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Top 10 profile mistakes men make

Make sure these 10 red flags aren't ruining how potential daters see you. 


Beth Cook

Internet Culture

Posted on May 10, 2013   Updated on Jun 1, 2021, 4:12 pm CDT

Beth Cook is a dating coach and writer. Want advice? Have advice? Send her an email.

Online dating isn’t nearly as simple as it seems, my friends. You really just have one shot to make an impression, or be dismissed and/or forgotten forever.

This isn’t Facebook, where you’re forgiven—rewarded even!—for awkward photos, questionable politics, and other desperate pleas for attention.

No, no. Your online dating profile is a thing that can inspire glee, giggles, and a date. Or it can have people wincing and clicking away as fast as their thumbs can move, squealing, “EEeeyuck!”

The good news is, many people make the same mistakes, so I can easily help you get your profile in shape. Today I’ll share the top 10 mistakes I see men make. Women, your list is coming soon!

1) DON’T mention sex. Or sexiness.

“A strong healthy libido is important for me in a partner. If that is not important for you we shouldn’t even meet.” 

“I’m an ENTP and according to those result I’m most attracted to beautiful, sexy and intelligent women…those guys are so insightful, who would had thought that? just kiding, they don’t tell useful stuff like that.”

You’re a dude. We get it, you like sex. No need to hammer the point home.

2) DON’T write about how busy you are.

“I spend a lot of time thinking about how little time I have.”

“However, between being busy with multiple careers, friends, and exploring new things, (not to mention my work circle are mostly ‘smart’ men) it has been a little difficult to meet ‘real’ people.”

Unavailable much? How are you going to fit a romantic relationship into your Tetris game of activities?

3) DON’T act like Superman (or like you’re better than everybody else).

“I have run 5 marathons. None as fun as tough mudder. I have recently taken up the idea that I want to go to nepal and hike to first base camp of Everest.”

“I am educated at MIT and Harvard in Cambridge and I work in software building on a business I started in 2007 that just surpassed $100M in revenue. All in all I am super fortunate to have this opportunity but I also know I worked my butt off to get here so guess I deserve it.”

Wah, wah. It would be way more fun to find out that you went to Harvard or ran a marathon on a date. When these things are front and center in your profile, you look like a braggart. How about: “I am passionate about running and love challenging myself.” or “I started my own company in 2007 and am happy to say that we’ve become quite successful!” Modesty is HOTT. Get over yourself and get into someone else.

4) DON’T be openly picky.

“I’ve found myself most grounded with someone having Latin roots.”

Who wants to hear about your exes, buddy? Not any eligible gal I know. Stick to describing yourself and the kind of relationship you want.

5) DON’T call yourself boring.

“It’s only been until recently that I read non-fiction exclusively, so my fav books choices are boring.”

Saying your extracurricular activities are boring is saying that you’re boring. Don’t do it.

6) DON’T be cocky (even if it’s a joke).

“I’m a pretty awesome guy, can be a little cocky at times.”

“Ladies, please stop contacting me and asking me to be a donor. I know that I have amazing eyes, a dazzling wit, am extremely intelligent, and my genes would be an asset to any child I fathered, but I am not just some piece of meat to be used and discarded. There are feelings behind these beautiful eyes, you know.”

Women like confidence, not cockiness. Drop the routine.

7) DON’T say you are looking for your muse.

“Hi there! I’m an artist who is looking for my muse or just someone new to kick it with.”

“I’m an intelligent and creative pervert looking for his muse/pet/plaything. I’m looking for a young woman who likes to be a woman in the traditional (generally oppressed) sense of the word.”

Gag me with a spoon. No, not literally, you perv!

8) DON’T vent your online dating frustration.

“So I’ve been going on a bunch of first dates lately, followed by (if I’m lucky) a short ‘I didn’t really feel any chemistry’ or something to that effect. This has led me to believe that there’s either something terribly wrong with me, or with all of you. Since I’m demonstrably awesome, I’m pretty sure that it’s all’a you. Get with the program, ladies.”

Who wants to date someone who a) is pissed about dating and b) no one else has any fun with? Misery doesn’t love company here. 

9) DON’T forget to use the spacebar, proper grammar and punctuation.

“I like to do all types of things,hiking,cooking,dancing,listening to music and just hanging out.

I’m looking for someone honest,kind and positive about life.”

No further comment required. 

10) DON’T dis online dating when you’re trying to online date.

“Not sure how much faith I have in this medium, but open and willing to give it a shot.”

The real world equivalent of this would be saying, “I’m not sure if I believe it’s possible to meet someone worthwhile at a bar, but here I am at a bar.” It’s kind of… limp. 

BONUS: DON’T be patronizing.

“As a quick note, if your idea of an email is “hi” or “how was your weekend”, I’m not likely to respond. You don’t have to say a lot, but for what you do say, try a little grammar, punctuation and maybe even treat me to your name at the end. …but only if you’re feeling generous.”

I get it, dude. I’m not into emails lacking forethought and grammar either—see #9. But putting this in your profiles looks bad. How about you just ignore the emails that lazy women write you? Delete rather than complain?

If you’ve got any of the 10 red flags above in your profile, guys, just remove them and you’re good to go. For now, at least. Profile names and photos to be be addressed soon.

May there be many, many hot dates in your future.

Photo by Jd5466/Wikimedia Commons

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*First Published: May 10, 2013, 9:00 am CDT