More Tips on Mastering the Dating Personal Ads

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Today I want to post some thoughts about the biggest online dating profile no-no's for MEN, as brought to us by OkCupid's Top Matchmaker Megan Beresford. (I've been promising to do it for about a week, and the men are starting to clamor. I put up dating profiles tips for the ladies last Tuesday.)

Without further adieu:


DON'T be overly negative. Pointing out your own flaws or using phrases like "Not sure who'd want to date me" make you come off as too insecure; let a person get to know you a little before revealing your hang-ups. Also: griping about how unfair it is that women never go for nice guys is actually the quickest way to get put in the friend zone, because you're setting the ladies up to think of you as the kind of guy no one wants to date.

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At the same time ... DON'T be a cocky know-it-all, either. Sometimes, when guys try to telegraph confidence and capability, they go overboard--as when a dude includes a lengthy, pedantic lecture about some area of expertise in his profile, or when he writes a screed against a particular thing he hates. While this kind of thing can be funny or intriguing in person, ranting or showing off in your profile all too often comes off badly.

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DON'T talk about how 'good at sex' you are. Mentioning sex once (if that) in a profile is acceptable. Mentioning it more than once can make you seem perverted or desperate. And going into detail about your skill in 'pleasing a woman' or 'using your tongue' can come off as pretty creepy. Also, avoid the word "horny", as women tend to read it as shorthand for "I will have sex with anything that moves." And nobody wants to date that guy.

DON'T post half-naked pictures of yourself. Or pictures from high school. We don't need to see what you look like shirtless before we've met you in person (nor do we really need to you completely smashed and wearing a funny hat). Put up photos that show you as you look now (not as you looked five years ago, or before you lost your hair, or before you gained ten pounds)*. This way, you'll find someone who likes you as you are... and, really, isn't that what you're looking for?


My own pet peeve when it comes to online dating?

Probably the excessively long profile. If I wanted to read an epic, I'd pick up a copy of War and Peace ... so PLEASE take it easy when you're typing that puppy up. Get the basic stuff across; throw in a joke or two; mention how much you love your mom or your dog or grilled cheese or whatever ... but for the love of Buddha, please keep it short. This should not be your Portrait of a Dater as a Young Man.

But hey, that's just me.

Ladies and gents, what would you like to see less of--or more of--in the world of online personals?**



*Maura's note: Also, please also don't post pictures of you before you gained ten HUNDRED pounds. Or from before you grew all that nose hair?

**Please refrain from making jokes about nudie shots, here, if you can help it.


ps: Dear commenters: Hello! Rachel, I'm glad you're reading. And Raye, I should've had you in a little bug, taped to my ear, so you could whisper good come-backs to me. (And Edwinna, I should have you in the other ear-bug, whispering encouragement.)

Also--I got a really touching note late last night from a lady veteran (whom I guessing was in Iraq?). So I just wanted to give her a special shout-out.

What do you think?