Too basic. Too vague. Too cool. Too conceited. Too bitter. Too pretentious. Too… much. These are the general categories most online dating clichés fall into and, I’ll be honest, I’ve been guilty of using several of these since I set up my first online dating profile some 18 years ago. Since then, mostly through trial and error, I’ve tightened up my game and try to avoid the dating app clichés that invariably arise when trying to get a stranger to meet up IRL.
Here are 30 worst mistakes you’re including on your profile that aren’t doing you or your love life any favors. And for more ways to get your love life back on track, here are The 12 Biggest Dating Profile Blunders Men Make.
“I’m new to this so here goes…”
You shouldn’t announce your unfamiliarity with online dating. Perhaps you feel that there’s some sort of stigma associated with online dating, or maybe it’s a way to put some distance between you and the personal information you are putting out there. But it could come off as haughty, or out-of-touch.
If you really are new to online dating and, for whatever reason, you want people to be aware of that fact, you could imbue it with a positive spin. For example: “I just signed up and I’m really excited to meet some fun new people!” And if you’re slightly older and looking to meet new people, here are The Best Dating Apps If You’re Over 40.
What you’re trying to say is that your profile is so enticing—and you’re so inundated with suitors—that you can simply sit back and consider your offerings. However, what you’re really projecting is that you’re conceited and demanding, and the other person is almost guaranteed to swipe left. And for more on what you should say, here are the 20 Best Dating App Opening Lines.
This is a surprisingly common phrase on lots of dating profiles and it seems to suggest that a person is just sick to death of meeting people and is imminently shutting up shop. Translation: “I had it with this soul destroying stuff. Last chance before I peace out.” Well, good night and good luck! If you’ve been swiping a lot recently, check out 10 Signs You Have “Dating Fatigue”—And How to Bounce Back.
“I have a low tolerance for nonsense.”
Um, doesn’t everyone?
“I love to laugh.”
There are many banal obvious-isms populating dating sites, but few are more vapid than this one. Of course you love to laugh! Everyone loves to laugh. The smarter thing to do is to project something more specific and unique that tells the world who you really are, like “I have an undeniable soft spot for 90s-era Steve Martin movies.” And if you want great profile advice, here are 20 Celeb Tricks for Always Looking Amazing in Photos.
“I’m [insert actual height—plus several inches].”
Explaining how the 5’11” person they signed up to meet is actually a little under 5’6” is not the best way to start your first IRL conversation. While it’s true that you won’t show up in people’s searches if you happen to be under their ideal height, you’ll certainly show up on their one-and-done date list the second they find out. And remember: It’s important to start your relationship off on a positive note. It’s one of the 40 Secrets of Couples Who’ve Been Married 40 Years.
“I’m totally normal.”
What is normal anyway? Who is responsible for what’s normal? Newsflash: There is no normal! And who wants to be normal, anyway? Don’t be normal, be great! And for more online dating advice, here are The 11 Worst Dating-App Message Mistakes Men Make.
I shudder to think about how many times this acronym is typed every single day. I suggest avoiding its use entirely—especially if you’re over 20 years-old. And while you’re updating your slang, take some enjoyment in the 20 Slang Terms From the 1990s No One Uses Anymore.
“Live laugh love.”
Here’s a good rule of thumb: If it sounds remotely like a sign your mother would place in the family room, avoid using it in your dating profile. And for more on dating in 2018, know that This Is the Best Time of Day to Go on Tinder.
“Can’t see likes so say hi!”
You see this on sites in which you have to pay a premium fee in order to see the likes. If you write this, you’re actually admitting that you’re willing to be a passive participant in your romantic life, because you feel like you’ve got the goods to not have to cough up a few bucks a month to do any of the choosing.
If you’re serious about meeting some great people, be proactive and have a say in who you want to date, as opposed to periodically hauling up your lobster trap and seeing what’s wandered in.
“Don’t bother messaging me if…”
This is a great thing to say if you want to come off as high-handed or intolerant of large swaths of people. Think about it: You haven’t even met your partner, but you’re already barking demands! Remember: Your profile is a place to project who you are and let people know about you, not to issue edicts! And for more online-dating fun facts, here are the 10 Celebrities Who Are On Tinder.
“As a [insert astrological sign].”
Unless it’s something you’re truly passionate about and you think defines you as a person—and you’re determined to find a like-minded partner who feels the same way as you do about celestial bodies and their cosmic affect on humanity—I would strongly advise you not to promote your astrological beliefs on your profile. Trust me: you’ll get way more matches.
“I like going out and staying in.”
Oh, really? Are you also enamored with converting oxygen into carbon dioxide, or fueling your body’s vital functions with food energy? Replace it with a more remarkable fact about yourself that would tell potential mates who you are. And if you want to go a date—but can’t choose if you want to stay in or go out—get inspired with these 40 Irresistible First Date Ideas.
“I’m looking for my partner in crime.”
I get it. This is intended to be a cute way of saying: “Let’s spend our weekends by grabbing a couple of pumpkin spice lattes, jumping in the Corolla, and heading out on some low-wattage adventures together.” But unless you’re looking to enlist someone to help you counterfeit money, I think it’s best to avoid the most tired clichés in the book. And for more on what you should say, here are the 20 Compliments Women Can’t Resist.
“My friends tell me I look like…[name of gorgeous star].”
We can see you already, you humblebragger!
“I probably hate you.”
I get it: You want to project that you’re a forceful personality with strong beliefs. But why on earth would you say such a thing to people you’ve never met? And for more things you should say, here are the 20 Compliments Men Can’t Resist.
“You can take me to the ballet or a NASCAR race.”
Yes, this is intended to convey that you have an appreciation for both high and low culture. That’s great. But it’s also far too general to say you enjoy literally everything. If you truly have a passion for ballet and high arts, simply say so! And for more great dating advice, here are 12 Things Women Should Stop Doing on Dates.
“I’m obsessed with my cat.”
Of course it’s fine to be obsessed with your pet. But think about it: Your potential mate will know only two things about you: You’re single, and you’re obsessed with your cat. Is that really the image you want to project into the world?
“My friends say that I’m…”
This is a phrase that certain sites recommend to help you get over writers’ block while you’re working on your profile. It’s a stock phrase, and meant to get your creative juices flowing. (Like, “If you can’t decide what to say about yourself, how would your friends describe you?”)
Now, it’s helpful in getting your profile bio going, but if you still use the actual phrase, you’re basically cribbing from a template. I’d advise cutting. (I’d also advise not relying on anonymous sources in your profile.)
“I’m fluent in sarcasm.”
If Fyodor Dostoevsky was on Tinder, he would have immediately swiped left upon seeing the anything like this. In Notes from the Underground, he wrote that sarcasm is: “the last refuge of modest and chaste-souled people when the privacy of their soul is coarsely and intrusively invaded.” It’s as true today as it was in 1864. And for more fun trivia, here’s the 30 Wittiest Put-Downs Ever Uttered.
My friends and family are really important to me.
We’d hope this is a given.
“I’m [actual age minus 10 years].”
Oh, the mother of all whoppers that’s simply guaranteed to backfire. If you’re 43, say you’re 43. After all, you may find that your years are appealing to a new cohort of people. And remember: Here are 40 Reasons Why Being Single in Your 40s Is the Greatest Thing Ever.
“We’ll tell people we met at a bar.”
It’s 2018. Literally every single person on the planet is an active online dater. By now we can own it. And if it makes you squirm to think that there’s a stigma attached, you have to ask yourself: Who is attaching the stigma? And does it even matter?
“My life is already awesome.”
This is a popular one. The message, implied or explicit, is that a person is already wholly fulfilled and doesn’t need a partner to be happy. Cool. Whether or not it’s true, it will come off as disingenuous.
“I like to stay home with a glass of wine and movie.”
You don’t say.
“Recently a guy/girl said/did this to me…”
Stories of lackluster etiquette are best shared with friends—not with a potential dates. Along with “deleting soon,” the tone of this phrase indicates that this person felt ill-used on a date and is letting the experience color how he or she feels about the whole enterprise. It’s more useful to imagine that everyone is bound to have a bad date and that yours is behind you.
“I can’t wait to learn more about you’re experiences.”
Did you catch the error? If not, you need to brush up on your basic English language rules: “You’re” vs “your,” “its vs “it’s,” “they’re” and “their”—and all the rest. Mistakes on a dating profile are just as cringeworthy as they are on a résumé.
“I don’t watch television.”
I’d advise you to concentrate on the positives, and on the things that do you like to do. In general, people will be more inclined to respond to people who don’t sound overly negative and/or pretentious.
“I’m looking for some good banter.”
This roughly translates to: “I think insults are a substitute for conversation.”
“I’m super laid back.”
It’s storytelling 101: You should do your best to “show” and not “tell.” And not only does this act of telling come off as lazy, but you’ll also be admitting you’re lazy. It’s a lose-lose! You’re better than that!
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