Imagine you hosted a party, and no-one came? That’s how it can feel when you write a mature online dating profile and no-one gets in touch. If you weren’t feeling sad and lonely before, you sure will now. There’s an art to writing an attention-grabbing older dating profile, and it doesn’t come easily to everyone. But you can take yourself several steps closer to success by avoiding these common mistakes:

Don’t: Write before you read.

Do: Take a look through the profiles of those already mature dating, so that you get to know your audience and your competition.

Don’t: Tell, if a friend writes your profile blurb. “I asked my friend to describe me, and here’s what he wrote…” suggests that you lack the wit or confidence to write the thing yourself.

Do: Ask a trusted friend for an honest appraisal of your best characteristics. This will boost your confidence and give you ideas about what to write.

Don’t: Criticise yourself.

Do: Sell yourself. You have to like yourself before someone else can like you. Self-deprecation is a turn-off in anything other than the smallest, wittiest nuggets.

Don’t: Overdo the confidence.

Do: Be realistic and specific when describing the things that make you shine. “I make a great chickpea curry and I’ll always try to make you laugh” is good. “No-one can understand why I’m single” makes you sound like a frustrated narcissist; this is mature dating, you’re not 13 any more!

Don’t: Fall into the cliché trap. “I love sunsets and breakfast in bed.” No, really?

Do: Be specific. Someone’s more likely to respond if you mention particular passions or interests. A brief, original anecdote is a great way to reveal something about you and to hook people.

Don’t: Brag about your salary.

Do: Offer some insight into your career early on, and find out about theirs.

Don’t: Mention your ex, your nervous breakdown, your criminal record or your fungal infection. In mature dating everyone has a past, but there’s no need to air it on your profile.

Do: Keep your profile light and positive. Some things are best left unsaid, at least until you’re a couple of successful dates down the line.

Don’t: Tell them you’re funny.

Do: Show them you’re funny. If you really can make people laugh, you’ll be able to show that through the way you write your profile.

Don’t: Criticise your audience.

Do: Leave your baggage at the door. Writing “no more gits and losers, please” make you sound like an embittered dumpee who’s not over it yet.

Don’t: Lie about your age. Looking for someone on the mature dating scene is all about finding someone of a similar generation as you.

Do: Wear your age with pride. It’s fine, if a bit pathetic, to fib about your years if you’re only after one-night stands, but it’s pointless if you’d actually like to date someone. As soon as they find out, they’ll wonder what else you were lying about.

Don’t: Describe yourself as “slim” or “athletic” if you don’t think others would describe you as either. Typically in older dating people value honesty over the preening of their younger years!

Do: Specify your body shape, “average” or “curvy” is fine. Claiming to be something you’re not will only lead to an awkward introduction when you turn up for a date.

Don’t: Be too specific about what you’re looking for.

Do: Remember that the people you fall for aren’t always “your type”. Give a sense of who floats your boat and the type of relationship you’re hoping for, but don’t write a shopping list. As well as ruling out potentially great partners, a specific description suggests that you’re looking for a clone of an ex.

Don’t: Even think about posting a profile without a photo.

Do: Find or take a photo that’s recent and flattering. There’s no excuse for not having at least one picture of yourself, and a realistic photo is what makes you more real and trustworthy.

Don’t: Make the photo unrealistic. In mature dating your date wants to see you as you are, not as you were.

Do: Remember that you want to meet someone. In real life. So don’t undersell yourself with a bad photo, or conversely, make yourself out to be someone you’re not.

Do: Make relaxed, friendly eye contact with the camera. Don’t pull a funny face or leer; try to look as natural you normally do.

Don’t: Stick to one photo. Include a photo where your face is fully visible, and another with your whole body in the shot.

Do: Include a photos which display your passions and personality. Think about the image you want to project; from doglover to beach lounger to businessman to exotic traveller, make sure your older dating profile photos are representative of you.

Don’t: Write too little.

Do: Give a few interesting snippets of information about yourself, so interested singles over 50 have something to email you about. If you’ve written fewer than two sentences, it’s probably not enough.

Don’t: Write too much.

Do: Format your profile so it’s pleasant to read. One big wall of text does not look inviting. Whet their appetite with some choice details, begging them to enquire further.

Don’t: Be a sloppy scribbler.

Do: Check your profile’s spelling and grammar before posting it. We’re mature dating, not at primary school! Sloppiness just says “I can’t be bothered”.

Do: You can come back and tweak your profile every day if you like. Pay attention to the emails you’re getting (or not getting), edit your profile to improve the quality or quantity of your responses, and let the inbox fun commence.

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