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Top Ten Things Not To Do When Signing Up With an Online Dating Service

Here is the 42nd installment of Ten Top Lists of What Not to Do by Marie Ann Bailey of 1WriteWay at and John W. Howell of Fiction Favorites at These lists are simu-published on our blogs each Monday. We hope you enjoy.


10.  When signing up for an online dating service, do not use your old high school senior photo in your profile.  If you do, at best, your future dates might forgive you for being somewhat more overweight and wrinkled than your photo suggests.  At worst, you might get sued by future dates for emotional and psychological trauma especially those who thought they were going to date an 18 year old.

9.  When signing up for an online dating service, do not say that you live in a foreign country because you want to appear exotic.  If you do, at best, your future dates will be relieved to find out that you actually live within driving distance of them and they don’t have to pay exorbitant sums of money for a first date.  At worst, your dream date who really does live in the country you claim to live in will out you to everyone else in the service and you will have to change your profile and your identity and actually move to a foreign country.

8.  When signing up for an online dating service, do not claim to be a great cook when you still can’t make a decent peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  If you do, at best, your future dates will prefer to dine out anyway and will never find out your lie.  At worst, your dream date will wind up in the ER after you actually try to prepare a romantic, home-cooked meal for your first (and now last) date.

7.  When signing up for an online dating service, do not inflate your educational background so you can appear to be more intelligent than you apparently are.  If you do, at best, your future dates will not be interested in your opinion on the Dunning-Kruger effect anyway and you’ll be saved from having to present yourself as an example of it.  At worst, your profile will be tagged as someone who suffers from the Dunning-Kruger effect which you will find frustrating since your last name is not Dunning nor is it Kruger.

6.  When signing up for an online dating service, do not minimize your educational background to appear to less intelligent than you really are because you are afraid of intimidating anyone.  If you do, at best, your future dates won’t be interested in degrees anyway just as long as you can enjoy conversations with each other.  At worst, your future dates will look like the cast from “My Name is Earl” or “Duck Dynasty.”

5.  When signing up for an online dating service, do not claim to be fluent in any language when all you can say is “Hello” and “Goodbye” in that language.  At best, all your future dates have the same native tongue as you, but no foreign language fluency so they get excited when you say “Bonjour” and “Adios” in the same sentence.  At worst, your dream date will be fluent in the language you claim to be fluent in (let’s say, French, for fun) and invite you to a romantic getaway to Paris where the best you can do is say “Bonjour” to everything anyone else says to you, with the result that two hours into the romantic getaway, your dream date leaves you at a café with just your French-English dictionary to help you find your way home.

4.  When signing up for an online dating service, do not claim to not have cats when you do just because the dream date you picked out is allergic to cats.  At best, you never get together with your dream date but the second best date not only asks you out but also happens to like cats (and then you live happily ever after).  At worst, your dream date comes to your place for coffee and, within five minutes, develops red, itchy eyes, sneezing and coughing fits, and a facial rash, even though your cats are not in your house because you had them boarded.  All of this results in you being on the hook for your dream date’s trip to the ER and allergy medication as well as the boarding fees for a date that went nowhere.

3.  When signing up for an online dating service, do not use a glamour photo for your profile, even if your friends insist it will get you more dates.  At worst, all your future dates also use glamour photos so no one can complain when none of you look glamorous in real life.  At worst, see the worst case scenario for #1 and then double it.

2.  When signing up for an online dating service, do not present yourself as a social butterfly when in fact you get panic attacks when you have to speak to more than one person at a time.  At best, your future dates will be flattered when you say you prefer evenings alone so you can get to know them better.  At worst, your future dates will think your Howard Hughes profile is creepy since they assumed you loved the party life and eventually leave you to your evenings alone as a party of one.

1.  When signing up for an online dating service, do not pretend to be anyone but who you really are.  At best, you will find someone who will actually like you for yourself and you will make some new good friends.  At worst, you’ll be stuck with a revolving door of dates but no relationships.  (On the upside, that could be fodder for some good stories.)

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Marie A Bailey

Writer, blogger, knitter, cat lover, and introvert.

28 replies

  1. I met the rocket scientist through an online dating service. He liked my video and I liked his smile. Neither one of us was willing to go to dinner for the first date (that would mean you’re stuck for two hours with that person and we had both had bad experiences with that) so we had coffee at a little Bohemian coffee shop and ended up talking for three hours. 🙂


    1. Nice, very nice! I have heard of some success stories. I love that you wanted to avoid being stuck with each other for two hours and wound up talking for three 🙂


  2. Should I report the bodies in the crawlspace (acquired during previous dates)? She might never know, but what if she moves in a wants to remodel? I’ll have lots of ‘splaining to do!


  3. Men: DO NOT lie about your height. When I was in that online dating place, I met several men who lied about their height. Not inflated an inch. Outright lied. (And I didn’t care whether I dated someone who was taller than me.)


    1. Wow. I mean, height is a difficult characteristic to fake, so what could they be thinking? Claim to be as tall as Jared Padalecki but really as short as Robert Reich? Okay, that’s a big extreme but my reaction would be the same 😉


  4. I love these lists! I second them all, and would add: when signing up for a dating agency, don’t announce that you’re not sure you believe in relationships but would quite like a rock climbing partner, unless you’re prepared for some very odd responses.

    This happened to… a friend 😉


    1. Oh, that’s a good one! I think if I had consulted with a few … friends … we could have gotten a couple of lists out of this topic 🙂


  5. Haha– there is endless blog fodder in the world of online dating! So glad I get to now sit on the sidelines and watch my friends navigate all the people who don’t follow your advice!


  6. Love these, Marie! Thank God I’m not out there in the dating world. I just can’t imagine going through all of this – yet many do and have success! Have you heard of for farmers only? 🙂 They come up with everything!


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