4 Generic Phrases Never To Use In Your Online Dating Profile

Sounding the same as everyone else won't get you dates.

Woman creating online dating profile Delmaine Donson, stockcam | Canva

As part of my job as a 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 quite decent, except for one common problem: they're generic.

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Here are 4 generic phrases never to use in your online dating profile:

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 country on a budget.

She learned phrases never to use online dating and now she has a date Ground Picture via Shutterstock


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? Barbecue in your backyard? Details!

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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 you'd see anything that starred Keira Knightly. Specific examples tell people so much more about you and will generate emails.

4. "I want someone with a sense of humor"

The 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 Dumb and Dumber.


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

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What does it mean to be "generic?"


Generic means you have no clear identity, you're just the everyday girl in plain brown wrapping. Sure, you won't annoy or turn people off with a generic statement, but you won't get them clamoring to meet you. Generic is boring and you're not boring. You're unique and interesting and the right person is looking for your type.

If you want to succeed online, you must highlight what's unique about you, and 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 people.

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!


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Christie Hartman is a psychologist, scientist, dating expert, and author who specializes in unraveling the scientific and psychological mysteries behind dating and attraction.