3 Most Useless Online Dating Criteria

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If you're picky about eye color, you're begging to remain single.

When you enroll in an online dating site and fill out your profile, you have two main objectives: (1) tell people about yourself, and (2) tell people what you're looking for. And although there are exceptions, most people are general when describing who they are and what they want, but very specific when it comes to making choices from all those drop-down menus.

People advertise broadly (e.g. "I'm looking for a nice guy.") and search narrowly (e.g. straight, single men only, 5'10 or taller, college educated, with no kids, earning a minimum of $120K annually). And while this isn't the best strategy for your online dating profile, it makes sense, right? It's much easier to choose from a menu than to craft an essay that succinctly sums up the unique person you are and the unique person you want.

As I discuss in Find The Love of Your Life Online, the menus can be a problem. People focus too much on the menus. Height, weight, body type, income, hair color, eye color, education, neck circumference, toe polish color, whether you prefer skinny or flare jeans ... It's no wonder online dating can be such a pain in the ass.

Of all the criteria on any online dating site, some are helpful, while others are less so. However, when it comes to filling out your own preferences, there are three criteria that are utterly useless

1. Hair and eye color. It totally cracks me up to see some people say that they want blue or green eyes but not brown, or that dark hair is okay but not red. Yes, we all have our preferences but I guarantee you whatever pigment you aim to avoid, there is someone you'd be attracted to who has it. Leave this criterion alone and see what interesting people you meet.

2. Body type. Most of what makes the body type criterion worthless is what behavioral scientists call "measurement error." When we say we have blue eyes or brown hair, everyone knows what that means. But when you see "athletic and toned" or "curvy" be prepared for a variety of body types because everyone has a different idea of what these terms mean. Keep reading ...

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