Dating apps are great in many ways, but they can also be confusing and time-consuming. As a professional matchmaker, I look at people’s profiles all day long and have learned a lot about how to get the most out of looking for love online. Here are some of my best tips.
- Mystery is key. When writing your bio, avoid rambling. The purpose of a bio is not to tell your life story, all of your interests, or your relationship history—it’s to pique curiosity. Long bios end up coming across as overeager and inauthentic. Plus, you want to maintain a hint of mystery to entice swipers to actually message you. Your bio should be short and sweet but give a suitor something they can mention when they first message you.
- While you shouldn’t give TMI, you do need to give some. While you don’t want to say something like, “Just broke up with my ex of 5 years, looking for someone to bring home for Passover next month. Crohn’s survivor!” you also don’t want to be bare-bones about it. I see women who have just a few nonsensical emojis in their profile. This makes it seem like you aren’t taking the dating app seriously and with no information on your profile, it’s pretty difficult for anyone to strike up a conversation.
- Don’t state the obvious. I can’t tell you how many profiles I’ve come across that say something to the effect of, “Love to travel, but also love Netflix!” Virtually everyone loves to travel and watch Netflix. Not only does this make for a boring bio but it will also get lost in the thousands of other people who say the exact same things. Instead, try something that tells more of a story like, “Looking for someone to watch the Dark Knight trilogy with.” You can also try something that adds a call to action like, “Who wants to help me eat all of this chocolate I brought back from Belgium?”
- Be strategic. Since you want to keep your bio pretty short, you can actually pack a lot of information into your profile in other ways. Adding your job and university gives people a good idea of your interests and where you’re from. An interesting job or educational background can also give swipers something to use to start a conversation. I went to school in Europe, so plenty of guys open the conversation by asking where exactly my school was, which easily leads to conversation about travel or what I studied.
- Be authentic. Probably 8 out of 10 women’s profiles are basically exactly the same basic stuff. It’s boring, gets lost in the crowd, and worse, it makes you seem inauthentic. It might be true that you have a dog and love to travel, but try to put a more unique spin on it. The best way to stand out is by being yourself. Your bio should be honest and have your own unique flavor while your pictures should show your genuine interests. Instead of yet another selfie, make sure at least one picture shows you doing one of your favorite activities. This will help you connect with people who share your interests and give them something to open the conversation with.
- Ditch the vanity and choose normal photos. Choosing Instagram model pics for your dating app profile may be sexy, but it’s not necessarily the best move. People tend to roll their eyes at blatant social media vanity even though we all partake. No one wants to date a narcissist. Plus, your high glam pictures don’t always make you look very approachable, which means you might get likes but few messages. Instead, choose pictures that make you look friendly and open. Rather than looking away from the camera or giving your best Blue Steel, you should be smiling or laughing. Make sure you’re showing your teeth and the whites of your eyes for the most impact.
- Treat it like a job. One of the biggest complaints I hear about dating apps is that people get burned out too quickly and then just want to give it up. A trick to avoid burnout is to limit the amount of time you spend swiping. Basically, you should treat dating apps like a job. Decide on an amount of time you’re willing to spend at it each day, then turn off notifications. Once you’ve put in your time, resist the urge to answer messages or swipe more when bored. If you’re at it all the time, you’re going to end up giving it up. Balance is key here.
- Get clear on what you’re looking for. When it comes to swiping, you should have some strategy. Most people treat dating apps like throwing spaghetti at a wall and going with whatever sticks. To have success on dating apps, you need to get clear on what you’re looking for and stick with it. If you’re looking for an active gentleman who wants a long-term relationship, swipe left on the hot homebody who’s “just here for fun.”
- Look past presentation. Not everyone is a content marketing genius, so you need to look past their online presentation to find the diamonds in the rough. Unflattering pictures and a cringe-worthy bio make most people swipe left, but try to look past their marketing skills to see what’s underneath. Pictures out of focus but fosters puppies in his free time? Hell yes. Gym selfie but has an MA in English lit from Yale? Worth a shot. An open mind is your pathway to love.