Online dating works for a lot of people these days. About 40% of Americans use online dating, according to eHarmony.
But why doesn’t everyone have a working online dating profile?
Well, quite simply, you can – but it does take a bit of tweaking to be successful.
From bad photos to bad attitudes, and everything in between, there are reasons why your dating profile isn’t working for you.
Luckily, you can make some changes that will help your potential dates see you in a better light, so you can win the dating game.
Here are 10 brutally honest reasons why your online dating profile isn’t appealing to anyone:
1. A bad profile picture
The first thing you see when you go to an online dating site are profile pictures. And let’s be honest: the next thing you do is judge their photo.
Everyone does it. Don’t try to tell yourself that you don’t judge every image that appears on your screen.
Dating coaches and matchmakers will come out and take fresh, professional photos of their clients.
Don’t pull out a dated, blurry photo — get a nice picture taken, and not include other people in the photo. You want to show off your character, so look good and show how much of a looker you are.
Don’t overdo it. More than half of people online lie on their dating profile, according to eHarmony. Make sure your photo reasonably resembles real life and don’t make anything up about yourself. Your date will eventually find out if you lied.
2. A bad attitude
Dating is stressful and you might get hurt or have to turn others away. However, you have to look on the bright side.
Finding the love of your life should be enjoyable and efficient. You may not be interested in all of them, but you need to adjust your attitude.
Don’t let dating harden your personality. You want your best aspects to shine through on your dates.
Instead, think of it as a fun exercise in meeting people. You will have stories to take away from each person you meet during your date.
There are 42 million people dating online at a time. Sooner or later you will find someone. Relax and let it be — like is like like.
If you start dating with a positive attitude, you will find your partner.
3. A bad location
Once we had a client who lived in the middle of nowhere, in a small village north of the Arctic Circle. It was a disappointment for two reasons:
- There was no photo studio nearby.
- They had trouble finding people they weren’t related to.
Unfortunately, if you’re in the middle of nowhere and already know everyone around you, your options are limited. It’s not like someone is hiding under a rock for you to date!
The only viable option here is to broaden your searches. Start looking at the next major city closest to you. You may need to travel to meet new people if choices are slim in your immediate area.
So don’t fight it. Just do it. Expand your horizons.
4. A poorly written profile
Let’s say someone finds a liking to your photo and decides to click on your profile to find out more about you.
They probably won’t read everything, maybe a few paragraphs. They might not review your profile for grammatical errors, but they will notice if you’re not able to string together a few sentences cohesively.
It could make or break you.
Do comparisons with other dating profiles before writing your own. Then get a friend to proofread it for you before you post it.
You don’t want to be too controversial. Don’t try to be someone you’re not. Don’t lie, it will come back to bite you.
Be specific about who you are, your tastes, and the kind of person you are looking for.
5. You are too picky
Nobody is perfect. This doesn’t mean you have to compromise just to get a mate. You’re probably not going to find someone who ticks 100% of your boxes.
You have to balance trade-offs and find your perfect partner. Some deal-breakers are reasonable.
However, if you are going to list the 15 things you look for in a partner, you must have 15 equal attributes that will also attract your future partner to you.
Remember, relationships are “give and take”. They are not all on the “take”.
6. Trying too hard to be funny or quirky
Many people have a habit of working too hard to be funny or exaggerating how interesting they are. Do your best to calm this impulse, unless you are a comedian or comedian in real life.
Try to be more discreet and make sure you’re not overtly trying to be funny or focus on entertaining your date.
First, find out if your partner is exciting or attractive to you. It’s hard to feel out of your date if you’re trying to entertain them all the time.
7. Too political or too religious
Oversharing your views too soon is a real bummer.
If your religious and political beliefs are a deciding factor, try to steer the conversation away from those topics as you get to know your potential partner.
The best profiles present a lighter and more accessible style, rather than a very opinionated and perhaps a little too forceful style.
There’s no reason to scare someone off before they’ve even met you. It’s about increasing your opportunities to meet new people and explore possible relationships.
Your opinions matter and you don’t have to give them up to date just anyone. However, it doesn’t hurt to slow down and give someone a chance if there’s physical attraction.
Try to keep everything on the light side. Your goal here is to find out if there is a mutual attraction. Plunging straight into a deeply religious or political debate is a real mood killer.
Remember to be patient. It’s time to discuss your views once you’ve gotten to know them better – it’s best to book for a third or fourth date.
8. Unreasonable expectations
Unreasonable expectations go hand in hand with being too picky. Of course, you should have reasonable expectations for dating and your life. Age and attractiveness are usually what expectations tend to revolve around.
We all wish we could date models.
Give yourself a hard look in the mirror. Would you really want to date someone who looks like a model? Do you have the qualities and conditions that would interest them?
It is a waste of your online dating efforts to wait for unreachable dates. In the long run, you’ll be happier being with someone you’re truly compatible with. Pursuing a fantasy is unreasonable.
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9. Talking about money too soon
Talking about money goes hand in hand with being too political or too religious. Discussing money early on sends all kinds of red flags.
Many dating scammers will bring up the subject of money early in the dating process. Don’t give the impression that you are a scammer and run away from anyone who might also give the impression.
Unless otherwise specified, do your best to plan to pay for the first two dates. You want to set clear boundaries. As you continue dating, the money issue will usually go away.
10. Talking about your ex or your children
Nothing takes away the romance like talking about an ex or your kids right away. Complaining about either will bring up plenty of red flags for your potential romantic interest.
What happened in the past stays there and doesn’t need to be retold with a new person. Dates who are sympathetic about their past relationships are not ready to date you and are not above their past relationships.
If you have kids, that’s wonderful. First dates, however, should be more about you and what you’re looking for in a relationship.
This doesn’t mean you have to hide the fact that you have children. Do not make your children the center of your meeting. You have to remember to put yourself first sometimes.
Following these examples of online dating profiles can help you be a more successful online dater.
We know it can be easy to overlook or overlook these errors. There will be occasional slip-ups and it’s not that easy to change.
However, making slight changes to your dating approach will prove successful in the long run.
Remember to put your best foot forward and be authentically you by letting your best attributes shine. Your dating profile habits will change with just a few tweaks.
Claire Bahn is a dating and personal branding expert and CEO/co-founder of Stratus Branding and Online Profile Pros.
This article originally appeared on Online Profile Pros. Reprinted with permission from the author.
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