Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Top 10 Mistakes Women Make on their Internet Dating Profile

1) Showing Too Much Skin
Women have figured out that showing more skin gets them more attention in life, but many haven’t stopped to think about what kind of attention they were getting and from who. If your profile pictures show you in a bikini or lingerie (sometimes even less) you are likely to get the attention of all the men on the site looking solely for sex, but you are just as likely to scare off any guy looking for a meaningful relationship. Every time I see a gal with a cleavage shot I think: “why is she trying so hard?”. It leaves men with the impression that your self-esteem relies upon your looks and many men will find you too sexually aggressive. Feel free to take a sexy shot in a fancy dress or a cute outfit, but you are best to leave something to the imagination.

2) Ticking Biological Clock
If you can, avoid mentioning your deep desire to have children. Men are aware of the fact that most women want to have kids, but that conversation needs to happen after you begin a relationship with someone. Don’t try to skip steps here ladies. You’re not even on your first date and you want a guy to make promises to you that only your husband needs to make. Guys will get freaked out if it’s too obvious that you are husband/father –of –my-child hunting. Most guys will tell you that they are unsure if they want kids or not (if they are being honest) and it makes you sound crazy to try to force him into a decision on the first date. If you absolutely feel the need to mention anything on this subject be sure to say that you are patient and waiting for the right time and place to have a child.

3) Child Worship
Many single mothers find dating sites attractive and they have every right to be there as childless women do. The mistake women make is in overemphasizing their connection to their children. Men will run for the hills when they see statements like “my child is my world” and “I want a man who will love my child like I do”. If you have kids, men will assume you love them and that they are important to you. Instead of shoving instant fatherhood down your date’s throat, try to reassure him that you are independent and have the mommy thing covered. Men expect that they will be able to go on dates with you without the kids being there, so be sure to have some sort of babysitter ready. You also should make clear that you actually have the time to date. I’ve seen countless profiles where women say they are unbelievably busy between work and parenting. If this is the case reassure your potential date by saying you have a few hours a week (at least) that can be dedicated to dating. You will of course want to introduce your date with your kids at some point. It’s safest to do so at the beginning of a serious committed relationship. You don’t want to break your kids' heart by getting them attached to some guy who might not be around in a week.

4) Ambition
This has got to be the most ambiguous/confusing word that appears in every woman’s profile. Ambition means different things depending on who is saying it. If you must use this word, explain precisely what you mean by it. Most men when they see that word they think “she’s after a rich man” or “nothing I can accomplish will be good enough for her”. Be realistic with your expectations. Not every woman can marry he future president or CEO of a major corporation. A word that can be used as a substitute with a much more positive spin is “self-growth”. Most men want to improve themselves whether or not they are in a relationship or not, but where they choose to grow can be different. Is financial growth all there you are looking for? What about emotional, spiritual, or social growth? Which is most important and which is least?

5) The Royal Treatment
As a man gets older and wiser he learns to avoid women with a “princess” complex. Women who are looking to be worshiped as a god are very unattractive to most men. The men who are attracted to this type of woman are likely to be submissive and passive with low self-esteem. Don’t ever refer to yourself as a princess, “looking for my prince”. It shows maturity to be proud of yourself for who you are: a smart, fun, beautiful woman. Make it clear on your profile that you are looking for an equal (I always like the phase “partner in crime”). Also, go watch “The Philadelphia Story”. Katherine Hepburn and Cary Grant may enlighten you on the ways of love.

6) The Party Girl
When you are in college your female friends always loved the rowdy, loud and drunk side of you, but as an adult you'll find that men do not find this appealing. If all of your pictures are of you getting "smashed" or you mention in your profile that you “just want to party and have fun” you are servrely deterring men who want a serious relationship. Don’t get me wrong. Men want a girl who is humorous and fun, but if you are serious about holding on to a good guy try not to come off as an obnoxious alcoholic.

7) Grammar and Spelling
Do I really need to explain this? In general men don’t mind grammatical errors as much as women do (there are probably no less than five typos in this blog), but when you type like a 7 year old or a high school dropout it makes it hard for men to respect you. I’ve gotten messages that say: “WuD uP BOI u FEiN!” You’re not cool and you are certainly not literate. You expect this from teenage girls from the inner city, but I’ve seen women 30 years old talk this way. I don’t care how good you look; I’m not writing you back.

8) Anger/Negativity
Most people at least try to smile and be friendly when meeting strangers. Yet many women have become so jaded by the dating world that they use their profile as a soundboard for airing their grievances of the male sex. Ladies, we know dating is hard and there are a lot of horrible men out there, but treating every man as guilty until proven innocent isn’t going to win any hearts. It makes perfect sense to be cautious especially if you’ve been recently hurt. Consider talking with your close friends about what you are angry about instead of posting it on your profile. Also consider whether or not you are emotionally ready to date. Have pictures of yourself smiling and set a positive /hopeful tone to your profile and you’ll be much more successful.

9) Confusing Pictures
Pictures matter to men on dating sites. Men are visual creatures and infatuation begins with what we see. If you are thinking that “looks shouldn’t matter” consider how that can work both ways or consider only looking for platonic friendships. You want to make sure that you have multiple pictures of you and just you. Cell phone pictures at arm’s length and mirror picks aren’t likely to show your good side. If you don’t already have good picture of you, have a friend that owes you a favor take pictures of you in the park. Make sure photos are well lit and in focus. In addition to having a decent headshot with your eyes and face un-obscured (glasses=ok, sunglasses=not ok) you need to have one shot that shows your body (at least from the hip up). Pictures should also be taken within the last year or two unless you honestly haven’t changed much since that photo (high school pictures for a 35+ woman are unacceptable). Realistically women, the guy is going to see how you look when he goes on a date with you. Isn’t it better to weed out the guys who have no attraction to you? If it is unclear from the pictures how you look (including but not exclusive to your body type/size) he’s likely to assume you are unattractive and ashamed about how you look.

10) Unclear Expectations
Men on dating sites will view dozens of profiles a day. When he decides who he is going to message he wants to know who is likely to write him back. It is just as important to let men know what you are looking for as to write about who you are. What are the traits in a man that make him boyfriend material and which are the most important? It is also vital that you let men know about any “deal-breakers” or “red flags”. Taking this step helps you just as much as the guy messaging you. Guys who know they break one of your deal-breaker rules will not waste time writing you and you will not have to waste time reading dozens (if not hundreds) of messages from guys you don’t want to date. Try to be positive yet clear when writing these.
Here’s a good example: “Single dads are amazing people and I respect them very much, but I’m not interested in pursuing a relationship with one”.
Here’s a bad example: “if you are a douchebag or loser don’t bother writing me”. What makes a guy a douchebag or loser? Chances are the douchebag and losers don’t think of themselves as such.

If you don’t set clear expectations, men will probably think you don’t know what your expectations are (a sign of immaturity). If you’re not sure yourself what you want in a relationship take some time to reflect on what worked well and didn’t work in relationships in your past. If you don’t have a lot of relationship experience, think about the dates you’ve been on and/or think about the close friendships you’ve had. What made the good dates good dates and the bad dates horrible? What brought you close to your friends?

The best advice I can give any woman on an online dating site is to find a strait male friend or relative they deeply respect and have them view your profile and offer feedback.