I’d love to say I’m not an expert on online dating.
I have plenty of friends who have never had to experience the exquisite agony of being judged and subsequently shot down based solely on the effort to cleverly summarize your life in 5,000 words or less and four to six photos.
I now know what it feels like to be the weird-looking cat at the pet store.
Thanks to my distaste for bars and the fact that seemingly 97% of girls within a 25-mile radius of me settle on undeserving assholes by age 26, I’ve been stuck in a cycle of routinely needing to turn to online dating sites for the better (worst?) part of the past decade. The only person who’s seen any benefit from it is my therapist’s accountant.
Obviously, whatever I’m doing only manages to attract those who I’m not all that attracted to and/or the clinically insane.
So I’m not really an expert on guys’ profiles.
However, I’ve seen enough girls’ profiles over the years to be a reluctant connoisseur.
Maybe all you ladies are shooting for guys who are nothing like me (which is apparently a very real possibility). In which case, by all means keep doing what you’re doing. But if you’re trying to find a responsible, employed, respectful guy without photos of his abs (and who may or may not fit your stringent height requirements), I’ve noticed a few recurring trends that aren’t helping anyone.
- Don’t say you’ve had your heart broken before
We’ve all had our hearts broken. The fact that we’re on an online dating site is tantamount to wearing a trucker hat that says it. But now is not the time, kiddo. Bringing it up in your profile sends two distinct messages: 1) You’re definitely not over that other guy. 2) You’re probably not going to react well if we break up.
- Don’t post a photo of just your dog
We get it. You love your dog, and any guy who loves you has to love your dog, too. You can say that, but it’s already a little bit of a red flag that it’ll be difficult to compete with said dog (and that you most likely use an unsettling voice anytime you talk to it). Posting a photo of the pup when we’re hoping to see more of you just makes us feel slighted right out of the gate. I mean, I might as well post a photo of my TV.
- Don’t say you can be “blunt”
“Blunt” comes off as “a bitch.” Sorry to be “blunt” about it.
- Don’t post a photo of yourself in zombie makeup
You had sooooo much fun at last spring’s zombie bar crawl, and your friend did such an amaaaazing job with your makeup. Post the pics on your Facebook page—not your dating profile. You do not look cute. You look undead. (And the makeup wasn’t that amazing.)
- Don’t say you “love to laugh”
You know who doesn’t love to laugh? Communists. Maybe Voldemort.
- Don’t explain your extremely specific diet
You’re a vegan. Well, technically. You used to just be a vegetarian, but then you gave up milk. But not goat milk. And you’ll occasionally have an egg from a responsible, local farm if it’s a Tuesday. It’s cool you want to be up front about everything. But on top of seeming exceedingly high-maintenance, bringing it up now means you’re going to give me shit every single time I want a hamburger (which is often) and likely not rest until I’m a vegan, too.
- Don’t post photos of yourself in a bikini or underwear
You weren’t getting all that many messages before, so you added a PG-13 pic from your trip to the Outer Banks. Now your inbox is overflowing. You might think that’s because you look hot. And it could be. But it’s actually because you posted the photo at all. Guys may not even realize it themselves, but what that says to them is: This girl will send you nudes.
- Don’t say “no players please”
Do you really think that’ll stop a player? Any player worth his bath salt is going to see that as a challenge. Also, needing to specify that you don’t want to date a player is an immediate sign that you’ve gotten yourself mixed up with a few before, and that’s an indication your judgment is iffy at best. It’s like saying, “No hermaphrodites.” Why would you even need to clarify that? By the way: Quality girls never ever even use the word “player.” They distanced themselves from all that shit long ago.
- Don’t post a ton of photos from your friends’ weddings
Aside from the obvious symptom that you’re probably getting antsy for your own, it also says you’re probably gonna force me to go to a lot of weddings. I’m as romantic as the next Ryan Gosling character, but I’d rather spend six hours being repeatedly punched in the ear. You did look nice, though.
- Don’t tell your life story
Save it for the first date. Leave at least a little mystery. Spilling it all in your profile doesn’t just ruin your eventual in-person small talk, it’s a pretty good sign that you’re gonna do all the talking then anyway.