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10 OkCupid Profile “Don'ts” to Heed If You Actually Want to Get Laid

New Year's resolutions are kind of bullshit, but a simple way to improve your 2014 as a single person is to banish these sex-repelling elements from your OkCupid profile.

(Note: Don't do the above...)

A simple way to improve your lot as a single person is to banish these sex-repelling elements from your OkCupid profile:

1) Don't try to be funny if you're not funny.

Many of these types of profile-writing advice articles will tell you that you should write whimsical, witty responses in your profile to show visitors your sense of humor, but this becomes a problem if you don't have one. Unfortunately, most people think they have a great sense of humor, but most of them are mistaken.

If you're not sure if you're funny, ask a good friend if he or she thinks you are. If there is even the slightest hesitation before the friend says something like, “Um, sure! Sometimes...” the answer is actually no.

That said though, lots of people are really easily amused, so run some of your “funny” Cupid responses by several friends for douche detection.

2) Don't make your “About Me” opening section so long that even your mother would find it boring.

One rule of thumb: If someone has to scroll down more than twice to get to the end of it, it's way too fucking long. Give people an overview of who you are and what you care about. You don't need to go into how much you'd love to find a man/woman to be your “partner in crime” (shudder) and everything you're looking for in a relationship. Your objective at this stage is to find someone you can stand and who can stand you; don't jump the gun. You can bore people with your hopes and dreams for love later.

Also, avoid listing adjectives to describe yourself such as the mundane “attractive,” “intelligent” or “funny” (see above). This is standard advice for writing that you've probably heard: Show, don't tell. If you describe what you're like and what you're doing with your life, people reading your profile can see for themselves that you're attractive, smart or funny. (Or not.)

3) Don't use cliches.

Do you really need to point out that you “love to laugh” and “just like to have fun”? Why, to differentiate yourself from the myriad people who hate laughing and fun? Or ladies, is it necessary to write that you are “just as comfortable in jeans or a little black dress,” which I've heard 9 million women write in their profiles? Guys will write to you anyway if they think you're hot, but everyone rolls their eyes at that, seriously. Who dresses the same way all the goddamn time? Total weirdos might never dress up or never dress down, but those are types you want to avoid anyway.

Similarly, answering “livin it” to the “what I'm doing with my life” section like 7 million other people flags you as an unoriginal bore, something you presumably want to avoid.

Lastly and perhaps most importantly, don't use the “red flag” kind of cliches such as saying you're “easygoing,” “carefree” or “drama-free.” If you feel the need to point out that you're any of those things, you probably aren't.

4) Don't leave a section blank and just write, “Ask me anything!”

Do you want to get laid or not? Why are you expecting people looking at your profile to do all the work and blindly guess at what might interest you or what you might have in common? At least give them something to go on. Only the most bored or desperate person would bother asking something broad and dull such as, “What do you like to do when you're not working?” or “So what are your favorite movies?”

5) Don't use a close-up body part as your main photo unless it's your head, and don't use an ancient picture as your main image.

I'm sure you've read before that torso shots are cheesy and don't go over well with most people, but the people who are clothed but completely obscure their faces in their main photos – either chopping off their heads or using a picture in silhouette or something – are also really annoying. I'm not going to click on your profile if I have no idea what you look like; I don't have all day for this crap.

Some people do this because they don't want to be identified on, gasp, a dating site, but that wastes people's time – I'm not going to bother requesting a picture even if you offer – and is also insulting to those of us who actually reveal our faces in our profiles. It also might cause visitors to suspect you're married and cupiding on the sly.

And I know you're trying to lure people in to look at your profile with that 11-year-old picture of you, but come on. It's 42-year-old you that's looking for a date, not 2002 you. If your main photo is obviously years out of date, it will just annoy people when they see your other more recent pictures. Older guys tend to do this a lot. And if you're protesting right now, “but I look exactly the same as I did five years ago!” trust me, you're wrong.

Also, some guys look so wildly different in each captionless photo (I think men tend to include captions with the date the photo was taken much less frequently than women do) that it's impossible to figure out which one they might resemble now. I suspect that people whose photos look very different than they look in person think, “Well, once my dates meet me, they'll be so charmed that my looks won't matter!” I don't think this ever happens, however. Partly because feeling mislead doesn't generally put people in the mood for romance.

6) If you're older than 20, don't say "luv," "ur" or "HMU."
This might just be me, unfortunately, but men in their 30s or 40s who send me messages like “luv ur pics would love to chat with u hmu if yur interested” are always ignored. Actually, I ignore people of any age who would write such a message, but the older you are, the more cringe-inducing it becomes.

7) Don't be too earnest.
Sweet can be nice, but really long messages about how thrilled he or she would be if you would write back are kind of scary and depressing. When it's so easy to ignore people online, pity dates are few and far between, I imagine. Keep it short and mellow. But --

8) Don't send form letters.
And yes, we can tell most of the time. I know dating sites are a “numbers game,” but plastering cupid with the same message and making people feel like numbers only works if you're super, super good-looking and want to meet other vapid people just looking for hook-ups or the recipients are incredibly desperate and unpicky. I've gotten the exact same carefully casual and disingenuously wacky messages from the same guys repeatedly. Remember that lots and lots of people are on OkCupid, and if you're spamming every single person in your area, there's a chance two or more of them will report to each other about your form letter and laugh at you (and not fuck you).

9) Don't act like you're trying to appeal to everyone (even if you are).
I don't understand men (I don't think women do this, generally) who will write stuff like “chatting with YOU” in response to the “on a typical Friday night, I'm...” section. A used-car salesman tone is a turn-off. Speaking for myself again, I guess, but it's more attractive to sound a little selective and discerning, not like you're trying to appeal to millions indiscriminately. At least pretend that you are trying to meet someone right for you and not just any warm body who won't run away from you screaming.

10) Don't ask someone out to coffee.
I know no one wants to waste his or her time, but if you invite someone on a date, at least show a modicum of interest and spring for a cocktail, Jesus. Unless one or both of you is sober, suggesting coffee on the first date sounds unappealingly noncommittal, not to mention cheap.

On the other hand, don't go overboard in the other direction and take the person out for a super-expensive fancy meal on your first date. If your main objective is to impress, not to get to know your date and see if you click, you will seem at best worrisomely over-eager and at worst, like a possible serial killer. The fancy dinner date – and christ, a bouquet of flowers and candy too, which happened to me once – also tends to scream, “I just escaped my Mormon upbringing and have little idea how to interact socially.” Not hot.

Bonus tip

(This one goes to 11...durrhurrr.) Don't underestimate the importance of your Cupid handle. SingleAgain4U would turn off any sane person, as would LookingforU69. Ditto for SingleJohninSantaMonica. I could go on. Even if you have to think it over for a week, pick something slightly original or even aim for clever.