In this day and age, it’s rare to find anyone who’s actively looking for dates, mates or anything in between who doesn’t have an online profile of some sort. Hell, most partnered or married guys I know have one as well (joys of open relationships..).
No matter what you’re looking for – casual dates, random hook-ups, something more long term – there’s something to be said about how you present yourself online. Your online profile is like your calling card, and if you leave it blank or too vague, then you may not get the results you’re looking for.
I don’t think there’s an exhaustive list of ‘Do’s and Don’ts’ when it comes to all this, but it doesn’t hurt to bear a few things in mind when creating your online presence. It’s all about giving a brief, general snapshot of yourself to get someone interested.
Put a clear profile photo
The whole point of a profile picture is to determine compatibility and whether you’re attracted to the other person. If you’re not willing to show who you are, then why the hell are you even online to begin with?
Admittedly, it could be the situation where the person isn’t out for whatever reason and is afraid if they’re found online they could lose their job, family, or any other things. Or perhaps they’re married/partnered and only online looking for a bit of fun on the side, and they’re afraid their ‘honey’ will catch them (run away.. run far far away..).
But then there are those who’ll refuse to put up a pic or even sent one once you’re chatting, but insist that you should meet. At your place because they can’t host (or be seen with a man in public..). All without you know what they look like.
Sounds like a recipe for trouble.
Know and disclose your status
It’s astounding how, in this day and age of awareness, that there are still guys out there who don’t know their HIV status and don’t do anything to find out. It may not be ‘fun’ getting yourself tested, but isn’t that better than suddenly finding out you’ve been infected and have no clue when or how?
Not only that, but there seems to be this ignorant stigmatism that anyone who’s HIV+ is somehow ‘unclean’. It’s not like it’s something you can wash away with a vigorous shower. And let’s be honest, you’re more likely to get infected by someone who doesn’t even know their status than someone who’s aware, on meds, and probably has a low/non-existent viral load because of it.
And if you don’t want to date someone who’s positive? Well, then don’t. Just don’t be an uneducated idiot by using the word ‘clean’.
Preferences don’t allow racial profiling
Every guy out there has an idea or fantasy of what their perfect guy looks like, and for many that can include their potential partner’s race or ethnicity. Who hasn’t seen profiles with ‘No Blacks/Asians/Arabs/etc’ on them. And all that’s doing is limiting yourself to your own prejudices.
Types can change over time. And just because you hadn’t previously had experiences with someone from a certain ethnicity, it doesn’t mean that you won’t in the future. And to specifically put that on your profile, then you’re just showing how closed minded you can be.
And on that note….
‘Masc4Masc Only’ or ‘No fats, no femmes’
Once again, regardless how much you may say this is your preference, but to someone reading you profile it could be a blow to their self-esteem.
One of the great things about life these days is there are no set rules for what is masculine or how a man should act. Life is quite gender fluid, even if it’s within your own gender. It’s buying into and reinforcing those gender stereotypes we’ve all fought so hard to get past.
And though you might say it’s not your problem, by being dismissive and bitchy towards someone you may not be physically attracted to just reinforces the body-shaming issues they may already be dealing with.
If someone you’re not attracted to gives you a compliment, then just politely accept it and move on. Simple.
Don’t massage the figures
We’ve seen it.. guys who lie on their profiles about their age, weight, height, or even their cock size all in fear of being rejected. However, what’s the point? All that’ll happen is you’ll end you being rejected for lying about any of those things, and not the item you had issue with itself.
If there’s something you’re afraid guys will judge you on, then why not just omit it to begin with? If it’s something that comes up in conversation down the line, then you can choose whether you want to reveal the information.
And along the same lines, what’s the point of using a photo taken several years ago that no longer looks anything like you? All you’re doing is setting yourself up for awkwardness later on and possible rejection.
In the end the best thing to do is just be honest, project a positive outlook on life, and ultimately just be yourself. Because after all, it’s the real you want them to fall for.
This post has been influenced by — Five things no gay man should put on their dating app profile