Poor grammar, negativity and other reasons your dating profile might not be working

Just one element that rubs the reader the wrong way can cause them to swipe left

Gender Stereotypes Plaguing Online Dating, Study Says

Writing an online dating profile is daunting. As if talking about yourself isn’t hard enough already, you have to try to convey who you are, share your hobbies and interests, give a little bit of your background, include elements of your personality and express what you’re looking for in a partner, all within a limited amount of space.

As someone who writes and reads bios on dating websites and apps for my job, I’ve seen the best of the best and the worst of the worst. A good profile gives the reader a glimpse into who you are and makes them want to learn more. But just one element that rubs someone the wrong way will result in an automatic swipe left.

Here’s what to avoid in your profile at all costs:

Poor grammar

There are a few reasons why I’m against typos, grammar errors and other mistakes that would make your seventh-grade English teacher cringe. The first thing the errors do is insult your own intelligence. Even if you have a doctorate degree, mixing up “your” and “you’re” will likely give the reader pause. Plus, if run-on sentences make your profile difficult to understand, the person on the other side might just give up rather than spend time trying to decipher your writing.

Perhaps what bothers me even more, however, is that it feels lazy. If you’re not even willing to reread your own profile, how serious can you be about putting the required effort into a relationship? You always want to make the best possible first impression, and that includes showing off your grammar skills. If this isn’t your strong suit, plenty of free websites can help you out. You can also ask that friend who is always playing grammar police in group texts to give you some pointers.


To all the people who are “saving everyone time” by listing all the things they are not looking for in a partner, please reconsider this approach. When I read that, all I see is someone who is bitter, and who wants to date someone like that? We all have a past, but your dating profile is not the space to dwell on what hasn’t worked before, either in relationships or in bad experiences with online dating.

There’s always a way to put a positive spin on what you’re trying to say. For example, instead of writing something rude such as, “I am not interested in lazy, overweight people” — I saw this one yesterday and did the requisite cringe — try this: “I’m someone who stays active with biking and hiking, and it would be great to find someone who shares similar interests.” Not only are you conveying information about yourself and what you hope to find in a relationship, but you come off much more pleasant and positive.

Anything inappropriate

Again, you’re making a first impression. Even if you have a “dirty” sense of humor or don’t want to pursue a relationship that doesn’t have a physical element to it, your bio is not the place for it. It can easily make the reader feel uncomfortable and leave your profile immediately, even if they do find that you have things in common. Keep the potty mouth for your friends.

A good dating profile requires thought and effort. You might be perfect for someone, but if you don’t express yourself well in the bio, they will never know it or be willing to give you the chance. Keep things positive and appropriate, and for goodness sake, don’t write it in all caps.

For more content like this, sign up for the Pulse newsletter here.

Erika Ettin is the founder of A Little Nudge, where she helps others navigate the often intimidating world of online dating.