Online dating works for many people these days. Around 40 percent of Americans use online dating, according to eHarmony.
But why doesn’t everyone have an online dating profile that works?
Well, simply put, you can — but it requires a little tweaking in order to succeed.
From bad photos to bad attitudes, and everything in between, there are reasons why your dating profile is not working for you.
Fortunately, there are some changes you can make that will help your prospective dates see you in a better light, so you can win the dating game.
Here are 10 brutally honest reasons why your online dating profile isn’t attracting anyone:
1. A bad profile photo
The first thing you see when you go to an online dating site is the profile pictures. And let’s be honest: the next thing you do is judge their photo.
Everyone does it. Don’t try to tell yourself that you don’t judge every single picture that pops up on your screen.
Dating coaches and matchmakers will go out and get their client’s fresh and professional photos done.
Don’t pull out a dated, blurry photo — get a beautiful picture taken, and don’t include other people in the photo. You want to show off your character, so look nice and showcase what a looker you are.
Don’t overdo it. Over half the people online lie on their dating profile, according to eHarmony. Make sure your photo looks reasonably close to the actual real-life you, and don’t make up anything about yourself. Your date will eventually find out if you lied.
2. A bad attitude
Dating is stressful, and you may get your feelings hurt or have to turn down others. However, you need to look at the bright side.
Finding the love of your life should be enjoyable and efficient. You may not be interested in all of them, but you need to adjust your attitude.
Don’t let the act of dating harden your personality. You want to make your best aspects shine through to your dates.
Instead, think of this as a fun exercise in meeting people. You will have stories to take away from each person you encounter while you date.
There are 42 million people out there online dating at one time. Sooner or later, you will find someone. Relax and let it happen — like attracts like.
If you go into dating with a positive attitude, you will find your match.
3. A bad location
We once had a client who lived in the middle of nowhere — in a small village north of the Arctic Circle. It was a bummer because of two reasons:
- There was no photo studio nearby.
- They were having trouble finding people to date that they weren’t related to.
Unfortunately, if you’re in the middle of nowhere and you already know everyone around you, your options are limited. It’s not like someone is hiding under a rock for you to date!
The only viable option here is to expand your searches. Start looking at the next closest large city to you. You might have to travel to meet new people if the pickings are slim in your immediate area.
So, don’t fight it. Just do it. Expand your horizons.
4. A poorly written profile
Let’s say someone finds a liking to your photo and decides to click on your profile to learn more about you.
They most likely will not read the whole thing — maybe a few paragraphs. They may not study your profile for grammatical mistakes, but they will notice if you’re not able to string a few sentences together coherently.
It could make or break you.
Do some comparison checking of other dating profiles before writing yours. Then, have a buddy proofread it for you before you post it.
You don’t want to be too controversial. Don’t try to be someone you’re not. Don’t lie — it will come back to bite you.
Be specific about who you are, your likes, and the kind of person you’re looking for.
5. You’re too picky
Nobody’s perfect. That doesn’t mean you should compromise entirely just to have a companion. You are most likely not going to find someone who checks off 100 percent of your boxes.
You need to balance compromise and finding your perfect mate. Some deal-breakers are reasonable.
However, if you’re going to list the 15 things you’re looking for in a partner, you need to have 15 equal attributes that will attract your future partner to you as well.
Remember, relationships are “give and take.” They’re not all about the “take.”
6. Trying too hard to be funny or quirky
Many people have the habit of working too hard to be funny or exaggerating how interesting they are. Do your best to calm that impulse — unless you’re a comedian or stand-up comic in real life.
Try to be more low-key and make sure you don’t overtly try to be funny or focus on being the entertainment on your date.
First, find out if your partner is exciting or attractive to you. It’s hard to feel out of your date if you’re focusing on trying to entertain them the entire time.
7. Too political or too religious
Oversharing your views too soon is a real turn-off.
If your religious and political beliefs are deal-breakers, try to steer the conversation away from these topics as you get to know your potential partner.
The best profiles showcase a lighter and more approachable style, rather than one that’s highly opinionated and might be a little too forceful.
There is no reason to scare someone off before they’ve even met you. This is all about increasing your opportunities to meet new people and explore possible relationships.
Your views are important and you don’t have to abandon them to date just anybody. However, it doesn’t hurt to slow down and give somebody a chance if there is a physical attraction.
Try to keep everything on the light side. Your goal here is to find out if there is a mutual attraction. Diving into a deeply religious or political debate right off the bat is a real mood killer.
Remember to be patient. There is time to discuss your views once you’ve begun to get to know them better — it’s better to save for a third or fourth date.
8. Unreasonable expectations
Unreasonable expectations go hand in hand with being too picky. Sure, you should have some reasonable expectations for dating and your life. Age and attractiveness are usually what expectations tend to revolve around.
We all wish that we could be dating supermodels.
Give yourself a hard look in the mirror. Would you really want to date a model-like person? Do you have the qualities and conditions they’d be interested in?
It’s a waste of your online dating efforts to wait around for unattainable dates. In the long run, you’ll be happier being with someone you’re genuinely compatible with. Chasing a fantasy is not reasonable.
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9. Talking about money too soon
Talking about money goes hand in hand with being too political or too religious. Discussing money early on sends all kinds of red flags.
Many dating scam artists will broach the subject of money early on in the dating process. Don’t give the impression you’re a scammer and run from anyone who might give off that impression, too.
Unless otherwise specified, try your best to plan on paying your way for the first couple of dates. You want to establish clear boundaries. As you keep dating, the money issue will usually disappear.
10. Talking about your ex or kids
Nothing takes the romance away like talking about an ex or your kids right away. Complaining about either one will bring up many red flags for your potential romantic interest.
What happens in the past stays there and doesn’t need to be rehashed with a new person. Dates who commiserate about their past relationships are not ready to date you and are not over their past relationships.
If you have kids, that’s wonderful. The first few dates, however, should be more focused on you and what you’re looking for in a relationship.
That doesn’t mean you have to hide the fact that you have kids. Just don’t make your kids the focus of your meetup. You need to remember to put yourself first, sometimes.
Following these online dating profile examples can help you be a more successful online dater.
We know it may be easy to forget or ignore these mistakes. There will be occasional slip-ups and it’s not that easy to change.
However, making some slight changes to your dating approach will prove to be fruitful in the long run.
Remember to put your best foot forward and be authentically you by letting your best attributes shine. Your dating profile habits will change with just a few adjustments.
Claire Bahn is a dating and personal branding expert and CEO / Co-Founder of Stratus Branding and Online Profile Pros.
This article was originally published at Online Profile Pros. Reprinted with permission from the author.