4 Common Mistakes Guys Make Online That Keep Them From Finding True Love

Bathroom selfies – If you take a shirtless-bathroom-mirror-selfie and post it online, you’re basically begging to be ignored or even ridiculed.

There are so many women out there whose greatest desire is to meet an amazing man to love and be loved by. Millions of those women turn to online dating to find that man. Maybe you are that man. But she’ll never know it – unless you stop making the kind of mistakes online that pretty much guarantee a quality woman will never respond to you, much less meet and fall in love with you.

I am a love and lifestyle coach who works with single people who don’t want to be single. Most of them are women. We get them set up with an awesome profile, gorgeous photos and a can-do attitude. Then, inevitably they are bombarded with so much unnecessary, depressing awfulness that I have to beg and cajole them to keep going. -

There are men who are finding love online. It’s not necessarily because they’re better looking than you or more successful. I have seen handsome, successful men with terrible profiles that turn most women off. Conversely, I’ve seen guys who are so good at putting together a thoughtful profile, getting good photos, and sending lovely messages that they are able to attract women who might not otherwise give them the time of day.

The good news is that the biggest mistakes I see men making online are completely avoidable. Please, for your sake and the sake of the women who might be looking for a guy like you, please follow these four guidelines:

#1 — Don’t use terrible photos.

There are many categories of terrible profile photos. This entire article could be dedicated to terrible photos. It could be dedicated to selfies alone. In the interest of time, I will summarize the worst kinds of selfies and a few of the other awful photos women encounter in at least half of all male profiles.

Mirror selfies – Men, if you must selfie (and I’m not recommending that you do) please do not selfie in a mirror. If you really must see what you look like the instant you take the photo, at least use your phone’s flipcam.

Shirtless selfies – Yes, women appreciate a hot bod. But they don’t appreciate your vanity in flexing your muscles for a shirtless selfie. It’s such a cliché. Many women will specifically not respond to your message because of your shirtless selfie.  Please don’t!

Bathroom selfies – If you take a shirtless-bathroom-mirror-selfie and post it online, you’re basically begging to be ignored or even ridiculed.

Webcam selfies – I’ve never seen a good webcam selfie. Never. And they make you look like a shut-in, so they’re doubly terrible.

Multiple selfies – If you have 10 profile photos and they’re all selfies it is not good. Prove that you have at least one friend (or at least a tripod) that can take a photo of you

Sedated tigers/lions/jackelopes – In addition to the fact that it’s not at all impressive to women that you posed with a drugged and chained wild animal, it’s beyond cliché. Please delete immediately. (But if you have a photo of you and your dog, please keep that one. Women are suckers for that.)

Pictures of your car – Unless you personally built it with your own hands, picked it up off a small child trapped underneath it, or drove it across the Alaskan tundra, we don’t want to see you posing with your car. The fancier your car, the more obnoxious this is.

Not smiling – Women don’t need you to grin ear to ear in every photo. But at least show us that you’re not really grumpy/scary/aloof with one little smile.

Photos with scantily clad women – Maybe someone can help enlighten me about the psychology of this – are you saying you want to date women who look like the women in your photo? Are you a player? Is it a sign of your virility? Do you frequent strip clubs? See? It’s confusing.

Photos with a bunch of other guys – Which one are you? If we have to look at multiple photos to figure out who you are, chances are we’ll either just move on to the next or be disappointed you’re not your better looking friend. Harsh, but true.

#2 — Don’t send terrible messages.

When messaging a woman online, you should bear in mind that she has an inbox filled with messages that say the following (in their entirety):

  • hi
  • hi sexy
  • ur so sexy
  • hi pretty
  • hi my black queen/asian princess/blond princess/etc
  • soo sexy
  • damn sexy
  • nice [body part]
  • ur beautiful
  • u r hot
  • i wanna chat with u
  • u wanna chat?
  • call me 917-555-1212
  • you look good for a _____________. (As a general rule, never say this to any woman ever.)

When a woman sees a “hi” in her inbox she immediately feels pressure to think of what to write back (assuming she’s inclined to do so based on your profile) and will oftentimes just ignore it. “Hi,” as a stand-alone message just shows that you didn’t take the time to discern anything about her and you’re putting the burden on her to keep the conversation going.

As for the rest of the above, believe me when I say these are never, ever going to be responded to by any quality woman who values herself.

It takes effort to write a thoughtful message to every woman who catches your eye online. But that’s the point – women see and appreciate that effort. If you’re really in a rush, a simple “Hi, how’s your day going?” is still ten times better than “hi.”

Even more likely to elicit a response is “Hi, how’s your day going? I love [insert something she mentioned in her profile here] too. Have you been to [insert something that logically follows from the topic you’re discussing]?”

#3 — Don’t write a terrible profile.

When it comes to what you write in your profile, it is so easy to stand out in a good way! Avoid the following and you’ll rise above the rest:

“Ask me anything” – There are a lot of men whose “About Me” consists of “I’m an open book – ask anything you want to know.” Guys, you haven’t given anyone enough info to be so intrigued they’d want to know anything about you. This is a very lazy/entitled thing to say.

“Women suck” – OK, I’ve not heard of anyone saying this so blatantly. But if you’re complaining about women in general, or your lying ex specifically, you come across as really bitter and not-so-secretly of the opinion that “women suck.” Unsurprisingly, this does not make us want to date you!

“This is what I don’t want” – To be fair, just as many women do this in their profiles as men. Let’s all agree to eliminate the “don’t bother contacting me if you’re ___________” type statements, OK? It’s much easier to attract what you do want than repel what you don’t. 

“I’m only attracted to ___________” – If you’re tempted to specify the physical characteristics you desire, just don’t. You don’t have to date anyone you don’t want to, of course. But if you say this in your profile, you risk alienating even the women who do meet your criteria.

#4 — Don’t act badly. I’m not going to mention the sexually aggressive or inappropriate men that women have to contend with online. You’re still reading, so I assume this isn’t you. However, even good guys make some of the following mistakes. Multiple unanswered messages. You have to recognize that women get a lot of messages online. This isn’t to discourage you, but to inform you that sending multiple messages before she’s had a chance to reply is a surefire way to overwhelm and alienate. Flaking out when it gets too real. I don’t mean to imply that only men are guilty of this, because that is certainly not true. If you’re happy to message back and forth and then go radio silent once she suggests you meet up, please put some kind of “not here to actually date” disclaimer in your profile. Asking for too many personally identifying details. It could be that you’re just making conversation. Nine times out of ten it’s probably harmless curiosity, but it can come across as potentially unsafe for a woman who is (understandably) concerned about her safety.

Online dating provides a great opportunity to connect with other singles all over the world. Used well, it can literally change your life and help you find love. Because so many people (male and female) are so bad at it, you can be a rockstar with just a little more effort. Happy dating! 

This article originally appeared at The Good Men Project. Get the best of The Good Men Project delivered daily or weekly, or become a Premium Member!

If you like this article, please share it! Your clicks keep us alive!