Negativity in online profiles is extremely common. It’s not really surprising, in a way. Nearly everyone who’s ever been in a romantic relationship has something they could be bitter about, and when you put yourself “out there” as an online dater, past issues tend to bubble up.
But letting bitterness take up space in your heart, and worse, letting it seep into your dating life is like spraying yourself with a can of Loving Relationship Repellant. Online daters WILL pick up on it, even if you post a photo of yourself grinning big, and the rest of your profile is filled with statements about how much you “love life” (HELLO, dating profile cliche alert!).
Allowing bitterness into your dating life is like spraying yourself with a can of Loving Relationship Repellant.
Sometimes the negativity is so blatant, you can practically feel the hostility radiating from every pixel. In other cases, it can be quite subtle. Online daters often think their negative statements are perfectly okay, justifying them as “being straightforward” or “being clear about what I want/don’t want.” But what they’re really doing is conveying an unattractive attitude.
Let’s take a look at a few snippets from actual dating profiles…..
Example 1 from a woman seeking men: “I don’t want a man who is a jerk.” (or “unfaithful” or “plays games”)
My reaction: “Hmm, she must have a history of relationships with men who were less than awesome, and she sounds bitter about it. She sounds like one of those women who likes to complain to her best friend about how ‘all men are jerks.’“
Bitterness is a HUGE turnoff because bitter people are (or at least seem) hard to please. Who wants to date someone who’s difficult to please?
First of all, statements like “I don’t want a man who is a jerk” are completely unnecessary. I think it’s safe to assume that there’s an unspoken understanding among online daters that no one is specifically looking for a jerk. But here’s where the real problem lies: ladies, the tiniest whiff of bitterness is a HUGE turnoff to men. Why? Bitter women often are (or at least seem) extremely difficult to please because they’re starting from a place of such negativity. What man wants to invest a bunch of energy into a woman who has to be coaxed out of her bitterness? Or worse, a woman who could turn that bitterness on him if she becomes dissatisfied? Plus, bitter people just don’t sound like much fun.
Example 2, from a woman seeking men: “If you’re not serious don’t bother, I don’t want my time to be wasted.”
My reaction: “She sounds impatient, and a little hostile.”
This woman sounds like she could be pretty hard to please, too, doesn’t she? She wants a man to prove right away that he’s not wasting her time. This statement conveys defensiveness, the opposite of the open positivity that most online daters are drawn to. And this is another one of those “duh” statements – I’m betting no one in online dating wants their time to be wasted.
Example 3, from a man seeking women: “I’ve never done online dating before, and I’m a bit apprehensive about this.”
My reaction: “This guy doesn’t sound like a particularly confident or optimistic person. It seems like he doesn’t even really want to be dating.”
Your thoughts create your reality, and if you believe something is going to be a flop, you’re essentially welcoming that outcome.
This man is just dipping a toe into the online dating waters, and he’s clearly expecting that it won’t go well. This is the opposite of the vibe you want to send out into the dating ethers. It’s not that I can’t sympathize with his statement – we’re ALL apprehensive about online dating at first. But your thoughts create your reality, and if you believe something is going to be a flop, you’re essentially welcoming that outcome. Not to mention that confidence and optimism/good attitude are the types of things that most online daters specifically say they’re looking for.
Look for Pointers and Signposts in Your Profile
Is there bitterness or negativity in your dating profile? Or are the examples above things that you occasionally say to yourself, or identify with? That’s good! Really!! Where there’s negativity, there’s also a signpost pointing to something in your life that needs examination. The point is not to simply change a few words or delete a sentence from your dating profile, but to take a deeper look at how you feel about yourself, your life, love and dating… and what, if anything, you’d like to transform.
Katherine’s Online Dating Profile Tip:
Scour your dating profile for signs of negativity, and examine your attitude about yourself, your life, love, men/women, and dating.
I believe there is love out there for EVERYONE, and I want you to find love in the internet age. Let’s get started creating an online dating profile that showcases your unique spark and attracts your perfect match. Click the Services link to see how I can help.
- “I’m easygoing”
- “I’m down-to-Earth”
- “I enjoy the outdoors”
- “I enjoy being active”
- “I love to travel”
- “I love the beach”
- “Family is important to me”
- “I’m loyal and trustworthy”
- “I value my friends and family”
- “I love life”
- “I choose to embrace each day”
- “I love adventure”
- “I love trying new things”
- “I love to laugh”
- “I’m open-minded”
- “I love to have fun”
Are you still awake? I don’t blame you if you’re not. These kinds of statements couldn’t be more yawn-worthy. The problem is that they don’t really say anything. They certainly don’t make a guy or gal scramble for the “Email her/him now” link.
Show, Don’t Tell
In fiction writing, every writer learns a very basic rule that’s commonly known as “show, don’t tell.” Showing makes for interesting writing (and reading), while telling inspires yawns. Here’s how it works….
Telling: “I love to cook.”
Showing: “Growing up, I learned to cook at the side of my Italian grandmother. My favorite dishes to make are osso buco, meatballs with white wine sauce, and Tuscan chicken. On a Sunday afternoon, there’s nothing I love more than opening one of my grandmother’s cookbooks and filling the house with the delicious aromas of Italian cuisine.”
Telling = Snore. Showing = A memorable, mouth-watering scene that any profile browser with taste buds and a stomach wants to be part of.
A profile full of “I love to…” and “I enjoy….” and “X, Y, and Z are important to me” does nothing to reveal what makes you unique and amazing. A million people could (and probably do) say “I love to cook” in their online dating profiles. But each of those online daters has a unique story behind their love of cooking, and that’s what makes an impression and shows your personality.
Showing can do something else, too. It often reveals interesting tidbits about a person’s life, values, and personality. The example above not only describes in delicious detail the online dater’s love of cooking, it also tells you something about her roots, her childhood, and her relationship with her family. That’s compelling reading.
It wouldn’t be appropriate to do this with, say, all ten of your favorite activities – your profile would be much too long and sound a bit melodramatic – but creating images or scenes for two or three of the activities in your life you’re most passionate about will give your profile a huge edge over all the dull “I love to…” profiles out there.