Don't scare them off before they even meet you.
Within just a few seconds, your online dating profile either grabs a man's interest — or turns him off.
You think your current profile portrays you as intelligent, independent, considerate, loving and good-natured. But a single man glances at your profile and thinks you’re jaded, mistrusting, angry at men, you have control issues, and that you’re looking for a man to complete you or financially take care of you.
Click! He’s gone! Off to read another woman’s profile.
Men jilted, hammered, and lied to by women instinctively read between the lines of your dating profile. They search for signs of gold-digging, clingy co-dependent traits, financial and emotional instability and hang-ups from a previous relationship.
They look at your one and only blurry headshot and they wonder how many pounds, years and wrinkles you're concealing. With thousands of women online from which to choose, a man is quickly drawn to another woman’s smiling face and smartly-written profile.
Here are the top dating profile mistakes that repel men (and tips for how to look attractive, intriguing and desirable):
1. Profiles littered with poor grammar and spelling.
Misspelled words, incorrect punctuation and text message jargon ("u", "btw", or "thx") imply that you’re lazy or uneducated. Create your profile in Microsoft Word, use spell check and ask a friend to edit your profile for phrases that are easily misconstrued in a negative light.
2. Writing a long-winded narrative.
Your profile rambles on and on about you, you, you. You brag about your great personality, your work, hobbies and accomplishments. You use big-words and quotes to try to impress a man, but he thinks you’re too serious and self-absorbed.
Limit your story to 200 characters. Use anecdotes and humor. Lauren Ware, ProfilePro writer for Match.com says, "A quick-and-dirty guideline is to have two paragraphs about yourself, then two about who you’re looking for, and perhaps one or two sentences at the end to wrap it up."
3. Turning your profile into a shopping list.
It’s great to know the qualities you want in a man, but a list of 'must-haves' and 'deal breakers' will make you look hyper-critical and hard to get along with.
List a few of the most important traits you want in a man. Say something like, "I like a man who can communicate his thoughts and who enjoys spending time with his sweetheart, family and friends." And then, focus on sharing what it would look like being in a relationship with you. I.e. "A friend told me that I make people feel comfortable in social situations." Or: "On Sunday nights I like to order in Chinese and rent a good movie with a nice bottle of vino. Do you prefer red or white wine?"
Describing the upbeat aspects of your personality and lifestyle will attract a positive-minded guy.
4. Sounding jaded and bitter.
You make snarky remarks about men. You want to weed out the sports-obsessed and TV addicts and so you write, "I lost my husband to Monday night football" or "I don’t date couch potatoes." You think your sarcasm is funny. Guys think you're angry at men.
"Are there any good guys left?" "I don’t play head games." "I don’t need a man to complete me," you say. You’re trying to sound strong and liberated, but your negative language tells a man you have a chip on your shoulder.
Always sound enthusiastic and turn the negative into a positive. "I don’t know that much about football, but I love hot wings and beer." "I’m an independent gal, but when the right guy holds my hand, I truly feel like a woman." Don’t reveal the difficulties in your past until you’ve had a couple of dates with a guy.
5. Seeming incredibly needy.
Expressions like, "ready to move on" or "healing from a hurtful breakup" imply you’re dragging emotional baggage around. "Waiting for my white knight" or "looking for my better half" translates to: You’re looking for a man to rescue you. Words like "soulmate" and "dream man" are too much pressure for a man — or, will attract the wrong man.
In the beginning, men just want to have a good time and they’re turned off if your profile sounds too serious. Keep it light, "I love going to restaurants off the beaten path, traveling to quaint cities and meeting new friends along the way. Are you adventurous?"
6. Coming across like a total bore.
Your profile is full of generic phrases and adjectives: "I’m hard-working, considerate, loyal, honest, loving, affectionate, and happy" make a guy’s eyes glaze over.
"I like to dine out, take long walks, go to the movies and read a good book." Yawn!
"I enjoy baking, sewing, bird watching, and scrapbooking." You’re trying to attract a romantic interest not a nursing home companion.
Write about the active things in your life, your passions and interject a bit of humor, "I love to travel. I’ve been to Tuscany, Paris and Rome, give me five minutes to pack my bag." "I’m taking French cooking lessons, or we can go out to eat." "I’ve always wanted to go deep-sea fishing, but I’m afraid to bait the hook."
A man will feel your energy and want to contact you.
7. Posting bad photos.
If your photos are unflattering, he WON’T read you profile. If you only post one photo (and don’t use head-to-toe body shot photos) or your photos are blurry, dark, super-small or obliviously out-of-date, he'll think you're hiding extra pounds or that you lied about your age.
Did you cut someone out of a photo (the dreaded ex?) or post a photo with a guy friend? Men will think you’re not over your ex.
Maybe you posted photos of you partying with friends, or images of your children and pet. This is a dating site; a man doesn’t want to date a social animal or play second fiddle to your children, grandkids or a poodle. And for gosh sakes, don’t use a selfie — it looks like you’re trying too hard.
Photos that describe your lifestyle tell a man you’re active and interesting. Use a headshot, a body shot and one that shows you in action (playing tennis, cheering at football game, or standing on the beach barefoot, grinning ear-to-ear with your hair whipping in the sea breeze).
Show a sense of humor: you looked amazed at your 2-pound lobster dinner. Make sure your hair is stylish, your makeup looks natural and your clothes flatter your body.
Finally, keep your dating profile content fresh.
Making frequent, minor updates to your profile can move you to the top of some sites’ search engines, prompting more winks and emails from online men.
You know what to do — now go do it!
Uncertain about your marketability as a divorced or widowed woman? Nancy Nichols can help you understand the modern rules of dating. Email Nancy at for a complimentary 15-minute Life Coach consultation, learn about her Life Coach Program, or read her "God, Please Fix Me! "Trilogy : A Breakthrough in Self-Esteem, Relationship Understanding and Personal Healing for Women.
This article was originally published at www.knowitallnancy.com. Reprinted with permission from the author.