From bad spelling to sketchy pictures on online dating profiles, lots of things will cause us to raise an eyebrow and proceed with caution—but there are a few red flags that have us scrambling to click the little X. We asked members of Marie Claire Ask & Answer — Marie Claire's online Q&A community for relationship, sex, and dating advice — for the online dating profile mistakes that have them running in the other direction. Here's what they said:
RED FLAG: Appearing sex-crazed.
"When guys emphasize they are looking for a woman that enjoys "intimacy," they mean, but don't have the honesty to say, sex," warns 1loohoo. Wanting sex isn't anything new—so don't panic that you'll never get laid if you don't pepper your profile full of sexual innuendo. Suggestive jokes can be funny and endearing once someone gets to know your personality a little, even on a first date...but before you've even had an email exchange, it just comes off as a little desperate and creepy.
RED FLAG: Cliché statements.
Clichés like "... likes long walks on the beach, going to movies, etc." are red flags, says two469. Who doesn't like going to movies? There are tons of regular, nice-enough people out there—but that's not enough to get you a date. You don't need to fly planes or travel to fascinating places in your spare time to stand out—just get specific. Instead of saying you like to read, talk about your favorite genre. Instead of just saying you like action movies, also 'fess up to your guilty-pleasure TV show. Whether or not your date shares your hobbies, you'll appear interesting. 7zebras agrees, saying "I absolutely hate when a girl says they are up for anything. That means that they are incredibly boring and are not passionate or into anything. They are willing to try stuff but only when someone else leads them too it...Boring!"
RED FLAG: Claims of being young at heart.
two469 says statements like "... have the heart and spirit of a seventeen year old." send her running. Why? It screams "Peter Pan complex." Let your silly side and sense of humor show in your profile without making direct statements about your mental age—it's a tip-off that you don't have your life together and will be a disaster to date.
RED FLAG: Non-solo photos.
"Photos with someone else who's WAY more attractive standing alongside" are a dealbreaker for chesterdad. Would you send a potential employer your more-qualified friend's resume along with yours? No. Don't do the equivalent on a dating site. You're advertising yourself, not your hot friend.
RED FLAG: Airing your dirty laundry.
wudaddy is skeptical of "Those that say they're looking for a "real" person," saying "They themselves are usually fake." In fact, these sentences usually directly proceed what wudaddy refers to as "Several paragraphs worth of rants because of past failed dates/relationships." Statements like these are a red flag because they act as a flashing BURNED AND BITTER sign. We all have baggage—but if you're not over your last relationship, wait until you are before you start dating again, online or off.
RED FLAG: Your own red flag checklist.
"When she starts going off the deep end about her laundry lists of what is bad, the red flags go off and I think PSYCHO and run," pizzatroll says. Keep your own personal red flag checklist in mind...and off your profile. A checklist, especially one of "don't wants" rather than "wants" makes you seem demanding—in a bad way—and will scare off any potential matches.