9 Small, Unintentional Mistakes Women Make On Their Dating Profile

Online dating is tricky; avoiding these little errors will help.

Last updated on Oct 01, 2023

Woman taking a good selfie for her dating website Yaroslav Shuraev, studioroman | Canva

Not having any luck with online dating?

It's not you; it's your profile. Small, unintentional missteps on your profile, like outdated photos or poor word choice, can have unwanted consequences.

The good news is that these mistakes are easy to fix. Read on for nine ways to keep your online profile fresh, clean, and ready-to-woo.

Here are 9 small, unintentional mistakes women make on their dating profiles:

1. Not using your best photos

We all want the complete package — an attractive partner with a great personality. But, let's be real, men and women on online dating sites look at photos first. So you want you be ready for your close-up, and we do mean close-up. Shots that are taken from a distance or out of focus raise red flags, as do pictures that only show your face (or one side of it) or appear outdated.


Yourtango expert Ronnie Ann Ryan, a dating coach for women, recommends posting three to five that show both your face and body. "This is your profile, so you should be alone," she says. "You'd be surprised how many women post photos with children, pets, groups of friends, or even another man." Smile and wear a date-appropriate outfit.

RELATED: We Asked 1,000 Guys What Turns Them Off On A Date — It Came Down To One Thing

2. Having an overly-long profile

Your online dating profile is not the place to start drafting your memoir or an op-ed. Men should be able to look at your pictures, read a few thoughtful and grammatical sentences, and decide if they want to message you. Aim for 300 words or fewer.


3. Being too generic 

Your English teacher was right: specific details bring writing to life. They also make you stand out from the pack. Instead of writing something generic like, "I enjoy working out, traveling, and spending time with friends," give juicier details. What sports do you like specifically? What's the best trip you've ever taken? What do you and your friends do together? "Details provide conversation starters," Ryan says. "Interesting profiles attract interesting people." 

4. Listing stereotypically "girly" interests

Your profile should represent you, but don't forget that you're also trying to appeal to men. If you only list stereotypically girly interests, like romantic comedies, ballet, or Pilates, you might not attract as many guys as you'd like. "A profile to attract a boyfriend should look different from a profile that would attract a female friend," says Ryan.

Share more universal interests that could be good date ideas. The same goes for the books, movies, and TV shows you list as your favorites. Men love a pretty face, but they also want to feel they have something in common with a date.

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5. Forgetting the "must-haves"

There's a big difference between having standards and being demanding. Posting a list of specific, often superficial, requirements — height, age, career, etc. — is a huge turn-off for men. It also limits your dating pool. Don't be so sure you already know everything about the man of your dreams. You haven't met him yet!

6. Being too negative

Similarly, many women list what they don't want in a partner, instead of what they're looking for. "Women might think this is going to weed out bad matches, but it won't," says Ryan. It just makes you look cynical. No one wants to date Debbie Downer, so describe the positive traits you want in a partner. And if you see a lot of "no's," "nots" and "don'ts" in your profile, replace them.

7. Talking too much about the past

Your profile is not the place to discuss your relationship history, childhood trauma, or personal crises. Neither is the first date ... nor the second. If all goes well, you and your new guy can discuss all of that over time. Until then, focus on the present and more importantly, the future.

RELATED: 15 Brutally Harsh Things Guys Won't Tell You About Your Dating Profile


8. Responding — even when you're not interested

If you follow all these tips, you're bound to get more messages on your dating site of choice. Alas, you won't want to go out with everyone who contacts you. And that's fine! Men would rather not hear back from you than get a message saying, "Sorry, I'm not interested." And don't make the mistake some women make and write back to explain why a guy is unappealing. Dating karma can be a ... well, you know. Respect other people out there who are looking for love.

9. Never changing your profile

The more often you update your profile, the more often a dating site's algorithms will suggest you as a match to other users. Use this to your advantage! Don't worry about changing the written portion of your profile, unless you just have to add a new favorite book.

RELATED: The Real Reason He Stopped Texting You


Amanda Green is a writer with experience in copywriting, branded content, social media, and editorial.