Anyone who is online dating is well aware of the daunting task of weeding through online dating profiles. We’ve all been there, done that and many have written blogs about it! It’s not so much fun, to say the least. Some people even hire other people to do it for them. Well since most of us can’t afford to hire matchmakers, I’m going to try and show you how to weed through online dating profiles yourselves.
First and foremost, what are weeds anyway? The dictionary defines a weed as “a plant that is not valued where it is growing and is usually of vigorous growth; especially, one that tends to overgrow or choke out more desirable plants“. Relevant to online dating profiles? Um, ya! The online dating weeds are usually the loudest and most charming, they tell you what you want to hear, how you want to hear it and they definitely “choke out” quality profiles. But they’re oh so irresistible aren’t they? How many times do we end up with time wasters when dating? A LOT! A lot more than we’d even like to admit. That being said, each dating experience teaches us a lesson and we move on from it much smarter (we hope!).
How To Weed Through Online Dating Profiles
OK, so like with any weed removal, you need some good tools and maybe some pesticide, so here are my top 10 weed removal tips!
1. Have a great profile. There is no substitute for a good profile that clearly and concisely indicates who you are and what you are looking for. This way, someone who is actually serious about looking for someone just like you will be able to see you among their weeds. If you need some easy tips here are my Top Do’s and Don’ts of Online Dating Profiles (with Video explanation).
2. Don’t take the suggested top matches very seriously. They rarely are accurate, regardless of their “exclusive algorithms” promising to match you with your ideal partner. They usually are people who are online the most and are guaranteed to respond so that you will go on more and use their site / app more. You should determine your OWN top matches by researching everyone.
3. Effectively Search. Make sure that when you use the search function you fill it out completely, especially if you are looking for a specific type of person. The more specific you are the smaller the number of matches, but remember quality NOT quantity is what you’re looking for.
4. Look at the picture. They say a “pictures says a thousand words”, well that is even more true in online dating profiles. Look that they have what looks to be a recent picture that matches their profile description (do they look their age? their weight?). If all their pictures are mirror selfies (get a friend!), group pictures (I will ALWAYS assume you’re the ugly one), unclear photos (what are you trying to hide?) or glamour shots (just who do you think you are?) just move on to another profile. They aren’t being authentic. A good profile will have around 3-4 pictures maximum and they will tell you a story about who they are.
5. Read the tag line. I always say someone’s tag line is their slogan, it should draw people in and make them want to learn more. What does their tag line tell you? Is it positive or negative? Is it funny? Is it weird? Tag lines like “here I go again” or “boring people need not apply” tell me this person has major baggage and it’s not your job to help them carry it.
6. Read the profile. This is VERY important. In order to determine whether or not this person is right for you, you need to read through and see where they’re at in their life. You can tell a lot by what people say (or don’t say). For example, if they write “I’ll fill this in later” or “ask and I’ll tell you” then this person isn’t serious about meeting someone, they’re there for fun so unless that’s what you want, move on. Make sure they haven’t written too much either, that could indicate desperation. Any negativity and do’s and don’ts in the profile that indicate baggage are red flags. This person has been burnt and they aren’t over it and will probably judge you by those standards. Move on.
7. Distinguish between first contact messages. When someone sends you a first message it typically indicates whether or not they read their profile, well it should. Messages like “hi” or “hey want to chat” just don’t cut it, neither do canned messages that seem copy and pasted. They need to introduce themselves and mention something relevant from your profile and maybe why they think you’re compatible. I recently created an account and didn’t upload a picture or a profile yet and I got a message from someone who told me how stunning my picture was and how my profile was one of the best he’s seen and really shows I’m a well rounded person, blah blah blah. I replied “really? what part did you like the most? which picture did you find most stunning?” … he didn’t respond. That’s what we call a “canned message”. He sends it out to as many people as he can until he catches one. Who doesn’t like to hear they’re stunning and that they have the best profile? Notice he didn’t mention anything specific in the profile, right? So don’t get too excited when you get 30 “hi”‘s in an hour or a bunch of canned messages. Look for the quality messages and even then go in and read their profile before responding. Another pet peeve of mine is someone who asks “so how’s online dating treating you” or “having any luck on here?”. Really?
8. Assess interactions. When you actually meet someone you want to talk to then see what it’s like back and forth. Do you get one word answers? Then chances are they aren’t really that interested. Ask questions that will help you know them and their intentions better. For example, if they said they are ambitious ask them about it, if they are a parent ask them about their kids, things relevant to their lives and that will allow you to weed out the ones you don’t want (like someone who is still living with their “ex” for example).
9. Listen to your gut. Your gut will be your best guide if someone is worth meeting up with or not. Listen to your instincts. If something feels off during your conversations it usually is. Remember that.
10. Take it offline. When you connect with someone in a positive way online then you need to take it offline as soon as possible. I say a week, two weeks maximum if you are busy or have other stuff going on. If they keep making excuses and cancelling then that’s a definitely red flag. You’re not looking for a pen pal, you’re looking for a potential partner. Don’t let someone waste your time. Sometimes you may have mad chemistry online but when you meet in person it’s terrible, so taking it offline will ensure you don’t spend too much time getting to know the wrong person for you.
So there you go! My list of how to weed through online dating profiles. There certainly isn’t any surefire way of weeding through all the crap, some weeds do creep through somehow, but now you have the tools to stomp them out for good!
Happy Online Dating!
READERS: How do you weed through online dating profiles? Share your tips and tricks in the comment section below!
Your Sister in Dating Bliss,
Single Dating Diva
Copyright Single Dating Diva
Great tips and if you really take the time to assess these profiles, you’ll find that most if these people are full of crap.
Granted, there are a lot of men I’ve encountered that are just clueless, but others are lazy or have misguided intentions.
Most men get themselves weeded out from poor or missing profile photos, sleazy tag lines, miniscule or vague about me summaries, and lame greetings like “hello sexy”.
The struggle with online dating is so real.
I used to get hundreds of responses and screening was key because most weren’t what I desired. I screened out dads, guys older than my range, guys looking for sex. However I was still left with a lot so I would look at messages. Those with poor grammar might get responses but if a second message was horrible I didn’t see going further. For me I put my searches to never married, childless men between 30-50 (I was 39-41 then). I would still get hundred of profiles so I narrowed by weight and distance. Oddly narrowing out larger men eliminated more guys than anything else, which made me wonder if they were more honest than some other guys? I learned though I had to eliminate to both never married and childless because to my dismay most of the dads were never married, at least in my dating range. I thought if I just put never married most men would be childless. I also had to open my distance because within 5-10 miles had a few but 40 miles was much more. Not surprised because 40 miles away there is a large city and singles tend to be common there.
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Good tips. There are definitely ALOT of time wasters online. Listening to your gut doesn’t always work, I ended up with two that I took the chats offline. They wasted my time for months. General rule I have now, is meeting someone within a month of chatting. Plus some men don’t even write anything on their profiles.
Personally, my own profile now is a bit quirky. It weeds out the men from the boys so to speak. But I have found that majority of men don’t even read the profiles. I find that I will get requests simply because I am online and I am female.
Finding decent men are like trying to find a needle in a haystack.
Not only do the quality of profiles differ on paid-for versus free sites, but so too does the caliber of person.
So true. It was on POF where I learned it was common to have several kids by different people that they never married. At least on Match the men who were dads were divorced or widowed (or sometimes adoptive dads).
People on Plenty of Freaks also are prone to “parallel dating”, being flakey, promiscuous, being dishonest, etc. and that’s just the women…
And sensitive as well. I had my first profile on there deleted because I “offended” men. My crime? In my profile I said I don’t date dads. I didn’t call them names but did said why I didn’t date them. I got some nasty messages then a message telling me my profile was deleted. I created a new profile and I’m not allowed to post in the forums because I said there was something wrong with people with kids by different people. I then got a nasty message from the mod there saying “my kind” isn’t welcome there. So a man with several baby mama’s (or the baby daddies if a woman)who didn’t marry them, and likely is being supported by tax dollars (and many bragged about this), but someone like me who supports myself and doesn’t have kids isn’t? I did meet one decent man on there but that was after sifting through messages.
Your story typifies the mindset of people on there…a debauched online orgy of emotionally crippled people who become righteous at anyone daring to assert their morals.
Yeah and the sick thing was I wasn’t contacting them to tell them how I felt unless they contacted me. I didn’t contact a man with kids and tell him how wrong he was, yet these men persisted in doing this to me. I only added why I didn’t date dads after I’d explain to them why I don’t. Before I stated “childless woman seeks childless man”, which I thought was self explanatory, but apparently not. According to the one mod I had to be open to dating dads or I wouldn’t date. I told her this wasn’t something I was willing to bend on and yes I was willing to not date if it came to this. However substitute this for anything else and they still got livid. Women were told off if they didn’t want sex, or didn’t want older or another race. If people don’t want to date a certain type for whatever reason it’s their choice. I’ve had men reject me because I’m a brunette or because I’m athletic, I don’t tell them they are wrong, I look for someone who doesn’t mind this.
Patience and ignore the ignorant haters whose lives are the product of their willingness to compromise easily. Your man exists and he will find you, but only when the time is right. I didn’t used to believe that trite outlook but I’m a convert…
That’s true. I met someone I connect with offline (he lives by me)but time will tell where that goes. I was telling him (we are friends) about my online experiences and he said online scares him and seems to be for people wanting casual sex. He’s sort of right because some want relationships but others dont .
People can write a pretty convincing profile, so I love your idea of taking it offline. You can’t fake it in real life so if their interactions offline don’t match what they sound like on their profile then that’s a big red flag.
Great list! Especially the tip about pictures, first message and taking it offline. Those are three VERY important tips!!
Good tips! I really like #2 – don’t take the top matches seriously. Go with your gut – not what is spoon-fed to you. Thanks for sharing!
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