Have you tried finding love online using one of the hundreds of online dating sites? It’s the way of the future some say and it’s not without its challenges. Recently I have been experimenting with some of the more popular sites and I have discovered a few of those challenges. I went on to contact people randomly through a variety of sites asking them five questions relating to their experiences with online dating and here are the results I discovered through my experience and the experience of others.
The top 5 no-nos of creating a profile on online dating sites:
1. Outdated pictures – DO NOT USE THEM! Did I say that loud enough? I am shocked at how many people create profiles using old images or no images at all. I get that you may not have a current picture of yourself and that’s no excuse for not creating one to use on your profile. Take a quick snapshot if you are in a hurry to put yourself online or ask your friends to take them for you but do not put yourself online without one! Every online dating site will tell you to post a pic because it will increase your chances of being seen and they are right. I can tell you that I viewed hundreds of profiles and personally I skip over the ones without a pic. I can’t help but wonder did I miss Mr. Right because he didn’t post a pic? It’s definitely possible!
A female response: “I look at photos first – that helps me to filter out the definite “nos”. Sometimes my decisions are based purely on looks, but for others, it may simply be a difference in style (which often also reflects a difference in lifestyle). For example, if someone dresses like a biker than it would be a “no” simply because that style (and the “motorcycle” lifestyle that often goes with it) does not appeal to me. I also look to see if the person looks relatively clean (proper hygiene), pleasant and happy in their photos. I also look at the background details in the pics – messy room? rundown home? Dark depressing basement apartment? These details can provide valuable clues as to a person’s lifestyle. Then I read the profiles to look for more clues about lifestyle and use that to again filter out the definite “nos”. For example, if someone is really focused on working out, running marathons, etc, I know that we probably would not be a “match.”
A male response: “Similar interested and fitness levels, Physical attraction and HAS to have a picture or two that show face and body.”
2. Lie about the important stuff – DON’T DO IT! Did I say that loud enough? I can’t stress this enough, things like your age, education, or what you want are all things that will be discovered when you go to meet someone. If not in your first meeting definitely at some point in your relationship and the discovery of your lies will come back to hurt you. I don’t understand why people can’t be straight about these types of things. What are you afraid of? Are you so embarrassed or ashamed of yourself that you can’t be straight and upfront about who you really are? I truly believe there is someone for everyone in this world and you run the risk of missing your special someone by being dishonest with this information. The most common response I received from others around this is once they experienced this type of dishonesty they questioned what else is the person lying about? This is not how you want your relationship to begin, trust me, it’s really hard to build trust and honesty from this start.
A female response: “I’m one of the few women I know who wants to meet someone for a coffee date or walk and talk right away. I used eHarmony about 5 years ago. The process of getting to know someone is a long one and I thought I would find men who were more interested in relationships than just dating. I was on the site for 9 months and at that time I did meet numerous men. None of them were at all like I expected from their profile and online conversations. I think some of them became very confident online but lacked it in person. The witty comments and clever remarks were only present in online conversations. Only one man actually looked like his photos. Every single man I met lied about his height. None of these things would be deal breakers for me, but the misrepresentation is. It was frustrating and I felt like it was a total waste of time”.
A male response: “I’ve met a lot of nice people but I am starting to think people are more or less scared to work through issues or things when the Internet is so ready for a new candidate. Funny how date sites make it easier to meet a lot of people but seem to take away from the skills we need to make it work”.
3. Tell them how it is – I read many profiles and see so many people telling me that they are fun, loving, caring, etc. on and on and on. Who says that you are those things? You? I know you just want people to see your good stuff and you only have a few minutes to capture a reader’s attention but I can tell you that using these descriptions of yourself does not add value to your profile. In fact, they detract because everyone says these things and no-one believes them to be true! I can’t say no-one but I can say many people and me included. I read that stuff and my thought is “I’ll be the judge of that!” How you are is not for you to say it’s for others to discover about you and adding these comments to your profile takes up valuable space that you could be using to attract your true love. You want to connect with him/her? Spend more time talking about the things you like to do or how you feel when you are with someone special. That’s what people are attracted to! This is not related to any of the questions I asked people but I add it to the list of no-nos because I can see how over-used these descriptions are and in many conversations I had we all agreed. They add nothing to the profile! DON’T DO IT! Did I say that loud enough?
4. Don’t take it personally – when someone says to you “you are not for me or not my type” or reject you based on your profile, DON’T TAKE IT PERSONALLY! Did I say that loud enough? It’s not about you at all and it’s definitely not an excuse for you to verbally berate the person who rejected you. I asked the question “do you respond to all invitations?” the responses were universal. “Not anymore”. Many people told me that they started out responding to all invites but after a few angry responses they quickly stopped. I can relate, I experienced this myself and I completely understand why people would stop. People hear things, say things, and do things that have nothing to do with you and something in your pics or profile reminded them of something they didn’t like. That’s it, IT”S NEVER ABOUT YOU! The sooner you understand that the sooner you can get past the rejection and get on with finding someone who gets to be with you.
A female response: “I used to respond to gently say thanks but no thanks (usually pointing out a difference in lifestyle in a lighthearted way) but some men took that as an invitation to continue the conversation, so now I rarely respond, unless the person seems really nice and I do it out of politeness. The site has a “thanks, but no thanks button” which is great.”
A male response: “I no longer respond to all invites. Some people can be quite rude about your need and wants.”
5. Don’t give up – if at first, you don’t succeed, try, try again. There is hope in that statement and encouragement if you listen to the words. Online dating may be an easy way to find a mate but the system can let you down when it comes to your first meeting in person if you commit any or all of these no-nos. You improve your chances of finding true love is you use current images of yourself, keep you statistical information correct (i.e. age, height, education, weight), talk more about what you like to do and how you feel when you are with someone special, always be respectful of people’s choices and remember it’s not about you and finally never give up looking for that person who makes your heart sing.
Let me share one last story with you. My dear friend Pop (that’s what we all called him) was 97 when he passed away. At the age of 95, he married his third wife and spent his remaining years being happily married. The only reason he had been married three times was that his first two wives passed before him. He taught me that one is never too old to fall in love again and you never stop looking for love as long as you are alive. Thank you Pop for this beautiful message.
If you find yourself challenged with using online dating sites or you are not getting the results you want, send me your contact information for a free evaluation of your profile. I will share with you what I see and help you refine your search for your true love.