When you’re looking for love, people always tell you about all the fish in the sea. And while you certainly have plenty of women to choose from if you go the online dating route, don’t forget: You’re just one of many men that she can choose, too.
A recent study by MBAPrograms.org found 49 million people search for love each month on eHarmony and Match.com alone. With so many options, women are carefully scrutinizing what you say in your profile. So we consulted with dating experts and real women who have used online dating sites to see which common phrases found in men’s profiles turn women off the most.
You say: “I want to be with someone who takes care of herself.”
She hears: “The person on my arm should look perfect all the time.”
Women get it: Of course looks matter. But phrasing it like this can make her fear you have impossibly high standards. “I’m in good shape and think I have nice clothes, and I put effort into my hair and makeup, but we haven’t even met yet and I’m worried I don’t meet your standards,” says Melanie*, a 30-year-old Jacksonville woman who’s tried several online dating websites.
Ashley, a 25-year-old Atlanta woman and frequent online dater, says to her it means, “you want to be with a woman who frequents the gym.” If that’s the case, the more tactful way to get your point across is to give examples of how active you are, and mention activities you hope a potential mate would enjoy with you, says eFlirtExpert.com founder Laurie Davis, author of the upcoming book Love at First Click: The Ultimate Guide to Online Dating.
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You say: “I’ve been told I’m really good at massages.”
She hears: “I sleep with a lot of women and I’m all about getting physical. Forget that relationship nonsense.”
Ditch the rubdown talk, stat. “Putting that in your profile is so creepy,” says dating coach David Wygant, author of Always Talk to Strangers: 3 Simple Steps to Finding the Love of Your Life. “There’s no reason for a guy to ever say that.”
But Davis is willing to give guys the benefit of the doubt. “Sometimes I think guys mean this line to show they’re affectionate, but it just comes off like they sleep around.” Instead, show you’re chivalrous: If you grew up with sisters, mention how how that constant female presence taught you the right way to treat women, Davis suggests.
Read more: Men’s Health