Dating profiles - a short rant and some tips for doing it better (mostly for blokes)

I follow a brilliant dating coach who often shares insights into the do's and don'ts of online dating.  

Today she gave some examples of what 'not to do' in your profile picture.  Seemed like a good opportunity to add my two cents, and share some of the extraordinary things I've seen in the last 6 months (to the day) since being on Tinder.  Whilst this is about what I have seen on men's profiles, similar things probably apply to women


  • Hospital photos: why? Why would a guy put up a picture of himself in a hospital gown with breathing apparatus, or a drip, or a broken bone? Some even appear to be of someone asleep in the hospital bed. I can only assume this is a profile done by a friend for a laugh. Surely?
  • Dead animal photos: why? Why would a guy put up a picture of himself in camo, with a bloodied and presumably dead animal across his shoulders?
  • Junk photos: why oh why oh why?  A photo of your chaotic lounge, or bathroom sink if it's a mirror selfie, or cluttered office does not give me hope.  And the other junk...erm, no. Just no. 
  • This is me 20 years ago photos...this is me as a kid photos...: Lovely. Let's save those for when I get to meet your mother and look at the albums. 
  • Travel photos:  Brilliant, love those.  Unless it's you with a hot chick in a bikini, or a dancing girl, or worse, in a group of people and I don't know which one is you
  • Famous people photos:  Interesting, but not as a profile pic.  
  • You and your hot younger friend photo:  Not sure which one you are, so keep this one for another time.
  • Snapchat filtered pictures: you're not 12. Just don't do it

What works:  

  • A head and shoulders (do it on self-timer if you have to) as the first picture
  • A picture that you are smiling in
  • A casual snap, maybe with your pet
  • A photo thats not blurry
  • Perhaps another picture of you doing something you love

Profile comments:

You only get one shot at this, and insider tip...women swipe through almost as fast as men.  Here's some stuff not to write (unless you want to attract someone needy and a little bit cray crazy

  •  No time wasters (like I buying a car?)
  • If you're needy move along 
  • I seem to mainly attract crazy that you? If so, don't swipe
  • I like to spend all my weekends fishing/diving/on my motorbike/mountain biking/at the gym:  Do you though? 
  • Looking for NSA/FWB: If you are, then say so.  And if you aren't looking for a relationship, don't say that you are. 
  • Including a 'shopping list' about looks (height, size, hair colour). You don't need to do this - just don't swipe on the ones you don't like!

What works:

  • A friendly hello and a sentence or two about you
  • Being warm and clear about what you are looking for
  • Get a friend to help create your profile if you're not sure. Ideally a friend of the opposite sex.

Starting the conversation

Don't be one is quite sure what the rules are here.  If you want to chat to someone, send them a message but not...

  • hey!
  • you up?
  • hi there
  • hello
  • using endearments off the bat (hey darling)
  • straight in with the 'you're so beautiful' type compliments. Ugh. 
What works:

  • An actual sentence... hi there xxx I really liked xxx on your profile
  • A question about something in their profile or a picture
  • A real compliment about something in a photo

Hope this helps.  Good luck with your dating!

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