real life

5 things you SHOULDN'T put on a dating profile

Rick Morton

“I love vegetarian and vegan food. And steak.”

Her dating profile was hardly a work of art. I mean, it wasn’t going to be stored in the Louvre and protected with motion-sensitive lasers. It was rudimentary and bizarrely thought out, like Sex and the City 2 or the platypus.

This is the problem with online dating. By its very nature you have to put yourself out there before you, you know, put yourself out there. It’s like a casting call for the world’s most finicky director.

We were sitting in the pub critiquing the women who had responded to my friend’s dating profile. There was a lot of snorting and ‘why on Earth would you say that’.

You may well be an expert practitioner of the Colombian pan flute, but there’s a lot to be said for keeping some of the mystique in tact.

There’s a difference between saying you’re ‘quirky’ and giving explicit details of your miniature frog collection.

Here’s the thing. Dating profiles are basically your resume. Just like you wouldn’t include any naff party tricks (like the ability to make a three-tubbed bath using your tongue) on your actual CV, you wouldn’t include date-inhibiting information on your romance profile. Would you?

As an expert (albeit casual) reader of other people’s dating profiles, I’ve helpfully compiled a list of 5 dating profile mistakes you should avoid.

1. Cliches.

Somewhere in the very distant past a person once existed who truly was breaking new ground when he or she said they enjoyed ‘long walks on the beach’ in response to a probing question about their favourite activities. That person is not you. More to the point, if you spot someone who clearly thinks they are using it ironically then you should spend hours of your own time fund-raising to produce a Community Service Announcement that warns people to stay away from this person.


2. Obvious statements.

On a very broad level, everyone’s answer to ‘what do you enjoy doing’ is definitely ‘fun stuff’ but if you write that as your answer on a dating profile then you’re displaying less imagination than your average housing brick (which are not themselves known for having imaginations). Same goes for bland statements like ‘I like movies’ or ‘I like reading’. Provide examples or we’ll assume you copied your answers off rollergurl9289.

3. Lies.

Look, we shouldn’t have to say this one. You don’t have to tell the world you collect toe fungus in specimen jars if you don’t want to (though there’s a lot to be said for being upfront about it) but you definitely shouldn’t make claims you can’t back up in real life. If you say you’re an astronaut, bring a moon rock to the first date. If you say you’ve read all the classics, don’t assume JD Salinger’s seminal work was about a baseball catcher hanging out in the rye.

4.  Inaccurate photos.

If you’re 50, don’t include a photo from your high school yearbook on your dating profile. Please refer to point 3, also known as: lies. It’s OK to be 50. And it’s OK to be 18. But there’s nought to be gained from using images that were taken before the Internet was invented.

5. Unwieldy prose, or sentences.

Somewhere out there in the dense fog of single-dom, two people are updating their profiles with sentences like ‘I like huggggggggggs!!!!!!!’ and waiting patiently for replies. They are never likely to meet. It’s far more likely your prospective partner will see significant abuses suffered by the English language and wonder whether you typed the profile yourself or enlisted a team of well-trained but ultimately disappointing marmosets.

What would you put on your dating profile? What do you think people should avoid?