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Frustrated with online dating? Not meeting your kind of people? This is Article #3 of my online dating advice series. Article #1 talked about general strategies to avoid online dating failure, and Article #2 talked about how to avoid Design-Your-Ideal-Mate Syndrome. This article will discuss how to create a profile that makes people actually want to talk to you.


This biggest problem with most online dating profiles, and the reason you aren’t getting the action you hoped you would, is that most online profiles are duller than dirt. They’re generic, trite, and sound like everyone else. Here are some examples of overused and ineffective phrases in profiles:

  • “Tired of the bar scene” (Looks unsophisticated.)
  • “I can’t believe I’m doing this” (Why not? Everyone else is!)
  • “I like moonlit walks on the beach” (Cheesy and way overused! Same goes for anything involving fireplaces or sunsets.)
  • “I feel as comfortable in jeans as I do in a cocktail dress” (Right sentiment, wrong statement. Show them, don’t tell them. Use examples.)
  • “I want someone with a sense of humor” (Who doesn’t?)
  • “I don’t want games (women) or drama (men)” (Who the hell does? This says you’ve been hurt and aren’t taking responsibility for your choices.)


Another common mistake people make is to be too general, which makes you look and sound like everybody else. Often, this is out of the belief that if you stay generic, you’ll attract more possible dates. However, this often backfires. You know the saying: If you try to be everything to everyone, you wind up being nothing to no one. If you want dates, you need to stand out and be unique, even if what you like is really off the wall. For example:

  • I like the outdoors (So do most people. Do you like Frisbee in the park? Backpacking for days until you can’t stand the smell of yourself? Motorcycle riding? What do you do outside?)
  • I love to travel (Again, do you love kicking back on a cruise boat? Eating your way across Europe? Trekking in mountainous lands? Roughing it third world? Do you travel for a weekend at a time or months at a time?)
  • What do you do that’s different from others of your sex? When I was online dating, I mentioned that I love to play poker (something guys like but most women don’t) – got me a lot of emails.
  • Mention anything unusual, such as that you’ve run 10 marathons, that you love hip-hop (unique if you’re white and over 35), that you’re covered in tattoos, collect action figures, or go to Burning Man every year. You may attract fewer people, but you’ll get people who are YOUR kind of people and appreciate your uniqueness.

Read others’ profiles

Obviously, there isn’t enough room here to give more examples. So get online and read others’ profiles. If you’re a guy, read other guys’ profiles. If you’re a woman, read women’s. You’ll see pretty quickly how dull most of them get. Remember, be specific and be unique.