Are you making online dating profile mistakes that scare men away? Not on purpose of course, but here are some signs you might be: Your inbox is empty. You’re only being contacted by couch potatoes, scammers and guys just looking for sex. Emails you write never get returned.
Unfortunately, all it takes is one major dating profile mistake to sabotage your chances of finding love — or even a few good dates.
Just in the past three weeks I’ve had four private coaching clients tell me they are in love, or getting there. The men they are with are grownup, kind, relationship-minded guys. All Four of These Women Met Their Guy ONLINE!
Online Dating Works!
Let’s face it, the older we get the harder we need to try because the numbers aren’t necessarily in our favor. You can find the single man-to-woman ratio in your state here.
…all it takes is one major dating profile mistake to sabotage your chances of finding love — or even a few good dates.
The days of sitting back and waiting for incoming email are over for the vast majority of us. If you want to be noticed and rise to the top, it pays to create the best possible profile and keep it polished and shiny. Because if it doesn’t catch his interest right away, or if he runs into a dealbreaker…it only takes a single click for him to move on.
The good news is that your profile is easy to change and update. And once you know how it is inadvertently turning off the men who are looking for a positive, fun connection, it’s really not that difficult.
Here are the top online dating profile mistakes commonly made by women dating after 40:
1) Your dating profile comes off like a shopping list.
Your profile is your calling card, it’s not a wish list. Using it to list your likes and dislikes, or what he has to be or can’t be, is a gigantic turn-off — even for the men who meet your criteria. It puts them on the defensive and gives them no reason to want to meet you.
The purpose of your profile is to market yourself. When you do a good job describing yourself and painting a picture of what it would feel like to be with you, it will attract the right men and repel the wrong ones.
Let him know how you relax and enjoy yourself and how being with you will add positively to his life. Make him smile. Make him laugh. Help him feel hopeful, good about himself, excited. That’s what’s going to get him to keep reading.
What to do instead: Put on your “man-hat” and think about what your ideal man would be attracted to. What are the things about yourself and your life that you want him to appreciate and possibly share? Describe those things about yourself in your profile and include him in the story. “An ideal Sunday would be waking up early, a quick 3-mile run and back to bed for breakfast, catching up on news and the last Stephen Colbert monologue. (Yes, I’d be happy to make breakfast for you!)” See how much that tells him about you? And how it would attract a guy who shares your interests and (more importantly) your values? I guarantee you will see the immediate payoff in the quality of men you attract.
2) Your dating profile sounds needy.
Here are some statements I see every day in women’s profiles:
- “I’ve waited so long for the right relationship and I hope it’s finally my time.”
- “I’m ready to be my man’s everything.”
- “My life is okay but I won’t be completely happy until I meet my love.”
While you may think this way sometimes, it’s not something to put in a profile. The man reads this as you having incredibly high (unrealistic) expectations and reliance on your relationship for your happiness. That’s not what attracts a confident, interesting man.
Remember, he doesn’t know you at all. Whatever you share on your dating profile holds a TON of weight. If you want to attract a man who wants to control and manipulate you, or who lacks the confidence to be with a woman who has a life of her own, include this kind of language. (I know that’s not what you want.)
What to do instead: Let him know you are happy and have a great life, and that the right man will make it that much better.(More about this in #3 next.) And, sister, if you can’t write that you have a good life without a man and mean it, focus on creating that great life before you search for a man. Expecting a man to be all your happiness is a big mistake all around.
3) Your dating profile is not needy enough.
Women in their 40s, 50s and beyond are particularly guilty of this. You’ve probably accomplished a lot in your life without a man and you’re prepared to continue doing so. And you’re busy.
Here is an example of what I see: I spend my days as a busy lawyer and a couple evenings a week teaching at the local college. Many weekends are spent training for my next marathon and singing in my church choir. Whew!
What assume when you provide a huge list of what you DO is that you have no room in your life for a relationship. Where can a man possibly see time for himself in that picture?
Men, just like women, don’t want to feel like an accessory in someone else’s life. They especially need to feel needed and like an important contributor to your life. If you make it sound like you can take it or leave it, they are likely to help you leave it.
What to do instead: Avoid statements like: “I don’t need a man, but it would be nice to have one in my life.” Or, “I’ve been fine all these years without a man but I’ll make room for the right one .” You can show the right balance by writing something like this: “My life is fun and full of good people. I’m excited to add a wonderful man to the mix to make it all even sweeter.”
4) Your dating profile is boring.
“I love spending time with my friends, volunteering and reading novels.” When a man reads this his eyes glaze over and he moves on to the next profile. It’s generic, common and, frankly says nothing about you that’s interesting.
If you’re going to attract the right kind of men, you need to stand out and be specific about who you are! Don’t be afraid to scare the wrong men away. That’s just as important as attracting the right men.
What to do instead: Be specific and paint a picture for him (like I talked about in #1.) “A great evening for me is trying out the newest ethnic food restaurant with a few of our friends and discussing the latest exhibit at the art museum.” Or, “Once a week you’ll find me at the SPCA walking dogs — one of the best parts of my week! Then I’m off to my favorite breakfast joint for a cappuccino, chile relleno and a good book. I’ll be happy to put down the book for you.” (Doesn’t hurt to flirt a little.)
See the difference?
5) You sound like a Debbie Downer.
Does your profile sound like someone who likes to have a good time? Don’t be negative or too serious.
- I’ve tried online dating before and it didn’t work, but I’m trying it again.
- I’ve had a lot of challenges and hardships over the last 20 years and now I’m ready for a change.
- I’ve devoted my life to my children and caring for my elderly parents…now it’s my turn.
Again, this all may be true, but it’s important to let your prospective match know that spending time with you will be enjoyable…otherwise why would he want to contact you? When was the last time you read a man’s profile and thought “Wow, he sounds like he really needs me to cheer him up…I definitely want to meet him!”
What to do instead: Just leave that stuff out. Period.
Last, but certainly not least…
I know that everyone thinks men only look at pictures, but that’s not true of men who are looking for a real partnership. Here are my tips for posting great profile pictures. Keep reading how to get these good guys to read your profile…all or most of it.
As a Dating and Relationship Coach for Women over 40, I’ve seen (and done) it all when it comes to online dating. I’ve seen how rewriting a profile, making it more positive, more aspirational, and less demanding can help the right guys find their way to your inbox. I’ve also seen how it creates love connections.
My husband and I met online and married in 2006. Because of online dating, I am spending the happiest years of my life.
Have you made these dating profile mistakes? C’mon…we all have. Share with me below how you’re going to change your profile. Even share some of the mistakes you’ve made that you’re going to fix! And let me know how the changes help!