Tuesday, June 1, 2010

What Not to Put on Online Dating Profiles

Filling out a profile on a dating Web site can be more stressful than college applications. You want to come across as sexy, but not slutty; funny, but not at your own expense; and desirable, but not desperate.

How do your capture your wonderful, intriguing personality when sites impose character limits? We’ve posted tips from OkTrends blog.okcupid.com before, but those writers seem to be on a permanent vacation, and as the weather gets warmer, you’re probably more tempted to see what’s out there.

But what’s should you say when you’re trying to attract a potential partner?

That’s hard to say, but we came up with a few don’ts while pursing sites this weekend.

The first (and perhaps most important) is: don’t talk about sex. Period. Don’t mention it in your likes or interests. Don’t joke about it or make references to past sexual experiences. The word “sex” shouldn’t show up on your profile at all—even as part of a compound word/modifier.

Unless you have something on your profile that suggests otherwise (i.e., “I’m waiting for marriage”—which probably isn’t worth mentioning, even if you are), it’s pretty much a given that you like/enjoy/engage in sex. So there’s no need to prove your sexuality.

And have you ever noticed that the people who spend the most time talking about sex/how good they are in bed tend to be really bad at sex? People who have healthy sexual appetites don’t need to talk about because they have nothing to prove. When you’re satisfied with something, you don’t brag about it.

So when you talk about sex, you run the risk of looking a) unstable, b) a dramatic oversharer, and c) someone who feels the need to talk a big game to make up for other sexual inadequacies.

Don’t make a list of attributes you’re looking for (even if the site asks for it). Anything specific enough to describe in a few words (i.e., I like blondes who make six figures) can easily be ascertained by looking at the guy’s profile. And chances are, you probably signed up for a free trial because you’re sick of meeting the same guys with different names at bars. When you make a list of must-haves, you risk coming off as superficial and materialistic, and you limit your options. Even if you wouldn’t dream of dating someone who didn’t have an Ivy League education, a guy from Harvard might be turned off if he sees that on your profile. And the guy who shares your dreams and ambitions may have graduated from BC. The point is: you probably don’t really know what you want. So keep it off your profile.

Don’t be overly negative. You don’t have to fake a nauseatingly sunny disposition, but don’t talk about things you don’t like (even if you’re trying to highlight your hip irreverence), personal flaws, or anything else that’s more on the negative side.

Your mother always told you that you catch more flies with honey, and while we always hated this analogy because we’d rather just open a window than have to deal with dead flies, but people tend to want to spend time with people who seem like they’re having a great time. Negative declarations are probably going to scare away more people than they’ll attract, so keep them off your profile.


  1. Listing attributes of the "perfect man" reminds me of the scene in "Up In The Air" when the younger woman kept describing excruciatingly specific details about her perfect man, and it made me (and hopefully anyone else watching) roll their eyes. I agree that having a dead-set personality and figure in mind will only cause harm. What if that perfect man inevitably turns out not so perfect? It's better to approach dating people with an open mind, in my opinion

  2. Match Finder Online
    Nice dating thoughts shared by you....................

    Keep such dating tips continue in future.............

  3. Such a nice thoughts... but I think you'll know if that girl/guy is the one you're looking when you already exchanging thoughts/opinions/funny things/etc. . .Just my opinion.