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The 8 Deadly Sins of Online Dating

online dating

The Internet has opened up fantastic opportunities for complete strangers to meet, greet, and get frisky together. And of course, apps like Tinder have contributed greatly to the lazy, on-demand, instant-gratification hookup culture. However, if you are actually looking for an experience of any substance, it pays to understand that online dating is both an art and a science that requires some thought and effort up front to increase your chances of success.

This post looks at the 8 Deadly Sins of Online Dating, how you can avoid them and what you can do to increase your success in finding quality dates over the interwebs.

The 7 8 Deadly Sins of Online Dating

1. Poor photo selection

Yes, we are indeed a very superficial peoples. We all have our own particular tastes, fantasies, and biases. And some online daters are even racist, heightist, or have some other ridiculous bias.

But you shouldn’t let that deter you… If someone is going to judge you purely on your looks then you’re probably not going to want to hang out with that person anyway. Concealing your appearance isn’t going to get you very far in this game. And showing no photo at all is going to eliminate your chances with all but the most needy and desperate people who have very low standards. And if you are putting up photos that are misleading and don’t represent what you truly look like, it is almost guaranteed that you will alienate the person in real life.

So let’s talk about what profile pictures you should be including here:

  • Clear face and body shots are pretty much mandatory, but shirtless pictures aren’t (unless they’re done VERY tastefully).
  • A good smile will go a long way… and relax! Nobody is looking for an uptight person with no charisma.
  • Avoid the photographic clichés! That means no petting of drugged tigers, you in your flashy sports car (or worse, someone else’s). Lose the shot of you on top of Macchu Picchu—seriously, there are too many of them out there. Gratuitous travel shots are just way too overdone. Nobody cares that you spent a moment of your life hugging a group of starving kids in Africa.
  • A photo or two of you in your element, that speaks to who you are and your personality is good.
  • Utilise light and clothing in a flattering way.
2. Laundry list profiles

We’ve all seen these… “I am honest, genuine, loving, caring, have a good sense of humour…” blah, blah, blah, blah. These are not interesting profiles, and despite what you may think, they tell the reader ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about who you are. Lining up a lot of pretty-sounding adjectives may be how you sell your car on eBay, but this isn’t the time for this typical approach.

The problem here, is not only are you a generic version of the same profile everyone else has, but you aren’t doing anything to actually DEMONSTRATE these things about you. Don’t talk about your awesome sense of humour, actually demonstrate it through how you write you profile. A person should be able to infer all these qualities through how you write. Give context to values—these could be through explaining particular decisions you’ve made or how you spend your free time.

3. Not being clear about what you want

I’ve talked to so many people who are disillusioned by online dating because they were lured in by profiles that talked of wanting relationships whereas in real life it turned out that the person was only after sex. Trust me, there are plenty enough people just looking for a casual hookup to fulfil demand, so don’t be afraid to be up front about your intentions and desires. You are much more likely to get what you want when it is communicated very clearly. And it just speaks more to your character when you can own what you are looking for. Not to mention it is just wasting both your time and their’s when you don’t.

People who use manipulation or deception to get what they want are just dishonourable people. Plain and simple. So don’t be that person.

4. Trying too hard

You know these people… the one’s who are trying to prove how popular they are, how big their cleavage is, or who feel the need to show off their souped-up V8 ute… The problem with trying too hard is that it just serves to demonstrate how important others’ opinions of you are to you. If how many “likes” you get on Instagram is that important to you, you are quite possibly suffering from a very common condition called VSD—Validation-Seeking Disorder. Validation seeking behaviour is a signal that you aren’t all that together, that you don’t know or own your own bullshit, and that you are prepared to do anything to gain acceptance from others.

A truly attractive person is rock solid on the inside. Others’ opinions of them do not in any way shape or form dictate their sense of self worth or self esteem. They do not alter their natural behaviour in order to please or seek validation from others. They aren’t concerned about the prospect of polarising others or pissing them off. They just say and do what feels right to them, regardless of how others may think. They demonstrate a sense of self and personality.

5. Copy & paste messages

This is a truly the most appallingly lazy of lazy approaches to online dating. I’ve heard accounts of people even forgetting to change the name at the top of the message, or that talk about pictures that don’t even exist.

Nothing speaks more to your lack of character than the old Copy & Paste job. It not only says “Hi, I have so little motivation to get to know you that I haven’t even bothered to read your profile, or even take a moment to write something unique”, but is most strikingly communicating “Hi, I’m so desperate that I need to send out a form letter to thousands of profiles, and don’t have enough time or energy to do that properly outside of my strict masturbation regime”.

If you are interested in somebody, take a moment to paint a picture of who they are based on what they’ve written, how they appear in their pictures and other elements throughout their profile. A single-lined response that demonstrates clearly that you have a very good idea about who they are and why you are specifically interested in getting to know them better will hit the mark far more effectively than a generic 10-page form letter that has been sent 500 times before.

6. One lined approaches

Having said that, the one-lined approaches that a lot of people use, include “Hi” or “Hey sexy” or even as bad as “Wanna fuck?”. A “Hi” is plain lazy, “Hey sexy” is no better than catcalling in the street, and the last one is just plain objectionable.

If you want somebody to take the time to actually respond to you, give them the courtesy of spending more than 3 seconds crafting a witty or interesting (or more importantly, an interest-ed) response.

7. Showing no personality

As with the Laundry Listers, there are so many boring profiles out there that say nothing about who you are. Mostly this is on purpose, because most people believe that the best approach to online dating (or dating in general) is to offend nobody, and ‘appeal’ to everybody. The problem with that logic is that while you can effectively offend nobody (by saying very little of substance), you cannot possibly appeal to everybody.

Know who you are, and who you want to attract, and make no apologies in crafting a profile that dictates exactly these things in clear, unambiguous terms. The worst impression you can possibly make is “no impression” at all.

8. Being an asshole

The only exception on the “worst impression is no impression” rule, is being a total and utter twat. Being an asshole is just not required. There is a plethora of dating advice out there that talks about how being an asshole and insulting people will make others desperate for your attention, but guess what… it’s just plain bullshit. It speaks more to your Try-hardiness than anything else.

Sure, be challenging. Be polarising. Stand up for your own beliefs and know who you are without fear of judgment of others. That’s just about not giving a shit. People who are just assholes just show they give too much of a shit—they are doing and saying things because they know it will induce a particular reaction. That is reaction seeking behaviour.

And for those who just become downright abusive (yes, you know who you are…) if someone doesn’t respond in the way you want them to, or ignores you outright… well, that’s just pathetic behaviour. They’ve already demonstrated their lack of interest in you, so why would you even bother expending energy and time insulting her? Because she will magically change her opinion of you??!! Or is it because you just feel powerless and are thrashing about to try and make yourself feel big and important?
So there you have it, the 8 Deadly Sins of Online Dating. How many have you committed in your dating career? Now’s the time to change your approach. You may just be surprised how much it changes your rate of success!

About The Author

Andrew Mashiko

Andrew Mashiko is Australia's Leading Dating & Lifestyle Coach, and #1 Bestselling author of "The Principles of Authentic Attraction". Andrew created the Core Attraction System to empower individuals to naturally and effortlessly attract their ideal partner through authenticity and embodying their true core identity.