Earlier this year I made a highly entertaining, but fruitless foray into online dating on Match.com. I don’t think it’s for me (I actually severely dislike online dating), but my few weeks of dealing with winks, emails and scanning what were complete violations of the Trade Description Act, I can tell you what not to do in the virtual world.

Avoid Sexual References
Do not use something sexual in your profile. eg ‘Youknowyouwantit’, ‘Big(mans name)’ or anything that makes you sound like all you want to do is shag someone. You can pretty much go into any bar or club and find someone to shag if you try hard enough. Why would you do it the long winded way via online dating? Keep it clean. As a woman I find it complete turn off when the first thing I read is a sexual reference.

Highlight your strengths
The profile is an opportunity to sell yourself. Give information that shows your strong points and gives people a reason to want to read more, or even wink or email you. (Note: Even if you have a big dick this is not a ‘strong point’ and is not the moment to tell people about it. See #1)

Write properly!
Check your grammar. It’s difficult to believe some peoples professions when you read their profiles because there is no use of grammar, punctuation, or spelling. First impressions are everything, and it would be a good start of I believed your age instead of wondering if you are 5 years old and have just learnt how to write.

Don’t write emails in CAPS

‘RTFP’ (Read The F*cking Profile) aptly describes the biggest problem with online dating. Look at this process as if you’re applying for a job and submitting your CV. If I was a job interviewer and asked for someone with IT experience and the interviewee that turned up had none, I would not be happy and would feel they had wasted my time.
Likewise, when I say 25-35, I mean 25-35, not chance your arm and hope that I won’t notice that in some cases you’re almost 20 years older than what I requested. It’s a good start if you can demonstrate that you’ve read at least half the profile before you send a wink or an email.

Try not to be a winking and email whore
More ‘RTFP’: That phrase that says that if you throw enough shit at something, some will stick should not apply in the dating world. Be at least a little selective about who you’re winking and emailing at, instead of winking and emailing everyone in the hope that someone will say hi. This behavior is the real world equivalent of those guys that literally work their way around a club trying to get laid, and eventually they manage to go home with someone. Soulless and empty. I’m looking at profiles of people that have winked at me and the only conclusion that I can draw is that they wink at everyone, because it’s very obvious that they have read zilch.

Either use a decent photo of yourself or don’t use one at all
The photo is a piece of sales support. This is an opportunity for you to show yourself in your best and most attractive light to prospective dates. Everybody knows at least one other person out there. If the pictures that you’re taking of yourself do not show you in your most attractive light, and adds features that don’t exist to your face, ask someone to take a picture. You’ll thank them later. Trust me.

Pictures that are out of focus, poorly lit, or have you against a background that crowds you out do not work. Likewise, photos of you on a beach where you can barely be recognised or seen, or pictures of trees and churches are useless too. All that these pictures show is that you’ve been to a beach (wow), and that for some reason, you think that someone will fancy a tree or a church.

My ebook The No Contact Rule is now available to buy and provides a dedicated guide to getting over someone by cutting contact and injecting some boundaries into your life so that you can move on to a happier you. For a no holds barred guide to emotionally unavailable men, including separated guys that flip flap in indecision, and the women that love them, you can also get Mr Unavailable & The Fallback Girl.

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