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4 Unforgivable Mistakes You’re Making In Your Online Dating Profile

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Your dating profile sucks. Of course I know you have one. Don’t worry, I won’t tell your friends, even though they all probably know. I’ve been on and off OkCupid for a few years, and I didn’t come out of the “online dating” closet for a long time. Ultimately, they’re probably gonna make fun of you for a week until you start going on dates, and then they’ll get curious. But that’s not why we’re here. I don’t know how much/little effort you put into writing your profile, but I guarantee it sucks. You can’t just write your description once and then let it go. Your profile is like the Constitution. It’s a living, breathing document, and the US government doesn’t give a fuck about it. Here’s what I can almost guarantee you’re doing wrong.

1. Your pictures are dumb/out of focus/have other people in them.

This advice has been given hundreds of times, but apparently you yahoos out there haven’t been paying attention. If your picture is unflattering, DON’T USE IT. By the same token, if it’s five years old, but more flattering, STILL DON’T USE IT. Everyone knows what fashion looked like in 2007, because we were all alive then, remember? So if you have a polo shirt with thick horizontal stripes and a puka shell necklace in your profile picture, who the hell do you think you’re fooling? And stop putting up pictures with people who aren’t you. Guys don’t care if he’s your best friend, we’ll just assume he’s your ex. We don’t want to see him. And he’s probably secretly in love with you anyway, and we don’t need that kind of drama. Ask some of your female friends for pictures from things you guys have done. Trust me, they have hundreds that they haven’t found time to put on Facebook. If you have to, go to the park with some of your friends and have them take “candid” pictures of you. It’s lame, but you’re desperate, right? Otherwise why are you doing this?

2. You talk too much about how you feel and not what you do.

This is not a date or a presidential debate. Your opinions are useless here. Politics are going to immediately alienate half your audience. Plus, sometimes the best relationships are with people who disagree with you, so don’t turn them off because you can’t stop ranting about NObama or Rush “Pillz4Thrillz” Limbaugh. Your introspective thoughts about the meaning of existence and your ideas on what “art” really means are the biggest boner killers ever. Guys and girls alike want to know what you do.

“Oh, she says she likes the Giants. At the very least, I know she won’t get mad when I want to sit on the couch instead of going to brunch on Sundays.”

“Hey, he likes cats. Now I know that introducing him to Twiggy and Cuddles isn’t gonna scare him away.”

See? These are concrete things. Use them. You’ll get a lot more mileage out of talking about your backpacking trips than you will ranting about how reality TV is contributing to the continuing preeminence of the patriarchy. I think I gave myself cancer just by writing that.

3. You’re lying about pretty much everything.

If you don’t like the outdoors, it’s probably in your best interest to not bullshit about that. Otherwise you’re gonna show up for a date and he/she will suggest that you go hiking, and you’ll be too surprised and powerless to get out of what will soon prove to be the worst afternoon of your life. I get that you want to present yourself as a person people would actually want to date, and video games don’t play as well as charity work. But if you haven’t been in a soup kitchen since you finished your court-ordered community service, it’s probably best to leave that off. Plus, if you’re legitimately looking for someone to date long term, wouldn’t you want the people you’re potentially gonna go out with at least have some semblance of similarity to your interests? If everyone keeps lying about what they do for fun, we will keep seeing couples at modern art museums who both think the stuff on the walls is crap, but can’t get out of it because they both lied on their dating profiles.

4. You’re messaging people you have no business talking to.

Know your zone and stick to it. Yeah, I get it, you’re a fun, smart, hilarious flower, and just because you’re not as good looking as the rest of the people they’ve probably dated, you still have something to offer them. That might be true if you met them in real life. The great thing about going to bars and meeting people, or being introduced by a mutual friend is that those interactions leave room for your personality. The way you talk, your body language, all of that is completely null and void online. If you’re not as attractive as the person you’re messaging, you better have one hell of an opening sentence, or you are donezo for good. If you want to jump up three levels of attractiveness in your dating life, get a haircut, buy better clothes, and hit the gym. Otherwise, message people that you actually have a realistic chance of hearing back from. You’re not doing yourself any good by reaching for the stars when you have a 13-inch vertical.

All of this comes with a big caveat. If you are looking to just hook up with people, feel free to lie your ass off. I know it sounds sleazy, but I’m talking to both genders here. If you want to meet up for drinks and then go back to their place and play doctor, that’s your business. But you’d probably also be better served getting on Tinder. Everyone on there is looking to hook up with someone anyway. Don’t think you’re good looking enough to do well on Tinder? Then refer to the above paragraph about getting your shit together.

If you want to see a perfectly executed dating profile, you’re in luck. Here’s the link to mine.

I’m sure I’ll probably regret this, but I know people learn by example. I hope you all find the loves of your lives, or at least someone to mourn Breaking Bad with.

(And if you happen to be a female in the Greater Los Angeles area who thinks quoting Nietzsche is bullshit and loves Michael Bay’s early work, you know what to do.)

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Randall J. Knox

Randall J. Knox (known colloquially to his friends as "Knox") left his native Texas a few years ago, and moved to Los Angeles in his '03 Buick Regal named LeRoi to write movies with his jackass college buddies. His favorite things in life include bourbon that's above his pay grade, mix CDs, and Kevin Costner films. He isn't sure what "dad jeans" are exactly, but he knows he wants a pair.

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