Mistakes to Avoid When Dating Online


Whilst we advocate real-life encounters over internet dating, it is an increasingly popular way for people to meet, particularly for busy professionals or those lacking in confidence. We’ve come across plenty of people who have experienced great success using internet dating, however we’ve also seen many real life profiles that leave a lot to be desired! Here is a list of common mistakes people make – all of which we’ve taken from REAL online dating profiles.

Profile Pictures

1. Body shot and no face

If you workout and have a good body, by all means be proud of it – however, pictures that just contain your abs and chest communicate to women that you are vain and also rely on your physical appearance instead of your personality. It’s probably best to keep your top on in general, but it should go without saying that if you don’t have the ideal beach-body, then exposing this on your profile is not a good look.

2. Unflattering profile picture

This can be anything that presents you in a less than complimentary light, however some examples we’ve seen are:

  • Pics taken with webcam at home (looks like you haven’t made an effort)
  • Unattractive clothing (e.g tracksuits, scruffy old t-shirts etc)
  • Showing off with material objects (e.g standing next to cars, champagne etc)
  • Drunk on night out, making a fool of yourself
  • Looking miserable / bad body language
  • Blurry or low-res pics
  • Big groups where you can’t tell who the profile owner is
  • No profile pic at all (or photo of pet / landscape… or, in one case, an out of focus shot of some laminate flooring!?)

3. Novelty photos

Fancy dress (including Smurf costumes, Morphsuits and drag) and websites like faceinahole.com don’t give an accurate idea of what you look like. You might think these pictures are funny and show your playful side but unless you have lots of other pictures that show the real you, you are in danger of putting women off because they can’t tell how you actually look. You also run the risk of looking like a fool.


4. Sleazy headlines

Being too overtly sexual in your headline will put women off before they’ve even read your profile. You are competing with thousands of other guys on these sites, A LOT of whom will be doing the same thing. We were spoilt for choice when it came to selecting these examples:

  • “Looking for sex”
  • “High sex drive needs satisfying”
  • “Quick w@nk anyone?”

5. Unoriginal headlines

Again, remember that you are competing with thousands of other guys and therefore you need to stand out from the crowd. Find something interesting and original to say and avoid unoriginal headlines like:

  • “Hey”
  • “Have a chat see how it goes”
  • “Looking for a laugh”

6. Needy headlines

Girls aren’t attracted to needy men and therefore it’s essential not to come across like this in your profile. If you communicate this in the headline, you are severely reducing the number of girls who will click to read further.

  • “Will ANYBODY message me?”
  • “Will reply to anyone and everyone”
  • “At least one girl prove me wrong”

Profile Content

7. Poor spelling and grammar

The way you write reflects on you as a person and therefore if you have not made an effort in your profile, you run the risk of coming across as lazy and unintelligent in real life. The following are things to avoid (as well as points that many women actually state in their profiles as turn-offs):

  • Excessive typos and bad grammar
  • Text speak (e.g “i lyk 2 fink I am gud lukin”
  • Excessive smileys and emoticons
  • Use of ‘LOL’ (this basically says you need to acknowledge you’ve made a joke and can’t rely on the humour by itself to make her laugh)
  • WRITING IN CAPS (It looks like you’re shouting!)

8. Self-deprecating description

The whole point of your profile is to sell yourself and come across as attractive as possible. It might seem like common sense but beating yourself up and putting yourself down is not going to endear you to anyone who reads it. Making them pity you and feel sorry for you is NOT an effective way to attract women! Stay away from anything like this:

  • “I know this pic isn’t great…”
  • “I’ve been on this site for a while and not had much response”
  • “I like to talk but sometimes go on a bit”

9. Admitting you have nothing to say

Everybody finds it a struggle to write something at first, but the people who are successful at online dating are the ones who put the effort in to write something original and engaging. Do not start you profile with “I don’t really know what to say but here goes…”. Another thing to avoid is copying and pasting the same lines over and over to fill up the minimum word count.

10. Cliché first date

One of the most popular entry fields on dating sites allows you to write your ideal first date. This is your opportunity to show your readers that you can be different to all the other guys out there and that you understand what women want. Don’t just use this as tactic to increase your success online, actually come up with some interesting date ideas for real life as well and avoid the typical scenarios such as:

  • “Go for a quiet drink somewhere and get to know one another”
  • “Cinema”
  • “Go for a nice meal somewhere”

11. Lack of interests

This is another key part of your profile and shows women that you have an interesting and attractive lifestyle. Again, try and embody this idea in real-life as well as online and if you don’t already have some interesting hobbies, find some that are a little bit more unique than:

  • “Going out with the lads”
  • “Going down the football”
  • “Nothing” (Yes, someone actually wrote this as an interest!)

12. Including personal details

If you include your mobile phone number, email address, BBM PIN or any other personal details, it basically says that you have no standards with regards to who you chat to and comes across as desperate and sleazy. Not to mention that it’s dangerous as you have no idea who is reading your profile.

13. Being negative about other people

Putting other people down is an unattractive trait in real life, so don’t do it online either. This will not score you any points and will just make you look insecure and bitter. Avoid saying things such as:

  • “Never thought I’d be doing this…”
  • “I’m not like all the other weirdos on here!”
  • “If you think you are a queen and the best woman around, don’t message me”

14. Being too “nice”

By “nice” we mean “generic and boring”. You can’t please everybody and so don’t be afraid to be yourself and most importantly don’t sit on the fence. Another important thing is not to scare women off by being too romantic, as this comes across as desperate and needy.

  • “I like all types of music and can listen to everything”
  • “I get on with everyone”
  • “I love to listen and can gaze into a person’s eyes for hours”

15. Excessive swearing and rudeness

This should be a no-brainer but there are an alarming number of online dating profiles containing profanity and aggressive language. This may appeal to some girls, but they are in the minority and you have to question if these are the types of women you really want in your life. We don’t think we need to give examples, but some of these are too funny not to include:

  • “For all those girls who say ‘send me a message and make it unique’ – you f**king try!”
  • “You are boring the crap out of me ladies”
  • “I can’t be ****ed with people who are two faced, they **** me right off”

16. Only talking about your job

One of the most common (and boring) things women get asked is “What do you do?”. Your job doesn’t define you, so don’t make this mistake online either. By all means mention your career, but don’t make this the focus of your whole profile. Similarly, don’t just talk about the gym, as this also shows a lack of imagination.

17. Writing too much

You want women to be intrigued by what you have said and eager to learn more. If you overload them with information in your profile then they won’t have anything to ask you about, as well as the fact that a massive chunk of text is overwhelming and off-putting. Five to six sentences should suffice.

18. Rubbish jokes

A sense of humour is an attractive trait in a man, unfortunately however, this does not always translate well in writing. By all means include some amusing comments if you are confident they will come across well, otherwise avoid them at the risk of sounding cheesy. Here are some of our favourites:

  • “Please form an orderly queue – no pushing!”
  • “Limited offer, hurry!”
  • “How uuu dooin?”

19. Lying

We don’t have any examples that we can prove, but if you need to lie to impress women, then you are doomed from the outset. You may have some short term success, but you will quickly find it crumbles once the truth comes out. Be honest and focus on making your life attractive enough to not need to lie about in the first place.

20. No description at all!

Do we need to say any more?


You’re probably reading this and thinking “That’s great, but what is left to put on my profile?”. This is ultimately down to you, but two immediate tips we can give you to help you get started are:

  • Get a couple of good photos. These can be existing ones, or you can take new ones especially for your profile. They don’t have to be professionally shot works of art, just bear in mind these simple rules. Dress well, have good body language (so no slumped shoulders or awkward posture) and look like you’re having fun! It’s also good to have a variety of photos, so if you have pictures of you with friends (particularly other women) and participating in activities you enjoy, this will give you an advantage over 99% of the other guys on there.
  • Write a list of all the interesting things you have done in your life. We ask people to do this all the time and often their initial reaction is “I don’t have any”. As soon as we probe a little deeper we almost always find that they actually have achieved lots of fascinating things, they just don’t have them at the forefront of their mind. Take a minute to think about it and we’re sure you can come up with at least five cool and interesting things that you can talk about passionately.

Ultimately, girls use online dating sites like Loveawake as a way of meeting men outside of clubs and bars. They’re tired of being asked the same questions over and over again, yet unfortunately this pattern still occurs on the internet. Put yourself in her shoes and think “If I was being bombarded by hundreds of messages, what would make one stand out and make me want to read it?”. Try to second-guess all the other guys who are making the same old mistakes and getting the same bad results. Finally, don’t be discouraged if every woman doesn’t write back. Like we said, they receive hundreds of messages so it’s most likely yours just got swallowed up in her inbox. Don’t take it personally and just try and have fun!