4 Phrases NEVER To Use In Your Online Dating Profile

long walks on the beach

As part of my job as dating expert, I periodically get online and read online dating profiles, both men's and women's. I rarely come across a profile that impresses me.

Sure, I'm a tough crowd. That's my job. But while some online dating profiles suck and need to be deleted immediately, most are actually quite decent, except for one common problem: they're generic.

If you're online and not getting many emails from men or the emails you do receive are from men who don't interest you at all, it's likely because your profile is too generic and doesn't give men a sense of who you really are. As I discuss in Find The Love of Your Life Online, if you don't convey your unique self in your profile, it's much harder for Mr. Right to find you.

What does it mean to be "generic?"

Generic means you have no clear "brand," that you're just the everyday girl in brown plain wrapping. Sure, you won't annoy or turn men off with a generic brand, but you won't get them clamoring to meet you either. Generic is boring and you're not boring. You're unique and interesting and the right guy is looking for your brand of woman.

If you want to succeed online, you need to highlight what's unique about you, what makes you different from other women. But often, people do the opposite when dating online — they hide anything unusual about themselves, afraid of reducing their number of possible suitors. This "trying to appeal to everyone" strategy will backfire. Instead, you want to appeal to your kind of men.

Here are some examples of generic statements I often see in online dating profiles and how to fix them.

1. "I enjoy traveling." A lot of people do. Where specifically have you traveled? Which destinations do you want to visit in the future? There's a big difference between someone who enjoys a relaxing cruise to the Caribbean and someone who loves to explore a third world country on a budget.

More dating advice from YourTango Experts:

2. "I spend a lot of time outdoors." I live in Colorado and this is practically a required statement in online dating profiles here. Yet every person has a different idea of what outdoor enjoyment looks like. Do you walk your dog daily? Hike every weekend? Climb mountains? Barbeque in your backyard? Details!

3. "I enjoy reading/movies." These are popular pastimes. Feel free to mention that you love horror or classics, that you've seen Star Wars twenty times or that you'd see anything that starred Keira Knightly in it. Specific examples tell men so much more about you and will generate emails.

4. "I want someone with a sense of humor." Same goes for "I love to laugh." I've never met anyone who hates laughter or funny people. Yet everyone has a different idea of what's funny (and what's not). Sprinkle some humor into your profile or cite examples of funny movies you love. The humor in When Harry Met Sally differs a lot from that in Dumb and Dumber

The good stuff is in the details. Why sound generic when you can sound like you? Give it a try and let us know how it goes!

YourTango may earn an affiliate commission if you buy something through links featured in this article.