After years of dating, you’ve probably got the basics down pretty well, even if it’s been a while since you had to use them. You know how to dress, what to ask, how to behave to show interest, and how to tell whether you’ve found a winner… or another loser.
Online, many of those skills go out of the window. Putting on your best duds is going to have a limited effect in a small portrait, and trying to get across that you’re both humorous and humble isn’t easy when you’re trying write an essay that’s all about you.
And then there are the mistakes. You might know better than to blab on about your ex on a date or chat on your mobile when things get dull but on a profile, the errors are more subtle. The effects though can be just as devastating to your love life.
One of the most common mistakes is making small things look big. Because you can’t say much on a profile, whatever you do say looks like the most important element in your life. Write that you like playing golf, for example, and a reader will assume that you’re on the green every weekend whacking balls and fishing your club out of the pond. That could put off people who can’t stand the game. It would also disappoint golf enthusiasts when they learn that you’ve actually only swung a club twice, even if you did quite enjoy it.
The solution is to share the detail. If you say you like running, say how often you run. If you’re a fiend at the grill, mention what you cook and when you’re likely to do it. If you’ve got a political point of view, keep it to yourself… unless you’d rather cut your own throat than share a coffee with a Bushite or split a cake with a Clinton fan. Don’t let your preferences appear to readers as necessities.
And one of the biggest preferences that get overblown online is the preference to be part of a couple. Readers know why you’re online. They understand that you’re looking to start a relationship. Say that you’re fed up being single or even describe with passion the sort of relationship that you’re looking for and you run the risk of looking desperate.
And nothing kills a potential date faster than desperation.
Love has a habit of coming to those who seem to need it least. Look like you’re happy and satisfied — but could be even happier with the right person — and it won’t be long before you are.
Dating online? The most important thing you need to know…
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