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Writing an Online Dating Profile: Common Pitfalls to Avoid

Aug 17, 2007
When writing an online dating profile, there pitfalls that you should avoid as they may well cost you love of your life. Some common pitfalls include:

1. Laundry List:

Yes, complex beings we are, with wide and varied interests. But you don't need to put each and every one of them in your profile. Four to five activities that mean most to you and are integral to your life suffice.

2. Shopping List:

This is related to 1 above, only that you make a long list of demands that your prospect must have or meet. Some online dating profile lists of demands simply cannot be met by someone from planet earth. Be realistic.

3. Lies:

The biggest complaint about online dating is about all the liars out there. People lie about their marital status, age, profession, income and so on. These lies eventually catch up with them, inflicting deep wounds and even lifetime scars on either or both parties. Be honest.

2. TMI (Too Much Information):

Don't spill every little detail about yourself in your ad.

First, if you lay everything out on the table right away, you'll have a hard time finding things to talk about later.

Second, a little mystery in a relationship helps strengthen the interest in both parties. Take your time in finding out more about each other.

3. Bragging:

Nobody likes a show-off. But how, you might ask, do you write positively about yourself without sounding arrogant? Well, be objective as opposed to being subjective. Avoid self-aggrandizing commentaries like, "I look great", "I am successful", "I have a great sense of humor", and so on.

4. Cliches and Other Overused Phrases:

Guess what? Almost everyone enjoys "fine dining" and "long walks on a moonlit beach". You're not inviting a response when you list things like this. Using these phrases will make you seem unimaginative, if not outright boring. Put some thought into what you really enjoy doing and list things that make you stand out from the crowd.

5. Loser Words and Phrases:

Avoid using any of the following words or phrases in your personal profile:

a) "I'm tired of being alone" - This paints you as desperate and can set you up for responses by manipulative people.

b) "If you want more info, ask" - The whole response/reply process assumes this. Adding this line indicates laziness on your part to think about the content of your ad.

c) "I'm honest" - Even the most compulsive of liars won't admit to being one, so there's really no point in saying this.

d) "I'm no good at these things" - Few people consider themselves particularly gifted in writing personal ads. Like a) above, this reads like unmotivated filler text.

e) "I can't believe I'm doing this." Well, guess what, you are! Get real.

6. Shouting:

Typing in all capital letters is not only hard on the eyes, but also annoying to most readers. Also, on the Internet this is considered shouting. DON'T SHOUT! (See what I'm saying?).

7. Sexual Innuendo:

Save the sex talk for later communication, when you and your date become more comfortable with each other. What you intend as a cute remark may inadvertently be taken the wrong way.

8. Berating Former Relationships or Partners:

Almost everybody has gone through a relationship that just didn't work out (I doubt there's anybody who hasn't). Don't whine about what you didn't get out of your last relationship. This is not the time or place to vent.

9. Unfamiliar Words:

Don't try to show off vocabulary you do not have. The easier to read your personal profile is the better. Conversation-style writing that brings out your personality works best.

10. Negativity:

You want to come across positively. Talk about your positive aspects and traits. Leave the negative behind.

There you have ten common pitfalls to avoid when writing an online dating profile. And while you are at it, don't forget to check your spelling and grammar.
About the Author
David Kamau offers objective dating site reviews and online dating tips at his website. Now find out how to receive free best-selling ebooks on Romantic Ideas and tips about dating.
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