Online dating: The 10 biggest profile sins

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Last month we asked you to tell us what you hated to see in the online dating profiles of your matches, and you didn’t disappoint. From all your replies on the Advice site and Facebook we’ve compiled a list of the 10 profile writing sins you should never commit. Are you guilty of any of these? Let us know in the comments below.

1.    Being vague
We have a question in the eHarmony profile entitled ‘What THREE things are you most thankful for?’, which is a great opportunity for you to really show what matters to you in life. Unfortunately lots of people put answers such as ‘family’, ‘friends’, ‘my health’. And when you’re one of 7 other matches with these generic answers you need to try and stand out. Instead, why not try expanding on your answers:  e.g. ‘My friends, as they make each day happier, funnier and a little bit more exciting!’

2.    Having a nickname
We encourage eHarmony users to include their own names instead of ‘nicknames’ on their profile. Frankly, we think nicknames are just a bit tacky – and our users agree. If you’re tempted to call yourself ‘Princess Peach’ or ‘Mickey Blue Eyes’, think again. You could be putting a lot of your matches off…

3.    Mentioning your ex
Your online dating profile isn’t the time to offload your baggage. Everyone has an ex or two, but when you’re trying to give a match the best impression of yourself talking about how your ex-wife got everything in the divorce doesn’t leave a good taste. Equally, even if you have a great relationship with your ex, your profile isn’t the place to mention it. After all, it should be all about you now, not you in the past!

4.    Having an incomplete profile
We know that for eHarmony users especially the Relationship Questionnaire can take quite a long time, and then on top of all that we ask you to fill out your profile too. At that point, you really might not feel like putting your heart and soul into your profile, and that’s ok; schedule sometime at a later date instead. What’s important is that at some point you fill out your profile. We had a lot of eHarmony users tell us that an incomplete profile can get an immediate ‘Close’ from them. After all, if a match can’t be bothered to fill out their profile, what else can’t they be bothered to do?

5.    Poor spelling and grammar
Just as in our article on the top 10 messaging sins, poor spelling and grammar is a HUGE no-no. Now, we know that not everyone is an Oxford English graduate, but that’s not really an excuse. If you know you struggle with writing, get a friend to look over your profile, or paste it into a program such as Microsoft Word first which will pick up most spelling and grammar issues. Otherwise you run the risk of looking plain lazy.

6.    Justifying why you’re using an online dating site
Way too many people start their profiles with something like ‘I wouldn’t normally use a dating site, but…’ Why are they so embarrassed? Over 5 million people in the UK date online, and the stigma that was once there is fading fast. If you try and justify your presence on a dating site, you run the risk of your matches thinking ‘Are they suggesting I should be embarrassed to be on here too?’

7.    Going OTT
Inventiveness and originality are your friends when it comes to writing your online dating profile. But, just be sure not to go too far over the top. Talking about how you’d love to have ‘endless walks along moonlit, white sandy beaches while softly stroking the hair of my beautiful date’ might just put a few people off. Aim for fun and sweet rather than overbearing and scary!

8.    “I’d prefer not to say”
This phrase seems to be a bugbear of many people. The problem is that it leaves many more questions than it answers: What is the person hiding? Why don’t they want to say? If we do communicate, when will they tell me about this thing? If you must say this, offer some kind of explanation –  but really it’s best not to say it at all.

9.    Text speak
‘i luv bein wi my m8s and havin fun! LOL! ROFL!’ Annoying, isn’t it? Text speak gets a big thumbs down from our users. Why? Because it’s lazy, annoying and sometimes almost impossible to decipher. Take the time to write your profile in proper sentences. You owe it to your matches!

10.    Boasting
Talking yourself down is bad enough, but rattling on about how your friends often say how pretty you are, or how clever you are, is even worse. It’s up to your match to decide whether you’re attractive, intelligent and witty, not you!


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