The 5 cliches to avoid in your online dating profile
Have you noticed how everyone’s dating profile is starting to look and sound exactly the same? You’re an individual, with unique tastes, aspirations and personality, so why opt for a ‘cookie cutter’ dating profile that looks just like the next person’s? You can do better than this! You want a dating profile that shouts individuality and really reflects who you are as a person. You want to stand out from the crowd, with a dating profile that jumps off the screen. Yass! Read on for our top 5 cliches to avoid in your online dating profile so you can stop sounding like everyone else and make your way to dating profile heaven…
This is a dating photo that everybody seems to want to include in their profile – a shot of you posing in the middle of a group of friends at a festival, party or wedding. It shows that you have a great social life and lots of friends. That may be true, but there are also lots of downsides to choosing this approach and by doing it, you’re putting a lot of unnecessary barriers in the way to meeting your Mr or Ms Right. What could we possibly mean? OK – what if potential dates aren’t sure which one in the photo you are? Or what if they decide they don’t like the look of your friends? Or even worse, what if they decide they prefer the look of one of your friends to you? Either way, they’re not going to be swiping the way you want them to be. They’ll just move on. Why make it more complicated than it needs to be? You have a matter of seconds to grab attention, so be the sole focus of your dating photos and don’t waste time on group shots. You have much more opportunity to show your personality and what’s great about you if it’s just you in the photo.
Generic phrases that could apply to anyone
You should be trying to stand out in your dating profile, not blend in. Are you using phrases like “I love going to the cinema, theatre, taking long walks and eating out”? Hmmm. Are these really the most interesting things about you? Could these common pastimes not apply to 99% of people? If you really must say you love to travel, talk about the last destination you visited and why it inspired you. If you really want to mention films and reading, then be specific and talk about which are your favourite books and films and why. Even better, make your profile reflect what’s in your dating photos and vice versa. If your pics show you in your favourite cafe or park, tell us about it and why it’s so cool. If your dating photos show you snapping away with your camera, talk about why you love taking pictures and which photographers are inspiring you right now. Your dating profile is your opportunity to present your personal brand and what makes you tick, so make sure everything about it really represents you.
Shots of you hiking/scuba diving/water skiing (delete as appropriate)
Ah yes, the action dating photo – another classic. You want to convince potential lovers that you’re an action hero with an exciting and dangerous lifestyle, living life on the edge and throwing caution to the wind at any opportunity. That’s why you want to include shots of you at the top of a mountain, diving with sharks, windsurfing, bungee jumping or any other type of extreme sport or activity. So what’s wrong with this approach? Well, firstly, you are likely to be very small in the photo. There’s lots of mountain, or sea, or cliff behind you and it’s pretty hard for people to make out any kind of detail in your face or body. Secondly, the most important part of your face is likely to be obscured – and that’s your eyes. If you’re wearing a scuba diving mask, or ski goggles, then people can’t really tell whether or not they’re attracted to you. And they’ll just move on. And lastly – as much as you might think it is, THIS IS NOT UNIQUE. Everyone has this type of photo in their dating profile, and so it really doesn’t make you seem different. If you really want to stand out, ditch this photo and include a well lit head and shoulders shot of you where you can see your eyes. This will work far harder to show what’s unique about you than any extreme sport photo will.
Telling us who you’re trying to avoid
It’s become quite common to reel off a list of things that turn you off, or the type of people you’re trying to avoid in your dating. For example, many women say “don’t bother to get in touch unless you’re over 5’7” tall” or “no hookups please”. You even find people trying to show off how good they are at grammar by saying things like “don’t contact me if you don’t know the difference between you’re and your.” You might think that it’s good to look picky, or to show that you have standards. But actually all you’re doing is wasting opportunities to sell yourself and why people should want to date you. You’re here to meet someone special, so don’t start off by sending out negative vibes. Be positive, say what you are looking for and more importantly, show your personality and you’ll attract positive, like minded people.
This is the type of photo that you’ll still see on the vast majority of dating profiles out there. Even though we are trying to meet the love of our lives, we still think it’s appropriate to use a photo that we’ve taken ourselves on our crappy phone camera. WHY, PEOPLE, WHY!? We all know that you have to take at least 25 selfies to get one that’s even vaguely acceptable and even then it’s never entirely flattering. Do celebs appear on the cover of Vogue magazine with selfies that they’ve taken themselves? No. And with good reason! A selfie also sends a message to others that this isn’t a serious thing for you, or something you’re investing much time or effort in. If you’re just setting up your profile in five mins with a few quick phone selfies, does this suggest you’re expecting or hoping to meet potentially the most important person in your life? The instant, casual nature of a selfie is great if a casual affair is what you’re looking for. But if this is a serious endeavour for you, then invest some serious time and effort into your dating pics! There’s also another very important reason why a selfie won’t cut the mustard if you want a dating profile that stands out from the crowd. And that is it won’t allow you any opportunity to show your personality or what makes you different. You can’t include an interesting backdrop of your favourite park or cafe; you can’t be seen holding something meaningful to you like a book, camera or sketchbook because your hands are too busy taking the photo. Photos taken by someone else that include a backdrop and more of your body are much better for attracting dates. (And we should know, we’ve taken a few.)
Let us help you create a unique, cliche free dating profile by booking a dating photo shoot with us right here.
Cool words by Lauren and sassy photos by Saskia for Hey Saturday, London.