What men really think of your dating profile!
We’ve compiled handy advice to help women understand the ways in which men read dating profiles and how to avoid the easy mistakes that can turn men off
First impressions really do count – both in real life and in online dating. When meeting someone in real life, you have the ability to convey tone, humour, and a sense of who you are within the first few minutes. Online, you need to be more discerning about the information you provide, knowing that people are viewing your profile without any of the verbal communication cues available in person. A self-deprecating comment you may make flippantly to someone you’ve just met at a party might be received very differently when read in the context of an online dating profile.
The biggest turn-offs and how to avoid them
Photos are obviously an important component in creating a great online dating profile. Your photos, like your profile, should reflect who you truly are, but you want to opt for photos that showcase you at your best.
Turn-offs for guys include photos that:
- Are fuzzy
- Are too dark
- Don’t highlight your best assets
- Look unnatural – for example, those of you in very skimpy clothes or from more than a few years ago set off alarm bells for guys, who may feel that you appear untrustworthy
And it’s important to ensure that every photo you post includes your face – not your kids or your dog. Try to steer clear of posting too many “selfies”, which give the impression that you’re trying too hard.
Definitely avoid photos of yourself with another man, as guys may find this confusing and think that you’re not over your ex, or that you’re not serious about committing to a new relationship.
And lastly, make sure you do post at least one photo (and preferably four or five). Profiles without photos immediately make guys suspect you may be hiding something.
Obvious spelling and grammar mistakes
Poor spelling and incorrect grammar usage can be a turn-off to men, as it may appear that you haven’t thought very carefully about how you present yourself to others, or taken the time to edit your profile before posting it. You may find it helpful to have a close friend take a look over your profile to correct any mistakes you may have missed, and to ensure that the information you’re posting reads coherently.
You’ll also want to try to avoid waffling on about any given subject. Try to answer each question succinctly, using no more than three sentences. For example, the answer to the question, “What am I most passionate about?” should be something along the lines of, “I’m most passionate about teaching music to kids, which is what I’m fortunate enough to do for a living. I love watching them grow and find their own voices through music,” rather than a four-paragraph diatribe on the importance of music education.
An answer like this is concise, specific and thoughtful. It also gives the reader an insight into who the member is and what motivates them.
Seriousness and sarcasm
While it’s important to create a profile that gives the impression you’re serious about looking for love, you don’t have to be serious about everything. Keep your profile light and breezy, peppering your answers with funny anecdotes or witty comments. That said, be careful to tread the line between being witty and being sarcastic or self-deprecating. Sarcasm can be harder to interpret online than in person.
Topics to avoid
In the same way you’d steer clear of certain subjects in the context of a dinner-party conversation with a stranger, there are certain topics you’ll want to avoid when creating your dating profile.
Here’s a brief list of those things that should be saved for chats with your girlfriends and avoided in your profile:
- Your ex: Leave your past relationships out of the picture. Don’t discuss or even allude to having been hurt in the past, or give the impression that you find it difficult to trust men because you’ve been let down in previous relationships. Guys can get immediately turned off and worry you may bring those issues into future relationships.
- Race/religion/politics: Don’t talk about your political views or discuss religion in a militant or aggressive way. Men don’t like to feel like you’re ramming your beliefs down their throats. Of course, you’re able to specify whether you’re looking for a man who observes a particular faith or religion when filtering your search – but there’s no need to dedicate space in your profile to preaching your opinions.
- Long lists of things you do and don’t want from a relationship: Online dating is absolutely designed to help you attract the kind of man who embodies the qualities you desire in a partner. But it’s NOT meant to be a place where you can dump your laundry list of things you do and don’t want in a man.
- Money: Again, the rule of thumb should be: if you wouldn’t discuss it at a dinner party, don’t put it in your profile. Money’s another taboo subject when it comes to online dating, so don’t discuss your lack of it, your desire for more of it, or the fact that you have plenty to spare. And don’t talk about wanting a man who’s financially secure: it could make guys think you’re only looking for a sugar daddy.
- Your age: Don’t make reference – even in a seemingly humorous fashion – to feeling concerned about getting older. Never use a phrase like, “I’m not getting any younger” or “My biological clock is ticking”. Many men want to run a mile from any woman who appears insecure about her age.
- Clichés: Try to steer clear of well-worn lines about “wanting to find someone special” or using generic adjectives to describe yourself. There are better ways to say words like “nice”, “funny” and “down-to-earth”. Ask your friends to describe you in creative ways if you need inspiration for how to write about yourself.
An answer like the one is a great example of what NOT to write… it comes across as negative, a little bitter, and like someone who’s less than excited about life. Leave your heartbreak and anger for therapy – focus on being positive and talking about the best aspects of yourself.
Too much vs. not enough
It’s important to identify the fine line between revealing too much information about yourself and not revealing enough. If you overshare by writing too much about your job, friends, and romantic ideals, then readers may feel like there’s nothing really new or interesting left to learn about you. But if you don’t answer the questions thoughtfully, or you withhold basic information about your age and interests, men may feel like there’s enough to spark their interest.
Take a look at other users’ profiles to get an idea of what they reveal about themselves. Try to think about your most interesting traits, hobbies and activities and what you’d be most excited for someone new to learn about you.
Misunderstandings and solutions
Men sometimes tend to have a harder time detecting subtlety and nuance than women. So bear in mind that when you write a statement on your profile that’s only meant to imply or suggest one thing men may interpret that statement completely literally – or they may interpret something else altogether.
Here are a few examples of the ways in which things women say can be misunderstood or misinterpreted by men, and another way to articulate the same thought in a way which won’t scare men off:
You say: It’s so hard to meet a nice guy these days.
He hears: I’m very picky and I find fault in most of the people I meet.
Try: I’m looking for someone kind, caring and compassionate.
You say: I have a busy calendar and I’m out enjoying the city most nights.
He hears: I don’t have time to commit to a serious relationship.
Try: In my spare time, I love spending time in this great city, and I’m looking for someone who loves exploring it as much as I do.
You say: I only have a small circle of friends.
He hears: I have trouble letting new people into my life.
Try: My friends are very important to me.
You say: I’m a fitness junkie and I watch what I eat.
He hears: I have issues with my body and self-esteem.
Try: I love staying active and enjoy cooking and trying new food.
You say: I like a man who can treat me and surprise me once in a while.
He hears: I expect you to treat me like a princess and pay for everything.
Try: I’m looking for someone thoughtful who has a spontaneous side.
It’s important to remember that dating shouldn’t just be a serious activity. After all, you’re not looking for a job or a flat; you’re committing to finding a partner – someone to experience the joys and challenges of life with. It’s an exciting prospect, and one that allows you to get to know yourself in the process.
Here are some final pointers for playing the online dating game and getting great results:
- Be yourself: Yes, we know you’ve heard it before, but that’s because it’s the ultimate truth about online dating – and life itself. Ultimately, online dating (with eHarmony at least) is all about compatibility, so you want to be matched with someone based on who you really are at your core. Presenting what you think is the “ideal” version of yourself may sound like a smart strategic move, but it’s ultimately destined to fail. Authenticity and honesty are the key to finding a partner online.
- Keep it short and sweet: Don’t make your prospective matches scroll through paragraphs of text. Answer each question as truthfully and concisely as you can. Long profiles are a turn-off, and men tend to skim the text looking for clues about who you are and what you’re looking for.
- Have a sense of humour: We can’t overstate the importance of this one. Keep your profile light-hearted and appeal to readers’ sense of fun. You don’t have to crack jokes in the answer to every question, but do your best to add a bit of wit and humour to your profile to make it stand out. Being funny is one of the best ways to pique a man’s interest, and it gives him something to talk about when he writes to you. You can try including a funny story about something that happened to you while travelling, or write a little poem about yourself – whatever creative method you can think of to get and hold their attention.
- Stand out from the crowd: Try to find the most interesting and unique way to talk about your hobbies and interests. Instead of talking about how you love going to the movies, write about the last movie you saw that really meant something to you. Instead of talking about enjoying running as a form of exercise, talk about wanting to train for a race.
These are just some of the ways in which men respond to dating profiles. Though the competition is fierce, there are numerous ways to stand out and get noticed. Choose flattering photos, be honest, and steer clear of over-writing your profile, and you’re sure to attract the attention of someone truly special.
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