Filling out an online dating profile can be a pretty arduous task. While you might feel tempted to half-ass it just to drop a hook in the water and hopefully start getting nibbles, avoid the temptation to be lazy. “Your online profile is literally the first thing that a potential date will be assessing—and potentially judging you on,” says Christie Hartman, Ph.D., and author of Changing Your Game: A Man’s Guide to Success With Women. “It’s important to choose your words wisely and avoid phrases that can send the wrong message to women.”
As you sit down to write up a winning online profile—or edit your current one—avoid sinking yourself by misusing one of these common profile phrases:
What You Write: “I’m looking for something casual.”
What She Reads: “I want a no-strings-attached hookup.”
According to Hartman, the word “casual” shows that you’re looking for just sex, a one-nighter, or something short-term. “If that’s what you’re after, that’s fine—but there’s no need to address that in your profile,” says Sam Yagan, CEO of match.com and co-founder of OKCupid. “Women know that men want sex, so to say that explicitly, or strongly imply it, can be off-putting. “You’d never get anywhere at a bar with a shirt that read, ‘Let’s get casual.’” (OK, maybe not…but it sure would be funny).
What You Write: “I’m confident but not cocky.”
What She Reads: “I’m full of myself.”
To women reading your profile, this language tells them you definitely are cocky, according to Yagan. If you’re confident, it will come across in your writing, or when you meet in person. Going out of your way to tell her that right up front makes it look like you have something to prove.
What You Write: “I’m looking for a girl who looks and feels as good in sweats as she does in high heels.”
What She Reads: “I’m lazy, so I copy and pasted someone else’s profile.”
Clichés like this, while they make a good point, should be avoided at all costs. It tells a woman you didn’t want to put in the effort so you just went with an easy answer. She will then wonder, “If you can’t put in the effort here, where else will you be slacking?” Try to come up with something a bit more creative; women will appreciate the effort. Something like, “I’m looking for a girl who feels as good eating hot dogs as she does escargot,” will catch many more eyes, and show off your sense of humor.
What You Write: “Me, me, me, me.”
What She Reads: “I’m not ready to focus on anyone but myself.”
Don’t make the mistake of only talking about brag-worthy accomplishments and activities in your profile; it relays the message that you will always only think of yourself, and women reading your profile will see it as a sign she’ll never fit in your life. You are supposed to give women a taste of who you are with your profile, but there’s a way of doing that without seeming self-centered. A question in your profile (e.g., mentioning that you love summer concerts, then asking what their favorite band of all-time is) makes it easier for a woman to take initiative and send you a message. “The whole point of your profile is to get a woman to write you a note or reply to a message you sent her—this gives her a hook to start the conversation,” Yagan says.
What You Write: “I’m hesitant about online dating,” or “I’m not good at filling these things out.”
What She Reads: “I’m a wimp.”
Yagan compares this to going to a job interview and saying you’re hesitant about the job and not very good at interviewing. “It shows fear, and a lack of confidence,” Hartman agrees. If you do actually feel this way, fake it till you make it; ask an experienced friend (one who actually had success dating online) to help you write your profile.