Online Dating Pitfalls

Common Mistakes in Internet Dating

Despite my love of Internet dating, there are some common online dating pitfalls that people new to the online singles community should understand. That’s why this blog occasionally touches on the subject again of things to watch out for when dating over the computer, because it needs reiteration every once in a while.

You want to find love on the World Wide Web to make your life richer and fuller, and the last thing you need is to add pain, emotional stress, and heartache because of a bad Internet date.

Getting a Date – Online Dating Pitfalls

Lets’ start with the common errors people when trying to attract people online. There are certain rookie mistakes many people make when filling out their profile and post their profile picture. Listen to these ideas and you’re likely to attract more date prospects.

Write a Good Profile

Profiles need to be certain things. A profile can’t be too short (jot a few sentences) and can’t be too long (they stop reading, you sound boring). Write a profile that is about three normal-sized paragraphs long. This gives you time to make a nice sketch of yourself, without giving too many details.

“Character sketch” is the term you should remember. You don’t want to give every detail of your life. You want a snapshot, not a scrapbook, here. Mention a few interests or hobbies. Add a little humor, but don’t be tasteless or provocative. Be an individual. Be unique, without trying to be shocking. Be charming. Always leave them wanting more.

When you write your dating profile, re-read the profile at least twice. Make any spelling or grammatical corrections, and get rid of the typos. Ask yourself a few questions. “Is this too cliched?” “Does it present me in a positive light?” “Does it portray the real me at all?”

Be Yourself – Avoid Details – Dating Profile Tips

Be yourself and be honest, but don’t be too honest. That is, don’t give too many details about yourself. A good example of what not-to-do is to say something like, “I’m just coming through a bitter divorce and I’m an emotional wreck.” You don’t want people to pity you. You don’t want people thinking you are bitter and jaded with the whole scene. That isn’t attractive.

Show the attractive side of your personality, then discuss the background when you get to know one another better – and you have affection for one another. That way, the “bitter breakup guy” isn’t the first impression you make.

Another reason to avoid too many personal details is that there are people who search for personal information on dating sites to use against a person, such as identity thieves, scam artists, and online singles pickup artists. Get to know people before you give them your full name, and by all means do not give a home address or phone number. Let all contacts be through the safety net of the online dating website. Most reputable e-dating sites have an anonymous email contact interface, so you don’t have to reveal too much.

Profile Photo Tips

If we only knew, I’m sure that most people’s single biggest bane in the Internet dating community is their profile photograph. Bad photos are a huge turnoff, and there are several common pitfalls peole fall into with these.

One is to take a bad photo which is blurry or doesn’t show the person in a positive light. You don’t need a professional photographer taking your picture, but you do want a flattering photo which shows the best side of you. Make it clear and close-up.

Also, don’t post a photo that clearly crops out other people, because everyone looking at it is going to think this is some ex. That is not what you want to remind people about. When people are browsing through online dating profiles, they are going to read a couple of sentences of your profile and look at your picture.

Do yourself a favor and present a good photograph. This is a first impression, so mismatched clothes, disshevelled hair, and other unattractive poses are not going to get the job done.

No Emotional Baggage – Online Dating Profile Tips

Let’s go back to the online dating profile for an instant. Don’t put in phrases that smack of bitterness and negativity, such as “I’m tired of playing games” or “Broken heart needs healing”. Imagine the type of people this appeals to. The average single might feel a momentary sympathy for you, then they move on to ask out the people who seem attractive, positive, and focused on the future. Save your rants and complaints for your analyst, your priest, your bartender, or your best friend. An Internet dating profile is no place to cry in your beer.

First Contact – Be Honest, Yet Upbeat

Once again, in your initial contact emails, be short, upbeat, and honest. You might find it difficult to be upbeat and honest at the same time, but it’s an email conversation, so you have plenty of time to edit your thoughts. Internet singles are like singles anywhere else: they want someone who is going to uplift their life, not drag them down in their cares and worries. You want to be seen as an asset, not a liability.

Don’t write a book in your first contact emails. That comes off as desperate and pandering, as if you have a need for this person to like you. Be short and sweet.

Online Dating Honesty

Be honest about your job, your salary, and other facets of your life. If you fudge on these facts and this relationship goes anywhere, your lies are eventually going to be revealed. You don’t want to have to explain why you lied or exaggerated to impress this person in the first place, and the very fact that you’re willing to deceive your potential girlfriend or boyfriend could derail the relationship right there. Honesty is the best policy, if you don’t want to waste your time and theirs.

Be Honest about Your Intentions

Also, be honest about what it is you’re searching for. If you want a serious relationship, say it. If you want a light dating relationship or companionship, say that, too. If you want to be friends and nothing else, say that. If you want a sexual partner with no commitment, or friends with benefits, say that. Casual relationships are fine, as long as both people know that going in. Don’t lead somebody on, because there’s just need to do that. If you want any of the above, you can find it online. It’s a huge dating pool.

Be Aware – Pick Up on the Signs

When a conversation goes well, pick up on the signs and move to the next step. When a conversation is a disaster or doesn’t go so well, be aware and move on to the next single. When you agree to do something, such as more email, a chat or IM conversation, be sure to follow through on what you say you’re going to do. That is, be reliable from the beginning. Blowing somebody off from the start might make them want you more, but since it’s an online dating acquaintance and “attraction” is more tenuous, you’re probably just more likely to piss them off.

Know Your Audience – Online Dating Pitfalls

Find the right online dating community for you. There are all kinds of niche singles communities online, so find one that caters directly to you, and exploit that opportunity. You can find Christian dating, Muslim dating, Hindi dating, ethnic dating of any sort, seniors communities, over $100,000 dating, BDSM, whatever you can imagine. Find one where you’re likeliest to make a connection and start making a connection.

On the flip side, don’t go to a Christian dating site and expect the women you meet to be into bondage, just as you wouldn’t go to the BDSM site and expect Christianity to be high on the list of the people’s priorities. In other words, some Internet dating pitfall avoidance is a matter of common sense.


  1. A pitfall I have noticed is that inet dating is not for the faint of heart. It can be an arena for a man to just play with his fantasies, talk to women, and that is as far as it gets. I can’t tell you how many “I’ll call you… I’ll text you… have just faded into the woodwork. One night I apparently became part of a man’s sexual fantasy and he texted me a photo to show the results.. Ick.. Also, I have met some who after I met them, decided…”Oh, I don’t want a woman after all”… it seems like many men are not seriously seeking relationships but a few forays with a woman- just enough to feel playful and alive. I am exhausted by all this emotional yo yo ing… I am done with it – at least for a while. TOO MUCH WORK for very little results. I must say that I am in the 50-60 age group..

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