When it comes to finding love online, it’s all about making that great first impression. After all, we live in a swipe culture with itchy trigger fingers. If you want to stand out from the crowd, you need your bio in tip-top shape. In fact, according to eharmony’s recent Get Who Gets You data report, 28% of daters say the top priority when creating a dating app profile is that the profile accurately captures who the person is.
“Since you have such limited space to communicate who you are, every single word used is essential,” says Laurel House, an eharmony relationship expert. “The details that you give should be interesting and focused, and lend themselves to be conversation starters. The point is to inject small details that will stand out, show that you are interesting and have personality, and create opportunities for conversation.”
However, even with the best of intentions, many of us can fall back on tired cliches or include details that we think are interesting but are, in fact, not. Keeping that in mind, here are some phrases you should avoid putting on your dating profile.
“I like long walks on the beach”
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OK, maybe you do really love a good walk on the beach to destress. However, as House points out, it’s more often than not an extremely generic line that many people thoughtlessly include in their profiles “because it ‘sounds’ like what someone else would like to hear, as opposed to actually liking that activity yourself.”
It’s just another example why she says your profile should stand out and exude your individual personality. “The more focused your profile is, the more expansive and interesting it is. The more brush-stroking and big-picture your profile is, the more boring and forgettable it is. The smaller the details, the bigger opportunity for connection.”
“I don’t want someone who is x,y,z…”
While you might think that being clear on what you don’t want is a good idea, House says it’s important to remember that your profile is about you. “This should not be your opportunity to tell them what you are or are not looking for,” she says. “You can determine who they are and if they are right for you by looking at their profile.”
However, she does add you can mention your dating purpose in order to immediately weed out those who are just looking for a hookup. “At the end of your profile, you can say something like ‘Looking for something Real,’ meaning that you are looking for a real relationship.”
“Some people say I’m chaotic…”
Being self-deprecating can be charming sometimes, but House says if someone says they’re chaotic, “they are subconsciously putting it out there as a warning to see if you are interested anyway.”
While you might think you’re being honest with a phrase like this, House says when someone writes something to that effect on their profile, it actually reveals your red flags without you fully realizing it. Instead you should focus on your green flags, or unique and positive character traits that make you a catch.
“I want to explore what’s out there…”
If you think you’re being open-minded with this type of statement, think again. House considers this type of statement as an orange flag, one that requires more questions and clarity.
“What does ‘exploring’ mean? Are you in a place where you are interested in finding something real? Or are you online to play? Does this desire to explore mean that you want to explore the city, restaurants, and activities?”
This is why clarity is essential, she says. “Clarity also creates opportunities to open the conversation and ask more intriguing and interesting questions. According to eharmony’s data, daters find generic dating app profiles that don’t say enough about who people really are, the most annoying thing about app profiles (55%). More than annoying, they can be misleading and even a turn off.”
“I’m ready to have some fun…”
Again, this is another vague statement, House says, that requires a conversation in order to have clarity and gain an understanding of what the statement means.
“What does ‘fun’ mean?” House asks. “Do you want to have fun in life now? Or do you want to have fun by playing the field? Is your dating purpose for fun?”
That’s why she recommends being clear on your dating purpose, then writing your profile to align with your purpose.
“If your purpose is fun, you will make your profile light by mentioning how you are fun and outgoing, and like to be around friends, go out for drinks, smile a lot, etc,” House explains. “If your purpose is exploration, you might focus on travel, the importance of personal growth, or that you are constantly on the go because there is never enough time to see and do and experience all that life has to offer.”
In other words, be specific and personal with what you want and who you are.
You might think you’re being upfront with your marital status, but House says your being separated should not be posted on a dating profile.
“The fact that you are separated is a conversation to have in order to communicate, explain, and create understanding and confidence around the reality of the state of your marriage,” she explains. Telling someone you’re separated is “an actual conversation and not a statement or a box checked on an app. Too many people will x you out without giving you a real chance if they see that you are only separated on your profile. Even if you are truly only separated, that is a fact that can be revealed once the conversation begins so that you are given the fair chance that you deserve.”