5 Dating Profile Mistakes That Make You Look Like a Crazy Person
It’s hard out there for a single gal. In fact, it can downright suck. Dating can be as boring as watching a pot of water boil — or it can leave you really questioning whether or not you’ve entered the fifth dimension, depending on who you’re going out with. But although dating can be a real pain, it’s something that millions of singles are happily (or unhappily) doing.
If you’ve ever been on a heinous blind date or gambled and lost on a cute guy you saw at the library, you may have contemplated just staying single forever. But for the brave and the hopeful, there’s also the option of finding love online. It’s 2013, so before visions of serial killers or dude-bros (yes, I’m putting them in the same category) begin floating in your head, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. There are lots of nice guys (and a few “Nice Guys”) on dating sites, if you’re willing to put in a little work.
But before you take your first step into the world of online dating, you’ve got to make yourself a good dating profile. Getting on a dating site is similar to entering the job market and trying to sell yourself — your profile is a love resume, if you will. But like bad resumes, dating profiles can have an ugly and embarrassing side. So please, for the love of all that is good and right, don’t make these five dating profile mistakes that make you look like a crazy person.
Mistake #1: No one’s going to judge me on my photo! They’ll see me for the shining, beautiful person I am
No. You’re sadly mistaken. A photo is one of the first things daters look at.
Making a good visual impression is really important, especially in dating profiles. There are a ton of people out there looking for love or a friendly cup of joe with an attractive stranger, and your dream dude will have to wade through all of them to get to you. To make that process easier, one of the first things potential suitors will look at to decide whether you’re worth pursuing is your photo.
Did you really look great at your senior prom? Awesome. That photo’s something your mom will want to keep as a memento. It’s not, however, what a potential mate is looking for when scanning through profiles. Of course you were 15 years younger and 25 pounds lighter then, but no wants to date your teenage self — they want to date you, hopefully.
Also, keep those group photos off your profile. Actually, don’t put up any photo that has anyone else in it but you. We know your cat is your universe, but if you’re looking to get a date, don’t wave the “crazy” flag.
Besides being the star of your photo, make sure you pick a photo that’s centered on your smiling face and taken in natural light, if possible. Also, ease up on the make-up. You’re not auditioning for The Bachelor, you’re trying to find your soul mate — or at least someone who won’t scream in sheer terror when you turn to them with a makeup-less face on Sunday morning. A face full of make-up shows a lack of confidence, and gives the impression that you’re overcompensating for something.
Also, a photo of your face and upper body is enough. No close-ups of your body parts, please. Stay away from full body shots — they’ll draw more creepers rather than keepers.
Oh, and be clothed, for the love of all that is good and right. This isn’t Chatroulette.
Mistake #2: Being crazy specific will get me the right guy right away
Are you looking for a 25-year-old dude with the eyes of Ryan Gosling, the mane of Brad Pitt, and the body of Channing Tatum? Hmm, I think we’ve entered fantasy land. Population: you.
Besides setting your standards impossibly high, you’re making the prime mistake of being really, really specific. Are you looking for a dude who’s into Otis Redding and 60’s Motown? Cool. Are you looking for a dude who likes cats? Great. Are you looking for a guy who doesn’t drink out of a straw, no matter the circumstances, like ever? Well, you’re blatantly waving the judgmental and high-maintenance flag high and clear. When your profile reads “Applicants who drink out of a straw need not apply,” you’re essentially saying “I’m a crazy, judgy person, so stay away.”
And most likely, any sane guy will stay away. You want to show who you are by stating your likes and dislikes, but use your common sense and be reasonable. The best way to avoid this blunder is get a trusted friend to edit your profile. They may see things you missed because you totally thought asking for a Nobel Prize winning suitor wasn’t asking for much.
Mistake #3: Using lots of adjectives and being vague shows that I’m super fun and ready for anything
No. Not at all. Being vague will be the death of your dating profile. Just like it’s a big no-no to be super specific, it’s also a bad idea to be too vague.
Oh, you’re sweet and loving and happy and kind? So is everyone else who’s looking for love. Having concrete examples that show your personality through your actions is better than vague adjectives that could describe anyone.
If you enjoy being fit, mention that you’re training for your second half marathon (without talking yourself up too much). If you like traveling, talk about how you scoped out all of Italy to find a rare antique. That stuff’s cool and interesting.
What’s not interesting is the boring cliches of loving long walks on the beach and being a fun-loving girl who adores rainbows and puppies.
Also, remember that being vague about what you want is just as bad as being vague about who you are. Here’s a real-life example of a profile that manages to somehow be vague, too specific and contradictory all at once.
(Yes, this is an actual paragraph from someone’s dating profile.)
There’s so many things wrong with this description. First of all, caps lock is only used by soccer moms who left their reading glasses at home. Please don’t do this – it’s worse than mom jeans. This woman is either looking for a Jack of All Trades or a man who exists only in her imagination. A man who is both down-to-earth and has an attitude? No, one attribute excludes the other.
Plus, her use of metaphors is atrocious. For example, “… please do not step up to my mound”? Dear God. Misusing “there,” “their,” and “they’re” is one thing, but the metaphors are setting my head ablaze with baseball fouls and uncomfortable, crotch-enhancing jeans. See how distracting that is?
To avoid coming off like a bland clone looking for a man who doesn’t exist, once again, get someone to edit your work. And remember, less is more.
Mistake #4: Being upfront and honest means telling my life story right away
My cat Chuckles is my life.
I have a shopping addiction, and I have over 500 pairs of Mary Janes.
I think there are voices that are telling me to do 25 jumping jacks every night.
Yep, these are things you’d want to keep to yourself when you’re trying to get a date. They may also be signs that you need to talk to a therapist.
Oversharing too much, too soon will freak people out. Yes, you want to put your own unique spin on your dating profile, but you don’t want to appear like the crazy cat lady by obsessively mentioning Chuckles, the only true love of your life.
This goes for talking about your vices too. You may be proud of yourself for buying only 38 pairs of shoes this week, but it’s probably best to mention your shopping addiction during one-on-one dates rather than in the first paragraph of your dating profile.
Avoid this mistake by being concise and selective of what you choose to reveal. This doesn’t mean you lose all the personality from your profile, it just means you keep the crazy hat off until you’ve gotten to know the person, who’ll eventually understand that your cat is your life. He has to. Or else.
Mistake #5: Being really emo or twee will attract my kind of fella
People are easily turned off by the guy who can’t help but make dramatic political statements at every single event and who invariably calls his ex-girlfriend a bitch while shaking his fist at her invisible memory. This applies to us ladies too. Bashing your ex or mentioning that you’d give your 346th pair of Mary Janes to see him suffer, surrounded by the scattered debris of his life will scare away any potential dates.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be yourself. If you’re a passionate person, be passionate, but be aware that if you’re spouting about the “damn government” or you’re making loaded statements like “you just can’t count on people these days,” you’re going to come off as unhinged. Being emo wasn’t cool back when it was a thing, and it isn’t cool now.
Just like it’s a faux pas to mention politics, religion and exes during your first date, it’s just as bad to declare war against your ex on your dating profile. It shows you can’t move on and let go. It’ll also stir up unflattering images of you potentially keying the dude’s car if he hasn’t called you for a second date.
But don’t go in the opposite direction and be so utterly twee that it rots the guy’s stomach. Sickeningly sweet paragraphs about your desire to help humankind by inventing a machine that emits rainbows and candy canes aren’t going to sit well with people, although it is a well-intentioned (yet far-flung) idea.
These Debbie Downer/Fatal Attraction statements should be kept to yourself, or shared with your closest girlfriends. They’re huge warning flags to potential suitors, who’ll only click on to the next profile of someone who isn’t obviously crazy.