Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Things to Avoid on Your Internet Dating Profile

I've spent some time recently trying online dating, and while I can't offer too many rules about what you should put on your profile, I see a lot of things that routinely cause me to cringe. Here is a list of ways to avoid them when you are creating or updating your profile (in no particular order):

1. Don't post pictures of yourself with hotter girls. This will only serve as a reminder to the guy checking you out that there is something better out there that he can't get. The crop function in your photo editor exists for a number of good reasons, and this is one of them. Yes, the rule applies to sisters and mothers too.

2. Don't only post pictures of yourself alone. This make you look like a loner, i.e. someone who other people have collectively decided is not worth hanging out with. Also avoid photos of yourself taken by yourself. These are even worse.

3. Don't start your profile with a list of things you don't want in guy. In fact, don't include that list anywhere. This is a universal sign of a bitch. If you even have the inclination to make such a list, consider revamping your personality. I have seen smoking hot girls that I would have loved to message until I read their "about me" section, at which point I realized they were high-maintenance, obnoxious and a waste of time.

4. Don't start describing yourself by saying how much you hate doing so, or how bad you are at it. So many girls do this. It sounds insecure and sets a bad tone. And don't be apologetic about your inability on top of pointing it out; this only adds to the effect.

5. Don't advertise how much you love your dog. Men all know (either consciously or subconsciously) that women in their twenties buy dogs as a substitute for male companionship. It makes you look lonely and needy. Post pictures with friends instead.

6. Don't post only modeling pictures, or only "artsy" ones. Any girl can look hot in a photo. Show us that you can look hot normally too.

7. Don't have a list of "Don't message me ifs" This invariably sounds like bragging about how many messages you get, and no one likes this kind of self-aggrandizement. It makes you look vain and high-maintenance. If you are hot, we already know you get hit on a lot and don't need your reminder; if you aren't, we know you are lying and it makes you look pathetic. So either way, don't do it.

8. Don't post pictures of yourself looking sad. There is nothing attractive about them. Nothing. You should be smiling in as many photos as possible. If you have a tendency towards depression or melancholy, he doesn't need to know about it yet.

9.  Don't post pictures that are too small or show you at a distance. You might as well post nothing.

10. Don't be too brief in your personal descriptions. Men need something to message you about. If you only write that your favorite things in the world are your mom, your dog and your iphone, he is going to be more or less forced to send you the shitty stereotypical "hey you're cute" message. And it's your own fault.

11. Don't post your favorite pictures of yourself. They are almost definitely not the most attractive pictures of you. Have a straight male friend help you choose them. At the very least, get input from straight men about which picture to set as your profile picture, since this is by far the most important one for attracting new guys.

12. Don't be afraid to show some skin (assuming, of course, that you have the body for it - but be liberal in making that decision). Men don't like whores but they don't like prudes either. Tasteful bathing suit shots are smart, not slutty, and will continue to be until men stop liking sex.

13. Don't fill your profile with cliches. The top-notch guys out there are looking for women who stand out. Beauty will never make you stand out because it is too common and too temporary. Online profiles are plagued with the same lists of likes and dislikes, the same list of favorite books, movies and activities. Every girl likes going out on some Friday nights and spending others at home with a movie and a glass of wine. Every girl loves her dog and her mom and her friends. Every girl wants an intelligent and attractive, confident man. Stop saying these things. Men assume they are all the case anyway. Say something interesting. Everyone is interesting in some way or another, but very few people have the ability to communicate it. Spend some time thinking about this before you start typing.

In general, this post on OKCupid's blog will be hugely helpful in learning what pictures to post: http://blog.okcupid.com/index.php/the-4-big-myths-of-profile-pictures/

49 comments:

  1. This list made me laugh, mostly because it's so true.

    I'm not on a dating website, but would you say the rules generally applies to facebook as well?

    I don't know how many pictures it is common to post on a webpage like that, but assuming you just do a few, I think it's common to have those of you alone. Also, I'd be hesitant about posting something where the other person is recognizable online, even if it's a flattering photo. Even on facebook I have to sometimes avoid this, as so many people "don't like that picture" of themselves. Which means I have a lot of FB photos of only me, sometimes of others but not us together.

    "Men all know (either consciously or subconsciously) that women in their twenties buy dogs as a substitute for male companionship"

    I didn't know that! So I'm not getting a dog after all. Now that you're actually mentioning it, most women I know whom are single with a dig are like 30+ and obsessed with it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Women like dogs because women are nurturing and like nature and animals in general. The statement about them using dogs as a substitute for men is totally wrong. If that's what men think, then they really don't get women and should crawl back into their cages.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Really? Then why do you women try to...train us like we're dogs, talk to us like dogs,(good boy), and treat us like, we are dogs?

      Spoken like true typical female lol.

      Delete
    2. Get down Fido! The thing about dogs being a man sub is very wrong. I have a dog, but I want (and got) a man!

      re the training - when you find stuff that works very well on one species - it follows to reuse it on another ;o

      Delete
    3. See the comment below:

      "I am not a dog lover but I can understand why many women but dogs, they are loyal, protective, intelligent and offer unconditional love"

      ...all of which are things a husband normally (or should) be and do.

      Delete
  3. You've got a taste for good girl profiles;) I suggest to add vids of youself (not too funny)

    ReplyDelete
  4. this list is so stupid. and incorrect. "Tasteful bathing suit shots are smart, not slutty" -
    Bathing suit shots, slutty or "tasteful" really do not attract the right kind of guys. and if you're looking for a relationship and not some guy to get int your pants, then they are a no-go. unless you take the convo over to Facebook. Yes they get the girl attention, but any guy looking for a decent girl to have a relationship with is going to leave that kind girl alone, assuming she is either 1. attention seeking and not on the site for anything real or 2. she will be busy with guys who are only trying to get in her pants anyway- because that is the message she is sending out. When you start a profile, the only thing you need to be is honest - you don't need to be showing off your body just yet. Leave the bathing suit shots on Facebook.
    advertising about the dog, men do this as well, is it that women should assume the same thing about us guys? That he's not ready for a relationship if loves his dog? and that he is lonely and needy?
    posting a picture with "hotter girls". any guy looking for a decent relationship who has actually viewed the profile and liked not only what he has seen but what he has read will not be worrying or making any much more thoughts about other females in the photos. If on the hand your standing next to a hunky sex-god looking guy, that could defer him. Nothing puts me off then finding a profile of a decent looking girl who has a nice bio on her profile but then find myself scrolling though her images that contain one after another of ridiculous hot guys, half naked. Point for men - maybe don't pose with hot girls either, unless they are your sisters.
    I find "selfies" (pictures you've taken yourself) to be fine. they don't scream lonely to me. Most girls like to take images of themselves so as long as she has some images with friends, then thats not what I'm thinking.

    this is honestly a really bad article/post. You;d be better of reading the one posted on e-harmoney for some good tips. this sis merely a "don't" list based on your one opinion.

    I'm a male and i've had to disagree with a lot of what has been said here.

    Tip for the girls- just be honest. if your going to have a stuck-up high maintenance theme going on - then coming from a man, i'd rather read a profile like that and move on then find out you bullshitted your whole 'about me' section just to look like a homely girl. and attract some poor bastard into your evil web ;).

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  5. Are the tips on pictures things that apply to Facebook as well?
    I'm usually "alone" in my profile pic, but I have other photos with friends along with many comments from them, so I assume I don't come across as completely anti social.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The general concepts still apply, yes

      Delete
  6. Unattractive pictures come up when you google me. I've been told I'm an 8 in real life, but I think I'm a generous 5 on Google. Am I screwed? Can I ever get married?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Google doesn't matter. If you are an 8, you are way ahead of the curve. If you are a 5, then work on your appearance and have realistic expectations about the guys you can date. But there are guys out there that would kill for a 5.

      Delete
  7. "Everyone is interesting in some way or another, but very few people have the ability to communicate it"

    This is very true.
    Do you think girls should try to come across as a bit distinctive, or emphasize that they have certain different skills/interests? (the same way a celebrity builds an image). It is difficult sometimes to "stand out from the crowd".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah definitely. Just do it by being yourself and following your natural interests, not by cultivating interests or skills just for the sake of having interests and skills.

      Delete
  8. By posting pictures with friends, you mean if adding additional photos right? On facebook, I only have profile pictures alone, but I have photos with friends in albums. And I'd do the same on a dating website. Otherwise you it isn't perfectly clear which girl the profile belongs to?

    ReplyDelete
  9. Haha I seen today online a woman of 30 state on her dating profile: " Sorry noone under 6ft" (I check out other women's profiles to suss the compare). How rude! Shee's very pretty however I am younger and would never say such a thing because men cannot control their height. It is almost like the male version of saying "Sorry no girls with small breasts" and even THEN women can control their size to an extent.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think it's "rude" per se. Plenty of women have certain absolute requirements, like men have absolute requirements. Many men have requirements to women they cannot control. I am not physically attracted to black men or interested in men over 50 - that's not in their control either. Whether you should put it on a profile is another case, but I admire those who have the guts to, as it saves everyone quite a bit of time (usually dating sites have built-on preferences where you can choose these things, so you don't have to state them outright).
      I don't have specific height preferences, I am 5"9 and wear heels a lot, so I can say that makes things easier for me personally, but I don't look down on women who do.

      Delete
    2. Women can enlarge breast size with plastic surgery. There are risks to your health with invasive procedures. If you don't go to a very expensive surgeon you risk ending up with uneven boobs and a total mess. Many people don't have extra thousands of $ for this surgery also.

      Delete
    3. I've seen many profiles where men express they want someone gorgeous, or slender, some even go as far as saying "not fat"

      many of these men are not even that attractive themselves

      Delete
  10. I am not a dog lover but I can understand why many women but dogs, they are loyal, protective, intelligent and offer unconditional love

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ...things that a husband usually is and does.

      Delete
    2. I have an awesome dog. He does a lot of things a husband does, but there are a few key things a husband does that he can't do, so he's not really a replacement of a husband. In many ways he's a replacement for a child.

      Delete
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  14. I'm having a hard time getting noticed on internet dating and it's really getting me down. Never in my life have I been called unattractive, I have gotten rated by other men anything from a 7 to a 9..never less than a 7. But I am in my late twenties and I am reluctant to have body shots on my profile. I am wondering would I be more successful if I have something showing more skin? I just have facial shots. I didn't think I was that old or unattractive but this really has me on a downer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sometimes people just do better in person than online.

      I've been doing online dating for 3 years with no luck. I’m lucky if I get 4 messages a month from guys and those 4 messages are usually junk. I started to feel like the ugliest monster in the world. Less than a 0.

      The, one weekend, I dragged my married friend out for a night of dancing. I couldn’t believe the night I had. I was being hit on the whole night and, literally, I was checked out by the majority of men who walked passed me.

      So, why the disconnect? I think some people just do better in person than online. Maybe I have a aura or charisma that attracts men that doesn’t come across online? Plus, I think people tend to be way pickier and have a candy store mentality online. If you are not super model hot, you are going to have a harder time online than in person.

      I think it is important to know yourself and play to your strengths. If online dating isn’t working for you, adjust your tactics to something that does.

      Delete
    2. I have stopped contacting or going out with women I might meet online if all they post are headshots. More than half are not built ("slender", "athletic and toned", or "average") anything like they say they are. I'm sure I've missed a few opportunities with interesting people.

      But I've hit my quota of dates with delusional women who have magic internet bodies (the ones that are 20 or 30 pounds smaller than in reality). I'm sure this is an issue with men (i.e., the men overstating their physical appeal, lying about their age, the rest of it). But I know that in my case, you'd have to have an 8-9 face, with prominent cheekbones (implying reasonable BMI) before I would respond to your inquiry. And I'd still probably ask for a full length profile photo. (I did this yesterday. Since women think this way and are bold about testing men in this way, she didn't mind.)

      I wouldn't worry about trying to make it risque or anything; that's a turnoff. Just take a selfie in a pair of jeans that reveal your figure. I bet it improves your action. Make sure your other pics aren't sullen mug shots. Sounds like you have a lot more energy in person than online. Display it.

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    3. How much does body matter to a guy (I am sure a lot). It's ironic because my body is usually what I get complimented on the most. I will see about getting a friend to take a shot because I would just feel awkward using one of those mirror shots. I wouldn't know the first thing about getting my full body into a photo otherwise. I have had some guys message and ask me what the catch is.

      Delete
    4. Body is the most first, last, and most important thing a guys looks for in a woman. If you have a nice body, use it towards your advantage.

      Delete
    5. Thanks. I always thought face. Seemingly the issue was the time of day because the messages quickly increased after a certain time. I then uploaded one showing slightly more skin and it increased further. I am still assuming some men think I'm fat (even though I am petite with big boobs haha). Will have to get a full shot.

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    6. I disagree entirely. Almost no guy wants a woman who's a whale, but I do think the face is more important than the body. If you have a beautiful face but an average body, I think it's better than if you have an average face and a bangin' body. Most people spend most of their time wearing clothes, so even the hottest body is usually covered up, unless you're a pro surfer or bikini model.

      Delete
  15. I totally disagree with J. As soon as a man is thinking "This is a woman I want to have dinner with, over and over and over again", he is thinking about her face, not her figure. And if he's smart, he's going to find a way to see a picture of her mother, because that is who she is going to look like in 20 years.

    Anonymous, there are just so many poseurs and phonies online, that it's a waste of time to become intrigued with someone until you qualify their physical type. I consider my own selfie/body shot just an obligatory "check box" thing: I say I'm 6'1" 183 pounds and a former athlete, first; then I provide a picture to prove it. I get *a lot* of comments from dates that indicate they appreciate that, because they have physical types they prefer too. (Some women find me too thin, for example.) Men are deceitful and delusional about their appearance and body type, online, also.

    Stay away from the overt bikini pics. Some women with great bodies post lots of bikini shots. I like them as much as any man would, but there's no reason to publish pictures of yourself in your underwear, and since I'm not interested in women solely for their swim suit modeling qualities, they're usually not a match for me (because they're indicating that their primary virtue is their body, and that they're going to try to sell based on their body).

    Women who have had boob jobs are also very strange in the pictures they post, too, but that's another story.

    If you are interested in professional, educated men they're going to have three qualifiers up front: is she smart, is she pleasant to look at over dinner, and is she my physical type. It takes zero effort to check those three boxes in an effort to make the online experience more fruitful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. I had no issues in the end with it, now have too many messages to respond to. :), I probably do need better pictures to attract the right kind of guy. I don't think I am deceptive regarding my physical appearance and DO get asked out in reality..just not by men I feel would make good relationship material. Overall, I think I am just being impatient.

      Delete
    2. This would indicate to me that you can improve the text in your profile. With the right key words and values-statements, you may attract more of what you're looking for. I often do key word searches as a first filter, and only then move on to photographs. This is the opposite of what most women would say men do, but you want to do target marketing, not mass marketing, according to your comments.

      My own preference, incidentally, as a guy, is that you should not to do what 90% of women do -- and that is construct long lists of qualifiers and jam them into your profile. These are just indicators of someone who thinks Prince Charming is around the corner, lurking. But, YMMV.

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    3. Yeah, well my only requirements so far have been witty, intelligent and warm-heated. I maybe need to write down something more unique..most women seem to say the same things.

      Delete
    4. If a woman indicates that she likes to be around men who are good at something (competence), likes walking down a street with a man who protects her (strength, manners), loves his work (competence again, material/financial achievement), enjoys spending time with her father and/or brothers (appreciates masculinity, sincerely likes men), and only dates one guy at a time and prefers a man who wants to date one woman at a time (honor), that woman is going to hear from me. She will because I aspire to be strong, competent, successful, caring and valued. (In particular, I've found that women who are close to their dads and brothers have a model of masculinity that they would enjoy in their romantic life. But that is just me.) Another one might be: "I want my man to have his own interests and friends", which means she doesn't want to date a man who acts like a housepet, and it's a-ok if the man goes hunting or races cars or flies planes or drinks PBR with his buddies once a month. Another one would be "I like to cook and I want to cook with/for my man, or at least make us a picnic" (men of the LTR persuasion get sick of restaurants, get sick of paying for restaurants on behalf of low-interest-level women, and may remember fondly family picnics).

      These sorts of indicators are quite rare. Usually, it's just the usual crap of "Must love dogs" (she sleeps with pet animals), "Can you keep up with me?" ("I'm a special snowflake, and I will be the center of attention at all times"), "I'll never settle" ("I'm a snowflake" again), a political test, an education test, a vacation hotspot test, and other superficial tests. No one ever fell in love with the right political views or dog hair in bed.. Most of these women are delusional spinsters. They don't want a man, they want a prop -- and the good men know it. If you read your profile and it sounds like Jenn Anniston or some other Cinderella wanna-be wrote it, rewrite it. As always, YMMV.

      Delete
    5. What is YMMV?

      Delete
    6. Here's some popular science on the face v. body preferences of men. You definitely want a face-guy, based on your comments. A man who is a face-guy is more interested in an LTR. He will shrug at your body-shape as long as you are reasonably fit and slender -- just as most women who are serious about something in life are completely unimpressed with men who post pictures of their totally awesome six-packs.

      http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/298006

      Delete
    7. Your mileage may vary, i.e., "just my two cents".

      Delete
    8. "I totally disagree with J. As soon as a man is thinking "This is a woman I want to have dinner with, over and over and over again", he is thinking about her face, not her figure. "

      Ah, but here is the rub, you *don't* get to that point unless you find her body attractive first. Both are important, but body is more so than face simply because it is the gate keeper. Once you are through the door, it is face that becomes more important. Same can be said about personality.

      And, I'd be careful about the "what does her mother look like crap". I know it's been commented on here before, but I think you are doing yourself a real disservice if you are really into a girl and then you assume she is going to look like her mother in 20/30 years. Just because a mother is not a looker doesn't mean the daughter isn't going to be. In fact, I know lots of daughters who are lookers just because their mother was not, are a little embarrassed about it, and so take double care of themselves because of it.

      Delete
    9. J, you seem to be reading someone else's mind today. Does that often work for you, ignoring what someone writes and telling them what they really think instead?

      My ex-, and her mother, modeled for Vogue, and that rule is not "crap." I guess I will keep my rule on the heritable elements of beauty, since it is scientifically proven, and in general evidence throughout humanity. Except, of course, those little corners of humanity attempting to pound a feminist agenda into the landscape.

      Delete
    10. Whatever works for you. I'm done with this site. By all means continue to be a shallow ass hole that chases beauty. 50 years from now, maybe you'll gain the wisdom to know that a person's worth doesn't lie in their physical appearance.

      I noticed you said "Ex". I see that chasing beauty really worked out well for ya there.

      I guess I should start judging all males on what their parents do for a living, if they are still married or divorced, how much money they have, and "see our future" based on his parent's life and choices.

      I'm my own person. I am not my parents. I am not my mother. Her choices in life are HER CHOICES IN LIFE. NOT MINE.

      Delete
    11. I prefer more laid back guys, so I can't follow your advice as I might attract more intense, uptight males like you. I'm a very nice lady and considerate, but I wouldn't be a good match with you.

      Delete
  16. So overall what makes a good internet dating profile especially with pictures?

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  17. I don't have a problem getting dates but I started a profile on a free dating site to find a certain type of guy very specifically for help with something (not sex), which I made clear in the profile. I put five or six pics up, two with friends, only one where you could really see my full body in a sundress. Over the course of one weekend, I changed the profile picture every day although I had already found the guy I wanted on the first day, just in case things didn't work out with him. The first one was a very serious, modeling type, looking into the distance alone one; enormous response. The second, based on a recommendation from a straight guy friend, was a smiling, Marilyn Monroe-esque one, much less response. Out of curiosity, the third day I changed it to a selfie that looks like someone else took it with very seductive makeup, hair and expression- that as was wildly popular as the first if not more. At the end of the 3 days, I had something like 100 messages, not counting repeated interactions with the same guys, and 600+ "wants to meet yous" despite not being active on the site much (and not to mention, the criteria I set forth in the profile would have cut out the vast majority of men). So the smiling thing might not be true, depending on the pic, mix them up every day. Or maybe Saturdays are a less active day than Fri or Sun; I can't be sure, but it seemed very drastically worse with the smiling one. I also am above average attractive, 5'6 and 120. And my message was a bit mysterious, like, "If you are an XX who XX, please message me and I will explain everything..."

    From the female perspective, I absolutely wanted to see guys with their friends, and don't post pics with kids- any kids- unless they're yours and you only want a girl who is cool with being a stepmother figure. The kid talk can wait, it's off putting. If you have a great body, show it off a little bit, we like arms, shoulders, chests and abs, if you don't have all of them just show what you do have. If your face isn't particularly attractive you can sort of confuse us with some sunglasses and other stuff going on in photos, but some of your pics have to contain your face no matter how hot your body is or we will think you're a monster. The dog thing is also a turn off for me, I don't want to worry about you having to be home early to walk a dog or unable to leave town, etc. Obviously- if I met a guy and liked him, then found out he had kids or a dog, it might be a non-issue. I might want to have more kids or dogs with him! But I don't want to think about road blocks before we've even seen if there's any chemistry.

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  18. What about making a fun online dating profile, but turning up with self respect and strong boundaries? For instance, what if a woman put on her profile the following...

    If you just had 24 hours left to live, what would you do with your time?
    Followed by a reflection of what she believes about life... See for me, life is about making the most of every 24 hours that you live... etc etc etc

    Interesting thought of the day... don't dream your life, but live your life a dream instead.

    See, I feel that this may be a good idea as its a good way of tuning into the hear and soul of another human. Everyone can can say what they want and don't want from a life partner, anyone can run of a list of qualities that makes them great etc, but everyone will perceive live differently anyway and what impresses one person may not impress someone else.

    So why not tune into what really matters, someones values, their believes on life and perhaps other things may matter.

    Confidence can be built, people can change from being sweet to hot headed with the changes that life throws on your path, but values and attitudes are closely related to the root of who a person is.

    I actually did this before, and got some really positive feedback from others, even before having the chance to put any picture up.

    Whats you man opinion on this Andrew, what would you think if your saw this profile on a dating website and no other women had this?

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    Replies
    1. interesting, i might try that

      Delete
  19. I accept your point on “Don't post pictures of yourself with hotter girls” because it may leads you in some danger.

    ReplyDelete

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