It’s true: plenty of sloppy writers have found true love online. Nevertheless, it’s always in your best interest to put your best foot forward. A profile riddled with grammatical errors is like a man who shows up to speed dating in a wrinkled shirt and flip-flops; it doesn’t kill your chances, but it does make a statement about how much you care.
Give your profile a quick once-over to make sure it’s free of these basic common errors.
Should of, Could of, Would of, Might of
This mistake makes sense; sloppy speech makes it sound like we’re all saying “should of.” But the phrase is actually “should have.”
Correct Form: Should have, Could have, Would have, Might have
You’re = You are, as in, “You’re the hottest thing I’ve ever laid eyes on.”
Your = Belonging to you, as in, “I want to be your man.”
They’re, There, Their
They’re = They are, as in, “They’re all jealous that I’m with you.”
There = Location, as in, “When you get there, look for the woman with the red rose.”
Their = Belonging to them, as in, “Their happy hour starts at four.”
It’s = It is, as in, “It’s after midnight? How long have we been talking?”
Its = Belonging to it, as in, “You’ll like OKCupid once you get used to all its features.”
Bear = A big, furry animal and to tolerate or endure and to produce or bring forth, as in, “I couldn’t bear to be with another slob!”
Bare = Without covering; to expose, as in, “You’re not allowed to be completely bare in your profile photo.”
*With all the commonly misspelled words in the world, it seems odd to focus on this one. But I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen online daters asking us to “bare with them.” Hmmm . . .
A Couple Extra Hints for Good Measure:
Be aware of the message your word choice sends. Most folks won’t care whether you say “soda” or “pop.” But saying you’re on the prowl for a “hot” woman sends a very different message from saying you’re looking for a “beautiful” one. Claiming to be “wealthy” is not exactly the same as claiming to be “successful,” and “opinionated” has a different connotation from “sassy.” In short, be aware of what your words communicate.
Guys, make sure your profile contains no words that are derogatory to females. It should go without saying, but I’ve seen too many profiles that use the words hoochie, ho, and several other words I won’t write here. It doesn’t matter to whom you connect those words; using them in your profile is tacky at best.
Ladies, the same goes for you. Calling yourself the b-word is only cute on retro refrigerator magnets and at girls’ night out. Claiming it as a personality trait in your profile will only inspire guys to hit the back button.
Go easy on the OMG’s. The role of Internet language in communication is a hotly debated topic. For every online dater who shivers at a profile loaded down with LMAO’s, there’s another who appreciates the shorthand. If you happen to be a fan of the acronyms and emoticons, don’t feel as though you must cut them altogether. However, you may want to tone them down. You’ll rarely find someone who’s offended by the lack of Internet language, but there are plenty of Internet daters out there who can’t deal with (or understand) all those clever little acronyms.
Don’t underestimate the power of paragraphs. You may have given a lot of fascinating information in your profile, but if it’s in one solid block of text, very few people will actually read it. A huge chunk of text is intimidating, but by breaking it up into pieces, readers will be less overwhelmed. Say some things about your personality in one paragraph, something about your goals in another, and then when you get on the topic of interests, go ahead and bust out a third paragraph. You’re not saying any less than you did before, but when you break it down into manageable chunks, readers won’t feel like they’ve just opened War and Peace.
That’s what it’s all about, really—making your profile easy on your guests. If prospective matches don’t have to trip over misspelled words or decipher your shorthand, they can devote their full attention to what matters: you.