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The Worst Ways to Start Your Online Dating Profile — Real Examples!

If you’ve spent time on any dating site, you know that after a while, all the profiles start to look and sound the same. Everyone is “loyal,” “passionate,” “honest,” “down-to-earth”… blah, blah, blah.

In this series of articles, we’re going to talk about your online dating profile and explain what you should or should not write in it.

Assuming that you’ve posted  good enough online dating photos to attract attention, people will read your profile so you’ll need to have an exciting start. You’ll need to avoid the clichés that make other daters click “next” faster than the speed of light. You’ll need to stay positive and you’ll need to avoid repeating information already on the page.

Here are some real examples of how NOT to start your profile. It really didn’t take long to pluck them off a dating site:

Openings to Make You Yawn

It’s not these these are bad starts or dishonest ones. They’re just dull and say nothing about any of the interesting things that make the person behind them unique:

  • I am a nice person with a great sense of humor. I love to spend time with my friends and family.
  • I’m looking for an honest, kind, loving person, the girl next door type, a best friend and a lover.
  • I am a simple guy that just wants to find that someone who compliments me.
  • I am an honest, loyal, caring and sincere person.
  • I am a pretty simple person.
  • Hi I’m a hard working man, that works to much.
  • I would describe myself as easy going, reliable, and honest.
  • I’m easy going, laid back, and love life.
  • I am committed to living life to the fullest.

Openings that Just Say No

Negativity doesn’t just bring you down. It also brings down the people you’re with. Who’s going to want to be with a person who starts a profile like this?

  • Disclaimer alert: If you are the type of person that believes not answering a persons email is the way to tell them you’ve changed your mind, then PLEASE move on!
  • OK. I’m starting to lose faith in this online stuff.

Openings We’ve Seen Before

Sometimes a cliche can be the quickest way to get across a point. Usually though, it just says that this person has no original thoughts:

  • If your looking for a man that works hard and plays hard with a good family outlook thats me
  • I am looking for a partner, my new best friend
  • I am looking for a woman who can live life to its fullest.
  • I live life to the fullest! Work hard and play even harder!
  • Just looking to meet some fun people to hang out with and see where it goes.
  • Where to begin…… I’m tall, dark and handsome

Openings That Are Really Complaints

People come to dating sites to be happy. That isn’t going to happen if they hitch themselves to someone who’s always complaining about dating sites… like these people:

  • I think describing oneself is (or at least should be) an almost impossible task, but..
  • Oh common, how the heck are you supposed to be able to describe all of your attributes with only space enough for 3500 characters or so?!
  • Where do I start this type of thing is so not me
  • This is the hard part for sure…I never know what to say about myself.
  • Ok, I would much rather talk in person, but here goes.
  • It is hard to describe one self in a few words because we keep learn evolve and change
  • In this box I am supposed to give a short description of myself and state what I am looking for. I thought this would be quite simple but as I am finding out it is not as easy as I thought.
  • I just can’t write this sort of thing. It sounds so pathetic
  • So I have to ask myself, “what should I write here?” What do you want to know about me?
  • PREAMBLE: Wow, I can’t believe I have to lead with this, but I guess I do…Please do not judge me for never having been married.
  • Writing “about me” is not easy. But here goes:
  • It’s difficult to really cover all the facets in someones personality in one paragraph
  • My cousin talked me into doing this
  • I am filling this in because I have to, I will update it at a later time when I can really describe what my ideal match is.
  • How do you describe yourself without sounding like a used car salesman

Openings That Just Don’t Open!

You’ve got a sentence, maybe two, to grab a reader’s attention and pull them in. Don’t waste that space… like these people did. Get straight to the point!

  • So here goes.
  • Ok well a little about me?
  • Hello there and thanks for taking the time to view my profile.
  • Never tried this before but I figured why not?
  • I’m single and looking
  • I’ll make it short and sweet.

Openings We Know

The description isn’t the only place we learn about people. There’s a whole bunch of facts and figures in the check-box section, and they don’t have to be repeated:

  • I am a guy 38 years old
  • I am about 6 feet 3 inches tall
  • Me: I am 40, never married(red flag!)

Openings We’d Rather Not Know

Sometimes you can come across an opening that has you raising your eyebrows, shaking your head, and searching for the “next” link all at the same time:

  • This is my friend’s old profile. I’m just using this until I can add my own text later.
  • PLEASE DON’T BE OFFENDED IF I LOOK AT YOUR PROFILE! It generally means I’m at least interested in what you have to say 🙂
  • Ive been told that my best feature is my butt
  • **DISCLAIMER** I have tattoos
  • I am the real deal
  • Have not dated much my entire life and hope this works!
  • 2011 Update: After about six months off of Match, as I dated a wonderful woman I met here, I considered changing my original profile.
  • ****Update**** Had my profile off for a long time and since then have sold Cool Change and bought a nicer boat.
  • ** WARNING ** WARNING ** WARNING ** —– CAUTION REQUIRED —– ** WARNING ** WARNING ** WARNING ** (Reading this profile may cause anxiety, uncontrollable excitement, dizziness…)
  • I’m not a paying customer but I’ve been browsing the site a little bit

Since so many people use one of the above openings, you’ll have a real advantage just by starting with something more original. Here are some ideas:

Dip into your past.

Where you’ve been helped put you where you are now. It’s a great way to build pictures and show humor.

“My Grandpa used to take me on the lake when I was a kid. He taught me so many things on those trips… like not to pee in the water when Grandpa’s trying to fish.”

Rock your world.

Everyone has something that makes them smile. You can’t ask for a more positive start than the thing that makes you happiest.

“I love techno music. It always makes me break out in wild, arm-thrashing dancing… even when I’m squeezed between two oversized commuters on the MUNI.”

Pick an Activity

What you do says much about who are. Choose an activity that you enjoy at the weekends, and start with action.

“I’m a keen Frisbee golf player. It involves throwing a set of discs around a special course. And running away before the golfers catch us.”

Start with Your Job

Yes, you can even talk about work… as long as you do it with enough flair to keep things interesting.

“I’m a systems analyst. If your system breaks down, I’ll always be willing to come around, analyze it and say that you need to format your hard drive.”

Start With a Quote

And if all else fails, you can always steal someone else’s idea. There are enough quotations out there to sum up anyone’s feelings:

“‘Life is supposed to be fun!’ That’s what Abraham-hicks said, and that’s how I live.”

Of course, to make any opening work, people have to see it. They’re only going to do that if your photo hits the spot. Pick up new, natural looking online dating photos today from LookBetterOnline, and if you need help writing your profile be sure to check out our profile review and writing services.

How do you start your profile?

Online dating Advice: Is Match Losing to PlentyofFish?

match vs plentyoffish is now a household name. The site’s huge marketing budgets and strong history have made it synonymous with online dating. PlentyOfFish, by contrast, is a minnow. But at the moment, the small fry is winning and if Match doesn’t do something fast, it could well find that it’s no longer the biggest fish in the pond.

There are a number of reasons I think Match is losing out to PlentyOfFish:

Easy Profile Creation

While the first registration step to Match is short and consists only of one form asking for username, email and password, the complete profile is spread over no less than eight different pages.

After the initial basic information screen, PlentyOfFish offers just one more page (followed by an optional quiz) to enter all the information you need.

I am sure that Match thinks its process is more organized — and it looks organized on the page — but for the member, it’s so much easier to be able to complete everything on one page without having to click to the next page, and the next page after that.

This problem continues with profile updates. Every time you want to update a piece of information, you have to figure out which screen you need to reach in order to edit it. It’s a very tedious process. Registration

Match’s complete profile is spread over no less than eight different pages

PlentyOfFish Registration

After the initial basic information screen, PlentyOfFish offers just one more page (followed by an optional quiz) to enter all the information you need.

Instant Approval

Match has to approve every word you submit before you can publish it. The same is true of photos. You can upload any image you want, but you won’t be able to see it online until Match gives it a thumbs-up.

Why is this bad? Because when people sign up to a dating site they are excited and optimistic. They want to start playing right away!

Start sending emails before your submissions have been approved though, and the people you write to will only see half a profile. They’ll ignore you.

Sure, you can wait 24 hours but when you’ve just seen someone you’d really like to meet, you don’t want to wait a day before you can contact them. The same happens when you update a profile. You can’t be spontaneous! You have to wait and wait and wait.

Match Pending Photo

You can upload any image you want, but you won’t be able to see it online until Match gives it a thumbs-up.

I can understand Match’s thinking: they don’t want anyone to post a photo of themselves naked or — God forbid — upload porn. It’s a valid concern that PlentyOfFish doesn’t worry about for two reasons:

  1. It’s free. When people get something for nothing, they’re less likely to complain.
  2. It’s a lively community. When someone abuses the system, others are quick to report it and the profile is taken down fast.

PlentyOfFish wins here because its active community means that even the worst case scenarios (porn, advertisements, spam, etc.), are corrected quickly, allowing users to start messaging immediately.


Logging into Match can be like walking into a library. It’s quiet, it’s boring, and if there are people there, you don’t really know it. Sure, there are some interesting items to pull down and look at, but it’s not the kind of place that leads you start a conversation.


Logging into Match can be like walking into a library. It’s quiet, it’s boring, and if there are people there, you don’t really know it.

Logging into PlentyOfFish though is like walking into a hot bar full of people. The site is alive, active and dynamic. It has energy. It’s all down to the following features:

  • Who’s Online? – PlentyOfFish shows you who is currently online. If you’re interested, you can drop them a quick email and get a reply immediately. That’s instant gratification at its best!And because other people can see that you’re online, you get a lot more messages, giving you more reasons to come back.Match doesn’t have an “Who’s online?” page. You have to search, then tick a box. It’s too many steps for something so basic, and doesn’t incentivize returning to the site and staying on it.
  • Changing thumbnails – Each page on PlentyOfFish shows members’ thumbnails, often with the word “chat” below, inviting you to say hello. The pictures change constantly so that you feel there’s always a lot of people flowing through.On Match, I have to search before I can see anyone. PlentyOfFish introduces potential dates to me.

    PlentyOfFish thumbnails

    The pictures change constantly so that you feel there’s always a lot of people flowing through

  • Forums – A forum is a basic feature for any online community. It suggests activity and shows real people online, posting, talking and interacting with each another. You can read or participate and even contact those who you think are cool based on what they write. Why doesn’t Match do this?

At PlentyOfFish, you really feel you’re joining a party.


Logging into PlentyOfFish though is like walking into a hot bar full of people. The site is alive, active and dynamic.

Easy Profiles

While the PlentyOfFish profile is straightforward and completed in a single page, the Match profile is complex and hard to use. You see only three photos initially. (It took me a while to realize I can click “See more” to see the rest of the photos, but when I do, I have to wait for a new page to load… and wait again when I want to see each picture. And I still can’t see the picture and the profile at the same time.)

match profile

On Match, I can’t see the picture and the profile at the same time

PlentyOfFish puts all the photo thumbnails at the top of the page and enlarges them with a cursor hover. There’s no need to go to a new page, no need to wait for pages to load and I can see all the information I need right away.

Sophisticated design doesn’t always mean good design. Sometimes, simplicity is exactly what the user needs.

No Horny Teens or Dirty Old Men

One of the biggest problems with online dating is that every schmo can contact you. Both Match and PlentyOfFish — and every other dating site — have this problem, and there really isn’t a full solution. However, PlentyOfFish does have a brilliant feature that cuts out many of the undesired emails before they even reach you: the site lets you control who can write to you! You can filter your emails by:

  • Age. So no more emails from horny 19-year olds or creepy 75-year olds!
  • Gender. No emails from females if that’s not your thing.
  • Country. Nigerians who want to send me money will just have to find my email address.
  • Radius. If you’re not into long distance relationships, you can restrict contact to just those within a 75-mile radius.
  • Email size. You can even specify how long the email must be for a first contact — so no “hi” emails.

All these restrictions work in just one direction. You can still contact whoever you want, unless they’ve filtered you out, of course. For me and for most women, it’s not about the quantity of emails, it’s about the quality.

Now if I could only control a few more options like height, children, etc, that would make it even more powerful!

It’s pretty simple, and I really don’t know why Match hasn’t copied it.

PlentyOfFish lets you control who can write to you!

PlentyOfFish lets you control who can write to you!

More Emails

Even after restricting for age, country and radius I still receive about ten times more emails on PlentyOfFish than I do on Match. I opened both profiles on the same day with the same photos.

You might think that the quality of people on Match would be higher than the quality on a free site, but it really isn’t. Many people, like myself, use both sites and the quality varies on both.

I want options, which means more emails from quality members.

Better Email Notifications

When someone sends you a message on a dating site, you receive an email notification. When someone sends you a message from Match, that notification contains a whole bunch of functionality errors.

  1. The “from” email address changes with the user. The email always comes from [username]@talkMatch. Even if I add that address to my approved list, the next email — with a different username — will end up in my junk folder. It’s hugely frustrating.PlentyOfFish sends an email from the same address. You can add that address to your contacts, and messages will always go directly to your inbox.It’s a huge oversight on Match’s part and a very easy fix.
  2. The email contains too much information. Match’s emails don’t just contain the message. They also include the photo and some of the sender’s profile. But since most people don’t make a good first impression, I can ignore most of the messages I receive and never bother log in into Match. PlentyOfFish tells me that someone has been in touch but doesn’t tell me who they are or what they look like. It’s enough to make me curious, and that means I log in to the site. Once I’m there, even that person isn’t right for me, I’ll soon be browsing the thumbnails, chatting online and meeting new people. I’m an active user again.
  3. Wrong links. The link to the username on Match leads to a reply box, not the profile. It’s an odd thing and very annoying.

What Both Sites Are Missing

Where both Match and PlentyOfFish come up short is in the quality of the photos. On dating sites, the best dates go to the people with the best dating profile photos, leaving everyone else to settle for less than they could have won.

People do tend to look much better than the images they put on their profiles so posting bad dating profile photos reduce their opportunities every day. All a member needs is at least one good, professionally-taken photo of themselves, in a natural light at a flattering angle and with good composition.

Most people don’t expect to find a supermodel on a dating site, but they do want to know how you look like before they meet you, without having to guess and without taking a huge risk.

Both Match and PlentyOfFish do very little to educate their members about the importance of good photos, or offer easy solutions like which would allow them to take their online dating experience to the next level. On Match, for example, I can see ads for toothpaste and hotels but not for what members really need: good photos. PlentyOfFish advertises yet another dating site on which you can place a bad photo, but this time receive a bunch of fake emails and pay for rejection.

Online dating photos before and after

On dating sites, the best dates go to the people with the best pictures, leaving everyone else to settle for less than they could have won.


Match can keep acquiring free sites like OKCupid and still claim they are number one, but until they implement the appeal these free sites have — the simplicity, the ease of use, the instant gratification and a lively community — they will lose in the long run.

Do you think Match is losing this race?