Advice

Online Dating 101: Don’t Let Your Grammar Do The Talking

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What’s the first thing someone’s going to look at when they go to your online dating profile page? Well, your photo(s). But after that they’re going to check out your profile questions, and unfortunately, your 9th grade English Teacher was right about one thing: grammar and punctuation matter.

You can spend half an hour thinking of the perfect, witty answer to a profile question, but a botched delivery will totally distract your reader. Here are four key mistakes to avoid.

1. Exclamation Points!!!!

One exclamation point, when you’re especially enthusiastic about something, is fine.

Example:

My Dream Concert: Billy Joel!

The reader thinks: Okay, he/she likes Billy Joel.

But:

My Dream Concert: Billy Joel!!!!!

The reader thinks: Yikes. He/she is a bit overenthusiastic about Billy Joel.

2. All Caps

Emphasizing a point using caps is a totally underrated form of written expression. But if you’re capitalizing everything, you’re not emphasizing anything. You’re just shouting.

Example:

“I’m looking for a girl who loves to travel, is athletic, and is always looking for adventure.”

The reader thinks: “Cool, got it.”

But:

“I’M LOOKING FOR A GIRL WHO LOVES TO TRAVEL, IS ATHLETIC, AND IS ALWAYS LOOKING FOR ADVENTURE.”

The reader thinks: “Why am I being yelled at right now?”

3. Webspeak

Webspeak can be tolerated with text messages, tweets, or any other medium that limits the amount of characters you can use. Luckily, most dating sites let you use unlimited characters!

Example:

“You seem really funny from your profile. I’d love to talk to you more!”

The reader thinks: “Awesome!”

But:

“U seem rly funny from ur profile. id love 2 talk 2 u more.”

The reader thinks: “Really? You can’t be bothered to write two extra characters when messaging me?”

4. Common Usage Mistakes

All those silly its/it’s and your/you’re mistakes may seem trivial, but incorrect usage can be off-putting for potential dates.

Example: “It’s funny, I never appreciated Minnesota when I was growing up there, but now I’m in awe of its natural beauty.”

The reader thinks: “Wow, Minnesota does sound nice.”

But:

“Its funny, I never appreciated Minnesota when I was growing up there, but now I’m in awe of it’s natural beauty.”

The reader thinks: “ARGH! ‘It’s!’ Did this person not go to school?”

Bottom line: You’re an awesome person, with a really good dating profile — don’t let grammatical mistakes distract from that!