Biggest turn-offs on a dating profile

By: Lucy B |

Once upon a time, we’d agonise over what to wear on a first date – and that’s still true – but gone are the days of the first date being the first impression that you make. Now, it’s all about the online profile! It’s important to be true to yourself, but obviously, we all try to put our best foot forward – especially when meeting the love of your life hangs on a single swipe.

Now, obviously you’re not going to list your absolute worst traits on your profile, but in an effort to project your best self, a lot of people make some common mistakes that will actually put people off your profile without meaning to. So in your earnest attempt to attract a soulmate, you wind up doing the exact opposite. 

Psychologists, data analysts and surveys have managed to nail down some of the biggest turn offs on a dating profile. Some are pretty self-explanatory, while others are quite surprising! Take a look at some of these usual suspects below and see if your profile might be in need of some tweaking. 

The Photo

They say don’t judge a book by its cover, but let’s face it (pardon the pun!) – if you’re online dating, the profile picture will be one of, if not the biggest factor when it comes to finding a match. It’s been found that bathroom selfies are a big no – whether it’s in your own house or at a trendy restaurant, most people aren’t fans of these.

Either we see your explosion of bath products, filthy hair brush and dirty clothes hamper or get the impression that if you were going out on a date, you’d spend half an hour pouting at yourself in the restrooms. This one probably shouldn’t come as a surprise, but heavy filters, including things like flowers or dog tongues and even heavy use of emojis really puts people off.

Gym photos can also be a problem. Aside from unflattering gear or excess sweat or people working out in the background, gym selfies tend to convey a rather narcissistic image. Also if you’re putting your honest age and picking a photo you took in highschool.

Of course unless there are reasons why you can’t, such as a medical condition or religion, don’t cover up your face either. Things like scarves or sunglasses are popular choices, but it will immediately give people trust issues. By hook or by crook, the aim of the game is to eventually meet you in person and they’ll immediately know if you’ve used misleading photos of yourself.

On the topic of misleading, group photos can be an issue as well. It’s fine to include one or two pictures showing you hanging out with your friends, but if there are too many and people start to wonder which one you are, they’re unlikely to stick around to find out.

Also, we humans can be quite jealous by nature – avoid pictures with attractive people of the opposite sex. While you might think this makes you seem more desirable, what you’re in fact doing is giving people a complex. Statistics show that people will suspect said attractive person is your ex and that’s where it all goes off the rails – are you still together? Are you not over them?

And of course – if this is their type, clearly I’m not in their league. To be fair, these are not unreasonable assumptions. If you’ve joined an online dating app, the idea is that it’s because you want to find someone – not demonstrate that you already have plenty of someones in your life. 

Finally, if you’re a smoker, to each their own, but even if the other person smokes too, pictures featuring cigarettes tend not to be overly appealing either. You don’t really want photos you can smell

The Content

First off, don’t write a book. Nobody is going to bother reading it. An online profile should be an honest but succinct snapshot of who you are, not an autobiography. Also it’s good not to overshare. If they know everything there is to know about you from your profile, what is there left to talk about? 

Dimensions can be a bit tricky. Some people really insist on knowing a person’s height, which is fair enough, but don’t be the person that sets shallow restrictions. Comments like “If you’re under 6’, don’t bother” might help you eliminate short dates, but probably also dates with manners, since comments like that clearly indicate you don’t have any either. Needless to say, any such comments regarding weight or cup size are not cool either. 

Humour is a big plus – people respond well to jokes or sarcastic comments, just keep them tasteful. Dirty jokes or innuendos don’t go over well with most people and strongly imply you’re only after a …quick tryst, rather than something meaningful. Plus, see above with regards to manners.