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5 Online Dating Profile Mistakes/Tips

Working on daily basis with my clients as a dating counselor---and actually going through potential matches with them online, sometimes I’m floored by the lack of thought that goes into some! When you are writing your dating profile, you need to remember we’ve been accustomed to short, fast, engaging reads.

1. Being too analytical Hmmm, this came up several times this week while I was working with clients. You just can’t analyze people the way you do a spreadsheet. One client, a Fortune 500 CFO, kept pointing out inconsistencies in a women’s profile. He was attracted to her, liked her spunky style of writing, but was discombobulated by her 3 different career paths/divergent interests which he found flaky. He’d followed a very linear career path. As I told him, do you want to date her or hire her? Enough said.

2. Dating Site/App Prompts These are meant to be fun! Most sites allow you to pick three. For some reason, on one popular dating site, it seems men all pick this one: Beach or Mountains. And here is the typical answer: “Both”. Yep, that’s it --- a one word answer. We learned absolutely nothing about you and you just wasted one of three opportunities to tell us a lot about you. A good answer could have been “Absolutely the beach. As an ex-competitor swimmer, my wetsuit gets an almost daily workout in the water and just took up paddleboarding too. Love LaJolla Cove and the sea lions”. Ahhha, now we have a snippet to start up a conversation with this person.


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3. A Bad Opening Line Yes, some sites give you enough runway to write a novella—but don’t. The key here is that the first sentence must be an attention grabber. I’ll tell you what won’t work: “I can’t believe I’m on this site and it’s so hard to write about myself”. YES, people write this. Too often. Well, you are on the site (just as your potential dates are) and are you telling us you are too good for this? This just reeks of insecurity. While this dating site profile allows many characters, keep it to 3-4 paragraphs, with each paragraph no more than 3 sentences packed with energy, adjectives and specifics. Feel free to use bullets too. And, don’t try packing it with big, seldom used words to try to impress us with your vocabulary. We’ll just think you had your thesaurus handy.

4. Thinking photos alone will suffice* Another common error---while we know dating sites are highly visual, we do want to know something about you. How else can we message you intelligently and not waste your time or ours? Plus, it also says you don’t really care by just slapping up a few photos. Answer every question the site offers---you want the algorithms and search engines on the site to do their magic for you---and they cannot without information. *Exception possibly Tinder---I don’t recommend Tinder right now as they are going through an entire regrouping of management, branding and site re-design.

5. Build it, they will come Maybe in the field of dreams—but not in the real world of dating. You can’t put up a well-thought-out dating profile and engaging photos---then just sit back and wait. This is a recipe for discouragement and “online dating doesn’t work for me”. Because you are not working at it. My recommendation is that you spend 20-30 minutes online several times each week, seeking out people you’d like to meet. Not just responding to those wanting to meet you. With my clients---and many are now in relationship---the majority met their significant other by reaching out or searching for them—not by those contacting them. It’s a level playing field for men and women; men constantly tell me how happy they are when women reach out to them with messages. Those old rules of the 90’s no longer apply---hurray!

These are simple tips and remember that chemistry only happens in person. So, if there is even a 50-50 chance you may like the person based on their profile, reach out. I absolutely believe there is someone for everyone because I see it every day.

Life & Love,

Andrea McGinty

Dating Coach


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