3 Mistakes a Guy Should Avoid in His Online Dating Profile

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There are many areas of things you should avoid in your dating profile. One thing I really try to push people to do is to stay positive, but unfortunately many of us guys can wander into some negativity when we write our profile. And, in addition to staying positive, we want to be interesting! Today I want to talk about a few common approaches that guys take with their profiles and why you should avoid them.

Also, be sure to check my article on creating your dating profile to see what I think should go into it!

Mistakes to avoid on your dating profile

1. Apologizing

One temptation some men have is to include apologies for the fact that they won’t be perfect for every woman that views their profile. This doesn’t always come off directly as an apology, but when you think about it this way the pattern can be easy to spot. Here’s an example that one reader had:

I can’t guarantee you that we already have a lot in common – but if you read on and find out we do – you should message me!

Basically, he’s saying “we might not be a perfect match but please keep reading!” No one can guarantee that anyone will have a lot in common with them. Other examples of “apologizing” in your profile include things like disparaging comments about yourself, and even comments like “I can’t believe I’m doing this” walk far too close to a negative profile than I like.

In the example above, he’s pointing out something that is going to be true for almost every situation. You can’t guarantee you’ll have a lot in common with strangers who read your profile, so why point it out? It would honestly be better to say something like:

Glad you stopped by because I know that you and I already have a TON in common. We’re single, we’re both on this site and, well let’s be honest, we’re both awesome.

That is way more confident and positive. Is it also totally unsupportable? Sure it is! But if you’re going to make a comment that you can’t support, why not make it positive?

2. Listing

Lists are where profiles lose so much. The saving grace is that almost everyone writes uninteresting lists in their dating profile, including women, which means that this bad habit doesn’t stand out too badly. However, that means that when people don’t go with listing everything they like and instead make something more personal, it stands out in a very positive way.

For example, here’s what a list in a dating profile might look like:

I’m a laid back guy who enjoys spending time with friends and meeting new people. I love traveling, cruising, the outdoors, watching movies, going to clubs, exploring new places and dining out. My hobbies include sports, movies, theme parks, the beach and really anything fun.

When I reviewed this reader’s profile, I suggested the following as better options than “listing” things:

  1. Talk about how you like to meet new people, not just that you like to. When was the last time you did something social? What was that? Did anything fun or exciting happen? I think you would do better if you told little stories about yourself than spoke generally.
  2. Instead of going through a list of things you like to do, pick two of them and talk about them in detail. What was your favorite vacation of all time? When did you find out you loved cruising? Any crazy stories from them? Ever get sick? Give some details about not just the “what” but the “why”.
  3. Or pick a few of the other areas and talk about those few areas in detail. Very few women are going to pass you by because you forgot to mention that you like to travel or that you enjoy dining out so there’s very little to lose by taking a different approach.

Instead of talking about 15 things you like, pick a few and really dive deep into those areas. Help people see that you’re a real person, possibly someone they’d like to spend time with.

3. Begging

Aside from being out-right negative, begging is the thing I hate to see most lately in profiles. Begging often takes the form of asking someone to do something they already know they should do or going out of your way to suggest the person reading your profile is much better than you and you don’t deserve their time.

The most common example of this is where a guy uses his profile to ask the woman reading it to message him. Don’t ask or tell women to message you. First, because even in our world with an emphasis on equality, men are going to be expected (generally) to do the contacting. Second, the women know how online dating works and they will message you if they want to. Finally, this type of request sucks all the confidence out of a profile. So lose any requests or suggestions that she contact you.

Here’s another example of what I’m labeling as begging:

So that describes me. If I contact you, I appreciate you taking the time to read my profile and would love to get to know you more because most people don’t read this far.

This type of thing should absolutely not be in your profile. You definitely should NOT thank people for reading your profile or saying that most people don’t get this far…how would anyone even know how far people read their profile? Women aren’t going to find a self-defeating and negative thought like this attractive.

Here’s one more example:

P.S. If I send you a message and you happen to read it, please let me know. Even if you are not interested, just say so. You won’t offend me, I promise.

Again, this comes off as negative and possibly even desperate. And I’m fairly certain the guy who wrote this wasn’t even desperate! He just was writing in a way that made him sound that way.


Guys: one thing we have going for us is that women do more than just look at our photos…they actually read our profiles too! Make sure the fact that women give our profiles so much attention isn’t hurting your chances.



About the Author:

Brad initially struggled with online dating but over time became quite successful using it. He met his wife using online dating and has been giving advice and helping people improve their results since 2007. He has written a Free Online Dating Guide to help others find success with online dating. You can learn more about his personal experience using online dating and running this website here.


  1. SusyQ  November 16, 2014

    Most of these guys list hobbies that women would be uninterested in doing. Fishing, boating, wrapping bait, woodworking, car repair. To a girl zzzzzzzzz

    • Brad  November 20, 2014

      I don’t know…I bet there are some girls who might find those things interesting! But I do see your point. And I also think it may be better to list hobbies that you’re more likely to do as a couple in your dating profile. So woodworking and car repair seem like things that could be left out, but fishing or boating could be something left in.

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