What are the biggest online dating mistakes? Now that looking for love is as easy as reaching for your phone and swiping right, you might quickly stumble into more than a few of them. Hey, it’s easy to forget that you still need to put in a little effort to woo your next potential boo – and that many of the subtle nuances of real-world interaction are lost via apps. Having trouble landing a date or securing a second one? Here’s a couple things that may be blocking Cupid’s virtual arrow from landing its mark — and several hints, tips, and suggestions that can help recognize and overcome the 10 biggest online dating mistakes.
Group Shots — It’s cool that you love your friends and are all about your #squad, but if all your pics are tailgates and bar crawls it’s gonna be real hard to pick you out of the crowd. There is no bigger bummer than having your hot friend that gets all the numbers when you’re out partying end up inadvertently running interference on your profile. Lead with a selfie so everyone knows who you are.
No Face Pics — And while we’re on the subject of pictures, have a good one ready to show. No one believes that your need for discretion is career-based. If you’re hiding your face, anyone looking at your profile will automatically wonder what (and who…) else you’re keeping secret.
Lying About the Indisputable — Fudging a bit about your love of the outdoors or how easygoing you are is to be expected on a list of the biggest online dating mistakes. After all, everyone wants to seem like a good time that won’t throw a hissy fit over every minor inconvenience. But you’re doing everyone a disservice when you claim you’re 26 and 6’4”, and show up as a 5’6” 43-year-old. Nobody likes a bait and switch, so be real about who’s going to show up for that date, and save the “a-ha!” moments for personality reveals.
Generic Responses — Saying you’re a nice person with a great sense of humor who loves to have a good time might be true, but it’s also not giving anyone anything to work with. No one says they have a foul temper and are a downer at every party, after all. Share something about your specific interests and desires, or at the very least make it entertaining, so that people will have something to build off of when reaching out and attempting to make conversation.
Over-Sharing — The flip side of the generic profile is the epic autobiography. No one needs to know every detail of your last failed romance or your career journey – this isn’t LinkedIn. Talk about yourself enough to create some intrigue, but don’t give away your whole story before you even say hello.
Have Something to Say — Look, approaching a cutie can be awkward, but if you’ve gotten the digital go-ahead via mutual match the least you can do is make the effort of a full sentence instead of opening with one-word statements like “Hey.” Outreach doesn’t have to be poetic or profound, just say something interesting enough to give them a reason to respond, and something to respond to.
The Pen Pal — The only thing worse than a dead-end conversation is a never-ending one with no glimmer of a real-world date in sight. Banter is great, but the whole point of online dating is to get into real-life situations with sexy potential. Move that text chemistry offline while it’s still hot, because their next match is bound to be moments away.
Double-Booking — No one expects that a single swipe has cleared your calendar of all other suitors and crushes, but announcing that this is date three of five this weekend won’t do much for paving the way for a follow-up. Play the field, test the waters, see what and who work for you, just keep it to yourself during that first date. No one wants to feel like a raisin in a bag of trail mix.
Being Over-Eager — While some sites and apps are pretty straightforward about searching for a good time, not a long-time connection, don’t ever treat your date like a sure thing, and don’t act desperate. Remember to be respectful and mindful of boundaries to boot. Not everyone is interested in those nudes you’re so insistent on sharing upon introduction either.
Not Being Present — You got through the awkward bit of chatting up a stranger and setting a date, but now you’re there and super distracted, staring at your true love: Your phone. Don’t blow your chances at a second date, and potentially getting a chance to retire swiping (isn’t that the whole point?) by not engaging with the person who’s the profile come to life. Don’t worry, the matches you’re accruing will still be waiting in your inbox a few hours from now.
Go beyond our list of the 10 biggest online dating mistakes at these links:
Regina Bresler is a native Brooklynite who spends her days running feral through the internet, and her nights talking to strangers. She's covered entertainment + culture for Cosmopolitan, Death & Taxes, Heeb, and Flavorpill. Sneak a peek into her inner monologue via Instagram/Tumblr/Twitter: CloudsAndCandy