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10 Little Ways to Kill Your Online Dating Game

Not having much luck? Here's how to up your chances of meeting a great girl—and lower the risk of screwing up a relationship before it starts.

The no-nos of picking up women in bars are fairly obvious. Don’t go after girls wearing wedding rings. Don’t use a cheesy pickup line. And don’t stare at her cleavage while she’s talking (or at least don’t get caught doing it).

Online dating, on the other hand, is a bit more nuanced. In fact, it just may be easier to repel a potential partner virtually than it is in person. Here, 10 blunders you don’t even realize you’re making—and how to turn it all around.

Mistake #1: Including a laundry list of turnoffs in your profile.
“No one wants to date a guy who’s too judgmental,” says Julie Spira, author of The Perils of Cyber-Dating and CEO of CyberDatingExpert.com. A smarter tactic: Mention the traits you do want in a girlfriend. You’ll seem way less negative.

Mistake #2: Saying you want a “drama-free” woman.
How cliché. But worse, it’s a sign you’ve got lots (and lots) of ex baggage. “A woman will realize you have unresolved issues from past relationships and probably take a pass,” explains Spira. Again, stick to naming the positive qualities you seek.

Mistake #3: Bringing up sex in your profile.
Include that, and the ladies may think that’s all you care about. Worried you’ll wind up with a prude? Don’t. “Women know that intimacy’s part of the package if the relationship moves forward,” says Spira.

Mistake #4: Posting profile pictures taken with a flash.
An OkCupid study found that bright light adds seven years to your face, drawing eyes to the very wrinkles and blemishes you’re hoping no one will notice. Instead, take profile photos in the late afternoon in soft, natural lighting—study participant rated those as the most attractive.

Mistake #5: Posting camera-phone pictures.
Even crystal-clear iPhone photos don’t make you look as great as the pics from most point-and-shoot digital cameras, according to OkCupid’s research. But your best bet for seducing women: posting profile shots from a high-end camera with an interchangeable lens.

NEXT: 5 More Online Dating Mistakes Men Make

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