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10 traps to avoid on your ‘About me’ page

Talking up, talking down, talking something less than the truth … none of these is a good idea when you are talking about yourself in your dating profile. Here are a few tips on what to avoid.

10 traps to avoid on your ‘About me’ page

1. Talking yourself up

“Above-average intelligence along with an immaculate appearance make me just what you are looking for.” When you’re in cyberspace, it can be easy to slip into exaggeration … The couch potato morphs into a fitness fiend … Someone who occasionally reads the arts pages becomes an avid theatregoer. There’s temptation to exaggerate, but stick to keeping it real!

2. Talking yourself down
“Shrinking violet on the lookout for a big-hearted partner who is ready to overlook a few faults.” Maybe through a fear of raising expectations too high, some people do themselves down. But if, just because you are carrying a few extra pounds, you describe yourself as out of shape, you won’t do yourself any favours. Even if there are things about yourself which you feel are not strong points, think about the positives as you paint a picture of yourself.

3. Mangled English
“Its true to say that i am not a boaring guy.” Keep an eye out for spelling and grammar – they make a difference when it comes to creating a positive first impression. At an early stage of proceedings your matches have relatively little to go on, so small details assume an increased importance. Draft your ‘About me’ texts in Word, if necessary, and use the spell-check – or, if you are feeling unsure, maybe even ask a friend to have a look at things for you.

4. Sexual connotations
If you emphasise sex on your ‘About me’ page, you run the risk of putting at least some people off. If sex is very important to you, you can maybe choose to imply it subtly. It’s worth remembering, too, that all ‘About me’ entries are checked by Parship’s customer services team before they go live, and anything that could be considered inappropriate will not make it onto the site.

5. The dark side
“After years of being alone/a painful divorce …” Lead-ins of this kind are generally not going to excite interest, even if they do invite sympathy. Yes, life’s more difficult experiences are just as formative as the more positive ones, but avoid unpacking your emotional baggage immediately. This principle is also applicable to personal crises such as serious illness. Wait till you get to know someone a little better before you talk about them.

6. Whatever
“A day is perfect for me … when the sun shines.” There is hardly anyone who wouldn’t say that, just as pretty much everyone would claim that they want “peace on earth and universal understanding”, but if you want to find someone for a real relationship (and are not aiming to be Miss America), it is worth finding something to say that expresses what you are really about.

7. Stretching the truth
“Beyond my demanding career as a brain surgeon I like to devote my free time to my great love of surfing.” Unless that’s actually true, you are going to have trouble explaining it when the time comes for a little further investigation. It can be especially tempting to stretch the truth a little when talking about your appearance, but it’s better to be honest: after all, your aim is to find someone who loves you for what you really are.

8. Flashing the cash
“Successful banker/entrepreneur is looking for …” This is the kind of phrase that could attract the wrong sort of attention. The vast majority of people on Parship are genuinely looking for a meaningful relationship, but a gold-digger or two might just slip through the security net. If you are someone who is very comfortably off, it is probably a good idea not to let everyone know straight away.

9. “I want …”
“I’m looking for a partner with a very successful career who is good-looking, isn’t carrying around any baggage from former relationships -- and who has a master’s degree or a doctorate.” While it’s worth being specific about most things on your ‘About me’ page, precise demands of this nature are likely to reduce your list of prospects to virtually nothing. If you are looking for a serious relationship you need to be prepared to make compromises. Nobody (and that includes you) wants to be measured against some unattainable ideal.

10. Trying to be what you’re not
Humour is a very personal thing and not everyone has a gift for witty writing – especially on a webpage – so if it doesn’t come naturally to you, don’t risk creating the wrong impression. If all goes well, you will have time to get to know your best matches face to face. In every aspect of your ‘About me’ page it’s important to be yourself. Remember that Parship is all about finding a real relationship for the real you.

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