Depending on how long you’ve been on JDate, you can probably relate to that déjà-vu feeling you get when it feels like you’re reading the same profile over and over (and over) again. Somehow, everyone is apparently wearing both little black dresses and flip flops, taking trips to Machu Picchu (did I miss a Groupon or something?), or simply “relaxing with Netflix and a glass of wine.” Considering that it’s impossible for any of us to be exact physical replicas, why is it that every profile seems to use the same clichés as the last one? Let’s examine 10 Phrases You Should Delete from Your Online Dating Profile:
1. I’m just as comfortable in a fancy dress (or tux for you gentlemen) as I am in jeans and flip flops.
This line is an attempt to show that you’re flexible and multi-faceted. We get the message. Most of us have a varied wardrobe. Rather than discuss your clothing preferences, why don’t you talk about the things you like to do? We can learn a lot more about you if you mention that you prefer a football game over a visit to an art gallery, regardless of what you’re wearing.
2. I like to laugh and have fun.
My goodness… I hope you like to laugh and have fun! The point is that, unless you like to frown and mope around all day (which I also wouldn’t write), this line could be true for just about anyone.
3. I can’t believe I’m actually on here.
This is a negative commentary on online dating. Others might interpret this as, “I can’t believe I’ve fallen this low. Only losers look for dates online, so I guess I’m a loser, too.” Online dating is a wonderful thing. Either embrace it or refrain from joining an online dating site until you can have a more positive attitude about it.
4. I love traveling.
Again, there are few people who don’t love to travel. Instead, tell us more. Do you like to take active road trips across the United States, or do prefer to lounge on the beach in Cancun? These details say a lot more about you than a generic statement about travel.
5. On a typical Friday night, I’m just as happy going out on the town as I am curled up on the couch with wine and a movie.
My response to this is similar to the one for the fancy dress/jeans conundrum, with this added advice: Stop trying to attract everyone. While it may seem counterintuitive, I’m giving you explicit permission to turn some people off in your profile. Think about it—it’s more important to be the genuine you than the version you think people want to see, or the version that tries to attract every single person on the site. Just be yourself. That way, you know that when someone is interested, it’s because he or she likes what you have to say, not just the fact that you were trying to be inclusive.
6. My family and friends are important to me.
Another shocker! There’s no need to spell this one out because people already assume that family and friends are important to you, not the contrary.
7. My friends say that I’m… (insert a list of complimentary adjectives).
Of course your friends would say all of these great things about you—they’re already your friends! This could also be construed as a way of trying to appear humble, which can backfire in two ways: 1) it can make you appear insecure (do you not think these things about yourself?) or 2) it still sounds like you’re bragging.
Naturally, this brings me to an important point about “empty adjectives.” An empty adjective is a descriptor that can’t be proven until someone gets to know you. For example, I might say that I’ve got a great sense of humor, but how would you confirm if that’s true? Maybe some people find me hilarious (usually the ones who love puns and wordplay), but others aren’t amused.
8. I’m down-to-earth.
I would love to see a profile that says, “I’m kind of an airhead… but a sweet one.” This is very subjective, which again characterizes it as an empty adjective.
9. I love life.
Just like #2, I hope you love life! Remember, just because you don’t use the line “I love life” in your profile, does not mean that you hate life instead. It simply gives you space to share the more interesting things that do make your life so darn great.
10. I’m looking for a partner in crime.
Unless your name is Bonnie or Clyde, there’s no reason to include this overused cliché.
Now’s your chance: Take some time to review your profile, and if you find any of these overused, cliché phrases, it’s time to hit the backspace button, put on your creativity cap, and set yourself apart from the other online dating clones.