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10 Biggest Online Dating Mistakes

By Andrea McGinty May 05, 2022 Dating

After 25+ years working with singles as a dating coach, helping them navigate online dating from writing dating profiles to teaching effective messaging techniques, wow, have I seen the weird, the humorous – and all in between!

How do I know this? In the first month of working with a client, I actually log in to their dating site/app with them to identify high potential dates and teach them a fast, effective technique to quickly find what they are looking for.

Here we go with the 10 Dating Mistakes most people make on online dating sites:

A Profile with No Information

Just checking off boxes, such as concerts, travel, foodie, will not put you on anyone’s favorites list. (Who doesn’t like to eat and travel?) Writing at least a paragraph or answering the question prompts is a great way to share a bit of personality!

A Profile That Reads Like a Novella

Some people are on the other end of the spectrum – they tend to overshare. Too much information can have the same effect as sharing nothing. Let real-life dates unlock your life experiences and thoughts.

For instance, one man’s profile included five paragraphs of his journey into meditation/self-awareness. Maybe his experiences should lead him to write a book, but that level of detail is inappropriate for an online dating profile. My client got through one paragraph of this man’s profile before moving on.

“I Can’t Believe I’m Doing This”

Yes, people do start profiles with this line. Well, you are online. This line conveys insecurity and arrogance and will not bring any interest from potential candidates.

It’s natural to feel insecure with online dating, especially if you’re new at it. But you don’t have to show it to the world.

Generic Language

How many profiles have you seen that use generic language? This can run rampant online, “I’m fun, happy, positive and love to travel.” While no one wants to read your whole life story on your profile, not using highly descriptive words will get you nowhere. Where do you love to travel? What makes you happy?

One Photo

Most people have smartphones these days. So, it’s absolutely suspect if there is only a single photo on a profile.

Poor Quality Photos or “Postcards”

Stop using selfies, photos of you in the bathroom mirror, in your car, blurry photos, large group photos (which one are you?), LinkedIn pose photos. I can’t count the times that I have seen photos of the Northern lights, Taj Mahal, the Venice canals or some other tourist destination without a person in the photo!

Using Old Photos

Photos should be a representation of your current self. That means, don’t use photos that are more than two years old, especially if your appearance has changed significantly. Your date will figure this out on sight and will be rightfully annoyed.

Sending Hearts/Likes, etc.

Hearts and likes are one of the top complaints from both sexes online. These suggest passivity or low interest. How do you feel when you get a like with no message? Neutral probably – the ball is now in your court to send a message or even worse – like them back. Likes don’t help you make progress toward a real life first date!

Thinking Too Hard About Your Response

Just be you! Formal responses rarely get responded to because they sound too stiff. For example: “I see you enjoy scuba diving and Italy – where were you certified and where do you like to go in Italy?” The biggest problem here is this sounds like an interview question. If you want to learn more about the person, share a little something about yourself to show your personality.

I have one client who had the habit of drafting responses that took 15 minutes and used a 5-syllable vocabulary. I couldn’t break her habit until she was batting 0 for 20 responses sent!

Poor Grammar/Misspellings

Use proper English in your correspondence. You can get more casual after your first two messages and use emojis and lol’s – but not before then!

Stay tuned for my next article on Ten Online Tips for Great in Real Life Dates! As an online dating coach, I know these tips work as I see my clients meeting great people online every day.

With over 5,000 marriages and 60% of my clients currently dating someone they really like; I know this works!

Are you scared of online dating? What was your biggest issue creating a profile? Which of these mistakes have you committed and how have you changed your profile since?

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The Author

Andrea McGinty is the founder of It’s Just Lunch dating service. She sold it and founded so she could help singles navigating online dating. In the 2020s, she knows the best way to meet people is through online dating using a professional coach and specializes in singles in their 50s-70s!

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