Is the response to your online dating profile making you feel like a wallflower? Whether you’re tempting fate on Tinder, trying to meet your mate on Match or enjoying the discreet pleasures of Cheating 69, what’s in your profile can either make you a hit or a miss. It’s especially hard for men to get the same level of attention that women seem to get just for showing up, so heed these five pieces of advice to pump up your profile

Be the Picture of Someone Dateable Without Being Dated

We’ve all experienced the shock of finally coming face-to-face with our crush only to find they’re unrecognizable. Cartoon avatars are definitely out, as are photos of us 25 years – or pounds – ago. Stay away from group photos as well. If you don’t have a recent photo of yourself that’s flattering, get some friends, or better a stranger, to take a few candid photos of you. Why? Your friends know you too well, but someone else might be able to catch something in you that familiarity makes it easy to overlook.

Dress casual – but not too cas – so you look at ease, and don’t forget to smile. Photos should be taken in natural light, and you should be doing natural things like eating, enjoying a bike ride or just relaxing. No one other than supermodels looks good in a stagnant pose. ps NO gym photos or other stereotypical selfies.

Cut the Cliches

There are plenty of us who like camping or long walks on the beach, so that’s hardly a selling point. Describing yourself with bland, overused adjectives or talking about how much you like your job, your dog or your gran isn’t particularly thrilling, either. Go through your tagline, introductory statement and the rest of your dating profile and remove anything that screams “Basic”.

You’ll want to purge anything that could apply to thousands of other people. Most of us like dinner out, or reading or any one of a hundred other generic activities. You want to stand out. Be careful about being pretentious, though. Don’t let your quest to be different lead you to hyperbole, obvious fictions flowery language that no one uses.

Nobody Wants to Date a Debby Downer

In your quest to keep it real, don’t be tempted to come off as arrogant, above-it-all or just downright negative. If potential partners are simply reading a list of everything you hate when they read your bio, they’re more likely to give you a pass than to click just because you hate the same things. Being a hilarious insult comic among your friends doesn’t really translate well into the online dating world, either. It may even make viewers wonder if that’s how you’ll talk about them some day, or be hesitant to meet you at all. Try to avoid stating definitive physical attributes you’re looking for as well. Mr. or Ms. Right may pass you right by if you are looking for a green-eye god or goddess with list of specific physical attributes that they don’t have, but who are otherwise your perfect match.

People Can Smell Desperation. Don’t Be That Guy

Try to avoid language, photos, or even direct appeals that scream “Please love me”. Others want to feel that they’ve been singled out because you’re generally interested in them, not just because they have a pulse. Many of us are lonely and longing for someone to share our time with, whether it’s for a weekend or for the long-haul. But, coming off as desperate or begging for attention are definite turnoffs that will make you look potentially clingy or stalker-like.

Don’t Talk About it, Be About it

Don’t just say you like adventure, paint a word picture to go along with a few carefully selected actual pictures. It isn’t enough to say you’re fun. Write about doing an activity that you find fun or enjoyable. Put on your creative writing cap and visualize what each descriptor you might write looks like in action, and write about that. Talk about what a day in the life of you, or with you, might be like. But, don’t oversell your adventure, It still has to ring plausible and true.

Does your online dating game need an overhaul? In an environment where you can be almost anything you want, the last thing you should be is boring. But don’t take it to far. There are ways to make yourself more swipe-able in an online dating and flirting environment without becoming a fictional character.

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