10 Reasons I Ignored Your Dating Profile

elephant_dating copyI’ve dabbled in online dating over the years – a few good runs on Match, a brief stint on eHarmony, an excruciating six hours on Plenty of Fish – and after much trial and error, I’ve had some killer dates (bungee jumping) and some killer dates (his exact words were, “you don’t carry mace do you?”).

The dates I’ve taken have equipped me with enough stories and lessons to teach a master’s class; but for every adorable guy who greeted me holding his phone over his head playing “In Your Eyes,” there’s a date who didn’t order dinner because he “had a PB&J before I left the house.” Online dating is as risky as going to a restaurant without consulting Yelp – if you’re lucky, the red flags will start waving by the time you’ve ordered your first drink and you can make your escape. If not, you’re going to be stuck with some iffy leftovers.

Fortunately, many prospective dates will wave their red flags proudly right in their profiles and save you the trouble of a bad review. I recently consulted a bunch of friends (both male and female) to discuss their vetting process, and here’s why – no matter how good the menu looks – we pass over a profile:

1.You work hard and play hard. I don’t even know what this means, but I suspect it’s used as a foreshadowing mechanism so I’m not surprised if you stand me up for “a work thing.”

2. Your headline is a quote from a bro movie. I’m not impressed by your rich mahogany and calling someone a “stage-five clinger” is really third date material.

3.You like to laugh, you like to have fun, and you’re laid back. Methinks thou doth protest too much.

4. You use the phrase, “if that just offended you we wouldn’t make a good fit.” This thins the wrong herd.

5. You end your two sentence profile with, “if you want to know more just ask.” You’re the guy who is going to text me “what up” at two in the morning.

6. Your hobbies include working out, your favorite hotspot is the gym, and four of your photos are abs down. I get it, you’re fit. That’s great but I’m not interested in spending our first date comparing heart rates over a bottle of Gatorade.

7. You don’t want drama. Liar.

8. Your bathroom mirror is responsible for all of your profile pictures. I’m not sure whether I’m more concerned that you appear to be a loner or that your smartphone doesn’t have a front-facing camera.

9. You can’t spell. This is me just being judgmental.

10. The last thing you read was Maxim. The last thing I read was a box of Lucky Charms but that’s between me and me. If you haven’t learned how to tell a little white lie by now you’re not ready for a real relationship.

My friends and I have undoubtedly saved some time by recognizing these red flags, although we likely have shortchanged ourselves a good story or two.

Whether or not you’ve ever screened a date online first, there are always red flags in any method of dating. What are your major red flags?


About WhiteElephantInTheRoom

I'm an 80s music lover, traveling junkie, mac & cheese connoisseur, amateur wine snob, party-planning priestess and Chicago transplant living in Southern California. I find adventure in the everyday and have a unending compulsion to write about it. Hope you enjoy reading my mind!
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50 Responses to 10 Reasons I Ignored Your Dating Profile

  1. Life isnt all about red flags. I married a woman that put out on the first date, and have more horror stories about women I met in church than anyone…

  2. Love your writing, have included you as “other writers I like” on my homepage…
    Keep up the great words.

  3. I should have seen the red flag long before dinner, but I actually had a Match.com guy admit that he was trying to hypnotize me during dinner. F4 Abort!!

  4. kitchenmudge says:

    Typo in #5. It’s all over.

  5. nancyfrancis says:

    I particularly enjoy when their first message includes a request for ‘more pics’ – even though my profile has 8 very clear photos of myself, including closeups and full body. You want me to send you porn, I’m on to you!

  6. Matthew says:

    A major red flag for me is a laundry list of ‘Don’t message me if…’ or ‘What I’m not looking for…’ I’m all for having standards and expectations but doing this usually makes me think one of the following:
    -you’re bitter
    -you’re not over an ex
    -you are going to come with major baggage
    -you focus too much on the negative
    -no one is ever going to be ‘good enough’ for you

    I understand women probably get the most horrific messages, at large volume, from online dating and that it can get extremely frustrating but using your profile as a sounding board against those sorts of things doesn’t give me a reason to send a message to you of any substance.

    • Totally agree. It’s like when you’re in a store and every sign says, “don’t touch this,” “this is forbidden,” “if your kids do this we’re calling the cops”… doesn’t give you the warm and fuzzies.

  7. LOL this makes me insanely glad not to be single – these dudes are no prizes!

  8. karen says:

    Me think you doth make me laugh out loud…..

  9. While I’m grateful you shared this hilarious piece, who do I speak to about cleaning the vodka I just spat everywhere in a fit of laughter off my laptop?

    I don’t normally share links to my own blog but I thought you may fully appreciate these 10 horror stories.

  10. Amy says:

    These are genius. I also love “my kids come FIRST” (unnecessarily defensive much?), “no gold diggers”, “no fatties”, “I’m just an average guy” (eg boring), using the word “lover” or the term “making love” in your profile…so many more…

  11. onemomstips says:

    one thing that turned me off when I was online dating was… Im a little shy. That means we are going to sit at a table staring at each other because your too afraid to talk to me. I ran from those guys. You certainly do learn a lot. Great post

  12. Pingback: Online Dating: A Good Way to Waste Time | A Dating Dogs Blog

  13. brilliant. read this post, wishing i’d written it.

  14. curvedog says:

    Brilliant! I wish I wrote this!

  15. Atypical Aryan Librarian says:

    My online date told me that the reason he was able to get through college with ADHD was because he slept the entire time. He was so smart that the professors didn’t want to wake him up or he’d correct their work. Then he made fun of my Masters degree.

  16. logandolsen says:

    I just realized I posted a derivitave of this post, hope you don’t mind, you got me thinking.

  17. Dave says:

    An 11th reason, as if 10 weren’t enough to raise the red flags of ‘Don’t Go There!’ is when he’s has his profile photos done by a professional, and looks like a cover model..in the photos, but is a diminutive, dumpy baldy in reality…yeah, I’m shallow, I know, but SOME truth in advertising please!

  18. mrdinosaursaysrawr says:

    This is hilarious. My immediate turn off is bad grammar. It doesn’t matter if a person sounds like my idea of perfection itself, if they can’t take the time to put a ‘yo’ before ‘u’, I’m out. I just can’t forgive it.

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  23. Great stuff!!! I recently rejoined Match.com. I’m glad to have these very important tips : )

  24. 1stpeaksteve says:

    I have had a slew of dates and communication in the past that has left me slowly backing up as I plan my escape route.

    From one of the first messages on a dating site:
    “You don’t seem to be interested in getting married”
    -Well, we have not even met in person yet so how can I be ready for marriage?

    After meeting an old co-worker who I used to think was alright (before the career change):
    “By the way, I am a stripper now. You don’t have to work anymore. I will take care of everything.”
    -We never dated in the past and I just ran into you 15 minutes before hand. Maybe you might be moving a bit to fast!

    At the end of a date:
    “Can you see yourself falling in love with someone like me?”
    -Once again…maybe a bit to early for this question. I did enjoy the dinner and you told some funny stories but maybe I can figure this out after another date – or forty!

    I guess I am a kook magnet!

  25. I met my husband online but I had to date 40 other men before I met him. I averaged 4 dates a day on weekends. I kept a record of everyone I went out with in a file, much to the amusement of my friends but I thought it might help the police if I disappeared. Most were nice enough with only a few crazies and one downright dangerous guy who I refused to meet in person. He sent me threatening texts for a while but he made the mistake of using his work phone so I told his boss (who happened to be an old boy friend) and he was fired. 3 or 4 or them may have got somewhere if I hadn’t met the man I married and quickly forgot about them! We’ve been together three years soon and married for a year. He’s the head of an energy company and so far I’ve lived in 5 different countries since our marriage. Online dating is exhausting. I only did it for 6 weeks but it was ultimately worth it. It’s important to have a thick skin and escape plan but brutal honesty works as well. If you give hope you invite pestering.

    • Bill T says:

      ?? 6 weeks?? Jeez, you WERE on a mission! 🙂 But this is just another example of the terrible man-woman ratio on these dating sites, and the bad odds of a guy finding someone OK

  26. Also.. this one is brilliant.

  27. Bill T says:

    Liked the article, but must admit I usually find these “dating guru” blogs a bit snippy. Most of the flaws noted on here are prominently featured in women’s profiles too – maybe even more so, because guys are usually the ones under pressure to have strong profiles and emails.

    Point #3 isn’t all that bad as long as it’s not the WHOLE profile. What’s the big deal? Some or all of those words are in at least half of women’s profiles I’ve seen. (“I laugh a lot” “looking for someone to make me laugh”). If guys DON’T mention something like that in the profile, then a male guru is going to tell us that women will think we are dull (yes, yes – I know the response to that: “don’t actually say you are funny, write something original and funny”)

    In any case, the truth is that because of the numbers game, a flaw-free male profile is still very likely to be ignored.

  28. girlseule says:

    I always think it’s a red flag when I see “I’ve been hurt by every woman ever, you are all horrible, but will someone on this site prove me wrong? Probably not.”
    I’m not sure that misogyny is the best way to try and score a date, but I see it all the time in profiles.

  29. Sheri Ann Stanley says:

    Even worse, getting indecent proposals from Christian Mingle….where are all the good ones?

  30. yammeringlew says:

    Great post. I always like to read these online dating posts. I’ve tried match.com, but mostly got nowhere. It’s pretty frustrating when you do craft a bunch of nice emails, and then you notice that often the woman never even read them, but instead just checked out your profile and dismissed you. What I have always been curious about is, why do almost all of the women refuse to use the IM feature? Is it because of too many creepy guys who messaged them in the past? I always thought that someone’s profile and crafted emails are really not a very good way of judging whether a person is a good potential date. However, if you spend just just a few minutes IMing someone, you can get a pretty good sense of their personality, whether there is interest/chemistry, etc. Seems to me online dating could be a much better experience if more women would use the IM feature. Also, I admit it would also be much better if LESS men used it (the creeps and weirdos). Those guys pretty much ruined IMs for the rest of us guys sadly.

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  32. Nick Knight says:

    I can agree with this post. All of these things annoy me! I liked how you pointed out the “You like to laugh, you like to have fun, and you’re laid back.” I just need to find something that we both have in common so that when we meet, we can talk about that along with your mirror pictures. Haha.

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