When people find out I’m a writer they often ask where I get my ideas. I have no shortage of ideas. Life has enough craziness in it to supply me with endless plots.

But I also need people to populate my books. This used to be a struggle for me, but then, like with my plots, I started looking around me. Grab a quirk from this person, a character trait from that one and before you know it, I have a living, breathing character.

But as a woman, guys are still a challenge. As many books as I’ve read about how men think, I still don’t get it. But another writer friend and I put our heads together and looked over the shoulder of someone’s online dating profile. There are thousands of guys right there just ready to populate somebody’s book, um, life.

So we got a few ideas for some characters for future books. And couldn’t help but come up with a top ten list of things guys shouldn’t put on the their dating profiles. Consider it some insight into the minds of women.

Top Ten Dating Profile Mistakes Men Make

1. Taking your photo in the bathroom mirror. Or worse, the mirror of a public bathroom. The urinal is a dead giveaway.

2. Having ex-girlfriend/wife’s arm around you in photo (she’s cropped out but she’s left a mark on you).*

3. Not wearing a shirt! You may think it’s sexy. It’s not.

4. Numerous photos of your car. We don’t care about your car, we don’t want to date it.

5. Showing your trophy kill–dead fish, turkeys, and deer are not relationship makers. Ick.

6. Not using your own words in the profile. “Walking on the beach in the rain” is not original after the fiftieth time I’ve seen it.

7. Using profile names like DONTBESCARED –that scares me.

8. Not using more than five words about yourself. Really? That’s all there is to you?

9. Ranting about your political/religious beliefs is a reason to block you.

10. Not using a current photo. Cut your hair and try not to look like you just came out of cave. Also don’t say you’re 42 when your photo says you’re nowhere near that age.

*2 Please don’t put your (or anyone else’s) kids’ pictures online–makes us concerned about their safety and what kind of dad you would be.

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