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New to online dating? Trying to find the man or woman of your dreams through the virtual world? As in any relationship, proper communication is crucial. You need to have a good personal ad or dating profile that doesn't just embellish on platitudes. Neglecting the appropriate thought and effort in anything, especially when communicating who you are, will seriously hamper the connections you make.

I want a guy who can make me laugh...

Some people don't believe me when I tell them that most problems with not enough responses to your ad can be fixed just by writing a better ad. And then I often take them, real-time, to an online dating site. I randomly start reading out profiles, and they cannot believe that so many people write such terrible ads! Maybe it is this overvalued notion of spontaneity, of writing whatever comes to your mind, letting it flow, being you - which leads you to write gibberish in your ads. Say goodbye to any success in online dating with that, especially at Braincrave where your mind is what people are so interested in. Think what would happen if NASA engineers became spontaneous.

So stop your dating shuttle from crashing and read these examples of common mistakes in dating profiles. Have a laugh, but be careful, your own profile may have bugs too! (All examples are real.)

...'I am a funny, witty person....'

Funny and witty people never write that directly. Instead of saying this, add a touch of humor to your profile.

...'I was just bored, so wrote my profile here...'

A negative attitude. Instead, say, 'I am new to this...'

...'I am an Honest, Spontaneous, Creative, Intelligent (..other personal adjectives) ...person.'

Very few people think they are not, so this is very subjective (similar to 80% of people believing that they have an IQ above average!). Even if true, it is redundant information at best. Avoid using personal adjectives in your ad or profile.

Define yourself concretely - better to say I am a guitar player in a band or I write novels or I am a practicing doctor than I am creative or intelligent.

Also, what's with all the proper-cased words? We always suggest checking grammar rules when proof-reading your profile, such as capitalization. Of course, we also suggest checking your spelling, or at least getting a web browser or other browser add-on that highlights spelling errors.

...'I want a guy who can make me laugh...'

I'm convinced that 90% of women's profiles say this. Comes across as negative - you sound slightly depressed if you need someone just to make you laugh. There's plenty of stuff on TV to make you laugh (unless you watch the news, which is always depressing), and you are not looking for a joker, you are looking for a boyfriend, a mate... remember?

...'I like dark haired men, but if you are blond and good-looking, write me anyway, maybe you can change my mind....'

Turn-off to blond men. Make up your mind, if you are looking for only dark haired men, just say that. Don't play both sides of the coin; it generally backfires. Better not to say anything if you are not sure.

...'I like taking walks by the ocean, or watching TV, or going camping with my friends...'

Unimportant details. Most people like these things, and these are hardly important details in finding a partner (it is unlikely you won't like going out with someone just because they don't like walking the beach or watching TV with you). Your hobbies are where you put these traits.

...'I am sexy, flirtatious,... I like kisses on my back, full body massages from my boyfriend/girlfriend...'

Generally speaking, keep the sexual innuendos out. You will have plenty of time to exchange many raunchy e-mails if you are addicted to writing sexual stuff... but in the first impression, keep it out. Think about it this way - would you say this to a guy or a girl in a bar who you meet for the first time? (Wait - maybe we shouldn't ask that.) If not, then don't say it in your ad either.

...'I am looking for a REAL man/woman, with all the letters of REAL...'

Unless you're into faking reality, everyone is real. Basically, it sounds like you have had some bad experiences in relationships, but that's over now. Come with a positive attitude to online dating, and just meet the people. Then when you e-mail them and meet them in person, you can decide if they are real or not. No one looks for the unreal. (Well, maybe they do in politicians, but not when it comes to lovers.)

Got other writing tips? Forward them to articles@braincrave.com

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About braincrave


We all admire beauty, but the mind ultimately must be stimulated for maximum arousal. Longevity in relationships cannot occur without a meeting of the minds. And that is what Braincrave is: a dating venue where minds meet. Learn about the thoughts of your potential match on deeper topics... topics that spawn your own insights around what you think, the choices you make, and the actions you take.

We are a community of men and women who seek beauty and stimulation through our minds. We find ideas, education, and self-improvement sexy. We think intelligence is hot. But Braincrave is more than brains and I.Q. alone. We are curious. We have common sense. We value and offer wisdom. We experiment. We have great imaginations. We devour literacy. We are intellectually honest. We support and encourage each other to be better.

You might be lonely but you aren't alone.

Sep, 2017 update: Although Braincrave resulted in two confirmed marriages, the venture didn't meet financial targets. Rather than updating our outdated code base, we've removed all previous dating profiles and retained the articles that continue to generate interest. Moving to valME.io's platform supports dating profiles (which you are welcome to post) but won't allow typical date-matching functionality (e.g., location proximity, attribute similarity).

The Braincrave.com discussion group on Second Life was a twice-daily intellectual group discussions typically held at 12:00 PM SLT (PST) and 7:00 PM SLT. The discussions took place in Second Life group chat but are no longer formally scheduled or managed. The daily articles were used to encourage the discussions.

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