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Things to Avoid on Your Internet Dating Profile

March 7, 2012
I've spent some time recently trying online dating, and while I can't offer too many rules about what you should put on your profile, I see a lot of things that routinely cause me to cringe. Here is a list of ways to avoid them when you are creating or updating your profile (in no particular order):

1. Don't post pictures of yourself with hotter girls. This will only serve as a reminder to the guy checking you out that there is something better out there that he can't get. The crop function in your photo editor exists for a number of good reasons, and this is one of them. Yes, the rule applies to sisters and mothers too.

2. Don't only post pictures of yourself alone. This make you look like a loner, i.e. someone who other people have collectively decided is not worth hanging out with. Also avoid photos of yourself taken by yourself. These are even worse.

3. Don't start your profile with a list of things you don't want in guy. In fact, don't include that list anywhere. This is a universal sign of a bitch. If you even have the inclination to make such a list, consider revamping your personality. I have seen smoking hot girls that I would have loved to message until I read their "about me" section, at which point I realized they were high-maintenance, obnoxious and a waste of time.

4. Don't start describing yourself by saying how much you hate doing so, or how bad you are at it. So many girls do this. It sounds insecure and sets a bad tone. And don't be apologetic about your inability on top of pointing it out; this only adds to the effect.

5. Don't advertise how much you love your dog. Men all know (either consciously or subconsciously) that women in their twenties buy dogs as a substitute for male companionship. It makes you look lonely and needy. Post pictures with friends instead.

6. Don't post only modeling pictures, or only "artsy" ones. Any girl can look hot in a photo. Show us that you can look hot normally too.

7. Don't have a list of "Don't message me ifs" This invariably sounds like bragging about how many messages you get, and no one likes this kind of self-aggrandizement. It makes you look vain and high-maintenance. If you are hot, we already know you get hit on a lot and don't need your reminder; if you aren't, we know you are lying and it makes you look pathetic. So either way, don't do it.

8. Don't post pictures of yourself looking sad. There is nothing attractive about them. Nothing. You should be smiling in as many photos as possible. If you have a tendency towards depression or melancholy, he doesn't need to know about it yet.

9.  Don't post pictures that are too small or show you at a distance. You might as well post nothing.

10. Don't be too brief in your personal descriptions. Men need something to message you about. If you only write that your favorite things in the world are your mom, your dog and your iphone, he is going to be more or less forced to send you the shitty stereotypical "hey you're cute" message. And it's your own fault.

11. Don't post your favorite pictures of yourself. They are almost definitely not the most attractive pictures of you. Have a straight male friend help you choose them. At the very least, get input from straight men about which picture to set as your profile picture, since this is by far the most important one for attracting new guys.

12. Don't be afraid to show some skin (assuming, of course, that you have the body for it - but be liberal in making that decision). Men don't like whores but they don't like prudes either. Tasteful bathing suit shots are smart, not slutty, and will continue to be until men stop liking sex.

13. Don't fill your profile with cliches. The top-notch guys out there are looking for women who stand out. Beauty will never make you stand out because it is too common and too temporary. Online profiles are plagued with the same lists of likes and dislikes, the same list of favorite books, movies and activities. Every girl likes going out on some Friday nights and spending others at home with a movie and a glass of wine. Every girl loves her dog and her mom and her friends. Every girl wants an intelligent and attractive, confident man. Stop saying these things. Men assume they are all the case anyway. Say something interesting. Everyone is interesting in some way or another, but very few people have the ability to communicate it. Spend some time thinking about this before you start typing.

In general, this post on OKCupid's blog will be hugely helpful in learning what pictures to post:

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