top ten things for guys to avoid in their online dating profiles

by caitlin meredith

Date me.

1. Don’t use a profile photo of yourself where it’s pretty clear you’re naked. As a general rule, wear a full set of clothes in the photos. Unless you want random late night Craigslist hookups. If that’s the case, then go right back to the bathroom and take a few more self-portraits.

2. Don’t include photos of you and another woman, even if it’s not your ex-partner. It makes a potential date look at the lady your arm is around more than you, and wonder what she knows that you don’t.

3. Don’t include photos of your kids, just like you wouldn’t introduce your kids to a woman on your first date. It looks creepy to bring kids into these sites. The online dating community is small – your ex-wife will find out and freak out. I say wait until you have individual communication before sharing photos of you and the kids.

4. Don’t use a profile photo that you took from the webcam on your computer as you sat in your cubicle. These are unflattering, depressing photos. Even if you have to pay a stranger, have a more natural photo outside of fluorescent lighting.

5. Don’t target an age range that you yourself don’t fit into. Even if you only want to date 25-year-olds, you can  just not respond to the messages and winks from women that you think are too old for you. Why? Because a 42-year-old guy looking for women between 18 and 35 looks like a total douchebag. I know a lot of women who fit the most highly desired age bracket who wouldn’t date a guy because the age range he set was so ridiculously low.

6. Don’t use a sleazy, too intimate profile “handle.” This means you: “luv2spoon,” “sweet caresses,” and “softmassagewhisperer.”

7. Don’t write your profile prose while running out of the house during a fire, in other words, perhaps consider punctuation, grammar and spellcheck. This goes out to you, “magicchocolatelovin4u” of the tagline: “im jason get with me and u wont go wrong and i will be good 2 u and love like a woman should b love and take care of u also.”

8. Don’t freak people out with your eccentric lifestyle. Mentioning one or two idiosyncrasies (breakfast for dinner, trapeze lessons) is charming. Unpacking the whole clown car of mainstream rebellion is unlikely to be well-received on most online dating venues. This is a real profile description from a popular site:

i spent the past 4 years in Papua New Guinea. i went there to live out horticultural and hunter/gatherer fantasies with with friends in a remote village. i’m going back for the long haul and will organize a gold export operation. i want to make a difference with my life or at least try. for example, engineering water projects for clean water supply. i practiced polyamory most of the last 3 years. i’ve gotten off the treadmill. as a species, we have arrived! we don’t need to consume more rather do more with what we have already. what are the limits of the imagination and human experience?

If you’re a gay guy and the idea of really getting to know me, being my friend, and cultivating a sense love before having sex turns you off then you might as well save your energy. I don’t often feel like kissing on a first date. I like to only have sex where there is love and trust.

Someone might want to watch a documentary about this guy, but coffee – I don’t know. Would you? And why should gay guys get such strict rules?

9. Don’t take major risks in your profile composition. Don’t get me wrong – funny is good. Unless it’s strange funny, or have-to-know-you-to-get-that-you’re-not-a-lunatic funny. It’s pretty hard to pull off universal funny since sense of humor is so subjective, but maybe use some of your tamer jokes? This guy got on a roll. I kind of admire it, but I also kind of think it was a little too late at night and he should’ve had a friend or two screen this. What do you think?

“Hello ladies, look at your man. Now back at me. Now back at your man. Now back to me. Sadly he is not me … but he can still smell like me by stop using ladies body wash and switching to old spice.

Look down. Back up. Where are you? You’re on a boat… and I just got you two tickets to that thing you love… wait the tickets are now diamonds!!

LOL Hey anythings possible, including Texas Tech winning a national title, the Cowboys winning the Super Bowl and me finding someone special on here. I’ll take them in any order, but right now I’m working on the last one.”

I am very, very confused. And extremely curious about his previous relationship which seems to have involved a man using women’s toiletries.

10. Don’t frontload your flaws. Everyone has flaws. But maybe the profile isn’t the best place to showcase them or, as in the example below, bullet point them. I appreciate the full disclosure, but why don’t you give the dating world a bit longer to see your good side before introducing all the shit they’re going to have to deal with when dating you.

“My worst accredits are as follows

1) attention level is selective

2)I also have selective hearing

3)I dont always match …only as needed

4)my 5 year plan has shrunk to a 10 month plan.after a 10 year career stretch “

You have to appreciate someone who just throws it all out there. Appreciate, yes. Date, no…Well, maybe if only to hear more about the shrunken 10-month plan. (And what about word invention. Accredit?)