have a nice smile and you don’t look 35 you look great so if you would like to have a glass of wine or a cup of coffee one day and just talk that would be good have good weekend and I like to call you someday..”
1. Choosing the WRONG Photos I could really dedicate an entire post to this one item because it amazes me how many people fail. Horribly. As shallow as it may sound, your photograph often can mean the difference between me stopping to view your profile or deleting and blocking you from ever being able to contact me again.
Although the following sub-category of the worst types is not all inclusive, these are some of the ones that stand out in my mind of crappy profile pictures:
Posing with animals – I’m not really a pet lover, so I guess I’ll never understand the obsession but seriously. Who cares or are you telling me you and your pet are a package deal?
Camera phone in bathroom mirror – How old are you? I don’t care what type of fancy phone you have, take the time and either use a camera or here’s an idea – have someone ELSE snap a photo of you. The look on your faces with that stupid arms-length motion on top of the flash going off in the mirror is a turn OFF.
Random guy or girl in the photo – This is YOUR dating profile, I don’t need to see you hugged up with your ex-girlfriend from the cruise formal dinner (these are common shots) or with some older woman I have to assume is your mother. Oh, and a little tip – scribbling out their face or using Photoshop to add that classy white circle isn’t any better. Solo shots only please and for goodness sake, stop posting photos of your kids.
Outdated photos – I know you’re wondering how could I know the picture is outdated if I’ve not even met the person yet? Well, if the background has a wicker chair, you’re rocking a feathered mullet and there’s an airbrushed sign that reads “Fresh Fest 1988”, you’re busted. Photos that don’t represent the CURRENT you are just like lying; you’re only setting yourself up for failure by showing me the thin and curly hair version of you when you’re really carrying “a few extra pounds” and bald, not by choice. Did you forget WILL eventually meet up?
No photos – This is self-explanatory and is just plain silly. It’s called online dating and I’d really like to see WHO is online.
So there you have it, my top 6 online dating profile peeves and I really think people should search around the Internet for what NOT to do before they even create one. If you’re guilty of any of the above, it isn’t too late to go in, click “edit” and possibly redirect your dating destiny.