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Our dating columnist Beth Cook tells you five things you may be doing online to ruin your dating potential. 

Beth Cook is a dating coach and throws private dating events for San Francisco’s most awesome and unattached. She also writes and draws about her own dating experiences. Want advice? Have advice? Send her an email.

Are your social media habits keeping you single?

You’re on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram—you’re so hip, so connected. Social media is the way you network, get news, cultivate and maintain friendships, and stalk people you want to date or used to date.

It’s where you communicate your beliefs, sense of humor, and love of beauty; it’s where you share your travel adventures, moments of inspiration and bad day mishaps.

Social media is also a powerful way to attract or repel potential romantic mates. You think you’re the only one peeping other peoples’ profiles? Think again. And think about what your profile says about you to those potential romantic partners.

A social profile is a representation of YOU. It’s your personal brand. Your posts tell a story about who you are and who you want to be. What’s your story?

If your story looks like “I’m a drunken party girl with an affinity for animal print clothing” or “I only speak in Phish lyrics and drug references,” that ‘ain’t gonna get you anywhere.

Give your social media life a makeover before you turn off everyone you might have had a chance with. Make sure your social media profile is absent of these major red flags:

1) Negative political talk.
It’s fine to celebrate (i.e. “Yay for Obama!”) or share news (i.e. “Looks like the Republicans are taking the House!”). It’s not fine to sit around trashing people or political parties, or telling people with different beliefs that they are idiots. Don’t be negative. It makes you look bad—really bad.

2) Photos with your ex.
This should go without saying, but I unfortunately have to say it. The quickest way to send the message “I’m not available” or “I’m not over my ex” is if you have a bunch of photos with you kissing and rubbing all over someone on Facebook. Take ‘em down.

3. Posting many, many times a day.
Don’t you have anything else to do? If you’re that bored, read a book, see a movie or try a new restaurant. If you feel like you really need constant social media attention, you might be lonely, depressed, sad, or any other number of things. See someone who can help you figure out what’s going on, like a therapist or coach.

4. Social game updates.
Very, very few people care if you just got a new cow in Farmville. Your friends probably don’t. And a potential mate sure as hell won’t. If you play social games online, at least change your Facebook settings to stop those notifications from landing on your wall.

5. Party photos.
You, clinking drinks with a friend at a new bar, is just fine. You, eyes glazed over, mouth hanging open, eight drinks into a bender with a mysterious spill on your shirt, is not fine. Keep it together (even if you’re in your early twenties and have to pretend).

Got it? Good. You’re already looking more attractive. Happy posting!

Photo by icanteachyouhowtodoit

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