As a relationship expert, I've critiqued nearly a hundred online dating profiles of people who are divorced. Personally, when I was dating, I also looked at hundreds of online dating profiles. I not only looked at men's profiles, I also looked at women's profiles because I wanted to be different than all the other women out there.
I've noticed that certain things show up in online dating profiles of many divorced people. Statements that are turnoffs and will virtually guarantee you're not going to have the success you had hoped to have. If you include any of these three things in your profile, you could be sabotaging your chance at finding love after divorce.
1. Your Wrong Relationship Status
When you sign up for a dating website they ask you to specify whether you are divorced, single, separated, etc. If you have gone through a divorce, can you put single as your status? After all, you're not married anymore so you're single, right? Wrong.
The fact of the matter is this: if you have gone through a divorce and you say you are single, some people will consider this lying. The online dating site you are on has given you the option of checking only one box. And you checked the single box when there is a box that says divorced. That implies that you are not divorced and never have been divorced. You may be thinking, but I've been divorced 5 years. I've moved on. My marriage is so yesterday. Why cling to the past?
But most of your potential dates, when they read your profile and see single, will logically assume you've never been married. When they find out you have been married this may come across as deceptive in some people's eyes. In addition, if you're over the age of 40, listing single as your status will make people wonder: Over 40 and never been married? What's wrong with this person?
I know this from personal experience. Before I met my husband, I dated well into my 40s. I was single my whole life. Almost every one of my dates brought this up the first time we met and even sometimes before. "So you're 42 and never been married? Why not?"
The honest answer was that I was unintentionally doing some things to scare away the men I really wanted to spend the rest of my life with. It wasn't until I discovered what those things were that I was able to find true love. But I could hardly go into all that on a first date. So I would say simply shrug and say, "I just never met the person I was meant to be with."
And even after I explained why, I could feel this heaviness hanging in the air. As if my dates were thinking: Hmm. There must be something wrong with her. There is far more prejudice against people who are over 40 and never been married than there is against someone who is divorced. Being divorced is accepted. No one is ever going to ask you on the first date, "So, you're divorced. Why are you divorced? What went wrong?"
You will not be hurting your chances of finding love by listing your relationship status as divorced. And therefore it's much better to choose the divorce option than to list yourself as single and risk looking deceptive or creating confusion on the first date.
2. Anything That Hints of Low Self Confidence
Let's face it, divorce isn't a self-confidence booster. This is especially true if your ex was the one who wanted the divorce or had an affair. When you first started dating your ex, chances are good that online dating was either non-existent or in its infancy. So now that you're divorced, when you plunge into the online dating experience, writing a profile can be intimidating.
After all, no one has given you instructions on how to be good at dating after divorce. And putting yourself out there again where you can be hurt seems scary. You don't know what to say so you start the profile with something like, "I've never done this before and I'm not very good at writing these things." This is guaranteed to make anyone reading your profile yawn and gives the impression you don't have a lot of self-confidence.
Instead of starting your profile talking about something you're not good at, why not make the first line of your profile about something you are good at? Something like: "I love to grow roses and want to find someone to sit in my garden with me and be seduced by the smell of the flowers while we sit and talk and kiss among the blooms." Or "I'm a gourmet cook looking for love. I'm seeking someone who I can pamper with meals that I cook at home."
Humor is also a date-magnet. It shows you're playful. You're not set back by life's challenges. It shows you've either gotten over the hurt of your divorce or, if you are still hurting, you cope with it in a healthy way.
When I was doing online dating, a line in my profile read, "I often like to spend my time wondering if there are more cows than people in this town or if it's a moooooot point." This allowed me to attract men with a sense of humor who would send me emails containing cow puns. As in, "I found your profile udderly charming."
3. Little Clues Your Marriage Was Your Whole Life
I once dated a divorced man who had two weeks off from work every month. But he had no hobbies. He liked riding jet skis but wouldn't do this unless he had someone to do it with. Every time we talked on the phone he would say, "I'm so bored!" On our third date he talked about how glad he was to have found me because now he wasn't going to be bored anymore. He wanted me to cure his boredom.
Our third date happened to be our last date. Bored equals boring. You don't want to be this person. You don't want to even hint in your online dating profile that you're bored or that you're looking for someone to make life more interesting.
You will attract better online dates if you pursue hobbies and interests. And then write about them in your profile. You'll sound more interesting. More passionate. More like the type of person who didn't let your divorce shatter who you are deep inside. The key is to sound like an interesting person without sounding so busy that you don't have time for a relationship. So be sure to also include in your profile what you can bring to a relationship and the kinds of activities you'd like to enjoy with a mate.
Discover more powerful tips for finding true love after divorce by signing up for author Kimberly Pryor's FREE Dating After Divorce Advice newsletter.
More online dating advice from YourTango: