5 Mistakes You’re Making With Your Online Dating Profile

By Ronnie Ann Ryan for YourTango.com.

If you are frustrated with your online dating results, you may be making one of several classic mistakes, so revising your profile could be the solution. When clients come to me as a dating coach asking for help with their profiles, these are the mistakes I tell them to watch out for:

1. Skimping on photos. What’s the first thing a man sees about your profile? Your photo! That’s why you want pictures that do you justice and show off your best look. I often recommend professional photos, but you can have a friend take them as well. The point is to really think about the photos you post because they are extremely important to your online dating success.

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  • Wear your favorite date clothes, choose solid colors and include a full body shot.
  • Smile pretty, don’t wear sunglasses, and stand in the foreground ó no long-distance shots.
  • Avoid posting pictures with multiple people so you keep the focus on you.
  • Forget vacation and landscape photos. They are distracting and not about you.
  • Make sure the background looks good too.

2. Writing too much. A long profile that crams in every scrap about who you are does not work to your advantage. The main purpose of your write-up is to simply get someone to email you. You’ll have plenty of time to share the nitty-gritty details when you talk on the phone and meet, so save something for later. Keep your profile simple and memorable. After all, people tend to skim. Most of all, I tell my clients to keep the tone positive and upbeat to maximize your appeal.

3. Explaining the obvious. Almost everyone likes to dine out, go to the movies, snuggle in front of a fire and take walks. Don’t say those things even if they’re true! You want to stand apart from the crowd, and saying the same boring thing every other woman says won’t attract the quality man you hope to meet.

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Instead, dig deeper about who you are or share something less obvious. How would you spend a rainy Sunday afternoon? What’s your favorite movie and how did it move you? Do you have a passion (like a hobby or charity), and how did you get started?

Write about it like you are talking to the reader so it is engaging and he can almost hear your voice. It’s so much better to pique a man’s interest with a few nuggets than brush the surface, bore him or sound run-of-the-mill.

4. Stating what you don’t want. Singles online are apt to spell out exactly what they don’t want in a partner rather than explain what they do want. Are you guilty of this? Don’t write about the types of men who need not apply by saying things like “no couch potatoes,” “no liars” or “no unemployed.” The best way to attract what you don’t want is to focus on it! (That’s from the law of attraction.)

5. Using demanding language. When you use the word “must,” you send up a red flag making men think, “This woman is going to be tough to please and demanding.” A lot of women demand that a man must be honest, must like children, must love dogs. This acts as a repellent for the quality man you hope to attract. In addition, you are actually tipping men off about past relationship problems when you included these phrases. For instance, insisting that a man must be honest lets everyone know you’ve been taken in by liars in the past.

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Of course you can certainly explain what you do want, but do this softly to be more inviting. Use language like, “I admire men who are honest,” “who live an active lifestyle” or “who enjoy fatherhood.”

If you want more dating tips from Ronnie, please download her free book 5 Big Turnoffs That Drive Men Away.

This article originally appeared on YourTango.com: 5 Mistakes In Your Online Dating Profile.


Darren Woolsey
Darren Woolsey3 years ago

I think in these days of online social media, anyone engaging in dating is brave. You never know who you're actually engaging with, sometimes until it's too late.

Christina Welter
Christina Welter4 years ago

I can agree with the parts about not focusing on negatives, and making the language less intimidating. I think those probably fall under the heading of good manners. That said, I personally would rather get involved with someone who bothered to read a profile than just focused on all the eye-catching pictures.

Ernie Miller
william Miller4 years ago


Claire M.
Claire M4 years ago

This is really good advice. Thanks for sharing!

John B.
John B4 years ago

Thank you for sharing Ms. Ryan's very interesting article and tips.

Lydia Weissmuller Price

This article is teaching women to come across as "polished" and not true to themselves. Like the guy isn't going to discover how you really talk and think if you start dating! No wonder why so many relationships don't work out...always be your REAL self! And do you really want to attract someone based on a pretty picture? How about finding a man who is not shallow and obsessed with looks...someone who will stand by your side and tell you that you are beautiful after you have lost all your hair to chemo.

Colleen Prinssen
Colleen Prinssen4 years ago

the idea of volenteriing at the animal shelter "just to meet people to flirt or have sex with" is. to me. it just feels akward.

doing that and not joining a dating site.

Colleen Prinssen
Colleen Prinssen4 years ago

Ala M. because some people don't go to bars or clubs or want to join a church just to meet men/women
and live in the boonies.

I read those guides on sites and magazeens. "how to flirt with the hot guy at your fave coffie shop"

I guess I could take a 40 min drive every friday night to hang out at starbucks.
or hope to whatever, that there are attractive youngish men at the "local cafe" which is tiny, and the people who hang out on the street during the day look like hobos or your sterotypical balding, scruffy toothless rednecks.
or if not, go to dunken doughnuts.
or learn to drink and not care if my guy has to drink everyday. 2 beers a day is not alchololic. if he can function.
I don't like to go clubbing, and any activity clubs here don't really float my boat. My county is good for raising kids and getting old.
or of course I could always give my farewells, learn to be more indipendent and move to the city and hope my dating life is like a happy ending in a sitcom or romcom.
or what ever "dumbslut monthly" tells me to do for a great outcom
(i really wish they would give tips for "flirting and dating in the boonies when you don't want a consertivie christain republican man")

Or I can do what is found out, take weekend trips to walmart to 'flirt it up", just hang out in walmart, wandering around for hours looking for men

Marcel Elschot
Marcel E4 years ago

works for some and doesnt for others

Angie B.
Angela B4 years ago

They make a lot of sense.