5 Biggest online dating profile mistakes


Online dating can be a great way to find love, but many of us don’t know how to market ourselves. As a professional online dating profile writer, I know too well how tricky online dating can be. Many of our clients are successful, personable people who would make someone a great partner but they struggle to write a profile that highlights their attributes and is not just a carbon copy of a hundred other profiles out there.

Here’s how to avoid the common pitfalls of the well-meaning profile writer:

1. Your profile is too generic

If you look at ten random profiles right now, I bet you’ll find the same common themes: everyone is fun, outgoing and adventurous, with a great sense of humour, loves travelling, eating out and, of course, long walks along the beach. While these responses are all OK, after a while they sound generic and same-same. To stand out in the online crowd you need a profile that is unique and compelling – turn the ordinary into extraordinary. And no, I don’t mean listing naked bungee jumping or trekking across the Himalayas as your usual weekend activities. For example, “my profiterole chocolate tower is always a hit” sounds far more enticing than “I like cooking”. Or, “I’m adventurous” doesn’t tell me anything, however by writing “I’m taking flying lessons” you’ve got my attention.


2. You don’t tell a story

The dating profiles that compel you to click and email are ones that play into your emotions. Does it warm your heart to hear about her love of animals and how she volunteers at a dog shelter? Did his sense of humour in his profile make you laugh out loud? We remember the things we feel, so if you want your profile to be memorable start tugging those emotional strings. People act on a dating profile when they can see themselves as part of your story. If you don’t tell a story, people will have nowhere to see themselves.

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3. You haven’t put your best face forward

It’s sad but true that one bad picture can cast doubt in the mind of a potential match about everything they have seen prior to that blurry or unflattering photo. Without being superficial, your profile picture is the best first impression you give online. Yes, you’ll be judged on how you look, but rather than feeling despondent you just need to OWN IT! No matter your shape, size or age, a clear, flattering photo showing you at your confident best is a surefire way to attract promising interest. As I’m fond of saying: you never get a second chance to make a good first impression!

4. You are negative

People are attracted to positivity, not someone who comes across as disgruntled, overly picky and jaded. A profile littered with criticism of others and negativity will be interpreted by a potential match as a sign that you have wholly unrealistic expectations. It also screams ‘bitter-ex-clinging-to-past–relationships’ or a person with emotional baggage.  So reread your profile to ensure the tone remains upbeat and approachable.


5. You aren’t authentic

Make sure your profile truly reflects who you are. So what if you’ve never owned a passport or you’ve yet to reach the pinnacle of your career? Everyone has something worthy or interesting to offer, it’s just a matter of prising it out of your back pocket.

When I was online dating, my greatest claim to fame was ‘perfecting the art of lasagna’ and my partner and I still laugh about the line that hooked his interest.

In a world of selfie-superficiality, people still appreciate authenticity and humility. Looks may attract initial attention, but character has greater substance. So like a true marketer, think outside the square and identify what is your unique selling point. Your number one product is YOU, so make your profile count. And it may just bring you one step closer to finding your perfect match.

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by Natalie Jane, online dating coach and profile writer.

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