Advice From a Pro: The Top 5 Profile Mistakes

By Laurie Davis

As an online dating coach I’ve written literally thousands of profiles – and my team and I have viewed hundreds of thousands. There are so many common mistakes we see, simple things that can massively hold you back from finding love (or even a date). When you delete our top five mistakes from your own profile, you’ll attract better matches!

1. Selfies

You may love selfies, but if you have any uploaded, they could be angling against you – especially if you’re a guy. When I sit next to women and view men’s profiles with them, selfies are nearly always a turn-off, often to the point of choosing not to message the gent.

For women, the selfie rule differs slightly. One or two won’t make-or-break your first digital impression, but it’s more important you show off some other angles in addition to your selfie. Guys want to see what your bod looks like, so make sure you have at least one full body photo uploaded. It’s the photo we find is the most important.

2. Too much, too soon

Even though dating sites are a public forum, it’s important to keep a bit of privacy. Many create usernames by recycling bits of their digital life – the beginning of your email address or your Twitter handle as your screen name of choice. It seems to make sense, because if you’re already identifying as “alexalovescrossfit” on the Web, surely you should use that in your profile, right? Wrong. This is a huge safety breach because someone could Google your screen name and find information about you before you meet.

Even still, once you write your profile, sit down and create a list of the top five terms that someone has access to about you — the words right there in your profile. One which we find commonly pulls up someone’s identity is: your first name + your job description + your alma mater. If you get a hit, stay calm. Remaining under the search radar is often as simple as deleting a few words from your profile. This way, you’ll be in control of what information your match has access to until you decide they’re worthy of a first date.

3. Exes

Leave the past behind and erase any mentions of your ex in your profile. It goes without saying (and typing) that you dated some duds as we all have, so there’s no need to mention anyone specifically or even indirectly, like through traits of theirs that rubbed you the wrong way or their lingering presence in a photo you uploaded. If you met a match in person, you wouldn’t open with a story about your ex, right? The same goes for online. Matches want to know that you’re future-thinking and have moved on.

4. Group photos

The logic behind uploading photos with your friends is sound – you want to show that you have an awesome social life. But statistically, photos with others don’t perform well. If you think about it, what you’re actually doing is competing with yourself by creating a distraction for the matches who land on your profile.

5. Sex Appeal Overload

Whether it’s the word sex or too much cleavage implied in your photos, keep it tucked away. For men, we see so many profiles that use phrases like “looking for someone who I have sexual chemistry with” or “make love with” and even “sensual times.” But if you’re looking for a serious relationship, it’s sending the wrong message. Sex is inherently a part of love – there’s no need to so blatantly describe your future romps. Similarly, for women, showing some decollate is a fabulous thing but showing full on cleavage is another. There is still something to be said for leaving an air of mystery – even online – so delete those bikini pics, but show off your legs in a skirt instead.

All this said, remember that your profile is your first impression and the beginning of the conversation … but not the end all, be all. Your messages often matter just as much, and can be the deciding factor as to whether or not a match will write back.

So I’ve made the chapter to my book on messaging matches available for free. The One could be the next person to pop into your inbox!

Laurie Davis is the CEO & Founder of, a personal branding service that helps singles navigate the online dating world and create lasting relationships. She’s also the author of the best-selling book, Love @ First Click: The Ultimate Guide to Online Dating.