Dating is rarely easy, and most of us tend to make the same kinds of mistakes. While there might be the occasional person who makes some unique mistakes, for most of us, it’s just doing the same silly things over and over again. If you can’t quite see where you’re going wrong, check out this list of common online dating fails and see if any apply to you.
When you create an online dating profile, your photo is usually the first thing that people see. So one of the worst mistakes you can make is to use a photo that doesn’t put you at your best advantage. In fact, the only thing worse is to not use a photo at all.
In short, if you want people to pass your profile on by, use a photo that’s taken in dim light, where you’re squinting, scowling, or even better, making a rude gesture at the camera. Bonus points if you cover your face with a huge floppy hat, or crop half your head out of the photo.
It’s easy to fail here — just don’t fill in the profile. Or, use a picture of Scooby Doo for your profile shot and answer every question with “Ruh roh Raggy!”
Just the same as with the photo, if you don’t take this part of the process seriously, you’re unlikely to get many people expressing any interest. Fill out the profile honestly and accurately, and don’t leave any questions blank. If there are any opportunities to do so, try asking a question yourself — something to pique interest, and hopefully tempt people to message you.
If you’re serious about online dating, it can take up quite a bit of time. However, it’s important that you don’t cut corners when you’re contacting people for the first time. Sending out hundreds of messages that just say “Hi :)” might be quick, but it makes a terrible impression.
In fact, this one issue highlights why online dating fails for so many people: they don’t take the time to read profiles or send personalized messages. If you treat people as though they’re interchangeable — by sending the same message to every single person — it shows, and you’re unlikely to get any meaningful replies.
What should you do instead? For each match you find, read their profile carefully, and craft a reply that shows you’ve read it. Tell the person why you like their profile, and why you think you’re a good match for them.
One excellent way to make people frustrated and quickly lose interest in you is to reply to their messages extremely slowly. For worse results, wait a week or more before you reply.
The best strategy is to reply to messages promptly (at the very least, it’s the polite thing to do), and don’t be afraid to show your interest — it makes the other person feel good, and if interacting with you makes them feel good, they’re more likely to want to keep doing it. Don’t make the mistake of holding back to make them feel insecure. It’s unkind, and doesn’t do either of you any favours.
To be really good at failing, you have to give up ASAP. On the other hand, if you don’t want to fail at online dating, you’ll want to persevere, even if you don’t get any results right away. No matter how you go about it, it often takes time to meet someone you’re interested in a relationship with, so don’t get discouraged if it takes longer than you were expecting.