The idea of creating a profile and looking for matches on a dating site is equally exciting and intimidating, so I have a lot of sympathy for men who are well intentioned but completely clueless.

Unfortunately, the wrong behavior online can come off as creepy or unappealing even when the man is actually a fantastic person I would love to meet.

In my experience online dating, here are a few things I’ve learned about what helps a guy’s profile and messages to look polished, confident, and interesting.

#1 Avoid These Common Profile Picture Mistakes

Before we can start talking about what makes a profile picture good, here are a few things you may want to avoid.

The biggest offender when it comes to bad profile pictures is the shirtless pose in front of a bathroom mirror. No matter how nice your body is, seeing a spotted mirror, open toilet, and grimy sink is always unappealing.

Also try to avoid looking like an irresponsible partier. Most girls love to have a good time, but their first impression of you should never be a picture of you doing something dumb while wasted. The other common mistake that will make most women ignore any message from you is a picture of you surrounded by other girls because this type of image makes you look like a player.

It should go without saying, but please have an accurate image instead of an old, photoshopped, out of date, or fake profile picture. Women don’t like feeling like they’ve been tricked, and it’s always better to find a woman who is attracted to the real you.

#2 What You SHOULD Be Doing in a Profile Picture

You might think that a profile picture is important because it shows that you are good looking, but this actually is not true.

Instead, the point of pictures on your profile is to show that you are a confident, fun, and appealing person. Therefore, it is important to include a nice mix of photos that show the real you. Having a nice, simple picture that shows of your good looks while making you look friendly is always good, so try to find a well lit area and learn how to take a picture from a good angle.

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In addition to a good picture of just your face, try to include active pictures taken by someone else, such as you playing with your dog, enjoying a sport outside, or participating in an event. I know I previously mentioned that shirtless pictures in bathrooms never work, but don’t forget that women like a little eye candy too. The best shirtless pictures are ones at the beach or pool, because being shirtless in that setting actually makes sense.

#3 Communicate Clearly on Your Profile

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When writing about yourself on your profile, there’s a fine line between sharing too little information and too much. If you don’t bother with writing more than a couple sentences, women will assume that you are not actually committed to looking for a relationship, and it sends a message that you’re just looking for hookups.

Instead, you should try to clearly describe your positive character traits and share what your biggest passions and interests are. The goal of a profile should be to give potential dates an idea of who you are and what dating you would be like.

However, be careful not to write an entire novel because most women will not read the entire thing. When describing what you want, be honest and focus on the positives instead of the negatives. A huge checklist of all the things you don’t want in a woman can make you seem demanding or superficial.

Once you’ve written the perfect profile, be sure to go back and double check it for spelling and grammar mistakes.

#4 Be Funny Without Being Offensive

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The cliche that women are more likely to be attracted to a man who is funny is definitely true. Having a sense of humor and making a woman laugh can be just as sexy as having chiseled abs or a square jaw.

Including humorous comments in either your profile or your messages is a great way to stand out. If you cannot think of something original, even a funny quote from a comedian or a movie can work, as long as you don’t try to claim that you came up with the quote yourself!

When you are trying to find something humorous to include in your online dating, be sure to avoid any sensitive issues, such as weight, race, gender, or money. You want to seem like a happy and friendly guy that could make a woman laugh instead of a bully who likes making fun of others.

#5 Have a Good Opening Message

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If you find an attractive woman that you think you could enjoy meeting, it’s time to send her a message. The purpose of a message should be to start a conversation and clearly show your interest in the woman.

Just saying “hi” will make you look lazy, so be sure to include more in your first message or email. Any type of calculated pick up line is going to make women uninterested because most women are smart enough to recognize pick up lines and avoid a guy who seems like a cheesy pick up artist. And finally, the last thing that you want to avoid doing in an opening message is be crass.

Online dating sites are different than hookup apps, so the type of woman that is using them will not appreciate any blunt sexual comments. Instead of committing these mistakes, you want to start out an opening message with a unique subject line that shows you actually read her profile.

A good opening message should include a greeting, something about you, why you are interested in the woman, and why she could be interested in you. A good thing to talk about is shared interests or values the two of you may have, and then it is best to end the message with a question that makes it easy for her to keep the conversation going.

#6 Be Patient Instead of Desperate

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Unfortunately, a lot of men are under the impression that there are tons of men and few available women in online dating, but analysis of the top sites shows that the male/female ration is actually close to 50/50.

This stereotype might not still be true, but a lot of men are hurting their chances because they think that they have to keep with hundreds of men for one woman. This false impression leads to a lot of desperation in the online dating world, but most women will be turned off by a message that is full of over the top compliments and a sense of low-self esteem.

The opposite end of the spectrum is men who are trying to avoid sounding desperate and instead end up seeming vain or insulting.

To avoid both of these mistakes, you really just have to be patient and remember that there are plenty of women available on dating websites. It takes time to find the perfect partner, and you will probably have to spend a while crafting the perfect profile and sending messages to many women.

However, if you stay patient and don’t start freaking out if a few messages are ignored, you can eventually find a woman who truly appreciates you for who you are.

Conclusion:

I hope this list provided some valuable dating tips for all of the men looking for companionship online, so feel free to share it with your friends if you think it’s useful.

Online dating doesn’t have to be intimidating or difficult, and all of these tips basically boil down to the fact that you just need to be yourself instead of trying to brag or play mind games. If you can think of any important advice I missed, please comment below to let me know!

References:

https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-male-to-female-ratio-on-the-big-five-dating-websites-Match-com-eHarmony-PlentyofFish-Zoosk-and-OKCupid

http://www.betches.com/worst-okcupid-pickup-lines-online-dating-fellating

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/love-digitally/201502/be-more-successful-in-online-dating-use-humour

http://www.medicaldaily.com/women-prefer-funny-guys-its-scientifically-proven-why-women-find-sense-humor-irresistible-248073

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/francesca-hogi/5-tips-for-writing-the-pe_b_8033438.html