Life Advice



Erika Ettin: Don't disqualify yourself by qualifying yourself

By Erika Ettin, Tribune News Service on

Published in Dating Advice

Will creative types like me? Will people think I like to argue all the time? What if someone thinks I work all day and won't have time to date?

She would rather pretend that everyone hates lawyers (news flash: not true) than not know how we actually feel.

Eliminating qualifiers from your online dating profile will help you get more comfortable with ambiguity. Instead of qualifying yourself, try to leave your assertive statements as is.

"I practice law."

That's it. Move on to the next sentence describing all your other desirable qualities. How did the reader react? We don't care; we can't read minds!

I saw a profile the other day that read, "I'm super close to my sister... but not in a weird way."


Now all I can think about is that this person has an inappropriate relationship with his sister! Had he not said that second part, I would have thought it was sweet that he's so family-oriented. Most people don't even think of the thing you're most worried about... until you call attention to it.

Here are some indicators you may be qualifying yourself in your profile: Don't worry, I swear, Sorry, I promise I'm not, But...

A few revisions can go a long way toward conveying that you are a secure person who is comfortable with not knowing exactly how you are being evaluated. By eliminating qualifiers, you are actually practicing confidence and taking the first step in becoming that person.


(Erika Ettin is the founder of A Little Nudge, where she helps others navigate the often intimidating world of online dating. Want to connect with Erika? Join her newsletter, for updates and tips.)

(c)2020 Erika Ettin, Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.