By Justin Lavelle

Online dating is all the rage, right? I mean, all of your friends say so. But after your last date with Logan, who turned out to be less hard-working intellectual and more mid-30-year-old living with Mom, and the one before, Scott, the self-proclaimed genius surfer from Arkansas, you’re feeling a bit wary. Maybe the problem, aside from your questionable taste, is closer to home than you anticipated—maybe the problem is your profile. Your profile deigns who decides to swipe right on you, and you have a lot of power here. Follow our tips to spring-clean your profile, and wash away the negative energy and scarring first dates. Start fresh.

Spelling and Grammar: Glance over your profile: is everything spelled correctly? Bad spelling and grammar is the equivalent of having bad breath when you meet someone in person. It will also make you look careless or like you’re part of an online scam. No one is interested in dating someone that comes across as if they haven’t even finished elementary school, and bad grammar is an enormous turn-off. So wipe your profile clean of typos and uneducated phrases, and start anew.

Related Link: 5 Tips for Creating a Perfect Online Dating Profile

Be Honest and Specific When Describing Yourself: If you want to attract the right person straight away, be honest and specific when you describe yourself and your attributes. Then when you message someone or someone messages you, you’ll be able to look at the profile, find similarities, and decide if this is someone you’d like to meet. Are you quiet or outgoing? Do you like sports or art house movies? Are you a creative type or in finance? Are you just interested in meeting new people or are you looking for marriage in the future? Throw out statements like, “People tell me I’m really nice and fun to be around” or “I like hanging out and getting to know new people.” General statements like this describe half the population and say nothing distinct about you. Except that you’re boring.

Don’t Focus on Flaws: No one wants to read a bunch of negatives like, “I’m fat, but working on a fitness program,” or,  “I’m short and don’t like my knees.” While you might view this is as a problem, there’s no need to flaunt your insecurities. You’re basically throwing yourself under the bus and giving them reasons not to like you. And if you write about your flaws, you will come across needy and self-conscious. Let’s be honest, bad knees are hardly a deal breaker—but lack of confidence can be.

Lists of Things you Dislike: If your profile is full of claims like, “I hate liars, I hate cheaters and I hate smokers,” you will be turning off most potential dates. It’s objectively normal to dislike liars, but a list of everything you dislike seems pessimistic, grumpy, and off-putting. No one will be overly interested in a Debbie Downer. If you’re allergic to smoking that’s one thing, but a profile full of “hates” won’t make you seem like much fun.

Related Link: Love Advice: What Makes A Great Online Dating Profile

Pick Your Profile Pic Wisely: Be honest in selecting your profile pic. It will only backfire if you choose an image that’s 10+ years old, that is blurred or doesn’t represent the true you. It’s ok to do a little photoshopping or add a filter, but don’t go crazy. The last thing you need is someone showing up and announcing you don’t look anything like your profile pic.Sites like OK Cupid have posted helpful info on what makes for a good profile picture, so use this data to help you improve.

Weed Out Bad Apples: Before becoming emotionally invested in an online relationship, and definitely before meeting someone in person, perform an online background check through a service like BeenVerified on your date to make sure they are who they say they are. You’ll be looking for basic information such as marital status and location, as well as arrests records, history of domestic abuse, gun permits, and more. This is an important step in protecting your safety and well-being.

So now that you’ve cleared out your spring profile of over-the-top edits, spelling and grammar errors, and negativity, start anew. May your gleaming, fresh profile give you the strength to persevere. May the odds be ever in your favor.

Justin Lavelle is the Communications Director for BeenVerified. He regularly writes about topics related to online dating and romance scams for the company’s blog. The company’s mission is to help people discover, understand and use public data in their everyday lives so you can confirm whether your online date is a love match or a scam artist. With millions of app downloads and millions of monthly visitors, BeenVerified is a leading source of online background checks and contact information and allows individuals to find more information about people, phone numbers, email addresses and property records.